Posts categorized "Apple" Feed

Support Some Fabulous #SxSWedu Proposals

Julene Reed, Michelle Bourgeois and I are excited to have submitted a proposal to run a workshop at the South by Southwest Edu conference in Austin next March. In order to get selected, the public needs to weigh in by voting for us AND commenting on why this workshop would be an asset to the event. We're planning on leading a hands-on workshop focused on iTunes U as we think more educators and ed tech industry people need to experience the power of this repository. 

Fellow ADEs also have proposals submitted that I'm sure will be great. I've assembled them in a Pinterest board in order to make it easier for people to find our sessions and vote. We would all appreciate your support!

Follow Lucy's board #SxSWedu Proposals Worthy of Your Support on Pinterest.


I Love My Work!

image from www.flickr.comFor the past couple of years, I've been working as a consultant, traveling to various locales to generally help others think about innnovation in education. This work has included running an online global education conference, delivering presentations at conferences, conducting one day workshops, curating news, writing curriculum and offering insight to individual schools, school boards, and established companies. Interestingly, I'm increasingly getting more inquiries from ed tech start ups on how best to connect to educators as well. 

I've been inspired by many places I've visited and by many people I've met along the way; one project has stood out to me as particularly ideal. Since last Spring, I've worked with fellow Apple Distinguished Educator Larry Baker to think about customized professional development as part of his school's "Mercy 2.0" initiative. Mercy High School is located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and is currently transitioning its one-to-one device program for students from PC tablets to iPads. All faculty members and freshman students have iPads; upperclassmen were given the choice of sticking with the PC tablets or purchasing an iPad (approximately 200 students did so, interestingly enough). 

It's important to note that Mercy has an amazing leadership team (comprised of the head of operations, tech director, dean of students, principal, department heads and president of the school)  that has been thinking and planning this transition for a significant period of time begininng with two briefings with Apple. The admin team is all on the same page in terms of believing in the power of technology to transform learning and also in their shared goal of creating a more robust digital culture within their school. For Mercy's leadership team, using iPads in the classsroom is not an optional choice for their teachers and they fully understand that they need to provide the support and professional development necessary to help their faculty become more successful. This leadership team is also very willing to listen to feedback from their faculty and alter plans as necessary in order  to meet faculty needs. I think the role of this leadership team has been invaluable to Mercy 2.0 and I've encouraged Larry to document the digital transformation process. You can read more about what they've been up to in his blog, and  Larry will also talk more about his work during a Mobile Learning Explorarations webinar for EdWeb this coming spring.

Because Mercy has been a digitally-oriented school for a number of years, Larry and his admin team colleagues have felt that that Mercy faculty needed specialized professional development focused on teaching with the iPad specifically and thinking through how to fully utlize iPads on the classroom.  I've been contracted to spend 5 days at Mercy over the course of this year in order to help make this happen. I spent two days there last Spring, meeting with each department and conducting informal intake assessments and then returned in August to lead workshops with another Apple Distinguished Educator, Cheryl Davis. Mercy also held drop in sessions for help with specific workflow apps and workshops on using Google Apps over the late spring and summer, and required teachers to complete 10 tasks related to using the IPads and post about this to Moodle. New teachers and students attended an iPad bootcamp as well. So, by the time fall and the acutal rollout to students arrived, many teachers felt that they had had enough professional development and need time to actually implement. It was a good  time to re-think about how best to use my time at Mercy.

Larry and his team then came up with the brilliant idea of inviting me back to work specficially with students. Imagine that! I was thrilled with the idea of helping Mercy iPad "wizards" come up with a plan to create a student-run tech program. During our planning meetings, I emphasized to Larry that this group should really be student-owned and that the adults would be there to facilitate, not co-opt, this group. 

Thus, last Friday, I met with 26 enthusiastic and articulate young women to help them think about how they could establish a tech group at Mercy and serve as leaders within their school community. To see what we discussed, take a look at our agenda which is a little messy, but you can see our course of action for the day. You can also learn about other student-run tech programs linked to in this document and shared by colleagues from the ISED-L listserv.

We started off getting to know each other by sharing our favorite apps and tech super powers. The girls also gave us postive constructive feedback on how well the iPad program rollout is going. We then dove into a list of links and did some preliminary research on other student-run tech programs. Steve Hargadon happened to ping me while trying out videoconferencing on his phone, so we chatted with him for a bit, and also held Google Hangouts (of which one is recorded) with Jason Markey and Kern Kelley. Jason included one of his students in our conversation and they discussed their for credit student tech help desk; Kern talked about his Tech Sherpas program. Make sure to watch Kern's video and to read Larry's reflections on the day for more details. At the end of the day, we brainstormed ideas for the structure of our program, started an outline and joined a Ning created by Mercy tech director Tom James in order to faciliate group communication going forward. 

Friday was an incredibly satisfying day for me, most notably because I spoke my piece, and then let the girls explore, discuss and brainstorm ideas for THEIR group. I was really impressed by their poise and enthusiasm and I was also stunned to realize how much I miss teaching. There is nothing like working with students and having synergystic moments when you know you are reaching them.

At any rate, working with Mercy High School has been such an amazing experience. We've mutually learned from each other and I've grown to really admire the leadership and teaching exhibited at this school. I can't wait to see what these tech "wizards" come up with as they continue to form their group, and I hope that I'll have the opportunity to work with others schools in a similar fashion in the future!    

 

 

 


Attention K12 Educators and Students! Share Your Favorite iOS and Android Apps!

In preparation for a future column, I'm looking to get as many responses as possible from teachers AND students to the following survey on favorite apps. Lots of iOS users have contributed their favorites so far, and I'd really love to get some some great Android app recommendations as well. 

Thanks in advance for your time!

 


My 2012 Singapore Report

I've hugged my family,  unpacked my bags, given my kids gifts (which included a Singaporean version of Monopoly),  run a few loads of laundry and am now settled in to write a bit about my trip during this past week to Singapore. Thanks to my friend, fellow Apple Distinguished Educator colleague, and now Apple employee,  Pav,  I was first invited to work with a new class of Apple Distinguished Educators for the Asia region back in 2008. That was a life changing trip in itself..... I had the opportunity to visit several Singaporean schools, including the School of the Arts and Singapore Sports School, and also to work with amazing Singaporean and international school educators for a week during the 2008 Asia Apple Distinguished Educator Institute.  A year later, educators and students from Maris Stella High School in Singapore came to Chicago over the course of two visits  to the U.S,  intent on forming  foundations for global collaborations. I was priviledged to spend time with Maris Stella teams on both visits.

Consequently, I've thought a great deal about Asia, and specifically Singapore, and was really pleased to be invited to return again this spring. On this visit, the city/country itself seemed to not have changed much, although it did seem like it was more populous. There were still many buildings under construction as evidenced by a plethora of construction cranes, established buildings and streets were in pristine condition, and the weather was still hot, and perhaps a bit more humid. Two huge Singaporean projects were finished since my last visit.... the Universal Studios theme park on Sentosa Island where I stayed last time, and the amazing Marina Bay Sands casino complex with a ship-like structure and pool on its roof. I stayed near Orchard Road, a main high-end shopping district, and again, was amazed by the mass amount of attention devoted to brands and shopping. Marina Bay Sands also sported a very high end mall which was astoundingly huge. To me, the focus on consumerism was a bit overwhelming, but also a sign of a vibrant economy. We also drove by Singapore's port which reportedly is the largest in the world and never closes. Not much is made in Singapore and it is a gateway to the rest of Asia. Human capital is its best resource and this is evident in the careful planning that pervades this society.

As an aside, I think Singapore would make an excellent topic of study in a interdisciplinary global studies program in middle or high school. Studying its very intentional government would lead to fascinating debates regarding how much control governments should or should not have. Singapore is also a go to country for many financial institutions, so studying its economic forces and impact on the world's economy would also be of interest. And, examining its highly competitive educational system would also lends itself to thinking deeply about the purpose of education.  The possibilities would be endless here....

Continuing on with details on my visit, I spent four days holding workshops for Asian educators, mostly focused on the iPad. For the first two days, there was an emphasis on accessibility and our third day focused more on general use of Apple technologies. The format of the workshops really worked well and kept participants busy and engaged. Pav served as an emcee extraordinaire and kept the mood light. He's really come into his own working for Apple, and I was so impressed with his leadership and knowledge. Working with me on various days were several ADEs including Jane Ross, Jane Harris, Dawn Hallett, Tyler Sherwood, and Rob Newberry and Greg O'Connor of Australia's Spectronics which runs this conference on inclusive learning technologies. This team was absolutely delightful and I learned a great deal from our conversations. I'm excited to have made some new friends!

