Tuesday, June 7, 2011

921-Session 4

Session 4 & Deliverable #2

To gear you up (and psyche you up) for this session I'd like you to watch this. You have to click on it twice. "Did You Know? 2.0" :

As you begin to work on, and think about, your project for Deliverable #2, (details in the syllabus and please post in both the blog and the wiki) consider using these resources to guide your integration with the students:

Past semester participants' comments and Deliverble #2's can be accessed here:

Summer '10
Spring '10
Spring '09
Older comments.

Rubric for student comments:

And don't forget to visit your peers' blogs. Pamela's elementary school now has 11 bloggers, including the Principal!!! Wow! Her school only started on the blogging bandwagon last summer when one of her co-workers took my 920 class. Great job Narragansett Elementary School!
And also check out Jennifer Geller's posting. It traveled so far around the blogosphere that the author of our main text, Will Richardson, even responded by leaving a comment on her blog. These examples are just tip of the iceberg. Explore and check things out for yourself.
And if you haven't already, check out the Answers.com tool I've added to our blog. Just double click on any word and check it out with these words: Andragogy, Pedagogy
There's even an audio option.
Someone was looking for information on 'copyrights.' One way to avoid copyright issues for online images, (or any other kind of file) is to do a search for files that are 'free to use and share'. For example, try a Google Advanced search, but choose the 'usage rights' option. Once there you can decide which kind of 'usage restriction' suits your needs. In this example, I did an GAdvanced search for butterfly, chose 'free to use and share', and then also restricted my search to Flickr.com (an online image site). It takes a few steps, but you can eliminate copyright issues entirely with this process. It also works for PowerPoints. In this example I did a GAdvanced search for caterpillar and restricted my file type to: PowerPoints that were 'free to use and share' and found these were my results.
One of the education blogs that I subscribe to also recently wrote on this topic. Check it out: http://www.consultpivotal.com/powerpoint_reform.htm

On another topic---Lynne and Joanne were discussing the editing ability of posts. Blogs are more static than wikis (which we'll be discussing later in the semester), so when you post a comment to someone else's blog and you want it changed, then your only option is to delete it and rewrite it. Lynne correctly mentioned that when you are in your own blog and you write a posting then you can always go back and edit it when you are in your 'Dashboard' screen, so these are some options.

David C. also mentioned,

"As the availability of 'going online' becomes more affordable and the price
of technology continues to decrease, I'm sure we'll see even more families in
our classrooms join the world wide web. With this in mind, educators must also
do everything we can to use the tools that our students are using in order to
reach them. It makes me think back to when the second or third generation ipod
came out... I remember hearing about the first colleges that were making
podcasts for their students to listen to. (Will we learn anything about

making/using podcasts this semester? - just a side thought)"

Well David mentions how some colleges and universities are making podcasts, but it goes much further than this. Dozens of schools are now recording professor's lectures (some video, but most just audio) and putting them online, along with the support material for the course. But even more powerful than this is the fact that they are also allowing the lectures to be accessed from anyone in the entire world.

It is part of the "Open Educational Resources" movement. If this topic interests you, and you decide to explore this path, then check out some of the cool things out there, like this interactive site on "Trapezoids."

Even more important however is the number of colleges that are beginning to subscribe to this philosophy. Just check out this list of schools, and then take a look at all 2000 different courses that MIT makes freely available. We go into a lot more depth on this topic in my edc922 course, "E-Books and Digital Content".  A few of you are taking this course simultaneously with that one.  Bold and courageous souls.

I also subscribe to this 'open' philosophy. By now most of you have noticed that all of our weekly sessions are licensed under Creative Commons. We'll go into more detail later in the semester about this movement when we begin talking about 'wikis' and start to create and edit some.
David also mentions,

"I remember Professor Fontaine mentioning that he doesn't even have to log on to the
blog to make comments... he can do it from his email. Was I just hearing things
wrong? If not, I am not sure where to go to set up my blog so I can work though
my email. If that is possible, then I could open one less application and work
solely though email."

Well, when you are logged into your Blogger account go to the Dashboard option and from there choose, 'Settings' and then , 'Email and Mobile.' Once there look for "Posting Options". You'll see the options to email postings to your blog, as well as have every comment emailed to you.

Lastly, keep on checking each other's blogs and don't be afraid to post a comment or two. Those who have already begun using them in class can use your comment as an example to the students that there are other people around the world reading their work.

