Friday - Dr. Curtis Bonk
By day two of this invigorating and inspiring conference -- we were all drinking the cool aid from a flattened world.
Our guest, Dr. Curtis Bonk, a professor and published author out of Indiana University who addressed our crowd of 40 about how the learning world became flat.
Dr. Bonk shared concrete examples of how collaborative the learning world has become due to the technologies afforded us on a daily basis. The examples were explosive and voluminous starting with a quick pre-assessment of the group;
1) Who has shared music on an MP3 or iPod - majority of the room
2) Who has used collaborative software (Google Groups, Yahoo Groups, Etc.)
You get the drift. The room was filled with collaborators that appeared well versed on a variety of tools that are used in their work and play to communicate and collaborate on a variety of levels.
As the session continued we found ourselves chanting in unison "We Can Learn" prompted by Dr.Bonk on que after a summative on the ten forces that opened the learning community, tools and processes that are used to learn in collaboration on demand.
We saw a variety of solutions to gain access to higher Education courseware such as the FREE MIT courseware and the increasing numbers of universities doing the same! http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm
There are almost unlimited sources of information as well as ways to store and present knowledge - collaboratively! We now have access to read and write to and from sophisticated search engines, ebooks, maps, timelines, blended learning environments, virtual worlds,
Dr. Bonk talked about the 10 trends that Opened the Learning World;
1. Web Searching in the World of eBooks
2. E-learning and blended learning
3. Availability of Open Source and Free Software (e.g. Moodle)
4. Leveraged Resources and Open Course Ware
Three hours of reviewing collaborative web sites and new innovations in the field has left me fuzzy headed to say the least. Some of the most intriguing are posted below:
http://www.diigo.com/ - collaborate around documents that you can collaboratively edit, highlight, etc.
http://www.librarything.com/ - Largest online book club
http://www.chinswing.com/ - Global message board - multilingual
http://www.curriki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Main/LearnMore - interesting, creative and effective educational materials that the global educational community can use for free.
Dr. Bonks Power Point presentation as .pdf file can be found at this URL below the link for this conference:
Thursday - Steve Dembo
If the drive up the autumn tree lined country road wasn't spectacular enough - I have the pleasure of listening to Steve Dembo discuss 21st century tools, learning and blogging and what that means to us in our every day lives on the front lines of education.
This is the first conference I've even been to that I was invited to turn ON my cell phone because we would be using it, and of course my computer was great too! Shift Happens...
After about 1 hour of ideas and demonstrations we somewhat spontaneiously skyped with a fellow technologies Dean Shareski and talked about "outsourcing Teaching and Learning". The concept behind this is that Steve was able to bring Dean in to our day to share his thoughts on a topic of specialty - outsourcing a portion of the content. Similar to bringing an expert in to your classroom however now it is easy to do without the restrictions of time and place.
If that wasn't relevant enough - we searched on Twitter "Is anyone available to talk to us right now on skype about school policy as it relates to Acceptable Use Policies". We took a 10 minute break and by the time we got back we Skyped/Video chatted with several folks about how they are updating/addressing their local AUP. Isn't it nice that if the situation warrants it we can have these "teachable moments" in cyber space?
Major points worth noting;
It is the publishing and sharing of information that makes technology meaningful.
Is your school prepared to allow students to use the Web 2.0 digital tools of their
choice when approaching teacher assignments?
Do you have school policies that reflect a web 2.0/school 2.0 paradigm?
Do you or your teachers have the knowledge to unblock a website if warranted for
CIPA - Children's Internet Protection Act allows a level of local control as it
relates to school district implementation of filtering.
People of Interest...
Darren Kuropatwa - http://adifference.blogspot.com/
"Scribe for a Day" - classroom method turned to a blog.
Started as a class job, task and has now turned in to somewhat of a
competition that focused not only on creativity but the writing process and
Vicki Davis - Educational Technologist - Cool Cat Teacher Blog
David Langhorst - Guerrilla Season - Book project Blog
Jen Dorman - Collaborative Simulation between school in Bucks County, PA and
one in South Korea
Dean Shareski - Edublogger (skyped live from conference with us)
Lisa Parisi - 24 year educator who has been rejuvinated by technology.
Maria Knee - Kindergarten Teacher (not a digital native but one of the most innovative teachers Steve knows.)
Did you know...
Australia spent 84,000,000 on a country wide filter system for home - a 16 year old student cracked it in 30 minutes. The students message to everyone was, imagine what we could have done with that amount of money to educate the population.
A 17 year old student cracked the iPhone software and share that with the world.
Sites worthy of note...
Wikis behind the firewall - http://mguhlin.wikispaces.com/walledgarden
http://www.ostube.de/en/ostube - Free open source "You Tube" type application. All you need is ability to download software and access to district web server.
http://www.mogulus.com/ - Live broadcast via website.
http://www.blabberize.com - simple tool for adding simply animations, voice over to photographs.