Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

August 2, 2011

In light of education reform, what will a teacher look like and be doing 10 years from today?


#Edchat 08 – 26 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Great video isn’t it! I love the idea that we will be able to access the internet EVERYWHERE! I learned about this video from a student who works for Corning and he told me that all of this is possible now. The incredible flexibility of glass as a material for technology is mind-blowing and to think that it is such an ancient product – it makes you think! Can you imagine greeting your students on the door of their refrigerator each morning  before they come to school? It’s so exciting! And how about the whole wall that turns into a screen – awesome!  I want one in my classroom! The world might look SO different in 10 years from now.

This was our topic last week at #edchat and we have a really amazing summary here written by Tracy Brady @mmebrady) who is a vibrant and innovative edchatter and this was a great ‘blue-sky thinking’ #edchat session. Tracy has really captured some of that excitement and buzz that was flying around twitter during the hour. I’m sure you will love reading her summary here and you can find out more about Tracy and her work as a French teacher in New York at the end of the post. Thank you so much Tracy for this great post 🙂

This topic provided for a phenomenal opportunity to discuss our “educational wishlists” and imagine the future.  Thinking back 10 years at how different things were, I think most of us realize that although much has changed (technology) sadly, much still remains the same (bureaucrats, the have-nots, row seating, farm-based schedule, standardized tests…).  Many of the ideas put forth were fascinating, exciting, thought-provoking, fill in your own blank.  Looking to the future is always a fun exercise, but it was also pointed out, that we need to focus our efforts on the classes of 10 minutes from now — exert control over our own realm.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  •  Classrooms will be paperless
  •  Will the digital divide widen or narrow — (between students as well as schools)  will the bureaucrats still be in control? where should the $ be spent?
  •  Classrooms should be more student centered with passion based learning and more individualized instruction — “communities of inquiry”
  •  Teacher prep needs to change significantly
  •  Communication will be improved as learning continues outside class walls and time (perhaps year round?) — mobilization, globalization, and collaboration
  •  There will be more flipped /blended classes — the human element (interpersonal) will always be necessary
  •  PLN/PD needs to be ongoing — teachers will need to continue to develop their own skills to continue to be relevant
  •  We should see the end of standardized tests — authentic assessment should replace it
  •  flying robots — it is hard to envision the future based on how different things were 10 years ago — like predicting a hurricane
  •  We will see the end of filtering websites, and  teach digital citizenship  instead.  We will take advantage of the digital native status of students AND teachers — byod
  •  We will see new learning spaces (not just formal rows inside classroom walls)
Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

CoachB0066 Looking at the economic landscape I believe that BYOD programs will be more popular than pure 1:1 programs

USCTeacher 10 years-teachers will be even more tech savvy, assignments will be submitted paperless, and schools will continue refining tech use

inquirebook @mmebrady I think tech will continue to change so fast that everybody will have to constantly learn and adapt.

inquirebook Technology is really just about connecting students to teachers and to each other, and connecting all to information.

stumpteacher My hope is that in 10 years our government listens to teachers and not businessmen/cheaters

stumpteacher @cybraryman1 I would hope the teachers continue to step back and empower students. Give up more control of learning to students.

NoodleEducation @rliberni would like to see technology provide objective assessment on a more holistic level for indiv students to replace STD tests

allisonletts @MarkWinegar one step: students pursuing a passion during classtime–learning how to learn independently about something fascinating

USCTeacher @rliberni Think about the communities that will be able to form! Not 1 building, 1 community, but 1 world

2footgiraffe @NathanSandberg @stumpteacher agreed. Tech is not the answer in education. It is just one part of student engagement.

CTuckerEnglish I’d like to see a move to customize & individualized instruction using tech integration to meet diverse needs if students

lauwailap1 In 10 yrs:Hoping teachers will have more control + input in the curriculum, which should be flexible+allow us to constantly innovate.

love_teach Schools need to prep them on how to facilitate learning and how to guide students to discover their own knowledge and tools

after_school 10 yrs from now more kinds of people will be recognized as teachers: museum/library/afterschool staff, kids leading othr kids.

CrudBasher I predict in 10 yrs, the most valuable skill in the world will be the ability to learn anything at anytime.

saraallen91 2 prepare tchrs 10 yrs from now, we have 2 prepare them 2 constantly challenge their thinking, experiment w/ new tech, & take risks.

Akevy613 In 10 years learning should be mobile and global and move way beyond the walls of a classroom

I hope in 10 years teachers start to get respect again

inquirebook @cybraryman1 I hope augmented reality is ubiquitous–another change to our relationship with information.

drdouggreen @ShellTerrell Let’s stop building schools with rows of identical classrooms and more open areas. Some are.

ShellTerrell Perhaps 10yrs from now we have better solutions to improving schools rather than firing teachers

mrbarranca @drdouggreen @beyondtech1 That’s a great point. Can’t teach new teachers 1980-1990 practices and expect them to then be cutting edge

CrudBasher You can plan the education system in 10 years in the same way you can plan a hurricane. #beyondcontrol

drdouggreen @jenniferg92 All teachers must be comfortable learning from students. It empowers both.

MaryAnnReilly The division we know among teacher, student, coach, mentor, and community member will blur. We will need new language to name.

chrisemdin I love the idea of predicting what you want things to be like in 10yrs. Imagination is the seedbed of possibility

 To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

ShellTerrell: Educators on Google+ http://bit.ly/oz4qK8  #edtech #edchat

CoachB0066:  We need to focus on educator prep (teachers and admin) to change pedagogy #edchat We can infuse all the tech… (cont) http://deck.ly/~WT9C4

cybraryman1:  What role will Blended Learning http://tinyurl.com/483kbhl  have in the future? #edchat

briankotts: The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here http://bit.ly/dT2u47  #edchat #ukedchat

SnaPanda: RT @rscon3: Check out: Sharing values in the classroom: When, How, Y & Y not http://bit.ly/pJdN41   video by @brad5patterson #eltchat #edchat

findingDulcinea: Awesome commentary on EdTech RT @mcleod My opening remarks at Iowa Education Summit http://t.co/8Oul1kM  #edchat #sschat

iObservation:  New York State Education Department Approves Dr. Robert Marzano’s Teacher Evaluation Model http://bit.ly/mnnS86  #cpchat #edchat

Kerry_EasyBib: @NMHS_Principal was featured in USA Today in a great article about social media and the future of the classroom http://ow.ly/5NHL6  #edchat

drdouggreen: @malcolmbellamy Colleges serve to widen gap between haves & have nots. Check my summary of Academically Adrift http://bit.ly/oCig5G  #edchat

cybraryman1: What role will Augmented Reality (http://tinyurl.com/346ogtf ) play in education in the future: #edchat

cybraryman1: My Student Centered Classrooms page: http://tinyurl.com/454czsq  #edchat

rliberni: Here’s a great vision for the future with tech everywhere! http://youtu.be/6Cf7IL_eZ38  #edchat

cybraryman1: Personalized, passionate learning http://goo.gl/fb/jJhR3  #edchat

iObservation:  Video: Robert Marzano on His Career in Research http://youtu.be/G0yOZpPSu7s  #edchat #education

cybraryman1: I can see more Self-Directed Learning http://tinyurl.com/3yzrakm  with teacher there to faciliate the learning #edchat

drwetzel: What is the Technology Footprint in Your Classroom? http://t.co/9A67ruv  #edtech #edchat #elemchat #teaching #education #web20

tuchodi:  @ShellTerrell From our school district http://bit.ly/q7JzvN  #edchat

web20education:  Pls rt I work #edtech20 #socialmedia #curation project gateway to knowledge in #education20 , I need #PLN help #edchat http://t.co/WvMFXQh

cybraryman1: @lauwailap1 See Open Doors School-Business Partnership (left column down) http://tinyurl.com/4zyk5qq  #edchat

engaginged:  Interested in global collaboration? Here’s a great project: Challenge 20/20: http://t.co/CyxrsYo  #globaled #edchat

AAEteachers: #Education is hurt by #politics according to Arne Duncan. #teachers – what do you think? | http://is.gd/xIS2v3  #edreform #edchat

CrudBasher: @SamGliksman Reading expressions online. http://bit.ly/nzWq8I  #edchat

Social_LMS: 2011 Learning Tools Directory : http://t.co/YjZLRGb  #lrnchat #edchat #ednewschat

mjgormans:  10 Steps to Transform Past Lessons for 21st Century .,, If u r at #BLC11 plz stop in at 1 of my sessions http://t.co/XNrOJ9A  #edchat

OECD_Edu: PISA – Against the Odds: Disadvantaged Students Who Succeed in School http://bit.ly/nbEIdO  #edchat #ukedchat #finnedchat

joe_bower:  Assessment wagging the dog http://t.co/iT9TXPe  #abed #edchat #edtech

web20education:  I update #curation story #googleplus gateway to #semanticweb #web30 in #education20 http://t.co/EOISqqY  #edtech20 #edreform #rscon3 #edchat

My name is Tracy Brady  I am a French teacher (middle and high school) in Central New York.  I strive to push against constraints of time and space to globalize my students’ learning experience.    I am a strong proponent of BYOD and thinking outside the box to bridge the digital divide.  My colleagues don’t always know what to make of my wild ideas, but then again, neither do my 2 beautiful daughters (Florica and Aline).  Sometimes it takes a little bit of crazy to get the job done.  #edchat is an invaluable tool in my PD arsenal, and I am honored to have been asked to write this summary.  My blog can be found at http://mmetechie.blogspot.com

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!


July 15, 2011

6262011 – Special ISTE edition – How are education conferences to stay relevant in a free Internet

#Edchat 06 – 21 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Mea maxima culpa! This is sooo late. Apologies to everyone and above all to Doug Green who prepared this fabulous post. A combination teaching and then a horrible throat infection 😦

This truly is a fabulous post. But was truly a fabulous #edchat with all that energy coming from the ISTE11 conference and all those great edchatters in one room! I think Doug has done a great job in capturing some of that energy and although the benefits of online PD via online conferences was explored and acknowledged to be invaluable, the sheer power coming from the delegates at ISTE11 couldn’t be ignored and there is a need to meet face to face and have that boost of learning that only a live event can give. Thank you again Doug for a great post. You can find out more about Doug and his amazing productivity in the field of education in his bio at the end of the post. Please take some time to visit hos blog to find out more!

Modern education conferences are changing to allow for more interaction and participation online by those who cannot attend. There is agreement that there is no substitute for face to face meetings and that ideally educators can profit from both face to face and online sources of professional development. It’s hard to match the hands-on benefits conferences offer.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • Some were concerned about the costs of conference registration and other associated costs. A great deal of online activity is free.
  • Modern conferences allow for some level of participation of people who cannot physically attend.
  • Face to face meetings are not the same as online meetings but both are valuable. Ideally you can have both. The hands-on aspect of conferences may be the most valuable part.
  • Thanks to back channels, modern conferences already combine face to face and online aspects.
  • Some people wouldn’t know about things like Edchat and other valuable resources if they didn’t attend conferences like ISTE11.
  • Following conference hashtags can extend the conference in time. You can start to participate before you get there, check the back channel at the conference, and follow it after you get home. You also interact online with people you meet after the conference.
  • Many people would like conferences to be more interactive with shorter presentations and/or presentations available online. The TED model of presentations was cited by some as an improvement over longer presentations.