Also, remember that if you are having trouble downloading a session you can always find a back-up copy at Authorstream.com Once there just do a search for edc921 and pick the appropriate session.
Happy blogging,

PS----One last reading for this session. It's worth the quick skim:


Mary said...

I am a little confused on what I am supposed to do with my deliverable 2 assignment. I looked at a couple of the postings from prior classes and I think I am supposed to blog my lesson overview. That is not the problem. What I'm not sure about is posting on the Wiki.

My audience will consist of teachers and students, but participation is voluntary. My focus is Web 2.0 tools. Do I describe the goals, objectives, procedures and activities on the wiki and add links to resources I plan on using? Do I just pick a spot where I think it is going to fit, "multimedia resources" and add content as if it is the lesson, or just add the resource links?

Karen said...

S4: Just a few thoughts from the "Did You Know?" video.

First, that video never gets old. I still watched the whole thing even though I watched it just a couple of weeks ago when Jacque posted it!

The thing that always gets me is that that technology is growing exponentially. Just watching how much faster technology is reaching the 50 million milestone is unbelievable.

I wonder how creators of this technology can keep up with the new trends and stay on-top of the market? Things just aren't slowing down!

Just as a side note to how technology has become a part of our daily lives, many of my co-workers were surprised to hear that I was talking a course online through the URI when I live in Canada yet my students were not surprised at all!!

Oh the power of the internet!

Dave Fontaine said...

Posted by Dave for Eileen:
S4: Mary, I had the same concern, but in my case chose to change to a student driven lesson. I was going to email Prof Fontaine, but ended up changing my focus so there wouldn't be any question. So you are not alone in your question and I'm sure others have similar ones too.

Lesson Summary:

8th graders (only ones with email accounts at my school) ; introductory lesson on blogging and peer review.

Using Tweentribune.com either directly or on my own blog, I will post and article on new technology weekly that they will read and post their voice to. They will also be responsible for commenting on at least 2 posts from others.

Objectives: reading & writing across curriculum as well as collaboration with peers.
use of 2.0 webtools.

Standards: RI GLE's on writing, NET standards on communication and digital technology, and business standards of collaboration and using webtools.

This will be a weekly assignment over a trimester to provide for practice and increased proficiency over a period of time.

Rubrics will be provided both for the writing and peer review.

Sharing Learning Experiences:
It was interesting hearing Richard Elmore's take on the lack of real professional development that we teachers get that doesn't trickle down to our students. Knowing that we have more power at our fingertips with the collaboration ability of people that you don't even know in order to learn and be able to pass that information along to our students was inspiring. Becoming proficient with RSS feeds is key in order to be able to take advantage of so much information that is now available to us. I hope to do this better this year.

I Wonder..
if my students will get the blogging bug and if they will begin to feel the power of their own voice and the potential that it has.

Eileen said...

Thanks for your help with my post Prof. Fontaine.

Lori said...

S4 - The article "PowerPoint Reform" could not have been posted at a more fitting time of the year for me! How ironic that just today, the other ELA teachers and myself, ate lunch and discussed the Grade 8 Book Project PowerPoint’s and how poorly done they were. "They just read off the slide" "There was only text on the slide" "The student actually presented facing the screen" are just a few comments that were made. We decided that we were going to have to do something to change up our assignment in some way to help alleviate these problems. This article was an enlightening read and I will definitely be forwarding the link to my department so we can take some of the suggestions the author and her colleagues made. One of my favorite suggestions (they are all awesome, so I am forcing myself to choose just one) is to aim for NO BULLETS. I think if students can aim to have only the key words mentioned on a slide with one picture for emphasis, the story telling portion of the presentation will fall into place. Those students who are better storytellers will grab the audience’s attention more. I also liked that once all of the new parameters were laid out, students presented, and those who didn’t follow the new 'rules' were judged by their peers, just as blogging allows our students to peer review each other’s work. What a great way to keep students accountable for the work they produce. I would also have to agree that this way of having students let their PowerPoint’s guide their presentations, rather than be their presentations really gives us as educators a good picture of who knows their stuff.

The second article that I would like to briefly comment on is "Learning to Avoid "School Talk" Part 1". I also teach The Diary of Anne Frank to my students, but we do it more as a character study, rather than a class novel. I thought the idea of linking songs with the mood and theme of each portion of the novel is an ingenious idea! And definitely one that I will be implementing next year! (Right after I figure out this Mixwit!) The article hit it right on the nose when it said that we sometimes need to throw the lesson plans out the window and attempt something ourselves and with our students, because we will always be amazed by the work that is produced. I am a music lover and try to incorporate songs/lyrics/videos where ever possible; I find students really connect with music. Of course, you will always get those few students who link a Edgar Allan Poe poem to the #1 hit on the weekly top 40 and attempt a weak connection, but some students really dig deep and pull out some amazing, creative work. What more could we ask for as educators?

