Previous month:
August 2009
Next month:
October 2009

Posts from September 2009

Breakthrough Learning @Google

I want to bring your attention to an exciting event that's happening at Google at the end of October. Google, the MacArthur Foundation, Common Sense Media, and the Joan Ganz Cooney Foundation are convening an education summit, calling for participants "to create and act upon a breakthrough strategy for scaling-up effective models of teaching and learning for children."

While the summit is open to invited guests, there will be plenty of opportunities for public participation as the event will be webcasted. People can also leave comments in the
community blog, engage with participants and panelists via Twitter, and pose questions using Google Moderator. For details, please visit the link posted below.

I'll be present at this event along with fellow Google Certified Teachers Cheryl Davis and Kathleen Ferenz. I'm excited to learn from the many illustrious speakers scheduled to present, particularly keynoter Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children's Zone. I'm anticipating great conversations among participants and will share tidbits as appropriate. And, I have to admit, I'm really thrilled to have the opportunity to visit the Googleplex in Mountain View.

I've written a guest post for the Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age blog on transforming teacher practices; look for it to be posted here in the next few weeks. The results of an informal survey given to those in my personal learning network will be made available then. 

For further information, including the agenda and web cast info, please visit:

Apple of My Eye: Resources Catching My Attention (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Survey Happy: Take Another For My Undergrads :)

I know I've been survey happy lately, but I just love the power of Google Forms. I demonstrated this for my undergrad students at National Louis University last night, and I think they began to see the potential of this powerful tool. I asked them to take this anonymous survey and I also sent the link out on Twitter. Any educator is welcome to respond, and hopefully, you'll impart some wisdom on my newbie preservice teachers! The results are available here.

I also conducted another survey this week for a blog post that will appear on a web site supporting an education summit. This web site has not has not launched yet, so I have not made those results public yet. I'll post as soon as I know more!

Friday 5: Cool Sites

For the past month, I've been babbling about interesting web sites for kids and teachers at (, Chicago's first user-generated content radio station. It's an initiative of our local NPR affiliate and it broadcasts on the internet and at 89.5 if you're in the Chicago/Northern Indiana area. The station is a really interesting concept and I think a sign of the ways things will go with radio. Anyway, I thought I'd share 5 of my favorites from this series with you today. Enjoy! 1) Eduweb's Portfolio Interactive games for kids 2) Sumo Paint A free online image editing tool 3) Great webcam tours of a wildlife reserve in South Africa 4) The National Day of Writing Starting in October, you can contribute to your own gallery of writing! This is a great initiative to focus on all kinds of writing. 5) Interactive Exhibits from the Library of Congress Explore primary source materials and much more at this very cool and creative site.

Obnoxious Online Marketing Tactics?

I'm preparing to write a blog post in which I'd like to incorporate the input from my personal learning network friends, so I've been posting the link to this survey in multiple places including Twitter, the Future of Ed ning, and Classroom 2.0. I'm wondering where to draw the line with this... when it does become obnoxious to see the same material in several spots online?

As I logged into EdWeek's Digital Directions ning this morning after following a tweet from EdWeek forum panelist Barbara Treacy, it occurred to me that by posting in lots of places, I may be joining a practice that I have long abhorred. I saw on the front page of this ning posting of a man pushing a product. He left comments on several members' pages, essentially cutting and pasting his message. 

This man, who shall remain nameless, has done this for consistently for the past few years. In fact, when he did this on the Global Education Collaborative, which I run, I asked him about his intentions and then banned him from the group when he did not reply. There is now another woman posting events that use this same product fairly often. I did a search for her name and she's an SEO expert and has been posting the same information about this same product in multiple Ning communities. I did write to her expressing my concerns and she said she'd curtail her postings.

When I've inquired on Twitter about the practices of the aforementioned man and the product he is pushing, I've heard from extremely reputable educational technologists who think the product is legitimate and that this guy is really a teacher. The more I see his name and his canned message pop up, though, affirms my doubts that he is a spammer. And frankly, I will not even look at a company's product if they resort to these kinds of marketng tactics. It takes away from the authenticity of relationships in these online communities and the lack of transparency creates makes me think this company is not trustworthy.

So, am I going in this same direction by posting in many places in line in order to reach as many people as possible? It's a fine line, but the bottom fine line is that I am not profiting from anything and I genuinely want to gather input from as many of my online colleagues as possible. 

