Facebook: Friend or Foe?

Facebook: Friend or Foe?
View more documents from Jason de Nys.

A presentation given to parents about Facebook. Privacy issues, dealing with inappropriate use and protective behaviours.


The presenter: Wes Fryer
The gist: find the information http://handouts.wesfryer.com/podcasting
his website

  • he uses radio wilow web- digital show and tell...can add and show notes eg hyperlinks writing is the most powerful form of writing...it connects my ideas and my writing...to media and the web...use music not just speaking
  • use a planning guide to help students and teachers go about creating a podcast and show much more than a podcast. http://mps.mpsomaha.org/willow/radio/podcastbooklet.pdf
  • he uses a online timer - for discussion Timeme.com/timer-stopwatch.htm
    attention grabber is clapping and clicking
  • podcasts improved literacy ...real audience eg parents, realtives etc and their peers
    difference between podcast and audio on the web...link on website says xml and itune
    ip tv...there is a convergence of computer, tv and phone..
    podcast are part of this convergence
    subscribe to podcasts use a podcatcher itune store you can subscribe
    search for wes fryer get his channels video podcasts
  • use audacity...free online editing..also need a lame file to make it work
    celebrate oklahoma voices.us project
  • digital backpack....what you need eg camera, recorder, headset, falshdrive, memory stick for camera
  • audacity uses different layers..import music and move around....envelope tool to reduce volume of section..none of us like hearing us ourselves...sit and watch your self or listen and this helps you improve....practise using the microphone at end expeort as WAV (larger) or mp3..quality bitrate eg 32 if music
  • open podcast in itunes add art work get info add a id3 tags and artwork
    http://millsmurfee.blogspot.com/ feed eg use gcast widget in a wiki
    http://www.gcast.com/u/wfryer/mothersday2009 eg
  • 3 sites let you eg drop.io record to web record to the web need to ring the site
    http://wiki.celebrateoklahoma.us/Home/resources/music-and-audio-resources free music
My summary: Podcasts are worth trying with students they make products creatively for "real" audiences.

Helping Students Manage Technology (or It WILL Manage Them)

The Presenters: Barry Lawrensen, Rachel Dewey - Teacher ITGS and Design Technology - Gyeonggi Suwon International School, Suwon, South Korea

The Gist:
Technology in multiple forms is ubiquitous to our modern lives. Is it possible to develop critical thinking skills when concentration is on the technology?
  • Some teachers prefer to check the laptops and smartphones at the door, while others are embracing the technology with 1:1 laptop programs and required participation in blogs and social networking.
  • The presenters met online a year ago just met face to face yesterday!!
  • 187% mobile phone connectivity in HK these students cant remember a time without technology....if schools spending $ on technology we need equal amount on training teachers as to how to use it.
  • Behaviour rules are same as for other classrooms and the school eg respect don’t have a list of rules eg you cant do this and that
  • It is important to talk about ..ethical use of technologyeg how to get around firewalls etc. use and show them a behaviour code for business and talk about consequences- eg if you are at work you can get sacked for unethical behaviour
  • Use students to teach the class....use twitter to chat in class no talking...use a wireless keyboards so can use them in the classroom
  • use msn...students can use mobile under the desk and send teachers the answers to questions quickly
  • they share ideas on google documents using their laptops
  • tell students they have 20 mins to present the information to teacher - how you do it is your choice- be creative
My thoughts: These teachers are using laptops in their classrooms in creative ways. It is important to teach appropriate behaviour when using collaborative teaching and online learning.

Forum: School 2.0

The Panel: Bill Hutchinson (Principal Hong Kong Sea School) , Karen Moffat (Bahrain), Michael Webber (CiSOS) Philippa Curtis (SIS)

The Question: Many schools would like to think they have transformed but on the surface they have students sitting in classrooms being told this by adults which they will be examined on later. What are the signs that a school is shifted to a school 2.0 model?