The daily format of these workshops usually started out with various welcomes followed by a keynote and 5 25-minute breakouts on various topics. My topic was on planning for 1:1 success, and I'll talk about that more in a follow up post. This speed dating style of presenting was challenging, but it really helped me to gather my language on this topic. Afterwards, reflection time was given to participants and then lunch. After this break, we kicked things up a notch and offered 15 minute app sharing time. Each group of 5 or so educators moved from table to table to learn about our recommendations. I chose to focus on content creation apps, and again I'll provide more details on this in a follow up post. After this activity, another keynote followed and participants were given a short amount of time to present a rough plan for next steps. These plans were presented to the larger group, and everyone left with a sense of where they wanted to proceed. I really admired the schedule as it promoted colleagiality, discussion and movement. Instead of talking at people all day, we were truly engaged and better able to understand their concerns and needs. 

I visited some extraordinary schools for these workshops, Pathlight School and the School of Science and Technology, Singapore. I couldn't take pictures at Pathlight due to privacy concerns with its special needs population, but I did take a few of SST and other places visited. More importantly, I met many extraordinary educators and it seems like counterparts in this part of the world are very thoughtful and knowledgable about best practices in education. This was particularly evident in their final presentations to the group at large. While I haven't had the opportunity to work with a majority of Singaporean and international educators, it seems like they are all on the same page with a committment to teaching inquiry as foundation to learning subject matter. Interational educators largely subscribe to the thematic International Baccaleareate curriculum and the Singaporean educators seemed better versed in various approaches to learning and will travel to learn more about best practices. For instance, one vice principal mentioned that his colleagues recently traveled to Chicago to attend a Lesson  Study conference. If you're not familiar with this Japanese approach to teaching, check out this Wikipedia entry.

Interestingly, I had many conversations with educators over the course of the week of the competitiveness involved with Singaporean schools (and a bit around the international school world as well). The national exams are paramount in Singapore and basically determines the future paths of students. Students, parents and schools all feel the pressure, and each group thinks the pressure comes from each other. The parents think the schools are pressuring them and many turn to outside tutoring agencies and after school programs for extra support. The schools believe that pressure comes from the parents as well.

In order to understand all of this in its proper context, I think it's important to read material on the Ministry of Education's web site that explains its vision. Yes, standardized testing is incredibly important in this society, but they support and invest in their schools and teachers in order to provide their students with the best possible teaching force. Everyone understands that human capital is their only and best resource and they seem united in their quest for excellence. Would this approach work in the U.S? I honestly don't know, but I think our own national agenda is not shared by all constituencies, is fairly negative in its approach to attempting to get results, and does not do enough to support teachers and to build effective and engaging learning environments.

On the topic of learning environments, make sure to take a look at my photos of SST. I wish I had photos to show you of Pathlight, but I'll attempt to tell you what I saw. This school had a traditional Singaporean school footprint... sort of shaped like the letter E, with various cooridors branching out from. There was air conditioning in the rooms where we worked, but generally, Singaporean schools do not necessarily rely on A/C. Lots of fans and ventilated windows and doors seem to be the norm. Pathlights had student art work exhibited and even sold some pieces,  and generally provided support for their students in the form of extra signage (whiteboards by the bus loading area indicated who was to take the bus that day and who wasn't). Their library looked inviting, and they even had a room set aside as a design studio.

The School of Science and Technology was even more amazing as it is a recently completed campus costing around $49 million dollars (Singaporean dollars). It is the most state of the art STEM school I've had the opportunity to visit, and it provided incredible work spaces for both students and faculty. Teachers had individual cubicles in a large office area that was adjoined by an open faculty lounge with several meeting spaces. Rooms for every purpose you can imagine were present including professional development spaces with flexible walls,  science labs equipped with high end equipment, a huge theatre, and a studio for film production activities. The overall look was very modern with bright, bold colors, inspiring phrases were painted on walls, and modular configurable lockers in the halls. One detail that I especially appreciated was the long unobtrusive power strips embedded in lab tables where multiple students could share power.  Most importantly, this school had a vision clearly understood by its principal. Over the course of his tour of the building, it was evident that he understood what it took to provide a 21st century (and beyond) education to his students. In hindsight, I'd like to know more about what Singapore does to cultivate its leaders because this gentleman certainly got it, and I believe that we should be focusing more on leadership in the U.S. 

On Friday, I capped off my week spending time at Chatsworth International, a for-profit international school led by a team that includes ADEs Tyler Sherwood, Mark McCallum and Rob Newberry. They have a common set of a values and are incredibly colleagial. While at Chatworth, I worked with the English department, discussing topics for infusing technology into their curriculum. These teachers asked great questions, shared their own knowledge and were able to experiment with various tools as I led the way. I think they were probably overwhelmed to a certain degree by the possibilities, but hopefully, our session will inspire them to explore ideas and tools of interest as they will soon be on summer break. The kids at Chatsworth were lovely, too, asking me interesting questions when introduced and I'm glad I got to see where kids were present... most of the Singaporean students were on holiday from their schools as was the case when I visited in November 2008. 

Friday night included dinner with the Chatsworth leadership team and I plied them with questions about international school life. It intrigues me, and perhaps one day, I'll take the plunge. They definitely have a unique culture and set of challenges, quite different from US public and private schools. Generally, I think there's more accountability involved (sometimes applied fairly and not so fairly) as many of these schools are for profit and they have an excellent and large pool of teachers from which to hire. There is an intentional revolving door of students and teachers as both educators and families in these schools tend to move fairly quickly for a variety of reasons. I'm also very interested in learning more about the International Baccalaureate curriculum, and would love to get trained in this one day as I think it would benefit my work. 

Thanks for reading my ramblings thus far. My intention was just to get a few of my thoughts  down abou this trip before the whirlwind of the June conference season fully takes effect. Many, many thanks to everyone who helped with my trip and with whom I interacted. I'm so grateful for this opportunity and I look forward to continuing conversations over social media, etc! 

 


My 2012 Singapore Report

I've hugged my family,  unpacked my bags, given my kids gifts (which included a Singaporean version of Monopoly),  run a few loads of laundry and am now settled in to write a bit about my trip during this past week to Singapore. Thanks to my friend, fellow Apple Distinguished Educator colleague, and now Apple employee,  Pav,  I was first invited to work with a new class of Apple Distinguished Educators for the Asia region back in 2008. That was a life changing trip in itself..... I had the opportunity to visit several Singaporean schools, including the School of the Arts and Singapore Sports School, and also to work with amazing Singaporean and international school educators for a week during the 2008 Asia Apple Distinguished Educator Institute.  A year later, educators and students from Maris Stella High School in Singapore came to Chicago over the course of two visits  to the U.S,  intent on forming  foundations for global collaborations. I was priviledged to spend time with Maris Stella teams on both visits.

Consequently, I've thought a great deal about Asia, and specifically Singapore, and was really pleased to be invited to return again this spring. On this visit, the city/country itself seemed to not have changed much, although it did seem like it was more populous. There were still many buildings under construction as evidenced by a plethora of construction cranes, established buildings and streets were in pristine condition, and the weather was still hot, and perhaps a bit more humid. Two huge Singaporean projects were finished since my last visit.... the Universal Studios theme park on Sentosa Island where I stayed last time, and the amazing Marina Bay Sands casino complex with a ship-like structure and pool on its roof. I stayed near Orchard Road, a main high-end shopping district, and again, was amazed by the mass amount of attention devoted to brands and shopping. Marina Bay Sands also sported a very high end mall which was astounding huge. To me, the focus on consumerism was a bit overwhelming, but also a sign of a vibrant economy. We also drove by Singapore's port which reportedly is the largest in the world and never closes. Not much is made in Singapore and it is a gateway to the rest of Asia. Human capital is its best resource and this is evident in the careful planning that pervades this society.

As an aside, I think Singapore would make an excellent topic of study in a interdisciplinary global studies program in middle or high school. Studying its very intentional government would lead to fascinating debates regarding how much control governments should or should not have. Singapore is also a go to country for many financial institutions, so studying its economic forces and impact on the world's economy would also be of interest. And, examining its highly competitive educational system would also lends itself to thinking deeply about the purpose of education. 

Continuing on with details on my visit, I spent four days holding workshops for Asian educators, mostly focused on the iPad. For the first two days, there was an emphasis on accessibility and our third day focused more on general use of Apple technologies. The format of the workshops really worked well and kept participants busy and engaged. Pav served as an emcee extraordinaire and kept the mood light. He's really come into his own working for Apple, and I was so impressed with his leadership and knowledge. Working with me on various days were several ADEs including Jane Ross, Jane Harris, Dawn Hallett, Tyler Sherwood, and Rob Newberry and Greg O'Connor of Australia's Spectronics which runs this conference on inclusive learning technologies. This team was absolutely delightful and I learned a great deal from our conversations. I'm excited to have made some new friends!

