Sunday, August 29, 2010

Digital Story Telling

I have been interested in digital story telling for many reasons but the most important reason is because I believe it connects with students and increase their learning. Confucius had this to say way before the digital age:
I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand.
What better way to hear, see, and do than digital story telling?
Wikipedia - Digital Story Telling under Uses in Primary and Secondary Education: "Teachers can incorporate digital storytelling into their instruction for several reasons. Two reasons include 1) to incorporate multimedia into their curriculum and 2) Teachers can also introduce storytelling in combination with social networking in order to increase global participation, collaboration, and communication skills. Moreover, digital storytelling is a way to incorporate and teach the twenty-first century student the twenty-first century technology skills such as information literacy, visual literacy, global awareness, communication and technology literacy."

A recent tweet by @langwitches, Silvia Tolisano a teacher of teachers in my eyes, told about digital storytelling at Kauai Pacific School. My interest in the activity was rekindled after seeing what early school age children were doing with digital story telling. What an exciting tool to use with students as they begin to read and write. I challenge you to watch this video from and not see the immense value of digital story telling for children of any age.
Find more videos like this on Schools of the Future

For more information on digital story telling Silvia Tolisano slide show “Digital Story Telling – Tools for Educators on . She made this presentation at the Teacher2Teacher Conference in 2010. Silvia’s web site is .

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Digital Natives Restless

The following is a note I wrote to Kathleen McGeady, a primary school teacher from Geelong Australia, after reading the Digital Native story in The Age, an Australian newspaper.

Kathleen, not only are the digital natives restless, I believe the entire educational community is restless. Digital classrooms are essential for our students to receive the quality education necessary for them to be productive citizen when they become adults. There appears to be a ground swell movement going on with this issue. While governments and individual states are moving toward digital classrooms, the most effective advancements are coming from individual classroom teachers like yourself and your teaching buddy, Kelly Jordan. Other issues, I feel are equally important for our students to be productive citizens as adult are global awareness and civic/humanitarian responsibility for one another. From following your blogs and classroom activities the last few month, I have the feeling you would agree. A couple of activities/programs that have touched our elementary/primary students are Pennies for Peace and Read to Feed. Pennies for Peace is a program started by Greg Mortenson author of Three Cups of Tea. .

Read to Feed is sponsored by Heifer International, a long established global humanitarian effort.

Just sharing these two ideas with you and Kelly and offering the highest of praise to you two. As teachers, you are not only touching the lives of children but also modeling for educators throughout the world. Kathleen and Kelley, I wish you all the best as you finish out term III.

Read the Digital Natives are Restless story for yourself:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

for the love of learning: John Spencer on Accountability

for the love of learning: John Spencer on Accountability

SXSW Panel on Social Media

Social Media is playing an ever-changing role in our society today. Schools are no exception. Richard Byrne needs you help! He would like to have a panel discussion on the emerging role of social media in schools at 2011 SXSW. Read his post on Free Technology for Teachers and vote for the selection of this panel. Don’t delay vote today!

South by Southwest, commonly referred to as SXSW, is a huge technology, business, and entertainment conference held in Texas every March. This year, I submitted a proposal to host an education discussion panel. The panel is comprised of myself, Steven Anderson, Cory Plough, Mary Beth Hertz, Kyle Pace, and a moderator yet to be named. The panel discussion will focus on the emerging role of social media in schools. It could be a great opportunity to reach a non-education audience with our message of why schools need to embrace social media.In order for this panel to happen we need your votes. SXSW picks panels through a crowd-sourcing process. To vote please visit our proposal page and vote us up. You will need to register to vote. On behalf of Steven, Cory, Mary Beth, Kyle, and myself, thank you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

2010 Reform Syposium July 31- August 1, 2010

I just completed a fabulous weekend of educational technology by participating in The 2010 Reform Symposium. Where did this wonderful experience take place and at what cost? Let me share a little secret with you. Location: the comfort of my home, in my office with plenty of coffee at hand. Cost: $0.00 FREE. Impossible you say! Not so because of the following terrific, industrious people in my PLN: Shelly Terrell - @shellterrell, Chris Rogers - @MrROg3rs, Kelly Tenkely - @ktenkely, and Jason Bedell - @jasontbedell. They worked with Steve Hargadon and Elluminate who hosted the symposium/conference. A sampling of presentations titles: Identity Day – Revealing the Passion of Our Students, It’s Not the Tool, It’s How You Use It, Second Life in Education, Using Word Clouds to Integrate Reading and Writing, Creating a Personal Learning Network, Skype Around the World, Back-channeling in the classroom, Student Redefine School, Abolishing and Replacing Grading, and Who Needs Bricks and Mortar. These and many other presentations were delivered by close to 40 dynamic technology individuals for all over the world. Yes, I said the WORLD. Not only were the presenters from worldwide locations, fifty-seven countries were represented at the event. This experience was worth at least five years of professional staff development and all at no cost in the comfort of my office.This experience is still available to you. Why not get a global view of technology and great tips on tech programs and example of their uses. The archives for most session are available on the 2010 Reform Symposium web site. Don’t miss out and share this information with you friends. You will be a hero at your school, I promise.