Posts categorized "Survey" Feed

Social Media and Mobile Learning Workshop at #CoSN14

New Leadership for Mobile Learning Project Director Marie Bjerede and I will be hosting a workshop next at week at the Consortium for School Networking's annual conference. The focus will be on using social media in conjunction with mobile devices and the purpose will be to give school leaders more direct instruction with using social media effectively. It seems that many administrators don't have the time and/or inclination to dive into the world of Web 2.0 tools, and we want to provide an opportunity for such types to play with tools that will potentially enhance their work. 

That said, we are not going to cover every single hot social media channel out there during this three hour workshop. Instead, we'll explore social networks and blogs and then dive into microblogging and social bookmarking. We could go to town by looking at YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc., but we will keep things simple and practical for the scope of the workshop. 

All of these tools are almost rendered useless, however, unless one takes time to develop a personal learning network. This means you connect to others who share your professional interests and this increases your chances of learning about best practices, identifying great resources, and building opportunities for collaboration. During this workshop, we'll give advice on how to do this as well as how to develop one's online professional persona. 

Anyone is welcome to peruse our workshop materials (see below) and contribute to our networking survey. We'd love to have school leaders show how they are leveraging social media and connect with workshop participants. Please also follow our conversations on Twitter by searching for the hashtags #CoSN14 and #CoSNLML.  


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!


What's new and exciting?

What's new and exciting in your classroom and school? Well, relatively new and exciting as most US schools are on summer break!

I'm looking  to refresh some presentations/workshops and am interested in telling stories related to the compelling things going on in my PLN's classrooms.  Please share any relevant links, too!

These topics are of particular interest:

- anything related to PBL supported by technology
- mobile learning with any sort of device
- bring your own device programs
- Android or iOS apps related to global collaboration/awareness
- Using iOS devices to differentiate instruction
- social networks in schools (Not many schools seem to be going in this direction, but are you building a social network for your students to use in house or have you purchased a solution? Or, are you leveraging Facebook instead? Anything related to using SNs for educational purposes would be interesting.)

Some of the above relates to my work with the Consortium for School Networking on a mobile learning initiative and to a iTunes U global guide I'm developing with ADE colleagues. The rest are related to workshops I'll be giving in August... I'll be sure to share everything when I'm ready. 

Thanks in advance!

Participate Virtually in My Global Collaboration Workshop!

I'll be facilitating a workshop at the Instructional Technology Strategies Conference in Portland, Oregon on February 21 from 8 AM - 11:30 AM PST.

During this session, participants will be exploring a variety of tools as they think about connecting their classrooms to the world. You can participate, too, in a number of ways. The information in this survey will be shared with workshop participants, but will not be open to all to see. If you want to see the resulting spreadsheet, just let me know and I'll add you to the document. Please consider joining us as I think this will be a fun way to make some new PLN connections!

Here's how to get involved:

1. Sign up to Skype with participants for a few minutes during the workshop. This is an informal opportunity to introduce yourself to another educator and relate how you use Skype professionally.


2. Join our group in the Global Education Collaborative to answer questions asynchronously if participants have questions. (


3. Sign up to mentor a conference participant or to work on a specific project.


Let me know if you have any questions!


Lucy Gray

Global Awareness and 21st Century Skills Survey

Global Awareness and 21st Century Skills.

I'm prepping for a variety of presentations and articles, and there seems to be little documentation in a single location about school-based initiatives around 21st century skills and the theme of global awareness. I wish there were numbers to report about school districts moving in the direction of 21st century skills. 
Specifically, I'm wondering how many schools are using some sort of 21st century skills framework to guide initiatives (the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and Cisco both have frameworks) and if the 21st century theme of global awareness (or as some people prefer to label, global competencies) is a part of these initiatives. I know that in this world of education "reform", these may not be major priorities, but I think forward thinking school districts may beg to differ.
Please consider taking this survey and pass this info on to others.
The survey can be located here:



The Ning Debacle: It's Not About the Money (entirely)

Today, I sent out a blast in the Global Education Collaborative about the changes to Ning's pricing. Read more about it here, but the social network creation company is experiencing financial difficulties which have led to layoffs and the discontinuation of all previously free networks created on its platform. A plan is supposed to emerge within 2 weeks, and new APIs and features are expected within 90 days. Not soon enough, I say.

I started the Global Education Collaborative using the Ning platform in 2007 after being inspired by the success of Steve Hargadon's Classroom 2.0 Ning. My site has grown slowly, but steadily, and our membership hovers around 3500 members. Steve's Ning has an astounding 40,000 educators interested utilizing new and emerging technologies within his online community. Ning has changed the way I connect to other teachers, probably almost as much as Twitter. 

This afternoon as the news got out, it was fascinating to see people's reactions over Twitter. I followed a search in Twitter (#ning) and read everything from people truly shocked to others who thought it was high time people were expected to pay to others offering jobs to the laid off Ning workers. This is another example of how news can unfold via Twitter.

My first reaction was to panic and to chide myself for relying too heavily on a tool that inevitably was going to evaporate in some form. I thought about our members and how we would lose many if we moved to another platform; I thought about the all the content accrued in the GEC, too. I also thought about the current fee to have ads removed which is $19.95 per month. A friend emailed me to basically state that it's only fair to pay for services that are of high quality. I agree, but I believe that's from a business perspective, not an education perspective.

Here's essentially what I wrote in response with some edits: 

Educators pay out of pocket for many items that they are never reimbursed for, and generally, they are paid much less than other professionals. Educators pour tons of manpower hours into cultivating these networks as well. There are also many non-profits who are looking for affordable, preferably free, methods of connecting with their communities. The word of mouth support for Ning from these groups is huge, and should be valued by Ning.

Wikispaces has long had a policy of making ad-free wikis available to educators because they know the intangible value of having teachers use their product. They know that educators will spread the good word and will provide feedback to them about Wikispaces. I'm wondering if Ning has ever valued educators; many of us thought this when Steve Hargadon was let go as their education evangelist last year.

The most troubling part of Ning's announcement to me was that it was announced with no plan in place. People would not be freaking out if a transition plan had been made publicly available immediately. It should have been publicized in tandem with the announcement. I think teachers would pay if such a plan existed; we are not about free loading and know that if something is of quality, it's worth a reasonable price. 

One GEC member responded to my announcement in the Global Education Collaborative that several charities in Africa that he worked with had Nings and he would no longer continue with the company if they started to charge. Just think of all the good work that is going on around the world (where people AREN'T getting paid for their efforts) that may stop as a result of this decision. 

The bottom line is, however, that we'll just have to wait until see what plans unfold. I hope Ning is listening carefully to its user base. If you are interested in sharing stories and thoughts about this, please take my survey and you can also see the results here

Educate the Fear Out of Them

Thank you, Cheri Toledo, for this phrase.

In Google Wave, several educators have been discussing the fact that all the great tools and learning environments that we regularly explore are blocked in many districts.

This blog post by Ewan McIntosh also has me thinking:

I think we need a significant repository of schools where Web 2.0 technologies are welcomed and used in a safe and thoughtful manner. These stories would serve to educate the districts out there who are grappling with implementation and safety issues.

I was part of a team that created such a space last summer as part of an Apple Distinguished Educator project last summer. This online network was created for the purpose cited above, but I also think that we need a simple directory of schools as well. So I am also creating a Google doc form for this purpose:

Please fill out this form or pass it on to someone who might want to share their information. All fields are optional. To see the results, visit

It's time to embrace innovation and networked learning, people!


Survey Happy: Take Another For My Undergrads :)

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

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