Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2014

Hour of Code: Year II

Last year, the AP Computer Science students at Edina High School facilitated Hour of Code for all of the students at EHS. As I documented here , it was a huge success, in fact, enrollment in the Computer course went up 50%! This year, Nancy Johnson, the instructor and the students wanted to take Hour of Code to the Middle Schools. Johnson contacted the Math teachers at both South View and Valley View, who agreed to give up a day of curriculum, and have the high school students facilitate Hour of Code. I hung out at South View, coordinating students and handing out food. The kids were amazing! The high school students received high marks from the teachers, leading students and in some cases learning from them! The high schoolers remarked at how engaged the students were overall in the different activities. Said one, We aren't that engaged programming for 50 minutes, these kids coded for 80! All in all, a great learning opportunity for all! Here is a bit of what I captured at S

TIES 2014 Notes 10x's Vision in Education with Google and Minnesota Districts

Jim Leonard , Program Manager for Google, shared What is 10x Thinking? What does 10x mean for Education? Are we settiing goals that make the radical change that is important? When superintendents are asked, "Why is this important?" they say: Student engagement Preparing students for jobs There WILL be new devices...Who knows what TIES will look like in 5 years? What are the skils of the future? The Economist group surveyed teachers, business leaders and they asked: To what extent are the skills taught in education around the world changing? Problem Solving Team-Working Communications Critical Thinking  The conversation is evolving... It's not about "If we give everyone a device," it's a means to an end. From Tool Substitution to Learning Innovation Ok, Google... and Photo Math are changing what students need to know. It's not about why or what, but HOW! Roofshot rather than Moonshot! "We choose

TIES 14 Notes: Jane McGonigal Keynote-Games to Tackle Real-World Problems

Noted Game designer and author , Jane McGonigal was the Tuesday Keynote speaker at TIES 2014 .  The daughter of educators, she started by inviting us to take the next 45 minutes to take games seriously, as a way to shape the future of learning. The GOOD News, there are now 1 Billion Gamers world wide (1 hr./day). Some might argue that 1 Billion hours of gaming per day may not be a good idea... 300 million minutes/day is spent playing Angry Birds. That's 400,000 years! 1 in 4 Call of Duty players call in sick the day a new version is released! 81% of global workers are not engaged in the workplace. (Gallup, 2013) Not connected to a community bigger than yourself, and not optimistic. The longer you stay in school, the LESS ENGAGED you become! 52% of Americans do not feel they have the power to make a difference, yet 7+ Billion hours of time is spent playing games, McGonigal argues because they are looking for something. 99% of boys and 94% of girls spend an hour gaming.

TIES 14 Notes: Personalized Learning-Our Journey

Michelle Ament, Director of Technology and Learning in Eden Prairie and Terry Nealon, CEO and Co-Founder of Fishtree , shared their work on personalized learning. iLearn @EP is their 1:1 initiative, where students at elementary and middle school receive an iPad, and high school students use a Macbook Air for their learning. Ament shared the process they went through for choosing an LMS (Schoology), and that they realized they needed a way to personalize learning with Fishtree, and how they integrated the two together to make Fishtree an App inside of Schoology. Scoology is the one-stop-shop for single sign-on to get into both systems. Nealon's vision for Fishtree is to align resources for any standard for any subject, personalize the resources for the learner, and adapt to every learner in a simple interface.  The name of the company comes from this Einstein quote: Learning relationship management involves personalization, Curration, collaboration and learning manageme

TIES 14 Notes: Carl Hooker on Analog Leaders in a Digital World.

Carl Hooker spoke on Analog Leaders in a Digital World. Among other accomplishments, Carl developed the " SAMR Swimming Pool " Model, and I was excited to get a chance to meet him.  Bridget Driscoll,  the first person hit by a car, said she was bewildered by innovation. Do we want to be the ones driving or the ones hit by technology? When it comes to learning, these things are changing about learning: Who What When Where Who (Sorry, I was late to the session. If anyone wants to share this part in the comments below, that would be awesome!) What Analog: Published by experts Digital: Currated by everyone in the room Hooker noted how news has changed from waiting till the paper edition the next day to seeing news happen in real time on Twitter now. The same is true in education today, where CK-12, iTunes U and OER Commons are available now, rather than paying for a textbook that is out-of-date the day it's published. Not only will teachers be creating t