The daily format of these workshops usually started out with various welcomes followed by a keynote and 5 25-minute breakouts on various topics. My topic was on planning for 1:1 success, and I'll talk about that more in a follow up post. This speed dating style of presenting was challenging, but it really helped me to gather my language on this topic. Afterwards, reflection time was given to participants and then lunch. After this break, we kicked things up a notch and offered 15 minute app sharing time. Each group of 5 or so educators moved from table to table to learn about our recommendations. I chose to focus on content creation apps, and again I'll provide more details on this in a follow up post. After this activity, another keynote followed and participants were given a short amount of time to present a rough plan for next steps. These plans were presented to the larger group, and everyone left with a sense of where they wanted to proceed. I really admired the schedule as it promoted colleagiality, discussion and movement. Instead of talking at people all day, we were truly engaged and better able to understand their concerns and needs. 

I visited some extraordinary schools for these workshops, Pathlight School and the School of Science and Technology, Singapore. I couldn't take pictures at Pathlight due to privacy concerns with its special needs population, but I did take a few of SST and other places visited. More importantly, I met many extraordinary educators and it seems like counterparts in this part of the world are very thoughtful and knowledgable about best practices in education. This was particularly evident in their final presentations to the group at large. While I haven't had the opportunity to work with a majority of Singaporean and international educators, it seems like they are all on the same page with a committment to teaching inquiry as foundation to learning subject matter. Interational educators largely subscribe to the thematic International Baccaleareate curriculum and the Singaporean educators seemed better versed in various approaches to learning and will travel to learn more about best practices. For instance, one vice principal mentioned that his colleagues recently traveled to Chicago to attend a Lesson  Study conference. If you're not familiar with this Japanese approach to teaching, check out this Wikipedia entry.

Interestingly, I had many conversations with educators over the course of the week of the competitiveness involved with Singaporean schools (and a bit around the international school world as well). The national exams are paramount in Singapore and basically determines the future paths of students. Students, parents and schools all feel the pressure, and each group thinks the pressure comes from each other. The parents think the schools are pressuring them and many turn to outside tutoring agencies and after school programs for extra support. The schools believe that pressure comes from the parents as well.

In order to understand all of this in its proper context, I think it's important to read material on the Ministry of Education's web site that explains its vision. Yes, standardized testing is incredibly important in this society, but they support and invest in their schools and teachers in order to provide their students with the best possible teaching force. Everyone understands that human capital is their only and best resource and they seem united in their quest for excellence. Would this approach work in the U.S? I honestly don't know, but I think our own national agenda is not shared by all constituencies, is fairly negative in its approach to attempting to get results,  and does not do enough to support teachers and build effective and engaging learning environments.

On the topic of learning environments, make sure to take a look at my photos of SST. I wish I had photos to show you of Pathlights, but I'll attempt to tell you what I saw. This school had a traditional Singaporean school footprint... sort of shaped like the letter E, with various cooridors branching out from. There was air conditioning in the rooms where we worked, but generally, Singaporean schools do not necessarily rely on A/C. Lots of fans and ventilated windows and doors seem to be the norm. Pathlights had student art work exhibited and even sold some pieces,  and generally provided support for their students in the form of extra signage (whiteboards by the bus loading area indicated who was to take the bus that day and who wasn't). Their library looked inviting, and they even had a room set aside as a design studio.

The School of Science and Technology was even more amazing as it is a recently completed campus costing around $49 million dollars (Singaporean dollars). It is the most state of the art STEM school I've had the opportunity to visit, and it provided incredible work spaces for both students and faculty. Teachers had individual cubicles in a large office area that was adjoined by an open faculty lounge with several meeting spaces. Rooms for every purpose you can imagine were present including professional development spaces with flexible walls,  science labs equipped with high end equipment, a huge theatre, and a studio for film production activities. The overall look was very modern with bright, bold colors, inspiring phrases were painted on walls, and modular configurable lockers in the halls. One detail that I especially appreciated were the long unobtrusive power strips embedded in lab tables where multiple students could share power.  Most importantly, this school had a vision clearly understood by its principal. Over the course of his tour of the building, it was clear that he understood what it took to provide a 21st century (and beyond) education to his students. In hindsight, I'd like to know more about what Singapore does to cultivate its leaders because this gentleman certainly got it, and I believe that we should be focusing more on leadership in the U.S. 

On Friday, I capped off my week spending time at Chatworth International, a for-profit international school led by a team that includes Tyler Sherwood, Mark McCallum and Rob Newberry. They have a common set of a values and are incredibly colleagial. While at Chatworth, I worked with the English department, discussing topics for infusing technology into their curriculum. These teachers asked great questions, shared their own knowledge and were able to experiment with various tools as I led the way. I think they were probably overwhelmed to a certain degree by the possibilities, but hopefully, our session will inspire them to explore ideas and tools of interest as they will soon be on summer break. The kids at Chatsworth were lovely, too, asking me interesting questions when introduced and I'm glad I got to see where kids were present... most of the Singaporean students were on holiday from their schools as was the case when I visited in November 2008. 

Friday night included dinner with the Chatworth leadership team and I plied them with questions about international school life. It intrigues me, and perhaps one day, I'll take the plunge. They definitely have a unique culture and set of challenges, quite different from US public and private schools. Generally, I think there's more accountability involved (sometimes applied fairly and not so fairly) as many of these schools are for profit and they have an excellent and large pool of teachers from which to hire. There is an intentional revolving door of students and teachers as both educators and families in these schools tend to move fairly quickly for a variety of reasons. I'm also very interested in learning more about the International Baccalaureate curriculum, and would love to get trained in this one day as I think it would benefit my work. 

Thanks for reading my ramblings thus far. My intention was just to get a few of my thoughts  down abou this trip before the whirlwind of the June conference season fully takes effect. Many, many thanks to everyone who helped with my trip and with whom I interacted. I'm so grateful for this opportunity and I look forward to continuing conversations over social media, etc! 

 


Summer Learning Opportunities for Educators

Summer is quickly approaching and it looks like it's going to be a busy one. I'll be presenting at a slew of conferences that may be of High Techpectations readers . Read on for more details!

June 18-20 The Connections Conference at Sidwell Friends, Washington DC

Visit one of the nation's leading independent schools and engage with colleagues during three days of breakout sessions and full day workshops. I'm excited to be presenting at this conference along with colleagues from Educational Collaborators!

June 25 - 27  ISTE 2012, San Diego, CA

Stay tuned about a possible Global Education Conference in person summit! I'll be also conducting a presentation during the conference on Exploring Instructional Uses of YouTube and  Podcasting and Mobile Media Learning and Teaching along with Julene Reed and Larry Anderson. 

June 28 - July 1 The Asia Society's Partnership for Global Learning Conference, Brooklyn, NY

The Asia Society has been on the forefront of global learning for many years, and I'm thrilled to be presenting at PGL12  along with my Global Education Conference co-conspirator, Steve Hargadon. Anne Mirtschin, an Australian educator who has been very active in our online conference, will also be traveling to NYC and I can't wait to meet her in person! 

July 10 -12, iSummit, Atlanta, GA

I'm thrilled to be returning to the Coalition for Lighthouse Schools' annual conference. This is a fabulous event for independent and international schools with 1:1 Apple deployments. C0-chaired by my fellow Apple Distinguished Educator and friend, Julene Reed, this conference is a sure hit!

July 21, SDE Midwest Conference on Differentiated Instruction, Chicago, IL

SDE is one of the nation's premier providers of professional development, and I'll be presenting several sessions that be of interest to educators at their Midwest event.

August 2-5, Blackfoot ETC, Missoula, MT

After a two week sojourn with my family in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I'll be keynoting this conference for Montana educators. I'll be focusing on mobile learning and can't wait to travel to the West to spread the word about best practices in educational technology.

Hope to connect and learning with many of you at these events! 

 

 

 

 


One More Thing...

Just posted this to the private Apple Distinguished Educator community site, and I thought I'd share it here as well.

While discussing an upcoming keynote today with a group, I started thinking about the phrase, "One more thing..." and realized that there are two different interpretations of these words in our world. The first comes from beleaguered educators who are faced with changing their teaching in a digital age; the other comes from Steve Jobs who always had us on the edge of our seats when he invoked that phrase. Teachers often perceive technology as one more thing added to their overburdened duties, but coming from him, you knew that something magical and transformative would follow. If only we could turn "One more thing.... " into something more positive for our colleagues who haven't yet grasped the power of technology to amplify teaching, learning and general human experiences. Let that be our mission moving forward... to continue evangelize the spirit of innovation and to never stop believing that we can collectively change the world. 

That said, I'm eternally grateful to Steve and Apple for allowing me to be a part of this community. It's been such a rich opportunity to partake in Apple culture and to learn from so many gifted and visionary people. When I first became an Apple Distinguished Educator, many people told me it would be a life changing event. I admittedly was skeptical, as how often are we given the heads up that a life change experience is imminently upon you? Time, however,  has proven this to be true, and I want to thank everyone at Apple for inspiring me to be a better educator, advocate for excellence, and active participant in this world. Let's carry on, always remembering all that Steve stood for.  We still have a lot of work to do!

