9 Resources for Attending ISTE13 Virtually

For the second time in 10 years, I will not be attending one of my favorite conferences –  the ISTE conference.

Like many others though, I’ll be learning about ISTE from afar. ISTE attendees are by nature prolific tweeters and love to collaborate and share.

In exploring ways to connect and learn along with passionate educators far away at ISTE you may ask:

What are the best ways to follow? How can I connect virtually? What resources can be shared with my colleagues so that they can connect with some of the ideas at ISTE13? How can this learning benefit my students?

7 Resources for Attending ISTE Virtually

  1. Hashtag #ISTE13 – Follow the hashtag for the conference. You will see results from anyone using the hashtag.  If you use the application Tweetdeck to access Twitter, you can create easy to follow columns for any list, search term or hashtag. To connect with others attending virtually use the hashtags #iste13 N.B. Hashtags are not just for twitter Check out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram for the #iste13 hashtag
  2. Hashtag #notatiste – A new hashtag has cropped up this year for talking about not being there. Those following virtually are sharing, posting and adding some humor too
  3. ISTE SocialFacebookTwitterNing
  4. Pinterest: Pinterest added regularly
  5. Full Program Guide – Go to the conference website. Read about the sessions, posters and events. Shared presentation materials are linked too. At the main site, you will also find news feeds, video clips and other updates. Be sure to stop back later as many sessions are video archived for later viewing.
  6. ISTE Unplugged – View the ISTE Unplugged site. It is the unconference or unplugged version of ISTE gatherings and view resources
  7. Rss/Blog Reader – Set up a Feedly RSS reader account to follow bloggers at ISTE. By following via twitter you will be able to find blogs to add to your reader. ISTE has a blogger list you can access or join too.
  8. Mobile Apps – ISTE Mobile App has a list of standards and the ISTE Connects Blog, ISTE Conference App lists sessions and more.
  9. ISTE Remote – ISTE has a pay option which provides access to certain sessions – Schedule

About the ISTE Conference

Sponsored by the International Society of Technology in Education, the ISTE Conference draws close to 20,000 people and is the gathering place for scores of educational technology enthusiasts. Every possible  vendor is there so if you have questions or want to see demos you can connect with them. The vendor floor is full of product samples and representatives ready to answer your every question.

Educators gather to discuss challenges, trends and solutions. Sessions explore successful practice and new ideas.

Connecting with the people though is the real charm of ISTE. That is what makes it great. ISTE is about the people – the passionate educators who bring the best of innovative and tech supported learning to students and willingly collaborate with other educators is what it is all about.

Happily you can explore it before, during and after virtually! Taking advantage of virtual learning is more doable than ever before. As you explore resources and make connections virtually, you are experiencing that connected learning for yourself as well. Here are a few resources. What other resources would you add?

This is cross posted on School CIO – a division of Techlearning

Emerging Technologies to Watch 2013

The newly released 2013 Horizon Report gives us a glimpse into the classrooms of the near future. If you are not familiar with this report, take a close look! How can our schools benefit from this report? All school leaders who focus sharply on emerging technology trends can effectively plan for what students need and how schools can prepare.

By taking the time to look at the information presented, school or organizational leaders will note how quickly these changes are impacting our world and indeed our own lives on a daily basis. As our schools are also greatly affected, action is needed to ready our schools and organizations for the changes ahead.

The Horizon Report has been published since 2002 and is the result of collaborative effort fostered by NMC (New Media Consortium). Released in January, it highlights emerging technology which impact teaching, research, learning and creative inquiry in higher education. A timeline is created which details when these technologies are set to have the most impact in those areas. A K-12 version was recently released in June of 2013. In researching the report international educational leaders across many sectors come together with technologists, business leaders and others. The structure of the report is a compelling one which gives us clear insight into means for implementation.  It is a must read for educators.

 

This video discussed the summary of the higher ed edition of the report

Main Areas of the Horizon Report

  1. Technology Trends with Timeline
  2. Key Trends
  3. Challenges

Key Trends Identified in the Horizon Report

  • Paradigm shift to online programs, hybrid learning and collaborative models
  • Social Media is changing the way people interact, communicate and share or present ideas
  • Openness is becoming valued – via transparency and access to data and information
  • Students are more often bringing their own technology devices to schools due to adjusted school policies and mobile pricing models
  • Abundance of online resources and relationships are contributing to the discussions of a changing role for educators

