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Pre-conference Session: Classroom For The Future - Administrators (Fred's Report)

Leading for Educational Change in a 1:1 Computer Environment



DESCRIPTION: This workshop will explore issues encountered by Classrooms for the Future administrators and Technology Directors as 1:1 computing is implemented in their schools. Participants will be actively engaged in practical implementation strategies and will be invited to continue the conversation through an interactive learning community.


9:00 Holly Jobe gave a welcome and introduction to the group. She gave the status of the CFF program to date and the numbers of computers purchased, teachers involved.
  • As of February all installation have taken place and they are in the prep stage for year 3.
  • Governor's Budget Proposal 2008-2009 has $90 million for equipment and $20 million for coaches.
  • Plan to add an additional 253 schools for a total of 611 by Year 3.
  • Year 3 guidelines will be released February 11 with Grants due 2PM Sharp on April 11.
  • Even district that have maxed out their grant are still eligible for the Coach's money.
  • Year 3 Pre-Grant meetings will take place in early March. Existing grantees do not need to attend.
  • Take the worksheet formula for what you are eligible for, subtract what you have now, what is left is what you may include in the Year 3 Grant.
  • Grant webinars will be held March 4 through March 17.
  • eMbedded Learning Followup session will be held May 6 or 7 in Harrisburg.
  • The 1:1 Conference registration will be up and open by the end of the month. An Administrators summit meeting will be held on April 28. We are encouraged to come. Presenters will be NAPA New Tech High. This will be limited to 100 participants.
  • She also mentioned the "Taking It Global" website.



Enabling The New Classroom Conversation.


9:15 Cole Camplese of Penn State was introduced. Link to Cole's Presentation

Cole W. Camplese serves as the Director of Education Technology Services at the Pennsylvania State University. As Director, it is his responsibility to oversee University-wide initiatives with a focus on impacting teaching and learning with technology. He guides teams in the appropriate uses of technologies in the contexts of teaching and learning. His primary area of focus is the integration of emerging technologies into learning spaces. At Penn State, the overwhelming challenge is providing scalable solutions that the nearly 90,000 students and 5,000 faculty can successfully use to enhance their teaching and learning environments. Camplese has recently worked to integrate emerging technologies into curricular activities at Penn State. He and his team have led to the creation of the Blogs at Penn State, Podcasts at Penn State, and the Digital Commons. These tools are now being used to support new approaches to teaching and learning with technology.

Technology is only technology to those born before technology. - Alan Kay

What we will cover today:

Expectations of the Digital Native:
  • Always available, invisible access to all information from all their devices.
  • Technology that can match what they do outside.
  • Integration of technology into learning in meaningful ways - not "death by PowerPoint"

Cole showed a great series of slides on how the "technology" products are increasingly interwoven. His 1975 slide showed a list of products, routes into the home, display types and what he called local storage with a series of arrows. In his current day slide each column has more than doubled and tripled in size with many more arrows. His "Tomorrow" slide is completely black indicating so many devices that interrelate with each other with lines going from each to each.

Result of this - everything is changed.... how information is accessed, controlled and created.
  • Searching today is researching.
  • 43% listen to radio on computers.
  • Video consumption has changed with DVR and Tivov devices.
  • Significant percentage of PSU students now create YouTube content (I believe 20%) regularly.

He showed a great series of quotes about significant technologies and had us guess what it was...
  • "We are living in times of accelerated change... this technology can help boys and girls to be intelligent about important events... it can bring them the good things in life" (Radio in 1940)
  • "This technology appealed at once to the eye and to the ear, thus naturally forming the habit of attention, which is so difficult to form by the study of books...Whenever a pupil does not fully understand, it will have the opportunity...of enlarging and making intelligible." (Chalkboard 1855)
  • "...the existing system is utterly inefficient. The teacher...may pour it in the ear, or extract it from the printed page, but unless he teaches through the eye...no satisfactory instruction can be conveyed." (Overhead 1856)
  • "It is going to make school so attractive that a big army with swords and guns couldn't keep boys and girls out of it." (Movies, 1911)
  • "...much if not all the knowledge schools presently try to teach with such pain and expense and such limited successs will be learned, as the child learns to talk, painlessly, successfully, and without organized instruction." (Computers 1980)

History of the Web:

Web 1.0 was very static, hard to create for and basically a one-way platform.
Web 2.0 is easy, available and collaborative. What Tim O'Reilly termed the "architecture of participation".
Web 2.0 is social, cooperative and engaged.

