Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Karl Fisch and his cadre of teachers

Constructivist Teaching with Technology: Learning with Laptops




Karl wrote up a proposal where staff meet once every 3rd week for a 3 hour block, during day, paid staff development- built in collaboration time, reflection and sharing.

Teachers need the passion.

First thing was to change the way the classroom looked. Changed the culture for students, tables, rolling chairs, and told the kids they were professionals and they had a job.

Second, changed the posters in the room. 21st century motivating.

Third, posted kids expectations in the class.

The first successes were noticed with teachers being engaged, during lunch, teachers talking about ideas, no complaining during lunch.Each teacher has a personal blog for reflection. Classes have their class blogs. Constructivist class practice. When Ann has a fishbowl in the class so students are participating, then the outside kids are blogging the proceeding.Skype is better than blogger for commenting on ideas.

Had conversations about what kinds of abilities the students should have by graduation. Businesses said teamwork was essential. When to be a leader, when to follow and how to collaborate. Collaboration is not the same as cooperative learning!


Podcasting is an incredible way to share what is happening, it is a window to the classroom. She had her students write essays for NPR, This I Believe. Success!

to be continued....

Some of the responses are not the best work, but there is a worldwide audience and it is emphasized to produce quality work.

Leaving time for conversation. Thanks to Karl and his team. Check it out!

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Sowing the Seed for a more creative society

Mitchel Resnick

Tag=n07s737 Blog Posts / Blog RSS / Flickr / Flickr RSS

Join me with a summary of this workshop.

Where do we do creativity right? Kindergarten, go Maria Knee,(who I happen to be sitting next to during this session) Kathy Shields and all the rest of you!

Kindergarten approach, explore, create, question. If you only have wooden blocks and paint from kindergarten to high school, we won't create and envision new things.

But rather let's work on more advance ideas with the kindergarten approach.
Look for technologies that are easy to get into yet have lots of diversity of projects, learning styles, and more complex things.

to be continued...

Playfulinventioncompany pico.com
There is a new kit with legos and arts and craft stuff for building. Crickets.

the new materials for kids to build with are sensors and lights.

Scratch sosftware for kids to create online. Put together media to act and react

Demo of the software , awesome. Free download from ScratchMIT

Running out of battery, be back later!

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Daring Conversation: An Actor shares the voices of students

Very dynamic and engaging presentation using student blogs, statistics. Taking It Global Student Video Contest award winning videos.


Students are creating content, so they are learning.But how can you /we bring ideas into the classroom, how do they use technology in their lives, how can we use it in schools.


How can we use technology to connect souls and teach brains!


Daring to Converse with Natives in the Jungle


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Voices from the Past, session at NECC07

This session was a great demonstration of how a 3rd grade teacher used a blog, start to finish with her students to write, illustrate and provide audio about Harriet Tubman. You can see the website here. http://dowell.typepad.com/harriet_tubman/2006/02/welcome.html#comments
Junior High http://dowell.typepad.com/civil_war/2007/05/welcome.html#comments
4th grade http://tappmiddleschool.typepad.com/ww2/

The room was packed, the information was concise and well delivered.

Presentation by Herman Wood. edtech@typepad.com

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday NECC June 24 ready for the Keynote.

Well, this update will show that you too can live this conference virtually.

I spent last evening at the top of the Westin Hotel with a great group of bloggers. Photos will follow, Lisa! Vicki Davis surely had great southern hospitality and gave all the guest some peanut brittle, plus organized this wonderful dinner reservation.

We circled the city 3 times during dinner. It was an incredible dinner, view, and conversations. No we did not podcast!

Today was spent with the WOW 2 women went in different directions. Cheryl helped with the CRICK software booth and set up. It was amazing how an empty hall can be transformed into a huge and informative exhibit hall. Check out Brian Crosby's blog for the photographic transformation.

Vicki was preparing more for her presentations and more. Sharon was attending a workshop called Sidebar Envy , given by David Warlick. Jen went to Stone Mountain and spent the day with Discovery Educators.

We are waiting for the first keynote with Anderw Zolli. Look for the blogs with this tag, from David Warlick.

Well, this is Day 2 and the real conference is about to begin. People are recognizable by their lanyards and name tags. The badge of honor. I am seated at the Bloggers Cafe, great wireless and good folks all around.

Over and out.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Just got to Atlanta for NECC 2007!

