Tuesday, November 4, 2008

921-Session 10

You may have noticed that I have added a cool feature to the blog. You can now double click on any word on the blog and you will be prompted with more details. The possibilities for a tool like this are astronomical when using edublogs in the classroom. Any word used by the 'blog author' or 'comment poster' can be defined w/o a student leaving the page. Give it a try.

I thought I'd take a moment to go over the schedule for the rest of the semester.

  • 11/11---Veterans' Day--No School
  • 11/18---Session 11
  • 11/25---Session 12
  • Deliverable #3 should be completed and posted under S12's comments before 12/5 (as well as placed on the wiki)
  • 12/12--Session 13----will be comprised of your finshed projects which are due by midnight, Friday, 12/12.

Please don't wait until the last minute to contact me if you have any questions, and as with all of these projects, "Practicality Shall Take Precedent over All." That means that if you have an idea to modify a Deliverable or Final Project so that it will be more useful to you in your setting then please feel free to pass your ideas by me. (I approve most of them.)


There is a renewed movement underway from schools, businesses, and universities. They are giving 'Collective Intelligence' a closer look. From MIT's new 'Center for Collective Intelligence,' to businesses using wikis within their internal networks, to schools using Collective Intelligence resources and tools in the K-12 setting---we will look at all of these examples, as well as discuss their long term implications during this session.

Keep in mind while you are viewing this session that your Deliverable 3 will be due, and posted, under the comment section of Session 12, as well as posted to the wiki. Additionally, keep in mind that the deadline for your Final Project is fast approaching.

As always, feel free to contact me if you ever have additional questions or comments.


P.S. Summer '08 participants' comments as well as participants' comments from previous semesters here.

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by davefontaine1


KAS Librarian said...

Still in the middle of the session, but wanted to put in the wow for curriki. I found a powerpoint, handout and lesson plan to explain citing using creative commons. Perfect.


dgcap said...

Session 10 Comments

I found this session "deep" with content that both administrators and teachers alike would love to hear about. The idea of collective intelligence is what we are currently trying to achieve by developing a wiki to discuss responsive classroom. Unfortunately (and it drew a laugh when Freedman mentioned it), we have an older faculty, many close to retirement, that do not want to learn anything new. This of course, dealing with technology, is an area that they are not willing to take the time to invest. After all, look at all of us who love the concept and practicality of using technology in the classroom. We spend HOURS exploring and playing, and we know what we're doing! Many of my colleagues have difficulty checking their email or creating a list serve.

When it comes to collective intelligence, I think that it is the best way for a lot of those older teachers to share their best practices. It is also an opportunity for cross level (grade level) communication. In our school district we meet regularly with our own grade level, however we're often wondering what the students before us did, or what they will be doing after they leave us (in other words, is what we're doing helping them out in the future?) My principal has been looking for an answer to this dilemma for a long time. I'm thinking that this would be a great direction for her (and our school) to head in!

In addition to sharing with her some of Freedman's ideas, I also think that curriki.org is a gold mine that would attract other members of our faculty. I also the instruction from "wiki while you work." I'll be revisiting Wagner's presentation while I work on deliverable three. There are definitely good segments that I'll need to include before I bring this all to my administrator. Luckily for me, she's already on board with web2.0. She just doesn't' know the extent of the available tools. I look forward to opening her eyes, as well as the rest of the building's.

T Weinberg said...

Session #10 comments
I spent some time exploring Curriki, and I agree with Melissa and Dave C. that it seems to be a tremendous resource for teachers. I am slated to make a presentation to our teachers about copyright at an upcoming staff meeting, and I was able to find some materials on Curriki that would be a good starting point. I showed the Stanford University Wiki to my son, a high school senior, to hopefully inspire him to search for similar sites to try to uncover more personal information about colleges of interest to him.

Another useful resource was the article from the Washington Post,"A Brave New Wikiworld," cited on the page about the CIA wiki. Although the idea of collective intelligence improving the ability to forecast trends and make predictions was intriguing, the information about Wikipedia really piqued my interest. One of my ongoing issues with research projects is the overwhelming tendency for students to try to rely solely on Wikipedia, so I continually seek information to defend my stance to students. This article mentioned the growth of Wikipedia’s credibility, although it also cited some concrete examples of abuse and bias which I can share with my classes to provide a balanced viewpoint.