Key Web 2.0 technologies include RSS, Podcasts, Blogs, Wikis, Social Bookmarking, Photo Sharing, Social networking, collaborative writing. He said the first killer app of Web 2.0 was easy participation.

New Perspectives:

What to do as teachers? What is our place in Web 2.0? Should we be passive or active?

"Today's students are not the same ones our educational system was designed to teach" - Marc Prensky

He showed slides of what he called: Teaching and Learning 1.0 -- Children were all sitting in rows, very orderly. Thes phots were at least 100 years old and aside form the quill pens and old wood desks - look like today's classrooms. The teacher is the center. Students expected to mirror the teacher. The factory model which is what they were being trained to enter.

In Teaching and Learning 2.0 rows disappear, walls disappear. Expertise is not concentrated but decentralized, diffused yet shared. Students are not mirrors but amplifiers.
What to do:
  • Understand the tools - blogging, video creation, tagging, photo journals, etc.
  • Choose one tool to start with - don't get bogged down trying to know all.
  • Encourage or inspire students digital expression.
  • Give them greater ownership and meet them where they are as they learn better from each other. - Integrate them into the learning landscape.
  • Create inspirational learning spaces - fun, collaborative.

Three Themes:

These three are the drivers behind Web 2.0. A lot of what we'll talk about here will never make it through the firewall!
Trend 1 - Social Spaces - These are environments that enable formation of online profiles that enhance connections and collaborations.
  • Facebook - 80% of college students are on facebook - average number of friends for a Facebook user is 283;
  • MySpace - 50% of students have these accounts. A lot of teens start here and then move on to Facebook - estimates of 60% created MySpace accounts;
  • Ning is growing in popularity.
  • Almost a quarter of students report they spend five hours per day on one of these - more time than they report sending on homework.
  • Raises the issue of safety and security concerns - offensive behavior, unwanted contact - more and more are making use of the privacy features. Make this a part of the conversation - don't ignore it.
  • Students say they use these because it is social, active, easy, controllable, expressive and NOT regulated by adults.

Trend 2 - User created Content - Users of Web 2.0 are no longer passive recipients of information. They are not active creators of it.
  • 50% of teens who are online actively contribute material to the online community. Contrast with just 22% of adults.
  • Content they post includes pictures, videos, blog posts.
  • Girls dominate most elements of content creation: 35% of teen females blog and 20% of males. 54% of girls post photos regularly as opposed to 40% of boys. Boys DO post more videos.
  • Most sya they do it as they like the conversation it generates as others comment on their works
  • Use a variety of communication forms: cell phone, text messaging, instnat messaging, email - in that order. And they report ONLY using email to communicate with older folks. Most people who do blog keep writing.
  • The blog model is a better / easier route for students to publish than HTML (webpage) publishing. Said at PSU all have access to start a web page but less than 20% have activated it. They prefer the ease of blogs and wikis.
  • People who start blogs keep on writing.

Professional benefits of blogs or wikis: faculty course pages, e Portfolios, note management (such as this wiki), course conversations, team work spaces, podcasting environments.

He went into some detail about the process of doing this via a more traditional web page:
  • Find some sort of authoring tool - html editor (Frontpage).
  • Design the page.
  • Have to then publish the new or updated web page back onto the Internet somehow and somewhere. He said publishing at PSU is so cumbersome a process few attempt it.
  • Open a web browser to view the product but it cannot be changed there - one must go back and start all over - what he called "Rinse and Repeat" to make corrections.

