Saturday, October 20, 2012

Superhero12: Mini-Sessions

In this session at the Superhero conference, participants shared a 15 minute session on a topic. 

Flipping with Glogster
Rojanne Brown shared her ideas about Flipping the classroom with GlogsterEdu.
Here is a link to her resources.

This provides a different way for students to share information.
With the paid version, teachers can manage student accounts.

Breaking the Barrier of Space and Time
Siri Anderson who is the Director of Online Learning at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, talked about how to transform their practice. Here is the link to her presentation.
Right now, colleges are really worried about COWS!
Here are her notes:
Breaking the Barrier of Space and Time Siri Anderson, St. Catherine University
There is a lot of concern about MOOC’s right now in higher ed. Coursara, Udacity, EDX, MIT Open Courses
in higher ed. Coursara, Udacity, EDX, MIT Open Courses
Can we use the acronym RATS = Replacement - Amplification - Transformation  to transform what can we transform as a group?
Amplification - Transformation  to transform what can we transform as a
avenues for content to reach learners, learners to reach opportunities,
opportunities to reach teachers.
Example - students in a pre-service methods class worked directly with K-8 students through online tools and develop curriculum for the teachers to use as well as respond to each students inquiry.This transforms the usual paradigm where students (in college and in elementary school) perform only for their teacher. It creates efficiencies for the faculty in the schools and opportunities for the college students at no additional cost. Elementary students experienced improved engagement and interest in the topic with tremendous enthusiasm for working directly with college students.
worked directly with K-8 students through online tools and develop curriculum
for the teachers to use as well as respond to each students inquiry.This
transforms the usual paradigm where students (in college and in elementary
school) perform only for their teacher. It creates efficiencies for the faculty
in the schools and opportunities for the college students at no additional
cost. Elementary students experienced improved engagement and interest in the
topic with tremendous enthusiasm for working directly with college students. Can we move towards increasing opportunities for students to demonstrate
competencies in authentic means by integrating more collaborative tools in our
settings -- reduce the need for learning to happen in classrooms and assessment
to be offered only by the teacher.

There is a lot of concern about MOOC’s right now
Can we use the acronym RATS = Replacement -

Transformation can happen when we provide new
Example - students in a pre-service methods class

Authentic Assessments : Open-Internet Tests 
Malene Krig from the Blake School talked about making her 7th grade Science assessments more authentic. She shared some of the projects students have done in the past, such as the Science Fair project, where students are studying, presenting and making things more authentic.
She wanted to make some changes, caterpillars start by eating!
She went to the Constructing Modern Knowledge Consortium, where she was able to learn some constructivist methods of learning.
She shared this video that was an "aha!" moment for her:

Krig asked herself, 
         What am I having my students do? 

Why am I asking students to memorize facts and give it back to me on a test.  

What evidence will students demonstrate on what they are learning?  

Her revelation: “Open Internet” summative (performance) assessment

  • Premise: An earthquake has occurred somewhere in the world.  Students are “earthquake experts” and they would be interviewed by a news channel and report out.  
  • Students were given the location of the earthquake on the day of the test.
  • Students were given a choice to document their interview in Google Docs or Video (PhotoBooth or an Audio Recorder)
Video record answers became option  (PhotoBooth or Audio Recorder) the expert
She shared a great example of a student who video taped herself talking about different waves generated by earthquakes.

Sean Beaverson asked,

How can you do this kind of “open computer” kind of test in your own classroom?"
He shared this idea from John UnruhFriesen:
“Tag” one of the five videos of the course of the year that would be assessed by the teacher.  (John U-F does this with blogs in his classroom.  He doesn’t grade every blog post, but rather his students “tag” which ones to use)

iPad as Documentation Tool
Joe Druskin from The Blake School E & P Lab
Druskin talked about how providing students choice in how they share their learning is one that is resonating with him.
Design Process
Students in 4th grade create Amusement Park Rides. 
Students he uses the engineering design process from Engineering is Elementary.

