Posts categorized "Workshops" Feed

#CUEROCKSTAR Global PBL Resources

Hi All -

Anyone, including those not present in my workshops today, are welcome to join my Edmodo group, Project-Based Learning with a Global Focus. Use this link to join and I'll approve your membership: https://www.edmodo.com/home#/join/qtizux.

Make sure to check out the four tabs of global learning resources that I've compiled in this Google sheet. Feel free to add any additional resources that you think are valuable. This is not an exhaustive list; I'll be adding to this frequently.

Thanks,

Lucy 


Lucy's Resources for the MLTI Summer Institute

Looking forward to inspiring Maine educators today! Find all my files here!

Feel free to download the Keynote file or PDFs and explore the plethora of links. Slides and accompanying notes include many resources.

If you are interested in my YouTube workshop, please join our Edmodo group to access the resource

Let's connect on Twitter. My Twitter handle is @elemenous.

 

 


My Life as an Innovation Consultant: What Will 2016 Bring?

It's the start of a new year, and I'm re-organizing my professional life, setting goals and reflecting on nearly six years as an independent innovation consultant.

People often ask what I do and the answer is complicated. I have many professional interests revolving around innovation, educational technology,  social media, and global education. Perhaps the best title to give me is non-traditional educator.  I am an advocate for students and teachers, yet I am not employed in a traditional school setting. Instead, I partner with a variety of people, schools, organizations, and companies to lend my expertise and to promote educational change. Often educators are considered out of touch and less relevant if they leave school settings for consultancies. I would argue that my knowledge base has been greatly expanded because of my experiences.  I love what I do. 

Here's what's going on for me this spring and this may give you an idea of my current projects:

  • I attended FETC last week, gave a presentation on global project-based learning, and participated on a panel moderated by the US DoE's Zac Chase on closing the access gap.
  • Check out my blog post  on Participate Learning (formerly Appolearning) that highlights their unique Participate Chats feature. I've worked with this group off and on over the last years. 
  • The Waukegan Public Schools is hosting their annual Google N'More conference. I'll be there Saturday to talk about global project-based learning.
  • I began working with Edmodo to help guide their thought leadership around connecting to teachers. Stay tuned for more artifacts from this work. 
  • The annual Student Technology Conference run by Marymount of New York students takes place on January 30th. Proposals are still being accepted from students in grades 6-12. All are welcome to attend to learn from a great group of young technology leaders. 
  • Project Tomorrow runs a career exploration program for high school students in California and I'll be designing flipped modules for these students to learn about technology integration this winter. 
  • The Illinois Computing Educators conference takes place at the end of February and I'll be there as a conference committee member and as a presenter. Join us! It's really a fun and engaging professional development event. Note that there is a pre-conference free EdCamp After Dark event on Wednesday evening of the conference week among other special activities.
  • In March, I'll be attending the SxSWedu conference in Austin, Texas to learn and network. This conference has proven invaluable during the last few years.
  • The CUE National Conference takes place in mid-March and I'll be reprising my role as the official #notatcue ambassador. This means that I strategize with CUE and virtually monitor social media for this event. I've done this for their past two conferences, and it's really fun. I learn a lot and get to help out with an incredible conference. 
  • Don Buckley, Brandon Wiley, and I will be conducting a workshop for NYSAIS at Rye Country Day School in New York on April 16. Entitled Developing Global Connections in Your School, this experience will help participants apply the design thinking process to coming up with a plan for globalizing their school. We are also doing a mini-version of this workshop at the CoSN annual conference earlier in April. 
  • Finally, Steve Hargadon and I are gearing up for another round of  Globaled Events, pushing the global education agenda beyond our annual Global Education Conference. We are starting a publication on Medium and a webinar series in February. Soon we will announce Global Leadership Week which will take place at the end of April with a face-to-face event in Silicon Valley and a virtual mini-conference focused on inspiring action in the global education field. We also will be reprising our Global Education Day at ISTE meetup in June. All of these events are free for teachers; if you're interested in connecting to highly motivated, tech-savvy educators through our work, consider getting involved as a sponsor. Contact Steve Hargadon at steve@hargadon.com for more details.

The aforementioned list of activities shows the range of workin which I engage. I really enjoy this variety as well as getting to know people through these projects. During the last few years, I've had the opportunity to serve as an innovation coach in several schools including Mercy High School in Michigan, D230 in Illinois, Falconer School in Chicago, and the Dwight School in New York and I've conducted several customized technology audits at schools for Educational Collaborators (EC, by the way, is a great community of ed tech leaders who can be deployed for any project). I really love helping schools strategize around innovation and this work has been immensely professionally satisfying. It's exciting to see schools move forward and tackle pressing issues, and I can help with providing resources, connections, and ideas for infusing innovation into their culture.