TIES 14 Notes: George Couros on Digital Citizenship and Digital Leadership

George Couros, shared his thoughts on Digital Citizenship, and the importance of including Digital Leadership as part of the conversation. Right now, there is too much focus on what NOT to do! Look at opportunities! Every kid is going to be Googled! 16 year old kids are making $150,000/year making MindCraft videos! "Transformational leaders don't start by denying the world around them. Instead, they describe a futher they'd like to create instead!" -Seth Godin  Communication is key!  How can you make sure that on graduation day, every student is "Well Googled" by his or her full name? He gave examples of a 14 year old in Australia who received job offers because of the video he made. And other students whose lives were ruined by their actions being posted online. And this one where a guy tweets about his flag football team needing players, and Kevin Durrant shows up. Too much of what we've been showing kids is about the creepy things

TIES 14 Notes: Yong Zhao : What Is Right About American Education

Dr. Yong Zhao was the Monday keynote at the TIES conference. His latest book, The Big Bad Dragon, The Myth of Chinese Super Schools , reviewed by Diane Ravitch, here , discusses what we really need to focus on with education reform today. Zhao started talking about Nokia phones, looking at how they used to be the most popular. Who killed Nokia?  Nobody killed Nokia, but Nokia itself. It tried to make a dumb phone smarter, Apple tried to make a smart phone! In education, are we modifying existing school, or are we trying to invent something different? He's been looking at developing language software for a long time. We have done a lot of work. Technology and other reforms have failed. "Progressive education" No Child Left Behind Race to the Top Common Core All of these "reforms" really haven't transformed, or solved our problems. Obama and Bush's reform efforts have been about the same. Once you get to the top, you fall down off t

TIES 14 Notes: The Subversive Educator's Guide to Creativity w/ Doug Johnson

Today's Meet: Doug Johnson , Technology Director for Burnsville, Eagan, Savage, shared his thoughts on creativity at the opening session at TIES 2014 . Vasco De Gamma was an influencer of Doug's in regards to creativity, due to the project his grandson did regarding him. He had created a first person narrative, where he was going to tell DeGamma's story, and was told by the teacher that he couldn't deliver it, and had to just read the report. Perhaps the teacher was so focused on standardized test scores, she couldn't get past that. Goals of the talk; Why is it imperative we take developing creativity seriously? Pink in "A Whole New Mind: Can someone overseas do it cheaper? Can a computer do it faster? Am I offering something that satisfies the nonmaterial, transcendent desires of an abundant age? 60% of an iPhone is pure Apple profit. How can they have 100% markup on a device? Because they have convinced us

My Notes on (Re) imagining Engaging, Internet-Infused Educational Practices-Dr. Cassie Scharber

D r. Cassie Scharber , who I collaborated with on initial evaluations of 1:1 in Edina , spoke to the CAREI (Center for Applied Research on Educational Innovation) Assembly meeting on  (Re) imagining Engaging, Internet-Infused Educational Practices. Cassie is co-director of the LT Media Lab at the University of Minnesota. Macro: Tech Integration Barriers Scharber started the conversation talking about the current "teacher shaming" that is happening in the media. She read this letter from a teacher , which she used as a frame to talk about what is on teachers plates today, and how technology sometimes is seen as an add on to that plate. She was one of the 50% of teachers who resign within 4 years of starting the teaching profession. This was in 2000, and she found that she ran into many obstacles and barriers, with filters and other policies that limited her ability to teach in today's world. Her focus is on literacy, and that is the context that leads her to be

On Being Intentional...

Earlier this week, I was working with our Teaching and Technology Cohort, a group of educators from Edina and Hopkins. At one point, I asked everyone to close their laptops. My point was twofold: I wanted them to really pay attention to what I had to say I wanted to model for them good teaching practice in a 1:1 environment, that when you DO have something important to say, you should have the screens closed, so that you have more of the student's attention. Despite three requests at one point, some of the adults in the room either didn't hear me, or ignored my request. It reminded me that for this group, I hadn't worked as hard at setting up norms with them, and practiced those norms as we were developing our learning community. This year, our district has moved from encouraging all students to have a device for their learning to requiring that all students have a device for their learning. To help staff prepare for this, we put together this planning guide ,