In Two Places at Once

At our last Learning with Technology network meeting we took a risk.

I tried to teach two groups in different locations at the same time. Impossible, you say? Some sort of slight-of-hand trickery? A costly VC setup, you ask? Not at all. With a few simple, and free tools, I was able to lead a discussion about Edmonton Public Schools Policy on Blogging and generating ideas for classroom Acceptable Use Policies between the MGM Network meeting at Minchau School and the LWT Network meeting at Newton School.

We connected visually through Skype and Oneeko (a screen sharing addon for skype) and lead cross network discussions in a chat group on Chatzy. I was actually pretty amazed at how smoothly it ran and I was very impressed with the conversations in the chat room. I hope the participants walk away with some ideas of how they can connect their classrooms with relatively little expense to classes around the world.

For those who were involved in the session, I welcome your feedback as to what worked in the presentation and what you would do differently in this post’s comments.

I would also like to thank David for getting us all Google Wave accounts. I am looking forward to playing with this new tool and seeing what it can do for us.

MGM Lead Tech Teachers Session #2

This session focuses on two areas – Literacy and Learning. You may notice that, unlike our AISI statement, I refer to literacy in the singular. I agree that both literacy and learning have changed in the 21st Century, but I suggest it is more of an evolution. Literacy still means the same as it always has, but the tools and skills necessary to be literate is different. The way our brain learns hasn’t changed, but our understanding of the process and the resources we have available has greatly improved. This session looks at the evolution of literacy and learning in the 21st Century.

Literacy in the 21st Century

Remember when literacy consisted of the three R’s? It’s too bad educational society does not have an agreed upon catch-phrase for the evolution of literacy. David Warlick’s article “Stop Integrating Technology” from 2003 is a great place to start. From there, we can explore how critical thinking has changed with Andrew Churches’ article “Bloom’s Taxonomy Blooms Digitally” and discover ways to achieve those skills in our classroom.

Learning in the 21st Century

Wow, there are a lot of new tools available for learning, both for us as professionals and for our students. The NSCD has a great article in their Tools for Schools publication written by Valerie Von Frank called “Link Up and Learn” to help us identify some of the new ways to learn. It is geared toward creating a personal learning network, but has applications for our network and the classroom.

Sept. 15th @ Minchau

Today we focused on learning to blog and our role as tech mentors in the diffusion of innovation. I was very impressed with how well everybody did creating thier blog. They look fantastic and the reflections are fantastic. I have added links to everyones blog in my sidebar under the title MGM Tech Leaders. Be sure to check them out and leave thought provoking comments.

I forgot to mention during the session that David Warlick, whose ideas on 21st Century Literacy we will be discussing at our next meeting, will be speaking to our District on Thursday, November 5th at the Center for Ed. There is not much room left in his session, so sign up as soon as possible if you have the time available and would like to go. He is a very good presenter and well worth seeing.

Its great to see the grade groups get along so well today. I was impressed with the depth of the conversations and the willingness to help each other. I even heard of a group that was setting up a time to meet for coffee. This is truely what building a network of support is all about. Its easier to be a committed sardine when we know we aren’t alone.