 


Going Global with Apple in the Classroom

I had a ball last night presenting at the Upper Westside Apple Store in Manhattan. It was a bit surreal to walk in the store and see my Bill Frakes photo on a poster (my friends who accompanied me actually tried to see if they'd give me the poster afterwards, but no dice). My focus was on global collaboration and the role of Apple tools in creating your global collaboration toolkit. More will be coming on this topic as I'm part of an ADE group working on an exhibit for iTunes U!

I anticipated the best part of the evening to be demo'ing Facetime and iChat with ADE colleagues around the world. There were concerns about doing these activities over the very busy Apple Store network, so we nixed this plan. However, the work of my colleagues is evident in the presentation; make sure to click on their photos in order to visit their web sites. 

The best part of presenting at the store was the ensuing conversations with audience members who came up to chat afterwards. I met someone who works with accessibility at Apple, a former UN employee who runs a global education foundation, and a slew of other interesting folks. I hope they will keep in touch to continue the global education dialogue. 

Click on underlined text and photos for hyperlinks to additional content. 

 

Going Global with Apple in the Classroom
View more presentations from Lucy Gray
Download PDF and Keynote slides here:

 


What I Really Wanted to Say

Final day of the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute... My group has plans to publish a series of epub documents in ITunes U to help educators incorporate global collaborative projects into their teaching repertoires. We had to present our plan to our esteemed ADE colleagues, and of course this makes me incredibly nervous!!!

Anyway, this is what I intended to say ... It's a good thing I didn't read this word for word, or else our time allotment would have bee completely used up! Thanks to the amazing people on my team, Helen, Gayle, Julene, Deanna, Rita, and Ann!


Becoming an ADE opened up a world of possibilities to me, and the 2006 Institute where we traveled to Europe was a particular catalyst for me as well as some of my fellow group members. I discovered that it's never been easier to connect our classrooms via technology and that we need to help educators leverage these technologies effectively.

The 2006 trip led me to start an online network around global collaboration, and I co-founded an online conference dedicated to this topic last year. During this journey, I've come to realize that our kids are facing complex problems requiring solutions from across borders. Networked learning leads to networked problem solving... We must help kids do this so they are prepared for their futures.

Our project comes from our beliefs around the importance of global education and our goal is to provide a comprehensive set of resources to help teachers connect globally. We have four ePub resources planned so far: a guide to global collaboration, a directory of people and projects, resources for using iOS devices to promote global awareness and a resource toolkit complete with rubrics, templates and an annotated bibliography.

Let us show you what we have planned!

Stay tuned.... Hopefully, this all this will be online in October!!


Tech Forum Chicago Materials

Here are my slides excerpted from a slidedeck for a group presentation at Tech and Learning's Tech Forum Chicago on May 6, 2011.
To get the full deck which includes slides from my co-presenters, click on the files in the Box.net widget below. We published our handout and slides in several formats, including ePub, if you'd like to read these documents on your digital device.
View more presentations from Lucy Gray

 


My Reaction to Apps Push Parents’ Buttons - The Boston Globe

Apps push parents’ buttons - The Boston Globe.

Here's an interesting article that's been posted in my Facebook feed several times today. My first reactions:
1. Parents need to set limits with everything... the use of devices such as iPhones or iPads included. New devices, same old parenting issues. 

I struggle with this all the time, but I know I bear the ultimate responsibility for my kids' overusing devices. Maybe I should start using a timeout app. My daughter, Julia, told me a few months ago to stop putting educational apps on her iPhone. Hah, I'll just replace those with this app with a tantruming kid graphic.

2. I'm not particularly cautious parent when it comes to apps my kids try out, but then again I'm not likely to have questionable apps on my computer in the first place. I usually buy apps upon recommendations and let my kids go to town with them. I'm actually interested in seeing what grabs their attention. My attitude may lead to problems, buyer beware, see #4.

 

3. That said, the author of this article could have done a deeper dive into this topic. I agree that it's difficult to navigate the iTunes Store which recently hit 10 billion downloads. App curation is a need, but there are many sites and blogs devoted to app reviews and children's media. If parents need help with this, my immediate recommendations would be Common Sense Media's mobile app section, Appolicious, and iEAR. The author of this blog friended me tonight in Facebook, and it looks like a good read, too.

 

If parents don't know how to find resources such as this, try entering the terms KIDS APP REVIEWS into a Google search and a plethora of resources will magically appear.
 
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4. I agree that parents need to be aware of in-app purchases. I'm embarrassed to admit that we had a fiasco in our house involving an app called Bakery Story. My 8 year old son purchased nearly $700 worth of gems through this game. iTunes refunded this unauthorized purchase, thank goodness. I am not the only parent this happen to; check out this article.
During this debacle, I also learned that you can turn off the ability to make in-app purchases. Go to your device's settings, then General, Restrictions, Scroll down to Allowed Content and turn off In-App Purchases. You also might want to look at the rating settings movies, music, podcasts, TV shows, and apps. If you really want to control things, you can also turn off the ability to play multiplayer games and adding friends. 

 

5. The Boston.com article also mentions an app from National Geographic called Ultimate Dinotopia which we purchased last week. While my son Henry enjoyed it, I was disappointed. I haven't investigated its origins, but it seems like NG just dumped a print book into digital form and added a couple of slightly interactive features. A much more impressive app based on a book is Animalia. There is a version for iPhones and another for iPads.

 

6. There are more than 90 comments on this article, many of which are fairly harsh about technology. My stance on this is that iPads are the way of the future of learning; we've only just started to dig into its possibilities. 

From my own use and from observing my children interact with content on various Apple devices, I understand how personal the experiences can be. From choosing content to saving content to editing and creating content, it's a device that lends itself to personalization. 

For instance, I've become a fan of not only reading e-books on my iPad, but of searching, highlighting and taking notes within digital books. I can't imagine kids having sustained, deep connections with books by highlighting and note taking if they had to share an iPad in a class or within a family. Yes, you can have connections to print books in the same way, but you can't search them as efficiently in print nor can you carry around the same amount of print books that you can store digitally on an iPad.  

 

If the price of iPads comes down or I win the lottery, whichever comes first, I will be purchasing iPads for each of my kids. I don't see this as a luxury, but as a necessity. I also don't think people will fully understand this until they have the opportunity to explore iPads in-depth.

ADE: Apple Distinguished Educator

At conferences and workshops, attendees are apt to hear me use the acronym ADE quite often. ADE stands for Apple Distinguished Educator, and I'm proud to be a member of this online community since 2005. Apple Distinguished Educators are authors, advocates, advisers, and ambassadors for Apple Inc. Most importantly, we are passionate and dedicated to pedagogical and curricular change via the thoughtful use of educational technology. 

In early 2005, I was invited to apply for this distinction which is given to approximately 50 US educators every two years (international classes of ADEs are formed in alternate years). At the time, invitations to apply came from Apple employees, and my friend and mentor, Helen Hoffenberg nominated me for this. Since then, the application process has become more open and any educator is invited to apply. 

It was such an honor just to be invited to apply as I had admired the work of other Illinois ADEs for years prior. Joe Brennan, Marianne Handler, and Karen Percak had been powerhouses in our local educational technology scene. As my career was still budding, I never thought I'd ever join their ranks in the ADE program. I was just grateful to learn from them at ICE conferences and through my Master's work at National Louis University. Helen, Joe, Marianne and Karen can be credited with being my earliest inspirations in the world of educational technology. 

So, when accepted in the spring of 2005, I was beyond thrilled. It was especially meaningful because sometimes we are prophets in our own land. We have ideas, enthusiasm, and a passion for innovation that are not always recognized in our silo-ed workplaces. It was exciting for me to find a community of like-minded individuals; I also worried about my worthiness as the talents and accomplishments of my ADEs colleagues were truly amazing.

Soon after being accepted into the ADE program, a personal tragedy also affected me. I  found out I was pregnant with my third child, but miscarried early on.  It was a tremendously sad time for me for assorted reasons, and I think I would have been preoccupied with this had I not been inducted into the ADE program during the required summer institute held in San Jose, California. The ADE program also put my work on steroids, and there has been no looking back. 

This institute was a week long whirlwind event that left participants feeling as if they won the golden ticket in a Willy Wonka movie. We worked on collaborative projects, listened to amazing speakers such as Alan November, and played with Apple technologies. Apple's foray into podcasting had just been announced and there was quite a buzz around its potential, too.  It was particularly fascinating to network so many other interesting educators; there was something to learn from each ADE. We also had the opportunity to visit Apple, shop in the company store, and listen to Apple giants such as Jonathan Ive. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, I was still such a newbie to all things Apple that I didn't even know of his significance until hearing him speak!

At any rate, the ADE program has given so much to me and I hope that I've been able to return the love over the past few years. I've participated in three other institutes following my induction in 2005, most memorably one that was held in Europe during the summer of 2006. We traveled to Berlin, Dresden and Prague while developing global education materials. It was fun, intense, and eye opening; this event inspired me to start the Global Education Collaborative. It also led me to travel to Singapore in 2008 to help with the Asian Apple Distinguished Educator Institute, which was a rare and special opportunity. 

