Putting them in a bubble

I had a lively conversation the other day with some Ed Tech folks on what students should be able to do and access at school. This of course is one of my favorite topics with Middle School students…they are about the only age brave enough and stand up and say…”Your generation has it wrong.” Crazy Kids…don’t they know we know best! But when we talk about information and allowing access to it at our schools, can we truly raise our students in a bubble? Can we afford to spend our resources on trying to keep them in and keep the bad stuff out rather than on having open and honest talks about the information that is out there? I have had a number of talks on teenagers’ favorite subject…music. I love to debate them on the fact that downloading illegal music is illegal. I don’t care if it’s easy…it’s still illegal. Their point…it should be free..therefore I’m not paying for it. It should be free is the reason they download. They only know free music, it’s always been free whether it really has been or not and they don’t understand why I’d pay 99 cents to download a song. And it’s not just music, we debate them on myspace, on facebook, on youtube. We try and protect them from this information that we do not understand, do not think is educationally appropriate. Large companies sue youtube to remove their content yet more is posted. We are fighting a loosing battle. They want information to be free and they want access to it. We lock them up for 8 hours 180 days a year in a bubble, where we pretend these sites don’t exist. Where we say these sites have no educational value. We bring them into our schools and put them in bubbles…so that they don’t hurt themselves or are hurt by others. There is only one thing wrong with bubbles….they always pop! …and then what? What happens when they graduate and go off into the world? Nothing actually because for the other 16 hours a day they live in that free information world. They’ve built it, use it, own it, and continue to create it….and keep shaking there heads at me saying, “You don’t get it.” Do we get it? Does education understand that they are learning without us, that this new world in which our students live...

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IETP Form Share and Share a like

A couple people have asked for the IETP we created for our teachers. I love it when I actually create something that I can share back to the community that gives me so much. I did take it off our letterhead and add a Creative Commons license to it. Please use and if you remix it…please share with others. Technorati Tags: education, IETP Powered by...

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Getting my ducks in a row

Thank you to everyone who commented and read my last post…the comments meant a lot to me (they always do) I guess that’s part of the reason why we all blog…that feeling we’re not alone. That we’re not insane in thinking the way we think…feel the way we feel. I still remember reading Warlick for the first time and saying to myself “Thank God! There are other’s just as crazy as me!” So now that I’m focused in on what I want need to accomplish this year. It’s time to get my ducks in a row. Why is it when ducks fly they fly in a V formation, yet when they swim it’s in a straight line? It has to do with resistance…and when it comes to implementing new technologies….you better know if you need a V or a line. Tomorrow I have the privilege of handing out 42 laptops to teachers who filled out a form last year basically turning over their lives to me for the coming year (although it was worded must better than that 😉 ). So the past couple of days I’ve been getting my ducks in a row so I can make sure we support these new laptoppers the way they need to be supported. Here is our plan: Step 1: Each person will meet with me or one of the other Educational Technology (ET) support staff and fill out their Individual Educational Technology Plan (IETP). Think about the individual plans you fill out for students…only for teachers focused on technology. Each teacher will choose two or three NETs for Teachers standards to focus on for the coming year. We have a nice little IETP form that will be used to track their progress on meeting these standards throughout the year. Step 2: We will create Laptop Support Teams where groups of 4 or 5 will meet with an ET twice a month. These groups will be used to trouble shoot problems, discuss ideas, and help to form a support group for each individual as they learn how this new technology affects teaching and learning in their classroom. Step 3: Throughout the year we will be collecting data from this group and sharing it with our stake holders on a quarterly basis. So that’s it. Of course there are many other things we’ll be doing too. Like holding after school technology sessions for...

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NECC07: All over but the flight

As I sit here in the airport waiting for my flight to leave, I’m reflecting on “what just happened?” I’ve been thinking about my experience at this year’s conference compared to last years. In my eyes I don’t even think you can compare the two. Maybe it was my outlook on the conference…but I think it has to do more with the way this conference was set up. EdubloggerCon was a great kickoff to the conference…it started conversations that carried through the Blogger Café and into Will Richardson’s Spotlight session Wednesday Morning. This lounge area was created as a place to charge up and post blogs. We did blog, but face-to-face instead of on our web sites. David Warlick had a twit this morning that said “Trying to blog, but have given up and blogging f2f.” I think we all felt the same. If you wanted to write a blog entry you literally had to get up and leave the area…the conversation was so intense…so engaging that it sucked you in. For me, it just drove home the fact that blogging is about conversations. It’s not about writing, it’s not about journaling, it’s about connecting, sharing, conversing, and being part of a professional learning network. It was face to face blogging. It became such a conversation that today I showed up at the Café at 8:30 and couldn’t find a seat! Tables were moved, people created circles and just like blogging people came and went like wondering through an aggregator. I commend NECC for creating these lounge areas and I have a feeling you’ll be seeing more next year. Some of our conversations at the Café were around how to improve the space for next year. I hope that NECC gives some of us a chance to help design and create this area to include more voices and allow for even more conversations to take place. One thing I still can’t believe is the people I was able to meet and the people who wanted to meet me. That shocked me more than anything…and I must say I feel honored to be on anyone’s “who I want to meet list.” I know when you publish things to the web they are read by people all around the world, but it’s not until those people approach you just to say “hi”, to say “I read your blog” or take a...

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Drupal: Content Management for the Web 2.0 World

Presenter: Brett Hinton an Open Source Content Management System (CMS) You can set Drupal to allow sign up without a e-mail….that’s a good thing for schools who do not have student e-mail accounts. Drupal allows you to have a wiki, blog, podcasts all in one CMS system. I really like drupal but need to spend some more time setting it up, hacking it up, and adding good modules. What Drupal modules in your opinion are a must have? [tags]necc07[/tags] Technorati Tags: n07s814, necc, necc07,...

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