Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Gator Radio Experience - student radio show goes live this Wednesday, October 29th at 8:00 pm pacific

I'm pretty excited about this project that I've been working on with a small team of students at my new school here in Palo Alto, California. The idea is to have the students start and run a live, regular radio show from scratch. Our first show is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, October 29th at 8:00 PM Pacific. You'll be able to listen in to the audio stream on the Gator Radio Experience blog or at the Gator Radio Experience Ustream channel. The Ustream channel will have a live, interactive chat room component as well, but you'll need a password to join in (email/DM me if you'd like the password).

This Wednesday's show will feature a little show overview, some Campaign 2008 conversation, a music set with some Creative Commons licensed music, and perhaps an interview with a special guest.

The students are pretty excited about this project and I'm thinking it will be a very positive experience for them. Please drop us a note at the Gator Radio Experience blog and let us know what you think about the show!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yet Another Google Docs Success Story!

One of the things I enjoy most about my job as an instructional technology coordinator is working alongside teachers to dream up creative, out-of-the-box projects for our students. I really enjoy the process of brainstorming ideas, implementing the project in the classroom, and then sitting back to see what unfolds. Sometimes, though, technology coordinators have to do the little things to help out around the school. This was the case for me when I was recently asked by the 9th grade class to help them with a system to facilitate the annual Halloween Cupcake Sale. They wanted a program that would allow them to collect information about who the cupcake was purchased for, what grade level that individual was in, and the name of the person purchasing the cupcake. The program also needed to be able to eventually print labels to go along with each cupcake, sort orders by grade level, and help the 9th graders figure out if there were any students who did not receive a cupcake. Last year they used a filemaker pro solution written by an employee who was no longer here, so I suggested that we develop a google form to collect the data. And because the data automatically populates to a spreadsheet, we could do some type of mail merge with a word processing program and print-out the cupcake information on avery labels. Today we battle tested this process during our morning break time. We had two students taking orders via the google doc form and a few students taking money. I gotta say that the process worked incredibly well and the girls did great managing the sale.

I suppose the most challenging thing on my end was entering all of the student and faculty/staff names in the form as options in a drop down list. Unfortunately the school roster that I received for our business office was alpha ordered by grade level, which meant that the names in the drop down list weren't alpha ordered across grade levels. This presented a few challenges to the girls as they entered sale information into the form. Finally, one other thing that I learned is that the forms can select at least 429 options in the drop down list (I was a little worried that there would be a limit on the number of options).

To borrow a phrase from Lee Lefeever at the end of his awesome Google Docs Commoncraft Video, "Google Docs Rocks!"

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gene Yang Recording: Re-post

This is a recording of a conversation between author of American Born Chinese, Gene Yang, and 92 8th grade students who read iss book. This was recorded in October of 2007 and I wanted to repost it here so that it would appear in the DDL Podcast in iTunes.

Direct Link to audio file

Friday, October 17, 2008

Aaron Sams ILC Presentation - Vodcasting in Chemistry

Aaron Sams, a dynamic presenter and Chemistry teacher from Colorado, gave a wonderful overview of how he and his co-teacher leverage vodcasting as a technique to "time-shift" the classroom lecture experience for students. He has his students watch his lectures outside of class so that they are able to use class time for things like small group work, projects, lab time, etc.

Unfortunately, I started the recorder about 10 minutes into Aaron's presentation, but something is better than nothing.

Also, I found it interesting that Aaron will be facilitating a 3 day immersion experience for teachers in Colorado this summer. The session will lead teachers through the nuances of this technique and method. For more information, visit Aaron's Educational Vodcasting site and drop him an email stating your interest.

Direct Link to audio file

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gary Stager at ILC 2008 - 10 Things you can do with laptops

I've never heard Gary speak in person before, but I truly enjoyed the experience of doing so today at ILC, especially given that my school is in year 0 of our laptop program. Lots of ideas and things to think about...

Direct Link to audio file

Chris Walsh at ILC - "Learning Everywhere, All the Time"

Chris' talk took place at 7:30 am this morning as a part of ILC's "Eye-Opening Keynotes" series. I'm glad I didn't miss it, because it was quite good.

Direct Link to audio file

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tribute to Joe Schwartz

NOTE to EdTech folks: FYI: This is a personal post.

A few days ago the grandfather of our good friend Susie Grabowski passed away at the age of 94. He was 4 days away from his 95th birthday. Anyway, Susie's husband, Cliff, and I had a conversation with him last March. Our goal was to try to get Joe to share a bit of his life with us so we could record it. As you'll see by listening to this recording, Joe was a one of a kind guy who lived a pretty extraordinary life. I feel fortunate to have met him a few times and I feel fortunate that we got the chance to record this talk back in March. Rest in peace, Joe.

Direct Link to audio file

Alan November - Teaching Zach to think

More good stuff from Alan November and yesterday's mini-conference day at USM.

Direct Link to audio file

Alan November - Students as contributors

I didn't attend this session, but I was able to leave a recorder in the room for Alan's talk on the topic of, "Students as contributors."

