PVSD's EdTech Experience at

NECC 2007

Georgia World Congress Center

Atlanta, GA

June 24 - 29, 2007

ISTE/NECC Leadership Symposium

Learning in a Read/Write World

Sunday, June 24, 2007

This morning we attended the Leadership Symposium at the Omni Hotel. Approximately 200 people from all over North America were invited to learn about and discuss trends in Web 2.0 and student standards. We intentionally split up and sat at different tables in order to network with a variety of people. Approximately 40 states were represented.

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Building a Shared Understanding of Web 2.0

Motivational Set: Digital Ethnography (YouTube) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE

David Warlick
The Landmark Project

Web 1.0
Example is an online newspaper
Has made information networked; digital
Whereas Digg, enables people to click on news stories to recommend them
Wikipedia / Encyclopedia are not even an issue anymore – both have their strengths
Example: An encyclopedia will say that there are 9 planets. A wiki will elaborate on the Pluto dilemma.

Our job is not to teach kids what to read and what not to read, but rather to make decisions.

The web has become participatory. We are no longer just consumers of the web. Kids are empowered.

Photo of textbooks stacked in a corner. Teachers are creating their own textbooks will wikis. The ‘textbook’ becomes a conversation among the teacher, students, and curriculum. The content is editable by the students; it is their textbook for the year.

The use of aggregators (RSS, XML, etc.) allows us to subscribe to blogs, new stories, etc. The aggregator will update every few minutes. For example, you can subscribe to particular sections of the NY Times or someone’s blog. Aggregators have become personal learning networks – lifelong learning engines. Another term is connectivism.

Netvibes.com (format can be edited)

Interesting Ideas
  • Wikipedia example about Pluto – the discovery that Pluto was not a planet was released and then it was posted on Wikipedia 90 seconds later
  • Web, network, of blogs picture example – start with one blog who directs you to another blog to directs you to another blog etc.
  • Digital divide is now connected versus alone – chasm exists between individuals who are connected through Web 2.0 and individuals who aren’t
  • Gravity drives learning – the notion that the teacher is higher up (at the top) and that learning occurs due to gravity – can no longer ‘push’ the content to our students
  • Classrooms and curricula needs to be retooled to take advantage of students’ energy
  • Whisper to the World – we are not afraid example
  • Web 2.0 is about retaining audiences

Interesting Terms

‘personal digital newspaper’
‘personal editor’
‘personal learning network’ or also 'personal learning environments' –connected to searches that help you to do your job
‘media engine’ and ‘learning engine’ – need to leverage the students’ energy to create a learning engine
‘sticky connections’

Web 1.0
Web 2.0
Reading - Exposed
Reader Directed
Arithmatic - Employ
Controlled - People Connecting
Writing - Express

No containers
Respects Authority
(static info from books, etc. as authority)
Respects the Readers/Participants
and empowers to make decisions
Respects the Community

Web 2.0 is not a replacement for Web 1.0 - it rides on top.
50% of students today have contributed online. They are far more skilled/versed than their teachers with the understanding of Web 2.0 concepts. As a personal connection, a few weeks ago my 8 year old son said, "Dad, I was reading on someone's blog that they thought Chris Pronger was going to...something, something". I was impressed that he knew that someone's blog was their opinion and then he had an opinion of that person's opinion. Just a whole different level of cognition/comprehension that goes beyond the presentation of facts and information.

Another personal connection - I chose to sit at a table focussing on critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making because I think that on Web 2.0 students are engaged in those processes every time they click - perhaps once a second. They are continuously making decisions about things that matter to them, at the lowest level - following links - right up to the highest level - deciding what kind of online content to publish and share. We used to think of 'decision-making' as a rigid concept with prescribed steps that we would 'teach' to students to enable them to make good decisions in their future. How can we support students to make good decisions in the context of Web 2.0? What kind of activities, strategies and information is required to create good decision makers in Web 2.0?

National Educational Technology Standards for Students: The Next Generation

“What students should know and be able to do to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly digital world …”

1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:
a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
c. use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
d. identify trends and forecast possibilities.

What can teachers do now that they couldn’t do before?

Look for truly transformative examples.

Visualization – kids are encouraged to be creative, model, etc. SecondLife is a prime example. Chemistry, Biology, etc. are also examples in which students can be creative to process and construct knowledge.

1. Describe a context in which you might see this standard being addressed in the classroom.

Possibilities are relative to the context (ie. students, teachers, classrooms, expectations, etc.) Traditional forms of expression often combine the content with the container (ie. essay on paper). By focusing on Creativity and Innovation, students should be given choices for their “container”, and the aspects of creative thinking and new ideas become the focus. A container with no limits, encourages creativity and innovation.

Students are often required to research and present information in the form of an essay or report. Rather than achieving curriculum objectives via a written report, students today have the capacity to create video productions, pod casts, blogs, etc. For example, a podcast news report of a flood that occurred in the students’ community. Rather than a confined container, this podcast can be expanded to include a wiki with photos, videos, links to weather data, Google Earth overlays, aggregators of other similar news stories, etc.

Another example: The tainted pet food story. Students could study the molecular structure of wheat gluten and the chemical melamine (biology/chemistry). Further to this, a wiki could be set up to aggregate news stories about the developing news stories focusing on the tainted pet food issue. Student could interview local pet owners who may have been affected, or people who are worried about their pets (language arts/journalism). These interviews could be added to the wiki via YouTube. Additional resources that could be involved, include map data reflecting the origination and areas of affected (geography), as well as industrial relationships around the world regarding the production and distribution of the pet food (social studies, history, economics). Also, the ethics involved with chemicals in food could be addressed.

4. Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving & Decision-Making

Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems and make
informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
a. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
b. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
c. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
d. use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

1. Describe a context in which you might see this standard being addressed in the classroom.
Example: Climate change - Students and teachers could partner with classrooms from other parts of the world to collect and share data on temperature, precipitation and other relevant information about weather and climate. Students could collect data for a one month period, then review historical data for comparisons to one year ago, five years ago, ten years ago and so on. This information could be posted and shared on a wiki. Students could then ask questions about changes over the past 100 years or make predictions about trends into the future. The questions and predictions could form the basis for an inquiry based project. Students could create additional pages on the wikis to display their working and learning. There are lots of possibilities for data management activities with climate information. Additionally, there is lots of media coverage in Canada about 'green' issues. This information could be aggregated for students to review. Then, students could apply decision making skills to determine the truthfulness, validity and importance of the information and share their reflections with a blog. Plu lots more.

Web 2.0 reflects Bloom's New Taxonomy:

Old Taxonomy
New Taxonomy