Students video taped themselves as a documentation tool for every step of the process. The reflection happens as they look at all of their learning throughout the process.
The keys are working on workflow to get the information off of the devices. Since the videos are titled by date and time, there are some management issues, but there are definite benefits.
In reading, they are using the iPad for video to gather information to reflect on what they have read, and allows the students the opportunity to ask questions about the story. It also allows them to share visualization and comprehension.

Design Challenge
The Blake School shared how they migrated from FirstClass to Google Apps
The Hive model for Professional Development-Seeding ideas in how others have worked on inherent design challenges.
Flipped Direct Instruction! They used a Google Form as a self-assessment tool.
Once submitted, they used Flubaroo to send out the results. If they passed, they went to the Intermediate session. It identified the discrete skills people struggled with. 
Developing Expertise-Watching a video about how to do things, paired with a helpdesk ticketing system.
35% tried it, 86% passed it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Superhero 12: Cool Tool-ThingLink

Tonight while reflecting on the Superhero Conference, I saw this tweet from Carolyn Fruin:

Thinglink is a site where you can upload an image or grab one off of Facebook, Flickr or another Website. I decided to test it out to see what it was like.
I grabbed a photo from our family vacation this summer and went to work, adding tags to the image, linking to sites and resources or to other photos I had taken. Roll your mouse over it to view the "Hotspots," that can be customized and include links.

I can see this as a tool for digital storytelling, or reflection with students. It's fairly easy to use, and I like it's embedding qualities, thought I would first make the image no wider than 640 pixels to be sure it is viewable.

Superhero12: Molly Schroeder on Project 17 What Does Learning Look Like in 2017

Molly Schroeder at Superhero 12
My colleague, Molly Schroeder led this session on 
"What Will Learning Look Like in 2017?" We began attempting to individually answer questions on the Google Doc about what learning might look like.
In her experience as a Google Certified Teacher, she has visited many Google offices, and has seen many different cool work environments. In fact, at Google, they recognize that work does not have to always happen at "your desk." She recently had the opportunity to visit Albany Senior High School in Auckland, New Zealand. The school opened recently  with the philosophy that learning is an active 2-way process.

  • Learning spaces today need to be flexible. We saw that here at the conference, where people gathered to share ideas. Albany has windows and spaces that connect the inside to the outside community. 
  • The space is open and shared.
  • They don't have bells, because they don't want to signify that learning has a beginning and an end. Kids begin their learning on the bus!
  • There are white-boards everywhere in the school to provide informal learning spaces.
  • 3 classes share a "Learning Commons," where separate presentation stations share "benches of knowledge," and labs. 
  • Every space in the school is used for learning.
  • They want to connect their learners to the space and the space to the community. Windows and garage door openings allow for this. Not sure how that would work in the Minnesota climate, but it makes sense for more temperate locations!
  • The media center serves as a "quiet space," with few non-fiction materials, but a lot of fiction and digital content.
  • There is a gathering space known as "The Mountain Top," where students could share their work.
  • Their teacher space has windows so that students see teachers as learners. I think this is a huge shift!
  • They are BYOD, with projectors but know Interactive White Boards.

Impact Project
Schroeder noted that students passions were ignited through a 20% project, called the "Impact Project." Every Wednesday, students work on a project that nurtures a "life-long delight in learning!"
The students have to prepare, present a proposal, plan, perform the plan, present and then reflect. Two of the three trimesters the students work on an impact project. The third trimester is spent preparing for national tests. These projects can be collaborative, which helps develop those skills. This sounds very similar to the vison that Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius shared as her vision for assessment in the future when she spoke at our Education Minnesota Conference.

You can share your vision for leaning in 2017 on Molly's form, here.
With this input, along with input we gather from the Designing A New Learning Environment course, we hope to put together a vision for new learning in Edina and beyond.

Superhero 12: John UnruhFriesen on Presentation Zen

The focus of this breakout session at the Superhero Conference was to look at presentations and how we can make them better. It was one of the more popular sessions at last year's event, and I wanted to be sure to see it! 
John UnruhFriesen shared how PowerPoint bullets are all our students see.
Following the Explore...Explain model of Ramsey Mussalam's Keynote, he began by having us begin by creating our own presentation via Google Docs.
Here is my finished model:

In Google Presentation now, when searching for images to include, you can now see only images that have been labeled for reuse!
Always size from the corner. Filling the entire screen is better!

