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WOW is all that describes Warlick’s keynote. Anytime a keynote speaker can run a half hour late (no fault of David’s…herding teacher’s is like herding cats)and still have teachers talking about his message on an hour bus ride home is an exciting day! Before I get to far here are my notes for the second half of the keynote.

Telling the New Story

Education needs to model what our workforce needs.

Uses Thomas Freidman’s book The World is Flat book and the story of his Dell laptop as a story of our workplace today.

Global cooperation not global competition…and interesting theory.

OK, so I’m not much of a note taker…and as an auditory learner I really shouldn’t be. Now some of the other note takers that where in the audience must be visual…cause man there are some great notes from other teachers and administrators.

The keynote today kicks off our Tech Fest. David has been doing small workshop sessions all week and today spoke to all 400+ educators to move us into our 50+ teacher led technology sessions tomorrow.

At the same time our administration started the conversation this week about our path to 1:1.

I have to say…I’ve been looking forward to this week for over a year. A lot of work has gone into this week. Starting with conversations, visions, planning new buildings that look forward. Surveys, vision statements, meeting with parents, with community members and with teachers. That led to the creation of new positions to support and new hires that understand what it means to use technology in today’s classroom.

All of this is coming together this week….as an educational technologist you have to love it. This is what we discuss, creating change, moving forward, and truly looking at the way we teach. It’s kind of cool to look back at all the steps that have led us to this week. I thank YOU the collective readers of this blog. Most of these steps have been written about here, and your feedback has helped and continues to do so. My administration at this moment is looking at how we want to move to a 1:1 program in the next two years and is monitoring yesterday’s post I made and the comments that you are leaving. What’s really interesting is when we’re sitting in a meeting and either I or an administrator says “I’ll put that on the blog and see what the blogosphere has to say.” That’s the power of connections, the power of Personal Learning Networks, the power of the collective.

Tomorrow I do two presentations RSS Feeds: Quit surfing the web! Where I’ll help 30 teachers set up netvibes accounts and start using RSS feeds. I follow that up with Let’s Blog where 30 teachers will have the opportunity to set up blogs on our schools SAS Blog Headquarter site (already 300+ strong!). All of this and a 1:05am flight to Bali for Chinese New Year vacation. It’ll be a fun filled day!

[tags]SAS, Techfest[/tags]

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Tags: redefine literacy warlick

What do we do with all this information. If 0.01% is only in print and we do not have access to digital information?

Are we asking this question in every lesson that we teach: “Is this preparing our students for THEIR future?”

To be literate today mean more than being able to read. It means being a “digital detective”

Make numbers tell there story…I struggle with helping math teachers to integrate technology. What I need to remember is “how do we make these numbers tell their story?” No matter what the math subject, numbers have a story…as an educator our job is to find ways to engage students in helping to have numbers tell their story.

[tags]SAS, Techfest[/tags]

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Well, we’ve hit the half way point and I think for David the worst of it is over. Tomorrow we have a geek meet in the morning where all the technology teachers get to sit around and talk tech with David…sounds like a podcast opportunity to me. 🙂

We had some good conversation today and David was part of a meeting where the admin rolled out a plan to become a laptop school by 08-09. Our discussion today focused around how do we want to get there. The school is basically looking at two different options. I’ll post them here if anyone wants to give their 2cents worth (been hanging out with David to much) on them.

Option #1
Give every teacher a laptop next year. The admin have just returned from recruiting where they have hired two other positions like mine next year. That’s three full time technology trainers. In this model teachers would be given a laptop and almost every teacher would get an LCD projector. We do not have enough funds to make it a LCD projector and a laptop for everyone…but the worst would be a 1:3 projector to teacher ratio. This would give the teachers a full year of training on using computers in the classroom, of learning how having a personal laptop can and must change the way we teach.

Option #2

Roughly 40% of our teachers would get laptops with the rest of the money going towards what the admin is calling “21st Century Classrooms” (I think they should just be called classrooms…to me this should just be standard equipment). There would be 18 of these classrooms. That’s 3 at each division ES, MS, HS on both campuses. These classrooms would have the following:

A teacher laptop
A ceiling mounted LCD projector
A classroom set of laptops for students

So, here’s the debate. If you are moving to a 1:1 environment which approach is better? Giving every teacher, even those who aren’t ready for one, a laptop and take a year to train your whole staff before bringing students onboard, or create these classrooms to become model classrooms, to show what the admin is expecting of the teachers. Teachers would have to ‘apply’ to receive one of the 21st Century Classrooms knowing that if they get chosen, that they will have a certain amount of PD they must attend and that at the same time they will be held to a higher standard with a new evaluation system that will come with the program.

We took a quick poll during our meeting today and we were split 50-50 on the approach we thought would be most effective to bring about this change and prepare our staff for the 1:1 to follow.

