Texas Bluebonnet Writing Project Blog

Saturday, October 28, 2006

State Writing Conference

Hello Everyone,
I attended the State Writing Conference followed by TSU- San Marcos conference on October 20 - 21. Bothe were informative and introduced me to interesting and delightful professionals. I left inspired and proud to be a part of the NWP. I have attached notes from both conferences with reflections included throughout. Not only did I learn strategies for my students, but I gained knowledge to share with all of you and observations of things to keep in mind during the planning of a conference on top of all the other things that need attention! I highly recommend attending any conferences or workshops that include Writing Project affiliates. I look forward to November conference in Nashville.

See Attached.State%20Writing%20Conference%20reflection.doc

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Beyond4Walls Conference

Okay, thanks Scott for letting us know about this. I'm registered and ready to go. There were too many good sessions to choose from. I thought that if more of us were going, we could divide and conquer.

The big news was that:

We are pleased to have Dan Schmit, author of "KidCast: Podcasting in the Classroom" and the companion podcast, also called "KidCast: Podcasting in the classroom" (http://www.intelligenic.com/kidcast ) as the Keynote speaker.

We are also excited to have Wes Fryer, Director of Education Advocacy with AT&T, and author of the website Moving at the Speed of Creativity, (http://www.speedofcreativity.org) presenting a session on “Copyright, Intellectual Property, and Internet Safety Issues”

That's right....Wes Fryer!

I hope you all managed to register!


Monday, October 23, 2006

Six Word Story. Say what?

It has been a few days since I blogged here. No, I am not going to remind you that the K12Online Conference starts today. (oops).

What I do want to share with you is a cool wiki writing idea that another writing project came up with. Here is his invitation to join:

Hi everyone

I hope no one minds me presenting a collaborative idea to all of us (I like collaboration, it turns out).
I just received my recent edition of Wired magazine, and they had a very cool feature on Six Word Sci-Fi Stories, and I thought, shoot, we could do that.
So why don't we?
I created a Wiki (through SeedWiki) and I want to invite anyone, and everyone, to go there and write your own six word tech story.
The directions are on the Wiki.

The site is: http://www.seedwiki.com/wiki/sixwordstory/

I look forward to scanning your stories (it's six words after all).

Kevin Hodgson
Western Mass Writing Project

Janelle, Kelly, and I are already posted. That gives us three from our project. Help increase the numbers with your submissions. Now one of the examples he shares has foul language in it, so I would not share this site with your students (Hello, Bible Belt). Just go and create your own. I am using my class blog to do it with my students. Then we are going to vote on the Top 10 at the end of the week. This is going to be one of the most challenging writing assignments they have all year.

We will not start posting until tomorrow, but you can find our blog here. The student blogs are listed on the right hand side. You can read through their work and comment if you wish. The class password is woms. I still get all of the comments and posts first before they ever hit the web. I can delete or approve at will. Make sure you read Thien V.'s blog. He is an ESL student that has a unique grasp of the English language in his writing. I love it, although my GHS (grammatically high strung) partner next door hates it. Oh well.

We do not have a lot posted since we just started a few weeks ago. Last year's groups have been archived and cannot be accessed by the public(bummer).

Monday, October 16, 2006

K12Online Keynote - It was awesome!

Okay. So I only "saw" Pete there. (Sounds like a party memory.) It was a fantastic time to discuss David's keynote. If I missed you, I am sorry. Not everyone was using their real names. I have nothing to hide...yet. Anyway, We used a software program called Elluminate. It automatically downloads the needed stuff to your machine when you log in. The entire session will be available online soon, so you can still catch up on what you missed. David also put some great how-to documents on the k12Online site. Be sure to download them for future reference.

I hope to read about your experiences here over the next few weeks. I need a bit to compile my thoughts about this session before I post any more (and I am late for Bible study after skipping another meeting to be online for this event tonight).

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Hawaii Quake

Aloha! Janelle and I are safe and sound on Oahu, HI post quake.

