3. November 21 & 22 2008.
Again we opened with various discussions & reflections, with an emphasis on ‘understanding digital children’.
Ryan did a demonstration of podcasts & blog links plus tools for communicating with parents & students. It also included how students can ‘publish’ presentations & be reviewed at home by the family.
There followed a useful discussion regarding many technical & proprietary issues. A reminder to teachers & Districts to be vigilant about what they use & how.
Mike (presenter) then introduced Digital Storytelling. We broke into groups to see what is possible. One ‘housekeeping’ hint is to see that your District has a folder on the school server where students can share files.
Mike’s presentation had some detailed leads to explore possibilities particularly with layouts of how others had constructed their presentations. The whole point being there is a big number of vehicles to create & present digital stories using a variety of formats.
A number of sites on Mike’s page lead to many learning opportunities for teachers (& so students).
Checkout netvibes.com to pull sites together (also ‘igoogle?).
In the afternoon Molly demonstrated the many avenues Google has set up (& is adding to) of tools for educators to make the most of technological innovation (such as their suite of programs).
The links are numerous & even YouTube has useful tutorials to guide us through them. The Google enterprise has a few programs offered to educators to initiate them into the possibilities their tools offer.
Molly finished with showing a list of sites she will keep updating for our use & benefit.
The next day we started with a video outlining possibilities for introducing innovation to education. The theme was ‘disruptive change’. Can they be anticipated? The need to do so because current methods will not cope.
The examples were mainly about how successful companies can be ‘blindsided’ by innovations that do not seem to relate to their expertise & successes. Maybe the answer is to have a body within an organization that has the facilities to explore untraditional or radical possibilities. The possibility being to foster different perspectives.
One application for public schools can be on-line learning. This is already being used by a variety of educational institutions some of which can be seen to be in competition with public schools. Whether they are AP classes or catering to more unconventional students.
There followed discussion regarding homeschooling, access to technology, ‘best practice’ where ever it occurred & innovative grants being provided by a mix of major private institutions.
For all concerned technological change is overwhelming in its many facets & speed of change.
Look into MN Transitional Charter School. Rachel Thompson presented Connections Academy (originally from Baltimore). While a private business it does have to conform to State Standards. Those present asked a lot of constructive questions exploring the concept, execution & who was involved.
A topic change saw some discussion continue on the place of ‘social networking’. More & more of us were becoming aware of its nature & usefulness.
Our next sessions saw a number of participants demonstrate how they were implementing technology.
Matthew demonstrated his making use of vodcasting & its value for his students. Plus it caught parent interest.
Connie showed how there were tools to make the most of files over the web & how they can be ‘translated’ in different formats with tools from Adobe.
Gina showed how she made use of Animoto to stir the creativity & interest of her students to get more involved in their learning.
Some choice of workshops at the end of the day.
Some things picked up on the day – iste.org; Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (tpck.org); & Google video 2015.