Thursday, May 28, 2009

Glenn Ellis - "Preparing our Children for Success in the Knowledge Age"

Our school community was fortunate enough to have Glenn Ellis speak to us last night on the topics of girls' education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

We recorded audio and synced up the audio with his slides over at Slideshare. The "Slidecast" is embedded below:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Senior Leadership Seminar

Below is the recording and slide deck from a presentation that my colleague, Mary Jean Conlon, and I facilitated as part of our "Senior/Class of 2009 Leadership Seminar" series here at Castilleja. During the presentation we showed the students "A Vision of Students Today," we had them setup and populate an RSS reader, gave the students a tour of Google Books/News, and spent a small amount of time talking about digital identity. I really enjoyed working with Mary Jean in preparing for this seminar and in the delivery...she is a real pro and I'll miss her next year as she moves on to the field of healthcare IT.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Love this Video!

Amazing piece here from the choral director and his students from PS22 in NYC. After 6 days of being on the web, it already has 150K + views! Go PS22 students!!!

Anytime, Anywhere, Summer 2009 Learning Opportunities

As we head into summer, I wanted to point out some wonderful multi-disciplinary learning opportunities that are entirely FREE and available anytime/anywhere.

1. Join the Classroom 2.0 online social/professional network and engage in some of the ongoing discussions. Classroom 2.0 is one of the largest global networks of educators and is a great place to meet other innovative teachers from around the world. You might also consider the Saturday morning (9:00 am pacific) "Classroom 2.0 Live" sessions, which are live, interactive webcasts that take place through a platform called Elluminate.

2. "Attend" the 2007 and/or 2008 K12 Online Conferences . Of course these conferences happened already, but they live on in the form of the archived audio/video presentations and web resources. The 2007 conference is archived here and the 2008 conference is archived here (if you'd like to go way back to 2006, that conference is archived as well).

3. Create a Twitter account and begin building up a global network of people with whom you can share resources and engage in conversation. The easiest way to start out is to create an account (be sure to use a picture and fill out the profile information) and follow folks that other Twitter users here at Castilleja are following (Flaurie, Nanci, Matt, Steve, Bear, and Heather are a few who use Twitter). It can take several months to really start to understand the value of professional networking via Twitter...stick with it and be patient!

4. Join the Independent School Educators Network. This is another social network, but it is primarily targeted toward independent school educators around the world. Be sure to join the Castilleja and the Mid-Peninsula groups and then check out the forums to join the discussions.

5. Join Facebook if you haven't already. There are some wonderful education related groups that you might consider joining, like the Global Educational Collaborative, Teaching and Learning with Facebook, Shift Happens: Bringing Education into the 21st Century, Parents as Partners, Edutopia, and the Stanford University Fan page. You could also become a fan of the Bucky Badger page to get your Wisconsin fix!

6. Start a blog. A blog is an excellent way to reflect and share out on your practice. Your professional blog would be a great space to share our your summer '09 professional development experiences. If you do start a blog, consider dropping the link in a comment so we can share it out with other members of our learning community. There are many places to blog...I would suggest Blogger and Edublogs for ease of use.

Of course there are many, many other wonderful open and free opportunities for professional development on the web. If you come across any others not on this list, drop the links in a comment on this post.

Good luck with your summer 2009 professional development pursuits!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Senior Seminar Series Reflections

Today I had the good fortune of teaming with our powerhouse librarian, Mary Jean Conlon, on a "College Research Survival Guide" type of presentation. We worked with three groups of 20 students for an hour each this morning. Our time together was spent participating in several different multi-dimensional activities (we were "quadrupal" tasking at certain points for sure). By the end of the period we wanted every student to know how to collect RSS feeds from a variety of locations (including the ProQuest database, Google News, and a few others). We also had the goal of testing cell phones as an interactive response platform through the use of Poll Everywhere. Finally, we wanted to take some time to challenge the students to begin (if they haven't already) thinking about their digital identity. To keep this post short, I simply want to say that I think we were fairly successful with most of our objectives in this experience.

Here is a layout of how we implemented this activity:

1. We started out with a few ice breaker polls...we had students straggling in late to the sessions and the poll provided a fun way to start things out. It set a light tone, which I think is quite important for seniors at this time in the year. It also served the purpose of introducing students to the concept of interactive audience polling via cell phones, which is a technique that many of these students may use for future presentations of their own. Poll Everywhere worked great as a tool to collect responses to these ice breaker activities/questions (see our presentation embedded below to see some of the questions that we asked students to weigh in on via their cell phones).

2. After a few polls, we showed the students Michael Wesch's "A Vision of Students Today." I have to say that this was the highlight of the session for me. Upon completion of the video, students were encouraged to send a text message with their first thoughts on the video. Students were encouraged to text a sentence, a phrase or even a word that indicated their feelings about the video. Some of the responses were light and silly, but many were very, very deep. Check out their responses online here.

3. The next portion of our time together was spent with Mary Jean, our head librarian, leading a conversation about RSS, Readers, and feeds. This was fantastic, with all of our learners getting their Google Reader up and running and populated with a few feeds. The students really enjoyed the Commoncraft RSS in Plain English Video as well.

4. We closed out with a far too brief discussion of "Your Digital Identity." We essentially encouraged students to think about what they want to appear on the results page of an open Google web search for their name. Over the next four years of their lives it will become increasingly important for the students to manage this identitiy, and while we just scratched the surface today, I'm glad we at least had a few minutes to consider this topic together.

Slides from our presentation today (I recorded audio and at some point in the future will post a slidecast over at Slideshare).