Lori said...

S4 - Deliverable #2 Summary

Application Plan Summary

The blog has been created for all members of the English Language Arts Council (Greater Edmonton Regional).

Using my blog, whenever information comes my way that needs to be sent out the specialist council, I will post on the blog. In the past, this has been done through email; I hope that I only need to send a few emails at the beginning of the year directing people to the blog. I also hope to start up curriculum related conversations and a beginning teacher’s area where teachers can look for information to help them in their first few years.

In accordance with the ATA, “Specialist councils are an integral part of the Association’s activities. Granting members automatic membership in a specialist council is an innovative step toward increasing Professional Development opportunities for educators throughout Alberta and a way of promoting the professional expertise of teachers in curriculum and specialty areas.” (www.teachers.ab.ca)

As this is not a student driven lesson, there are no specific outcomes other than the ones I set forth myself. A few of these outcomes (goals) that I wish to achieve are: (but are not limited too)

- increase membership in the Greater Edmonton Regional, thereby increasing the overall membership in Alberta
- increase participation among members
- increase participation and involvement with those members in the north region
- become a place where new and beginning teachers can refer to
- implement a curriculum corner where teachers can discuss with their colleagues different topics

As this is an adult driven community, there will be no assessment.

Eileen said...

S4: I meant to add this to my previous post regarding the Powerpoint article. This year I in fact changed a couple of my assignments for my 8th grade classes from that of Powerpoint to using another 2.0 webtool, called Prezi.com. It is a three dimensional presentation product that is free and on the web. The students where able to zoom around the page, group like words, add video and music and present. It worked out great and was much more interesting than the old PowerPoint slideshows. It's also very easy to learn. They loved using it.

Barbara Connolly said...

S4 921

Deliverable 2: I help students with research papers in the English classes. I usually do lessons on using the school databases, developing a research question, developing keywords, and using NoodleTools (a research management tool with note cards, making an outline, and citations). I will use my blog to remind students of the databases they can use such as Facts on File reference sources and SIRS Researcher (current controversies) that we discussed in class. I will set it up in such a way that students can ask questions of me about their research and also offer each other help. I can also use it to help kids do citations on Noodletools. They can ask questions that I will answer and maybe kids will see the question they have and get their answer before writing.

One thing in the video that struck me: they said something about the top 10 jobs in 2010 that didn’t exist in 2004. Why didn’t they list the jobs? One statistic that disturbs me and I’m wondering if it disturbs anyone else. Young people will have 10-14 jobs by age 38. Presuming that people go to college and start their work lives at about age 22 that means switching jobs approximately every 2 years. Is that supposed to be exciting or something? I find it depressing for young people.

The PowerPoint reform makes some good points that I know teachers have been talking about. But if they are not modeling innovation in their own presentations how can students manage to change. I like the advice they give about finding images, search conceptually rather than literally, ideas such as loneliness or cold. Of course students would whine about changing expectations for presentations, when you have been doing something the same way for a long time and it has been acceptable, change is frightening. Public speaking is frightening also which is why not only students but most people like as much information on their slides as possible, in the event they forget.

Barbara Connolly said...

Eileen, our school has been using Photostory which is kind of like moving powerpoints or if you get creative can be like a Ken Burns documentary. I've heard of Prezi, but have not investigated it.

Karen said...

S4: Eileen I was thinking about the exact same thing when I read the Powerpoint article. My students just finished using Prezi and I was so impressed with their presentations. They really used the Prezi as a tool to guide their presentation and did very little reading directly off of the board. It was very refreshing!

I also liked the NO CLIP ART that was mentioned in the article. I think that students are dependent on clipart because it is so easy to insert and be done. The suggestion to use image sites like Flicker is great! This is something that I will definitely be experimenting with. I also think this would be a great way to teach students how to properly cite where they got their images. Got to love teachable moments!

The mathematics program that we are currently using is all about exploration and asking why something is. I think the trapezoid website would be a great tool for student to experiment with and really look into the reasons why the area changes when you change the dimensions of the shapes. Does anyone know if there are more math tools like this on the web?