I was at breakfast yesterday when the quake hit! I was dishing up scrambled eggs from the buffet when the building started shaking! We had storms scheduled to roll in and my first thought was, "This is one heck of a wind accompanying the storm!" Then the shaking continued and I remembered my daughter telling me their were earth quake tremors in Hawaii and I quickly realized the earth was a quaking!

More later. . .back to the conference.

Key Note

Model of Authentic Learning
Key Note: Monday, October 16, 2006

Authentic assessment
Task-matters the most—how can we design really good task that enables them to carry so much learning. Research investigated examples of courses or units that use authentic tasks as a framework for the completion of an entire semester course.

Have real world relevance
Are ill-defined
(get notes from her paper_
Contextualized problem

Complex problems simplified

Review a book in a way that is appropriate for a real world journal. All the students act as real editorial board members and select the articles that go in a book.

Example: Business Writing

Authentic Task Web Site—

(Note—got to implement lots more multimedia into all courses)

(Note—get these problems sites into 5309)

History_not just a name on the wall—to help students research what the lives behind the names on the Memorial. ( Australian War Memorial Site)


Institutional restrictions
Technology problems
Does the setting need to be real?
Problems must raise the concepts
Alexxi (1988)
Physical fidelity (smith, 1986) cognitive realism more important.

Engagement of students is critical.

Some students resist the suspension of disbelief—Samuel Taylor Coleridge first coined the phrase—the reader’s response to poetry—today—the response of the human experience to art.

Some students:
Get angry
Don’t get engage
If task is authentic, they get won over and they use the resource available.
Students often want instructor engagement didactically or they feel they are not getting their monies worth.

Bain (2003) ask if constructivism has gone too far and do we need more instructivism.

Situated learning
Communities of practice
Distributed intelligence

(add researchers in and finish this lit)

Where to go now?

Develop research or design-based research studies needed.

Analysis of practical problems
Development of solutions with a theoretical framework
Evaluation and testing of solutions in practice
Documentation and reflection to produce design principles


Site to support presentation—links and web pages!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

K12Online Conference

K-12 Online Conference 2006I know I keep reminding you about this event, but it is even more relevant to our recent conversations on this board. The opening keynote is Monday evening at 5:00 our time. This entire conference is free and requires no registration (outside of maybe signing in to a live Skype/Elluminate call).

Consider these session titles and then check out the agenda with times here:
Derailing Education: Taking Sidetrips for Learning
Wiki Collaboration Across the Curriculum
I Did Not Know You Could do THAT with Free Web Tools
Blog if You Love Learning: An Introduction to Weblogs in Education (Basic)
Who's Teaching Who? Are We Ready
Using Web 2.0 Tools in a Grade One Classroom
All About Internet Audio (Advanced)
TIGed Basics: A Beginners Guide to Social Networking in the Classroom (Basic)
Second Nature-Extending dialogue in the blogosphere
Two-Way Teaching: An Overview of the Read/Write Web in Education
RSS- A Four Part Series (Basic/Advanced)
Free One Click Podcast Publishing
Listening to the voices: student empowerment through collaborative learning projects beyond the school walls
iPods- iSpeak- iSing- iListen- iLearn
Getting to Know Flickr (Basic)
RSS for Educators (Advanced)
Globally Literate
Hardy's Wessex: video editing and learning online
Moodling Around: A Virtual Tour (Basic)
Wiki While You Work (Basic)
What is RSS and How do I Start Using It?
Unleash the Potential: Remix Obstacles into Opportunities!
At-Risk' Students in Our Virtual High School
Not Just for Kids: Using Social Software to Create Community among Teachers and Provide Sustained Professional Development
It's a Small World After All!
No Teacher Left Behind - The Urgency Of Web 2.0
Glow: Lighting Up Learning in Scotland
Social Bookmarking, Using Del.icio.us
Around the World in 80 minutes
Cultivating Digital Educators
Internet Access with Minimal Filtering
The 21st Century Educator's toolbox: Developing a Professional Learning Environment
Home Grown: Within/Without the district
Mobile Learning Redefined
Trash to Treasures: Creating Your Own Computer Lab
Planning the 21st Century School
Toward a System for Online Curriculum-Sharing
Selling Web 2.0 to Senior Management
It's Elementary Kids, Working Web 2.0 With Grade 3-4

Jeff Utecht, Vicki Davis, Anne Davis, David Warlick, Ewan McIntosh, Bud Hunt, Alan Levine, and Terry Freedman are just a few of the great presenters on hand.