Emerging Technologies List

  • Cloud Computing – One Year or Less
  • Mobile Learning – One Year or Less
  • Open Content – Two to Three Years
  • Learning Analytics – Two to Three Years
  • 3D Printing – Four to Five Years
  • Virtual and Remote Laboratories – Four to Five Years

Critical Challenges

  • Ongoing professional development must be made part of the culture of schools be applied
  • Educator innovative practice is very important and should be fostered by both policy and attitude
  • New viable virtual and online models of education are available and are challenging traditional models
  • Attention must by paid by K-12 to the increasing blending of both formal and informal learning
  • Personalized learning support needs to be expanded in schools

Tips for Applying the Horizon Report

  1. Distribute to Stakeholders; Parents, Teachers, Board Members and Students (pdf)
  2. Involve curriculum leaders to forge connections to academic aims
  3. Foster ongoing professional development both offered to and delivered by teachers
  4. Form an Innovations Team. Plan regular followup meetings. Share results with school community.
  5. Discuss Trends and Challenges. Share the Communique developed for use with the Horizon Report
  6. Explore Technologies to Watch. View Supporting data, articles and examples
  7. Seek Supporting technologies for academic and organizational goals
  8. Connect with success – Plan to visit or connect with schools applying these technologies
  9. Plan to pilot new technologies. Plan for ongoing evaluation.
  10. Review technology plans and budgets.  As technology evolves our plans and policies must follow suit.
  11. Keep an eye on the horizon. Continue to evaluate new developments. Follow developments and news on the Horizon Report 2013 via Facebook, Twitter #NMchz, Wiki and NMC app.

“In every work of genius, we recognize our once rejected thoughts.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

This yearly report is one I always look forward to. What I find most validates the importance of this study is their past reporting. Take a look back at reports from past years and you will see how on target these reports have been. School and organizational leaders are advised to take a close look at the results of this report and to take action on behalf of the population or the students they serve.

Our students depend on their educational leaders to foster a relevant, engaging learning environment in tune with today’s world. Keeping eyes tuned to the horizon’ will be an essential part of a transformation in tune with what is to come.

 

Related Links

Emerging Technologies to Watch – 2012 on TechConnects

Horizon Retreat Wiki

Horizon Project Main Page

Horizon Project Navigator

COSN – Consortium for School Networking  

This post is crossposted on SchoolCIO a division of TechLearning

Skype – No School is an Island

The power of today’s technology is not only in technological capability alone. The difference of technology is in the people connections and empowerment through that technology.

In this post, I will detail some educator and student perspectives on connecting with classrooms via skype. Interestingly, one of the classes profiled here is located in an area called ‘the island city’ in Alameda, California. Teacher Lisa DeLapo said that the Skype classroom connections felt especially meaningful to them given their location. Given that they are in an island type location, students can sometimes feel separate from other schools and students their age. Their skype classroom connections changed that!

We do not exist for ourselves alone – Thomas Merton

I remember the first time my students connected outside of our classroom. It was in the late 90’s and we emailed an author. After a few weeks, the author emailed us back and told students about her writing process. What an amazing feeling it was to reach for the students to reach outside of our classroom and hear directly from an expert – especially one whose books they were reading!

Today the process is easier, faster and quite powerful. The technology of today enables us to use video, voice and images help to enrich the connection. This makes it even more powerful than simple text based exchanges of years gone by.

Skype for Catholic School’s Week – Case Study

I recently had the chance to speak to some teachers and an administrator about a skype connection they established. The Skype calls took place during Catholic Schools Week and included  teachers, students and administrators from various catholic schools across the country. Connection for some of these educators were planned via the twitter chat and hashtag #catholicedchat

No man is an Island – John Donne, Meditation XVII

Teacher and Student Perspectives

Teachers who participated: Barb Gilman, Grade 3, Omaha, Nebraska, Lisa DeLapo, St. Joseph Elementary School , Alameda California Nick Senger, Spokane, Washington and Patti Harju, a 2th grade, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Barb Gilman, 3rd Grade, Omaha, Nebraska

In Skyping with each other, they did an activity called ‘Mystery Skype’. For Mystery Skype, they ask each other a series of five questions with yes or no answers only. This allows student to guess where the other class is calling from. Students must listen closely and think critically to guess the location of the other class. It is fun too!

Comments from Barb’s 3rd grade class:

  • We loved it!
  • We had fun guessing!
  • They were nice.
  • It was exciting.
  • It was awesome.

Barb’s class skyped with Patti Harju’s 2nd graders from St. Stephen’s school in Grand Rapids, MI and Lisa DeLapo’s 3rd graders from St. Joseph’s school in Alameda, California. Barb said,

‘This was our first experience doing a Mystery Skype and I’m hooked! They loved following along in their atlas and coming up with questions.’