Malcolm Gladwell in Blink asks, "How many seconds does it take for a student to judge your effectiveness?" Gladwell says, "10!" When we see something good right away, that sets the mood for the way things will go in the rest of the time.

How many bullets do we see in meetings? We do the same thing in the classroom!
Unruh-Friesen sees 5 keys to presentation:

  1. Eliminating the "non-essential!"
  2. Empty Space
  3. Simplicity
  4. Elegance
  5. Subtlety
DaVinci-Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!

Eliminating the "Non-Essential!"

We see many examples of "un-zen " presentations!

If it is not necessary to design more, it is not necessary to design more!
Flipcharts-Too much info! Ugly

Focus on the images, use more slides, keep it simple


  • Powerpoint Karaoke
  • Put the bullets on the speaker notes.
  • Give the students only 20 words total on the screen.
Powerpoint is actually better at this right now than Google-where notes can be displayed for the teacher, but the students only see the presentation.
By doing this, you can also make the presentation non-linear and jump to slides that satisfy student curiousity.

Some suggest the following:

The 1-7-7 Rule
  • One main idea per slide
  • Insert 7 lines of text max
  • only use 7 words per line
Kawasaki-10-20-30 rule
  • No more than 10 slides
  • No more than 20 minutes
  • No less than 30 point font
But does it work? John UF says "No!"
What do people focus on. Putting the image on the left, and words on the right in English speaking room, is better. Reverse it if you have more Arabic speaking students.

If a bullet is important enough, it deserves it's own slide!
Turn on the lights
The Power of Story -"What Would Don Draper Do?"

Use the Rule of Thirds!

Use Good Images
Avoid this...

Too small, too big, bad text, stretched wrong, clip art, watermark, Comic Sans

Do This!
Fill the screen!
If pictures say a 1,000 words let them!
A 2008 Study showed that participants who saw 2,500 images for 10 seconds each had an amazing 87% retention rate 72 hours later. Compare this to 10% retention for what we hear!

Superhero12 Keynote: Ramsey Musallam-Pseudo Teaching

The Superhero 12 Conference kicked off with Ramsey Musallam, a Chemistry teacher from San Fransisco, California, who is a co-host of "Infinite Thinking Machine."
The title of his talk was "Pseudo Teaching", and began by talking about "Michael Scott," who THINKS he's a great manager.

Pseudo Teaching was defined by Frank Noschese and John Burke to describe lessons and pedagogy that you think are great, but really aren't. Musallam thinks Michael Scott is a great metaphor for this. He shared his background, going through pre-Med at UC-Davis, and how he loved explaining things to people as a tutor. As a Chemistry tutor, he decided he needed to be able to show students how to "blow stuff up!"
One of student quotes:
I still have no idea how to balance a reaction, but I loved watching you blow @#!$& up!

He thought engaging and entertaining were the only keys to good teaching.
It was when he thought about "Mr. Miagi" from Karate Kid, and how he got Danny to be good at Karate. He positioned himself to watch Daniel and see exactly what he needed to be successful. He didn't give him the tools right away. Thinking about this process, and having kids, helped him realize that he needed to change.

Explain-"Take these tools."
Experience-"Use these tools."

He realized he needed to put the experience in front of the explanation. He needed to flip them.

Experience first then Explain!

He felt he needed to flip Blooms and start with creating, evaluating and analyzing. Kids are using markers to write all over the classroom to make data collection the "aura" of the classroom.
Now he has his students blog in the lab, and then later reflect with Screencasts and taking snapshots to put them directly into the presentations.
He gives students Youtube videos on topics for the students to view AFTER they have experimented.

He gave an example of a CT scan of his heart anurism two years ago, that was luckily found prior to his daughter's birth. After a 7 hour surgery, with dacron mesh and a mechanical valve, his surgeon who exuded confidence he was ok. Somebody taught his surgeon how to do that. The pedagogy must have been pretty high, because the stakes were SO high! He e-mailed the surgeon how he learned it. The surgeon said:
  1. See one
  2. Do one
  3. Teach one
The problem with education is not one of engineering, but one of design.
Farb Nivi.