Please consider taking part in this event and even blogging your thoughts here on this blog so we can all benefit from it. This is a great starting point to give our program even more direction in this area of our professional development (not to mention some great skills to pick up for our classroom teaching). I hope to see some of you logging in to the live events, but remember, much of it will be accessible at your leisure. If you find something you like, link to it for the rest of us to find easily. Have a great week!

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

My Thoughts on Jeannine's "Susan Patrick" Post

We have so much to think about from this post. It was one of the things we talked about during the meeting today. There is a paradigm shift that needs to occur, and those in education for longer lengths of time are the ones stopping it from happening. In the meantime, our students are moving on without us and losing ground to students from other countries. These are my reflections to this topic:

School 2.0 is a Department of Education project that needs to gain HUGE momentum. You can get the materials for free to start the discussion. Why not order them and pass them on to the powers that be. If that doesn't work, find some like-minded co-workers and start your own discussion. Let it affect your own classroom instruction. Here is what the School 2.0 site has to say:
"School 2.0 is a brainstorming tool designed to help schools, districts and communities develop a common education vision for the future and to explore how that vision can be supported by technology. School 2.0 provides a "big picture" perspective that allows for a common point of entry so that all community stakeholders can participate in this important conversation. While School 2.0 depicts a variety of educational and management scenarios that utilize technology, the examples, information and ideas included are designed to serve as prompts for discussion and should not be construed as a recommendation of any particular technology or scenario. Rather, School 2.0 is purposely a sketch and a work in progress. It is designed to facilitate community discussions and preparations for short and long term educational and management goals."

The Partnership for 21st Century Technology Skills that was listed can be found here.

The National Education Technology Plan is another great resource we should use in our districts. Texas is having problems passing its own Long Range Technology Plan because of the fear that our teachers are not prepared for it. How can they be prepared if we do not require the districts to prepare them. Read what Miguel Guhlin has to say about the topic in his post "Blocking Ed-Tech Progress." Let's step up and encourage this discussion in our districts even before the state wises up and steps up to the plate. This has a huge impact since it directly affects NCLB:

"In addition to the many indicators of tangible progress, the law is stimulating lively debate over how to re-think and redesign educational models to raise standards, retrain educators, reapportion budgets, exploit new technologies and provide students with the technological and individual support they need."

What I like best about the Long Range Plan is the steps it offers for success. While they may not be perfect, they are great starting points:

1. Strengthen Leadership

For public education to benefit from the rapidly evolving development of information and communication technology, leaders at every level – school, district and state – must not only supervise, but provide informed, creative and ultimately transformative leadership for systemic change.

2. Consider Innovative Budgeting

Needed technology often can be funded successfully through innovative restructuring and reallocation of existing budgets to realize efficiencies and cost savings. The new focus begins with the educational objective and evaluates funding requests – for technology or other programs – in terms of how they support student learning. Today, every program in No Child Left Behind is an opportunity for technology funding – but the focus is on how the funding will help attain specific educational goals.

3. Improve Teacher Training

Teachers have more resources available through technology than ever before, but some have not received sufficient training in the effective use of technology to enhance learning. Teachers need access to research, examples and innovations as well as staff development to learn best practices. The U.S. Department of Education is currently funding research studies to evaluate the effective use of technology for teaching and learning. The National Science Foundation also provides major support for educational research.

4. Support e-Learning and Virtual Schools

In the past five years there has been significant growth in organized online instruction (e-learning) and “virtual” schools, making it possible for students at all levels to receive high quality supplemental or full courses of instruction personalized to their needs. Traditional schools are turning to these services to expand opportunities and choices for students and professional development for teachers.

5. Encourage Broadband Access

Most public schools, colleges and universities now have access to high-speed, high-capacity broadband communications. However, broadband access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year could help teachers and students to realize the full potential of this technology and broadband technology needs to be properly maintained.