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye

ShellTerrell @stumpteacher absolutely agree that the human connection is important

DrDougGreen There is no substitute for face to face. The trick is to keep the cost down like #140conf. I would be in Philly if iSTE charged $140 #edchat

agutierrezIT Can stay relevant by continuing to having great Keynote speakers, accepting unique sessions/presenters, & strive to be unique

blairteach Conference sponsors are going to HAVE to have wireless access or they will appear “dated” & out-of-touch

tecjtromom ed conferences need to model using tools from the web in all topic areas

daveski61 Personal interaction remains critical. A virtual handshake isn’t as good as a physical handshake.

malalande Asynchronous is great for some activities, but not ideal for hands-on where I-to-eye feedback is relevant

blairtech IMO, conferences offer great opportunities to connect f2f w/our online colleagues & there’s great value in building relationships.

techtrimom @web20classroom: face to face contact will never die and so these conferences are invigorating and very important

blairtech Conferences can be very motivational; the online PD can extend the enthusiasm kindled at the live event.

earthspacequest Physical presence has more power to inspire than online friendships!

elanaleoni @ShellTerrell Human connection is def important but we need to reinvent conference structures to become more relevant.

elanaleoni Instead of lectures & ppts, let’s do interactive/collaborative workshops where participants can try things & fail & try again 🙂

tkraz A real place to gather as a community will always be important. It’s what makes the community stronger.

rjwassink @drdouggreen Its not the random relationships, but meeting virtual friends in real life after getting to know them digitally is key

davidwees How many educators here actually pay 100% attention during a 1 hr lecture? PD should be more interactive.

I’ve been following the #iste11 hashtag since October and will continue to follow it. No more one shot conferences.

tkraz Conferences are getting tougher to pay for with so much available for free online

caroljallen @davidwees Agree and in my case I find a ‘hands on’ element the most useful

bjnichols Discussion is great either f2f or virtual…I am more interested in the action that results from discussion

davidwees You should expect teachers to engage in PD somehow. Extrinsic motivation like money will serve to kill interest and passion

MrBernia I’d love a flipped conference, where attendees listen to a presentation before, then attend and collaborate with the presenter.

davidwees Suggestion: If you are running a conference, offer at least one option for unconference style learning

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

Wow, what a lot this week!

@jpk38:  http://t.co/o6769ql  #iste11 #edchat Collaborative notes, please share and add to. Lets learn from the whole as well as r parts!

@ILT2012: Experience Some of the International Society for Technology in Education Conference without being there: http://t.co/uHiBoUN  #ISTE11 #edchat

@MoodleMcKean: Cool Websites – 21st Century School Teacher http://bit.ly/ieF5i8  #edchat #lrnchat #edtech #elearning #webtools #websites #tlchat #education

@businesscardsav: and who would I give my business cards to w/out ISTE? #edchat http://bit.ly/h3OIKg

@rkiker: Sneak peek at my Emerging Google Tech preso in the Google Teaching Theater at 12:30 Wed. Come by! #ISTE11 http://goo.gl/OVh96  #edchat

@KevinfMcCabe: take look at this @DavidPriceOBE: New on Blog: Michael Gove and ‘respect’ for teachers: http://t.co/TjQuWL3  #edchat #ukedchat

@SErwin: Great tool. “@russeltarr: YouCube: Students choose 6 relevant vids for a topic, then present them with this: http://t.co/vFijP7Q   #edchat

@NextGenLC: Schools Blend Computers With Classroom Learning via @nprnews http://ow.ly/5pVRj   #edtech #edchat

@amckiel: Magical Moments http://bit.ly/kgIXgG  #edchat

@aaallain: Let Me Learn My Own Way- fantastic article on Jungian learning styles with a math twist! http://bit.ly/lMdnZZ  #math #edchat #homeschool

@azjd: Separate process of work from the product of work – by @davidwees http://is.gd/la9fA7  #edchat

@davidwees: Here’s an example of what I mean. “The Best Professional Development of My Life” http://t.co/PalivcP  #edchat #iste11

@tadawes: 13 Things You Pay For That Your Library Has For Free http://bit.ly/lg8erv  #bibliotek #edchat

@ekendriss: WiFi nonaccess @ f2f conf #edchat #ISTE RT @jranck: Epidemiology and social media: conference fail http://j.mp/jEICM0

@MarjieKnudsen: The 3 most important questions in education – Wash Post http://t.co/xLLSDxb  #edchat #parenting #education

@joycevalenza: Camilla will share list of great ipad apps for ed in wiki #iste11 Leadership Symp. Wiki http://t.co/7UplyzC  #tlchat #edchat

@RealLifeUnplugd: Sweden Tackles Gender in Classroom http://bit.ly/mDI64m  #k12 #edchat

@drtimony: You see this badge? http://ow.ly/5qydn  This is MY town, errr, presentation. #edchat #iste11

@gingerconsult: @humekaren: How kids are affected in the age of multi-tasking http://ow.ly/5ndap  #edchat #edtech #adhd #education

@azjd: Is this the future of learning? Sophia – Social Learning Community – by @InnovativeEdu http://is.gd/yLPPAG  #edchat #edtech

@EdutopiaBetty: Thanks for a great day, #ebc11! My Report from EduBloggerCon11 at #ISTE11 http://bit.ly/meDZfh  #edchat

@joycevalenza: Camilla will share list of great ipad apps for ed in wiki #iste11 Leadership Symp. Wiki http://t.co/7UplyzC  #tlchat #edchat

@8Amber8: darn it #edchat!!! Quit bng so engaging!! http://lockerz.com/s/114374558

@drtimony: Teach like this: http://ow.ly/5qyoC  trust your students, no matter who they are, collectively possess much info #edchat #iste11

@DavidPriceOBE: New on the Blog: Michael Gove and ‘respect’ for teachers: http://bit.ly/iEOjTn  #edchat #ukedchat #clvfestival

@lookforsun: Looking for a 15 minute option? See this picture. http://bit.ly/j3xSG8  #edchat

@ILT2012: Experience Some of the International Society for Technology in Education Conference without being there: http://t.co/uHiBoUN  #ISTE11 #edchat

@azjd: So You Want to Integrate Technology – Now What? Via @4thGrdTeach http://is.gd/YcSnGW  #edtech #edchat

@azjd:10 videos that WILL ignite a discussion – Part 5: great resource from @justintarte http://is.gd/uZVyru  #edchat #cpchat

@tcbird1: I love this article! Teachers are the educational experts http://t.co/26m2TUt  #edchat #edreform #politics #education

@blairteach: Admins & Tchrs: Would appreciate additional input on value of PLN (if you haven’t already contributed).Thx. http://bit.ly/kKKR2V  #edchat

@davidwees: This picture describes to me the value of the unconference model of PD. http://t.co/8FiZ3Br  #edchat #iste11

@blairteach: @web20classroom Sometimes use this article to prompt discussion of change: http://bit.ly/9hSKFt   #edchat

@EDREFORMERIFFIC: INEPTION http://post.ly/2FWx3  @NBCNews @AdamVerdugo @meetthepress #StandUpNJ #Edchat

@dlpd17: @teachingwthsoul: @BuckleyLibrary G-Doc with Twitter Chat schedules~>> http://tinyurl.com/66ar5v9  #edchat #iste11

@stumpteacher: @mbteach Any newbies need help with twitter/tweetdeck feel free to share some tutorials on my page. http://j.mp/f5RUbv  #edchat

@azjd: Look where you want to go and steer in that direction: How a blog started a school – via @ktenkely http://is.gd/l87ian  #edchat

@KTVee: holy schmoly – next time someone says there’s “nothin’ on twitter” show them this! http://t.co/S2PaMkM  (Thanks @ljconrad) #edchat #ISTE11

@HappyTeacherLA: @PatParslow this is kind of heavy, but this is one of my guides of what’s my point. http://t.co/lAT5TYu  #edchat

@gwynethjones: Lady GaGa Librarians Unite! http://t.co/uelGRG9  #ISTE11 #TLChat #EdChat @ladygaga #SIGMS

@johnnybevacqua: Love is not enough http://t.co/5hN0uHM  by @DrTroyRoddy #bced #cpchat #edchat

@cybraryman1: My all about #EdChat page with pictures from today’s session at #ISTE11 http://tinyurl.com/4f8pqfn

@DelaneyKirk: @michellek107 @mrsalander Michelle-great post on building PLN! OK if I link to on my blog? http://t.co/rvWfHXe  #edchat

Dr. Doug Green. @drdouggreen

I have been an educator since 1970. After teaching chemistry, physics, and computer science, I became an administrator for the next 30 years with experience at the secondary, central office, and elementary levels. I have also taught a number of leadership courses for The State University of New York at Cortland and Binghamton University and authored over 300 articles in computer magazines and educational journals. In 2006 I gave up my job as an elementary principal to care for my wife who had Lou Gehrig’s disease. After her death in March of 2009 I decided to see how I could use my expertise to help busy educators and parents hone their skills and knowledge. Doug’s blog can be found here.

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!


December 3, 2010

My Edublog Award Nominations 2010


A bit of a ‘last minute Larry’ (again!) but at the eleventh-hour I am happy to share my personal nominations.

There is so much out there and the list of  educators producing valuable and thought-provoking content is growing so fast that it’s sometimes overwhelming!! As each year goes by the wealth of great ideas and techniques continues to grow – so does collaboration and this can only be a good thing.  So…..

My Personal Recommendations for the Edublog Awards 2010 are:

Best individual blog – Kalinago English  – Karenne Silvester

Best individual tweeter – Cecilia Lemos Coelho (@cecilialcoelho)

Best class blog – Our Good News  – Greta Sandler

Best resource sharing blog – The Cybraryman website

Most influential blog post  – The 30 Goals Challenge   – Shelly Terrell

Most influential tweet / series of tweets / tweet based discussion –  #ELTchat

Best teacher blog –  A Journey in TEFL  – Eva Buyuksimkesyan

Best librarian / library blog – Library Tech Musings – Gwyneth A. Jones

Best educational use of audio – Breaking News English  – Sean Banville

Best educational use of video / visual – Teacher Training Videos  – Russell Stannard

Best educational wiki –  Celebr8UandMeDigitally  – Eva Büyüksimkeşyan and Alexandra Francisco

Best educational podcast –  EdTechLive  – Steve Hargadon

Best educational webinar series – Serendipity & Topic sessions  – Jo and Phil Hart

Best educational use of a social network – The Educator PLN ning – Tom Whitby

Best educational use of a virtual world –  Slanguages Conference – Heike Philp

Best use of a PLN – #Edchat

Best of luck everybody!!

