EARCOS 2007 comes to an end

A quick scan of the program shows the following tech sessions were offered this year at EAROCS. Technology Integration: 2Future of schools: 6Technology Tools: 2Multimedia Tools: 5Information Literacy: 3Podcasting: 2Web 2.0: 3Tablets: 11:1 Implementation: 5Cyber Bullying: 2E-Portfolios: 1Blogs: 2E-Books: 1 Wiki’s aren’t mentioned at all, which is kind of interesting. Guess I know what I’ll be offering next year 😉 If you take Ian Jukes out of the program which I’ve put under the Future of Schools category, there is a pretty good range of offerings. I was told by others that this is the most technology sessions ever offered at the conference. Which is great to hear. Interesting is the number of 1:1 Implementation sessions that were offered. Everything from schools that have done it, to schools who are thinking of doing it. In a years time I think many of the International schools that were here will be either starting to implement their 1:1 programs or at the very least be well into the planning stages. There were 5 sessions on using Multimedia tools, I wonder how many of those talked about sharing the projects on spaces like YouTube, or TeacherTube, or other public spaces? I wasn’t able to sit in on any of those sessions but it would be interesting to see if we are encouraging teachers to put this stuff on the web for feedback and to contribute it to the growing body of knowledge. Overall it was a good conference with some great technology sessions. It was good to talk and discuss with other technology leaders in the area on what is happening at their schools and what direction they are going. Hopefully we can keep the conversation going throughout the year and continue to move International schools into the 21st century as a region and not as independent schools. [tags]earcos07[/tags] Technorati Tags:...

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EARCOS Podcast

Just finished editing and uploading the quick 8 minute podcast from my podcasting session here at EARCOS. If you want to have a listen head on over to On Deck and give it a play. I’m also proud to announce that you can now subscribe to On Deck via the iTunes music store. You can head over to the site and click on the iTunes button or search for “On Deck” in the iTunes music store podcast session. [tags]earcos07[/tags] Technorati Tags:...

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Wikireader or Wikicreator

Yesterday in my presentation I talked about how educators and schools view Wikipedia. Where some schools have blocked the site and other schools have not blocked the site. How some teachers are allowing students to use it as a research site, while others are not. This is still in debate, but I think we’re missing the bigger picture of what Wikipedia or Wikibooks allows us to do. We need to quit looking at Wikipedia as the end result and instead look at it as part of the learning process. Why not go to Wikipedia and use it as a learning device. Use it in our classrooms as part of the learning experience. We talk about how our textbooks can not keep up with the changing nature of information, that information changes at to rapid of a pace. That non digital text is out of date by the time it’s in print. The image to the left is of an Astronomy book that is currently for sale here at the conference. This is the newest textbook produced by this company (Full Disclosure: I did ask permission to take this photo). Why are we so afraid of Wikipedia. Why aren’t we using Wikipedia to study, for example Pluto. You could have your students read the text and read the Wikipedia article and then compare and contrast. I’m not saying everything in the textbook is bad, there might be information covered in the textbook that is not covered on the wiki page. If that is so, your class then is able to contribute their findings to that wiki page. The problem is we view Wikipedia as a research site, rather than a site waiting to be edited. If you view Wikipedia and Wikibooks as a place to write the text rather than read the text, we change the Wikipedia from a place you go to gather information, to a place you go to write about, evaluate, and add information. That is a mindset that is very powerful. Engaging students in the writing of a Wikibook, or a wiki article could be used year after year as information changes. Your lessons might change, your content might change, but the learning goal could remain the same. We need to change our mindset, students want to create and contribute, they are already doing it in spaces like myspace and youtube, why not allow them to...

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My two sessions

Just wanted to send out a quick thank you to all of those that attended my two sessions yesterday. My podcasting session saw about 50 or 60 people turn out. I wish the audio would have been better (go figure you need an audio connection for a podcast session) but all and all I think it went well. My second session on Students as Creators and Contributors was a little smaller audience somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20. We talked about how students today want to create and are contributing to this new information landscape. Thanks to everyone who had to listen to me ramble on for 90 minutes. BTW, 90 minutes is a long presentation! A long day, but worth it. Met some amazing people and made connections with some other bloggers and put faces on blogs. It still catches me by surprise when people come up to me and say “Hi Jeff, been reading your stuff for awhile.” It’s strange how you can feel like you know someone without ever meeting them F2F. It’s part of the flat world effect I think. That you can follow someone’s thinking for an extended period of time and never actually met them, but feel like you have known them forever. I always thought the stat that 1 out of 8 married couples in the US met online last year was strange….but maybe it’s not as strange as I think it is. I’ll have to rethink a few things. [tags]earcos07[/tags] Technorati Tags:...

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Doug Johnson in person

After following the Blue Skunk blog for almost 18 months (as long as I’ve been blogging), I finally got to met the one and only Mr. Doug Johnson. I had two presentations of my own today so Doug’s was the only session I got to sit in on. He talked about having an IEP of technology use for teachers. I like the idea and would call it a IETP. A Individual Educational Technology Plan. There is a technology plan that talks about the technology, and there is an educational plan that talks about education, but an educational technology plan would outline exactly how a teacher would use these tool in their classroom to enhance learning. I envision having teachers fill out their own IETP. They can identify their strengths and weaknesses. They then sit down with the IETP committee which consists of the building administrator, the TRF (Technology Resource Facilitator…my job next year) and go over the plan and create a document that outlines how that teacher will use technology to enhance the learning experience for their students. We would outline the help needed, the equipment needed, and the amount of PD requirements that need to be met by both the educator and the TRF. As a IETP team they create a comprehensive plan that is unique to that teacher. I’m still working through this in my head. I mentioned it to our Middle School Curriculum Coordinator who was also at Doug’s session and I could see the wheels spinning in his head as well. Hmmmm, this one will be rolling around in my head for a couple of days. Nice to finally meet you in person Doug! Thanks for making me think! [tags]earcos07[/tags] Technorati Tags: earcos07, Doug...

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