Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

September 22, 2011

Can educators in the 21st Century be content experts, but media illiterate and still be relevant?

#Edchat 09 – 20 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Unfortunately I was unable to make this week’s edchat so I cannot speak from personal experience, but judging by this summary, it seems to have been another fantastic event! Thank you to Sarah Fudin @USCTeacher for this very insightful precis of a topic that must surely make us all stop and think. Sarah has also provided the two videos which add great weight to her thoughts on the discussion. You can find out more about Sarah in her bio at the end of the summary.  

 The Chat:

In general, I’d say that 21st Century educators first need to be content experts and second need to be media literate to be relevant to their students.  That being said, not all great educators are media literacy experts, but they should be cognisant enough that their lessons are relevant and up to speed.  We can’t expect students to use media correctly if as educators we’re not willing to jump in and learn, share and collaborate with our personal learning network.


These were the main points covered in the discussion:   

  • Content experts are a necessity, but there is no excuse to be media illiterate
  • Let students be your guidance if you need help with technology
  • “Media Literate” means willing to learn continuously about tech
  • Using new tools is necessary — new learners have new tools
  • Media savviness doesn’t necessarily mean great teacher
  • Content knowledge is a necessity to evaluate the quality of sources
  • Must remember that many teachers are in different places regarding their tech knowledge — differentiating support is necessary
  • How do Schools of Ed play into this?  What’s their responsibility?


These were a few tweets that caught my eye:   

  1. @cybraryman1: The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. #edchat
  2. @drdouggreen: teachers should be experts in their subject matter, but that doesn’t mean they should forget the tech #edchat
  3. @SamGliksman: How long will it even remain possible these days to become a content expert without connecting and using media? #edchat
  4. @tomwhitby: How we teach often reflects how we learn. New learners have new tools. Many teachers learned & teach with old tools. #edchat
  5. @J_Bednar: Being a content expert without media literacy is like being a cooking expert but only in raw cuisine. #edchat
  6. @cybraryman1: The key is that we all have to be lifelong learners, not afraid to make mistakes and to try new things (like tech to enhance lrng) #edchat
  7. @QZLPatriotHawk: We hv 2 remember that many tchers r @ different spots in their tech knowledge & need differentiated support #edchat
  8. @TenMarks: RT @CriticalSkills1: @cybraryman1 It’s not about a “tech in ed” course, it’s about showing how to use tech when it’s the right tool for the job #edchat
  9. @jheil65: Technology needs to be the medium of education, not an appendage! #edchat
  10. @murriza: I think it’s all about trial and error. You check out a new tool. Plan how to use it in your lessons and see if works #edchat
  11. @suzemuse: My college has some gr8 success with our Yammer network. 360 teachers & staff interacting & learning from each other. #edchat


To follow the complete discussion see here

 These were useful links shared:   

  1. Student Blogging Resources: http://mrspripp.blogspot.com/2011/09/student-blogging-resources-to-get-you.html
  2. Web 2.0 Tools for Math Educators: http://missnoor.visibli.com/share/rXY1Pn
  3. New Media Literacies (video): http://community.learningobjects.com/Users/Nancy.Rubin/Objects_of_Interest/2011/07/The_New_Media_Literacies#.Tni7cvL1uLs.twitter
  4. Modeling Tech use for Students: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/20-ways-model-technology-students-heather-wolpert-gawron?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EdutopiaNewContent+%28Edutopia%29
  5. On Teacher Development: http://www.edutopia.org/teacher-development-introduction
  6. Banned Website Awareness Day: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslissues/bwad/bwad.cfm?utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=AdLit.org


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

Is it practical to have state standards for testing?  Should standards be nationalized? Should testing even exist?

Sarah Fudin is a Community Manager for the University of Southern California’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, which provides aspiring teachers the opportunity to earn an MAT degree and teaching credential online.  USC also partners with Teacher Certification Map to offer information on teacher salary by state.  Outside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading and Pinkberry frozen yogurt.

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!

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!


April 5, 2011

What are the possibilities, negative or positive, if we do blended (Internet & F2F )classes on the secondary level?

#Edchat 03 – 29 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

We are thrilled to have an #edchat summary post from Vytheeshwaran Vedagiri (@eshwaranv) from India this week. As you will see from his bio below he is an experienced  educator both on and offline! He is also a very familiar ‘voice’ to us all at edchat. The discussion on Blended Learning last week was a vibrant one with many ideas and suggestions being offered. I think you will agree that Vytheeshwaran’s post captures all that buzz!

