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Showing posts from December, 2013

TIES 2013 Keynote: Mimi Ito on Connected Learning

Mizuko "Mimi" Ito , cultural anthropologist and Research Director of the  Digital Media and Learning Hub , was the Tuesday Keynote at the 2013 TIES Conference . There is a lot of talk today about social media and video games distracting and socially isolating children, but Ito is optimistic. There is a readiness and openness to cross the barriers between what students are doing with technology inside school and outside school. Her son's school started a MineCraft elective, through a student petition. The students not only got their interest sponsored, but learned shared governance and engagement. It also allowed Ito to peer in to the world of students today. How can young people make the most of today's abundance of information and social connection? How do WE develop stronger connections between in-school and out of school learning? This isn't new! It's similar to Dewey's vision of merging education and life. If mobilized in particular ways,

TIES 2013: Marc Prensky Practical Future-Cation

At his opening keynote this morning, Marc Prensky gave a 50,000 foot view of Future-Cation, a phrase he has coined to talk about what we should be teaching. The keynote did not have a lot of meat, and h e promised more detail in the afternoon, so I decided to check it out. Future-cation is not just "adding technology." If you are writing w/ technology and only write, that i Future-Cation is a state of mind. Thinking about the future in everything you do. Seeing things in new ways. A dozen things it means practically: No Best Practices-A lot of people running around to see what's going on in Finland. By the time you get back, you are further behind. Invent new ones instead! Change what we do, every time we do it! Seeing Preparing Kids for the Future as YOUR Job!-It's easy to ask, "Tell me what to do?!" Ask your students! Assign one of your students as a tech advisor for each unit. Viewing tech not as the enemy, add-on, hindrance or something op

TIES 2013: Suzie Boss: Preparing Today's Students To Be Tomorrow's Innovators

Suzie Boss,  National faculty member from the Buck Institute, talked about the importance of innovation. Her background is PBL and writing/reporting as a member of the press. Innovation is a big topic lately. How can we bring innovation to schools? Is peanut butter pop-tarts innovation? Who are the innovators? Ghana library similar to the Carnegie Library. Empty Space with people deciding what goes in there. Kickstarter funded. D-Rev High performance knee replacement. Studio H Public High School “Design, Build, Transform” curriculum. The community donated the land, and the high school students in North Carolina developed a High School for them. Maker Fair Maker spaces lately are great incubators of innovation. Thomas Edison's workshop had a pipe organ. You can't be thinking problem solving, 24/7! They used the organ to take breaks, and get refreshed. This made them idea factories! Where do our students get refreshed, to revive their innovation energy

TIES 2013: Tim Wilson-Embracing BYOD

Tim Wilson, CTO Osseo Public Schools Osseo Public Schools Chief Technical Officer, Tim Wilson, spoke at the TIES conference on Embracing BYOD. He said that despite a recent referendum that will lead them to a larger 1:1 initiative, they will continue to support BYOD. Session collaborative notes can be found here . Wilson noted the importance of "Getting Clear About the Why!" For many years, we have tried to standardized IT to be exactly the same because it makes our lives easier! It is very restrictive! The rest of the world thinks differently about things! Cut IT folks some slack though, because that "one size fits all" aproach has been best practice. They started w/ only 3 schools in their move towards BYOD with Project Copernicus . Organic/Evolutionary model. It was the right approach at the time. Why NOT BYOD? Security Network capacity/Bandwidth Tech support Equity Platforms Staff Development-How do we prepare staff to be competent to deal w/

TIES 2013: Andrew Vanden-Heuvel-The Future of Learning is Here!

Andrew Vanden-Heuvel , a former astronomer turned educator shared his thoughts on the future of learning. He currently serves as an online educator in Michigan. Cosmic issue: Solve the poverty problem Education can do that. Purpose of school is to help kids find their passion. The problem is that "school is boring!" How can we make school engaging? Too often we think that technology is the answer for technologies sake. The real question is how to make LEARNING engaging? Gamification It's everywhere. Reward cards, video games, etc. The reason they are interesting is that they can be fun. What kind of gamification do we want at school? Target cashiers get a score for the speed of checking someone out, with tracking of score and number of sales. Would this work in school? One mentioned the importance of clear learning targets. Identifies those not scoring well and allows the teacher to differentiate. I see similarities with this and the tool, Kahoot! It provi

Hour of Code at EHS

This year for Computer Science Education Week , has sponsored an Hour of Code , an initiative to introduce computer programming to over 10 million students around the globe. was started by Hadi Partovi , a former Microsoft Group Program Manager. (As of this writing on Monday, over 2.5 million students had already written more than 59,000,000 lines of code!) Here in Edina, Computer Science teacher Nancy Johnson got on board with the project, and working with her students developed a schedule for all High School math classes to spend one hour during the week learning to Code. They created publicity, posters, and chose the tutorial activities they thought their peers would enjoy the most. We put them onto this Website .  In addition, through the generous support of Rae Bolingsworth from the  Microsoft Store, on Friday cake will be served at all lunches to celebrate the life of computer pioneer, Grace Murray Hopper !   Students for the most part have been really