Lisa DeLapo, Technology Teacher K-8, Alameda, California

Comments from Lisa’s technology classes:

Third Graders:

  • It was fun asking questions and seeing how different their weather is.  They get to take a day off when it snows!
  • We learned that there are different ways to sing the Alleluia at Mass.
  • We saw the same teacher from last year, but it was a different class.  That was so cool!

Second Graders:

  • It was like magic.  Their classroom was on the screen, and they’re in a different state! – Victor
  • We got to see another Catholic school and the differences between us.  – Santiago

Patti Harju, 2nd Grade teacher, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Comments from Patty’s class:

Patty said, ‘My second graders enjoyed their first two Mystery Skypes with two other Catholic Schools this week. We prepared by looking at our US maps and noticing the locations of the states in relation to the oceans, other countries and directions.

We had a practice round before our chat. I chose a state and the children asked me yes or no questions about the state. They asked about bordering states, whether it gets snow or not, if it is bigger than another state, and if it shares a border with Canada or Mexico. We then wrote some of the questions we liked the best on the board.

During our chat with Barb in Nebraska, we were given clues to the identity of their state and using these clues and the answers to our questions, we were able to identify it. We were also successful with our second chat Lisa’s class in Alameda, Ca. Both schools were also able to identify that we were located in Michigan.

We hope to engage in additional Mystery Skypes this year. The children pay more attention to the map and to the location of the states when they are forming their questions. One of our favorite games to play to learn about the US states is ‘Stack the States’ which we play on our iPads. I love to watch the children consult the US map as they play the game. They are having fun and learning some needed US geography.’

Kathy Mears, NCEA, Executive Director for Elementary Education

Kathy Mears skyped in to talk with faculty at St. Joseph’s in Alameda, California during their faculty meeting.
Technology teacher, Lisa DeLapo said that the teachers really appreciated hearing from Kathy. Lisa noted that teachers felt special that Kathy reached out to them. Kathy happened to call in from a conference rather than from the NCEA office in Arlington, Va. This showed that these connections can happen anywhere and anytime and connect educators in meaningful ways too! Said Kathy:

“It was wonderful! Skype is a tool that we could and should more fully utilize for educational purposes.” NCEA Executive Director for Elementary Education

Getting Started With Skype

  1. Find another classroom to connect with and contact the teacher
  2. Invite the teacher as a contact on Skype
  3. Arrange topics and formulate questions – Students can generate questions also
  4. Plan the time and duration. Note any time differences and plan accordingly.
  5. Determine any related assessment – How will you assess the activity? How will you evaluate effectiveness?
  6. Check connections, peripherals and software – Make sure you have the needed internet access and software. Connect your computer to a speaker or large screen and projector as needed. Do a practice skype call to test the connection in your classroom.
  7. Assign roles to students  so that information is recorded. These may include taking notes, checking connections and more. You can also record the conversation
  8. Get feedback from students
  9. Plan your next classroom connection via Skype
Whether you are on an island or not, take time to reach out to other classrooms. Connect, collaborate and learn together. As Thomas Merton says, ‘we don’t exist for ourselves alone’ and these connections can be meaningful for learning and for building special connections for students and teachers.
Barb’s Wiki – Skype Resources
Wiki for Connecting with other Catholic Schools via Skype – CatholicSchoolConnect
This post is cross posted at NCEA (National Catholic Educational Association) website

 

Educator Use of Social Networks

When I first began to use twitter, I thought it an unusual concept. What could I say and who would I follow? What would communicating openly look like? What could it possibly have to offer educators?

That was September of 2008. I found out quickly that it was an incredible and powerful tool.  Once I began to use it, I quickly realized the immense benefits in terms of professional learning, building community and shared ideas.  A study I came across this week underscored those benefits and caused me to reflect on what drew me in.

Making a Social Network Meaningful

What was really beneficial to me in this shift was how I happened upon Twitter. It was in a workshop held for 20 of our high schools in the Archdiocese of Phila. We had 5 people from each school including administrators and teachers. In looking back what got me hooked was knowing I’d be connecting initially to people I already knew.

The fact that others in our schools were getting onto Twitter meant a lot to me. I wanted to delve into it myself. The fact that our workshop was being led by others well versed in using twitter did too. (Willrich45, snbeach)
It was:

  • Social
  • Professionally Enriching
  • An Place to Connect with Like-Minded Educators

What Does the Research Say?