September 30, 2010

From Textbooks to Other Digital Sources: Blending Print and Digital

 #Edchat  9-28-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

This week’s #edchat touched on a topic very close to people’s hearts and the discussion was lively to say the least. There were tons of links shared and lots of new collaborations arranged! Taking on the task of ploughing through the archive to produce this week’s summary is Tracy Mercier (@tracymercier) who has done an amazing job! Thank you Tracy for sterling work! Find out more about Tracy from her bio at the end of the post.

With everything going virtual and making its way to the cloud, it’s inevitable for us to ask what will happen to textbooks.  But, more than that, what will happen to anything in print?  As we enter a more digital world, we consider the implications for educating children how to navigate their way.  During the chat today, a few points and/or concerns were resonating: cost, content, and process. 

As a few pointed out, the cost of electronic textbooks is not much different than those in print.  Most having only a $10 difference.  There is also the additional cost of  purchasing an  e-reader &/or laptop to access the digital textbook.  The issue of cost raised a few concerns about equity.  How can we ensure that those without access at home would be able to participate outside of school?

 The conversation revolving around content and process brought up some excellent points.  Do we have to use textbooks (print or digital)?  If we are going to go digital, how about pulling in other resources: video, Wikipedia, etc.  This brought in concerns about disseminating the same information to students vs. providing students with choice.  Choice in what to read or how to get the information: video, going to the source (asking the author).  Some also suggested blending the two.  Providing the students with an array of resources in print and online.  Yet, as many of us know, just because it’s out there on the web, does not mean that it’s credible.  What skills do we need to consider teaching our students in order for them to know when they are being fed false information?  And, how do we scaffold the skills, tech and literacy, so that our students are successful?  Training was also a concern.  Not only do we want our students to be successful with the tools, but it was clearly important that our colleagues be just as successful implementing them.

 Here is a selection of some of the comments:

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.

 Parentella: @ShellTerrell Training is key. We have to equip our educator with the knowledge of ho to best use the tech b4 leaving them w/it 

UltimateTeacher: @ShellTerrell We have to empower teachers to take on digital books. Small goals are more realistic and manageable

tomwhitby: By switching to digital content that huge amount textbk $$$ could be diverted to tech tools and there would still be money left over.

 malcolmbellamy: education is about preparation for the future not rushing backwards to the past

 tucksoon: Textbooks will still exist unless education technology becomes air

 tomwhitby: Digital is more relevant and timely than Print.

 findingdulcinea: Educators must create the successors to textbooks; we’ve created a platform to help them, as have others http://bit.ly/91xCl7

 ShellTerrell: Most Ss have access to cell phones where they can carry the material around w/ them if we made the switch to dig tech

 aguteirreziT: Agree that ebook and book should coexist. Fond memories from childhood with books. Shame to eliminate completely.

 cybraryman1: We have to consider training for learning new technology & expecting learners to adapt to blended learning

 CrudBasher: Idea world -> Each students has their own customized digital txtbook, based on their learning style

 tkraz: Is there a resource for teachers who want to “construct” a free online version of their text? Let us get started that way.

 findingdulcinea: e-textbooks are not the answer; still have one voice, and no differentiated or individualized, student-directed instruction

 odysseyware: Don’t forget it’s not about us, but what students will do. It can never be digital or paper bcs every kid is different. So how?

 vickicobb: Where is it written that all kids have to read the same bk on a topic? Why cant they read diff bks and discuss??

michellek107: 1 problem w/ print textbooks is that many are used as “THE curriculum,” rather than to support curriculum.

SamGliksman: ebooks will succeed when they provide genuine interactive learning experience and aren’t just pdf of text-which most are now

SECottrell: Open-source resources that are motivating, up-to-date, and relevant are what turns the textbookless classroom into magic

 lhmiles2: Give me a vast supply of primary & secondary documents, and I will never touch another textbook again. Students love real content.

 min_d_j: digital text = flexible text. How about interactive PLEs that include text, images, video, simulations, interactive components?

 Mamacita: Good teachers turn textbooks into magic carpets, & poor teachers refuse to use magic at all. It would be the same for ebooks.

 cybraryman1: Our job as educators is to find the right method (book & internet) so every child can learn & reach his/her potential.

To follow the complete discussion see here  

 For the stats on #edchat participation see here  

 As ever, there were some great links shared:

ImagineLearning: Interesting article about schools doing away with regular textbooks and replace with e-readers http://bit.ly/dm6b3G  #edchat

markbrumley:  Here’s a school with an ebook library: http://tinyurl.com/3aac4rv  #edchat

ImagineLearning: e-readers cn provide students w/ a richer learning experience w/ audio, vid, & interactive graphics http://bit.ly/9aRLEv  #edchat

NextGenLC: Some of you may have already contributed, but there are great insights to be found in our Blended Learning forum http://ow.ly/2L8Tv  #edchat

briankotts:  E-books are only 6% of Printed Books Sales http://bit.ly/cjcfgx  #edchat #edtech

findingdulcinea:  Educators must create the successors to textbooks; we’ve created a platform to help them, as have others http://bit.ly/91xCl7 #edchat

vickicobb:  Nonfiction literature, bookds from the library, are what the best schools use: http://inkthinktank.com

vickicobb:  Excerpts from assessment tests come from our books. http://bit.ly/bAIL2F #edchat

txlibraryguy:  Check out Future of the Book for some possibilities http://www.futureofthebook.org/

vickicobb:  Meet the best nonfiction authors. See what they have to say about what is read in classrooms. http://bit.ly/b02i0o  #edchat

lisalearner:  study shows wikipedia just as accurate, but harder to read and understand than txtbks. http://bit.ly/b56cvP  #edchat

findingdulcinea:  Mayor Bloomberg has asked NYS to stop requiring textbooks: http://bit.ly/9vayTS  via @InnovativeEdu #edchat

vickicobb:  How ’bout talking to nonfiction authors? We can help you big time! http://bit.ly/d9ZPAT #edchat

eLearningGuild: Japan to pilot digital textbooks in classrooms http://bit.ly/cbYk0n #ebooks #ereaders +#dl10 session http://bit.ly/c33Naq #edchat

ImagineLearning:  Fascinating article on how web is dying. R apps a solution 2 letting Ss use power of internet but stay safe? http://bit.ly/bVq4v3  #edchat

vickicobb:  It’s the writing that makes written material memorable. here’s scientific proof: http://bit.ly/dtBJ6N

vickicobb:  Think of us nonfiction authors as playwrights. You can teach from great scripts! http://bit.ly/d9ZPAT

findingdulcinea:  This company offers customizable e-books; interesting. http://www.flatworldknowledge.com/

cybraryman1:  My Blended Learning page: http://bit.ly/altQDl  #edchat

elanaleoni:   CK12 offers free #opensource textbooks w the ability to collaborate: http://www.ck12.org/flexr/

NextGenLC:  Widespread use of #augmentedreality in the classroom may be far off, but it’s exciting tech. to think about http://ow.ly/2Lai1 #edchat

PCSTech:  Here’s an example of a free, online textbook on NC History, created by @LEARNNC – http://bit.ly/cfewKb  It’s incredible. #edchat

DUMACORNELLUCIA: New blog post Personal Learning Environments, Network and Knowledge 2010 #PLENK2010 and #edtech20 http://bitly.net/b5BSJZ #edchat #P21cs

ECBOE: A Fun World Where Kids Create and Publish Their Own Books: http://bit.ly/92gLYZ  #AETA  #edchat

findingdulcinea:  Here’s our list of 101 great social studies Web sites; why use a textbook when you have these? http://bit.ly/bChZsi  #edchat #sschat

agutierrezIT:  @ tomwhitby I don’t support or defend McLeroy’s influence, but is it any different than NYT influence? http://bit.ly/9vLivW  #edchat

Mamacita:  @tkraz Net is full of ebook deals. Wed. night, for example, you can get @SteveSpangler ‘s new ebook for $0.99! http://bit.ly/dhRn9c  #edchat

vickicobb:  I had to leave teaching to become a science writer for children. No time for both teaching and writing. http://vickicobb.com  #edchat

ESLlibrary:  @englishraven Shared this interesting video about a potential digital textbook http://tinyurl.com/26u52um  Check out after #edchat

ToddAHoffman:  Texas schools use Web-based program to support 1-to-1 learning #edchat #edtech http://sbne.ws/r/5KCe

web20education:  RT @cybraryman1: We have to teach students not to believe everything on internet. See: All About Explorers http://bit.ly/akDbr8  (author:@geraldaungst)#edchat

EDUTOPIA: An article that relates 2 #edchat today: “A Textbook Example of What’s Wrong w #Education” http://bit.ly/cJJegZ

ESLlibrary: @theteachinggame Yes, here is a great new resource on just that from @NikPeachey http://tinyurl.com/29wdtok  #edchat

findingdulcinea:  If you’re studying Pompeii, what does a textbook have that this site does not? http://sites.google.com/site/ad79eruption/  #edchat

GEN_Technology:  RT @Parentella: Keep the Education Conversation Going on Twitter with #EdChat Even After the Hype http://bit.ly/de6OB8  #education

vmc_teachers:   @davidwees Animal in the wild. OMG! I was having the same thought yesterday watching this video on ants http://bit.ly/dbcOHf AMAZING #edchat

findingdulcinea:  What if thousands of great teachers created and shared assignments & resources like this one? http://bit.ly/bPelRl  #edchat

cybraryman1:  @lhmiles2 My Primary Sources page: http://bit.ly/dv09pF  #edchat

elanaleoni:  Good Resource: Gr8 blog that makes the case 2 go paperless by @TeachPaperless http://bit.ly/9EKDVf

cybraryman1:  1:1 Schools are moving toward a more digitalized learning 1:1 Schools page: http://bit.ly/cgH76r

findingdulcinea:  @lhmiles2 Here are all of our offerings – all free. http://bit.ly/9WaysDM  #edchat

jgmac1106:  @tomwhitby A video I start off most PD sessions on using the Internet. The book help desk http://youtu.be/0Cd7Bsp3dDo  #edchat

vmc_teachers:  @lemino Based on interdisciplinary and participation, I believe. An interesting research: http://bit.ly/cHuQPK #edchat

web20education:  Tim Berners-Lee on the next Web #edtech20 #edchat #lrnchat #educhat #web20chat #liveclass20 #plenk10 http://t.co/qVZAfRr

findingdulcinea:  Here’s our ever-evolving Web research tutorial; much more to come on this: http://www.sweetsearch.com/TenSteps  #edchat

lemino:  @cybraryman1 I wish I could participate in the next #edchat It relates to a pervious one and this post… http://bit.ly/aySkTr

Taylor_Learning:  @Carter_Learning Has a great blog post on the e-reader debate. Good supplementary reading for today’s #edchat http://bit.ly/9aRLEv

Tracy Mercier is a third grade teacher at Broad Brook Elementary School in Broad Brook, CT.  She teaches with a passion for integrated curriculum and technology. Tracy is also a Responsive Classroom Consulting Teacher and CT ASCD Board Member.