So, I put this out there to you…what plan would you choose? Which one makes more sense to you? Is there something we’re missing?

[tags]sas, 1:1, 21st Century Learning[/tags]

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Another great day with David. My morning started off with this e-mail from one of the teachers from yesterday’s session:

I just wanted to tell you how inspiring David Warlick’s blog session was yesterday. Seriously, I am totally psyched to use blogs in ESOL next year. The session also gave me a starting point for doing a little catch-up in tech. I know I’m woefully uninformed at this point, but until yesterday I didn’t know what I didn’t know. At least now I realize one way to better make use of tech in the classroom.

That’s exactly what we were looking for. We were hoping that David would be able to spark some interest in using technology, to help us start the conversation around these tools and how literacy is changing and therefore so must our teaching.

It’s funny….this is the third teacher that has used the line “We don’t know, what we don’t know” and I think that says where we are with these technologies. So many teachers feel this way. Where do we begin? Where do we start? The answer….anywhere!

My absolute favorite part of the day though was when one of our 5th graders came to the parent presentation tonight to meet the Blogmeister. Our 5th grade uses David’s blogmeister program for their blogs, and when this student heard that he was in town, she wanted to meet him. So she came with her parents to the presentation tonight and got to shake the blogmeisters hand.

David’s keynote is tomorrow…I’ll be blogging it live. I’m excited to see all 400 teachers in one place getting the same message. David has lite a spark in many and tomorrow we get to see that spark slowly spread across the staff.

For Valentine’s Day David and I went and got foot massages…I’ll let him tell that story. 😉

[tags]sas, techfest[/tags]

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I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday and I’m not the one presenting. Today David did 4 sessions for teacher and then a parent night. Getting home around 8:30pm, I’m sure he’s sleeping well. 🙂

If you EVER get the chance to have David do a parent presentation at your school do it! Although it wasn’t a very good turn out, the word will spread like it does in a parent community about the message that came across.

“My dad could get down and play Legos with me, I can’t play my son’s toys with him…everything has changed.”

That statement was met with a lot of head shaking of understanding. David did a great job of slowly bringing them up to speed and leaving them with a lot of questions…which is a good thing. It is our job as the school to help them answer those questions…but at least they know the questions exist. It was great timing as I’m preparing to do 4 or 5 parent tech nights in March. They wanted to know more about video games, about IM speak, and this digital world in which their children learn and live. I hope to podcast some of our parent nights, I think there will be some great conversation there.

The teacher sessions caused a lot of buzz as well. A great silent conversation is starting which will continue to build tomorrow until David delivers his keynote address to kick off the Tech Fest on Thursday.

My favorite part of every day though is the conversations I get to have personally with David. I’m sure he’s sick of me already asking questions, pondering ‘what’s next’ and looking at the direction of SAS. Poor David has 3 more days with me. 🙂

I know I’ll be saying this every day. But I feel privileged to be able to spend 5 whole days talking tech at a depth, until now, has only accrued for me in the blogosphere. I don’t get to go to the conferences, or Skype with people very much do to the time difference so this week is special….for me anyway.

Another late one tomorrow with 2 sessions a 2 hour conversation with admin and a hour parent presentation on the other campus. David’s probably the only person that has ever looked forward to the 14 hour flight to San Francisco.

[tags]SAS, techfest[/tags]

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Well we’re through the first day of David Warlick’s visit. He did three sessions on Harnessing the Digital Landscape with our teachers and one Video Games in education….and today is a light day for him. When we bring speakers in..which isn’t very often, we tend to have them going full on and David is no exception.

One thing that struck me today about David’s video gaming session was when he stated:

Bring the parts of a game that engages students into the classroom.

A classroom that is

conversable Rewards
personal investment
Identity Building

Interesting….I’m looking at these five skills that students get from video games…then I look at the conversation around School 2.0….hhhhmmm.

Responsive=We want students to respond to information, we want them to engage information and not passively sit back while the information passes them by.

Conversable Rewards= We want them to have conversations, we want them to talk about information, to internalize it and hear other’s points of view on the subject.

Personal Investment= We want students to be intrinsically motivated. We want student to be invested in their own learning, to ‘want to learn’.

Identity Building= We want students to become individuals, to create their won identity. More than that we want to help them build a positive digital identity.

Dependability= We want students to be dependable to know that we can count on them when we need them, to be responsible and dependable for their own learning.

One could argue that these are not just skills in School 2.0 but rather are basic skills we would hope every students would have…and they are finding them, learning them, and using them in video games.

We talk about the disconnect between schools and the world our students know. Yet the skills we want students to have are being taught when they are disconnected from school and connected to their “learning environment” an interesting concept.