Terry Freedman’s podcast was also helpful, and as Dave suggests I will return to this site again to prepare for our future assignment. Not only did Terry and his wife raise and address many of the concerns I would anticipate, they also mentioned a few points I hadn’t considered, and had some excellent suggestions for starting slow and demonstrating how the blog (or other Web 2.0 application) would be used. In reality, I don’t foresee experiencing too many of the objections he discussed, since my administration is primarily supportive of new technology and many of my teachers are eager to incorporate blogs and wikis into their classroom practices. A greater concern for me is making sure that their use supports instruction and that the teachers don’t get so bogged down with the administrative aspects (required to circumvent potential safety issues) that they get discouraged with using Web 2.0 applications. The “Wiki While You Work” video, as well as some of our previous sessions, contained many concrete examples that I can use to demonstrate exemplary uses of blogs and wikis to my staff.

pstevens said...

Collective Intelligence

I found such a wide range of resources to share with my teachers. In fact, I asked that the IT team include Answers.com on our student laptop image. We just received our laptops purchased with this year’s Classrooms for the Future grant and will load the add-on to all of students’ computers. I found this tool to be an asset for differentiating in terms of vocabulary and developing literacy skills. Answers.com loaded on your hard drive allows the user to alt+click on any word on the web or in any application on the computer, like Word or PowerPoint, and access a pop-up with the definition, links, and pronunciations. Our students will be able to unobtrusively and quickly learn the meanings of the words in their texts. Thanks for providing a super-tool for our students!

I was pleasantly surprised to hear a voice that I recognized as a fellow CFF coach from Pennsylvania. Although I could not find his name listed in any credits in the TeacherTube slide show “Collective Intelligence in Education,” I am pretty confident that it is he. I am reading Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century” and find more and more examples of the “flattening” of the world of education.

Terry Freedman’s podcast and accompanying pdf file also was forwarded to the CFF Coach listserv. I found it to be another valuable resource for coaches in schools that are just beginning to integrate web 2.0 tools as well as for those who have been using web 2.0 tools to prepare for opposition.

The plethora of examples of collaborative web tools in higher ed and business offer much support for integrating these tools into our classrooms. MIT, Stanford, Cochlea among the many others are great sites to show that these tools ARE being used elsewhere.

It is exciting to be a part of the solution in education! I do wonder how schools that do not adjust will change when the need becomes essential. I like the claim that we must “Make haste slowly.” We are all on the way to making these changes in our classrooms and in our schools. I would not want to be a teacher or a student in a school that finds change forced upon them.

J Wilson said...

Session #10 Comments
Collective Intelligence has a different meaning to me now. Originally I thought of it more as the way a group thought or behaved due to the efforts of the individuals involved in the group. Now I see it also as a way that people can communicate and collaborate using technology on the web.
This session covered more than just collective intelligence. With the readings from Will Richardson, wikis were summarized and arguments were made for the use of wikis. Freedman’s podcast has information for my proposal to my administrator deliverable that I will go back to later. Then I started reading Wide Open Spaces: Wikis, Ready or Not. At first it seemed boring with a few out-dated links, but one term that interested me was "SoftSecurity," which “is an ethic, which relies on the community, rather than technology, to enforce order”.

However, in the notes section, I came across a link for Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, which ultimately led to me to some pretty amazing information about his vision of the web. In 1999, he gave a talk at MIT where he said “The basic idea of the Web is that an information space through which people can communicate, but communicate in a special way: communicate by sharing their knowledge in a pool. The idea was not just that it should be a big browsing medium. The idea was that everybody would be putting their ideas in, as well as taking them out. This is not supposed to be a glorified television channel” He very definitely had collective intelligence in mind when he made that statement.

Tim Berners-Lee is also the Director of theW3C (World Wide Web Consortium). The W3C is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards
In related articles, Berners-Lee and the W3C Vision for the future of the Web was stated as....
Expanding from a Web of linked documents (1.0), to One Web:
• of Creators and Consumers (web 2.0)
• of Linked Data and Services (web 3.0)
• on Everything (from refrigerators to, airplane seats, cars)
• for Everyone (regardless of age, region, disabilities, etc)

Web 3.0 is seen as a web of data from diverse sources. Data will be shared by everyone because there will be common format to integrate all the different applications that people use to create the data.

These concepts are explained in a slide show given in October 2008 at a consortium meeting http://www.w3.org/2008/Talks/1009-bratt-WebFoundation/Tomorrows-Web-WF.pdf.
The consortium is launching the World Wide Web Foundation in early 2009, and looking for ways for people to participate and contribute.
WOW! I am amazed how this group is guiding the evolution of the web and appears to be extremely concerned with the proper or ethical use for all of humanity.