As we make gentle giant strides in improving the learning experience for our students, we can only consider ourselves fortunate to have stumbled upon the concept of blended learning. Blended learning is the deployment of online tools in teacher led classrooms to enhance the learning experience for the students. In this edition of #edchat, we discussed the possibilities, positives, and negatives of blended learning at the secondary level.
Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • Blended learning is an important method of establishing a human connection with your learners, the virtual way.
  • Blended learning gives access to multiple sources, taps on multiple intelligences and promotes effective differentiation in the classroom. It has the potential to engage all learners in the session.
  • It gives the students a collaborative environment with an individual experience and takes them beyond the classroom walls.
  • Careful planning is required to design, organize, and conduct a blended learning session.
  • Delivering a good or bad blended learning session rests in the hands of the teacher.
  • Negatives of blended learning range from the imbalance in the virtual : real ratio (tipping towards the virtual) in the classroom at one end and technophobia of the teachers at the other.
  • It is essential to train the teachers on blended learning and demonstrate the concept to the parents. Transparency is a key factor in promoting blended learning.

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.

@birklearns: Pro: Blended learning allows students to individualize their ed. experience and have flex timetable #edchat
@stumpteacher: One huge positive to blended learning is access to multiple sources #edchat
@tomwhitby: Blended learning enables learning exploration of a topic far beyond what a teacher is limited to in a classroom. #Edchat
@stumpteacher: Negative? Kids without access or support for blended/flipped learning at home? #edchat
@carneysandoe: ppl learn differently. Blended Learning attempts 2 ensure that the curriculum messages R delivered in a variety of ways #edchat
@isteconnects: I’m all for blended, but wary of going too far in the virtual direction. It’s usually cheaper & attractive to admins #edchat
@stumpteacher: I see a huge positive of blended learning is it has higher potential for differentiation. Find whats fits for learner. #edchat
@MertonTech: #edchat Blended learning allows for more one-on-one time with each student.
@eshwaranv: @asalyards Allowing the teacher to “design” their class and reflect on their sessions should do a great deal. #edchat
@tomwhitby: Blended Learning requires media literacy,internet access,different approach to teaching.Many are not yet prepared. #edchat
@CoachB0066: Yes, we mentioned the role of parents. There should be workshops for them to show how it works #edchat
@jrichardson30: Blended is a great way for students to learn time mangmt skills & responsibility since they have to take active role in learning #edchat
@ShellTerrell: Blended learning allows the possibilities of having students collaborate with peers worldwide #Edchat
@karimderrick: For blended learning to be effective do we not also need blended assessment? And what does that look like? #edchat
@tomwhitby: Blended learning will never be for a majority unless we begin to teach tchrs using this method. Tchrs need to be better learners. #Edchat
@CTuckerEnglish: Blended learning is a flex model & can be adapted by indiv teacher to best meet needs of course. #edchat
@eshwaranv: @ayatawel @isteconnects Blended learning must be used for the sake of learners and not for the sake of technology. #edchat
@cybraryman1: Once teachers & administrators see the practical uses of tech in education many change their tune #edchat
@tomschimmer: Keep the pendulum from swinging all the way over…we’re talking “blended learning” not “replacement learning” #edchat
@cybraryman1: Do not neglect the technology expertise of the students you work with. Use their skills #edchat

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

@SkypeClassroom: Skype in the classroom is coming out of beta! Check out the new and improved site now: http://j.mp/skypeeducation  #edtech #edchat

@cybraryman1: My Blended Learning page: http://tinyurl.com/483kbhl  #edchat

@isteconnects: Blending learning should be choice, but f2f must be available. See Florida schools debacle http://huff.to/dVRUY3

@WiscPrincipal: Coffee Shop Dilemma via @baldy7 http://bit.ly/fbHQES  Do schools offer a space for blended learning, or does Starbucks do it better? #edchat

@juandoming: Edumorfosis: Paradigmas Administrativos: 1.0 vs 2.0 http://t.co/kQke1YH  #elearning #web20 #tic #socialmedia #edchat

@ayatawel: Nice video to show the importance of BL (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A-ZVCjfWf8)  #edchat

@cybraryman1:  My Flipped Classroom page http://tinyurl.com/4qb6kx9 #edchat

@juandoming: Informe Competencia digital http://t.co/i7PeBGE #elearning #web20 #tic #educación #learning #school #edchat #educachat

@jonbergmann:  @Tina_Barr watch our blended videos to see it working http://bit.ly/hcQWlG  #edchat

@bknrd5974: http://bit.ly/17O4o6  Khan Academy is a great resource for both flipped & blended learning #edchat

@ColinTGraham:  Here are the #mathchat discussions, from Feb, on this: Blended learning http://bit.ly/exZAPM Blended learning 2 http://bit.ly/hZuZnF  #edchat

Excerpt from BLended Learning Book- Chapter 6 Creating and Maintaining a Safe Space Online http://t.co/oIdQtSH #edchat

@juandoming: Check this video out — Cap 5. La Familia Digital http://t.co/6z9TjTR  vía @youtube #elearning #web20 #socialmedia #edchat #edtech

@jonbergmann:  @bknrd5974 You might want to come to the Flipped Conf: http://bit.ly/htFIAQ  #edchat

@stumpteacher: Be wary of the “silver bullet” in education. http://bit.ly/i19dPW  #edchat

