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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Opening Meeting Presentation

Well, opening meetings were over a month ago... I apologize that it's taken so long to get the materials online! Thanks so much for the positive feedback in the immediate wake of those crazy first few days. Our goal here was to create something that would potentially appeal to a large audience, from those of us who teach our youngest students to those working with our oldest. How do we prepare our students for the world as it is today? How do we engage them in meaningful conversations about technology and its impact? How do our classrooms reflect the world our kids live in?

We began with a look at some recent headlines, both positive and negative. Usually, when Sam and I do these presentations, some major study is released the day before we go live. Sometimes that's helpful, sometimes not. This time around, another negative story popped up in the media, citing a study that shows teens on social networks are more likely to use drugs and alcohol. Setting the correlation vs. causation debate aside, we chose to include it here because this is what our families are seeing in the media all the time, and part of what we do involves simply calming fears and reporting accurate information. Just a few weeks ago, before we talked to juniors (as part of experiential ed week) about their digital behavior, an AP/MTV poll was released about the use of slurs and derogatory statements online. Perfect timing in this case! We were able to take that data and question our students a little about it, probing for more of their insight while referring to poll numbers from people of a similar age.

Off track....sorry.

Here's a list of resources (via our outline) we either mentioned directly, or simply referred to in our presentation. Or maybe didn't get to. :) The Socrative experiment was a little wonky and hard to manage with so many people participating, but we gave it a good shot, and we appreciated your efforts. I've since used it again a little more effectively (had the whole quiz ready to go before hand, instead of insta-polling). I think it's a great tool and encourage you to try it out in your classroom.
  1. Intro
  2. Ripped from the Headlines.....
    1. The state of the digital world
      1. 7.5 hours (Kaiser study, CWA survey)
        1. What do you think?
        2. What do students think?
        3.  - LOTS of data here
        4. Pew study on Millenials
        5. Shift Happens V5 Iowa
      2. Baby’s First Text Message!
      3. Reinvent education as we know it
        1. “Simply put, we can’t keep preparing students for a world that doesn’t exist. We can’t keep ignoring the formidable cognitive skills they’re developing on their own. And above all, we must stop disparaging digital prowess just because some of us over 40 don’t happen to possess it. An institutional grudge match with the young can sabotage an entire culture” (Heffernan).
        2. How Do We Prepare Our Children for What’s Next?
    2. Common perceptions vs. reality
      1. You can “opt out” of the digital world (True/false via Socrative)
        1. Who has a digital footprint and what is it?
          1. Virtual Worlds...increasingly popular with ages 10 - 15
        2. Personas
        3. Have you googled yourself lately?
        4. “If you don’t like it, don’t use it. It’s that simple.” ORLY?
      2. Young people don’t care about privacy. (true/ false via Socrative)
        1. What are they doing?
        2. What do young people think?
      3. Kids understand technology better than I.  (true/false via Socrative)
        1. "Just because you can doesn’t mean you should"
        2. Opportunities for discussion
        3. Examples of common questions
        4. The Myth of the Digital Native

  1. Tasting Menu: You never know what you might like....
    1. Blogging and skyping and tweeting, oh my!
      1. Ethics4aDigitalWorld project  
        1. We are HUGE in the Ukraine (not really, but we're trying!)
      2. Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) - more detailed post to follow
      3. Be a lurker - just look, if you're not ready to participate yet
      4. Tweet! - it's not just vapid celebrity gossip, we promise
        1. go to Twitter and do a hashtag search (#edchat, #mathchat, #engchat, #science)
    2. Mockipedia
      1. What did we learn?
        1. That’s a lot of email!
        2. Facilitation vs. instruction: Learning to let students take the reins.
          1. The Black Panthers are way more interesting than the Reconstruction era.
      2. What did students learn?
        1. Negotiating conflict in the digital world.
        2. Accountability and resourcefulness
        3. Collaborative writing, the pros and cons.
        4. Ms. Harris gets a lot of email!
    3. Video your classroom?
      1. Edutopia: Video Games for Learning

    1. Interactions with Technology should be playful - Bud the Teacher
“By understanding how students may be positively using these networking technologies in their daily lives and where the as-yet-unrecognized educational opportunities are, we can help make schools even more relevant, connected and meaningful to kids."  Source: Science Daily -

“Social networking has increased the rate and quality of collaboration for students. They are better able to communicate meeting times or share information quickly, which can increase productivity and help them learn how to work well in groups.” (Source:

“there are countless educators who are finding ways to tap into the connective and learning power of social media while simultaneously having healthy, balanced personal and professional lives. In other words, you do not have to be superhuman to do this stuff. We find time for what we think is important…”

“...for the first time in history children are an authority on the most important innovation changing every institution in society.”

“We’re 15 years into something so paradigm-changing that we have not yet adjusted our institutions of learning, work, social life, and economic life to account for the massive change.”
Cathy N. Davidson via
H. Jackson Brown (and Krissy Venosdale) via

Finally, I think this one might be my favorite quote of the bunch:

“It's safe to say that most K-12 schools are not naturally inclined to try new approaches without clear evidence that those approaches are likely to work. That cautious nature is not necessarily a bad thing because embracing change simply for the sake of change is misguided and will undoubtedly steer schools off a productive course.

But that raises an important question: How do schools innovate to improve themselves when innovation, by its very nature, usually happens before evidence of effectiveness is available?”  Kevin Bushweller via

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