During my last innovation gig, I partnered with Don Buckley, formerly of the School at Columbia and now with Tools at School, to tag team the innovation process. Don turned out toe be a great thought partner; he worked with faculty using the design thinking process and advised the school's leadership team while I focused on professional development and overall management of the year-long project. This school is now positioned to take on this work themselves, and it's exciting to see new growth within this school. 

A new experience for me in 2015 was working with the startup Remind conducting teacher outreach. I love this tool, learned a great deal how it can be used in classrooms with surprising creativity, and had time to think about what teachers really need. Partly because of my work with Remind, I've also started to network more and I've particularly enjoyed a Chicago Hive meeting and two dinners with the Chicago DOLS group. I'm looking forward to continuing those activities.  And, perhaps the most out of my comfort zone experience I had in 2015 was attending an IBM data analytics conference as a social influencer and representative of the education field. This event was so different for me and expanded my interest on how data is used and perceived in the education world. I'm hoping to explore this further during 2016 and become a more active and aware data citizen. 

At any rate, I'm grateful for 2015 and am looking forward to what 2016 brings to my professional life! As always, I hope to continue to learn from and by inspired others around me, applying this knowledge to new projects. Professional generosity makes the world go around, and I look forward to working with people who share this vision on initiatives that matter. What's on your plate for 2016? 


What's New at Lucy Gray Consulting

In May and June 2015, I'll be at the following events. Hope you'll join me at one or more of these!

Registration for Global Education Day at ISTE is filling up; we're at 50% capacity. Sign up soon for this free event if you'd like to attend. This is our fourth year of hosting this event, and many attendees have remarked that it's one of their favorite events at the ISTE conference! 

Global Education Day is going to be our kickoff event for all activities related to the 2015 Global Education Conference. We're planning on announcing some additional events and changes at ISTE to our annual online conference, so stay tuned! 

For more summer professional learning opportunities, check out the events I've curated and bookmarked in this Evernote notebook. 

I've been also writing for the Ed Tech section of About.com along with Ken Royal. Here are our articles for April:

In March, I took on a new project which was fun and enlightening.  I virtually assisted with social media efforts for the 2015 Annual CUE Conference. Using a variety of tools, I kept tabs on CUE's social media streams, responding to queries from attendees and pointing to various resources. I also ran a badging pilot for this event, working closely with BadgeList and CUE Inc. to develop a learning group. (Note that BadgeList is also teaming up with the Global Education Conference to expand on badge offerings for the 2015-2016 conference year.) As many readers know, I enjoy social media and I think I've found a new aspect to my work, working with organizations to boost their social media productivity and presence. Thanks to Mike Lawrence at CUE Inc. for suggesting this role at his conference this year!

Also, in March, I spent about a week visiting 15 Chicago Public Schools to interview teachers for the CPS Ones to Watch award which is presented at the district's annual Tech Talk Conference. I've done this off and on for the past few years, and it's wonderful to see how this program has grown. There are many more tech-savvy teachers and administrators in CPS than when I initially did work with them, and much of this is fueled by the adoption of Google Apps and the CPS Computer Science for All program. 

Finally, I'm wrapping up two long-term coaching projects this June. Along with design thinking expert Don Buckley, I've been working with a great international school in New York City this year to help them develop a road map for innovation. We conducted a comprehensive assessment for this school, wrote an extensive report detailing next steps and providing resources, held design thinking workshops with faculty and provided customized professional development. We see design thinking as an incredibly versatile tool for problem-solving within schools from strategic planning to re-thinking school policies to encouraging critical thinking with students. Our hope is that this school will continue to apply this strategy moving forward as they continue to cultivate a culture of innovation. 

The other project has been a Kajeet mobile learning pilot with Chicago Public Schools; information about this project is available here. I've been coaching teachers at Falconer School for the past two years as part of this. With both projects, it's been wonderful to see growth in the ways innovation takes shape at each school. 

I've found in the past few years that I deeply enjoy innovation coaching as described in the projects above. I've had several long-term projects where I've worked with schools, and I appreciate this process as it allows me to build productive relationships with administrators and faculty.  If you know of any school or district that is looking for this type of solution, I would appreciate the referral!

Up next... a rebranding of GlobalEdCon and my professional website. Stay tuned for my next update! 