PDLibrarian said...

I particularly enjoyed the first video- the TeacherTube introduction to the"Eduwiki". I know the ideas aren't brand new, but something about the way they were presented here was newly inspiring to me. I related strongly to the idea about how the "sage on the stage" style of teaching so often results in teaching to the mean- so often I have that experience of the same few kids raising their hands and calling out the answer...some are getting it, others not.. the idea of involving the students in the creation of a product makes them much more involved and excited (as Mark Wagner described), and is much more suited to the "modalities". Also liked the idea that wikis actually are better the more diverse the group, since everyone is bringing something different to the project at hand.

Reading the article Wide Open Spaces was interesting, particularly the quote from Tim Berners-Lee about his original idea that the web would be more collaborative, a place to exchange ideas. Web 2.0 of course is making this closer to the reality now. What a great tool for this time in history, when our ability to collaborate and cooperate with others is more and more important.

A tangential thought: I was talking with someone recently who used to work for an environmental agency that worked in other countries. One of the issues they faced was that, for example, a river might pass through several countries in Europe, and so managing the pollution/environmental issue was very difficult because you'd be dealing with different countries, all with different regulations and policies. I'm struck (particularly with all that is going on in the world) with how inter-dependent we are; it is more vital than ever that countries are collaborating. It is interesting that our technology is moving that way... needs to be the way of the world now!! Of course I'm over-simplifying a bit here, but I think it is fair to say that we're better equipped to collaborate now than previously, with all these tools in place.

Regarding the Terry Freedman podcast, I'm feeling fortunate that when I approached my district folks (Principal, Tech Director and finally, the Superintendent!),
I was supported in my request to blog with my students, and the way was cleared to use this tool. My permission slips are now just beginning to come back from parents..excited to begin using the blog in earnest, but grateful that getting permission to do this was very easy. I think maybe enough has changed in just a couple of years that blogs are more and more common now- we may have to do less explaining than we would have a few years ago. But at the same time,as my colleagues in this class have mentioned before me, I face a staff that is often intimidated by technology, and overwhelmed enough so that it takes a back seat for them. I feel it is totally my function to create some Web 2.0 tools for them that will be helpful, and at the same time, give them some experience to show them how very easy these tools are to use..perhaps I can ease some of the way for some of the staff members..

Loved looking at Curricki and hearing some educators describe how they've used wikis and how they are really transforming their classrooms.

KAS Librarian said...

“Making Haste Slowly”

A CIA wiki—who would have ever thought. I wonder how it has changed the intelligence community and how many people are participating. It seems both natural and counter-intuitive at the same time. My spy movie sense makes me think that intelligence officers want the most accurate and current information naturally, but do they like to share it? How intriguing. I wonder what other organizations that I would not anticipate are using wikis?

As I listen to Terry and his wife Elaine discuss how to introduce blogging into a school, I was struck by the idea of bringing parents and students together to discuss using blogging in education. Elaine pointed out that often when students are empowered often they end up with quality ideas. A dedicated core group of students will take on the initiative, rather than overloading administrators. I think this is potentially a powerful idea at my school, as it is very small and students can see the impact of their work immediately.

I loved when Elaine said timing is important. Don’t present new ideas when everyone is exhausted. Wait until after a holiday when people are rested and able to be excited about new projects. At this time of year, that is so true.

In his recommendations of what to remember when presenting a plan, I found it good to remember that everybody is busy and nobody likes an evangelizer. Sometimes it is hard when I learn of all these great ideas in class but between tech limitations and stressed teachers it is hard to convince people to collaborate in a web 2.0 project.

Terry has a great free book of 2.0 projects on his website, http://www.terry-freedman.org.uk/db/web2/doc_page4.html.

Inquiring into the collective intelligence of our class, has anyone used Voicethread before? It is sort of a vodcast/powerpoint/podcast tool. http://voicethread.com/

Anonymous said...

Matthew Records
Session # 10

Collaborative Networking is very cool. The idea of implementing this in our school would be a major asset to those on staff at Cole Middle School. A faculty wiki would allow teachers to share curriculum and knowledge with other teachers around the school, very easily and privately. Teachers of past and present could create wiki pages on lessons they have taught and anecdotal notes on particular students. I feel this is realistic because only faculty and administrators could sign on to the page which would personal matters private. If a social studies teacher wanted some quick information on PowerPoint presentations she/he could access my PowerPoint wiki content off of our collaborative network rather than spending time researching it.