The Blog / Wiki Model:
  • Authenticate to a blog or wiki site. - Log in!
  • Click the Edit button and type!
  • Click the Save button and publish!

It is easy to see why this is so attractive for them.

Trend 3 - Mobility - iPods, MP3 Players, Digital Cameras and Camcorders, Cell Phones, Laptops - these all have increased mobility of the Digital Natives. If should be the point of every educator's mission to incorporate something from their world in every lesson.
  • We throw away 426,000 cell phones a day.
  • Young are different in their use of the devices. He showed a chart detailing demographics of phone use by age - hard to see.
  • Over 60% of young adults have a digital camera and of the popular cameras out there three are cell phone cameras.
  • MP3 ownership is increasing with each new class of incoming freshmen.
  • Podcasting and RSS offer the opportunity of getting information when and where you desire it. Universities are getting into it in a big way. 77% of students reported listening to class podcasts to prepare for exams. The Universty produced over 3,000 course podcasts last fall and is one of dozens of schools where they are available on iTunes UDirectory
  • Laptops - 30% of adults own laptops while 53% of college students.
  • Trend towards more and more content - electronic textbooks, magazines,etc being available via small handheld devices like cell phones, blackberries.
Meaning?
  • Access is changed.
  • Notion of presence is altered.
  • Conversations and contacts potentially never end - just interupted.
  • Creating, acquiring, consuming media is now not tied to location.

Today's students are different but still crave interaction and feedback. Technology will continue to evolve and education must find ways to make modern technological features of use in pursuing the mission.

BREAK

Blogs as Personal Content Management and RSS


11:20

Topics:
  • Introduction to RSS
  • Subscriptions and staying current.
  • Working the Readers
  • Blogs and personal content management.
  • Reuse of content

RSS stands for "Rich Site Simulation" or more commonly, "Really Simple Syndication" It is just pure content - without the visuals. It is based on xml code which essentially allows you to use a website called an aggregator or reader to assemble all of your content in one easily accessible location. Instead of going to the site - the new content from the site comes to you. Saves time!

He showed the Commoncraft video "RSS in Plain English" as a means of introducing this concept.

Google Reader is one of these RSS aggregators. Others include Bloglines and Newsgator.

He showed us Google Reader and described the various components. It has featres he particularly likes and finds useful like the ease or organization and ability to create larger aggregates called metasites. Manage subscriptions - see folders (tags) - click the radio button to make it public.

He then went to the New York Times webside and showed the various RSS feeds and how one "subscribes" to them. (Right click, copy the URL, goes into the aggregator and paste).

RSS Feed can be combined to made on meta site. He showed a blog site where he had his students thesis proposals as RSS feeds. That way each time they made an update to their proposal blog it automatically fed over to him.

Blogging as a personal management system. Blog website made up of individual posts that can be commented on. (Can't edit these as that would be "wiki"-like.)

As a definition Blogs are individual entries started originally as a place of personal reflection or storytelling. But these entires can be viewed by others and commented upon.

He showed a slide with a lot of statistics about blogging: 70 million or so blogs today, with about 120,000 new ones created daily/ He said there are 1.4 blogs created every second, 1.3 million blog posts per day and 15 blog posts per second every second.

Possible Curricular Uses:
  • Course pages
  • Course conversations
  • Team work spaces
  • Podcasting
  • Portfolios
  • Note management.

Academic blogs feature ability to publish publicly or privately, ability to include categories, tags or keywords.

Other blog sites:

Blogger.com (owned by Google), wordpress.com, edublogs.com. This latter is a great, free resource. Here you can host a protected, private blog service for your district.

Reduce, Revise, Recycle.

Because these feeds are pure content it can and should be reused all over which makes it more than just a reading delivery system.

Publish in a blog, let the RSS feed update the static web page, course syllabus page, course news page. Thus you publish it once and the feed does the rest.
Feed2JS.org - allows you to take the content of any blog and feed it anywhere online.