UPDATE: I dug around a bit and it turns out that this aforementioned man who pastes canned messages on Nings is the US business development executive for this India-based company. Supposedly he works in a high school, but I couldn't find a faculty directory on his school's web page. My problem is that he is NOT transparent in his postings that he WORKS for this company and he is pasting generic messages on people's pages. He is not even engaging in conversations and mentioning his product in context. I would not have a problem if he was transparent with his consultancy, but I clearly recall asking him if he worked for this company and I received no response.

Apple of My Eye: Resources Catching My Attention (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Transforming Teaching and Learning Survey

On October 27, I'll be attending an education summit, "Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age",  at Google's Mountain View headquarters. It promises to be an exciting opportunity to learn from some of the nation's foremost experts on digital media, education and public policy. 

In anticipation of this event, I've been asked to blog on the topic of how technology can transform teacher practices. While I have no shortage of personal opinions and experiences on this topic, I'd like to incorporate the views of people in my personal learning network. Please take a moment to fill out the following survey. 

Please do not focus on TOOLS! How has teaching and learning changed in your classroom? What is different about the way you work, than say, 10 years ago? What are the processes you went through in order to become a digital teacher/learner? What issues affect the way you teach or serve as an administrator? 

Thanks in advance!

EdWeek Leadership Forum - Chicago

On Thursday, I'll be at this EdWeek event and am planning on live blogging as much as possible. I'm particularly looking forward to hearing keynoters Susan Patrick and Eliot Soloway! Feel free to join in the live blog I've created.

Clustr Map for the Global Education Collaborative Community

This is s screenshot I took of the GEC ClustrMap. I'm really fascinated by the patterns of activity. Large dots represent more hits to the Global Education Collaborative site. I'm noticing more dots in traditionally underrepresented parts of the globe, namely Africa and South America.

I'm going to try and take a screenshot every few weeks to document our growth and reach!

Apple of My Eye: Resources Catching My Attention (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday 5: Back to School 2009

Cross posted at the Infinite Thinking Machine and in the Friday 5 Google Group.

As a follow up to Lucie's Infinite Thinking Machine great post (http://, here's a quick list of links to support your back to school efforts. 

1. US Census Press Releases 

Check these amazing statistics! 

2. U.S Fund for UNICEF - UNICEF USA - A back-to-school-tip 

The purchase of a desk lamp at IKEA can help children around the world! 

3. Scholastic's Back-to-School Planning Guide | Teaching Ideas to Start the Year 

Lots of resources for all aspects of back-to-school time. 

4. | Back-to-School Activities 

Very creative ideas for incorporating math into classroom activities. Make sure you check out the pictures of various morning math routines. 

5. NEA - Top 20 Back-to-School Activities 

Another great list of resources from the National Education Association. 

6. NASA - Blast Back to School 

NASA has a rich variety of projects, games and videos for classroom use. 

7. Reading Rockets Back to School 

Particularly good resources for parents. 

The Future of Education - Charting the Course of Teaching and Learning in a Networked World

The Future of Education - Charting the Course of Teaching and Learning in a Networked World.

Mark your calendars! On September 10, 2009, at 7 PM, Steve Hargadon and I will be moderating a virtual panel on global awareness. We have an all star line up (see below) and will be using Elluminate, a meeting tool that connects people globally. Our primary focus will be to highlight the work of many organizations including iEARNePals, and the Asia Society and to discuss the concept of global awareness in relation to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills' frame for 21st century learning. Post your questions and ideas here in the comments section or in the Future of Education community.

You will find access to the webinar by clicking HERE!


Shari Albright

Bio: Shari Becker Albright serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Asia Society International Studies Schools Network, a national network of small, internationally-themed secondary schools dedicated to preparing college ready, globally competent citizens for the 21st century.  Prior to joining the Asia Society, Shari served as the principal of a public, magnet school in the North East Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas – the International School of the Americas which was the recipient of the Goldman Sachs Prize in International Education.


Kim Cofino

Bio: Originally from the US, Kim has spent the last ten years teaching internationally, beginning in Munich, Germany, continuing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and currently in Bangkok, Thailand. An Apple Distinguished Educator, Kim regularly consults with other international schools interested in implementing 21st century learning, has been profiled on a number of educational websites and journals, and has spoken at conferences and professional development sessions throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. Her professional blog, Always Learning, is an invaluable resource for teachers seeking examples of authentic student engagement.