It has been my experience that students enter into authentic conversations when they feel like they are the experts. I have seen this occur during our film studies, students have been seeing film techniques in movies for as long as they have been watching them. They may not have the correct term for them but they are able to figure out the purpose behind the choices. It is always amazing how my weaker story writers just shine when they are writing or talking about a film.

Authentic conversations seem to happen when students are interested, how do we get them to have authentic conversations and become interested if they don't give tougher topics a chance? It is the "stepping outside one's comfort zone" as Glogowski suggests, that can be the most difficult.

Mary said...

Many of my high school students still put together PowerPoints for presentations. Over the past couple of years, when teachers come into the library with research projects, I have encouraged & worked with them to try other presentation tools with their students. Some have used Prezi, Animoto, Glogster (a big hit) and a few have used xtranormal, Voki and Blabberize. The kids are excited and motivated to "play" while they put together their projects. After two years, I am starting to see a shift within the school.

Now, so many teachers & students have had some experience or heard about the diff presentations that they are picking the tool for the presentation rather than the teacher assigning everyone to make the same thing. As Lori mentioned with some of her students, there are still a number of kids that don't apply all the parameters to their project and the results are less than par... but there are so many more that have spiced up the presentation piece significantly. A lot less read their slides with their back to the audience. I attribute much of that to the additional presentation options but also to the collaboration piece that seems to be more inherent with the Prezi or Glogster format than the traditional PowerPoint. Collaboration, innovation, creativity... gotta love the focus on 21st Ctry skills.

Karen said...

S4: Deliverable #2 Summary

The blog that I created is called Learning for Lessons. This blog will have learning opportunities for educators to enhance their lesson plans.

There are so many different web tools available today and no one can possibly have enough time to keep up with everything that is available let alone learn how to use it before teaching students how to use it. This is what my blog will address. Once a week I will blog about a different web tool and give a quick overview of what the web tool is and how to use it.

I am envisioning a blog where teachers can turn to find a different use of technology, become inspired, or be encouraged to try something new.

I think this blog could be especially useful to beginning teachers. Having a place to turn when you are running low on ideas or looking for a new idea could be very helpful. I also think this blog could be useful to teachers who do not have extensive experience with technology. Being provided with a head start could be just what some teachers need to step out of their comfort zone. For both of these groups of teachers it is all about knowing that you have a support system to turn to if needed.

Because my blog is for educators there are not any specific curricular outcomes that are being addressed. But teachers will have the ability to take the information on the blog and integrate it directly into their own lesson plans and address any technology and curricular outcomes they wish.

One goal that I have for this blog is to create a safe place for teachers to learn. I hope that it will become a place for teachers to ask questions and share ideas.

Although there is no way to assess the work done on this blog I am hoping that it could expand to a place where teachers can share assignments/performance tasks using technology and provide exemplars and rubrics.

Mary said...

S4 Deliverable 2

I went to an unconference a couple of years ago and was introduced to 23 Things http://plcmcl2-things.blogspot.com/. This is a Professional Development blog put up by the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to facilitate learning Web 2.0 among their staff.

I am working with other librarians in my district so that we can try to implement a similar program. Our goal is to work with our technology director and our administration to select the web 2.0 tools that meet the instructional needs of our teachers and students. We are adding “librarian” value to this existing program by offering to work with teachers and their classes as they learn. We will collaborate and co-teach to ease the process.

So, I will set this up in similar fashion… Each week will be a new post and a new tool. I don’t want to copy the 23 Things format exactly, but I plan on borrowing the pieces that will fit for us. For now, I am playing with a couple of different blogger services to find the best one for me. I’ve got an account with blogger and edublog and I will compare them to PLCMC’s blogspot to see which features I like best.
Wish me luck,

Lori said...

Mary, thanks for the lead on xtranormal, Voki and Blabberize! In the past, I have only used Glogster and Prezi (which all of my students have loved) and I have seen Animoto in action.

I will be looking further into the webtools and most likely, changing the format of book projects for my Grade 8's and 9's! Thanks!

Mary said...

You're welcome Lori.

Jacque said...

S4: @Karen I feel the same way about the "Did You Know?" video. No matter how often I view it, I'm always struck by the exponential growth potential of all of these technologies. It's both inspiring and intimidating as an educator!

Jacque said...

Lesson Summary:
10th grade English classes will work on an independent reading project with the end result leading to a book trailer that can be displayed on our blog.

We will discuss online storytelling guidelines and will address how the English standards on reading, writing and speaking will be incorporated.

