Saturday, July 14, 2007

Thinking and Working

So I am working on my report since I have returned from my little trip. I have been thinking and reflecting about this experience and trying to catch up with all my reading and listening about NECC, which I missed. While jumping over to Will Richardson's blog to do some reading I happened upon a post that related to the One Laptop Per Child project, which you can download a Live CD of. Reading a comment from a gentleman from South Africa really hit home with me. He mentioned that there is a problem with the way this project is being implemented. That is the fact of the number of qualified teachers. How will this affect the project? In the States I think that we are still working on this ourselves. It definitely came up while I was in Uganda. Think about the numbers, 600 students in a school and 10 teachers. How would this influence the possible use of technology in a classroom, even if every student had a laptop.

Just thinking about where we are with technology in the States, and where we are going.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Starting the Talk

How do we start talking about Web 2.0 in our classrooms?

Will Richardson (
Will Richardson started with a journalism class. He found that it changed the nature of how he approached teaching in the classroom. He blogged that we are halfway there towards really using these tools. What we need now is better understand the pedagogy that goes along with the tools.

How open are we in terms of changing our own nature towards teaching and learning? How do we identify the barriers to adopting Web 2.0 tools, including our own?

David Warlick (2 Cents Worth)
David spoke about staff development. He mentioned that we have our online learning (Moodles, etc.), however professional development is now based in Web 2.0. I've felt this since I came on board Technology Services at BOCES #1 that my professional development has been online in the Web 2.0 format. My use of RSS has gained me more access to like minded individuals than I could at any conference.

Lynne Schrum
We need to know what are the good stories of using Web 2.0 tools in specific content areas. Each content area is taught differently. We need good models of use from those using the tools now.

Tim Manger
Talked about how we are at "the mothership" while at NECC and that we still need to return to our schools and districts to speak a language that administrators, teachers, students and the community around the school. Displaying the School2.0 map he encouraged the group to use this as an opportunity to start conversations around building greater communities of learners and not building the fastest, most secure networks within the school infrastructure.

This resonates with me so much. I have always felt that the school community (admin, teachers, students, parents, faculty and staff) is about serving the students. Keep that end in mind and we will succeed. I love his analogy of school being equivalent of diet & exercise... school is not "top of mind" for our students. While we preach that our children's job is school, we almost treat them as inmates or slaves to our curriculums and testing.

NOTE: The conference was blogged/podcasted by many attending. You can follow the conversation by searching Technorati with the following tags: necc2007 necc07 necc to read more about this particular session search for this tag: n07s702.

If you have a story of Web2.0 success you can send them to


Monday, June 25, 2007

Geo-trekking & Geocaching from Atlanta

Harrow there has been much interest inusing GPS in our area, so I decided to attend a session on Geotrekking and Geocaching with GPSr to build Integrated literacies. Tim Pelton gave a solid overview of GPS and Geocaching. He even mentioned a phrase they use to notify other cachers of Muggles (those that don't know of geocaching) that are about... "Where's Grandma?"

Geotrekking involves a collection of caches that has educational topics. ecologically, historical geographically or mathematically significant sites. It sounds as though setting up geotreks on a school campus would be an idea, but I'm not sure if that's ideal. Could this be something that turns into an homework/research assignment?

Imagine students researching the local environment through contacting the local government, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) , and hiking around the area where they might create a geotrek for fellow students or better yet, the entire community to learn about the environment. I think of students working through defining a problem, researching the possible causes of the problem and potential solutions and setting geocaches that highlight troubled areas, the possible causes and information about the potential solutions and how to get involved.

I'm glad that GPS was presented, however, I wonder where the educational ideas are available on the web. I'm wondering if you might add your ideas to our wiki site. Visit our wiki resource to share your ideas.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

NECC Opening

Just some thoughts on the opening of NECC 2007...

First, while I (Brian) enjoyed the keynote, I'm felt as though Andy Zolli was preaching to the choir. Okay, I know we don't know it all and he was entertaining (I chuckled more than a few times), but I wonder if his message would be better served at the ASCD conference.

Some points I did like from Andy's address were that all we will have left, as humans, will be our ability to create. He suggested that anything that could be done by a computer/machine will be and that more than we imagined will be done by computers/machines. This was sort of a humbling moment for all. Especially when we realize that we are cutting the creative programs from our schools.

I expect throughout the rest of NECC I will see signs of creativity through technology. In fact, last night at the Georgia Aquarium, many witnessed the emerging presence of virtual worlds, namely Second Life. This morning, I did a quick Flickr tag search for "necc07" and upturned Kathy Schrock's photos set of the Georgia Aquarium in Second Life. If you are wondering... I'm Tooka Mulligan in Second Life.

I will be trying to blog various sessions that I attend to help solidify my thoughts, but also try to inform those of you reading that are not here physically. By the way, this conference, I believe, will be blogged like no other before. Thanks to Steve Hargadon for posting tags and feeds for each session for bloggers to use in order to connect each other as well as make it easier to search for topics related to a particular session.

Now I'm off to the nearest coffee shop, which will probably end up a Starbucks. :)


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

ITS Town Meeting 6/9/2007

Our final ITS Town Meeting will be held Friday, June 8th at Technology Services at 11 Linden Park [Google Map]. We will be gathering at 8:30 AM in room A10. Our agenda is as follows:

Breakfast (8:30 AM)
- Coffee, Juice, Muffins and Conversation

General Business (8:45 AM)
- Where in the World Tadge O'Brien?
- Future meeting sites
- NYSCATE RFP [website]
- Summer Conference [website]
- Staff Development [see attachment]
- Mission Commanders Needed [see attachment]

- Collection of Lessons
- Review Process
- Suggestions for Improvement

Blackboard Learning Management System (9:30 AM)
- WebEX Demonstration
- Discussion

- Anna Gorbold (Barker Road MS - Pittsford) - Movie Maker & iPods
- Monroe #1 BOCES - Internet2 - Manhattan School of Music & East Irondequoit Jazz Ensemble

Additional Items...
- E-mail with any additional items or a Care-to-Share idea.