Connected Educator Month

This past week, my online course looked at a few ways of engaging in online professional development networks and conferences.  Through my membership in Classroom 2.0, I received an email from Steve Hargadon describing some exciting opportunities awaiting us in the month of August. 

August is the Connected Educator Month.  It is a U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology's Connective Educators initiative.  Read more about it on the Dept of Ed site here.  Explore the Connected Educator's Initiative and check out the Calendar of Events, Activities!    It's an incredible line up of speakers, forums, webinars, etc. on a wide range of topics related to online educational technology topics. Alan November, Karen Levine, Howard Gardner, Kathy Schrock, etc, etc, etc. are a few of the speakers. Watch this video to see how to navigate the calendar.  August 1, looks like a packed day, but it doesn't stop there.  Follow the #ce12 hashtag on Twitter.

Steve Hargadon describes the 2012 Learning 2.0 Virtual Conference, August 20-24, 2012 and the role it will play in the Connected Educator month. His post also provides links to opportunities to submit proposals to the Library 2.012 conference, October 3 - 5 and the 2012 Global Education Conference, November 12 - 16.  August and beyond hold many opportunities to participate in some free, online learning opportunities. 

Thanks to Steve Hargadon for his work and dedication to spreading the news.  Happy learning!


Connected? Pairing Two TED Talks

As I prep for a class, I am leaving open a choose your own topic of interest week based on ed tech.  This made me think about what topic I would choose if I were given this assignment.  Online gaming, the future of books, online and hybrid courses, social media: there are many topics I love.  I’ve enjoyed following Jane McGonigal’s work on gaming in education (See my past posts as I explored this topic last summer.), and Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk is one of my favorites.  So, in challenging myself to begin my own assignment, I would choose to pair these two talks and explore common and conflicting concepts.

Watch both of these talks and form your own conclusions.  Some interesting lesson plan or discussion, yes discussion, is waiting to be developed by pairing these two talks together.  Hmmm... a Vialogue  or TED Ed would be a fun way to have conversations develop here.

I’ve gotta go.  I’m off to play a game of Words with Friends with my kiddo and grandpa.

Happy conversing!


ISTE 2012 Highlights

To blog about ISTE or not to blog about ISTE?  That was the question.  It’s fun to share, so here are some of my highlights.  I selected sessions that can be watched or further explored via the links.

The two keynotes I attended were great.  What’s not to love about Sir Ken Robinson, his ideas and sense of humor?  I’ve watched so many of his talks over the past few years that it was nice to be there with him at ISTE.  Dr. Yong Zhao gave an impressive speech as well.  (See below and forward to minute 25 to get to his presentation.)  Here’s a link to these and other ISTE videos.

Google Slam was fun to attend.  I walked away with a few new ideas, particularly with the use of Google Docs and gadgets.  The vocabulary flash card gadget has potential.  Here’s a direct link to explore more.

Kathy Schrock is an engaging presenter who packed her session full of practical ideas.  Here is her presentation on Literacy in the Digital Age.  I particularly liked her section about global literacy.  Concepts such as how people from different countries react differently to the same text, the topic of news bias, and ways to promote global literacy supported by the use of technology was reiterated in other sessions as well.   If you are not familiar with Kathy’s work, take a look.  It’s near impossible to explore her site and not glean a new idea or inspiration.

Annette Lamb also delivered a session, Graphic Inquiry: Dynamic Differentiationand Digital Age Learning, filled to the brim with practical tips. I recommend watching the session here.  Here’s a direct link to her presentation handout and  Get Graphic site, two valuable resources with many applications for ESOL, differentiation best practices, etc.!  Some of her ideas for the use of infographics as a means of critical analysis and inquiry are interesting.  Since I use online comic strips, timelines, etc. in my own teaching, I liked her discussion of students generating both the physical and the online versions.

I could easily write a whole post on the larger ideas from the presentations of Alan November’s session, Empathy: The 21st Century Skill,  David Warlick’s session, Cracking the ‘Native’ Information Experience, Chris Lehmann’s session Beyond Googling: Using Technology To Build A Culture of Inquiry,  and Will Richardson’s session, The Steep Unlearning Curve: Rethinking Schools, Classrooms, and Learning.  Check out their work if you are not familiar with them.   

Renee Hobbs has some useful information on the topic of copyright and fair use laws that I have been exploring lately.  Judith Harris delivered an interesting session called TPACK: Will You Know It When You See It? I was a bit disappointed I didn’t see more, but caught the tail end of the presentation, Educational Blogging: Flattening the Classroom Walls!, by Linda Yollis and Kathleen Morris.  I’ve followed Kathleen’s tweets and work for quite some time.  Their site is  well worth exploring for elementary teachers interested in blogging and global collaboration.

As a fun side note, like many of the attendees, I used my iPad to record notes, capture pictures, etc.  Evernote was my go to app and I enjoyed participating in Today’s Meet backchannel.

There is a lot of useful information out there to explore on the ISTE 2012 conference site.  As I was writing this post, I ran across a few I took the time to watch, such as Cool Collaborative Activities with GoogleTools with TammyWorcester geared toward grades K-5 and The Wonderful World of Wikis with Viki DavisWatch recorded sessions and explore more presentation notes here.

Happy learning!