Now this session was another one that I was looking forward to attending at NECC. I first met Suzie Boss, one of the presenters, when she wrote about my first blogging project on Intel’s Innovation Odyssey. She titled the story A Place to Be Heard. That was the school year 2002-03 and the NewsQuest group of fourth and fifth graders were the very first student bloggers that I had the good fortune to work with and begin this great learning journey centered around using blogs to learn.
Now Suzie and her co-presenter Jane Krauss have written a book, “Revinventing Project-Based learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age.” I can’t wait till it comes out in the fall. The book takes a field guide approach. It is filled with stories about how educators are using technology to support the things they are trying to accomplish. It includes many stories from the field that show how different PBL models play out in different school contexts. There are examples from around the world. It has a thoughtful and deliberate design process in the book. Susie interviewed me for the book so I have a personal and professional interest in reading the book.
They have created a blog to continue the discussions. Here’s the Flickr photo group.
Linda Hartley, who was a virtual contributor, during the session created this informative wiki about the session.
I was able to record some of the session and listen to Suzie explain why teachers are saying “I’m just not going back.” Suzie discusses how she and Jane went about setting up this project. Listen here.Â Suzie.mp3
I also enjoyed hearing how Jane and Susie used a wiki to write this book along with Skype and del.icio.us and other tools. It was a great session!
NECC has come and gone and it was quite an event this year. This is the first time that I have found no time to blog during the session itself. There was so much to take in and so much to see. I’m now back at GSU and wanted to grab a few moments to post about some of the sessions I attended.
I couldn’t have started with a better one. ISTE has created a refreshed NETS for Students to meet the challenges of todayâ€™s increasingly digital world! Hearing the story of the process that was used as these standards were refreshed for students was so exciting. Feedback has been received brom all 50 states and 22 countries. Key people involved spoke to the audience and a clear picture emerged began to emerge.
You can see the major shift in that the focus is more on skills and expertise and less on tools. Here are the categories:
- Creativity & Innovation
- Communication & Collaboration
- Research & Information Fluency
- Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving, & Decision-Making
- Digital Citizenship
- Technology Operations & Concepts
At the end we were given a summation of 4 things to remember about this whole process. This summation was given by David (I am so sorry that I did not get his last name.) It was uplifting to say the least because just look at the threads of Web 2.0 that weave throughout these four points.
- This represents the collective wisdom of thousands of people around the country. think of this as a folksonomy. It is about user participation. All the people who care about a topic contribute – tagging, thoughts, ideas.
- This is about learning, not just technology. It’s about using technology to learn. Learning is first and foremost.
- It is sometimes referred to as a map that you can use to guide your learning. The map is not the territory. Once you get somewhere you must navigate. The potential won’t be realized until you put it into practice in the classroom. Then we were asked to blog about it. They want to hear our voices – what we hear, what we see, what we do.
- These standards are best when they work together with the essential conditions you need to have in your schools to get technology integration to work. these are part of a larger system. They are not free-standing.
Then at one point during the session we were asked to get out digital cameras out and turn to the person next to us and give them a high five. They want to document this. We will send our photos to them and they will do a big collage to celebrate.
It indeed is a celebration! And what an uplifting experience! They closed saying how much they looked forward to hearing from all of us! Let your voices be heard this year!
The first EduBloggerCon was quite an event and many interesting and passionate conversations have occurred. There is so much to think about. We know change needs to occur but how to get that change in motion is the tough question. After the sessions I reflected on the many good ideas and thought about all the energy in the rooms, the good ideas, the good discussions. A nagging thought kept lurking somewhere in my mind and got in the way of my thinking of all the wonderful possiblilities that could occur for student learning with some needed changes. High-stakes testing is the cloud that I could not get cleared away from my thoughts. I still think that high-stakes testing continues to be our biggest obstacle for needed change in education. Until we can change that I fear we are going to keep spinning our wheels in all other areas.
Here’s the podcast from Chris Lehman and Will Richardson‘s session on “Getting Our Blogs in a Row: Crafting a Compelling, Cogent Message for Change”: See the wiki. Then check this excellent follow-up post by Christopher Sessums. Check out the group picture at EduBloggerCon The sessions were great and Steve Hargadon has done an absolutely terrific job putting it all together. Thanks Steve for making it happen!
The conversations were great! A real highlight for me was having lunch with Kevin, Sheryl, Diane, and Christopher. What a great day! I couldn’t help but think back to NECC in Seattle and compare the numbers – wow! Let’s keep increasing those numbers! Our voices will be heard!
Note: There is a problem loading the podcast. I’ll figure it out later and put it up.
I’m getting ready to do a workshop with teachers on blogging. Finding good images is always a quest so I am beginning to put together a resource that might be helpful for teachers. I am trying to keep the explanation simple and the focus on sites that are free and quick and easy to navigate. If you have other similar “free” graphic places to share please list them on the comments. Since Flickr is my favorite place to look I’ll start with it…..
Flickr is one of the first places I turn to when searching for a dynamic photo for my blog. The selecion is huge, searching is easy and the quality is top-notch. Every photo on Flickr has a license. There are two major categories: â€œAll Rights Reservedâ€ and a â€œCreative Commonsâ€ license. â€œAll Rights Reservedâ€ means hands off! A â€œCreative Commonsâ€ license means that the photographer has reserved some of their rights but lets people use their photos for free under certain conditions. There are 4 major components. Link here to understand the restrictions. The Attribution component is always part of a Creative commons license, so you will always need to provide credit for the photo with a link to them.
Use the Flickr advanced search feature as you can check the box stating that you only want Creative Commons photos to display. Type your keywords and itâ€™ll bring up a page with a huge number of results.Sometimes I use the â€œmost interestingâ€ search filter. Flickrâ€™s concept of interestingness will display unique pictures of high quality. It is just fun to browse through them and lots of ideas for their use will pop in your head!Be sure to check out the Flickr Fun page on this wiki for lots of ideas of ways to incorporate Flickr into your teaching day! Here are some other links. I limited my links to sites where images are offered for free. Directions are on each site for their use. Generally you just have to provide a link of credit.AarinFreePhoto.com
Wikipedia: Free image resources
Here are some tools that will help with your searches and resizing pictures and other techniques to enhance your images.
Creative Commons Search
pic resize 2.0
Credits: I have to give credit to Kevin Jarrett of Welcome to NCS-Tech! His site is terrific and he leads us to countless good sites to use as resources. Many of the above sites came from his blog. Thanks Kevin!
Then Andrew Ferguson of Goldengod has a digital photography site that I could spend hours browsing and learning. In particular I borrowed a lot from these two posts:
I particularly appreciated his explanation of the licenses – clear cut and brief. Plus I like how he gives credit for his Flickr pictures. I’m going to have to switch to that format. Thanks Andrew!