Other numerous events have happened along the way including staffing Apple booths at conferences (this has generally been phased out), helping with briefings, and writing curriculum, but the most important aspect of being an ADE has been the informal networking that has occurred through various communication channels. One ADE told me that summer in 2005 that my life would change because of this program, and she was spot on. 

The relationships I've developed in the ADE community go beyond networking; I'm connected to people better than myself who continually inspire me. If I don't know the answer to something, these people jump in immediately to help. If I need examples of best educational practices, my ADE colleagues point me in interesting directions. If I want to do a collaborative online project, again ADEs are there to join in. This community has taught me much about the power of professional generosity and that together, we can move education in positive directions. In addition to the collegial relationships, I've made some lifelong friends and an important element of the ADE program is this hard to describe family-like bond. 

My experiences as an ADE have also made me realize all teachers should have the opportunity to experience the power of online professional learning communities. There are many places that exist where educators can seek out like-minded folks without applying for an award. While I wholeheartedly encourage everyone I know to apply for the ADE program, don't let the exclusivity of this group prevent you from connecting to other educators. Jump into communities such as Classroom 2.0, and chances are that you'll experience much of the same professional joy that I have just by connecting and collaborating with others. 

If you are applying for the ADE program, here are a few tips. I've had many people approach me for words of wisdom about the application process and some want me to review their required videos. I don't think it's particularly fair to dispense with advice to a selected few, so hopefully this post will be helpful to a larger group of people. Please bear in mind that I have no special insight into the selection process, and I have no clue how applications are vetted, to be quite honest. So the following are just some tips, and I cannot offer you any guarantee of success. 

  • Read the application carefully.

Pay attention to the types of educators that the application is calling for. Answer the required questions and such accurately. 

  • Avoid clichés; be original.

  Choose your words carefully and keep it fresh.  Don't overuse hackneyed terms such as 21st century skills.

  • Share your special talents and expertise.

Think about how you can share your unique interests, hobbies or talents through the application. Lots of ADEs (not me particularly) have talents that make them just interesting people to be around, aside from passion about technology.  Also, keep in mind that there are lots of amazing educators out there and consider how you can stand out. 

  • Keep student learning at the forefront.

Focus on how your efforts have benefited student learning. Be concrete by giving examples and avoid making this application all about you. It's still all about the kids, and you need to balance this while describing your experiences. 

  • Articulate how you would participate in the ADE community. 

This is just not an award; it's an invitation to participate in an active group where everyone benefits by sharing. Be prepared to show that you are collaborative and generous to colleagues. 

  • Create a video that's clever, simple, and elegant.

Just like Apple, keep it simple. Don't go overboard with special effects and such unless you are a whiz at Final Cut Pro. Have your video tell a compelling story and make sure to include concrete examples of student work.  Videos also take time; don't wait until the last minute to do this. Also, don't go over the required time limit.

  • Don't apply just to have this title on your résumé. 

I recently read a tweet from someone who honestly answered that he thought the ADE title would look good on a résumé. I have no doubt that listing this affiliation is helpful, but that shouldn't be the sole reason you are applying. You should be applying because you want to collaborate, you want to learn more and you want to advocate for the power of educational technology. 

I hope that you find this information helpful and I wish you luck in the application process. If you are not one of the lucky 50 who receive this distinction this year, keep working on your skills, leadership abilities, and student projects. Quality work will speak for itself as to your impact on education more than any award, and you can always try again the next time applications are accepted. 

The Apple Distinguished Educator program has been such an influence on everything I do, and I am profoundly grateful for the opportunities its afforded me. We need more programs like this so that educators feel respected, inspired, and empowered!


Apple - Education - Apple Learning Tour

Stanley Apple - Education - Apple Learning Tour.

I had the opportunity to attend Apple's hands-on events that were held in the Chicago area the past two days. If you're interested in experiencing Apple technologies for yourself, check the learning tour site for additional dates and locations. This event will be repeated in Rosemont, Illinois, in January. I highly recommend the Apple Learning Tour because it gives you the opportunity to be a student yourself, producing multimedia in a curricular context. People wonder why Apple doesn't have much of a presence at conferences these days... my guess is that these kinds of immersive experiences are much more effective for helping educators understand the true power of technology. 

I came away from these workshops with lots of ideas for using iLife and iWork  in classrooms. I'm particularly excited about publishing work created in Apple's iWork suite in ePub format, which is the file format supported by Apple's iBook app on iPods and iPads. You can take any Keynote, Numbers, or Pages document and then export it to ePub format under the Share menu. Then, drag that file into iTunes so that it imports into your iTune library (it goes under Books, I believe) and then sync your iPad or iPod. Under your iBook app, you'll be able to browse through your presentation or document. I knew that there were lots of possibilities for publishing in this manner, but I just haven't gotten around to exploring this concept until now. Think about having a class do group projects and then you sync all the reports to your class set of iPads, and the kids can take look at each other's work this way. Pretty nifty. 

Also, keep in mind that you can drop videos that kids have created in Photo Booth or iMovie right into a Pages document. Also, consider creating project templates for kids to use that include the elements that you want for the project. For instance, make templates for journal entries, lab reports, etc. 

Another thought that I think crossed a lot of participants' minds is that each kid ideally needs their own device. The price point of an iPad is reasonable, but a more compelling reason is there is so much that can be done to personalize learning on iPads. Specifically, it's ideal to have kids reading novels on iPads and along with this, taking notes and highlighting important passages. Annotations are really a personal thing... how would you handle this if classes had sets to share? if your class sets of iPads were re-synced each night to refresh for other classes and those notes were potentially erased?

Finally, we looked at a bunch of apps that were amazing. I always come away from these events with a long list of apps that I want to download, and in some cases, purchase. One favorite that I tried out with my son tonight was a book app called Milly, Molly and the Bike Ride by Kiwa Media, which seems to make additional books and apps. It reminds me very much of Scholastic's Wiggle Works program because kids can have the book read to them or can record themselves reading. Henry and I also enjoyed a Encyclopedia Kids app on volcanoes... they also make the Egyptian history one featured today at the learning tour and another on dinosaurs. Encyclopedia Britannica Kids Volcanoes is really a rich source of content including puzzles, quizzes, and tons of videos of real volcanoes. This is right up Henry's alley and I suspect we'll be purchasing the other two apps made by this company. We also purchased a Flat Stanley app which I totally love and I've uploaded the picture Henry made to this blog. Henry had fun writing the caption on this year old picture and sending via our iPad to my husband, Julia, and my dad. Other apps that I purchased that I still need to check out include Math Bingo, NineGaps, and Inkling, which is a textbook reader for lack of a better term.

By the way, other has other education events at various locations and online. Check out their offerings here

 


Map Pages in iPhoto Books

I'm helping out with an Apple event for principals this week, and I'm learning some new tricks and tips in the process. 

  Ishot-346
 My favorite is adding map pages to iPhoto books. Here's how to do it:

  1. Create an album of photos in iPhoto.
  2. Click on the keepsake button to create a photo book.
  3. Go to one of your pages within the book, and click on the Layout button to change the page layout. Select Map Page. In the attached screenshot, I selected layout 2.
  4. In my case, my photos are geotagged because my camera detects locations of where I shoot pictures, and adds that metadata to each photo. When I created this map page, iPhoto automatcialy knew these locations and added them to the map. You can add locations manually, too, in the small gray box that pops up when you click on your map page.
  5. In this gray box, make sure to click on Show Lines if you want your route to show up on your map.

Ishot-362  Another cool trick I learned is with Speech to Text that's built into the Mac operating system. I already that you could highlight text on a web page (try this with Wikipedia for instance) and then go to the Services menu under your application menu to have the selected text read aloud (In my case, this is under the word Safari in my browser). This featured has been enhanced in Snow Leopard and now you can send the audio file to iTunes where you can put this on an iPod or create a folder of audio files for students to use. Very cool!




For iPhone (and Android) App Addicts: Appolicious ™ iPhone App Directory

iPhone Apps: Find, share and track | Appolicious ™ iPhone App Directory.

This is my favorite new find that will undoubtedly support my new obsession with everything related to iPhone apps!

Check out this very well designed site which allows you to import a list of the names of iPhone apps on your computer to rate and critique. Share items on your list with others, or keep some apps private.  Curate collections of apps for other users to browse, and participate in discussions related to apps. Tie your account to Twitter and Facebook so that you can post your curated lists in multiple places. Creating a social media space revolving the booming apps business is brilliant! When your friends ask you for app recommendations, just send them to your page in Appolicious. Not to be completely biased, there is also a community for Android users. 

Here's a link to my first attempt at a collection:


My Digital Kids

Although both of my kids are four years apart, they have similar digital tastes. I've found items like Leapfrog's Leapsters to be helpful during our 35 minute plus commute to school, and I decided they were ready for iPods when their last birthdays rolled around (both were born in October). I purchased the last version of the iPod Nano (the square chunky model) along with iTunes gift cards for them in addition to loading up the MP3 players with content that I thought they'd enjoy. 

