NEIT2011 Take Away’s…

Here are my closing remarks for the 2011 NYSAIS Education and Information Technology conference. It was an amazing three days that really inspired me to come back to school and make some change. You’ll see some of my goals in this presentation:

NEIT2011 Closing on Prezi

Here are the sessions I attended and some of my take away’s:

  • danah boyd – Take away: We need to ask our students how they are using technology and be cultural anthropologists.
  • Unconference
    • The future of SISs – Take away: I’m as confused as everyone else.  There are some possibilities out there, but we really need to build this.
    • Smartphone policies: Take Away:  We need to start talking about PLD – Personal Learning Device program instead of laptop program — Kids should be able to use the tools they carry with them.
    • Google Apps for Ed – Take Away:  Only a few weaknesses vs. Office.  Lots of benefits.  Use the right tool for the job.
    • Makerbot 101 Take Away:  We need to make to learn.  How do we find more time for this.  Action:  Looking at engineering/building programs for Math/Science in 8th Grade.
    • Running Effective Meetings – Alex Led: Take Away:  Using our time together better.  Let the structure set you free.
  • Gaming Panel -Take Away:  Advertising and Game design is way beyond schools for teaching and learning. We need to be looking into how games can teach us to operate in society.
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NYSAIS – Moving from Professional Development to Professional Learning and Collaboration

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending the first annual meeting of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Council for Professional Learning and Community (CPLC).  The meeting was coined Think Tank 2011.  This group consists of members of all of the conference committees and institutes that NYSAIS organizes each year.  The conferences include, Diversity personnel, Heads of School, Division Directors and Assistant Heads, Technologists and Librarians, Development and Alumni personnel, Early Childhood directors, as well as a number of Institutes: New Teacher, Experienced Teachers, New Division Heads, and New and Emerging Leaders.  NYSAIS also offers many one day professional growth opportunities throughout the year.

The framing idea of Think Thank 2011 was “What Would Google Do?” a book by Jeff Jarvis from 2009.  That theme helped this group think about how to be in the place where the professional development and help facilitate conversations and continuous growth, while being open and helping people navigate all of the offerings of professional growth available to them.

The change I noticed in the conversations these school leaders were having was the shift from professional development to professional learning.  It was a wise person who coined the title Commission for Professional Learning and Community for this group.  Instead of just thinking of the one shot professional development day, this group was thinking about how to create supports for the continued learning and development of each faculty and staff member at NYSAIS Schools.  This was a powerful shift for this group to be making. 

To go along with this movement towards continuous growth and learning was the launch of the NYSAIS Community, a site developed to support the learning and continuous growth of faculty and staff at NYSAIS.  The site uses a NING back end and was developed over the last year by arvind grover, Barbara Swanson, Josie Holford, George Swain, and Marcy Mann, and me.  We dreamed up the site in June of 2010 during the first NYSAIS Think Tank.

I am excited about the movement of professional growth with NYSAIS and I can see that it will be better poised to support the growth and development of stronger teachers, staff, and administrators.  Thanks to Mark Lauria, Barbara Swanson and Lois Bailey for their leadership of NYSAIS and organizing this event. 

What organizations do you know of that are leading the way toward better learning for teachers?

Photo Credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/joiseyshowaa/1400175456

Wrapping My Head Around Social Media – Part 1

(Cross posed at edSocial Media) As I begin to blog here at edSocialMedia, I’m going to show how I began to start to wrap my head around Social Media. 

I’m the Director of Technology at a K-12 Independent School.  Part of my job is to keep up with current trends in technology and apply them to education.  Pre-2005, most of the time I did this through magazines, books, listservs, and our local NYC Technology Educators (NYCIST). 

Then I saw Will Richardson speak at our yearly New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Technology Educators Conference.  I had published a static web site since 1998 for professional and personal use, but this was the first time I realized that there were a lot of other people out there who were doing the same through blogs, and I could learn from them.

cluetrain-ook-midIn 2005, I started reading Will’s blog, and adding blogs to my bloglines account.  I found Stephen Downes’ OL Daily through Will and found a link to this presentation: On Being Radical.  In Downes’ presentation, he described the web site and then book, The Cluetrain Manifesto.  I immediately surfed over to Amazon.com and bought it. 