6. Move Toward Digital Content

A perennial problem for schools, teachers and students is that textbooks are increasingly expensive, quickly outdated and physically cumbersome. A move away from reliance on textbooks to the use of multimedia or online information (digital content) offers many advantages, including cost savings, increased efficiency, improved accessibility, and enhancing learning opportunities in a format that engages today’s web-savvy students.

7. Integrate Data Systems

Integrated, interoperable data systems are the key to better allocation of resources, greater management efficiency, and online and technology-based assessments of student performance that empower educators to transform teaching and personalize instruction.

So take these things into consideration at your next committee meeting within your district. Are your decisions helping your school progress in a positive direction for the future of your students? Or is it status quo for the sake of argument? Don't cheat your kids.

Joy Wiggins Power Point

Attached is Joy's ppt that she shared with Joyce, Scott, Barbara, and me. We brainstormed ideas and found that we compliment each other's goals. We all are looking forward for future collaboration. Joy's goal is to connect students from Tanzania, Dallas, Texas, Taos, New Mexico, and eventually creating a global network through writing and blogs. The purpose is to foster children's awareness of other cultures and to open discussion between cultures on global peace. This my own interpretation of her presentation. I encourage everyone to take the time to read throughout the ppt and check out the links that are included. She also gives a list multicultural literature to share with children that will lead to discussions of peace and conflict resolution on slide 40.

Presentation Title:
Matokeo ya Utafutaji
Peaceful Paths: An exploration of Peace through International Children’s Literature in Tanzania and the United States

Joy L. Wiggins, Ph.D
Assistant Professor Department of Curriculum and Instruction
College of Education
University of Texas at Arlington
Box 19227Arlington, TX 76019
(817) 272-0988

KeyNote: 10-14-06: Susan D. Patrick at E-Learn

Susan D. Patrick
President and CEO
North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL)

NACOL focuses on K-12 online learning.

What students are doing inside of school vs outside of school—what they are doing through their inside world vs their outside world.

Online learning—the single biggest transformational concept in education. It is leveling the playing field for students. Ideas about changing the system.

China is digitizing their whole curriculum.—building Wi Fi towers and broadcasting it out.

EU developing international baccalaureate programs—online.

Global Workforce (Tom Friedman—The World is Flat.)

• Competitiveness: Science, Technology. Engineering, Math
• Innovation, Risk-taking, Creativity
• China, India and Russia—3 billion
• Intel Science Competition 2004
o 65,000 Americans entered
o 6 million Chinese students
• Mexico Digital Curriculum and Instruction
• International E-Learning
o China India Japan Korea, European Union, Singapore, Australia, UK, Ghana, etc.
o Developing a new education strategy centered. Powered by online learning.
Mexico has an initiative to provide every single teacher with a laptop, digital curriculum, access to community technology centers.
Other countries are centering their educational strategies of E-Learning

Partnership for 21st Century Technology Skills

What students Need to Know: 21st Century ICT literacy

The future will demand people who can express themselves effectively with images, animation, sound, and video, solve real world problems that require processing and analysis of thousands of numbers,. Evaluate information for accuracy, reliability , and validity; and organize information into valuable knowledge, yet students are not learning these skills in school.

Six Key Elements of 21st Century Learning

1. Emphasize core subjects
2. Emphasize learning skills
3. Use 21st Century tools to develop learning
4. Teach and learning in 21st century context
5. Teach and learn 21st century content
6. Use 21st century assessments that measure 21srt century skills

Kids walk in the schoolhouse door, their faces become blank, as they realize they have to power down.

We assess with 1950s assessment models—bubble sheets—
Rethink the way we do everything—from textbooks to assessment.

Lease laptops instead of buying textbooks--$1.11 a day.

Went Out to Ask Students about What they thought about technology in schools—
$250,000 students gave feedback.

Distance Education in K-12 Public Schools 2002-2003

328,000 enrollments in 2002-2003
36% of public schools distrects have students enrolled in DE courses—not otherwise offered in the schools.