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

●        Edchat: Join the Conversation

●        Using Tweetdeck for Hashtag Discussions

More Edchat

●        If you would like to join others in transforming the discussion into action, please feel free to join the Edchat group on the Educator PLN ning.

●        Jerry Swiatek does an incredible job of posting each archived transcript on the Edchat wiki created by Steve Johnson. This way you can look back at your favorites!

●        Find previous summaries here on this blog – see edchat category on right sidebar

●        Follow other Edchatters and make sure you are on this Twitter list if you participate in Edchat!

●        Read summaries of the 7pm EST/1 am CET Edchat discussions.


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

August 2, 2010

Should we save money in education by exchanging textbooks for internet content for authentic learning?


7-28-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST


We are grateful To Jessica Kelleher (@discomfortzone) for this week’s summary and reflection on what was a very lively #edchat session. As you can tell from her twitter name, Jessica is no shrinking violet when it comes to educational matters! She has captured very well what was, on balance a very measured approach to this topic with some very interesting ideas and links. For more about Jessica see her bio at the end of the post.

Technology is great, it has enriched personal and professional lives in so many ways. For many of the educators we meet on Twitter and Ning (or other platforms), their PLN is the most important professional development. And for those people, textbooks may not even be an option for teaching and learning these days. 
Our initial answer to the proposed question could be “Yes, please!” and enthusiasts may envision themselves with bundles of money available for the newest gadgets and professional development. 
But before we chuck the books out, and put the publishing houses out of business, there is more to consider. This discussion has shown that edtech enthusiasts have concerns too.

 Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • Textbooks offer out-dated material, or become out-dated/irrelevant quickly
  • Textbooks only represent one perspective
  • Access to online technologies or computer technologies varies greatly throughout the world (equal opportunities)
  • Some teachers will struggle without a textbook, or with dynamic online environments
  • Technology is just a tool, it is not the resource
  • The necessity of information literacy and critical thinking when using online resources 
  • The increased need to collaborate 

The use of textbooks, as well as technologies varies greatly between individual educators, school districts, and countries. While some educators have not touched a textbook in years, they still are seen as a “safety net” for other teachers. In this discussion, there was mainly agreement on the first two themes.
A big problem for this shift in education is accessibility to both computers, as well as reliable internet connections. Rural areas are often at a disadvantage within the developed world, however, looking at it globally, there are massive discrepancies. 
Ability and willingness to use online resources and technology was brought up several times. Teachers unable or unwilling to leave their comfort zones to learn and experience new technologies and forms of learning, would not be happy to swap their textbooks for an ipad, but as it was also pointed out, it is those educators we need to support and continuously encourage. 
Using content available on the internet means that students, no matter what age, need to develop as critical thinkers. Without the “right answer textbook”, students, and teachers, need to know what sources are reliable, but they also have the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of perspectives. Information literacy and critical thinking already form part of the curriculum of some schools, while others still need to develop.

Lastly, I would like to comment on the theme “technology is just a tool, not a resource”. 

For me, this can be linked to some of my comments during this discussion:
  • Just because something is online, does not mean it is better than a textbook (some publishers put textbook content on their websites, including some workbook content, get a neat programmer to add some animations or similar, and sell it as their interactive content. For me, this is a FARCE! The content, and as such, the resource stays the same, but the tool changes. Same goes for ebooks!
  • There is more to the discussion than technology or textbook. People and places are amazing resources too. And while these can be accessed in person (if possible) or virtually (neat! Streetview, Skype, SecondLife), they provide other perspectives, require different skills and are much more engaging than some books.

 The last point goes back to the why and how of learning in schools. When we have definite answers to that, then we can choose engaging and authentic resources. In some of my units, people were a much more valuable and authentic resource than any book could have ever been. Seeing the marble caves of Carrara, then seeing marble processed in Pietrasanta, including a little workshop, to seeing Michelangelo’s David in Florence…. an indescribable experience. And with technology  growing, this could possibly be accessible to children all over the world at one point. 
It makes me question whether the topic for this week’s edchat was not too limited. Are our choices really just textbook or technology? No! But it helped us to start exploring the need to question the use of both. However, let’s not forget to reach beyond the tools!!

@CoachB0066: Opportunities must be based on school/students’ accessibility, cannot have an uneven playing field 

@malcolmbellamy: the idea is excellent but we then need to teach internet literacy skills to get the best results 

@easybib: the authenticity of learning depends on the resource, not necessarily the medium

@tomwhitby: Once information is recorded in a textbook it can become irrelevant. The prime sources on the internet may be constanly updated

@crystalmgrand: Teachers need to stray away from the textbooks and blackboard and work on student engagement. Be more creative

@dannymaas: Would LOVE to see > student-created wiki textbooks with multimedia & web 2.0 embeds! >> Students leading knowledge creation! 

@discomfortzone: Just because a resource is accessible online/electronically, doesn’t mean it’s better than textbook!

@leahmacvie: Teachers need more collaboration time, they also need support and facilitation. 

@discomfortzone: Tech is not the only alternative to textbook! People and places are too! Rethinking resources is important, not the tool/medium

@ShellTerrell: With tech we have opportunities to give our stdts experiences like Skyping w/ Holocaust survivor vs. just reading 

 @Nunavut_Teacher: We have to teach students how to be critical thinkers when it comes to using the web.

@ShellTerrell: Wouldn’t doing away with textbooks encourage educators to go online & perhaps develop a PLN?

@marynabadenhors: If everyone in first world uses computers and everyone in 3rd world paper, how will we communicate? Must be able to do both

@TechCzech: Many students & teachers thrive on the structure provided by textbooks. Many don’t. OERs could cater to both. Present system can’t.

@ESLlibrary: If your admin doesn’t agree, just print out the transcript of today’s #edchat.

@tcash: Think about what kinds of resources we use as professionals – domain specific – THAT’s what we should use in class -authentic 

@rosamariatorres: Want to avoid textbooks because they are “oppresive”-determine what you need to learn? How “oppresive” is Wikipedia? And mass media?

@Mamacita: Let’s not completely dismiss ANY source; let’s pick & choose & encourage students to do the same

 Here is a selection of some of the comments:

 To follow the complete discussion see here 

 For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

 As ever, there were some great links shared:

schoology:  Interesting article about e-book educatipn push http://ht.ly/2hh6F

heoj:  curious to hear if anyone’s used the NYT Learning Network for authentic learning, how it went, etc. http://nyti.ms/2WbL84

HigherEdMorning:  Facebook and grades: What’s the link? http://bit.ly/aLzyrQ

BlueSkyDrive:  should we really be branding “educated”? http://bit.ly/dt3ESu

joe_bower:  for the love of learning – The Daily Riff http://bit.ly/9lxXbD

ToughLoveforX:  I also think it’s important for this #edchat that people are aware of Verizon’s move into edu. http://ilnk.me/36ac  The others will follow.

beabitcraZEE:  @whatedsaid10 ways my thinking has changed over time. http://bit.ly/bbzk GV WAKING UP TO THE FACT THAT PEOPLE NEED TO THINK TO LEARN #edchat

briankotts:  The 21st-century textbook – O’Reilly http://oreil.ly/9Qfp7t  #edchat It’s living, interactive, participative, adaptive, and connected.

malcolmbellamy:  see the interactive textbook of CK-12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfHd1FpJXbU  TedX NYed talk #edchat

billgx:  Dan Meyer’s TED talk on Math Curriculum Makover is very relevant to this discussion. http://bit.ly/cP4GmY #edchat #TED

andycinek:  Example of digital news paper learning setup with wiki and RSS http://bit.ly/9xHARH  #edchat Please steal this idea

TechCzech:  Charles Leadbeater-Education innovation in the slums “education needs to work by pull not push.” http://bit.ly/dtIM6W  #edchat #metaphor #ted

andycinek:  Another example from my blog of RSS and wiki use for current events and indp. reading #edchat http://bit.ly/bAviaW

evemarfil:  How to create engagemt? Here you have Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation http://on.ted.com/8Tno  #edchat

ColinTGraham:  I like student blogs where they talk about their work, ask questions and get help, with teacher guiding e.g. http://bit.ly/bnsRMs  #edchat

marynabadenhors:  A new digital divide: In one class (between those who can use technology effectively, and those who can’t) http://bit.ly/bQkug1  #edchat

Schoology:  Interesting article about e-book educatipn push http://ht.ly/2hh6F  #edchat

elanaleoni:  Jumping in late to #edchat but have you all checked out CK-12? Free #opensource online textbooks: http://bit.ly/9uTdoA  Very impressive

briankotts:  Alvin Toffer and Heidi on education (material & system) Worth watching. http://youtu.be/04AhBnLk1-s  #edchat

crystalmgrand:  Wasn’t there an issue a few months back that Texas was rewriting history? VIDEO: http://ht.ly/2hiE2  #edchat

ESLlibrary:  Bookmark to read after #edchat: Vicky Saumell interview on daring to drop textbooks http://edition.tefl.net/guest/vicky-saumell/

dannymaas:  http://bit.ly/GPnX RT @olafelch More errors in encyclopedia than wikipedia #edchat (debatable, and depends on what you call an error

andycinek:  @crystalmgrand http://nyti.ms/9pMNLm  #edchat

FOSSwiki:  Jumping in late to #edchat but have you all checked out CK-12? Free #opensource online textbooks: http://bit.ly/9u… http://bit.ly/cSqUG2

andycinek:  A perfect example of how textbooks can skew information to state a belief http://nyti.ms/9pMNLm

elanaleoni:  @SheldonWordNerd This article may be helpful: How to Teach Students to Search Smart http://bit.ly/aZIhzD  #edchat

TechCzech:  Many of the ideas discussed in #edchat on role of resources were contained in the 1970s Humanities Curriculum Project: http://j.mp/brPxbl

andycinek:  I’ll teach out of a textbook or via a wikispace or a blog thanks PLN! http://bit.ly/9s8eSv  #edchat

ShellTerrell:  Don’t forget to attend the free 48 hr virtual conference #rscon10 w many members of our PLN this Fri. http://bit.ly/bIH6Dp #Edchat

irasocol:  @VanessaSCassie http://is.gd/dMAhB  #edchat http://is.gd/dMAvu  and best http://is.gd/dMACt 

RevoltMarxism:  EDUCATION! http://ow.ly/2gW6Y  #classwar #p2 #topprog #edtech #gopcodered #speakingout #p2 #ownpersonalhell #p #edchat #sociology #Econ

irasocol:  http://www.life.com/archive/gallery #edchat

Reflective. Inquiring. Curious

Jessica Kelleher is currently a PYP (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme) teacher at the International School of Modena in Italy. She teaches Grade 3.
Jessica trained as a primary school teacher in Germany, where she worked at KLAX Primary and Middle School in a variety of roles, including Mathematics Middle School teacher, class teacher, and Middle School coordinator. 
She has since worked at Westminster International School in Pisa as a PYP class teacher and PYP     coordinator.
Jessica’s professional interests currently revolve around inquiry-based teaching and learning, educational technology and curriculum development. Her degree in Learning, Technology and Research has sparked a further interest in professional development and action inquiry, as well as eLearning and eEducation.