By aligning this project with an existing English assignment, I hope to see greater participation from both teachers and students.

My plan is to partner with a single teacher in the coming year and eventually expand to the entire 10th grade class. We will develop a grading rubric that incorporates the existing criteria while adding areas for audience engagement, visual styles, and other digital storytelling criteria.

The final projects will be posted on the blog and will serve as both examples of digital storytelling and as book recommendations.

Jacque said...

I think the teachers in my school have been struggling with the death by Powerpoint concept for a while now. We've slowly seen a shift to more "digital storytelling" using a variety of Web 2.0 tools. The comment the author made about unprepared students looking even less prepared is absolutely true. The key difference is not the vehicle that is used to present the information, but teaching students the elements of digital storytelling and that they are there to engage the audience, not just convey information.

Eileen said...

Just a comment. I used Voki this year when I was going to be out of class and didn't want to lose time with my students. I left a Voki with my instructions for the assignment for the day. I asked the sub to go to my wiki and play the Voki for the students. It was pretty neat and the students thought is was hysterical. They could also listen to the instructions over and over as many times as they needed. Some other teachers in my building were kidding me that I was putting myself out of a job by doing this.

Ms. Steele said...


A colleague shared an article with me about a recent study about how kids inquire and it made me think of the post titled “Learning to Avoid ‘School Talk’ Part 1” by Konrad Glogowski. While the two examples on the surface originate from opposite ends of the spectrum I saw a link.

The study by Elizabeth Bonawitz from UC Berkeley and Patrick Shafto out of University of Louisville researched pre-school age students and their interest in a new toy. The research exposed children to the toys with varying levels of direct instruction about the functionalities of the toy. The results (okay it was just one study) concluded that students with the least information/instruction spent more time exploring and ultimately learned more about the bells and whistles of the device.
Here's the link to the article:

Glogowski writes of not being the expert and allowing for natural unfolding of ideas and engagement. I thought that this strategy of letting his students seek the connections and justify their choices was very student centered and like the pre-school study it allowed for a more genuine learning experience.

Ms. Steele said...

@ Karen - I too had students use the Prezi tool this past year and I agree it resulted in a much outcome - for all involved. The death by PowerPoint effect is huge here at my high school in part because of graduation by proficiency requirements in which all students must present a Capstone project in the form of a PPT. The projects must be graded by a panel and it is at times torturous.

Sonja said...

What I am experiencing professionally is so similar to what everyone else is going through it's almost seems therapeutic. It certainly is solace to know that I somewhere in the middle of it all. I too am concerned about the skills I pick up at professional developent sessions trickling down to students. Like Mary, I'm searching and playing around with three or four blogging services for a hand-glove fit. I have also been torn about the audience for the blog I'm creating for this class. At first, I thought it to be useful to share information with parents to help extend lesson in a fun way at home. But then I consider the weight that classroom teachers have and I long to do more for them.

I think my Deliverable #2 is a good bridge from classroom to home. I will probably have to create more than a few screencasts to help parents guide their young children through the steps of blogging about books, themes, settings and such. I don't want to overreach. And I would hate for it to be spread thin over too many audiences that is useful to no one. I'm in store for a lot of planning and thought moving ahead.

Eileen said...

S4: Dave, I know you left me a comment about using Prezi and how it can make you dizzy. Here is a link from the Prezi site that helps alleviate that problem when using Prezis. That is to use the grouping and framing feature. Here is the link to the video.


I hope this helps. It's the second one under the Learn tab.

Mary said...

I spent a few dizzying days teaching myself how to use Prezi. I wish I had this cheat sheet then. I will definitely share with students & teachers as they begin to create their own Prezi. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Hawkins said...

How I plan on integrating a blog into a lesson plan is using it to spark interest in the topic of our unit on Alternative Energy.

This unit tends to be harder than most for students because there are no real hands on lab experiments, but rather, it is student driven research. The students are assigned an alternative fuel to research as a collaborative group of 3 - 4 students. They make a presentation to the class. As each presentation is given, students are taking notes on a graphic organizer. As a final product, the students need to write a paper comparing and contrasting two of the alternative fuels and make recommendations on the one that they feel is superior.

How I feel that the blog will assist in this task is I can use it to post sources or news articles for the students. Also I can use it to generate interest on the first day, by having the students first read an article and post comments to the blog. We can then have a whole class discussion about what we learned by reading the comments and asking for input. I think the blog will help the students get motivated because they will feel like their voices are being heard, not just by our class, but by who ever reads the blog.