How can we use technology to make those learning experiences more rich is what we will be looking at this weekend. More notes can be found here.

Diane Ravitch at the Education Minnesota Conference using Storify

I attended the Education Minnesota Conference on October 18, mostly to hear Will Richardson and Diane Ravitch. It was good to also connect with fellow educators at the conference, and it was really cool to see Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Jackie Roehl encourage educators to reflect on their practice and apply for the Teacher of the Year program.
After talks by Jackie and elected representatives, Ravitch spoke to the crowd about the myths currently driving the education reform movement, and the real motivation behind several initiatives. I decided to use Storify to pull together some of the pertenant tweets and articles shared while she was speaking. I can see this as a great way for students and staff to aggregate information. I was working quickly, and realize there may be many duplicate retweets. I first tried the regular format but quickly found that it was way too much scrolling, so I opted to use their Slideshow format to embed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

When There Isn't Enough Class Time

The following is a guest post from South View Middle School Government Teacher, Claude Sigmund. Claude needed a way to present and chat with his AP Government students outside of class, and we decided it was the perfect time to use WebEx, a video conferencing tool that we had recently purchased. Up until this time, we had only used it to present professional development to staff, but we thought there would be times, especially at the secondary level, where teachers could use it for help sessions with students outside of the school day. I like that the teacher can present, include video of themselves, have a backchannel chat as well as audio and video with the students, AND it all can be recorded for playback if students couldn't attend. Here are Claude's thoughts about the experience. 

My teaching time was cut short.  With a retreat, NWEA MAP testing and the Education Minnesota Conference,  I was only going to see my kids 2 times in three weeks.  This is ridiculous!

The kids still need to continue learning.  I began posting assignments on Moodle to keep the learning moving forward.  However, my AP students began saying that the material was moving a bit too fast and they needed some help to explain what we were covering.

Thus a new experiment was had. I taught on-line using WebEx.  I put together, a presentation, links to web sites and set up a time for kids to meet me on line.

I logged in at 7:40.  Set up a welcome screen and returned at 7:55.  The kids and I were a bit giddy.  It was cool.  We did some group sharing and learning for the first 5-10 min.  Then I muted their mikes and had them use the chat feature as a back channel.

As I talked I would answer questions from the students and was stunned by the caliber of the back channel.  Students were not only helping one another, but they were interpreting data, asking GREAT questions and actually furthering my presentation.  

At times I would pause and ask a question or put up a graphic for interpretation.  I would then un-mute a student and let them chat.  The hour FLEW by.

I asked the kids if it was worth the hour and there was a HUGE consensus that it was very much worth the time and were looking forward to other on line experiences.

It was so positive for me that I plan on using it for:

1. Test review
2. special help sessions for highly difficult concepts
3. If we have another rash of absences etc.

I would say that most teachers could benefit from this great learning experience for both the students and for their teacher.

Thanks, Claude! It's a great example of "learning beyond the classroom walls" that has been part of our district strategic plan. For staff in our district interested in trying out WebEx, or someone outside the district interested in learning more, feel free to contact me and I can assist you in getting started. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

MEMO Keynote Laurie Conzemius ISTE Board

Trying the Blogger iPad app for this post. I still think it's clunky, but wanted to give myself the experience.
Here is a synopsis of the luncheon keynote yesterday at MEMO.
For blogging, I still like my laptop.

The MEMO Pre-Conference Luncheon Keynote was from Laurie Conzemius,
She started by talking about NECC 2001, as a new user. (I was there)
She shared her tips for getting to this great PD Opportunity.
I decided

1. Volunteers get a reduced rate.
2. Planning committee members get free access.
3. It's in the summer,so no need for sub
4. Free vendor meals

The biggest reason is Professional Development.