New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!

July 11, 2010

How do we as leaders promote engagement of teachers, parents students?


7 – 7 – 2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Our thanks for this week’s #edchat summary go to Joan Young (@flourishingkids). Her educational background and interests make her an ideal choice for his topic of full integration of all stake-holders into the learning process. I am sure you will agree that such a complex topic is not an easy one to pin down and Joan has done an excellent job. See more about Joan in her bio at the end of the summary.

Engagement is a key issue in education these days as we work to develop school environments that promote learning, critical thinking and teamwork among teachers, parents and students. At a time where budget crises, political agendas and cultural pressures threaten the efficacy of teachers and students, we must work together to mobilize and change the fabric of education.  From the physical structure of a school campus, with its signs, fences and buildings to the reciprocal communication with parents and students, leaders must create a positive experience in a safe enough environment where both teachers and students will take the necessary risks in growing and learning. With new technology, rising awareness, and a greater variety of participating stakeholders like those here on edchat, we have a wonderful opportunity to work on increasing engagement.
Although the topic was engagement of teachers, parents, and students, much of the discussion as highlighted in themes below centered on getting parents more involved. As we realize that parents are critical activists in demanding change from schools, we need to mobilize and utilize their skills, develop understanding and promote involvement for positive change.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:

  • We must understand what engagement looks like in our settings. Active, talkative, excited students in class then sharing with parents?
  • Barriers to parent engagement include preconceived notions of school from parents’ own life experiences.
  • Our campus, modes of communication with parents, students, teachers must facilitate, not block open dialogue.
  • Students must lead the way, through student led conferences, guiding parents on school activity, learning nights.
  • Parents have valuable insights and expertise that we need to discover, mobilize. Active parents can engage other reluctant parents.
  • Communication via all tools available must be utilized so that all families are reached. Can’t assume all have tech access.
  • Teachers are reluctant at times to lead due to increase in duties, peer pressure. Admin. can create safer environment for this.
  • We must share our student successes and let students vocalize, publicize them so that others can see the great models of engagement.
  • As we engage students through relevant, meaningful learning experiences, they will share their learning at home.

Here is a selection of some of the comments:

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.

@Katiemc827 #edchat fav quote by Comer, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship” applies to parents/students/teachers
@pughamy: #edchat people act because they are inspired, not swayed. how do we become leaders that inspire change?
@ShellTerrell: Engagement means we stop assuming each party is apathetic & doesn’t want to be included! Let’s find out why #edchat

@MrMacnology #edchat We have 2 find ways tht tchrs c how “this” will improve lrnng.  They have 2 experience it. Provide time 2 explore 2 prmte engagement

@cybraryman1: Involve all in the decisionmaking process to get each ones point of view. #edchat
@teachingwthsoul: Leaders encompass all stakeholders. Not just admin. Teacher leaders, parent leaders too. Must seek out strenghs of all. #edchat
@L_Hilt #edchat You definitely need to bring the parents into the school as often as possible. Design day & evening activities for learning 2gether!
@21stcenturychem: The best way is to model engagement for them. If you aren’t excited about the lning process, why should they? #edchat
@weemooseus Design activities for parents that involve showcasing students’ learning, have students present #edchat
@whatedsaid If students have responsibility for their learning (not teachers) they are more engaged, then parents are more engaged too. #edchat
@Ron_Peck We have to promote engagement in such a way so that it is ongoing and a part of the school culture. #edchat #EDCHAT
@skipvia Apathy isn’t a natural state – it’s created by dull curricula and poor pedagogy. #edchat
@bhsprincipal: With technology, there are a lot more ways to engage stakeholders – Facebook, blog, twitter, streaming events #edchat
@fiteach I always start the year with a survey asking parents what I should know about their kids.  It sets the tone that they are valued. #edchat
@LesLinks With all the loss of resources, many parents may be happy to help may have surprising skills/talents could contribute, and engaged. #edchat
@tomwhitby: Informed parents may be your best ALLY.Uninformed parents may be your worst Enemy. Engagement #edchat
@averyteach I try to have tchrs present at staff meetings, work in focus groups on school improvement issues, “gently” push them into ldershp #edchat
@irasocol Most school offices lack the welcoming nature needed to put parents at ease #edchat
@Parentella You have to be willing to “go” where your parents/students are, be it FB, Twitter, email, phone, postage mail etc #edchat
@tkraz#edchat takeaway: student lead conf showing what and how they are learning. Focus on process/importance to their learning #edchat

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week:
With so many community members with expertise and resources available to us, and the tools of Web 2.0 how are we utlizing them? Are teachers and admin. using our local and global connections to inspire kids to discover their passions, interests through mentor visits, author visits, etc?

To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here

As ever, there were some great links shared:

cybraryman1:  Parent-Teacher + Teacher-Student Communication is important. PT Commun: http://www.cybraryman.com/ptconferences.html #edchat

 averyteach:   http://www2.ed.gov/admins/comm/parents/parentinvolve/index.html NCLB pub about parent engagement #edchat 

yongclee:  RT @AndreaGenevieve: Around on July 31st? #education #smcedu #edtech #edchat #highered #edcamp come to SMCEDU camp! http://www.smceducamp.com/

Poll Learnitin5:  Which Web 2.0 application would you like to learn? http://ow.ly/27CLO #edchat #web20

aforgrave:  Perhaps @SirKenRobinson ‘s The Element http://amzn.to/LdyNy  has part of the answer? #edchat

averyteach:  http://nationalserviceresources.org/node/17449 website that has good resources for parent involvement #edchat

whatedsaid:  @pughamy Blogged about students taking charge of learning here http://bit.ly/bEtP6x  #edchat

michellek107:  One of my goals this year is to change perception of tchrs, such as those in the comments from this article- http://bit.ly/dwtbgD #edchat

nancyrubin:  Engaging Students with Engaging tools: http://bit.ly/arsQdO #edchat

cybraryman1:  Parental Involvement should be encouraged PI:http://www.cybraryman.com/parenting.html#school

yongclee:  Educators, what do you think of A Teacher’s Guide to Using Facebook: http://scr.bi/bJGMy5 #smcedu #edchat #edtech

ColinTGraham:  @briankotts But is homework necessarily a good thing…?  John Hattie doesnt think so: http://bit.ly/9x4uV9  #edchat

nancyrubin:  Technology-Infused Lesson Plans: http://bit.ly/aTKIqP #edchat

nancyrubin:  Use a class blog to communicate with parents – What Can I Do With a Blog?: http://bit.ly/cBj9kM

onlinespeechtherapy:  @tvanderark We provide speech-language therapy services to students in their school.  http://www.OnlineSpeechTherapy.com #edchat #edtech

tomwhitby: RT @bhsprincipal: A four-year old on ipad with no PD! Go Figure! http://twitpic.com/22yfph #edchat

briankotts:  @colintgraham @jensrantil Interesting. I read Alfie Kohn’s post on Rethinking Homework http://bit.ly/9w9yOM #edchat

evemarfil:  #edchat #teachers @pgsimoes    #edtech Seven Videos All Teachers & Principals Should Watch http://dlvr.it/2MNPT

web20education:  #edtech20  #edchat Put YoLink In Your Blog: Yesterday, I published a post about YoLink. Today, I had the http://url4.eu/5TTA4

web20education:  #edtech20  #edchat Lots of Great Links from ISTE 2010: The ISTE 2010 conference just wrapped-up a couple of hours http://url4.eu/5TTA5

briankotts:  Remember this NYTimes article? Spreading Homework Out So Even Parents Have Some http://nyti.ms/bKsOO1 #edchat 

evemarfil:  A must watch! Creating the schools we need TEDxNY Chris Lehman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FEMCyHYTyQ  #edchat

ShellTerrell: Twitter for Learning – 55 Articles http://bit.ly/c7EIcl via @tonykarrer #edtech #elearning #edchat 

briankotts:  My personal favourite in the parent-child conflict:  So Young, and So Gadgeted | NYT http://nyti.ms/aEWlcE #edchat

billgx: This teacher uses YouTube to engage parents, family with student learning. Awesome! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNSvffHX9Sw #edchat

My name is Joan Young aka @flourishingkids on Twitter. I will be teaching 4th grade this year in Menlo Park, California after many years of teaching Kindergarten/1st grade. As a former foster care social worker and clinical therapist, I’ve always been particularly interested in the connections between environment, emotions, relationships, cognitive science and learning. I am passionate about discovering how we can utillize the unique strengths of our students, their parents and our colleagues to facilitate lively, engaging classrooms and exciting, thriving school environments. I enjoy learning and writing about a variety of subjects, particularly how we can garner the power of positive emotions and trusting relationships to facilitate higher cognition and growth among our students.  I believe that as educators we must help kids discover the unique ways that they learn so that they can take on challenges and pursue their interests to the fullest. I am also passionate about joining together with educators around the world who truly want to actively engage in dialogue and actions for meaningful change in schools. You can read more of my reflections at http://allkidscanflourish.blogspot.com and http://365mindfulmoments.blogspot.com .

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

June 24, 2010

In What Ways Are Personal Learning Networks Having An Effect On Education?


6-22-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Edchat - a great PLN!!

We are very grateful to Andrew Barras (@crudbasher) for this week’s summary of what was another very lively discussion on #edchat and a topic which most people felt very passionate about! Andrew is very passionate about technology and the role that it plays, and will play even more in the future, in education. He has provided a splendid definition of PLN and really captured the tone of the discussion!

The rise of the Internet has allowed connections to be forged between people based on a common purpose, ideology or interest.  This collection of people, ideas and concepts is completely customized and fitted to an individual’s needs.  The term Personal Learning Network (PLN) is widely used to describe this system.  While each PLN is unique, they all share certain features.  They are not something that you join, the user has to create their own.  Using Twitter, RSS feeds, Diigo, Delicious and blogs, people inquire, ponder, respond, and learn, usually all at the same time.  There are no ranks, degrees, status or wealth.  Only ideas.  It is the ultimate democratic forum, where each person has a voice and each voice is equal.  Like a plant, the PLN needs attention, feeding and sometimes pruning. More than the information gathered however perhaps the best reward for having a PLN is to provide a brutally honest sounding board for our thoughts and an encouraging support group when we struggle.  It truly is more than the sum of it’s parts.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:

  • General agreement that PLNs are having an effect.
  • PLN allows support for individuals who otherwise might be isolated in their school
  • PLN facilitates improved Professional Development
  • PLN helps keep teachers interested in learning and developing
  • You don’t join a PLN you build (or grow) one.
  • In a PLN everyone has an equal voice
  • PLNs allow blending of ideas from different levels of education
  • Nobody is forced into a PLN so there is enthusiasm
  • PLN is very much a grassroots creation
  • A PLN is a model for lifelong learning
  • Most teachers don’t have a PLN

Here is a selection of some of the comments:

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.

