Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Did you know 4.0?

The latest "Did you know 4.0?" was recently published on Youtube. The original was started by Karl Fisch, who maintains a instructional technology blog. Some people love it while others hate it, mostly probably due to its overuse and exposure. Several versions have come out and this is the latest one for 2009. I like things that expose people and raise awareness to the changing digital landscape that impact our students. So here it is. Check it out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

21CHK Quotes & Reflection #2

As I near the end of my journey home from the conference, I am tired yet reflective. It was enjoyable to see colleagues and catch up in person with some people that seem only "virtual" for much of the year. I also like reflecting on our schools and the ideas of the conference. We are in the midst of major efforts to transform our schools into the 21st century models that we talk about. As I return, I want to really look at that guage and apply my reflections and new ideas to our strategic plan to make us more effective in our efforts.

In the second keynote address on Friday morning, Bruce Dixon talked about the 21st century and its impact on education. He said...

What we teach much change
where we teach much change
when we teach much change
how we teach must change

He continued on to discuss the need to transform our classrooms, not just translate the current modus operandi to a digital medium. I think this is something for some continued reflection.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

21CHK Quotes & Reflection

I am enjoying the 21st century learning conference. It is nice to see some of the people that I regularly interact with digitally in person. I have found many thoughts, ideas, and resources which will undoubtedly make it to this blog in the coming weeks. After a long day at the conference, I'll just mention a couple quotes that stuck out.

Wes Fryer stated our need as educators this way:

We need to become the engagers, not the entertainers.

Another comment from Fryer in another session on podcasting:

Hyperlinked text is the most powerful form of writing.

I thought these were both solid comments for further reflection. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Learning 2.009 Conference

I am headed to Hong Kong tomorrow for the Learning 2.009 conference. It has been in Shanghai over the previous couple years. It is a great conference that really focuses on learning. It has a heavy technology slant and exhibits many great technological and educational tools. However, these tools are presented in the light of how they benefit students and create effective learning environments. I am looking forward to collaborating with other educational leaders to see how they are forming a 21st century learning environment in their schools.

I hope to post some updates from the conference in the coming days. If you want to know more about this conference, check out the website.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Google Lit Trips

I recently ran across Google Lit Trips. It utilizes Google Earth to enhance a literature lesson. I have not used this specific website and idea, but I really like the theory. It takes one technological tool and applies it to enhance and invigorate another area of study. Although cool in engaging students, the reason I particularly like this concept is that it takes this integration and allows teachers to share templates and lessons with each other. The concept is good and becomes better and more attainable for a wider group to use with students when it is shared and they collaborate.

That is 21st century thinking and implementation.

It takes us beyond our 4 walls of our classroom or the colleagues down the hall. It gives us access across the world to share excellent resources for the good of students. If you are interested in more info, you might check out this article on Edutopia.

When I tried to go to the Google Lit Trips page, it said it was down due to too much traffic. Perhaps I am not the only one that sees this as a good idea...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Learning with video games

I have recently seen more and more educational tools that are integrated within video games. 360Ed is just one of the recent ones I have seen. This 360Ed game focuses on US History. The Economist recently featured an article about Quest to Learn, which is a video game that totally redefines the educational paradigm of students. It integrates subjects into domains that combine math and English, English and social studies, and game design and digital literacy. As education seeks to engage students, the application of video game and multimedia technology to interactively engage students is reaching new heights. While research is still being conducted, the root of hands on learning and engaging students in ways that motivate them to learn for themselves continue to lie at the heart of these initiatives. What are you doing in your class to engage your students in innovative ways? How do you make learning fun and make students want to know more?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Youtube Monetized

Social media has powerful influences. I recently read this article from the Google blog. It talks about Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz's wedding party. Their wedding party danced into a song which became a huge hit. Their little Youtube video spread across the net and a musical artist capitalized tremendously. It is an interesting story of how Youtube and social media have significant impacts. Who are you influencing? What is your web presence?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Growing in a New Year

Each year appears as a microcosm of life. It has cycles which include times of celebration and new challenges that provide opportunities for growth. The uncertainty and adventure helps me be energized each year.

Already in the short time we have been open, we have had opportunities for growth. During the 2nd week of school, we had to close the school due to concerns about the spread of the H1N1 flu virus. This instantly transformed our teachers into distant educators. Students worked daily on assignments given to them by their teachers.

Overall, I must say that I was proud of our staff to dive into a new and unexpected scenario with a positive and learning spirit. They tried new things with technology and stretched themselves. I was also glad that we had the infrastructure in place through our use of Edline, Moodle, and Google Apps among other resources to handle the school closure needs. It was not perfect but we grew as a school through the challenges.

Learning. That is what the 21st century environment is about. May it continue over this year and may we more successfully prepare our students for the 21st century as a result.