Osseo will be offering ISTE aligned tech integration this January.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

MEMO Kenote: Kristin Daniels- Personal, Portable Learning

Kristin Daniels, Technology Integration Specialist for Stillwater Schools presented the keynote presentation at the MEMO Pre-Conference on "Personal Portable Learning." The strands today included BYOD, Flipped Learning, 1:1 and iPads. 
Here experience began at the elementary level in Stillwater looking at the learning experience the students were having. They began implementing a Flipped Classroom pilot, where a group of 6 teachers began creating video lecture content and having students watch that at home.
She and her colleague, Wayne Feller thought about "How do we want to spend our time together with teachers?" They developed a Flipped Professional Development model where the staff could view video of the "how to," and then spend face to face time looking at the best way to implement that in their classroom.

She shared stories from the "Learning Culture" that has been impacted by the Flipped pilot. After each video, they included a quiz that had an open-ended question for the teacher. Students started communicating more with the teacher. Students who were quiet in class started speaking up. Students also made comments like, "Why repeat yourself, I can rewind if I need to?" and "This video is too long!"
This has provided invaluable feedback to improve instruction in this model.
Students are being less passive than they are in a traditional classroom setting. It is also causing them to take responsibility for their learning. Captured well in this tweet:

They are also more self directed. 
This has also had an impact on the design of learning spaces. The traditional classroom is not as conducive to a flipped model with more diverse activities for students. We have seen a similar situation in our secondary classrooms where staff have flipped their instruction. They group students into collaborative pods. Daniels also talked about the importance of the "teacher table," a space to allow teachers to pull students up to go over a topic in small groups.

What about students who don't have access at home? In a traditional flipped model, where students only access content at home, this is an issue. Burning DVD's flash drives or iPod touches with all of the content pre-loaded are some solutions, but more and more, the content is being consumed before and after school as well as during class time. 

Daniels discussed "wrapping the teachers voice" around content that gets pulled in to the classroom. This is a problem she sees with teachers using Khan Academy, where teachers use the pre-packaged content. Students have commented that they benefit from seeing the teacher's face in the videos. They are currently using Camtasia for their screencasts, and she feels that TechSmith, the publisher is really starting to listen to educators voices.

Intentional content with variety and student created videos are ways that they are expanding. Multiple authors of content have been beneficial. Some kids learn better from other teachers. Students then have choice over who they listen to or watch.

With Flipped PD, they have focused on 4 strands:

  1. Communcation
  2. Creative Media
  3. Presentation
  4. Collaboration
They make 4 types of videos:
Proactive-They come from a list of things they know teachers want to be able to do. Sometimes, it's for students to show them how to use a certain tool for a project.
Reactive-Come from conversations with staff, questions that come up more than once.
Spontaneous Capture-Opportunities to capture interesting things that are going on. Recording teachers best practice experiences or ideas for the benefit of all. Sometimes it's recording or taking pictures of cool things happening in the classrooms they visit. She shared a great stop-motion video a student made about reading. 
Individual Backpack-Sometimes they record video while working face to face with a teacher that can then be reviewed later. It helps capture individual instruction.

The shift in time is a major impact of Flipped instruction. Anytime, Anywhere, Any Place, at Any Pace.
Access to classroom technology is important. Extra time in the classroom has made a huge impact. Curriculum that they were not able to complete, they now are. 
Daniels took a question from the audience regarding the impact on test scores. So far, they have not seen a significant statistical difference, but teachers report that they are sharing more resources, using more of the curriculum, and doing more things in the classroom than traditional students. Silos are being broken down, and they are using "one wheel," instead of everyone re-inventing it.

The pilot group all created their own content. When they expanded it, they collaborated and took on roles. Some made the video, some created the formative assessments, some created the flip-charts via Active-Inspire, some were the Moodle course administrators. By sharing their work, all benefited. 
They also began sharing more resources, experience, products and best-practices. The tech integration specialists are facilitating this.

Tech Integration Coaching
If you think of something, there's a way to do it! Some staff don't know this! Coaching, Communities and Technology
She recommended the ISTE White paper on Tech Coaching
They use a Google Doc with their learning plan for each staff member.