Just arrived in the Peachtree city of Atlanta. I am at Edublogger Con having just met up with Vicki Davis and Sharon Peters. Waiting to meet Jen Wagner then the Women of Web 2.0 circle will be complete.

Just got to meet Julie Lindsay and Cheri Toledo too. Very fun to finally met people I've learned so much from through virtual blogs, wikis and chats. Stay tuned.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Thanks for answering the WOCSD district survey!

Thanks for answering the WOCSD technology survey. This will allow us to have specific professional development options to support our staff. You can learn about these options through an email and by checking back to this site. Enjoy the journey, take one step at a time and check back for support.

This is a great ebook about Just in Time Professional Development.
Thanks to Jo Ann McDevitt for this great resource. This helps explain how we will provide support for professional development in technology.

Our district has a whole district/staff/student/community/Adult Ed subscription to Atomic Learning tutorials. You will receive information about this in an email or through classes. There are over 33,000 short tutorial movies that explain how to use different technologies and software.You can use the time you spend in Atomic Learning as documentation for your Personal Learning Plan for certification. This is a great way for you to have students learn how to use Keynote for your classes too.

Also another great resource is built in to your workstation or laptop. In each and every program you use on the top of your screen is a menu and HELP is usually the last menu item on the top right. When you select HELP you are able to search a huge table of contents for you problem. Once there you will find directions and screen shots about how two solve your problem or how to learn to use a new tool in your software. Try it right now in your browser and see what you have available to you!

Good luck! Watch for more announcements about learning new technology tools.

Thanks, Cheryl Oakes, Collaborative Content Coach for Technology

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Kick back and make a plan! Win the Best Buy Award.

Take time this summer and think of a great technology winning idea. You could win 2,500.00 from Best Buy.Don't wait until Sept. 30, 2007, write it up during the summer and post it before August 30, 2007 our first workshop day.

Rewarding Schools for Making Learning Fun
At Best Buy we believe technology can excite and engage students, creating a more valuable educational experience. Through Best Buy Teach Awards we support schools� creative use of interactive technology to make learning fun.

Best Buy Teach Awards reward schools using interactive technology to make learning fun.

  • Over the past four years, more than 4,800 K-12 schools have received over $14 million in Best Buy Teach Awards.
  • Awards go to K-12 public, private and parochial schools using interactive technology in classrooms.
  • Schools must be within 50 miles of a Best Buy store to apply.
  • Educators must apply online between July 1 and September 30.
  • See examples of how teachers are using technology to make learning fun.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

What has the District Technology Committee been doing this school year?

You will see we are using technology. We podcasted our first meeting. The sound isn't that great, but you can hear most of the speaking. The minutes will be posted along with the link to the podcast.

Here is the link for the podcast of the May 31, 2007 meeting.

Here is a link to the Summary of the District Technology Committee

District Technology Committee Meeting May 31, 207

Members in attendance: Saul Lindauer, Jamie Cox, Mary Bouchard, John Bailey, Bob Gilpatric, Bob Sprankle, Cheryl Oakes, Cheryl Mills, Marty Cryer


Celebrate the Technology improvements throughout the year.
     WHS, WJHS, WES,Adult Ed, Central office
Hear a short presentation about Moodle –

Bob G. and Cheryl presented a quick intro of Moodle for the group. We are waiting to hear if the per diem request was accepted for WHS. We will know by June 18, 2007. Moodle will be introduced throughout the district next fall in staff meetings, small group meetings and will be a requirement for teachers to have a presence on the Moodle.

See the Technology Checklist for WOCSD

·         The Checklist was sent out to the staff as an online survey. Next time the survey questions need to be tweaked so support staff can answer not applicable to the questions about Web2School, for example.

Update on staff development in the district

·          Waiting on the survey results and the district calendar.

Update on the collaboration with Kennebunk and Virtual High School

·          No word yet.

   Update on collaboration with Kennebunk/Wells and the summer staff development class.

There are 18 people signed up to take a summer technology class and there are 4 teachers from Kennebunk joining our staff.


Questions, comments, suggestions!


  • The Boosters are planning on selling USB memory sticks at WHS and WJSH next year. This will enable students to take their documents and presentations back and forth from home to school.
  • Take all the information from the Technology Committee this year and find another way to get it out to the community. I will work with Reg Bennett. The information is listed on the District page, the Wocsdtechtalk page and to the administrators.
  • A recommendation was made to have a page where the parents, students and community can find information about open source software which will enable students to use similar software at home as at school.

    This has been a rocking committee and I look forward to another year with this group.

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