So far, so good in terms of their use. My fourth grader, Julia, has learned how to select content in our iTunes library and sync it with her iPod. Both keep their headphones and iPods in plastic bags most of the time for easy transport and protection. Henry has a lamp that plays the iPod and he listens to audiobooks and music at bedtime. Julia has a clock radio that does this, too, but it hasn't worked as well as the lamp. 

In terms of content, we can fit about one movie (the current selection is Alvin and the Chipmunks) and a slew of audiobooks and podcasts on the iPods. Both kids love a Webkinz podcast; Julia tends to gravitate towards audiobooks and Henry is learning a great deal from video episodes from the National Geographic channel in iTunes. Here's a video that I did with Henry about what he's learned so far. 



Christmas in September



I've had to wait since last Christmas for my Verizon contract to run out, and finally the day of the iPhone arrived.

I'm so impressed with it's capabilities and apps. I'm using a Typepad app to write this blog post right now. Above is one of my first photos; my five year old son fell asleep in the AT & T store!


Field Trips 2.0 Project

I am part of a group of teachers working on a project that we plan on submitting to the Apple Learning Interchange. Specifically, this project focuses on the idea of reinventing field trips as we traditionally know them. We'd like to show teachers how to plan effectively for mobile learning experiences, what great excursions look like, and help them kick field trips up a notch by taking advantage of collaborative opportunities, digital tools, and web-based resources.

Interested educators are welcome to join our project. There are a couple of ways you and/or your colleagues can help:

1) Add bookmarks to our resource collection in del.icio.us by tagging any great links with the tag: Fieldtrips2.0.

2) Let us link to your educational blogs, blog posts, and Google Earth files that deal with your own field trip experiences. We also would love links to geocaching projects. We will post your name and school along with any links you send.

3) Participate in a group audio and/or video. We want to record a conversation, preferably using iChat AV, between multiple educators on how to make a field trip work, particularly when using Apple stuff and other digital equipment.

Send any of us an email indicating strands of interest if you'd like to participate. Additional details will then follow.

Thanks in advance,

Lucy Gray - University of Chicago Charter School
Judy Beaver - Punahou School
Andrew Gardner - The School at Columbia
Julene Reed - St. George's Independent Schools
Mike Searson - Kean University


NECC 2007 Workshop Resources

Excuse multiple crossposts -

Julene Reed and I are teaching a workshop at NECC on global collaboration, and I've set up a series of resources to demonstrate during this class. I hope that these resources will live on as people become interested in sharing resources used to teach global awareness concepts. Please consider jumping in and joining any of these groups. Some of them are already seeded with material, but others are just getting started. Feel free to pass this info on to anyone you know that also might be interested.

If you are presenting on a simliar topic at NECC, please think about "crosspollinating" material in these spaces as well.

1) Global Education Ning group
http://globaleducation.ning.com/

2) Global Education Flickr group
http://flickr.com/groups/globaleducation/

3) Global Ed Google Group
http://groups.google.com/group/globaleducation

4) Global Education Collaborative Wikispace
http://globaleducationcollaborative.wikispaces.com/

5) I'm tagging any resources I bookmark with the tag globalawareness in Furl and in del.icio.us.

6) Google Calendar for Global Education - enter your NECC global awareness events here, for instance.

If you think of other similar resources we should include, please send me suggestions.  Thanks!!!


Friday 5: Using Chat and Instant Messaging in the Classroom

My students have found me online. I haven't decided if this is a good thing, or not, quite yet, but it definitely has me to thinking about using chat and instant messaging to communicate with students.

In my sixth grade computer science class, our discussion about instant messaging started when a student asked me about my user name for a class wiki project. I explained that I use the same user name (elemenous) for all my accounts, including the AOL Instant Messaging service (AIM), and my students perked up immediately. They were surprised that a teacher, of all people, actually used AIM, and I bet one class that many more teachers use an instant messaging service than they realized. I also explained that I use chat regularly to communicate with other teachers around the world, and that it's been wonderful tool for exchanging files and learning from other educators.

So, since this discussion, the number of kids instant messaging me after school has jumped from 1 kid last week to about 8 kids last night. I think I had 4 different chat windows open on my computer, and it was difficult for me to multitask. I noticed that the conversations are markedly different than the ones I have with adults. When I chat with an adult, I usually am pinging them for a specific reason such as tech help or to share a resource. With kids, however, it seems as if they are sort aimlessly IMing each other and me. This is a social tool for them, and they must be chatting with lots of other people because often our conversations go dead as if they were busy elsewhere. Sixth graders, IMHO, have not learned the fine art of  carrying on an online conversation. Interestingly enough, though, one of my students told me that most of the grade-level "drama" happens within instant messaging conversations after school. One kid said he's learned to hit certain keys to quit IMing quickly when his mother approaches as he's not supposed to be online during homework time. Another kid said his mother took away his keyboard because she thought his computer habits were too distracting for him. (I'm making a mental note of this tactic for when my children hit middle school.) It's fascinating to see how important this tool has become to kids; I feel like I've been let into the club a bit as they have been reaching out to me via IMing.

Generally, I think using instant messaging and chat rooms in the context of learning is not something most teachers want to incorporate into their curricula; it's a matter of digital natives versus digital immigrants. We immigrants have been slow to realize that this tool is wildly popular amongst adolescents, and that if we frame its use properly, chatting via instant messaging or inchat rooms might actually empower learning. So this week, I've compiled a slew of related articles that might help you understand this phenomenon.

Take care and have a great weekend,

Lucy Gray


1)   Strategies For Using Chat
Academic Distance Learning Center, Webster University, Saint Louis, Missouri

2)    Let's Chat: Chat Rooms in Elementary School

3)   Educause | Resources | Resource Center Abstract

4)   PC World - Internet Tips: A Grown-Up's Guide to Instant Messaging

5)   Moving at the Speed of Creativity>Blog Archive> The Case for Instant Messaging in the Classroom

6)   Experimental College at Tufts | Instant Messaging: R U Online! RU? | By Robert Farmer

7)     Spiral Notebook > IM in the Mood for Chat

8)     Apple - Education - iChat AV and iSight in the Classroom: Lesson Plans

9)     iChatCollaboration.pdf from Goochland County Public Schools



Resources Worth Mentioning

I've been audio and video chatting a great deal with fellow ADES recently, and I thought I'd pass on a couple of resources I've learned of via these conversations. First, check out Rae Niles' web site, and particularly this page. She's created simple video tutorials for basic thinks like CD burning. And, Judy Beaver recommmended a blog maintained by a colleage at the Punahou School as well as a book by Dr. Sally Shaywitz. Judy heard Dr. Shaywitz speak at this Learning and Brain conference. And, Judy and Kris Hill both discussed a reading intervention product called Fast ForWord that might be of interested to blog readers.


Apple - Retail - Youth Workshops

Link: Apple - Retail - Youth Workshops.

My daughter, Julia, attended her first Apple Youth Workshop a few weeks ago, and here is the resulting song. She learned how to create music in GarageBand. This workshop was free, and there are two others in the next couple of months on photos and movies.

In addition to receiving a CD of her music, Julia also a pink Music Project Book that fit inside the CD envelope. This booklet contains some GB basics and has pages for notes.

Download 01_julias_song.m4a



Friday 5: Online Teacher Networks

Friday 5: Online Teacher Networks

Dear Readers –

Last week, I spent a glorious day at Google’s New York office assisting with their new education initiative, the Google Teacher Academy. Participants in this day-long professional development event are now part of the Google Certified Teacher learning community, along with teachers from the first GTA held in Mountain View, California, late last year.

Google Certified Teachers are actively sharing ideas in a Google Group created just for them, and this has reminded me of the potential power of online communities. Virtual places can serve as support for teachers at any level, and it’s a huge convenience to participate in a professional development activity at anytime from any internet-connected computer. Judging from the enthusiasm of these Google Certified Teachers, educators are truly yearning for opportunities to connect and collaborate.

While the Google Certified Teacher program is open only to those who’ve participated in academies, there are many other places where teachers can find similar opportunities. For instance, my professional life has indelibly improved by my participation in the Apple Distinguished Educator program, which is currently taking applications for a new class of ADEs. The deadline is February 28, so consider applying as soon as possible! Please note that some of the communities cited in this week list do not require application for membership, however. There is something for everyone out there!

I suspect that Second Life probably also has some learning communities for teachers, too, but I have yet to dive into this virtual world. Maybe this summer I will take the plunge!

Have a great weekend,

Lucy Gray

1.    Tapped In
Create a virtual office in Tapped In and participate in various activities in this space.

2.    National Geographic Education Network

3.    EdWeek
EdWeek has several community tools within its extensive web site. Check out:

4.    Discovery Educator Network

5.    Golden Apple Foundation’s Teaching Excellence Network


Apple Learning Interchange 2007 - Become an ADE!