@stumpteacher: @davidwees Yes, choice has to be there. #edchat http://bit.ly/f4cdg3  <–this is my version of choice in my class

@web20education: Tool for Online and Offline Language Learning is a interesting #socrates EU project http://www.toolproject.eu/ #edchat

algotruneman: @tomwhitby Tech and learning. If it is any help to you, feel free: http://bit.ly/eVqIoz #edchat

This is Vytheeshwaran Vedagiri from Chennai, India, I’m a virtual/real science teacher, teaching students from India, US and the UK. I am also into e-learning as a subject matter expert and an instructional designer. I am looking to specialize in educational methodologies to interlace learning strategies with technology and create an ideal learning environment for learners of all ages.

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 29, 2010

Digital Native: Truth or Fiction?

#Edchat 12-14–2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

We are very grateful to Tinashe Blanchet (@mrsblanchet) for this week’s summary. It was the last #edchat of the year and turned out to be a very lively and informative session! Many edchatters were born pre-digital but felt themselves no less part of the digital world! Tinashe has captured the atmosphere of the discussion and went one stop further and involved some of her Yr 12 ‘digital natives’ for a real all round view! thank you Tinashe. Find out more about Tinashe in her bio t the end of this post.

Finally,  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2011 and we’ll see you all again on January 4th!

This week’s #edchat was all about the new educational buzzword: “digital native”.  This description of today’s student is appearing in blogs, journals, presentations, tweets, and many other forums in which educational technology is the topic of discussion.  Nevertheless, many of us in the classroom wonder if the idea of kids as “digital natives” is reality when many of our students have no clue as to how to use technology in an educational (i.e. non-Facebook) context.  Is is safe to say that because a child was born into the technology age that he or she is digitally literate?  Many teachers have worked hard to stay up-to-date on the latest tech tools, and become offended when it is suggested that their students, by birth, have a better grasp of technology. If our students are “digital natives”, does that make us teachers “digital immigrants” or “digital aliens”?   This was a lively chat with many differing views expressed.  A few of my students (12th graders) participated to give those being labelled a chance to join in the conversation.  Thanks to Dylan, Caralynn, Nancy and Fredy for being a part of this #edchat!

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

Defining the “digital native”

Do teachers and students agree with the widespread use of this label?

Is it safe to assume that our students are digital natives?

Characteristics, and appropriate v. inappropriate assumptions about “digital natives” and how they learn

How do “digital dinosaurs” connect with “digital natives” in relevant ways in an educational setting?

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.

@stumpteacher: Digital native is a term just to mean “born in tech” age, not a tech guru. #edchat
@drdouggreen:  @ShellTerrell The term is misused a lot. I am 63 and I would make my tech knowledge against any native. #edchat
@tomwhitby:  I prefer the idea of digital Residents and digital Visitors. #Edchat
@drdouggreen:  #edchat One attribute they typically have is lack of fear. What they don’t know doesn’t get in their way.
@aaronmueller:  Digital Native is a misnomer. Should be Digital Nomads! Fearless, but without direction. Need guidance to form Digital Wisdom #edchat
@21stprincipal: Perhaps the term “digital native” is a stereotype. #edchat
@Dave_Parkes: #edchat I find students are really skilled at social tech but struggle with tech as a learning tool #edchat
@raffelsol: I think a digital native may adapt quicker to technology, but they don’t necessarily know how to use it effectively w/o help #edchat
@aaronmueller: Digital Wisdom – what we need to teach our students How to choose the best tech, how to avoid pitfalls, how to reflect on usage #edchat
@twoodwar: We can’t possibly keep up with them. They are _natives_. Best to give up now. #edtech #edchat
@davidwees: Use different words for digitally native/immigrant. Let’s say ‘persistent’ and ‘easily frustrated’. #edchat
@padgets: #edchat so I think we need to look at a digital citizenship unit at the beginning of the school year, cover all these bases
@dylanbergeron:  I’m a senior in high school. and yes, i believe that all my peers are ready to learn with technology #edchat
@josiefraser: A digital native is an ill-advised & unhelpful metaphor http://j.mp/edK3Y3 #edchat
@21stprincipal: Better question for engaging students-What is it kids do with tech that is so engaging? #edchat
@raffelsol: We never talk about pencil fluency or white board fluency. It is part of our toolbag. When will knowledge at our fingertips be that? #edchat
@tomwhitby: If Tech skills are the new Media Literacy, Teachers have an obligation to teach them. In order to teach them, they must use them.#Edchat
@dylanbergeron: #edchat look at me right now. i’m doing xtra credit 4 math by tweeting about DN’s on the laptop issued by my schl
@dylanbergeron: #edchat paper is becoming a thing of the past. Critical thinking has to progress alongside our level of tech
@stumpteacher: A good teacher is a good teacher…regardless if they are DN or DI #edchat
@malcolmbellamy: it is about using appropriate tools for a job and mastering the skills of how to use these tools effectively #edchat
@aaronmueller: Digital Natives have the most important quality “Be Not Afraid” something I teach my peers every workshop #edchat
@malcolmbellamy: it is about using appropriate tools for a job and mastering the skills of how to use these tools effectively #edchat
@ShellTerrell: Love that we have students involved in this conversation! Thanks @mrsblanchetnet class for joining us! #edchat
@tomwhitby: While we wait for tchrs to get comfortable w/Tech, we have students who are uncomfortable w/o the Skills needed to compete & Learn #Edcha
@stumpteacher: At the end of the day, toss out the labels and teach each kid on their technological, intellectual, and emotional level. #edchat
@tomwhitby: We should always remember, unless we are tech teachers, we don’t teach Tech. As Tchrs, we use tech to teach and learn.#Edchat

