Sunday, September 14, 2008

Across My Desk: September 13, 2008

Connectivism and Connected Knowledge
Amongst the chaos and buzz of my week came the invitation (put out to the blogosphere) to join the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge class with George Siemens and Stephen Downes. I hesitated, I explored, I thought about my other commitments, and then sadly decided it did not fit into my life just now. If you have time and interest I suggest you also read the associated blog for more information.

Once Upon a School
Well, here is another opportunity and a '...challenge for adults to support their local public schools.' Once Upon a School is an international challenge for educators around the world to make a difference to their community by taking on or infact initiating a project in a local school. There is money, a significant amount, as a prize to help the winner continue to develop the idea/project. More information from the Ted Prize website.

K12 Online Conference

A quick reminder about the K12 Online Conference coming up in less than a month. Wes Fryer released the publicity flyer. So, I invite you to open, print and post this around your school.

RezEd is the hub for learning and virtual worlds is another Ning I discovered this week. It's description says it is '.....providing practitioners using virtual worlds with access to the highest quality resources and research in the field to establish a strong network of those using virtual worlds for learning.'

See Dhaka
OK, this is an interesting one. My ex-student, Atif, from International School Dhaka, graduated from High School last year and is now in the USA studying Business Studies and Computer Science. It is great to stay in touch with students and to hear from them every now and then. This week Atif contacted me, in the usual way via GChat while we were both online. He wanted to know what I thought his website was worth as 'they' were calling back in half an hour to discuss him selling it to 'them'. What website? SeeDhaka of course! This is a site Atif put together for his Grade 10 Personal Project and it has developed ever since. I said not to put a figure on it and wait and see what they were offering. I tell you I do not have a head for business but this seemed the logical thing to do. An hour later Atif is back online reporting in. They offered him $5000 dollars!! but he did not sell....!! He is going to hang onto it longer as it is probably worth more now he thinks....well a bird in the hand.....good luck with this Atif!

Too Young?

You may be interested to read this about 'Twittering from the Cradle' and the impact social networking sites are having on young children. Parents adding babies to their Facebook sites, young children having online profiles etc. I will reserve judgement.......

ISTE Leadership Symposium at NECC 2008

While at NECC 2008 this year I participated, along with 7 other wonderful educators, in the ISTE Leadership Symposium and presented on Flat Classroom ideals. ISTE has put some of our presentations online. Our presentations attempted to show what NETS.S looks like in the classroom.

iPods in the Classroom

This one came from the ISTE SIGHC bulletin. It is a research paper detailing the use of iPods as a model project for 'innovative and engaging languyage instruction'. The iPod Project: A Mobile and Mini Lab reveals some interesting statistics about the rise in motivation, amongst other things, when using iPods for learning. The conclusion states, "Our results show that overall students appreciate quick and unrestricted access to their learning materials. They seem to prefer a “mobile mini-lab” to making the detour to the language lab. But our survey also brought out that students are not necessarily willing to spend much time on learning how the technology works. “I couldn’t get the recorder to work,” or “The thing kept freezing up on me!” may serve as a convenient excuse not to do the assignment. Most importantly, what became very clear in the course of our project is that if a language program would like to implement the use of iPods on a larger scale it would be absolutely necessary to provide students with their own iPods."
I encourage you to read the entire report!

Learning 2.008
In 2 days time I will be heading to Shanghai for the Learning 2.008 conference. Don't tell anyone but I am still trying to finish my 3 presentations! The complete presentaiton schedule was released over the weekend, and what a great program! I invite you to browse through and, if you are not one of the 500+ attendees I hope you cna join us virtually. My 3 sessions will be open to virtual participation via Keep reading this blog for more details in few days.

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