@TeachPaperless: PLNs are both democratizing and personalizing professional development.
@cybraryman1: Where else could you have 24/7 PD from great global educators. PLN’s are transforming how we teach & collaborate.
@mattguthrie: My PLN has affected my school b/c I share everything with them after I learn it from my PLN
@anderscj: @kevcreutz PLN members set their own priorities and make connections of mutual benefit, edicts are handed to no one.
@MrR0g3rs: #edchat all schools have teachers who have given up on being learners. u never see that with a PLN
@MissCheska: There is no power differential in PLNs – knowledge is freely distributed, allowing for empowerment in all levels.
@Mamacita: When each subject exists only w/in 4 walls of one classroom, they’re useless. PLN’s allow communication & sharing.
@CrudBasher: Having a PLN is like having an expert team working for me everyday.
@thenewtag: Twitter is my newspaper each morning and night. It’s opened my eyes to a whole new world of learning.
@tomwhitby: PLN’s allow the blending of ideas from Elementary, Secondary and Higher ed settings.
@jbrogley: My PLN has also changed what I want for my own children’s education.
@TheGilch: If you are following 20 teachers on twitter, think of how much collective exprience you r drawing from!
@TeachPaperless: A great way to get teachers involved in PLNs is to under-emphasize the ‘tech’  and stress the sharing aspect.
@ShellTerrell: Before my PLN, at conferences I used to get greeted w business cards now its like meeting friends known for yrs
@tomwhitby: PLN’s allow us to not only devise ideas, but share the finished product Globally. No Walls!
@DrTimony: Front burner task for PLN must be to unify colleagues and schools. Like a union except with brains.
@TeachPaperless: PLNs are part of broader cultural shift; see: news, entertainment, gaming, music industries – remix of personal/public hierarachies.
@dgende: When faculty asks: how did you know ’bout this? How did you learn this? I take the opportunity to pitch PLNs!
@lhmiles2: Key w/ PLNs is to always take action. Don’t simply talk/share ideas.  ACT. Otherwise, meaningless.

Special alliteration award goes to:

@TeachPaperless: PLNs have made the profession personal in a public way and public in a personal way.

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week:

Is the public education system broken, or is it actually working exactly like designed, but the design is bad?

To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here

As ever, there were some great links shared: (Phew! So many this week!!)

Free e-books for educators, including one on Professional Learning Networks http://blog.learningtoday.com/ebooks/

Creating an online personal learning network (PLN) #edchat http://ht.ly/21Lwe

New blog post Free social networking in education 2.0 Part I http://web20socialmediasafetyineducation.blogspot.com/ Share,rt comment

http://www.virtualschoolsymposium.org/ (Virtual School Symposium 2010) anyone attending this? #edchat

@Parentella Here’s the picture I use to go with it http://bit.ly/b041ml

Open course on PLNs, web2, & Connectivist Learning: http://connectivistlearning.pbworks.com

RT @web20classroom: Join @mbteach, @kylepace and I at #ISTE10 for an #Edchat Live Event and Tweetup: http://bit.ly/bn7QY3

RT @dianeravitch: Interview with Valerie Strauss: http://tinyurl.com/2vvg5t2

New . Join free   PLN for teachers who want to share knowledge using http://twubs.com/safedchat/ #edtech20 http://yv2.me/oxWb

The best part of a PLN is that we gain knowledge from ourselves-the professional educators who are in the field! http://ht.ly/21LYP

Wendy Drexler has some great PLN examples http://wp.me/ptZn3-4r

RT @t4johnson See EducationEye for a visual map of tech innovations (updated daily): http://www.educationeye.org.uk/

our visual of a teacher pln http://screencast.com/t/ZmUxOGE1OTM – should be happening w/or w/o web.. web is just amping it

Guest post from the Andrew Barras on LeahMacVie.com this week: Reflections on my Online Master’s Program http://bit.ly/chftCJ

Wise Words from Howard Rheingold- Reflections from #EdChat http://bit.ly/9N0ZrN

Proud supporter of #ISTE10  http://twb.ly/cVnId2 annimation . GoAnimate – Blue Bear in Space #edtech20 http://icio.us/fyxtb2

Yes, I have a page  for PLNs: http://bit.ly/503fQf

a short video I created describing PLNs – http://bit.ly/a60SJw

Liberation Technology (the Twitter PLN) http://speedchange.blogspot.com/2009/10/twitter-as-teacher-liberation.html

liberated to do what? perhaps http://bit.ly/cXT16N? RT @irasocol: Liberation Technology (the Twitter PLN) http://bit.ly/b7upRy

@ghewgley Love that analogy.  Speaking of Analogies: http://bit.ly/aTnN54

Building a Professional Learning Community at Work great reproducibles http://bit.ly/d3fJvW

@rliberni @kevcreutz http://singimagination.wordpress.com/

New blog post: What do your student interactions look like? http://bit.ly/99SntF

The Educator’s PLN Ning is free to all who wish to be a part of over 4,000 collaborating Educators. Join us at –  www.edupln.com

5 Reasons Why Educators Should Network: 4. To extend your learning base http://bit.ly/8YuYK0

Teachers  build  #PLN on Ning but unfourrtunatelly in 1 mounth Ning will close free service for Ning creators . http://yv2.me/oybA

RT @isteconnects: Good foundational article on theory of PLNs and why/how they work http://bit.ly/16THuy

New — Technology literacy whitepaper. The case for “doing”, not testing http://bit.ly/9yvLSM Plz share with PLN

Maybe students could be encouraged to start a project on building PLNs: Design For change Contest http://bit.ly/aPstiO

our visual of student pln http://screencast.com/t/NDdjODcwM more likely to happen if teachers are pln-ing

Thanks every1! RT @akenuam: @Dramanique You build one. Check out the PLN ebook at http://blog.learningtoday.com/ebooks/

Excellent resources by Cybrary Man on PLNs and PLCs http://bit.ly/d9NlPt

we think plns should be the new standard http://tinyurl.com/26flofd

RT@ColinTGraham:Mayb students could be encouraged to start a project on building PLNs:Design For change Contest http://bit.ly/aPstiO

Real-World Issues Motivate Students | Edutopia http://ow.ly/21ggD http://ow.ly/21geI

RT @ShellTerrell    PLN Resources, Presentations, & Research to help you spread the word http://bit.ly/clMc5w

So while every 1 was in #edchat discussing PLN I was blogging abt mine &getting 2 sit next to the smart kids at #ISTE10 http://bit.ly/9Qa713

I’ve found more resources and more useful advice for PD in 3 months on Twitter than in 5 years without it http://bit.ly/63EfOb

PLN – Sharing knowledge   on-line using tools and applications web 2.0 and social media  #edtech20 http://yv2.me/oyhT

Remember: It’s the people of a PLN that make it thrive: http://bit.ly/90SNfG

#safedchat web 2.0 and social media in education in a safety mode http://grou.ps/web20andsocialmediaeducationstill20

19 Resources about Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) http://bit.ly/aNiq8y

#edchat Wiki has a cluster map (so global!) and a “Who are We?” page – good stuff to send to admins: http://bit.ly/azwBbB

MUST read @kylepace  It’s the people of a PLN that make it thrive: http://bit.ly/90SNfG

You can get a #TT #edchat #twibbon here if you want! http://bit.ly/bHhGOL

@soumyapr This will help you learn about #Edchat http://bit.ly/6Yfgc & become involved in our weekly conversations

it’s not difficult to understand, it’s difficult to embrace = paraphrasing Seth Godin – relates to PLN… http://bit.ly/aUGkIz

RT @lemino: Thanks got here late. More reading for later. This discussion can continue on http://bit.ly/66MR8q

@isteconnects: Good foundational article on theory of PLNs and why/how they work http://bit.ly/16THuy

@ShellTerrell #edchat learning is all about fun! Have you seen this? http://youtu.be/m3RPa1ztV64 (short)

Stay Connected at #ISTE10 (Whether you’re attending or not!) http://is.gd/cZogk.

RT @tomwhitby: If you are going to ISTE10 we will be doing a large Group participation #Edchat. CHK This out! http://bit.ly/cAlbRI

Struggling to teach students how to “search”? Try these search challenges to help build search skills http://bit.ly/b8rVlf

RT @web20classroom: Don’t forget to join #edchat at #ISTE10: http://bit.ly/bn7QY3

You might find this 2006 report helpful: Blended Learning – Learning – British Council – Brussels http://bit.ly/awwPny @ISILBOY

My name is Andrew Barras (aka Crudbasher). I am honored to be able to provide the summary for #edchat this week!

I am an Instructional Designer at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. I have been a 3d Modeler, Computer Programmer, Web Designer, and Professor over the last 15 years. I was even making Military Simulations before I could legally drink! (that was a disadvantage). Now I am adding Educational Futurist to my skill set.  I have a BS in Digital Arts and Design and my Masters in Education Media Design & Technology, both from Full Sail University.

I believe that Education is about to undergo a more drastic change in the next 10-15 years than it underwent in the last 100 because of technology. Therefore I blog at Education Stormfront where I focus on how disruptive technology will affect and change education in the next few years.

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

June 17, 2010

How should critical thinking be integrated with technology?


6-15-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Great Critical Thinkers!

Julie Shy (@shyj) has been this week’s #edchat ‘trooper’ and provided us with a great summary. You can read Julie’s bio at the bottom of the post. Her work with thinking skills, technology and teachers makes her a great candidate to tackle this week’s topic of critical thinking! I’m sure you will agree that it is a job well done!

Critical thinking…..ahhhh….it sounds so “smart,” doesn’t it?  We spend our days teaching our students how to ask good questions. We model and teach our students how to think critically. We spend hours showing our students how to take all of the wonderful information they have gathered and analyze and synthesize it. And then, the end of the school year comes, and our students take “the test.” You know which one I’m talking about…..”THE test”…..the only one the state looks at….the only one tied to budgets and recognition for your whole district…..the one that looks for ONE RIGHT ANSWER!!!! “Calgon, take me away!” C’mon, you know what I mean. Why should we, as educators, spend so much time on something that apparently isn’t valued by our educational system? Is it really worth our time and effort?

Fortunately educators who participate in #edchat discussions are a stubborn group and insist on doing the right thing for children. Today’s #edchat tackled the question, “How should critical thinking be integrated with technology?”

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:

  • good lesson design can support and promote critical thinking
  • traditional curricular materials (ie workbooks, textbooks) do not enhance critical thinking in students
  • critical thinking in classrooms should not be an option
  • teachers need to be comfortable creating/asking higher level questions and allowing students to ask questions
  • if there is “one right answer” thinking stops as soon as the first person gets the answer
  • technology is a tool to support critical thinking
  • teachers need to model critical thinking
  • critical thinking occurs when students link to prior knowledge
  • collaboration should be a part of the critical thinking process for teachers and students

Here is a selection of some of the comments:

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.