Direct Link to audio file

Steve Hargadon Session Recording-"Web 2.0 is part of the future of education"

Great, great talk here by Steve at yesterday's mini-conference in-service day at the University School of Milwaukee.

Direct Link to audio file

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Conference happenings...

A listing of some of the professional development experiences that I'll be participating in this fall:

University School of Milwaukee mini-conference day with Alan November (October 13th)- This idea was actually hatched two years ago while at the National Social Studies Teachers conference in Washington DC with Bigbri, Chuck and Pipes. We talked about how powerful it would be to offer our own conference at USM. Last yearat this time we decided on going forward with the day an we confirmed Alan November as the day's keynote speaker. From there, we added a graet speaker line-up for the break-out presentations and the hands-on workshops. The budget for this day is significant, but I think this is a fantastic model when you consider that over 100 faculty members will be a me to experience this powerful day. I'm excited to see my former colleagues and to meet Sharon Peters, someone whom I've admired for quite some time now, in person!

Yahoo Digital Citizenship Summit with Chris Lehmann as the keynote speaker (October 3rd). This was a fantastic event and I thank the good folks at yahoo for providing this e perience for free. This day really confirmed many of the things we know about the digital lives of you g people. Like Larry Magid, one if the Internet Safety panelists, said, "99.9% of the things that youth do online are good." not that the Internet stranger range myth has officially been dispelled, it is time we start leveraging the potential associated with digital social networking platforms.

Innovative Learning Conference (October 15th and 16th) in San Jose- this conference, I have a feeling, is going to be excellent. I get back from Milwaukee on Tuesday and will be at the ILC on wednesday and Thursday. Four of our teachers will also be going down to ILC to spend a day attending some of the excellent concurrent session offerings. This is nice be ause I'll be able to connect with some of my new colleagues while I down there. My school has also made the committmen to send four members of our administrative team down to theMonday afternoon leadership session with Chris Lehmann. I think they'll learn a great deal and have an excellent time working with Chris and learning about some of the powerful strategies that his team at the S ience Leadership Academy in Philly are using to give their students authentic and powerful learning opportunities.

National Social Studies Teachers conference in Houston (November 14-16) - This will be my third consecutive year at NCSS. This time around I'll be co-presenting alongside former colleague and master teacher, Chuck Taft of American History Rules fame. Chuck and I will be doing a session on we 2.0 methods and tools in the social studies classroom on Friday afternoon.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Chris Lehmann unconference session at Yahoo Digital Citizenship Summit

Chris facilitated an un-conference style discussion in the afternoon of last Friday's Digital Citizenship Summit. During this session he skyped in one of his teachers, talked about strategies to introduce administrators to web 2.0 technologies, iChatted with some students, and talked about social networking as a learning platform.

Below is the recorded audio from this session...

Link to audio file

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Yahoo Digital Citizenship Summit-Panel Presenter Recording

I recorded several Internet Safety experts/panelists as they gave short, 7 minute overviews on their programs and Internet safety/digital citizenship in general. This was a part of the Yahoo Digital Citizenship Summit at the Yahoo campus in Sunnyvale, CA on Friday, October 3rd. Larry Magid, co-author of Myspace Unraveled, gives the first 7 minute talk and I would say it is a MUST listen for anyone who has children and/or works with children. It is interesting how the message is turning from one of panic and fear to one that is more rationale and grounded. It was a breath of fresh air to hear these panelists reiterate over and over again that the Internet is not the dangerous place that our media makes it out to be.

Finally, I just want to say a huge thank you to the team at Yahoo for putting on this conference. The keynote and break-out sessions were outstanding (the food wasn't bad either!!) Thank you for providing this opportunity to educators for free.

Link to original recording

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Dean Shareski on Parents as Partners this coming Monday night (9 PM Eastern)

Please join the Parents as Partners webcasting crew this coming Monday as we talk with Dean Shareski about issues of digital citizenship, students as content creators on the open web, and what we all can do to help mentor young people as they develop their online profiles/footprints. We're pretty much centering our talk on a slidecast that Dean created and posted on his blog a few months back. Check his slidecast out here. Dean is a fun dude and this should be a fun conversation.

Please join the webcast and invite other parents to join in the conversation by doing the following:

1. Go to at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.
2. Sign into the chat room with your first name/last password is required.
3. Click one of the little audio player icons and the live audio will play in one of your media players (iTunes, Windows Media player, etc). See picture below:


4. People in the chat are really friendly and enjoy 'meeting' new people and engaging in coversation.

Hope to 'see you' for the Parents as Partners broadcast this coming Monday with Dean!!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Chris Lehmann at Yahoo Digital Citizenship Summit

More thoughts on this later, but below you'll find a link to the audio file from Chris Lehmann's keynote talk today.

Link to recording of Chris' talk

Yahoo Digicitizenship Summit Live Blog...

I attended this summit today at the Yahoo campus in Sunnyvale, CA. Below is the live blog coverage of a series of panelists speaking to the issue of digital citizenship. Please excuse the spelling errors and please note that I'm mostly paraphrasing what the presenters mentioned as they spoke.

To read this blog, you'll have to click on some of the text and then use your arrow up/down keys to move through this live blog....