TLT Summit 2008

Education: An Ecology of Connections
George Siemens

1. Let's have a revolution!

social and technological collisions - two waves of change which collide and create seismic changes
key revolutionary patterns - C. Perez, 2004

change pressures---catalyst---resistance--counter pressure--sustained systemic change

something of what we are seeing in the environment around us awakens some desire to respond
critical because resonance motivates the masses to make changes
tension points - open/closed, amateur/expert, foster/command, network/hierarchy
notions - increased opportunities, increased participation

2. Complex and complicated

complicated - place for every piece of the puzzle - makes the correct picture, can be known
complex - myriad of interacting factors, can be sensed and probed
academically we are in a complex world, but we really think it is complicated - creates tensions
if we are disrupted in the complex state and forced to accept a complicated answer then we have a false sense of security
technology as a blessing and a curse - double edge sword - liberates but also oppresses
challenge - concept of technology diminishes our freedoms if viewed in another sense
balance is the new extreme - polarization of ideas and concepts - polarized on the tools distracts us from the big picture - connecting to one another
technology binds us back to our humanity if we use it correctly
who do we become when we use technology - fragmented understanding, fragmented identity on the Web, fragmented information as opposed to newspapers
"The more we become distributed, the more we yearn to centralize."- but individualized centralization

Creating a New Culture of Teaching and Learning
Alan November

using Alta Vista host:tr gives information with Turkish extensions only

learning is a social activity - learning is when you 'own' the learning - students can't own the learning if the teacher owns the learning
Bob Sprankle - classroom podcasts - week in review (an example of students owning the learning)
we need to have an agreement that children's knowledge can be applied even if teachers can't use the technology

Jing - capture images of the desktop, create video of activities on computer

research shows that people percieve audio books differently depending on the voice that reads the material - how does that relate to teaching and learning? - if students' voices are used to teach one another, does the learning change? - screencast of rounding off by Bob and Paul

teachers' job is not to learn all of the technology - it is to learn how and when to use the technology - teachers become the editor in chief

articles on wikipedia are like graffitti in the bathroom - you can't ban bathrooms just like you can't ban wikipedia (students can still access at home) - need to figure out an appropriate way to manage the situation - use RSS reader to get instant updates on new information that is posted and then respond as necessary
microloan site - - connect lenders with entrepreneurs

Skype example - children call grandmothers using Skype - grandmother with an Irish accent is asked to read an Irish themed book to students - teacher records the reading - students listen again and again to the reading of the books

Web 2.0 enables students to have a global voice and allows for enhanced family connections - students are going to use these tools - it is better for them to use them with us, than without us
the overarching concept is a shift in control - do we want to create a different locus of control in schools - students instead of the system

Teaching Zack to Think: Developing Critical Thinking Skills on the Net
Alan November - tells you who owns the site - equivalent to a title page in a book
the Internet is a different media, different architecture - students need to know how to access information appropriately

in altaVista (lists all of the sites that link to that site) add host:edu - (edu sites that link to that particular website) add (further limits sites)

it is essential that users know how to cross reference and link to content
WayBackMachine records the entirety of the Web every few months

Alan November's free InfoLit resources

Google Custom Searches - enter in particular topics to the search engine description - don't add in keyword search because it will influence the search to much - enter in your web sites - check off 'don't include ads' - enter your topic into the search box and then new content will appear

EdTech Posse Web 2.0 RoundUp
Heather Ross, Dean Shareski, Rob Wall, Alec Couros

It is not about the technology, it is about teaching and learning.

Tools to Try
Ning - social networking site - offers private groups (would be good for students, parents, families, communities)
Google Docs and Spreadsheets
Flickr - tag for this event is tltsummit2008
iPod touch as a mobile computing device - ubiquitous access
WireTap Studio - useful for recording skype conversations and other online applications
Twitter - microblogging - combination of blogging and chatting - it is really about online presence - could be used as a virtual staff room - twitter is better than Google because it is a human aggregator of content - eg. memory card recovery, SMART board versus Promethean
UStream - free tool for instant video streaming -

Open Source allows you to tinker with the code - Free does not allow this