A Web of Connections: Why the Read/Write Web Changes Everything (Live Blog)

Will Richardson of Weblogg-ed is coming on to discuss A Web of Connections: Why the Read/Write Web Changes Everything. I have read his blog for at least 2 years and purchased his book for the technology department last year. It is the fundamental book for how to use the new tools. While he gets ready, I see he is using something called Touchgraph “TouchGraph’s powerful visualization solutions reveal relationships between people, organizations, and ideas”. His wiki is at Will’s Wiki which is where his handouts and information is located.

The audience is listening although most are like me in that we have our laptops open to write as we listen. How will teachers react to this behavior or environment in their classroom?

“You do not need physical space to connect any longer”. Myspace is blocked so he could not show how the political landscape is changing. The first primary will be held in Myspace the first week of January. If a school blocks Myspace what is the detriment to students?

Our role as educators is to assist our students in creating their own learning spaces. This will require us to be proficient in the educational use of these tools.

Fanfiction.net is a site where users can write different endings to stories. People write these because they connect with someone else who shares their passions. They may not connect like this in a classroom. Meg Cabot’s Myspace account has comments from adolescent girls who read her books and can connect with her.

Use your cell phone to get answers. Send a question to 46645 (GOOGL) and you will get a text message answer back. Check out the Search Commands list for tips to be an effective searcher.

MIT has their courses online for free at the OpenCourseware. Take a course for free.

Marco Torres was a teacher in LA who taught mostly hispanic students. Here is an example of how students could create content. It is a PSA and is only about 30 seconds. Check it out!

I just started a new wiki at wikispaces which is free for educators. 528tech wiki

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Laptop Institute – Ian Jukes (Live Blog)

I am in Memphis TN attending The Laptop Institute. Ian Jukes gave the opening keynote on the future technology and implications for education.

I am testing ecto for blogging right now to see how it works. So far I must say I am very impressed as it allows me to connect and publish to my blog without logging in to the blog. I am using the free trial at this point. I believe it costs $17.95.

Ian talked about the 4 things that are driving education as it relates to technology.

  • Moore’s Law – processor speed doubles every 6 months while costs decrease
  • Photonics – a glut of bandwidth will make the Internet available everywhere
  • The Internet – the “series of tubes” will be the creation and container of all information
  • InfoWhelm – how the information available will be overwhelming

For more information, see Jeff Whipple’s blog post.

Link and Books
Center for Media Literacy

“The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology” (Ray Kurzweil) Must read

“Information Anxiety 2” (Richard Saul Wurman, David Sume, Loring Leifer)

“The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” (Malcolm Gladwell)

“Teaching for Tomorrow: Teaching Content and Problem-Solving Skills” (Ted McCain) Must read according to Ian who coauthored it.

“Playing the Future: What We Can Learn from Digital Kids” (Douglas Rushkoff) Good read

“Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life” (Steven Johnson)
“Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter” (Steven Johnson)
“Secrets of the Teenage Brain: Research-Based Strategies for Reaching & Teaching Today’s Adolescents” (Sheryl G. Feinstein)
“The New Brain: How the Modern Age Is Rewiring Your Mind” (Richard Restak) Must read
“What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy” (James Paul Gee)

“Joystick Nation: How Videogames Ate Our Quarters, Won Our Hearts, and Rewired Our Minds” (J. C. Herz)

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Apple Trip

I had the distinct pleasure of representing Durham Academy at an Executive Briefing with Apple Computer in Cupertino. The purpose was to discuss how we can move the learning at Durham Academy forward into the future and how they may help. We were treated extremely well by all Apple Executives and given a warm and relaxed atmosphere in which to discuss our needs. We asked our questions on how to create an Open Learning Community so that all members can be contributors and consumers of content. We made a strong case for pedagogy, learning, content creation, and professional development in order to successfully scale out a learning community. We found that we are on the leading edge of this movement in the United States. I feel real good about our plan and feel that we are on the correct path in adjusting our school to 21st Century Learning.

Group at Stanford

We also visited with Bob Smith at Stanford’s Walenberg Hall to see first hand how they designed a building for flexible and engaged learning. A very impressive building with wonderful tools for faculty. The chairs they used are unbelievably comfortable. Steelcase – Cachet

Thank you Durham Academy for sending us to California to see the future and develop a plan to bring it here.

Web 2.0 YouTube Style.

There are 2 great videos to describe what Web 2.0 is as well as others once you are at YouTube that talk about World 1.0. Is there a World 2.0 coming? Who would be the creators of something like that? Is World 1.0 surviving or is it just an economic model? Will World 2.0 be a shift in power where strong and economically powerful countries will no longer be that way as other countries will have re-invented themselves? Questions to think about in this rapid age of change and flattening.

Video One – Web 2.0

Video Two – Web 2.0 – The machine is USĀ 

15 Frames of Fame!

While at MacWorld in January I was interviewed by Chris Walsh of The Infinite Thinking Machine Podcast/Blog. Most of my interview did not make it into the podcasts, but I have at least 15 frames worth of video! I was asked about my wish for the new year, cool tech tools and what my students would do with an iPhone. Check them out at ITM Look for espisodes entitled Make a Wish, and ITM MacWorld Extra!

Video Games in Schools?

David Warlick is presenting a session on A Beginners Introduction to Games and Learning here at NCETC. Handouts are at his handout wiki. Video Games are an interesting issue for me as I see students coming to the lab at lunch to get on a computer so they can play games. Runescape is huge and I see students working together to get into the same game and then helping each other play. While this game site may be against the Acceptable Use Code of DA, I am fascinated by how students are collaborating and problem-solving for the 15 minutes they have after lunch. It seems to be mostly 5th and 6th grade students. Linerider as of late is very popular as students tend to use it for two purposes. One purpose is to make really complex lines that the rider must ride that incorporate loops and jumps. A different approach is to create lines that end with the line rider crashing. Guess which ones boys do the most and which ones girls do the most. This is not a scientific study but a casual observation as I walk around the labs at lunch time. How can we harness the benefits of games in an educational setting? David said that a study has found that those of us who are over 35 years old are only 10% likely to play games.

This topic is of importance as students are engaged and interested in gaming at school. The Serious Games Initiative is a place to start looking at how we might incorporate games. Peacemakergame is a game created in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University.

Battery on laptop is low so I must stop. Game Overtongueout

NCETC Conference Thoughts

I am attending the NCETC conference in Greensboro, NC where I have took a half-day workshop on Lego Mindstorms NXT. Kristie Brown showed us how to use Robo Educator so we could program the robots. I think we need to bring the instruction of Robotics back to DA in the Middle and Upper School. Her web site can be a great help to get started. RoboCup and Lego League are two competitions that students can participate in.

David Wagner gave wonderful presentation on Pixie which is a drawing and writing software that I am looking at to replace AppleWorks in the Lower School. I won a free copy of the software since there were only two of us in attendance.

I am now in a presentation from a Professor from UNC-Charlotte who is talking about how to integrate Course Management Systems into a K-12 setting. He is using Moodle as he finds it much easier to use then the commercial options.

I met Michael Silverstein from CDW-G in the vendor area. What a nice surprise since I have spent much money with CDW-G but never had met him.

There remains much to see today and tomorrow. I will keep you posted on what I learn.