68% of online learning at secondary level.

90% use asynchronous iNternet based courses
51% use interactive two way learning

Sharing Research to Inform Policy

4 Key points

1. Online Learning Expands Options
2. Online Learning is Rapidly Growing
3. Is Effective: Equal of Better
4. Improves Teaching—Research from online teacher training program.
Teachers who teach online reported positive improvements in face-to-face, too
Of those who reported teaching face-to-face while teaching online or subsequently. Three in four reported a positive impact on their face to face teaching
(see her online presentation for research these points come from)

From the National Education Technology Plan—Towards a Golden Age in American Education (Goals)

• Every student should have access to e-learing
• Provide every student access to e-learning
• Enable every teacher to participate in e-learning training
• Encourage the use of e-learning options to meet NCLB
o Requirements
o Explore creative ways to fund e-learning
o Develop quality measures and accreditation standards for e-learning
• www.NationalEdTechPlan.org

Galllup Poll Oct 2005
40% of adults want students to take an online course to graduate

Michigan April 2006

• First state to require “online learning.”
• In new high school graduation requirements: “every student must have an online learning experience or course
• Need for online learning is greatest with students to access skills they will need to get ahead and compete in an increasingly technological workplace.

1952—Analogy from Dr. Seymour?

Project to develop fastest steamship—did and then Europe sent us the first cargo plane.

Systems Theory:
Are we redeveloping the steam ship or developing the first jet plane?

68% H.S. Graduation Rate
Prepare them for the world they are entering

System Design

Report—early 90s—Prisoners of Time

90% of fastest growing jobs are in technology
80% of jobs require at least 2 years of college
40% of high school have to go through basic remediation in basic skills

Silent Epidemic
Gates Foundation commissioned first study of high school drop outs
88% had passing grades
69^ were not mitivated to work hard
66% would have worked harder if more had been demanded of them
81% called for more real world learning opportunities

Transformation Vs Integration

Don’t rebuild the steamship!

Digital Divide Report
Capable, conscientious, concerned and optimistic generation, determined to succeed
96%--school is impt to their lives
(see online presentation)

12th graders perceptions about school –worsening—no connection between what is happening in our schools and happening in the real world.

What are our students telling us?

We have technology in our blood!

Creativity and Risk taking

• Your creativity is highest at six years of age—related to the number of questions asked per day.
• Lowest point: terminal seriousness at 44
• Bounce at retirement


Friday, October 13, 2006

Podcasts, Wikis and Blogs: Not in Kansas Anymore

Hi, here are some of our "finds" at E-Learn! Janelle and I are in this class this afternoon. Dr. Curtis J. Bonk from Indiana University--http://mypage.iu.edu~cjbonk
is the presenter.

New Term (to me) Cybrarians--cyber librarians

Incentives for students:

Web 2.0 Technology= Podcasts, Wiki's in Blogs needs to be integrated in courseware.
Free I Pods or Blackberries when you walk onto campu--freshmen class give aways.
Net Gen--always wired, online, multi tasking, doing something
Blackberries, I Pods, use in innovative ways for higher order thinking skills.

Technology is an incentive--extrinsic motivator.

Chronicle of Higher Ed--Old schoold technology--like e-mails. Students don't check e-mails now--IM software.

Young and Wired--Foreign language practice lessons online--podcasts.
Ball State--Most Wireless Campus--more likely to attract students to come in.

Checking lecture notes online.

TEchnology is core of being students in the world today.

Five hottest things in the US on Campus Today
1. I Pods
Facebook.com account
Drinking other alcohol
Text messaging friends

Learning and Working in Clubs and Pubs

Enhance relationships—social habit—social networking—June 5, 2006
Couple Surfing—Yahoo News June 3, 2006

Nature and Nurture: An Interactional Model

Technology—Pedagogy—People, Society and Culture

Human Processing System enhanced by multimedia (Gagne and Dricscoll, 1988, Essentials of learning for instruction p. 13)

The more nodes we have—cognitive structures in the mind, the more able were are to retrieve that information.

Richard Mayer—Learning and Instruction, 13, 2003-125-139.