I remember to this day reading the first chapter of The Cluetrain Manifesto, Internet Apocalypso.  I got off the subway at 79th street and kept reading as I walked the few blocks to school — I could not put it down. I felt as though the lens from which I viewed the world was shifting.  Here are a few paragraphs at the end from that first chapter that I read that day:

In fact, the news gets better from here on out. And the first bit of news is that this isn’t about us and them. It’s about us. Them don’t exist. Not really. Corporations are legal fictions, willing suspensions of disbelief. Pry the roof off any company and what do you find inside? The Cracker Jack prize is ourselves, just ordinary people. We come in all flavors: funny, cantankerous, neurotic, compassionate, avaricious, generous, scheming, lackadaisical, brilliant, and a million other things. It’s true that the higher up the food chain you go, the more likely you are to encounter the arrogant and self-deluded, but even top management types are mostly harmless when you get to know them. Given lots of love, some even make good pets.

Inside companies, outside companies, there are only people. All of us work for organizations of some sort, or we’re peddling something. All of us pay the mortgage or the rent. We all buy shoes and books and food and time online, plus the occasional Beanie Baby for the kid. More important, all of us are finding our voices once again. Learning how to talk to one another. Slowly recovering from a near-fatal brush with zombification after watching Night of the Living Sponsor reruns all our lives.

Inside, outside, there’s a conversation going on today that wasn’t happening at all five years ago and hasn’t been very much in evidence since the Industrial Revolution began. Now, spanning the planet via Internet and World Wide Web, this conversation is so vast, so multifaceted, that trying to figure what it’s about is futile. It’s about a billion years of pent-up hopes and fears and dreams coded in serpentine double helixes, the collective flashback déjà vu of our strange perplexing species. Something ancient, elemental, sacred, something very very funny that’s broken loose in the pipes and wires of the twenty-first century.

Every time I read that again I sit back and think, wow,  I wish I could communicate ideas like that.   The role of the Internet as the medium providing human to human communications again.   Communication that is two way.  The age of mass media control is over. 

If you have never read it, I highly recommend taking a look at The Cluetrain Manifesto.  It predicted the social media revolution in 1999. 

What was the first time you really saw social media changing the world around you?

* Photo from Momentary Glimpse on Flickr

The Read/Write Web: RSS, Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasting

1/15/07 Update:

What are they? How can I use them in my Classroom?

Here’s the outline of my NYSAIS Professional Development Seminar for Tuesday. Any comments would be appreciated. Bring Blue SnowBall, Get Richardson: Blogs, Wikis and Podcasting. Review last blogging outline:

Goal of Day: Exposure to RSS, Blogs, Poscasting, Social Bookmarking and
Wikis. The ability for participants to take one of these and start using it in classes in the near future.

Quotes:

  • “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin
  • The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” — Alvin Toffler, futurist

9:30 – 10:00: Framing the day

Yarn exercise: How you link together in the real world

10:00 – 10:45: RSS: Reading 21st Century Style

Get a Bloglines Account. Search, Subscribe, Comment.

Other rss feed aggregators: NetVibes and Pageflakes

More about RSS:

10:45 – 11:00: Break

11:00 – 12:00: Blogging

Blogging Definition: Will Richardson and Others (see Examples below)

Why Blog? What is the difference between 21st Century Learning and 20th Century Learning? Dr. Lawrence Lessig’s “Read/Write Society” presentation at Wizards of OS4

Get an EduBlogs Account — What will you blog about? Linking. Categories. Trackback. Tabbed Browsing and Social Bookmarking.

Blogging Platforms:

Examples…

Educator Social Blogging

Blogging Resources:

12:00 – 1:00: Lunch

1:00 – 1:15: Globalism…

1:15 – 1:45: Podcasting

1:45 – 2:30 – Wikis

Review: Creating a Wiki and Wiki While You Work (Basic): Mark Wagner

Examples:

Possibly: 2:30 – 2:45: Bringing it all Together

Epic 2014

We need to model and teach using information in deep ways!

Quotes:

  • “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin
  • The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” — Alvin Toffler, futurist

Contact info.

Further Self Guided Learning: