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How To Learn? From Mistakes

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Educon 2.1 Conference at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. One of the highlights for me was the chance to tour the school and sit in on classrooms to learn some of the pedagogy that makes SLA so unique. One of the classrooms I visited, was Diana Laufenberg's Government Class. Students were sharing their stories from public meetings they had attended and were sharing their learning.
Last month, Laufenberg presented at the TEDxMidAtlantic Conference. In the talk, she shares the story of learning from the perspective of her grandmother, father, herself, and now her students. In her grandmother's world, school was where you had to go to "get the information." She points out that today, that is no longer the case. By asking students questions, allowing them to make mistakes, asking them what they can do with the information, we can offer a richer learning experience. She challenges us to provide experiential le…

TIES 2010 Keynote: Bernie Trilling-21st-Century Skills: Learning For Life in Our Times

Bernie Trilling, co-author of 21st Century Skills, Learning for Life in Our Times, spoke in the Tuesday TIES 2010 Keynote. He started by thanking TIES, and remembering "Oregon Trail," which you can still get on your iPhone!
His focus today is on 21st Century Learning and the current progress on it.
This is an interesting time for education right now.
A tale of Two Cities...The best of times and the worst of times!
What is really going on in Education right now:
1 Foot in the Industrial Age model-An old boat that looks a little rustyDrop out rates are high because the kids are "over-bored!"1 Foot in the "iBoat!"The boats are moving apart from each otherAt some point we need to make a decision on where we are headed. This is the case all over the worldHow do we get through this transition? Churchill said, "You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing...After they have tried everything else!""The critical question: What do students n…

TIES 2010: Exceptional Teachers

At the TIES 2010 conference, Mark Walace and Kathleen "KC" West were honored as Exceptional Educators for modeling best practices and engaging students in learning! Congratulations!





ISTE 2010: ABC's of Advocacy with Hilary Goldmann

Hillary Goldmann, Director of Government Affairs with ISTE presented on Educational Technology Advocacy issues. The session was attended by Technology Directors, teachers, educational consultants, administrators interested in advocating for curricular and funding needs.

State Level
Carol McFarland, a Minnesota State Representative from White Bear Lake, Minnesota, came to share her thoughts on educational advocacy issues at the state level. Before she became a legislator, she was a parent volunteer and school board member. She reminded us that democrat or republican, you can not pigeon hole legislators, as they are all individuals. It is important to talk to both parties. Education is NOT about partisanship. She is on the Education Policy committee, and believes that there needs to be better alignment between K-12 and post secondary. What are issues regarding collaborating. Currently, cities, counties and townships do not have to go to the voters regarding expenditures. Schools do. This …

TIES 2010 Keynote: Sir Ken Robinson

The Keynote Speaker at this year's TIES Conference was Sir Ken Robinson. I had seen his TED Talks and was really excited to see him present.

He spoke today on The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything!

Winnepeg is the coldest place on earth! He talked about taking a cold shower in Winnepeg. "California doesn't do cold water!" Winnepeg does!

Not sure he's happy to be hear in Minnesota!

He talked about a recent trip to Las Vegas to renew his vows. Las Vegas doesn't have a reason to be there. Some do have a reason, natural harbor, water way. There is no advantage to the location of Las Vegas. The reason it's there is that it represents the most powerful capacity that we humans have! It is unique to human culture. The power of immagination! This is unique to human beings. To conjure up the possibilities. Entering the hearts and minds of others, visit the future, etc. Though it is impossible to predict the future.

J.K. Gallbraith-The primary purpos…

"Go Wireless" Initiative Year 2 Update

October 14th, I met with 52 parents and students at Valley View Middle School, where I presented our plan for year 2 of our "Go Wireless" laptop learning pilot. I've written before about our initiative and the ups and downs we have incurred, and as we move in to year two of the pilot we are looking at a "Bring Your Own Laptop" model.
Go Wireless Update: Bring Your Own Laptop at Valley View on PreziI shared details from our Frequently Asked Questions document, discussed what they could and should use the laptop for, and their responsibilities. After assisting students with connecting to the network, I had them complete a short survey to gather some data on their hopes and dreams for using their personal laptop at school. Parents and students asked some great questions about when they could use the laptop, whether they could charge it in classrooms if need be, and whether they can use their laptop at home for Facebook or G-mail? (That's up to your parents!) …

How Millennial are You?

Students in KC West's Mass Media course at Edina High School took a quiz recently to see "How Millennial" they were. They used the Pew Research Center assessment answering 14 questions on how they access and consume information. KC is teaching this course in a "blended" format, and has great reflections on that aspect on her blog. KC's work on blended learning is a great example of what's working in public education. After taking the quiz, she had them create a Prezipresentation to share how they consume media. It was interesting to see how they consume their news, music, and entertainment. Some were very "millennial," tweeting, texting, blogging, reading on Kindle's and iPads, while others were not. Here are a few examples of how the students see themselves:

How millennial am I? on Prezi

Millennial Generation on Prezi
It was interesting to hear the students present. Some talked about how they read books on their Kindle and iPad, others have b…

Project BluePrint: Tech Trends

The districts that participate in Project Blueprint shared the state of Tech in their district. I've highlighted what I think were the important points.
Edina 3,210 desktops and laptops (PC now, but may support other soon.)LCD in each classroomFiber, 1 gig between buildings50 meg connection to the Internet. (Buying roughly 10 meg per year additional.)Network (IP phones, digital video)Wireless: 90% coverage at Secondary, 20% coverage at elementaryAligned to mission and vision of the district, promotes curriculum and instruction, encourages innovationImprove efficiencies and effectiveness in the delivery of technology servicesITIL frameworkProviding accessAllowing personal devicesStudent Centric Learning: Cloud based, Universal Design for Learning, Easy wireless access, Anytime-Anywhere learning opportunities, rich multi-media content.Clayton, MO 10 gig between the building1 gig within50 meg connection for 2500 students, but seeing that be tapped out. Looking at 100 meg this summer.Loo…

Project BluePrint: Curtis W. Johnson

Edina is hosting Project BluePrint Schools this week. Comprised of districts that are suburban and of similar stature in their respective states, Project BluePrint consists of the school districts of Guilford, Connecticut; Wayland, Massachusetts; Cape Elizabeth, Maine; Palisades, Pennsylvania; Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin; Clayton, Missouri and Edina. Curtis Johnson, co-author of the book Disrupting Class, How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, was invited to speak to the superintendents, curriculum directors, technology directors and teachers representing the different districts. My notes on the session follow.
Johnson began by asking those in the audience "Why would a 14 year old want to go to High School? His answer: Social Peer group interaction and to feel competent. Are our schools meeting those needs?
He then told the story of a suburban Boston convenience store that had lines of people buying milkshakes between 6:30-7 a.m. Johnson said that people "…

ISTE 2010: Session: Howard Rheingold: Critical Thinking while Exploring the Web

I've seen Howard Rheingold present online, and was looking forward to seeing him live.
First we looked at Bing and the photos that they use on their opening page. There is a Wikipedia tab whenn you search in Bing, along w/ related searches on the left. You can see the tone of the related searches as you search through something like "global warming." If you search "Global Warming," you will see "myth" or hoax, as you go further, you can see how the tone shifts in thinking on the topic. They now have a beta Social Search in Bing as well. And "microsoft.com/maps/apps.aspx Microsoft has a site for teachers around critical thinking here.
Finally, Howard started talking and began by sharing the resources for the session. We used the hashtag on Twitter #istect and people also added resources on the wiki page. This allowed for the creation of this .pdf at the end with resources created by the participants. The resouce mining included a Diigo Group called Cri…

ISTE 10: Tuesday Session: Google Wave

Tim Stack and Jared Covili from the Utah Education Network presented on how to use Google Wave as a tool and how to put it into the K-12 classroom.
Education in our generation has been force fed, and then...the info is gone. They then showed Arne Duncan video on Digital nation discuss the future. 59% of students online talk aobut educational projects 50% of students are learning online They want choice. Today they have 150+ stations They want control How can Wave help some of these issues?
They created 2 waves for this presentation, one for the presentation: And one for the comments and questions like a back channel.

Replies that people make create new "Blips" on the Wave. By Control-Clicking on the second wave in your list, you can have 2 waves open at a time, then by closing the minimize button on the search panel, you can see both Waves side by side.
Issues: when waves are public, the creator can be deleted, and people can change content. In fact about 3/4 of the way through the pr…

ISTE 2010: Session: #Tweet, #Learn, #Lead

I stopped by to listen in on Chris Craft (@crafty184), Jonathan Becker(@jonbecker) and Jeremy Brueck (@brueckj23) discuss how to use Twitter more efficiently. It was interesting to see these three educators from different parts of the country collaborate and share their perspectives on how Twitter can be used effectively. I've been trying to grow things grass roots in Edina the last couple of years, as it has greatly benefited me professionally, and I was hoping to gain some insights from this ISTE Bring Your Own Laptop session.
They actually began their session last week, by inviting those registered a Google Form Survey created by Brueck to gather background information on the participants skill level and to attend a Moodle course on Twitter providing introductory lessons and a quiz. Brueck also has this Wiki site with great resources for every level of Twitter user.
They created three hashtags which formed a backchannelfor the session : #isteask for people to ask questions during …

ISTE 2010: Monday Session 1: Teaching the Digital Generation: A New Face For Learning

This session featured Ian Jukes and Lee Crocket in a "drive by conversation" on Teaching the Digital Generation.The presentation material can be found here if you sign up.
He asked us to step back from our exsisting world and get a "swift kick in our assumptions." The powerful new technologies are affecting todays students. Most of the change that our parents and grandparents experienced were incremental. Anyone under the age of 25 the changes are more rapid and Understanding the Digital Generation book Highlights: As parents, citizens and educators need to understand that on the inside today's kids are completely different. Not because of them physically maturing faster, their clothing styles, or what they listen to. Due to digital bombardment, primarily outside of school, their brains are adapting to these new technologies. They have developed a cultural brain. Because of this bombard ment their brains are physically changing. They are neurologically different, a…