Words, picture, animation, narration, eyes, ears, words—multimedia components and how they interact:
• Multimedia Effect—learn more deeply from pictures andwords thanwords alone.
• Coherence Effect—learn more deeply wh
• Spatial Contiguity effect—learn more deeply when
• Personalization Effect—conversation styles are better than stuffy boring formal styles

Animation Research:
Rieber (1990)
Hannafin & Peck, 1988

Generational Impact—Differences between Boomers and Gen Xers

Silent Genearation—

Neo millenials (born after 2000)
Diana Oblinger: Boomers Gen-Xers Millenials
Teaching and Learning Online by Terry Anderson

Sept 22nd 2006 Chronicle of Higher Ed—Students spend 27.5% on technology

U-Learning in Palm of Hand—PMP—Personal Multimedia players—all videos free from Korean version of PBS

Digital Universe—high level video content—more rigorous than Wikipedis—is set to compete with Wikipedia.

Students starting to eschew laptops for handhelds.

January 13, 2005 Education with Student News sponsored by Dell—Students in South Dakota report liking online learning better.

Interactivity—Students won’t stay in course unless they experience interactivity.


Moore, M.G. (1989( Editorial: Three types of interaction American Journal of Distance Education, 2 (2), 1-7,

Learning through the Backdoor—highly recommend--$1 on Amazon—old publication—but great theory

Moore is Charles Wiedermeyer’s mentor

Moore—Handbook of Distance Education

Matrix of Web Interactions (Cummings, Bonk, & Jacobs (2002, Internet in Higher Ed)

Moving to an age where technology is about sharing what we do—first we enhanced, then we extended, transformed what we do, and now, share what we do—4th Generation of Technology

It’s an environment—an ecological model of learning!

Behaviorist Interactivity—not what we are doing here.

Designing Interaction—Target what is developmentally appropriate.

What is the Interaction Rationale (Ellen Wagner, April, 2004)

Interaction is the most debated construct in the world of technology mediated learning design and development.

In these settings interaction is the defining attribute of the quality and value.
Interactivity is the most expensive component of a technology mediated learning design.

InternetNews.com Sept 5, 2006 A Flashy Way to Captivate? Erin Joyce

Simulation: Xer
• Multi-taskers
• Short Attention Spans
• Tell me what I need to know
• Options

New Millenial Learning Styles—Chris Dede, Educause 2005

Campusmoviefest.com showcases the collab work of thousands of student filmmakers from around the world.

Digital Storytelling

Judith Boettcher—Campus Technology, June 2006—How P2P Will Change Collaborative Learning

P2P = Peer to Peer Technologies

Prepackaged Authoritative Content—Publisher
Guided Learning Materials—Developed by Professor
Spontaneous Performance Content—More student controlled.

Neomillenial Learning Styles

• Blended/personalized places (not specialize computer labs)
• Mobile wireless computing
• Avatars and personal agents
• Smart objects
• Virtual worlds
• Augmented Reality

We no longer learn apart from one another.

Trend #1: Blogging (75.000 new blogs each day, USA To
Stephen Downe’s Blog—most day, March 27, 2006)

35 million blogs out there.

Blogging #1 word that had to be defined my Merriam’s
Last Year—Podcasting

Famous Blogs:
Stephen Downes
Will Richardson

Looking for a particular blog:
Technorati to find blogs
Google blog search to find blogs.

China says number of blogs tops 34 million with 55 million regular readers.

Weblogs are hugely popular in China—not government controlled

Stephen Downes defines blogs in 2004. . . .Blogs are, in their purest form, the core of what has come to be called personal publishing. (p. 18)

Linda Evarts (Surprise weddings)--Surprise wedding of the informational journaling and.

Brandon Hall, . .dated entries on a given topic or scheme. They can include search feedback. . .