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

capohanka:  I prefer resident and visitor a la @shareski http://bit.ly/fb7IQO  #edchat

blairteach:  If we use “digital native” to indicate a generational segment, look at Schrock’s Digital Pioneer term: http://youtu.be/8UZI6zO77k8 #edchat

willedmond:  A cool idea you can do with your students. 10 Tips for Starting a Virtual Social Change Book Club #EdChat http://bit.ly/hk0sm2

HHG:  This is a digital native – it’s how she thinks… http://flic.kr/p/5XviEq  #edchat

josiefraser: A digital native is a ill advised & unhelpful metaphor http://j.mp/edK3Y3  #edchat – got that right!

reyjunco:  Research on variability in “digital natives'” Internet skills : http://goo.gl/z4p29  and variability in access: http://goo.gl/G8ynp  #edchat

ktenkely: For those who don’t know where digital native originated pdf of Marc Prensky’s article 2001 http://bit.ly/e8vbdS  #edchat

aaronmueller:  Digital Wisdom – article by Marc Prensky ERIC Record: EJ834284 http://t.co/XV5wTnH  #edchat GREAT READ!

cybraryman1: My Digital Citizenship page: http://bit.ly/5fDZ4f  #edchat

stumpteacher:  Little background on DN from wikipedia http://bit.ly/9JFVF #edchat

cybraryman1:  My Digital Footprints page: http://bit.ly/dd9IA9 Parents & Teachers should teach DF to children

reyjunco:  Our research on how using Twitter in educationally-relevant ways affects engagement and grades: http://goo.gl/XtbVz  #edchat

tjowens:  “Once you care about a world you will do all kinds of things that look like work, or homework.” http://bit.ly/ieZGHk

cybraryman1:   Teachers need to shown how to integrate technology in their subject areas: http://bit.ly/9AB2tS

HP Teacher Exchange :  great resource for educators – lesson plans and more – http://goo.gl/zZkvG

dughall: #edchat Young people may exceed the technical *knowledge* of some educators, adults though, have (cont) http://tl.gd/7g9mps

prlowe91:  Cell Phones in the Classroom: Learning Tools for the 21st Century: http://youtu.be/aXt_de2-HBE

cybraryman1:  Show students there are many ways to do something using tech. For example the modern book report: http://bit.ly/a30UtS

daveandcori: 100 Best YouTube Videos for Teachers http://goo.gl/fb/dnU89

stumpteacher:  @cybraryman1 Good post on the book reports… here is mine… http://bit.ly/fqvjXQ

weisburghm:  I love how http://www.youthrightsmedia.org/about/  teaches students to have a voice using media

blairteach:  Here’s a syllabus from a tchr-prep tech integration course at UGA. What do you think? http://bit.ly/gOheHI

weisburghm:  good rubric on student twitter use: http://www2.uwstout.edu/content/profdev/rubrics/Twitter_Rubric.html

neilstephenson:  I agree with @AngelaMaiers post on students as “digital natives” #edchat http://bit.ly/f7IXEo

MZimmer557:  10 Tips for Using Facebook in the Classroom http://goo.gl/7mt8N  #edchat #edtech

stumpteacher:  Share this link with anyone you think is a DI or a less than confident DN: http://bit.ly/ie8fiJ

cybraryman1:  Get ready for more Blended Learning: http://bit.ly/dybHNO and 1:1 Schools: http://bit.ly/aqoeks

2footgiraffe:  share your take home ideas from todays #edchat http://bit.ly/gBYB2

web20education:  #edtech20 #edchat New Pan-EU Youth is a platform targeted at young people between the age of 14 and 18 where they… http://fb.me/Qn04vyw8

cybraryman1:  @gellesastar For example of how I learned something: http://bit.ly/gu48ap  See the list on that page #edchat

prlowe91:  With all the discussion about teachers and learning, let’s listen to the learners: http://youtu.be/9M4tdMsg3ts

kenroyal:  New Reality Show: Tech Your Class http://tinyurl.com/bxxoot  #education #educators #edchat #technology

cybraryman1:  Have a student run a Smackdown (sharing of tools & sites): http://bit.ly/f29Lpx

