The Day Before EdCamp


I had a really spectacular opportunity today.  When I read about EdCampWR, I knew that I’d like to come and join some friends from around the province.  So, I let my friend @Gill_Ville know that I was interested.  Her response was – of course you’re going to come down a day early and say hi to the Gill_Villeans – I had met them previously.  And why wouldn’t I?  It is a well connected classroom.

Then a little later, another friend from Essex County asked if I’d heard about EdCampWR.  We had a chat about me going and she wondered if she could do a little self-directed PD herself.  When she heard that I was going to Cambridge a day early, she wondered about the logistics of going herself and bringing home some ideas and inspiration.  Then she asked another friend and before you know it, @margsang and @debbdh and I were headed east on the 401.

We got a tour of the beautiful Ryerson Public School but things were better than that.  We had a chance to interact with the Gill_Villeans who would be part of the show tomorrow, showing off their work and efforts.  This was a planned event / dry run so that there would be no nerves when the place is filled with Ontario Educators.  In addition to us, various classes had a chance to come to the computers and see what would be on display on Saturday.  We saw some of the projects that had been so much of their educational lives.

THE ADVENTURES OF GILL THE GOLDFISH – RECORDED ON A WIKI

THE GILL_VILLEANS ON TWITTER

QUADBLOGGING

THE GILL_VILLEANS ON EDMODO

THE SPEAKING NOTES ON LINOIT

Prominently posted to go along with all of this work is a reminder of digital citizenship.  We were told that there is no one specific lesson on digital citizenship.  Instead concepts are introduced and reinforced with every online activity.  I really like that approach.

And, finally…lest you think the whole day is going to be about technology, even the best technology user needs a snack.  As part of their program, the group has done some baking and there are all kinds of good looking snacks waiting to be consumed tomorrow.

It’s going to be a great day tomorrow.

OTR Links 03/31/2012


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

ECOO2012 – Call for Proposals


The year is 2012 and we are well into the 21st century. How many times have you heard that you are a 21st Century teacher? Are you preparing your learners for the 21st century? It’s time to move beyond the term ‘teaching and learning in the 21st century’- we’re teaching and learning in the NOW Century!

With Spring arriving, ECOO has opened up its proposals database to you.  Our conference this year will be October 24th – 26th, 2012 at the Sheraton Parkway North Hotel in Richmond Hill. This call for presentations will close on April 23rd.

Start here: http://ecoo.org/conference2012/call-for-proposals/

 We’re hoping you’ll take the opportunity to share your experiences with your colleagues from around the province and indeed, the world. We are the showcase for innovation in Ontario and look forward to seeing the diversity of learning approaches involving technology that you can offer to the education community.

Sessions are typically one hour long (but we’re open to your ideas!) and you will have access to the internet and a projector (and a whiteboard if needed). We encourage you to be imaginative in content, process and product. We’re here to support you sharing your story with participants so let us know what you’re thinking.

One Lead Presenter will receive a day’s free registration; you can have as many co-presenters as required (for example, a panel or a class presentation). Vendors, of course, will need to arrange a booth in the coming months.  Information for vendors and the opening of registration will be available on our website http://www.ecoo.org soon.

For those of you experienced in presenting, why not consider bringing in a novice presenter to share and support? Developing multiple entry points is not just good practice in the classroom.

OTR Links 03/30/2012


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Videos Worth Sharing


If you’re fortunate enough to have access to YouTube in your school, you know that you’ve got access to many, many videos that can certainly engage, excite, and motivate the students in your class.  The biggest challenge is finding videos that are worthwhile and suitable for your specific purpose.  There are so many great resources but there are some that just don’t make it.

Finding these resources are easier with the advent of the YouTube Education Channel.  There is no doubt that there is a great deal of content there as I’ve written about earlier in this blog.  But, how about the really, really, really good stuff.  TEDx good.

Even looking through the TEDx resource looking for the best can be tedious.  Good tedious, to be sure, because you’ll see such great content.

Now, there’s another alternative.  TED has a TEDEducation channel on YouTube.

This channel provides access to some of the very best.  At present, there are five categories:  Awesome Nature, How Things Work, Playing with Language, Questions No One (Yet) Knows the Answer To, and Inventions That Shaped History.  In these categories, as they sit, you’ll see some of the very best educational videos of quality.

As with any video that you’ll find on YouTube, the related videos can be a terrific launching pad to more great content.

You won’t find at 22 second quickies here.  It’s the content that we’ve come accustomed to with TEDx videos but specially curated for education.  If you have access to YouTube, you need to take a good long look at what’s available.

OTR Links 03/29/2012


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Alltop Goes Mobile


Part of my morning reading routine takes me to my Alltop page.  It’s been a great source of resources, serendipity, and my primary RSS feed.

I started using Alltop like most people, I suspect, just wandering around and pulling in resources as they struck my fancy.

I was very excited when they introduced the concept of a MyAlltop page and jumped on it.  As I look now, that was way back in 2009.  It was a chance to put together a resource for reading and it did the job very nicely.  Since the day that I first created it, my Alltop page has been one of the starting tabs in my browser.  For the longest time, that’s where I did my reading.  Then, with the advent of Zite on the iPad, I wanted to access my resources from there.  Since Alltop is on the web, it was a snap to open the resource in a web browser.  Here’s today’s content from my Dolphin Browser.

 

Photo 2012-03-27 7 46 39 PM

 

This week, though, it became a great deal better.  Alltop released an iPad application.  I was all over it right away.

 

Photo 2012-03-27 7 45 47 PM

 

The content is the same but you’ll notice that it’s considerably more readable and uses the iPad screen real estate considerably better than in the browser.  Tapping on a story opens an introduction to the story and you have the option to head to the full story if you are so inclined.  As with any good news browser, of course you have the ability to share to Twitter, Facebook or Email.

You’re not limited to just your reading.  Bookmark your favourites or see what’s popular will just let you while away the hours reading the great content that’s posted to the web daily.

If you’ve never used Alltop before, I would encourage you to at least go to the web site and see the power of the site.  Once you’re convinced, the next logical step would be to get the application for your iPad and enjoy it there.