Posts categorized "Lab" Feed

The New Safeties - New York Times

Link: The New Safeties - New York Times.

People often wonder if I ever sleep and the answer is not very much AND I've learned to work more efficiently over the years. As I've mentioned many times in this blog, RSS has changed my life (thank you ADE Mark from OK), and one cool thing I've done is saved Google searches as RSS feeds so that any new results appear in my newsreader.

One of those saved searches is for my now former place of employment, The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Today, I noticed two new feeds. One from a San Diego paper quoting Barack Obama as sending his kids to Lab "because he taught there and the school was close." Nice writing... Barack taught at the University's law school, not Lab, but that's not my point. The second article that popped up was from the New York Times, quoting my former colleague and friend, Will Dix, who is a college counselor at Lab. He's a great guy and blogs sporadically (see my blogroll). While he doesn't write often, his entries are thoughtful and worth reading. So, here's a shoutout to Will and his NYT quote.

Hopefully, I'll get back in the blogging mode as I gear up for the beginning of a new school year; I know I've been lax this summer! If you actually take a look at my blog page, I've edited some of my widgets. It's looking a little cluttered, so I got rid of a few things I just am not using. I should probably think about moving to a more sophisticated blogging platform, but I think project will need to wait until next summer.

Oh.. and a side note, I turned on Skype for the first time in eons, and my friend, Drew, from college who now lives in Budapest pinged me. It occurred to me in that in the last few weeks, I've chatted via text with people in Australia, Singapore, Belgium, and Hungary in addition to people across the U.S. 20 years ago (yikes!) when I was in college this simply was not possible, and knowing that I have lame letter writing inclinations, I know that I did lose touch with many friends. It's now possible to resurrect these friendships, thanks to the internet. As trite this sounds, I still in awe of how this technology has changed my life. Enough rambling for now...

Friday 5: Getting Ready for NECC 2007

Hi All -

Sorry for the dearth of activity on this listserv, but it's been a busy few weeks. I'm heading across the Midway Plaisance to a new job at the University of Chicago Center for Urban School Improvement, and it's been a stressful time making the decision to leave my current school. I'll be the Lead Technology Coach for the Center, working two days a week at one of four charter schools which are operated under the umbrella of the University. The rest of my time will be devoted to designing and implementing a technology professional development plan for all four charters run by USI. I am going to miss Lab very much, but I'll stay connected as my children will still attend school there. I am really grateful for the opportunity to have taught at Lab. My students and colleagues have been amazing, and I am appreciative of all that I have learned.

Anyway, I'm in the midst of preparing for the National Educational Computing Conference, which starts a week from tomorrow in Atlanta, Georgia. I'll be running a workshop for Apple with Julene Reed of St. George's Schools in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as participating in two panel presentations. I should also be floating around the Apple booth at various times, so stop by and say hello if you are attending the conference.

If you are not able to attend NECC, check out the following resources for following the conference virtually. I'll be publishing the Friday 5 on a more regular basis once life slows down a bit!

Take care,

Lucy Gray

1) NECC 2007 Flickr Group

Check out this link in the next week or so to see images taken by conference attendees. Flickr groups also allow for discussions, so you might catch some comments as well.

2) HitchHikr: NECC 2007

David Warlick has set up a service for aggregating conference information. Visit this page, and you'll see everything related to NECC that's been tagged with the keywords necc, neccprep, and necc2007.

3) NECC Podcasts and Web Casts

Several sessions have been selected to be podcasted or webcasted. I'm not sure how quickly these files will be published, though. I'm guessing Apple will also publish podcasts in the Conference Connections section of the Apple Learning Interchange, too.

4) NECC Bloggers

Many people have signed up to have links to their blogs posted on the NECC web site. These people, myself included, will be posting thoughts and reactions to the conference.

5) Lucy's Global Stuff
I'll be conducting a workshop on collaborative tools used to foster global awareness. I've created several resources that we will demonstrate. Feel free to jump in and add content, or just follow our progress as we add information.

The Global Education Collaborative Ning Group

The Global Education Collaborative Discussion Group | Google Groups

Flickr: The Global Education Collaborative

The Global Education Collaborative Wiki

Friday 5: Will Richardson Workshop

Friday 5: Best of Will Richardson

Hi All -

On Friday and Saturday, teachers and administrators from several area independent schools gathered at the Francis Parker School here in Chicago to learn from classroom blogging guru, Will Richardson. Will is a former high school teacher and early adopter of Web 2.0 technologies, now consulting in school districts across the country. His blog, Weblogg-ed, is widely read by many educators. All in all, it was a productive and enlightening workshop; this week's list represents a handful of sites that were discussed.

Take care,

Lucy Gray


1) Gcast

Gcast is a podcast hosting service. Users can make recordings via phone amongst many other features.

2) Wikinomics

This is the accompanying web site to a popular book written by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams. Will recommended this business book as its message apparently has potential implications for education. Interestingly, the web site includes a blog and a wiki where community members are authoring additional chapters of the book.

3) Remote Access blog by Clarence Fisher

Will referenced Clarence's work several times during the workshop. There's an interesting graphic on emerging technologies and services included in Clarence's May 5 post.

4) 21Classes

Will consulted on this student-friendly blogging service.

5) A Web of Connections: Why the Read/Write Web Changes Everything

Will relies on wikis for presentations nowadays, not slideware.

While browsing sites during the workshop, I found two others worth sharing that were not directly a part of the workshop:

6) Using Google Earth for Earth Science and Remote Sensing

7) Celebration of Teaching and Learning: Multimedia Resources from Thirteen/WNET and WLIW

This conference had a great line-up of speakers. For those of us unable to attend in person, videos of several presentations are online for viewing.

Global Warming Student Speakout - Top 50 Ideas

This list of 50 ideas to stop global warming is the culmination of a joint project between  Google and Global SchoolNet. Using Google Docs and Spreadsheets, students from around the world brainstormed ideas and the best were selected for the Google for Educators web site. An ad featuring one of the ideas will also be published in USA Today. My sixth grade students participated in this project, and we learned a great deal about our environment while figuring out how to use spreadsheets collaboratively!

read more | digg story

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.

Our Professional Development Day


I've been a member of the faculty at the The Lab Schools for five years now, and professional development has been traditionally a do-it-yourself thing. Occassionally, we've had some great speakers such as Dr. Mel Levine and Stephen Nowicki from Emory University. We've also had the opportunity to attend the ISACS Conference, too. Genereally, though, this once a year event has not been a particularly unified event. This year, our professional development day was really envigorating.

This year, two teachers who are on special assignment to work on professional development and curriculum, came up with a brilliant idea. Building on the theme of connections to the University of Chicago, they organized a busy, but fantastic, day for us. It started out with a lecture by the highly esteemed Martha Nussbaum, followed by a panel discussion by faculty members currently involved in collaborative projects with the University. After lunch, we all attended seminars on a variety of topics related to the University and its environs. Our choices included tours of Jackson Park, Washington Park, Regenstein Library, the Smart Museum, Comer Children's Hospital, the Oriental Institute, and the Renaissance Society. I chose to participate in a session on improv as I wanted to do something that would help me look at the world in a different light.

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