Daniels finished with a discussion of the Flipped Learning Network, as a resource. It's so much more than just "flipped classroom," it's about flipped learning!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Unity Day Post: Cyberbullying Prevention

Recently, I was interviewed on "Beyond the Badge," a program produced by the City of Edina. Police Liason Officer, Aaron White and I visited on what parents can do to get more informed about Cyberbullying.

Here are some additional resources to help parents become informed about this important issue:

Developing a Report Card Using Standards Based Assessment

Dr. Gerry Swan discussing rigor in assessment
This week, I have been participating in a workshop with our administrators on developing a Standards Based Report Card for Minnesota. Dr Lee Ann Jung, Dr. Gerry Swan, & Dr. Thomas Guskey are leading us through three days of training using a model they developed in Kentucky.

Here are the shared notes our group put together on all of the sessions thus far.

Here are some of key take-aways thus far:

1. The Kentucky Model

  • 1st State to adopt Common Core
  • No parents on development
  • Gave parents the option of both, they picked Standards Based
  • 3 the first year, 10 the second, now 17 using it (177 total)
  • Now, Department of Ed is funding and could be state wide in 2-3 years

2. This is the FOUNDATION-3 Types of Grading Criteria
Grading and Reporting should ALWAYS be done in reference to LEARNING CRITERIA, never “on the curve.” Grade on what they learned, not in how they did in relation to others.
Why would I help a fellow classmate to learn something if their success could impact my own? The class valedictorian set to the highest GPA-The word comes from the Latin to “Say Farewell.” It has nothing to do with performance, it has everything to do with competition. Higher Ed-Cum Laude, Magna, Suma is much fairer, criterion based. Don’t limit rigor. Every school that has done this has seen achievement go up! Helping others does not hurt their outcome for success!

  • Product Criteria-Culminating demonstration of learning
  • Process Criteria-How they got there, homework, participation, organization, punctuality
  • Progress Criteria-How far they've come, value-added, individualized criteria

We are one of the few countries who use one grade for everything. Most countries separate these 3. They don’t weight. They keep them separate. 

3. Start with "What is the Purpose of the Report Card." 
Jung-"Decide WHAT to Measure in the beginning, instead of How to measure in the end."

4. Developing the Purpose Statement

A. View and Reflect on example purpose statements
B. Develop your own purpose statement from NESA
Doha-Different for elementary, middle and high
Our Minnesota document

5. Dr. Gerry Swan on Next steps
Swan began by saying that grade, attendance and behavior reporting is a good idea, but that sometimes things can get lost in translation...
Star Local News... Standard Space Report Card
Resources found here. Workshop

6. Starting today with Academic Indicators
We can still use letter grades, but they need to be redefined. The C today, “average,” is still from grading on the curve. C does NOT mean Average. We hope that ALL students get to “Exceeds”

A suggested Criteria
4-Has outstanding command of material
3-Is working at the target level of mastery
2-Has basic understanding
1-Struggled with this area
We then revisited the purpose of the report card and how best to indicate the process and progress along with the product.
Jung noted that we could have a legend for the overall grade as well as a legend for standards that both indicate academic achievement.

7. Curriculum Standards are different from Reporting Standards
8. Why do we have to do this...Put a grade on a paper or test?
A robust assessment addresses many areas. They could be strong in some, weak in others. He shared an example of a district doing portfolios with project based learning with rubrics based on strands, but still feel the need for an overall grade.

In order to get more out of the process and address the core issue, you sometimes need to force yourself to do LESS!
He then broke into a discussion on whether we really need to “average” the different learning targets into an overall grade. Break the mold! Why would we try to combine these completely disparate items? For example: Speaking, Listening, Writing in Language Arts. We don’t need to “self impose” unnatural things.

They have been able to get their system set up in Infinite Campus.
The Standard Reporting is a completely separate Mark Report that is pulled from the teachers’ grade book. The teacher is able to over-ride the values, and on the actual report card, if a student has a blank for a standard, that standard/strand is not included in the report.

It was exciting to be a part of this opportunity. We were able to create our "Edina Purpose Statement" draft and steps for what we wanted to see in Achievement Indicators. It will be interesting to see the direction this takes.