Disrupting Class Primer

I have been having lots of conversations at school (the one where I work) about  Disrupting Class.  People keep saying, "I have to read the book." 

Obviously, reading the book is the best way to get this, but if you don’t have time to read the book right now and want a primer, here’s some audio/video/text to get you  up to speed:

Start here:

And if you’re still interested (this is what’s on my bookshelf at least):

There are tons of other good resources out there.  I’ve been watching Google Blog Search for Disrupting Class as well. 

arvind, Vinnie and I will also be interviewing Michael Horn and Curtis Johnson on 11/24 at noon EST and 12/4 at 2:15 EST respectively at EdTechTalk

What recommendations do you have? 

Social Networking from Faculty and Student Perspectives

Over the past two weeks arvind and I have discussed Social Networking on our webcast over at EdTechTalk.  The first show consisted of us discussing facebook social networks from the faculty perspective based on the Ohio Education Association’s recommendation that educators delete the social networking  accounts.  Here is the first show: 21st Century Learning #58: A Discussion of the Issues Surrounding Social Networking Between Faculty and Students

The second week we were excited to have four students join in the myspaceconversation.  They mostly agreed that it was a good idea to keep some separation between school and our personal lives but had some great insights into how these different media are merging — including the thought that teachers and students might be blackberry texting each other before long.  Here’s a link to the second show: 21st Century Learning #59: Students Discussing Social Networking between Faculty and Students.

I think that these two pieces are a good orientation to social networking for faculty and administrators around the world.  If you’re interested in this topic, you might also want to check out: EdTechTalk #80 with Tom Wood, cyber safety advocate

What do you think? What would you add or subtract?  What social networking resources do you use?

Collaboration Outside Your Classroom — Presentation Update

When I got to Baltimore to present at the AIMS conference, I realized that I had Internet access. I uploaded my slides to Google Presentations, did some editing and got going. Vinnie Vrotny and Patrick Higgings showed up for the presentation (huge thanks to the two of them). Alecia Berman-Dry was a wonderful host (she invited me to present at the conference and blogged about it here).

The audience did a great job keeping their attention during the last session of the day. After my presentation, we all discussed how we could bring collaborative technology to back to their schools and classrooms.

Here’s my updated Google Presentation
AIMS Slide

Also, I forgot to hand out my handouts. Here’s a link to the PDF handout.

As I tweaked the presentation on the train to Baltimore, I realized more and more that these projects are about the relationships. Lucy Gray spoke about it in our conversations, Vicki Davis discusses it when she speaks about the Flat Classroom project. It’s all about the connections we are making. And they are real, even though many are virtual.

I’m working on editing the video of the event and will post that shortly.

Comments appreciated. Thanks!

Questions about Basic Technology Skills – Part II

Thanks, Nancy and David for stretching my thinking about this professional development day.

I’m struggling with appropriate administrative pressure and my department’s buy in to provide basics training to faculty. I have been re-tooling our sessions to allow for better technological solutions for everyday problems. For example, “Appropriate Presentations” would include a discussion about what appropriate skills and guidelines are, how to find images, and create a presentation that is visually appealing. Another example is, “Creating a Newsletter” which would include pulling resources together and then formatting them in a desktop publishing program.

Nancy, I love your visualization question,

“Try to “imagine it is a year from now and you have embraced a couple of tools and practices that make your work more meaningful/fun/productive. What does that look like?”

I plan on using this when asking folks to register for sessions.

I am truly struggling with David’s game. I believe in my heart that that is the way to go, but want to start slow in smaller groups so we have some practice before going to the “big group”. I would like to try this with a small group of faculty during this day.

I hesitate because this is my professional development first day like this with a new Head of School and Business Manager. We have a traditional faculty and I want to expose small groups to this before we do it with the entire faculty.

I will definitely use these exercises in my department over the Spring, and then during our Summer Professional Development series where we’ll be working with faculty to use read/write web options…

I’m trying to be transparent in my writing here… Honest and open. But boy do I feel like I’m not living up to good pedagogical principles for adult learning… It’s very hard to let go of that “control”.

Thanks again, Nancy and David, for stretching me.

Questions about Basic Technology Skills

I have been thinking a lot about what basic technology skills faculty should know. We’ve surveyed our faculty on basic tech skills, and have a good idea of what people know and don’t know, but what Technology skills should they know?

The reason I ask this question is that we have half of a professional development day in February to work with our entire faculty on technology skills. Our plan now is to run 4, 40 minute sessions on the basics: word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software, desktop publishing, e-mail, information literacy skills, laptop hardware optimization and troubleshooting and configuration, and a number of other ‘basics’. We are planning lessons that demonstrate and allow participants to practice 2-4 skills, walk them through an Atomic Learning Lesson (if applicable), and give examples of the use of that software in a classroom.

NETS has a long list of skills that beginning teachers should have when entering the classroom. This list is well above the performance point of my faculty.

In order to learn something new, faculty (for that matter – anyone) must feel a need and be engaged. How do we get the second and third wavers to be engaged when teaching the basics? Nancy White asks these types of questions often.

Here are some of the other questions running through my head:

If you were running a seminar for faculty who have a wide variety of technology skills, what would be the core goal of each session that you teach?

Just thinking through my fingers: Start with the learners, know their skill set, and teach them what they need to get to the next level, even if that means configuring windows and file management.

What skills/applications would you teach?

Word vs. Google Docs

Do you have links to examples?

Our lesson plans will be posed here: Tech at Collegiate when complete.

Thanks for your time and thought.