How to Create a Blog

Make list of 3-5 usernames you like (see handout)

Education Use of Blogs

Sample Uses of Weblogs

1. Instructor or Tutor blog: resources, information, space to chat.
2. Learner blog: reflections, sharing links and pics, fosters ownership of learning.
3. Partner blog: work on team projects or activities
4. Class blog: international exchanges, projects, PBL
5. Revision: review and explode sentences from precious posts, add details
6. Nutshell: summarize themes or comments across blogs
7. Blog on blog: reflections on feelings confusions, and experiences with blogs

Blogger Software:

Korea: Cyworld

New Pew Survey Defines Today’s Blogs (Jimmy Moore, July 22, 2006)

List includes 10 different topics for blogs—education not even on the list.

Most bloggers are young—(18-30)
Most bloggers have never published their writings before.
Most bloggers remain anonymous. . .

Blogger Software:

Korea: Cyworld

New Pew Survey Defines Today’s Blogs (Jimmy Moore, July 22, 2006)

List includes 10 different topics for blogs—education not even on the list.

Most bloggers are young—(18-30)
Most bloggers have never published their writings before.
Most bloggers remain anonymous. . .

Adventure Blogging (Ben Saunders/Mark Fennell) Explorer websites—fascinating chronicles of what is going on in the world.

Mark Fennell—first person to go under the North Pole solo and film himself
Ben Saunders—1200 mile journey across the Artic Sea—solo
Explorers Web
The Pioneer Check Point

Weather Reports
Expeditions in Africa
Adventures that happen all around the world

Polar Quest Ambassadors

Now have marathons on the North Pole.
First blind person to run at the North Pole—5 hrs and xx minutes

You can now register for the North Pole marathon.
Antarctic Marathon—

Business Blogs—wrapped around their products: USA Today article

Jimmy Wales--Started Wikipedia

16th most used site in the world.

Power of wikipedias is hyperlinked.
All the variations of wikipedia—Wikimania
Makes money through donations—people contribute to PayPal.

Digital Universe—content peer reviewed—free videos


A wiki is a collection of web pages that can be easily viewed and modified by anyone, providing a means for sharing, learning and collaboration.

Wikis can be used to create content on the fly, as a repository for information about their roles, discuss project processes, and share knowledge and insights.

Wikis are free, online writing spaces.
Wikis use simple formatiing rules, so no HTML understanding required.
Highly collaborative. .

Teachers New to Wikis

Wikis are a writing space
Writer build upon, edit, and revise
Power and authority reside in the community not in an individual
Permissions can be set to limit readers and writers who participate

How to use in Teaching

Provide space for free writing
Debate course topics and readings
Share resources
Maintain group progress journal
Require group or class essay
Have sudent revise Wikipedia pages
Write a wikibook


Wiki different from blogs in that it is changeable text.

WIKI means—What I Know Is

Wikiwiki in Hawaiian means Quick
Wiki was going to be called the Quick Web—instead

Wiki Farm—refers to a server or a collection of servers that provides wiki hosting, or a group of wikis hosted on such servers


Edutopia—GLEF George Lucas Education Foundation
Toss the Traditional Textbook—Open Source Education Resources Can Replace Stale Old Volumes

Wiki Books—has a web site with new wikibooks
Blended Learning in K-12—free book at Wiki books.
Over a 1000 free books at Wiki books—Over 12,000 modules or chapters.

Book 2.0—professors in the US putting book on the Internet before they publish.

Wikibookians are under the age of 25 and the majority of them are males.

Over half have less than a 2 or 4 year college degree.

They write to make a contribution and share knowledge, personal growth and publish work.

MIT—will have a center for collective intelligence (WIKI)

Thomas Malone (looks at motivation online) Google and Wikipedia are technologies we can model after

Podcasting—Online Radio Show
Adam Curry—the most well known podcaster out there—Revolutionary

Adam’s office—in Guilford, England.

Professor who put up their lecture notes online—

Kids are putting up podcasts
Coulle Kids Podcast—put up local and national news.