David and I talked for a while after the video game session on where video games fit in education. I just kept saying “We’re missing something” I just fill there is a piece of the puzzle that doesn’t quite fit yet. Maybe it’s just me, but the light bulb just isn’t all the way lit (no jokes please). I know they use games to learn, I understand what they do with them, the power that they hold….what is their role in education? How do they ‘fit’ into our schools….maybe that’s my problem, I’m trying to make video games ‘fit’ into a system that can not hold them, take advantage of them, or even wants too.

OK, to late…now my brain hurts and another full day tomorrow…for David not me. 🙂 4 more teacher sessions and then a parent presentation. There’s not much grass in Shanghai, because people don’t stand around enough to watch it grow under their feet…and David won’t be seeing much of it here either!

[tags]techfest, SAS[/tags]

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Preparing for our upcoming Tech Fest is taking it out of me…and more importantly taking up my blogging time. I find myself eager to just sit, relax and blog….funny that writing has become a relaxing activity for me….never in my life did I ever think that would happen. The biggest crime of the last week and a half is the neglect of my netvibes page. A quick look shows a 146 unread posts….and of course I want to read them all. So what’s been keeping me busy.

Our first ever Tech Fest is just over a week away. Trying to organize a conference for 400+ educators on two campuses 2 hours apart and continue to teach full time is difficult. Add to it that over half of our administrators are gone recruiting and the other half leaving next week when this batch returns makes it difficult to keep information flowing.

Everyone really likes our logo though. Created by David Gran, one of our techies, I can’t wait to see the shirts…I hope they turn out.

On top of this my 5th grade teachers have taken off with the blogging. I spend 3 hours today teaching 5th graders how to insert a picture, edit their categories, posts, and pages. As I write our blog site is up to 227 blogs spanning 4-12 grade. I have a blog Everything Tech that each day I try to go through the latest updated blogs and list my favorites of the day. I do it for a couple different reasons.

  1. Students like to see that others like their writing
  2. It’s cool when you get an “Incoming Link” in your Dashboard
  3. Helps to highlight some of the good posts, which in turn (hopefully) other students read, respond, or learn about a new topic, or how to write better, or a new approach to blogging
  4. Because it amazes me what our students write about…and I learn too.

Today with both classes we had time to go read and comment on other bloggers. At first they weren’t really into it, but then they started reading some posts. The boys who where following the Super Bowl during the lesson online found a couple other students in American who had blogged about the Super Bowl and left comments. After about 5 minutes students where up out of their seat checking out what others was reading. It was fun to watch and see their excitement grow.

I’m also in the process of writing our 3 year technology plan to propel us into the 21st Century. Not an easy task…but one that has to be done.

The break neck speed of the past two weeks has completely over shadowed the fact that I applied/interviewed/and was appointed a new position for next year. It’s a position that I helped write the description for and have to thank Justin Medved and Doug Johnson for passing along some of their resources. So next year I will be the Technology Resource Facilitator (TRF) on the Pudong campus. No more two campuses, as a partner position was created on Puxi campus as well. The position is non teaching and basically supports teachers in the use of technology in their classrooms along with creating a Technology Professional Development plan for the K-12 campus. I’m excited as I think it’s a step in the right direction for our school.

After our Tech Fest is over I hope to be able to spend more time blogging and reflecting…although I keep putting everything off until after Tech Fest…so I’m sure it won’t slow down for awhile….the only thing that is saving me is knowing that on Feb. 17 I fly to Bali for a week. A week in paradise….now you don’t feel sorry for me do ya. 😉


I’ve made it a point to take some time out of my busy day to relax and read and respond to some student blogs at our school’s blog headquarters. I’ll try not to do this too ofter..but sometimes the writing and reflection are so good…I just have to share. So here is what has me thinking tonight.


Even though there are no privacy online but these blogs help you alot.
On Joho’s Blog it talked about how some students use web to create
study guidesadn teachers use it for replacement for bulletin board and
share information online with parents. Also this Ap calculus class,
students take turn to be the note-taker and post notes on a blog. I
found it very amusing because we can do so much online and i think in
the future we will use blog more than before. Also we will just do
homework online and just blog everything online.

**kiT KAt**

OMG…tch i donno wht 2 say….. Did you understand any of these words? If
you didn’t, then I don’t balme you. The tech teacher in my school ask
me a simple question which had led to an arguement;” Should you use
MSN talk when writing a blog?” (Full Disclosure…I’m the tech teacher)

Sweet or Sour?

Should we post stuff with chat language on blogs? A lot of people
do. In my opinion, if it’s a piece of research or something serious or
important, you shouldn’t put chat language inside. No one will take you

Am I Dreaming?

dear people,

I am reading a book called “Charlie Bone and the Hidden King”. It’s
a fantastic book, lots of mini mysteries going on and lots of magic
unlike “Harry Potter”.

Jon’s Fifth Grade Life!