GlogsterEDU:  Here’s one of our favorites from #YouTube of 2010: http://bit.ly/dyEhaa  Anyone else have favorites to share? #edchat #edtech #edu #smcedu

web20education:  In 2011 we will begin new semantic web 3.0 and .After twitter my favorite tool global sharing http://tinyurl.com/pearltreesedtech20

davidwees:  Where education reform is heading: From extreme to extremum http://is.gd/iKaZm

Tinashe Blanchet (@mrsblanchetnet) is the Professional Development Resource Teacher at John Ehret High School in Marrero, Louisiana.  She lives in the Greater New Orleans area with her husband, David, and 3 young children. Certified in Secondary Mathematics Education, she currently teaches a remediation course for the state math exam, Advanced Math/ Pre-Calculus and AP Calculus.  She also holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of New Orleans.  She loves learning about how to enhance her practice with tech tools, as she maintains a “Model Technology Classroom” for her district.  Please visit her online at http://mrsblanchet.net or http://blanchetblog.net to find out more!

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 16, 2010

Will online or distance learning replace classroom learning?


8-10-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST 

Online, offline or both?

We are very grateful to Todd Hoffman (@ToddAHoffman) for this week’s guest summary. He is well-qualified to write about this topic with both his academic and work background. I am sure you will find it a well-rounded and insightful piece. Thank you Todd! (see bio at end of piece)

The weekly #edchat is an event I always make an effort to attend.  Those of you who regularly join in the chat know its value and have benefited from its existence.  So when I was approached to write this week’s summary to a topic very close to home for me I was thrilled.  I am a former classroom teacher who now works for an educational software company and recently finished my master’s degree online.  On top of that the company I work for is shifting its professional development model from in person to either a blended or online only solution.  These changes cause uneasy feelings in many well qualified employees and a fear that technology will replace human workers.  But can online or distance learning replace classroom learning?
As in government, change in education is like driving a barge- It’s not quick or easy.  People get set in their ways and resist change for fear it will replace them.  If technology is part of the change process the level of concern seems to heighten.  However, shying away from change can ultimately lead to ignorance and a lack of preparation for the world in which we live.  Educators have a goal of preparing students for the world of today and tomorrow, not the world of the 20th Century.  In the 21st Century our world has become more technologically adept and the desire for flexible work schedules is greater than ever.  All educators and parents want the best educational opportunities for their kids and in our world that requires some innovation.  While most edchatters seemed to agree that online learning is a valuable addition to classroom learning most agree that it will not be a replacement for more traditional learning.  The consensus seems to be a blended solution where online learning opportunities are combined with classroom learning.  Additionally, many edchatters commented on the secondary benefit to classroom learning of childcare.  Many edchatters stressed that online learning must become an integral part of the educational system to provide flexibility and extension to traditional classroom learning.  More people are working on online degrees today than ever before and the use of social media has spread to almost every industry.  A good opportunity for educators to better understand the value of online education is through developing a PLN on twitter.  Discussions such as #edchat help educators, parents, and students to discuss effective ways of integrating educational technology into the classroom.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  •          Schools operate as childcare so parents can work
  •          Students learn differently
  •          Online learning can provide flexibility to students and families
  •          Online learning can be structured
  •          Face to face learning is important for child development
  •          Good Online learning requires skill and preparation
  •          Blended Solutions can provide excellent learning opportunities

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.

@TechCzech: If schooling were about learning, distance learning might replace classroom. But K-12 schools have an important childcare function

@Parantella: I think we have to be willing to think outside the classroom while also remembering some students learn best F2F #edchat

@cfanch: I’ve taken online classes post grad and loved them but I just don’t see it happening any time soon for K-12 #edchat

 @drdouggreen: Parents can be more involved with online classes #edchat

@isteconnects: I teach at the college level and find the f2f invaluable. Kids are away from home for the 1st time. They need the guidance

@shellterrell: I don’t think online learning will replace face to face but I do see the potential in a blended structure! #Edchat

@cybraryman1: I favor the combination of learning in a classroom with the ability to access great online learning as well.

 @TheNerdyTeacher: #edchat – Independent Studies would work great online for students who want a class but it doesn’t fit their schedule.