In reading this article posted in Edweek, I recalled what drew me in and still does! – connecting with like minded individuals who shared the same interests.

The article highlights data collected by MMS Education noting a trend towards private social networking and online communities. Though open and public social networking is here to stay, private communities have a solid base and that base if growing! Private communities allow for both a more targeted and seemingly safer way to connect with others for educators.

26 percent of teachers said they would join a new social network tailored to educators in the next year, while only 5 percent said they would join a new network for personal use

Social networks are now an integral part of the lives of many. Perhaps this study reflects your own practice. If so, what do you find to be most beneficial to you?

As school leaders and teacher leaders, will you encourage others to join a social network for educators? Will you build a social network of your own?

 


 

Connected Educators A to Z: G is for Grants and Funding

Many of today’s resources available to connected educators are free. They are a gift that educators use to learn, grow and connect. Twitter, Facebook, Blogger and Skype to name just a few – are free! Connected learning support can incur expenses though. Money for things such as hardware, connectivity, software, assessment systems and professional development are needed.

12 Tips for School Technology Funding

  1. Heed The Research – Stay on top of the ever changing learning environment  http://ncara.edublogs.org/2012/02/09/emerging -technologies-to-watch-2012/
  2. Tune in to Digital Learning Needs – Find out about the latest strategies and tools for learning. How are they being used successfully?
  3. Build a Team – Tap teachers, parents, students and members of the school and local community
  4. Make a Plan –Technology plans and Curriculum plans should work hand in hand
  5. Create Smart Goals – Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time trackable
  6. Dig In to Grant Resources  – Explore funding options online. From shopping rewards to larger grants, there are many untapped resources available to schools
  7. Aim For Quality, Free Access to grant databases 
  8. Jog the Web Funding Sources – The web is replete with resources to boost funding. Find ones that meet your needs and pursue the support you need
  9. Tell Your Compelling Story – Let your school community know about the school goals and the learning that is happening. They will love to be a part of the success story.
  10. Get Social – Use social media to connect with the larger school and local community. They are on Facebook, Twitter. Your school should be too!
  11. Meet Supporters Where They Are – Blend face to face and online communications to reach out. Realize that people have varying connections preferences.
  12. Evaluate and Begin Anew – Set regular times to assess and gauge progress. Adopt an ongoing schedule for seeking new funding and support for your programs

12 Links for School Grants and Funding

  1. The Foundation Center – Site and Newsletter
  2. Grant Space via Foundation Center (Search areas for free Foundation Center access) – Find Us
  3. Guidestar – Funder Resources
  4. Technology Grants- News and Resources
  5. K-12 Grants – K12Grants.org
  6. E-School News – Funding Page
  7. Specific Tech Companies have offerings – Acer
  8. Tech and Learning Grants Directory – 2012-2013
  9. Non Profit Technology Network
  10. US Government – Funding Pages
  11. Full Collection of Resources – Sheryl Abshire
  12. All #TechFunding Links in presentation – Diigo

Recently I had the honor of presenting to a the Educational Technology Committee at the Diocese of Harrisburg. Below are the resources shared that day.

Connected Educators A-Z: F is for Face to Face

Conferences and meetings have always been places where people could go to learn. At conferences you hear of new concepts, design new strategies, learn a skill. In today’s web enriched environment though, we can do all of those things online. We attend webinars, tweet, and Linkin. We email, Facebook, skype and chat. We can learn online easily and explore topics in depth.

So why attend conferences face to face?  To meet people face to face, to hear their stories, to build relationships. To quote this piece by Sr. Geralyn in the VFLR blog. If we are to provide well for the learning of today’s students we need to

Broaden their vision with your understanding of their world. If that world is way beyond your knowledge, leverage some assistance from another educator.

Just listen to these young adults as they discuss the benefits of Face to Face talk below.

As educators, it is important for us to discern how to best support all new and innovative venues for learning – to make online learning, educational uses of technology AND face to face learning the best it can be!

As powerfully as the tools of today can provide learning and forge connections, face to face gatherings

 can deepen our learning and partnerships.

An upcoming conference is planned in Philadelphia and is hosted by Powerful Learning Practice. The agenda is packed with inspiring speakers and collaborative opportunities for educators. This can be just the place to talk with connected educators from all over the world.

Having the opportunity to meet and greet innovative and passionate educators does not come along every day.  I’m happy to be part of the planning team for this conference. I look forward to connecting with other educators there – face to face!
PLP Live 2012 - Friday September 28 - Philadelphia