Teaching Computer Science I find myself constantly defending Wiki’s and Wikipedia. This constant protecting, allowed me to appreciate reading the content of ‘Wide Open Spaces, Standard Objection’. The author hit it on the head with the analogy that he used about wiki’s. He wrote. “Think of an open wiki space as a home that leaves its front door unlocked but doesn’t get robbed because the neighbors are all out on their front steps gossiping, keeping a friendly eye on the street, and never missing a thing.” I will not forget this, because I will need it in the future. He said in two sentences what often takes me several minutes. I feel this will help me advocate wiki’s in the future.

Anonymous said...

Pam Hurt
Session 10

I found this session particularly helpful in its philosophy and content. Both were extensive and supported with ample detail to underscore our responsibility to provide students quality background and extensive opportunities to learn about and use technology in the classroom. Furthermore, the reference to the adage comparing Collective Intelligence to the mason’s perspective that “4 men working together can do the job of 6 working separately” reinforces my belief that teamwork – when everyone fully shoulders his or her responsibility – ultimately leads to powerful, substantiated, and insightful projects while teaching our students collaboration, a fundamental conviction of 21st century learning, both in and beyond academia. Finally, Thomas Jefferson’s viewpoint that “A nation’s best defense is an educated responsibility,” captures the significance of such experiences and education for the individual, for his or her community, and beyond.

I was amazed at the sites available in this session. The CIA Intellipedia particularly reinforces the use of technology as well as the value of collaboration. Like dgcapp commented, it seems astonishing to me to think that the CIA would depend upon such group effort. The phenomenal growth and success of networking offered at this information source is one of many in this session that substantiates investigation, use, and development of such sources. The MIT and Stanford sites both reinforce the value of wikis for faculty (as well as for staff and student -- at Stanford) at esteemed universities. Sunstein’s WashingtonPost article, “A Brave New Wikiworld,” celebrates collaboration on wikis and, by outlining open-source projects, proves their success in making forecasts and predictions in diverse contexts, but does acknowledge the potential for fraud that editable sources present. Like TWeinberg and others, I have bookmarked Curriki.org as a must-use source and also am planning on forwarding it to my team teacher. What a valuable source for information and a testament to the benefits of collective intelligence!

As I worked through the session, many educators’ comments and sites further reemphasized the benefits of technology and collaboration. I liked Victoria Davis’ simile that teachers act as the “wave (of change and expanding education)…as we contribute and share information on the Internet ocean.” Her “6 Pillars of an Effective 2.0 Classroom” (providing Internet safety and privacy, Internet information Literacy, Internet Citizenship, Internet Teamwork, Intentional Internet Activities, and An Engaged Teacher), emphasize much of the information in our last session as well as some of the safety and security concerns outlined in Session 9 of EDC 920. I was surprised, however, at her emphasis on “an engaged teacher” rather than “engaged students.” Aren’t they complementary goals?

As I listened to Friedman’s podcast, I was able to connect many of his comments to experiences or concerns we’ve dealt with in our district. As we’ve embraced the use of more and more technology in our schools, we’ve focused on parental involvement (posting weekly grades and assignments visible for parents and students), cyberbullying (use of the Halt Program, a weekly series geared to curtail all forms of bullying), acceptable use policy, safety (through firewalls and filtering systems), and meeting standards (teacher education through a CFF grant for all teachers who choose to adapt their classrooms to become technology enriched / based). As Friedman notes, we did, similarly, choose to begin small, to keep parents informed, and recognized differences, among faculty and students. Additionally, I believe our staff acknowledges that conflicts of time and responsibility can create “Initiative Overload”; with our CFF Coach and administrative endorsement, CFF teachers are allotted time (during school) to upgrade technology skills; furthermore, we regularly meet during our end-of-day teacher prep time, to share our concerns and needs. Finally, I agree with Friedman’s principles that people typically “want to do the best job they can” (including – at least in our district – some older teachers who DO embrace technology in the classroom…even though they may be hampered as “digital immigrants”), and that implementing technology in the classroom succeeds best when its value is recognized by all stakeholders, when all stakeholders are involved in its use, and when teachers and staff are well-prepared.

Lastly, I concur with Pam Stevens that being in a district where teachers were forced to use the technologies we’ve been investigating would be really stressful. I am glad, instead, that in our district we have the opportunity to choose to learn about and implement such technology. That said, I think that courses like this one, as well as various media clearly suggest that using such technology is imperative A) to engage our students B) to prepare them for educational, career, and personal life experiences beyond high school, and C) to mirror collaboration, a necessity of 21st century life.