 @melanie289: In my rural state, online learning is the only opportunity many of our students have to access advanced courses in h.s. #edchat

 @jksuter: Who would replace teachers as the parent’s free babysitters if school went totally online, 4 this reason alone it will never happen. #edchat

 @RMHS_AP: Online learning should be used to enhance the traditional classroom and to differentiate instruction, not replace f2f #edchat

@1katty: We are offering online alternatives to our high school students to broaden the diversity of our curriculum. #edchat

@bethanyvsmith: I think teaching online is not only harder, it requires twice as much prep time. You can’t “wing” online teaching #edchat

@courosa: Every educator should have opportunity 2 teach AND learn online. Much is learned about f2f practice from such experiences. #edchat

@Mamacita: hybrid classes are awesome for ALL TYPES OF STUDENTS: actual contact AND own pace. #edchat

@lemino: I think online shouldn’t be just an emergency solution, it should work side by side with class, or even in-class. #edchat

@billgx Most: recent studies appear to show positives for online learning. Gains seem to be highest w/ blended (F2F + online) #edchat

To follow the complete discussion see here 
For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

malcolmbellamy:  it is the quality of the f2f that counts see http://bit.ly/b4zndc

tony_valderrama:  No today’s topic, but interesting: 15 mind blowing facts of the internet: http://bit.ly/cr3qe0

jamesmaitland: #edchat I have just posted a video (5min) quick idea of a school social media communication system. http://bit.ly/d4V4Z2

NextGenLC:  Blended learning forum: http://ow.ly/2nBEf  Share thoughts, insights

briankotts:  College May Become Unaffordable for Most – variety of approaches include distance learning | NYTimes http://nyti.ms/cW4fQO

schoology:  Blending Online learning & F2F, check out the list of all these features: http://ht.ly/2nBF4 Brings the digital classroom alive!

ShellTerrell:  tony_valderrama: and a lot of learning in games, like World of Warcraft and others: http://bit.ly/9DaaCa

carlaarena:  @ShellTerrell just recorded some ideas for a friend on #blendedlearning last week http://bit.ly/bEEk3U

ryflinn:  I am still distracted trying to learn online on #edchat here is what is going on now http://tweetphoto.com/38079332

CatMoore: Why you want to use scenarios in your elearning http://bit.ly/82Eg7p

alexgfrancisco:  Online Pedagogy: Theories & Best Practices http://bit.ly/bC0iNX

Giegerich:  short video of technology in our school made spring of last year (not online learning per se) http://youtu.be/P2gqD2rayzA

ToughLoveforX:  @tellio Just one of many examples Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media http://ilnk.me/3b4d Just replace “student” for patient

anicap: @mzmacky past wiki projects http://bit.ly/aZLKwdhttp://bit.ly/bkVvychttp://bit.ly/c7SHSl  #edchat #IDEC

NextGenLC:  Blended learning forum: http://ow.ly/2nBEf  Share thoughts, insights

rgallwitz:  Teaching in the 21st Century ( http://bit.ly/bzGtvn ) This is why I dearly love the blended model. The Networked Student

vicmiclovich:  95,000 students enrolled at Tunisian Virtual University http://bit.ly/ap5L4A  via @etaalim #edchat #edtech (via @briankotts)

anicap: Look at this glogster “New classroom rules” for online learning. http://bit.ly/b1qKDx  My EFL sts like them a lot. Some more, too.

ukedchat:  #ukedchat special this week, “promoting parental engagement” Thurs 8-9pm BST. Details at http://bit.ly/dioccX hosted by @ianaddison

alexgfrancisco: Online Pedagogy: Theories & Best Practices http://bit.ly/bC0iNX

NCTI2:  Important in this discussion to remember stud w/ disabilities. online can be great way of differ instruct #edchat http://ow.ly/2nCAq

alexgfrancisco:  how to implement and customize course and specific guidelines on each learning activity #techtips #edchat http://bit.ly/aSV7d

web20education:  Free project in the clouds for teachers around the world #edtech20 and Gr8 beautiful tag clouds in education2.0 http://bit.ly/dkrCd6

alexgfrancisco:  Instructional Strategies Online http://bit.ly/97ObWV

alexgfrancisco:  The Lecture is Dead Long Live the e-Lecture http://bit.ly/aLv1Vr

Aminhotep:  Tips for teachers: What are you really teaching? Find the real message in your medium http://wp.me/ptcfd-30

briankotts:  Why Online Education Needs to Get Social http://bit.ly/9MNw4o via @mashable

ToughLoveforX:  @tomwhitby @DrAshCasey “Online teaching is in it’s infancy” [ My 2¢ rigorous evidenced based teaching also ] http://ilnk.me/3778

web20education:  Glossary to DEMYSTIFY the jargon of the online world”: A Glossary to DEMYSTIFY the jargon http://url4.eu/6p9QJ

ShellTerrell: Many of us can get a free online learning experience & compare by doing MIT Course, etc. http://bit.ly/duXKzL

OERCommons: @melanie289 There are experimental programs with Open Study to add interactivity to the MIT Courses #edchat: http://openstudy.com

OERCommons: Teachers have had success combining subjects that can be boring i.e. accounting w/ online world Second Life #edchat: http://bit.ly/6EteVw

cathig:  The best free online classes I’ve taken are at HP Learning Center. Pick one with Enroll. #edchat http://h30187.www3.hp.com/all_courses.jsp

MultiMartin:  RT new blog post – Using Twitter in the Primary Classroom (@ClassroomTweets) – http://bit.ly/bVIMuG

Todd Hoffman (@ToddAHoffman)

Bio Teacher turned Consultant working to find innovative solutions to issues in education.