@cybraryman1: Good teaching requires an understanding of how technology relates to the pedagogy and content
@BrandiJClark: Students should be involved in developing essential questions

@andycinek: If you take the time early on to give them grounding in the tools, you can turn the class and critical thinking over to them
@VanessaSCassie: The design of the lesson is where critical thinking is achieved or not…tech is just one way of getting there
@andycinek: Critical thinking is the ability to deconstruct/analyze a problem/question and find the a logical solution
@wmchamberlain: A better question, “How do we teaching critical thinking in class when teachers are stuck with programs and workbooks?”
@21stcenturychem: we owe it to our students to teach how to critically analyze the mountains of info online
@ShellTerrell: We need to make teachers feel comfortable w/ letting students find the answers instead of giving them the answers!
@MissCheska: I think by backward design and concept-based instruction that mixes PBL and experiential methods
@drdouggreen: Promote metacognition by having students self evaluate.
@tomwhitby: If the car breaks down you walk. Travel is the skill, the car is the tool
@Swanny203: I have had many a stud mad at me ’cause I have answered their ? with a ? to lead them to the answer-no instant gratification
@profhutch: I’ve had students request worksheets because they are easier….project based learning takes critical thinking and time
@Ron_Peck: Move kids up the ladder of critical thinking and have them apply it in PBL or other student centered activity.
@evab2001: critical thinking is conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information, knowledge
@RushaSams: We need 2 understand power of scaffolding ques so that essential ones follow basic understanding, knowledge ones.
@MissCheska: Doesn’t critical thinking require a little creativity?
@malcolmbellamy: critical thinking is developed in an environment that encourages it and does not belittle any contribution
@Brian_ThomasTCI: Critical thinking often thrives in collaboration too. Grouping students fosters new thinking.
@21stcenturychem: Students have to be comfortable asking tough questions; not all teachers like being challenged
@iangowans: Undeniably critical thinking is important but time MUST be spent on understanding the content prior to all this great thinking
@thenewtag: Not sure we even teach critical thinking as much as develop it by encouraging curiosity, experimentation and inquiry.
@ColinTGraham: Critical thinking is also very much a N American/European expectation and may not be culturally applicable or acceptable

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week:

  • What technology tools specifically enhance critical thinking for students?

To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here

As ever, there were some great links shared:

ShellTerrell:   Super cool! Watch #Edchat live if you wish: http://bit.ly/cUg80b via @edudemic

Brian_ThomasTCI: Teach Critical thinking with discussion strategy. Imagine this with Skype! http://bit.ly/daYxjr Other free assessment ideas linked.

classroomtools: Critical Thinking lesson: How is history used to deceive in this 2010 political ad? http://youtu.be/6iQ7ZDUutU4

ShellTerrell: Remember this #Edchat is in preparation for Wed.’s live chat on Elluminate w/ @hrheingold http://bit.ly/9cyyML #HRChat

Parantella: RT @ShellTerrell: Looking Forward By Looking Back http://bit.ly/9qhlj5 via @parentella

rliberni: Has technology produced a decline in these skills? http://bit.ly/cLFtYK

cybraryman1: @tomwhitby Evaluation Websites: http://bit.ly/5R2Hxi

SheldonWordNerd: Best explanation I’ve seen lately  RT @elizabethonline: Using and Teaching Critical Thinking http://tinyurl.com/25qqq96

Brian_ThomasTCI: Start simple with tech tools and learn as you grow. Here’s a guide you can share with them #edchat http://bit.ly/9KvBYg

findingdulcinea: I’d love to see students create “Suspicious Sites” features like these: http://bit.ly/ssites

andycinek: Shameless self promotion of critical thinking done with technology in the classroom http://bit.ly/bckvRk

web20education: Critical thinking must be integrated with technology in a safety mode . Join and let’s discuss  http://bit.ly/9EI9xP

cybraryman1: @rliberni That is why my Critical Thinking page has Problem Solving on it too:  http://bit.ly/q7HUm

weemooseus: Teaching computational thinking may help students deal with critical thinking issues #edchat http://www.cs4fn.org/computationalthinking/

rliberni: Here’s some research An experiment in group learning technology – evaluating critical thinking http://bit.ly/d0bjSM

Brian_ThomasTCI: if you want lots of ideas in groups, make sure to include lots of learning styles #edchat http://bit.ly/bSAdGn

Brian_ThomasTCI: Check out this old school vid on how critical thinking can happen in small groups . http://bit.ly/biCN51

Brian_ThomasTCI: Build lessons around powerful teaching strategies, let your class be a model to others. #edchat http://bit.ly/4Jwv0S

ColinTGraham: It’s worth looking at approaches like sketchcasting http://bit.ly/bEFCIU for presentations.

cybraryman1: QuestionningTechniques Page: http://cybraryman.com/questioning.html

ileducprof: RT @ShellTerrell: RT @JasonFlom: “Emerging Trend: Teachers as Advocates” | Cooperative Catalyst http://bit.ly/cCkDQv

tomwhitby: This video for educators is worth 3 minutes of time. School from a kid’s view is a needed component for reform. http://bit.ly/9cXR6S

theokk: Great post here by @ewanmcintosh that may be of interest … http://is.gd/cQoCf

rliberni: Thinking skills, technology and learning  http://bit.ly/amlTbH

Brian_ThomasTCI: Here’s link to spiraled questions strategy for critical thinking and images http://scr.bi/cUfWsk

Brian_ThomasTCI: Need to run!  Great #edchat today! My Blog post on Critical Thinking http://bit.ly/9KSQfQ

nlakusta: TC2 http://www.tc2.ca/wp/ is now working with Sesame Street!! Fabulous. Our school division working with them 2

SheldonWordNerd: @Mamacita Did you see my post on why Google isn’t a substitute for an education?  We’re in agreement!  http://bit.ly/9yPey5

TeachTec: Check out the new critical thinking & web research curriculum developed by Microsoft & ISTE http://bit.ly/crtthk

kylepace: Using Google Sites To Create E-Portfolios For Students…http://bit.ly/cTjng1

internet4classr: Will Gates go microsoft on standardized tests? http://ht.ly/1YQEy

Oh_the_Places: Critical thinking and engineering in Kindergarten.  Great for #edchat today http://nyti.ms/aFw3Gg

HigherEdMorning: Social networking goes to school: http://bit.ly/bEYVqV

TeachTec: Check out the new critical thinking & web research curriculum developed by Microsoft & ISTE http://bit.ly/crtthk

ColinTGraham: @Mamacita You might want to check out my article – No tech? No problem! The Language Teacher Online: Dec 2008 http://bit.ly/aBohx5

Julie taught for 10 years before a friend saw an ad in the newspaper for an instructional specialist for the eMINTS program. She showed it to Julie and said, “That sounds like you.” Ten years later she is still working for eMINTS  (thankfully!) and loving every minute of it! Helping teachers learn how to create a classroom community which embraces inquiry-based, high quality lessons, powered by technology, is something that is challenging and very rewarding.

Not only does Julie impact teaching but she also gets to reach 100’s more students than she would have if she remained in the classroom.
Julie is very passionate about education and her family, husband of 20 years, Rick and 2 kids (an almost 17 year old senior and 13 year old 8th grader, plus 2 dogs….and recently 6 puppies!…anyone need a weimaraner puppy?), gardening, photography and trying to maintain a bit of sanity in her life!

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

March 3, 2010

Can tech be used incorrectly?


 3-2-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST   

Amazing Tech Tools!

Thank you to Sue Lyon-Jones @esolcourses  for this week’s edchat summary (see bio at the end of the post). Sue is a regular participant in edchat and was also our guest moderator at edchat yesterday! 

This was a lively, fast moving edchat session, with many interesting and thought-provoking views put forward. 

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  •  Is there a wrong way to use technology in the classroom?
  • How do we define good use of technology?
  • How do we define bad or improper use of technology?
  • Is bad use of technology better or worse than no technology at all?
  • How can technology be used effectively to enhance learning?
  • How can educators ensure that students don’t misuse technology?

Here is a selection of some of the comments:  

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye. 

 @jswiatek I believe that if teachers are using tech as a “time-filler”, it’s being used incorrectly 

@AtomiClint When learning is done well, the technology becomes transparent 

@olafelch Tech is only useful if it adds to the learning experience 

@rliberni Are we in danger of ‘showing off’ sometimes because we have lots of tech knowledge? 

@UltimateTeacher the teacher should ask, what’s the purpose of this tech – before lesson designing 

@bjnichols The task has to come first & then you choose the tool that best fits the task 

@colport So we have to be careful we don’t use technology for the sake of it. It may not be suitable

  When teachers aren’t given proper support 2 integrate tech, but are expected to use them, tools often aren’t used well 

@daveandcori Technology can teach skills, act as a tutor, offer opportunities, & help extend learning. Teachers just need time to learn tech 

@spedteacher One wrong way to use tech is to limit student access to it because it *might* be used the “wrong way” 

@andycinek Limiting technology and access is equivalent to burning books or ripping out pages. We can not limit information 

@colport But we do, by blocking what they access outside? We need to coach using technology responsibly 

@Parentella it is up to teachers to guide the students to use tech in right way and check any fradulent use 

@bjnichols With the wrong tool….use of tech. becomes an electronic worksheet. Saves paper but doesn’t inspire learning 

@mzmacky To me, tech is best used to inquire, discover and create… not for filling in the blanks 

@rliberni Are stds necessarily absorbed in the task or the tech – do we know? 

@daveandcori I use technology to show them things I can’t show for real, virtual labs, and to differentiate learning activities 

@mrlukach I don’t see anything wrong with students teaching teachers how to learn the technology. In fact, I see a lot right in that 

@openstudy How do you test and evaluate collaboration? A major problem with traditional testing system 

@cybraryman1 Administrators have to start becoming more aware of the proper use of tech & how it enhances learning in their schools 

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week: 

How can technology be used to support collaborative learning?

To follow the complete discussion see here  

For the stats on #edchat participation see here  

As ever, there were some great links shared: 

openstudy  I found this very insightful. The importance of Good Teaching to Good Technology Use http://www.mrkeenan.com/?p=363 

Parentella  have been reading an interesting article re: evaluating tech in the classroom. http://bit.ly/9QPXxM 

AtomiClint  When learning is done well, the technology becomes transparent. http://bit.ly/9dITAg 

Cnansen  Over 100 ideas for using Twitter in the Classroom – http://tinyurl.com/yf576x3 

Readtoday   Let’s join the Dept of Education Innovation portal! http://bit.ly/bArYGV 

daveandcori  Technology can help save money – http://trunc.it/5zovc 

daveandcori  Project Based Learning resources – http://goo.gl/kCqy – don’t teach to test, teach critical thinking. 

daveandcori  Students as tech support – a great resource for schools – http://goo.gl/9d1b – many students are already tech experts 

Parantella  Reading 1 teachers reaction to tech use in his classroom: http://bit.ly/cyii78 

daveandcori  then internet resources, projects, and much more. resources to help get stared with edtech: http://goo.gl/kpX0,  http://goo.gl/1KLM 

PreKlanguages  Educational TV programmes for young children ‘may cause more harm than good’ http://bit.ly/cyo5rT 

bhsprincipal  I blogged on tech being fully integrated a while ago. http://bit.ly/6hUYDT 

TEFL  In case you haven’t seen this video about Digital Learners and what they want: http://my.englishclub.com/video/digital-learners 

sharnon007  I like wordpress, glogster, gamemakers- http://bit.ly/9f24c0 

lizditz  here’s another resource on #edchat http://edupln.ning.com/group/edchat 

joe_bower  Here is how a student of mine used Prezi http://bit.ly/cjn0tg 

sharnon007   this is an updated game maker list- http://bit.ly/9f24c0  has some really gr8 stuff u probably haven’t seen! 