Today my class started something new called a monologue. The word
monologue split up is mono, which means one, and logue, which means
speak. It means that you are a character and you are just talking to
nobody, kind of like your thoughts.

Like I tell my students…if you feel a need to comment do…if not…that’s OK…we don’t always engage in every conversation we have. 🙂 Here’s the amazing part. These posts span 5-12 grade. Different topics, and different ideas. I’m finding the site a fascinating place just to learn what’s on the mind of our students and what they’re learning in class. If you’re looking for a place to comment with your blogging students let me point you to 140+ blogs as blogs.saschinaonline.org. The blogging headquarters of Shanghai American School.



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There is this amazing elementary school counselor at our school (Full Disclosure: I’m married to her) who set out about a month ago to incorporate technology into her classroom lessons around friendship. She found the school’s resident techno geek and putting their heads together they came up with a plan to help 4th graders better understand the meaning of friendship, cooperation, and helping each other out. Each 4th grade group came up with a way to show what friendship looks like as SAS. The amazing school counselor then filmed the students, stayed up late learning Windows Movie Maker and created a great video to share with the school. Of course the techno geek didn’t want to stop there and felt the video should be shared with the world.

In .wmv format for now….sorry.

[tags]SAS, Friendship[/tags]

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I swear I passed myself in the hallway today. The last two weeks have been a whirl wind but I wanted to take some time at 11pm tonight to actually reflect on the past two weeks and some fun and amazing stuff that is going on here.

Last week I set up all 3 of my classes with a netvibes account (RSS reader). This week we started taking the first 10 minutes of each tech class to read through our feeds. We learned all sorts of stuff. A strange shark found off of Japan. Parents suing Myspace, we get the latest football and basketball scores from the guys and the girls give us the latest scope from the entertainment world. I allow the students to wonder away from tech in these 10 minutes although I always share something about technology to model what I expect. I see it as connecting, as gathering and reporting information. At first they were a little unsure about the whole netvibes thing. This week they are adding feeds left and right, reading, looking, interacting and today started responding to others. I’ve decided to do this backwards this time. Starting with RSS, then reading, then responding, then writing. It’s working I think as today every class asked me “When do we get our blogs?” so the interest is there.

I did try and get the students registered with our WordPressMU installation today. But for some reason it wouldn’t let them register. There are 122 blogs registered at the site and I’m not sure what happened today. It said they had registered, but their blogs never showed up and the confirmation e-mails never came.

Also over at our blog headquarters I successfully installed a plug-in that list the latest postings. So now when students go to the site, the latest 10 postings show up with the first 100 words. It’s fun to see an 11th graders post on the human brain, next to a 5th grade reflection of their day of learning. A great mix that I hope will see some cross river (our two campuses) and cross grade level comments.

I also set up the 5th grade teachers with netvibes accounts and showed them how RSS works so they can easily monitor all 18 of their student blogs. They loved it and just kept saying how much of a time saver this was going to be. I also gave them 22 edublogs to start reading (Full Disclosure: The Thinking Stick, U Tech Tips, Pudong Nerve Central, Teentek.com and Techlearing, all blogs I post at were included in the 22 links)

Last Friday was our first podcast at Pudong Nerve Central for the 2nd Semester which meant two new DJs for the program. I also was thinking about….and continue to do so….how to help students to understand the issues behind downloading illigal music from such Peer 2 Peer programs as LimeWire. So I talked to our DJs and we decided that each podcast will feature a “Free Download of the Week”. This song will be a legal free download from such sites as www.podsafeaudio.com or music.podshow.com. Each week the girls will choose a song they want to share with our listening audience. In the podcast notes we will provide a link to that artist’s web site where others can download the song for free under an open-source or CC license. Last week we featured Win or Lose by Donny Carver. Yesterday we received a Thank You e-mail from Donny for playing his song. Which we thought was pretty cool. The DJs are into it now, I just hope the student body gets something out of it. I know it won’t stop them from downloading songs via LimeWire, but my issue here is they don’t get that it’s illegal. Everyone does it here in China and most of the rest of the developing world. I understand that it’s not going to stop, but I want them to at least understand the issues around it, which I’m finding to be very difficult. I struggle with this on a daily basis. Ethics when it comes to anything digital in China, doesn’t exist.

On top of all this I’ve also been chin deep in planning our upcoming Tech Fest. Trying to finalize David Warlick’s schedule that spands a week on two different campuses, includes two parent talks, and a host of other meetings is one thing. Trying to organize 30+ technology sessions is something completely different. I’ve been luckly as I’ve had a couple of tech team members step up these last two weeks and help out a ton.

It’s now 11:30 and I’ve only commented on one of about 30 postings I want to. But the eye lids are calling my name, so the comments will have to wait yet again.

Update: The opml file that I started my students with.

[tags]SAS, Techfest, David Warlick, podcasting[/tags]

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