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Showing posts from February, 2012

Redefining Awesome...Connected Learning

Last September, Will Richardson challenged our faculty to " Redefine Awesome " in what learning looked like in our district. The last few weeks, have seen some great connected learning opportunities happening at Valley View Middle School that get at what Will was talking about.  Project Lead the Way Tim Berendt, a teacher in our Project Lead the Way program, began using Twitter this year as a way for his students to share the work they are doing with the outside world, and also as a tool for formative assessment.  Students tweet out what they hope to accomplish at the beginning of the class period, and then tweet what they completed at the end. In many cases, students have received feedback and encouragement from people outside the district, such as this exchange from Autodesk, the company that makes the software the students use!  Berndt did a great job at the start reminding students to follow our Web 2.0 Code of Ethics , and how they could use hashtags to label thei

TIES TLC 2012: You Are Not Alone: The Power of Personal Learning Networks in EdTech Leadership

I had the honor and pleasure of presenting at the 2012 TIES Technical Leadership Conference last Thursday. As the presentation unfolded, I added some anecdotes, and participants had good questions about balance and "what about the Introverts?" I have updated the slides to address this.  It's interesting that even though this presentation is 5 days old, I find myself thinking about how I can improve it! It's something teachers often think about in regards to lectures that we give, but I wonder what it would be like and we turned it around for students? Obviously, at some point there has to be a "summative" but what if you said to kids, "you are free to keep following the passion and exploring"? I'll continue to add notes, and link to what I'm referencing. As always, I appreciate your feedback!

TIES TLC 2012: Aimee Bissonette Privacy, Security, Access and Ownership: Legal Issues in Cloud Computing

In this session, Aimee Bissonette  focused on aspects of cloud computing for school districts. Her slides can be found here . She asked how many districts were using it, and most said they were, and that most were free. Many were Apps for Education districts. After discussing the attributes of cloud computing, why schools are interested in using it, and how it works, she focused on the implications. The disadvantage to free services include, "It might not be there tomorrow," Advertising, and "It might not be free anymore!" How much leverage do you have regarding terms of service when something is free? She pointed out benefits, but also raised concerns regarding privacy, security, data integrity, intellectual property, etc. The student data that you collect and store involve many laws, FERPA, FCRA, HIPAA, etc. E-Discovery It is important to understand how data is stored in the vendor's system, and how you can access it Free services typically have limite

TIES TLC 2012: Aimee Bissonette: Legal Implications of Student Owned Devices

Aimee Bissonette , an expert in school law spoke at the TIES Technical Leadership Conference on Legal Implications of Student Owned Devices. Her presentation and notes are here . She began with a disclaimer that if issues arrise in your district, you need to consult YOUR OWN lawyers! Student Free Speech Students currently engage in cyberbullying, posting as others, etc., but mostly off campus. Case Law is still in flux. In Layshock vs. Hermitage School District, a 17 year old received a 10 day susspention  for creating an imposter Website on their principal. He was the 3rd student to do this and the principal had enough. In Snyder vs. Blue Mtn. School District, an 8th grader posted sexually explicit material and the principals photo on an imposter site. The student received a 10 day susspension. In Layshock, the court said it was innapropriate. In Snyder, they agreed with the school district. Both are under appeal. Both of these rulings occured on the same day! The 3rd Circuit

TIES TLC 2012: Tim Wilson "Bring 'Em If You Got 'Em: Increasing Technology Access with Student Owned Devices

Tim Wilson , Chief Technical Officer for the Osseo, MN Public Schools has been a pioneer in the implementation of Bring Your Own Devices. The Project Copernicus program began in 2008 He used the site " " as a "student response" site Bring Your Own Device has blown up in the last year.  Headlines touting, "Consumer tech invades the enterprise" are now the norm. People noted that the "illusion of control" has been lost! Wilson said that he starts conversations asking people to recognize that the devices are there whether they like it or not. He showed a clip from Lord of the Rings with Theoden in Helm's Deep as the Tech Director and the devices are invading! "You know that the Orcs are going to get in! There is NO WAY to stop it!" You're crazy to try! Wilson thinks it's fantastic, as this has the potential to positively impact classroom instruction. Here in this middle phase, there are some growing p

How Many Students Like Jeremy Lin Are In Our Classrooms?

This morning on NPR ,former Sports Illustrated collumnist, Frank Deford shared an essay titled, " Looking For Lin In All The Wrong Places ." As I was listening to Deford, the last paragraph struck me: But, in counterpoint, what is so dispiriting is to contemplate not only how many basketball players, but how many other athletes, how many artists and actors and musicians and writers, how many special creative talents never get fulfilled because the so-called experts are always looking in the same places. Jeremy Lin is a success, and hooray for him, but his example tells us that there are, surely, so many more brilliant might-have-beens in our midst who never get a chance. This got me to thinking about our classrooms. How many "Jeremy Lin's" are sitting in our classrooms each day, unable to stand out because we are always looking in the same places when we assess their abilities? Is it because we don't connect with their passions? Is it because our me

Humbling Support for Education

On Monday, the Edina Education Fund held their annual fundraiser luncheon. It's an opportunity to showcase how past grants have been used by staff, and encourage donors to contribute to future endeavors. At the event, the video below was shown.  Edina Education Fund - 2012 from John Hoel on Vimeo . Videographer, John Hoel did an amazing job telling the story. The video showcases "Innovation Grants," and it is good to remember that being innovative does not always mean you have to include technology! I am proud to have been a part of the Edina Teaching and Technology Cohort group, whose efforts are showcased at the start of the video. It has truly been a pleasure to see the staff from that group grow in their craft, and provide amazing learning opportunities for their students. Kany Seck, a 4th grade teacher at our French Immersion School  shared at the luncheon how she helps her students connect with French speakers in other countries. This week in 9th Grade Gove