12:00
LUNCH

How Do We Manage 21st Century Tools In CFF School


1:00 Mark Erb of Upper Merion School District was introduced. Link to Mark's Seminar Wiki

Mark Erb has classroom teaching experience at every level, teaching a variety of subject areas. His main focus is how educational technology, when implemented in a meaningful way, can bring about a positive and profound impact for the individual student, the class, and the teacher. He is currently the Director of Technology for the Upper Merion Area School District. Prior to coming to Upper Merion, Mark was the chief architect for Kutztown Area School District¹s One-to-One initiative. Along with his technical background Mark has experience as a curriculum director and an educational leader. He is currently guiding his present district through the Statewide Classrooms for the Future Grant while moving towards a true One-to-One environment for all district high school students.

* Expanding Your 21st Century Tool Box

He started by spending some time on the following different web sites. Some were interesting. Some had costs involved which will not work in schools all that well. Not sure of what he was trying to get at with a few of these aside from showing what he felt were "cool things."

Quia - this is a subscription service (cost $50 per teacher, someone else said no it is $6 per teacher). You can use this to create online quizzes / tests / worksheets. Everything that you create is given an unique URL.

Jing Project - Here you can capture images, record video and share both online. You can use this to screen capture a small area of the desktop and record what you are doing in that area.

Slideshare - allows user to upload PowerPoints and make comments on them. It is basically a PowerPoint slideshow sharing site.

Voicethread - he said that this site is good for taking something abstract and actually simplifying it. It is a fee site also.

Comic Life - Mark reported that this was good for taking something abstract and actually making something to simplify it. Pay for it but there are some free features.

Rubistar - this is a well-known website which allows you to quickly make scoring rubrics.

He talked a bit about the state of Maine's One-to-one project, the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, and how they have created a website with a lot of good information. He recommended this as a resource for CFF teachers and administrators.

* Managing Your 21st Century Tools

He spent a lot of time on having small group discussion on the following topics. He gave us access to a wiki where we could enter the results of the discussion. Few seemed to do so. Refer to Mark's wiki link above for information that was entered.
Student Tech Help Team
  1. How are students chosen? (Usually by teachers and cleared by guidance - and one from each "click" CFF Student cohort - read articles from embedded learning and use apprentice coach)
  2. Who is responsible for the students? (CFF Coach and Computer Club Facility)
  3. What type of training was offered to the team? (One day a week after school training, summer with vendor, study halls, lunch)
  4. When did the training take place?
  5. Do the student helpers get any additional credits or other perks? (Given a computer 24/7 and a heftier machine)
  6. What are the student Help Team responsibilities? (Will help with printers and plant them in the classroom with Coach help)
  7. What are your plans for the future of your student helpers?
Inventory Management
  1. What system do you use to inventory the CFF hardware and other district hardware?
  2. Who is responsible for maintaining the inventory?
  3. What imaging software do you use? (Novell's Zen)
  4. Is your image process automated?
  5. What is your plan for reimaging and handling software updates?
Security Procedures
  1. Do you limit access to specific applications on the laptops?
  2. What software do you use to limit access?
  3. Do your teachers have administrative access to their laptops?
  4. What do you use for content filtering?
  5. Who or what determines what sites are blocked?
  6. What is your procedure for blocking / unblocking a site?
Student and Faculty Printing
  1. Do you limit student and /or faculty printing? (Students limited by a software babysitter)
  2. Do you monitor student printing? (Only as far as the software allows)
  3. Where are your printers located for your CFF teachers? (CFF teachers have printers in their rooms but have been asked not to allow students to print except for special circumstances)
  4. Do you have a "paperless" system of shared faculty folders? (We're just breaking the ice - most teacher have no desire to change. We're slowly moving them in the right direction. Some have paperless systems of submission - most do not.)
Help Desk Software
  1. Do you use a district help desk software system?
  2. If yes, what are you using? Would you recommend it?

4:00 Session ends.