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!


August 8, 2010

Is there a Place for Smartphones as Mobile Learning Devices in Schools?


8-3-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST 

Make sure your smartphones are TURNED ON!!

Here is an amazing #edchat summary this week from Tara Benwell (@ESL-Library) which explores, very comprehensively, the feelings and opinions of last week’s edchatters on this thorny problem. The discussion was at times polarised and at times consensual and this is really captured in Tara’s summary. For more information on Tara and her work see the bio at the end of the post. 

 With ESLlibrary’s main tweeter on mat leave I was excited to jump in to #edchat on August 2nd to discuss smartphones as mobile learning devices. I was thrilled when Berni approached me about writing the summary for this edu chat since it is closely tied to my current work as an online educator and material writer. Having recently worked on the iPhone app “Learning English with The New York Times,” I’ve found myself wondering whether or not these types of learning resources are being used in class or primarily as self-access materials. With apps, writers and developers are heading into a whole new field and I’m feeling like a beginner again.  This edchat confirmed for me that it is crucial for writers, developers and publishers to participate in conversations with teachers (and students). You are telling us what you and your students need, why you need it, and whether or not we are building the tools and resources in ways that are actually going to save you time and keep your learners engaged. The fact that we can be part of this conversation together is so important and we thank you for inviting us in. 
 It wasn’t long ago that I was skeptical about mobile devices taking over the world. I had finally gotten used to the fact that TVs and computer monitors had to be big enough to take over my entire living room when the newsflash arrived that we NEEDED a netbook. Wait, no. Too big! Now we need an iPhone or at least an iTouch, plus we’ll need an iPad if we’re going to stay on top of this technology. It wasn’t until I got my hands on an actual iPhone that I began to understand why and how these devices could be so useful for students. At the Boston TESOL conference, teachers came by ESL-Library’s booth to inquire about the new language learning apps. Some of the teachers took out their iPhones and spent the $2.99 on the spot for the new Conversation Spanish app. Within moments they had a full course of Spanish in their phones (which they were thankful for as their bags were loaded down with textbooks). It’s obvious that apps are convenient for self-study, but what about in the classroom? According to the teachers at Tuesday’s edchat, apps are extremely useful in class. Teachers who have the privileged permission to use mobile devices in the classroom talked about using them for live polls, for digital story-telling, for texting, and teaching skills (such as mapping) in a more engaging way. But truthfully, as one teacher reminded us, there are many more teachers (mainly those who are not involved in edchat) who do not want mobile devices in the classroom than those who do. They have several concerns. Devices can cause distraction. They can be used for cheating (or finding sites that are non-educational). Many schools don’t have the funds or the wifi. Furthermore, teachers don’t have time to fit extra lessons or activities into their standards-based schedule, even if it would keep the kids from falling asleep in their textbooks. But alas, times are changing, and as another wise tweeter responded, calculators (once questioned for similar reasons) will soon be a thing of the past. As educators of today we mustn’t forget that the teens who are attached to their phones are our next generation of teachers. For many of us, myself included, they will be the teachers of our own children.   
One of the reasons why I believe that mobile devices are here to stay is that the youth in this world really do expect things to be quick and accessible. They want fast Internet and dinner on the table after homework, before soccer, but not when The Bachelor is on because they’re getting too many texts about it.  Despite my involvement in developing apps for English learners, I had assumed wrongly that most learners would use these apps for self-study, on-the-go sessions in between other priorities. Today’s discussion opened my eyes to the possibilities of students and teachers using mobile phones inside the classrooms. This knowledge will change how I think of the content and functionality for the next app that I help build. As one wise tweeter mentioned, these devices are already in their backpacks. Rather than coming up with new rules and punishments, it  is our duty as educators of the mobile generation to address the skeptics and find solutions to the concerns of using mobile devices in the classroom. I agree with @markbrumley who tweeted, “I think mobile devices in the classroom are inevitable. In 10 yrs this discussion will be silly! “ 

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:  

  • Admin is more interested in banning and punishing the use of mobile devices than exploring possibilities 
  • Mobile devices don’t have to be phones 
  • Real concerns include cost of devices, text plans, access to wifi, equal opportunity, finding quality apps with appropriate content 
  • Apps for certain subjects such as geography, language learning, math are extremely useful
  • Teachers use mobile devices for vocabulary review, polls, cameras, gps, mapping, dictionaries 
  • Question of who should own the devices used in class. Student or School?
  • Will mobile devices make life easier for cheaters?
  • Mobile devices as an inevitable tool in the future classroom (the new calculator debate)
  • Plenty of opportunities for keeping youth interested in education 
  • Mobile devices offer classroom management tools for teachers

Here is a selection of some of the comments:  