Lucy Gray's Workshop Materials for #TCEA15

Tomorrow, I'll be leading two 3 hour workshops with teachers at the TCEA conference in Austin, TX. I've re-tooled two sites to house my materials that you are welcome to browse. 

Going Global Workshops

Exploring Instructional Uses of YouTube Workshops

 


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.


Heads Up If You're Looking to Book PD Near NYC...

Just wanted to throw this out there in casa anyone in the NYC metro area is looking for professional development providers for June or August. I have regular appointments with a NYC school to work with them on June 10-11, August 19-21 and August 27-28. I haven't booked my flights yet, so I could arrive earlier or stay later if others would like to book me for work. I can do a variety of workshops or provide coaching/advising services around ed tech or customize if needed. Contact me at lucy@lucygrayconsulting.com if you would like more information! 

 

 

 


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.  

 


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! 

 


The Cornerstone Schools - Modernizing Education

Here are my slides and web site to accompany the presentation I gave on March 16th at the wonderful Cornerstone Schools in Detroit, Michigan. What an amazing faculty making a difference in the lives of Detroit kids and what a beautiful building! I hope that this presentation provided food for thought as they think about their future. Also, thanks to Chicago Public School's Nicole Zumpano for skyping in chat with the afternoon session attendees!

This presentation was updated and combined with some of my global stuff as it was a lengthy PD session. 

Modernizing Education web site

Modernizing Education
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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! 

 

 

 

 


ACTEM Workshops

Very excited to be in Maine today, home of the famed Maine Laptop Initiative.  Every educator at this conference will most likely have some sort of device as this state has been pioneering 1 to 1 computing and I'm excited to see how this has amplified technology fluency with educators.

My workshops today are two standard ones that I've been teaching and tweaking this year. I've completely re-tooled them for this event:

Exploring Instructional Uses of YouTube

Going Global: Preparing Students to be Citizens of the World

Let me know what you think and feel free to use any of these resources!


University School of Milwaukee Presentations and Materials - Updated

Find my presentation slides and workshop materials here! Social media assets are published now; global presentation ones will follow tomorrow.

Personalized PD
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PDF of these slides are available here: USMpersonalizedPD

Directions for workshop:

During this two hour workshop, we will be exploring social media for classroom and professional development uses.  In the afternoon, your team will develop a project or product based on our morning exploreations. 

1. Create an Edmodo account (http://edmodo.com) and join this "class" by using the group code m2bco3 when prompted. Virtual participants are welcomed. You can also find the Edmodo app here for the iPhone and for the iPad

2. Divide into small groups and explore each tool for 15 minute intervals. Suggested links are provided. Assignments are posted on our class home page and in each subgroup (see the left hand navigation for these subgroups; you may have to expand the selections).

3. Add your reflections about what you're exploring by submitting an assignment OR by use the Reply link at the end of each section.

4. At the end of our workshop, please indicate which tool you are likely to use for professional development purposes in our poll. In the second poll, indicate which tool you are likely to use in your classroom.

Going Global at University School of Milwaukee
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PDF can be found Download USMglobal.
During this two hour workshop, we will be exploring the role of schools in developing global competency in students.

1. Create an Edmodo account and join this "class" by using the group code sa09yp when prompted.

2. Add your reflections about what you're exploring by submitting an assignment OR by use the Reply link at the end of each section. 

ITSC - Beyond Search

Download ITSCsearch

My many, many slides for my Beyond Search presentation tomorrow. I swear this is a hand-on session! Download the presentation from Slideshare or the PDF from Scribd and follow along. Links in these documents should be live.

We also will be creating a search scavenger hunt on this Google Doc. Feel free to add your own items for this.

 

 

Beyond Search - ITSC Conference
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ITSC Beyond Search


My Best Workshop Yet!

Whew... it's been quite a week. First, I witnessed with my own eyes the phenomenon known as Educon in Philly (more later on this hopefully). I then flew home, picked up my car from O'Hare's remote parking lot and started driving north. I didn't even stop at home as I had little time to spare as I had to drive three hours north to Portage, Wisconsin, for a workshop I was giving today. Right now, I'm ensconced in a motel near the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, as I'm stopping by there tomorrow on my way home to help their education liaison with a Google Apps installation I set up for them.

DSC_0033

Today's workshop is on my mind right and I just want to take a moment to reflect on it. Because of my presentations at WEMTA last spring, Sue Fulks and Jenny Casper of CESA 5 asked me to come work with their area tech coaches to build a collaborative learning space to support their work. We talked on the phone a few times over the course of the past few months to plan this event, and I have to say that we came up with a reasonable, varied agenda. See the slides attached to this post.