Westley Field

Bio: Westley is Managing Director of Skoolaborate, a global initiative, involving over 40 schools and community organisations, that uses a blended environment including online units and virtual worlds to produce engaging student learning experiences. In his day job, Westley is the  MLC online learning director leading a 1 to 1 program that is recognized by many as one the best examples of blended learning world wide. Westley presents around the world on topics such as Making 1 to 1 work, Heuristics of implementing elearning, Second Life in Education, Educational Technology, Connecting Students in a Web 2.0 world and Leading in a Flat World.



Lucy Gray

Bio: Lucy is the founder of the Global Education Collaborative, an online community designed to connect educators and organizations while promoting global awareness. She is currently employed by the Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Chicago as an education technology specialist. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Teacher.


Carol Anne McGuire

Bio: Technology Integration Specialist, Apple Distinguished Educator, Discovery Star Educator, ISTE Teacher of the Year Carol Anne McGuire is an award-winning educator who began her career teaching blind and visually impaired students over 20 years ago.  She is the founder and “Lead Rocker” of an international project called “Rock Our World.”  ROW connects students on every continent to collaborate in music composition, filmmaking and meeting each other in live video conferences.  Carol Anne has worked with companies such as Apple, Discovery, Disney, American Film Institute, Google and Will Smith. 


Carol Anne Keynotes all over the world on topics such as Global Collaboration, Accessibility, Digital Storytelling, Podcasting, Technology in the Classroom and Movie Making for the Non-Techy Teacher! 


Diane Midness

Bio: Diane Midness is Director for Professional Development for iEARN USA. She is a former high school Media Specialist and Coordinating Teacher for Technology Integration   and program coordinator for The University of North Carolina’s Center for International Understanding’s International School Partnerships through Technology.


Rita Oates

Bio: Rita is Vice President of Education Markets for ePals, a global collaborative community with more than 18 million users in 200 countries. Earlier in her career, she was director of ed tech in Miami-Dade Public Schools, the nation's fourth largest, serving students born in more than 120 countries. She won a FIPSE grant for ed tech professional development in the district. She has also been graduate program chair in Computer Education and Technology at Barry University, and earlier taught high school English and journalism in three schools in Kansas -- rural, urban and suburban. She was the Education Editor of the first online service in the U.S. with color and graphics, called VIEWTRON, in the 1980s. She has keynoted and given workshops at major ed tech conferences from coast to coast and has written ten books and more than 100 articles about ed tech and school reform. As a child, she lived in Costa Rica and attended a public girls' school in Spanish. Just before joining ePals, she helped create an ed tech plan for the public schools in the United Arab Emirates.


Sharon Peters

Bio: Sharon Peters is the Director of Technology at Hebrew Academy in Montreal, Canada. She recently won ISTE's Online Learning Award for the Darfur Video Project. In 2008 and 2009, she led teams who facilitated ICT workshops with an NGO, Teachers Without Borders Canada, to educators in the townships of South Africa and rural Kenya. She has presented keynotes at conferences and workshops throughout North America about new media literacies and global collaborative projects. Her students have participated in several award-winning international web-based collaborative projects with classes around the world using technology to support the learning goals.


Julene Reed

Bio: Julene Reed is the Director of Academic Technology for St. George's Independent School in Memphis, TN. She is on the advisory boards of: Apple Distinguished Educators, Dr. Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots, Polar Bears International, and the Tennessee Distance Learning Association.

Julene keynotes and leads workshops on Global Education, "Going Green," Web 2.0 for Education, Podcasting, Technology Integration, Digital Storytelling, Laptop Learning, Videoconferencing, 21st Century Teaching & Learning, and much more.


Michael Searson

Bio: Michael Searson is executive director of Kean University's School for Global Education & Innovation. He is chairperson of the Xi Hu Conference on 21st Century Learning, to be held in Hangzhou, China in November 2009. His work often connects local school districts with international partners. Searson is a vice president for the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education; a member of the Global Learn Asia Pacific Executive Committee; a member of the Apple Distinguished Educator Advisory Board; Curriki Hearst Faculty Fellow. Searson has authored or coauthored a number of grants focusing on the integration of technology into educational settings.

High Techpectations: Lucy's Cool Picks for Teachers and Students

High Techpectations: Lucy's Cool Picks for Teachers and Students.

During September, I'll be participating in Vocalo's education radio programming which can be found online at and on the radio in Chicago on 89.5 FM. I'll be featured every Friday at about 9 AM to give the quick scoop on cool web site finds for teachers and students. I'll be publishing those links here; for more fun sites to join my social bookmarking group at Diigo.

The list of links I'll be sharing can be found here and I'll be updating this page each week.