TeachTCI  Thinking positively. What good things are happening in your classroom? http://bit.ly/cr7tnO 

NMHS_Principal   More educators seeking guidance on social-media contact w/ students http://bit.ly/bkxOiK 

cybraryman1  Web 2.0 Tools: http://bit.ly/Q4alB 

daveandcori  My fav tech tools- Evernote, blogs, internet, Google and more – http://goo.gl/hrko 

hdiblasi   Web 2.0 in Instruction: Adding Spice to Math Education http://bit.ly/csbcLh 

 Our favourite Tech tools!





Cell phones 





Amazon book reviews 





Mind maps 

The kids in @’jswiatek’s class voted forPrezi, Twitter, Photoshop, SlideRocket, Glogster as their favourites!

Sue Lyon Jones: I’m a freelance ICT consultant, materials developer and ESOL with ICT tutor, based in the UK. I run two free lesson resource sites, http://www.esolcourses.com and http://esolcourses.blogspot.com/ , and also have a teaching blog, The PLN Staff Lounge http://the-pln-staff-lounge.blogspot.com/.

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 800 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!  

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.  

What do you think? Leave a comment!

February 17, 2010

How do we best build community in classrooms using edtech? How do we define community?


 2-16-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST  

Thank you to Lisa Michelle Dabbs @Teachingwithsoul for this week’s edchat summary (see her bio at the end of the post).


Edchat - community in action!

This morning’s discussion on how to best build community in classrooms using edtech, was powerful and thought provoking. Exciting to see so many Edu PLN participants and
such a variety of tweets! There was a critical mass of educators very committed to building an edtech community at all levels.
  Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  •  Creating and establishing common language and expectations on use of edtech in classrooms
  • Technology in classrooms is enabling us to collaborate with schools on a global scale
  • Communication is important to have in an edtech community
  • Community building helps promote MANY positives for students
  • Educate parents on the tools of edtech so students can use them efficiently, appropriately, and wisely
 Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

@jasontbedell: Before tech gets involved, we need to help the students learn to be supportive and want to help each other. That takes time+effort.

@spedteacher:@rliberni community is a group of people cooperating.

@ ESLlibrary: Using Blogs is a great way to build up your student community, especially if you’re teaching online!

@ShellTerrell: Why is community building important for students & teachers?

@esolcourses: RT @rliberni RT @UltimateTeacher Gr8 definition! Community is a group of like minded individuals who nurture and support one another

@goralkai: A community allows for students to be wrong and to learn. If they are uncomfortable, students can’t push their boundaries

@colport: We need to be aware of digital exclusion. Those students with no tech at home! It is still evident. How do we include them?

@TheNerdyTeacher:@colport – Schools need to be more accessible before and after school to accomodate students with no tech at home.

@karimderrick: The outside world rewards people who can work together – the education world needs to do the same

@bmontana: @karimderrick I think collaboration enhances the learning experience and doesn’t need to be assessed. It needs to be fostered.

@saraebest: On student collaboration, I like to scaffold with 3 levels: w/in classroom, w/in school, then w/in global communities.

@derrallg: @ShellTerrell Give them real world problems and make them feel that collaboration will empower them to make positive change

@SSNS_Teachers: Set up a revolving door policy between home and school to encourage parents to come in, see, and learn about ICT and edtech.

@bjnichols: Community buidling via tech. involves vision, access, coaching and support.

@suedensmore: Tech enhances community building among stds, but there’s no way to replace the face-to-face part that’s so valuable.

@teachingwthsoul: @hadleyjf My 18 yo thinks we are so off the mark. He says “you need to ask us what we think WE need. not more grown ups deciding”.

@spedteacher: Is building community about getting us admitted to student communities or allowing them into ours?

@jpsteltz: RT @MissCheska: @hadleyjf An example I used for parent/stdt project: family members tell home stories, stdts record, and both work on a digital book

@SSNS_Teachers: We all need to play a collective role in helping teachers and parents become team members and work together

@TheNerdyTeacher: I use a Twitter account for school and encourage parents and students to follow what’s going on in class when class is over

@MissCheska: Very true!! RT @spedteacher @ShellTerrell Students build communities all the time. They just don’t build them for our purposes.

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

 As ever, there were some great links shared: so many this week! 

drezac @atwaterd for her blog resources wiki. http://tinyurl.com/yaezm22  She’s worth a follow.

andycinek: I invite you all to view our class wiki at http://blenglish.wikispaces.com/

spx8jkb: My community http://bit.ly/bkihBb using Blogs. Allows peer review and comment from students and teacher.

colport I am finding @twiducate and kidblog.org  great community tools with my 7/8/9 year old pupils

 nlakusta Read http://novemberlearning.com/resources/archive-of-articles/creating-culture/  – good article to discuss w/staff

spedteacher I use a private twitter-like site to help my students build communities http://shoutem.com/

paulbrichardson A way of building community. use @johndavitt ‘s Learning Generator http://bit.ly/zCzU3 e.g. “DO How steel is made AS a blues song”

spx8jkb Wallwisher for ideas here http://bit.ly/9l3kpi

MarjieKnudsen PLN: Efforts in Education using Twitter http://bit.ly/9LSsbb #education #edchat #tcea via @tomwhitby

openstudy @ShellTerrell some great #edtech tools here including collaboration: http://mashable.com/2009/09/07/web-apps-teachers/

dallasm12 Plse RT if you agree or post comment: 3 Obstacles of oppty 4 Education – Social, Mobile, n $$ http://bit.ly/aJUHu4

spx8jkb @colport agree. what about Home Access? http://bit.ly/6Vl3WN

derrallg @k_shelton You could try something like http://tweetgrid.com/search?q=%23edchat

spx8jkb Don’t forget to add your ideas and views here http://bit.ly/9l3kpi

amlusch @angelbrady A colleague’s student group project. FB was the student choice for open-ended assignment. http://tinyurl.com/yzw2z9l

dumacornellucia I think that the Ning networks are the best and very easy to use for students http://bit.ly/8wWnm1

andycinek If you like #edchat you will definitely enjoy The One Comment – #onecom – chat this Thursday and 12 noon and 7 pm EST! http://bit.ly/cXYnl

Janshs something to watch later http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm1sCsl2MQY

motyar @Birdfish1 I think web platforms like Elluminate are really gr8 as well! #edchat http://url4.eu/1Q6ST

amlusch A colleague’s student group project. FB was the student choice for open-ended assignment. http://tinyurl.com/yzw2z9l

CHuckeba good video for internet safety: http://www.commoncraft.com/protecting-reputations-video

k_shelton see my blog posting http://malbell.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/the-safe-use-of-new-technologies/ 

mohax Here’s the chapter on tech in the classroom from @dig_nat http://bit.ly/cyRqFc

cybraryman1  Cyber Safety sites http://bit.ly/5fDZ4f

mohax And here’s the chapter from @dig_nat about South Korea overcoming public health crisis of internet addiction http://bit.ly/dAkzFq

MissCheska Before you log off #edchat in 10 mins, please help fill out a social networking questionnaire for educators! http://bit.ly/9hmdZM

cybraryman1 Skype Other Classrooms around the world: http://bit.ly/5y4BC1

Mrkeenan A new post at mrkeenan.com: Quick Thought: Quick Praise {Professional Learning} http://www.mrkeenan.com/?p=325

ShellTerrell Gr8 #edchat today! Talking about community, you can join a gr8 one at Edu PLN ning http://bit.ly/1RSL2n

@edutek: It might be a good idea for educators to read Tribes by Seth Godin to learn about online communities

Join other educators in Second Life on ISTE and on http://edtechretreat.com  where look forward to meeting you.

rpetersmauri In Praise of Online Obscurity (the scaling of socializing) http://bit.ly/56J28y

 2footgiraffe how 2 use slideshare.net pt1 http://ow.ly/17W90  Pt2 http://ow.ly/17W91 Pt3 http://ow.ly/17W92 give me feed back if u will

DeronDurflinger KC considering closing 1/2 of its schools http://bit.ly/cK83xl

joe_bower @mrallen5 Replacing Grading http://tinyurl.com/yznhrey via www.joebower.org – Tired of grading and marking? Skeptical of rubrics?

DeronDurflinger PBS looking for innovative educators http://bit.ly/anc9i8 Are you innovative?

PaulWHankins I’d like to hear some more of your dreams. All of your dreams are important. http://www.dreamwithme.org/ Oh, man. Community

Brian_ThomasTCI http://twitpic.com/13m735 – A flash presentation that is IWB-friendly and does Geography.

DeronDurflinger It’s never to early to learn to lead http://bit.ly/btkP6Q George Washington

NSNS Colorado may stop funding higher education: http://ow.ly/17StATheNerdyTeacher

 TheNerdyTeacher Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas everyone. Stop and leave a comment. http://bit.ly/8FvVXc

LATWF2010: #LATWF YouTube channel is proving very popular, over a 1,000 views http://tinyurl.com/y9gv327



 Lisa Michelle Dabbs: I have a B.A. in Child Development and a Master of Education in Educational Administration. I started my career as an elementary school teacher and taught for 10 years. I then spent 5 years as a Title VII Project Director of a federally funded K-2 Language and Literacy program. During this time I coordinated this program at 3 school sites, as well as presenting professional development to teachers and parents. Then I was called to serve as an elementary school principal, and did that for 14 years. It was a challenge, but I loved it! Recently I worked for Kaplan K-12 Educational Services as a Middle School Consultant/Literacy Coach. I have also taught Graduate Level Courses as an Adjunct Professor for Concordia University. Currently, I’m seeking the next career opportunity and spend much of my time serving on the Board of two local, Educational Non-Profit organizations.I’m also mentoring aspiring teachers and administrators. I’m a wife and the mom of two wonderful sons. I love to sing, dance, read and listen to classical music. I’m new to blogging and am doing so as “Teaching With Soul”. You can find me at http://teachingwithsoul.com My blog was started in an effort to begin to fulfill my true passion in education which is to inspire, mentor & equip teachers to “teach with soul”. 


New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts! 

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think ? Leave a comment!

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