@MrROg#rs:  #edchat if admins r scared of phones, remove phone argument. say ipad, ipod, netbook other mobile tech
@SECottrell:   I was told “don’t hold your breath” re: the hopeless tech ban at my school. 3 demerits if I see the phone, 5 if it rings. 
@Ron_Peck:  @CrudBasher What if they can’t afford the cell service and don’t have one?  
@cybraryman1:   Need to first have a policy on use of Smartphones in classroom that is set by students, teachers, admin and parents. 
@cwilkeson:   our administration is so focused on punishing students who possess a smartphone, how can we turn them into learning tools? 
@cpoole27:   We make Our students “turn themselves off” when they come to school, they turn of their phones, their computers, their tech… 
@mrdfleming:   Maybe lots of people are from much richer areas – to me using smartphones in class is just another way to have uneven playing field 
@cpoole27 :  @olafelch they loved the instant feedback, the collaboration with other students, and the lack of pressure in discussing topics 
@CrudBasher:  Smart phones are basically computers, so yes I think every child should have a computer. 
@ColinTGraham:   Much of the discussion around smartphone use reminds me of the introduction of calculators to the maths class, 30 years ago 
@olafelsch:   @ColinTGraham Don’t see the link between smartphones and calculators. The access issue is key here. 
@Folmerica:  Camera function on most smartphones makes the so valuable as a student creation tool. 
@CrudBasher:   Once every child has a smartphone, classrms change from teacher-centric to student-centric. #revolution 
@Ron_Pech:   So how do we avoid students using the phones for socializing instead of instruction? 
@chrismayoh:   If school does not own the device is it more difficult to protect children and impose sanctions for improper use? 
@joe_bower :  @Ron_Peck we dont teach kids not to socialize but rather we teach them to learn by socializing. Like we are now. 
@joe_bower:   Why r tchrs horrified by prospect that kids socialize with technology. How popular would #edchat be if we didn’t socialize while lrning?
@tony_valdrerama:   Maybe we need to develop material (lesson plans, etc.) that include smart phones as a central part of the lesson, a needed tool 
@SECottrell:   Cheating is a character issue that won’t be solved by taking away effective tools 
@MatthiasHeil:  In order to keep cost at zero, there needs to be sufficient Wifi at schools!  (absolutely!)
@Folmerica:  I’m worried that the focus on this type of technology will widen the gap between the haves and the have nots. 
@CrudBasher:  Creating apps is getting easier and cheaper. It’ll be in the hands of teachers soon! 
@ryflinn:  #edchat my kinder students are like teachers they love to have the technology in their little fingers
@regparsons: Presenter at ISTE had a gr8 idea: Have kids make a list of all ways a smartphone can enhance learning. Can’t remember who? 
@ruddler: #edchat Cellphones can be useful. The problem is that the teachers that do not want them in school are louder than those that do.
@Ron_Peck: Bottom line we need to move this technology from the backpacks to the tables and integrate them into our lessons. 
@Mamacita: Why not allow students to use whichever method they want? Books, electronics. . . as long as they’re on the same “page.” heh 
@gbengel: Smartphones are a small window to the world for our students. It connects them, socializes them, teaches them, informs them 
@ESLlibrary: What about apps for homework? Surely there would be less resistance. 
@HPTeachExchange: PEW reserach shows smartphones very prevalent in low socio-economic areas. Small digital divide with mobile? 
@CrudBasher: @kalinagoenglish: #edchat With wireless video u can hook up phone to larger screen. Coming soon!


To follow the complete discussion see here  

For the stats on #edchat participation see here  

As ever, there were some great links shared: 

@ShellTerrell Forest Meet Digital Trees  

@chrismayoh iPod touch project  

@ColinTGraham Minorities Favor Phones in using Web 

@ConsultantsE  8yr olds using smart phones 

@muppetmasteruk MILK 

@rliberni  German Collection of Phone Usage in Classroom 

@drtimony Joo Joo 

@DJ345  Synching apps to several ipods 

@cybraryman1  Cellphones in the Classroom Resources 

@briankotts  The Future of Learning is Informal and Mobile 

@tony_valderrama An Example of Cellphones for teaching Math 

@briankotts Teens and their mobile phones 

@briankotts   Time to leave the lap top behind 

@jackiegerstein Taking IT Mobile Youth Mobile Phones and Social Change 

@SISQITMAN: http://learninginhand.com 

@ESLLibrary  Top 10 Interesting iPhone/iPod Touch apps for ELL 

@TwitClass Wiffiti 

@ShellTerrell  101 best Android Apps for Education 

Tara Benwell is a freelance writer who specializes in online materials for the ELT industry. She works part-time as a content developer and media consultant for Red River Press.com. Tara maintains ESL-Library’s blog, podcast, and newsletter and helps out with the mobile learning division, The English App. She is also the administrator of MyEC, where she creates monthly writing challenges for English learners and explores the challenges of teaching English in an e-community. 


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!

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&#8230; 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.


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