It's important to note that CESA 5 tech coaches having been working with McREL to employ various learning strategies supported by technology. Their guide is McREL's Using Technology with Classroom Instruction That Works, and I purchased a copy in order to familiarize myself with the framework. My initial thoughts on the book are that it doesn't seem particularly, wildly innovative, but it definitely provides an appropriate context for using technology in schools that are focused (maybe overly focused) on improving student achievement. While I take standardized testing with a grain of salt, I can see using these strategies to create a targeted plan for trying to address common concerns schools have these days.

So today was the big day, and it was great to work with people that I didn't have to particularly sell on technology. They were pretty competent with everything, and just need help here and there. They were collegial, engaging in thought provoking conversations and were very mindful of making things work for the teachers that they coach. 

Our goal was to build a space in which these teachers could collaborate and share resources with team members. Being the Ning nut that I am, I built a basic social network for them to get started ahead of time. Today, we reviewed other online communities that I admire, discussed features that were needed in our space, and really considered how to engage others in a social network. The capstone on this work was a Skype conversation with the talented and generous Steve Hargadon who thoughtfully explained his involvement with Classroom 2.0, the future of social networks, and how these educators could start to think about building community in our newly created space. All in all, the timing of everything was good, I wasn't too overwhelming with information for once, and the goals of the workshop were met. It was a pleasure to read the comments given by participants in the Google Form evaluation I developed for this event, and I look forward to continued interactions with this group over Twitter and in the Ning we built together.

Here are the materials I created for the workshop including my slides, a Diigo bookmarking group containing most of the links cited in the McREL book, and a survey I created for my PLN to offer their wisdom. I'm particularly grateful to the 25 or so people who have participated virtually; it's not too late to participate, so add your thoughts! The survey results are public and can be found here

Networked Learning for Educators

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New Ning for NECC 2008

Steve Hargadon, the one man ed tech machine, has created a new ning online community for people interested in the National Educational Computing Conference. Check it out and join today! You do not need to be an ISTE member or even attending the conference to be a member, and this should be a useful tool for following the conference wherever you are.

Steve also has a new post up on his blog and cross-posted at the Infinite Thinking Machine on his Classroom 2.0 unconference series. He just hosted a second informal ed tech get together in Phoenix and reports that it went very well. One is being organized for Chicago this fall, and hopefully Steve will have more details to post about this shortly!


Another Hit: Google Docs in Plain English

I love all the videos from Common Craft and here is one that's new to me. I just added it to my favorites in You Tube, which I'm increasingly relying on as a way of bookmarking videos I frequently use in workshops. You can view my channel here to see my favorites and videos I've created myself, although I haven't  upload many of those.

Anyway, I'd love to see more Common Craft videos explaining Google features such as Google Groups. I just made a Google Group for my daughter's soccer team, and some parents found joining and using the group perplexing. It's a reminder to me that all this techie stuff may be easy for me, but somehow, something gets lost in translation and other perfectly intelligent people don't find it that way and miss the power of today's internet. I really need to rethink how I explain techie stuff to people...


Pages tagged with "TIE585" on del.icio.us

Link: Pages tagged with "TIE585" on del.icio.us.

Last spring, I designed a new workshop for National Louis University's Technology in Education program on integrating Web 2.0 applications into the classroom, and I'm now teaching it for the first time. It's going pretty well, and I thought blog readers might want to take a look at sites we've bookmarked in del.icio.us. Students had to bookmark at least 10 sites (by this Friday) that would be helpful to the group, plus we added resources discussed in class. The resulting list provides a great set of links for starting off the school year and many sites are even new to me. Also, check out my workshop wiki; we have some examples of things we did in Flickr up there as well as the course syllabus.


NPR : This I Believe

Link: NPR : This I Believe.

I have the CD set of This I Believe essays, and this project inspired me to incorporate this into a workshop. I had the best time this week, working with area independent school teachers on learning about the latest and greatest in educational technology. This group really got along well, and I enjoyed hearing their stories and learning about their schools.

Anyway, the assignment was to use built-in iSight cameras to make movies using the This I Believe motif. We changed it up a bit to create topics such as This I Believe about Reading, This I Belief About Physical Education, etc. Teachers moved from computer to computer adding video statements to each group's project. The workshop participants seemed to have fun with this and they clearly felt passionate about the topics we covered. The resulting videos are posted in Teacher Tube (I still have to add one that I left at school on a portable hard drive) and I am so pleased with the results. The audio is something we needed to work on, though, as we had to compete with a lot of background chatter. We were all having so much fun!

Take a look!