Teachers TV News Podcast

Educational applications
1. Recordings of lectures
2. Supplemental text book or entire book
3. Student projects
4. Interviews
5. Langauge lessons
6. Oral reports
7. K-12 classroom interaction
8. Downloadable library


Provide a way to distri ute an audio ro video episode via the Internet at any time.
Comview.com let’s you call in lectures and then they are broadcast on your vodcast

Podcasts Guides

Willow Webs

Podcasts in Business—Dual Coding
Watch, Listen Read

Unique, online, object-based content delivery
Fingertip knowledge in business

Purdue—has all their lectures put up on Boilercast.
Language Learning—ChinesePod—learn Mandarin

Teachers in Your Pocket—Your I Pod—Learn Mandarin with your Chinese Pod---

ESL online—podcasts—lessons are free but the exercises are not.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Google Docs and Spreadsheets - FREE

Stacy A. and I have been emailing back and forth for quite some time now trying to find something that would not be filtered by her district, and yet provide a collaborative writing opportunity for her students. I have been introduced to a large number of new tools out there, but they have all been blocked by her ISD. Maybe this one will get by the filter:
Welcome to Google Docs & Spreadsheets!
With Google Docs & Spreadsheets, you can:
* Use our online editor to format documents, spell-check and more.
* Upload Word documents, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML or text.
* Download documents to your desktop as Word, PDF and more.
* View your documents' revision history and roll back to any version.(handy when working with students; ssf)
Plus, since its online, you can:
* Invite others to share your documents by e-mail address.
* Edit documents online with whomever you choose.
* Publish documents online to the world, or to just who you choose.
* Post your documents to your blog.
To learn more about Google Docs & Spreadsheets, click here.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

If you are in one of those districts where seemingly everything is blocked on the Internet, I think many of you will find this exciting. Google, which most schools do not block, is now offering online, collaborative word processing. This is in addition to their online spreadsheets that works the same.

So if you have been wanting your students to do a collaborative piece of writing, set up a free account and invite them to work on the document. As you can see, documents are downloadable in many different file types. And for those who have Macs with no Office, this is another option for documents and spreadsheets that you can share with the PC world.

For me, this is another tool my students use to be able to work on at home and at school without the concern of a flash drive, disk, or whatever. We use it with our Model United Nations program since we have so many students in a group attempting to have input on single documents while working at different times. It is a life saver.

Here is another idea I found on Tim Lauer's site about using the spreadsheet part of this site to collaborate with other teachers on reading achievement documentation for their students:

For the past few years we have been using Excel spreadsheets to keep
track of student reading data. Our school district prepares the spreadsheets for each primary level teacher. The spreadsheet includes cells to record various reading achievement data based on our reading assessments. These include DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment)
reading level, phonemic awareness assessments, spelling assessments and a phonics survey among others. Three times each year I am required to distribute and then gather up the assessments from teachers and then email them to the central office. We also utilize the data internally to make support decisions and to deploy support based on classroom need.

I know… Some type of web application would make this process a lot easier for everyone involved. Well, rather than wait for one to be built we are going to use one “off the shelf.” We are utilizing Google Spreadsheets to collect and share this information within our building staff.

It is very easy to import the existing Excel spreadsheet into Google Spreadsheet. The Google Spreadsheet interface is pretty spartan, and since it is saved to my Google account, I can not only share it with the individual teachers, I can also share the sheets with our reading support teachers. Thinking in a larger view, I could also share the data with school district specialists. Using RSS, I can keep track of
student data as it is entered.

Once again, there is now another FREE resource at your disposal to make your teaching job more efficient and enjoyable while saving the district money.

K12 Online Starts Soon!

This is just a reminder that the online conference is nearly here.

If I figured it right, the keynote to kick things off will be on Sunday evening about 10 PM our time. But then again, you can download it whenever. David Warlick's keynote address will be the starting point for the event. Leave a comment if you plan on participating in this. I plan to blog every day of it just to have the written reflection of what my struggles and triumphs (new knowledge) are.

I hope you will join me.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Writely (Collaborative Web Docs) is accepting members again.

Thought those of you who weren't able to sign up before, may have the chance to now.
go to Writely.com for more info.

Also, Mac users, have to use camino or firefox or mozilla.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

October 8th Meeting

Just a reminder to everyone that our next BWP meeting is this Saturday 10-8-06 at 10:00 am. I look forward to sharing with everyone! kat