Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday at Educon 2.0

This is being called an "unconference" and is planned to be a series of 'conversations.' The traditional professional development workshop involves one presenter (expert) and several attendees (learners). Apparently the "unconference" means that everyone is learning from everyone, and the goal is to stimulate thought and action through discussion.

Here are the sessions being offered:

Session 1 - Saturday
  • Influence without authority: Finding Common Ground to Frame Innovation and Change
  • The C.E.S. 10 Common Principles and the 2.0 School
  • Advisory: The Soul of School
  • Little Green Schoolhouse (or School 4.0)
  • SLA's Use of Moodle as a Classroom Tool
  • Professional Development Using Social Software
  • Meaningful Mentoring: The Individualized Learning Plan
  • Harness Visual Learning for Critical Thinking, Writing, Presenting and Thinking
Session 2 - Saturday
  • Personal Learning Networks and the Demands of Schooling
  • Claiming What We Imagine
  • Learning to Teach: First Year in a Progressive School
  • Tearing Down the Walls: Practicing What We Preach
  • Online Collaboration 101: Using Twitter and Skype
  • Promoting Open, Reflective Teaching and Learning in Elementary MST
  • Public Partnership: The Science Leadership Academy and The Franklin Institute
  • We're All Student Teachers
Session 3 - Saturday
  • What does good teaching with computers look like?
  • Extreme Makeover Edition: How to Pimp Your Library
  • New Media Literacies for the 21st Century
  • Knowledge in a One-Size-Fits-All Classroom
  • Building School 2.0--New Tools and Dewey's Dream
  • Authentic Learning
  • Engineering: The Constructivist Curriculum
  • Student Empowerment: Constitution High School's Government

Friday, January 25, 2008

Arrival at Educon

Pat Wagner, David Prinstein and I are here! Thanks to David 's Garmin, we arrived at the Educon 2.0 Conference here in Philadelphia just past noon. We will spend the afternoon visiting classrooms and meeting with teachers at Chris Lehman's Science Leadership Academy. Tomorrow, we attend workshops and then on Sunday we present.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

One Laptop

Do you remember the scene from "Cast Away" when Tom Hanks's character is frantically trying to create fire? Exhausted and desperate, he gamely scrapes two pieces of wood together, enduring blisters and cuts, hoping for a lone spark.

We've found our spark. Maybe.

Enter the Asus EEE Micro Notebook. From what I understand, this is a Linux-based machine, stripped down for Internet utility. Since our school is looking to move to the Web 2.0 world, this machine sounded promising to Jesse Spevack, one of our Team Leaders. He brought it to my attention a couple of weeks ago. We ordered one model, to "play" with.

It arrived on Friday. Our tech team gathered around in Jesse's room at the end of the day. Dan Ackerman (technology AP) keyed in the wireless codes and we were online.

In the palm of our hand, we held a $300 sparkplug with a 5-inch wide keyboard. Seeing the Internet on the scaled down monitor, holding the small-yet-sturdy machine in my hands, I felt like we were about to ignite our school. Maybe we'd found an affordable option to get us the 1-to-1 environment we needed to realize our School 2.0 vision.

We sent Jesse off for the weekend with the assignment to test the EEE. I'm hoping that it makes for a viable classroom tool. If so, we'll pilot with a couple of class sets, get teachers developing 2.0 classrooms and push our technology model.

Time will tell, but this Linux laptop might light our way.