Link: Apple Learning Interchange 2007 - Become an ADE!.

Good news! Apple is accepting applications for its 2007 class of Apple Distinguished Educators. As I've said many times before, this program has changed my life... I've met so many wonderful people at the top of their professional games, received a great deal of moral support, and have been inspired to improve my teaching and learning.

It seems that Apple sort of remixes the application process every time it accepts applications for a new class (which is not every year... last year it was international ADES only). I was inducted in 2005, and the application process as not open; I was nominated by an Apple employee and it completely caught me by surprise.

Consider applying if you love anything and everything Apple, if you believe in professional generosity and are willing to participate in an active learning community, and if you have expertise in project based learning, 1 to 1 learning enviroments, career/creative tech and/or work in a college of education.


MacSanta

Link: http://www.macsanta.com .

One my Mac savvy fifth graders told me about Mac Heist last week, a special marketing effort of Mac shareware. A slew of cool programs were offered to participants within a time frame for the low price of $49. MacHeist organizers also donated a portion of profits to various charities. While I personally thought it was a clever way of publicizing products, apparently others think developers get the short end of the stick. The current MacHeist is now over, but a sixth is in the works apparently.

MacSanta is another promotion that is running through Christmas Day and may be of interest to those who missed MacHeist. About 30 different companies are offering their goodies via MacSanta for 20% off. I don't really *need* more stuff, but I know it will be lots of fun to experiment with these goodies once I unwrap the new iMac that Santa is bringing me!


Friday 5: Widgets in Education

MydashboardWidgets are mini-applications that can be employed to make your working life more efficient. The Mac operating system, known as OS X, includes Dashboard, a piece of software that runs and manages widgets. Yahoo also has a widget engine which runs on PC and Mac desktops. This week’s list is primarily focuses on Dashboard widgets for OS X. I've also included a screenshot of my Dashboard.

The impetus behind this week’s list is that I decided that a list of educationally usefully widgets would be helpful to educators, particularly those who are implementing 1 to 1 laptop programs. There are also sorts of widgets out there that can potentially enhance learning including ones containing dictionaries, words and facts of the day, calendars, converters, translators, and photos. Also, students absolutely are intrigued by widgets and you should be aware of these doodads from a classroom/laptop management point of view. Best of all, many widgets are free, although I’ve noticed a few shareware and commercially sold ones out there.

For more background information, I suggest you check out  a couple of Wikipedia articles on Yahoo’s Widget Engine (formally known as Konfabulator) and on Apple’s Dashboard software which also uses widgets. And, for a more in-depth history of Konfabulator widgets and Apple widgets, read this blog post from Daring Fireball.

Have fun exploring,

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail

Basics

1)    Yahoo! Widgets
http://widgets.yahoo.com/

Get the Yahoo engine widget here. You need this before running any Yahoo widget. There is a version for both PC and Mac users.

2)    Apple’s Dashboard Widgets
http://www.apple.com/macosx/theater/dashboard.html
http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/

If you have a Mac running OS 10.4 (Tiger), you have Dashboard on your computer. View a demo of Dashboard and find widgets that run on Dashboard using the above links.

There are differences between Yahoo! Widgets and Dashboard widgets. They are created using different technologies and Yahoo’s widgets run on your desktop while Apple’s run in Dashboard.  Read the aforementioned Wikipedia article on widgets for more info.

Next Steps

3)    Listing of Education Widgets
http://widged.com/widgets/

Here’s a comprehensive list of widgets that could be used in school settings.

4)    Dashboard Widgets from ZDNet
http://tinyurl.com/ybgpbo

Google Macintosh Dashboard Widgets
http://www.google.com/macwidgets/index.html

5)    Voicenotes Dashboard Widget
http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/business/voicenotes.html

This one is a demo and it costs $5.95. Check out the company web site for additional widgets: .

6)    Graphing Widgets for Dashboard
http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/business/graphingwidgets.html

7)    Notepad Widget for Dashboard
http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/business/notepadwidget.html

8)    Stop-It! Widget for Dashboard
http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/business/stopit.html

This widget is a count down timer.

9)    This Day in History Widget for Dashboard
http://www.5star-shareware.com/Mac/Dashboard/this_day_in_history.html

10)    The Periodic Table Widget for Dashboard
http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/reference/theperiodictable.html

For Fun

11)     Pirate Translator for Dashboard
http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/calculate_convert/piratetranslator.html

12)     Christmas Lights for Dashboard
http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/games/christmaslights.html

13)     Basketball for Dashboard
http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/games/basketball.html

Deep Dive

Apparently, it’s fairly easy to create your own widgets. Here are some sources for getting started.

14)     Developing Dashboard Widgets
http://developer.apple.com/macosx/dashboard.html

15)     Yahoo! Widgets – Workshop
http://widgets.yahoo.com/workshop/


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Remember Fortunetellers?

Fortunetellers were big in my mid-elementary school life. If you have no clue what I am talking about, check out this site and its accompanying instructional video.

One of my fifth grade students designed an Apple themed one and I asked him if I could post it here because I thought it was clever. Perhaps I could have students make other fortune tellers, perhaps related to say, computer ethics or millenial terminology. Maybe we could even program a digital fortune teller in Microworlds!

Download applefortuneteller.jpg

Anyway, the student who created this is also is responsible for the Apple Pro Care idea I posted last spring. He has a APC membership and goes to the Apple store for classes that he has registered for online. It's quite a deal if you take advantage of the classes on a regular basis. As a result, this student has gotten to be pretty tech savvy!



Friday 5: Found @ Closing the Gap

Ctg

I’m home after a busy week attending an assistive technology conference called Closing the Gap in Minneapolis. The Friday 5 sites this week are gleaned from various sessions and conversations with colleagues during this interesting event.

 

Enjoy,

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com

 

1)    Closing the Gap
http://www.closingthegap.com/

This is the main page for this organization started in 1983 by parents of a deaf child. It is considered one of the premier assistive tech conferences in the U.S .

2)    Apple – Accessibility
http://www.apple.com/accessibility/

Did you know that there are many features built into the Mac operating system that make it easier for
students to use computers? This site will help you learn about these features, including VoiceOver which is designed to help those with vision issues. I am very proud that I learned a bit about how to use this spoken interface! Also check out Apple’s Accessibility in Education page at http://www.apple.com/education/accessibility/.

3)    Assistive Technology Blog and Assistive Technology Yahoo Group
http://assistivetek.blogspot.com/
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/attechnology/

These two resources are maintained by fellow ADE colleague and assistive technology expert Brian Friedlander.

4)    Blogs, Wikis, Webcasts, Etc.: New Tools for Students with Disabilities
http://closingthegap.wikispaces.com/

This wiki was used for a presentation on how the popular technologies known as blogs, wikis, and webcasts can help kids. There are lots of great resources listed in this online document that would be helpful to special ed and regular ed teachers.

5)    Marratech: Video Collaboration, E-meeting, and Web Conferencing on the Internet
http://www.marratech.com/

I have not tried this yet, but it was recommended to me by another ADE, Kris Hill, who presented with me this week at Closing the Gap. Apparently, you can video conference with others and share documents.

 


Apple Learning Interchange 2006 - Rethink. Global Awareness.

Link: Apple Learning Interchange 2006 - Rethink. Global Awareness..

I am so pleased to announce the official launch of the Apple Learning Interchange exhibit on global awareness. This project was initiated as part of the Apple Distinguished Educator 2006 Summer Institute which took place in Europe. I traveled with approximately 60 other ADEs, Apple employees and people from EF Tours to Berlin, Dresden, and Prague and we began working on various curricular projects while on the trip. It was a life altering trip and I'm so impressed with the resulting work of my ADE colleagues. I hope others will join in the projects that we've started as part of this initiative.

I've started a discussion group about global awareness, by the way, and anyone with an interest is welcome to join. Just email me (elemenous@mac.com) so that I can invite you to the group!


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Fun with Photobooth

Link: Apple - iMac - iSight.

Photobooth is an app that comes with newer Macs and is used in conjunction with their built-in iSight cameras. If you click on the above link, you'll see a picture of the kind of computer now in my lab, and the iSight lens is the black square at the top of the screen.

Just about every student that's walked in my lab during the past few weeks has played with Photobooth, and it has drawn raves. I'm starting to think of ideas of how to incorporate this fun, but sort of frivilous, tool into classroom activities. One idea I have is to have each kid in a grade level take their photo using PB and we'll incorporate this pic into our end of their year iMovies. This allows kids to control their own picture and add effects instead of being at the mercy of another kid taking their picture with a digital camera.

During class yesterday, students took a series of photos in Photobooth for their parents and left these in the program's storage area so that their parents could see them during last night's Open House. Then... I had parents find their kids' photos, gave them a few instructions and had them take their own photos for their children. My students will discover these pictures either Friday or Monday, depending on their schedule. This is sort of a remix of a lower school Open House activity where parents leave notes for their children in their desks so that they have something to read the following morning. Instead, we used digital pictures!

