OTRK12: Ready to learn and share

The  On the Rise K12  conference is set to go for April 1/2 in Mississauga. There is an awesome lineup of workshops.  Check out the  Tuesday list  and the  Wednesday list.

Donna Fry  and I will be there presenting about the  OSSEMOOC project  and also sharing the learning by live streaming some of the sessions.  Video streams will be available  [here]  and/or   [here]   (you will need to sign up for a free account to watch).  Some audio streams will be available at  QueST Radio 1-14.

Watch the  #otrk12  twitter stream for ‘on the fly’ details of which sessions will be streamed.

Enjoy the learning.  Consider sharing your reflections by submitting an article to the  OSSEMOOC 30 days of learning  project.

OTRK12full

~Mark

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Focus on Beginners: What do you Need to Start Connecting?

OSSEMOOC

As we have travelled throughout the province this week, we have heard loud and clear that we need an easier entry point for our education leaders to start the connecting process.

Last Tuesday, connected leaders met to discuss how they became connected leaders – the catalyst that got them started.  Here are some of the things we learned.  Which of these do you need?  Which of these can you bring to a leader you know to help them connect?

1. TIME!  When can we possibly find the time to connect?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/76818399@N00/4536146692/

Educators are busy.  Nobody disputes that!  But could connecting actually make your life easier?  YES IT CAN!  You can pose a question on Twitter 24/7 and get an answer in minutes.  We have heard many stories with this theme.

Learn to make time.  Start with 15 minutes each day.  Some of us do “Tea and Twitter”,  some of us start…

View original post 441 more words

Free wifi, sort of

Travelling is always an interesting time.  For me, one of the perspectives I keep an eye on is technology use in other contexts.

Here in China, it seems that everyone has a cell phone, and some have smart phones.  It appears that at least basic connectivity is deemed an important need.  As a traveller of course you need to have an eagle eye  (or an internal beacon) for free wifi opportunities.  In conversation with tour guides,  I believe that the cellular network is massive and quite robust.  Three major telco’s dominant the market, and I will write more on this in a upcoming blog post.   Wifi, and make that free wifi, is not readily available like it is in North America.  Yes, hotel lobbies etc. but not necessarily in retail places.

I did come across a Starbucks in Beijing and HAD to check out the wifi. Of course, I have to admit to wanting a coffee too.  While the venue offered free wifi access, the actual process to get access is controlled.   In order to gain access, you must enter a mobile phone number and you are texted an access code.  This process is oriented to cellular devices, not so handy for wifi only devices.

ChinaSB

… you may prefer  the translated version:

ChinaSB_eng

This verification approach seems to be used by a variety to vendors.  So, no free wifi for my iPad on this attempt.  Watch for my next connectivity update.

~Mark

From the Wall

My most recent post is on the OSSEMOOC site.

Click  [here]  for an interesting perspective.

Thx  @fryed  for your assistance!

~Mark

The Power of AB squared

After hearing about this intriguing classroom collaboration project at  EdCampWR, I was delighted to meet with  elementary teacher  Alison Bullock  to learn more about this cross panel collaborative project with secondary teacher  Andrew Bieronski.

The  Learning Framework

The project framework is based on the new  Ontario social studies curriculum.  Alison’s grade 4 French immersion students will be partnered with Andrew’s grade 10 students.  The grade 10’s will be mentoring with grade four students as they progress through a summative project which requires students:

      • create a physical structure of a museum artifact
      • produce audio guided tours in both English and French
      • generate a QR code linking to the audio files and
      • share about learning process

The Collaborating

The grade 10 students will provide mentorship to the grade 4 students as they research, plan and write the scripts needed for the audio guided tour files.  Students will be collaborating through the WRDSB Google Apps for Educators  (GAFE) environment. The role of the grade 10 students will be related to their civics and English courses.

All students, in both grades,  will share about their experiences in this collaborative learning project through their blogs.   Blogging platforms may include Google, WordPress or Weebly. 

Bringing it all Together

As a conclusion to this learning process, the class museum will be created in the physical space in library, where  all students connect for a grand finale.  Projects will be displayed and the students of both classes involved will meet face to face. 

This project is just getting underway.  I look forward to following along this learning journey.

Note on the Title:  I thought is was interesting that the two teachers involved in this project have the same initials. Given their interest in technology enabled learning and passions for forward thinking, I thought the notion of  

formula

was quite appropriate 🙂

~Mark

On or Off Line: a Perspective

I happened to come across  Aviva’s  post yesterday, titled
online-offline-where-to-draw-the-line.  Aviva makes that point that “students need a safe place to make mistakes, and I don’t know that social media provides this safe place.”  Check out  the comments from some of the readers  [here].

We do live in interesting times for sure.  Perhaps this is all a lesson in media literacy (& life).   From my perspective,  there are a few important points in the mix.

In my view blogs are indeed a social media tool.  In today’s world, you DO have a voice through a variety of social media tools.  One’s actions in a social media environment have reach and impact.  This begs responsible and ethical use: do good, ask good questions, ‘poke’ at things in a respectful manner.   It is likely safe to say that not all real life experiences  will have these characteristics, and from this perspective,  Aviva’s blog post raises a great point when considering the learning environment.

blog

In response to Aviva’s post,  Doug Peterson wrote a great blog post this morning  called  Learning about Social Media  in which he  makes a strong case for using blogs as an excellent entry point into this world.  I certainly support Doug’s view that blogs are indeed an excellent starting point.  I also think that  the K12 educational experience needs to move beyond this.  Our  students live in a world where new online tools and platforms are ‘born’ all the time and having some appropriate experiences  in new arenas is also important.  I like the idea of gradual release of responsibility (age appropriate), and I am excited about the positive experiences I am seeing WRDSB students having within programs such as the Futures Forum Project (FFP).

I don’t think one can underestimate the power of positive role modelling.  Do you see this as an opportunity for educators? or perhaps a responsibility?  Either way, social media is here to stay.  Reach, impact, connections, relationship building and establishing trust are all important aspects of this digital world in which we live, and important areas to develop in young people.

Great topic.  Please weigh in.  I welcome your thoughts on this discussion.  Leave a comment or connect in some other way.

~Mark

Digital Citizenship Remix

Over the last few months, I have had the chance to participate in, listen to, and record a variety of discussions on digital citizenship.  In each case, the discussion was rich and though provoking.

On Monday March 3rd,  I am pulling 3 of these discussions together into a ‘remix’ for an internet radio broadcast  6:30 to 8:00  p.m.  EST.

Why not sit down after dinner with a warm cup of coffee or tea, relax and listen to the conversation.

Join the radio broadcast  [here] .

~Mark

QueST Radio 1-24C