I'm also toying with some sort of activity where kids would take a picture using iSight and Photobooth, and then move to the next computer, and take another photo and then keep moving on. It might be a nice way for a group of kids to gather photos of each other for some sort of project, like an advisory group iMovie.

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.Mac's slow death - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

Link: .Mac's slow death - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).

I adore my .Mac account, and I do not forsee this service becoming obsolete, particularly because of its web publishing capabilities. Nevertheless, I am playing around with some of Google's products, and this blog posting has a nice comparison of the tools found at Google and those provided with a .Mac account. I am particularly interested in importing my Address Book contacts into Gmail and there's a reference here to a freeware program that will help do that.

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Friday 5: Europe


September 8, 2006

Hello –

Following my trip to the National Educational Computing Conference this summer, I had the amazing opportunity to also travel to Europe as part of a delegation of Apple Distinguished Educators charged with developing a global awareness curriculum. This curriculum will become publically available at no cost in the Apple Learning Interchange (http://edcommunity.apple.com/ali/) sometime in early October.

As an unofficial part of this project, I’ve started an online group to discuss and share anything related to global education. People interested in joining this conversation can email me at lgray@ucls.uchicago.edu and I will send you an invitation with instructions on how to join.
This week’s list is comprised of web sites related to the aforementioned Apple global awareness project and to some of the cities I visited. ADEs toured Berlin and Prague led by EF Education (http://www.ef.com/ ) and afterwards, I headed to Florence and Paris with two other ADEs. I don’t know why I waited so long to travel extensively in Europe. All I can say is that if you haven’t gone abroad yet in your life, do everything in your power to make it happen. The rewards will be numerous.


Take care,


Lucy Gray

Continue reading "Friday 5: Europe" »


Global Education .Mac Group

I'm interested in continuing the conversation about global awareness, and I've taken the liberty of starting a .Mac group on this topic. I've never really taken advantage of .Mac groups before, so this provides an opportunity to explore this tool as well.

My goal is to provide an inclusive forum for ADEs, informal external partners, and other interested educators to discuss and share anything related to global education. Many ADEs who attended this year's institute consulted outside resources in preparation for the trip; this forum may be a way to include these groups. I see this .Mac group as a vehicle for sharing resources, collaborating on projects, and for possibly garnering feedback on our various curriculum projects. I am sure there are other ideas that we can come up with regarding how to best utilize this resource.

If you'd like to join this group, please send me an email at elemenous@mac.com or lgray@ucls.uchicago.edu, and I'll send you an invitation with instructions on how to join. Feel free to pass this on to other people that may be interested as well. Participants do not need an active .Mac account to join, only a .Mac ID.

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Google Maps Plugin for Address Book - Brian Toth

Link: Google Maps Plugin for Address Book - Brian Toth.

I love Apple's Address Book. I inadvertently just discovered two cool things. First, if you have Skype installed, right click on a phone number in Address book and there's a menu that allows you to dial that number in Skype. The only problem is that I think you need to have a 1 before the number. After I stumbled on this, I typed in Apple and Address Book into Google, and I found this plug in to work with Google Maps and Google Earth.

Okay, now I need to do some real work....but while I am goofing around, I see that you can create Skypecasts and Ecamm now makes a recorder to be used with Skype. Must revisit this! I finally around to playing with their iGlasses software a few weeks ago, and it's very fun.

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School's Out

School's out and I am ready for some adventure! I am pinching myself because the summer of a lifetime awaits me. In two weeks, my family and I will be traveling to San Diego so that I can attend NECC 2006 and so that we all can do the Southern California tourist thing... Sea World, San Diego Zoo, Disneyland etc.

And, I had this all planned before I knew about the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute for this summer which promises to be another amazing experience. We're traveling to Europe July 21 -31 to collaborate on a digital global awareness curriculum in conjunction with EF Tours. We will be addressing an essential question via four themes, and this curriculum will hopefully be published on Apple's web site in the fall.

At any rate, I plan to be blogging on a more regular basis now that I have some time. As instructed by David Warlick in a recent post regarding tags for NECC, I'm adding mine here:

tags technorati :

Here's to a fabulous summer ! Yay!


Apple - Retail - ProCare

Link: Apple - Retail - ProCare.

A fourth grade student at my school recently showed a fabulous DVD at our School Night at the Apple Store. He learned how to do this as his parents signed him up for a ProCare subscription. Little did I know that Procare allows subscribers to sign up for classes at the Apple Store and these classes are including in the $99 price tag! Nifty! I suggested this to a colleague who was looking to upgrade her computer skills. It looks like there's something for everyone in the listings at our local North Michigan Avenue store.


Wisconsin Educational Leadership Forum

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending and presenting at an Apple event called the Wisconsin Educational Leadership Forum. Here is a PDF of my presentation on how technology changes learning. My Keynote preso is uploaded here.

Other speakers included Milt Dougherty, Mike Hester and Dorothy Crenshaw. Milt is a well traveled consultant and superintendent in Kansas, Mike is a high school principal in Kansas, and Dorothy Crenshaw is the Chief Information Officer of the Indianapolis Public Schools. I learned a great deal from these speakers in terms of content and presentation skills and I think all of our presos dovetailed nicely together.

From Milt, I learned that change is about leadership and that schools considering 1 to 1 laptop programs need to set a goal for what they are trying to accomplish. Mike's message reminded me a lot of Alan Novemer's presentations. I appreciated his call for people to have the courage to change our educational system. I often ponder why things stay the same in our field when some aspects are clearly not working.

Mike showed this hilarious herding cats video and gave details about 1 to 1 implementation in his district. Professional development was key to his district's success and he devoted 45 minutes to staff development time each week. This is not the first time I've heard in a 1 to 1 program, you can never allot enough time for professional development. Mike also mentioned his ICU... iBook Care Unit... at which kids could get their laptops repaired.

Dorothy was a very inspirational speaker, and it's heartening to know that an urban district can pull of a sustained 1 to 1 program. Her message was, "Do whatever it takes. Make a committment to the best resources for your students." She also made efforts to reach out to her board and to city and university partners. Dorothy's district also spent a great deal of time with professional development and developed a class for parents on laptop learning. Kids in Indy are required to produce some sort of project at the end of the eyar and they hold various celebrations to recognize the kids' efforts. The school district also partners with the city and mayor's office to tackle a community problem and the laptops facilitate this. Problem based learning is a big component to this program. Also, students are given internet cable access at home, which to me, is so important. What's the point if the kids can't use these machines at home?

All in all, this event was a great experience and I enjoyed the administrator's perspective on 1 to 1 initiatives!


Download wisconsin_education_leadership_forum.doc


Download Brookfield.pdf


Brookfield_3

Continue reading "Wisconsin Educational Leadership Forum" »


NICE Mini-Conference

Download ipodinfo.doc

Here's the handout originally created for my Lab colleagues and adapted for the NICE Mini-Conference. Basic information on iPods and podcasting is included in this handout along with many resource links and commentary from a fellow ADE on how video iPods can transform education. By the way,  Karen Percak and I will conducting an all day, hands-on workshop at IL-TCE on February 27 on using iPods in the classroom.

Any feedback or questions regarding yesterday's NICE session would be greatly appreciated. Email me or Karen Percak!


Sam at the Apple Store Revisited

I blogged recently about a student and his presentation at the Apple Store last fall. I had nothing to do with Sam's actual presentation, but I did attend and was impressed with his skill set. Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen noticed  and used Sam's picture as well as some comments from me in his most recent blog post.

I appreciate his thoughtful comments for two reasons. First, his message about "the beginner's mind" is important. I like the idea of remaining unjaded and this applies to whatever field one has chosen. If one is  burdened by past negative experiences, of course one will never be able to be innovative. At any rate, I think I need to learn more about Zen philosophy. I'm liking what I am hearing!

Secondly, as further proof that this really is indeed a small world, I was surprised to receive Garr's email. I had been reading his blog for a number of months and had it listed in my blogroll, but I had never really associated a person's name with Presentation Zen. I had even used one his posts comparing Steve Job's and Bill Gates in a sixth grade class when we discussed presentation design. So when I saw his email, it took a few moments for me to register that he was the author of this fabulous blog I had been reading.  I think it is interesting how blogging can connect people around the world... a blog is not just a dumbed down way to publish a web page. Along with tags and search engines like Technorati, blogs give people a voice in this world that previously was only relegated to "experts" via traditional media. It really is a very exciting time in technology because of this, and I can't wait for more people out there to grasp the concepts of networking, collaboration, and sharing over the internet using emerging technologies.

Anyway, thank you, Garr, and I'm sure Sam will be over the moon with your description of him as "almost Steve-Jobs like"! He's a great kid and I'm looking forward to working more with him as he progresses through our middle school.