From the panel:

  • When the discussion is about learning, not technology
  • Audience: What does it look like, is it just the class, is it the teacher, is it both? Outside audiences?
  • Collaboration, tech people need to be involved, teachers need to be involved in discussion with administrators
  • Teachers immersed in the technology that kids use, but aware of the risks
  • Students educated in web literacy and safety, otherwise it is like sending them into a seedy part of town on a dark night
  • Collaboration: we are still behind closed doors in out little kingdoms, we need to be working on problem based learning and we don't singly have the skills, need to work together
  • High stakes environments already do this: military, medical, pilots
  • Rich environments: How does World of Warcraft compare with worksheets in engagement?!

Open to the floor
  • Good learning and collaboration can occur without technology
  • Not all students are digital natives, there is a range of skills, only 15% are digital innovators. Most do trivial stuff
  • Tools don't have innate educational value, we need to have it scaffolded for us and we need to scaffold for our colleagues and students.
  • Students are changing in the way they process information and learn.
  • Are they really? The research perhaps hasn't shown this.
  • Students have a much lower tolerance of boredom.
  • Younger teachers have grown up with tech, experience will be different for students in their classrooms
  • Google- workers work 4 days for the company and have 1 day for exploration of ideas. Why not trying this with teachers? Give flexible time for curriculum and change.
  • Chinese system schools, teachers have much more time to plan collaboratively, less face time
  • We don't give our kids the chance to do this because we don't do this ourselves
  • Schools can have a vision, but currently, teachers can choose to ignore this and do what they like
  • What about the fact that curriculum is geared towards getting kids through exams to enter Uni? 
  • Teaching kids to learn should be just as effective preparation for those kids to do exams
  • But for administrators, they do not want to risk a drop in exam marks
  • Canadian school has 5 people training teachers. That is a sign that they are school 2.0
  • Rapid personalised feedback will enhance learning, maybe technology an facilitate this.
Paradigm shift

Multi-platform Integration - A Case Study of RCHK

The Presenter:  Andrew Ip - Digital Service Manager - Renaissance College Hong Kong

The Gist:

  • PYP ---> IB founded in 2006
  • whole school is 1:1, at any on time 1000 notebooks in operation at the school
  • Primary notebooks are school owned
  • Secondary students own their own
  • Multi platform integration is not which computer/platform/OS, they are Mac and PC
    • Compatibility
    • Infrastructure
    • Security
    • Policy and practice, has to be supported by leadership, parents and teachers
  • Compatability
    • Cross platform networking
    • Digital literacy skill rather than 'which software', knowing about what is out there
    • Choosing the right tools for the school
    • Centralisation of software procurement
      • site license approach
    • Extensive research and testing of alternatives
      • word of mouth, Google, OpenSource
    • Migrate to web solutions
  • Infrastructure
    • Choosing the right directory service
    • LDAP as OpenDirectory
    • Mac Authentication
    • Windows authentication through scripting
    • SSO through LDAP with other systems like Moodle, Wordpress etc
  • Policy and Practice
    • Just in time technology
    • Closed membership system - host services inside school servers for security
    • Acceptable Use Policy
  • Security
    • Non-Admin accounts for students, they do not install software 
    • Parent-Admin accounts, parent backlash, their computers, so they were given back-door on understanding that inappropriate/ illegal software not installed.
    • Cloning (as much as possible), installs all software on computers on 15 minutes
    • Secret police? IT admin have backdoor to see exactly what students have been up to.
    • Have enterprise grade Firewall and spam filter
    • Talk to ISP - Global Firewall
    • Site-licensed Anti-virus Sophos
  • What next?
    • Sustainable online learning platform (iTunes U,Oracle Education, Adobe)
    • Google Apps, working on integration with LDEP so that new students receive Gmail address of school's choosing.
    • Other Learning Objects
    • Moodle or other LMS
  • Embrace Multiple Platform Learning Devices!
  • Training
    • Atomic learning
    • Special team in teachers/students training
    • Research Education Development - Digital Opportunity On Request  REDDOOR
      • Train teachers and students
    • Working with the likes of Apple, Adobe, Microsoft etc. to try to get some certifications for teachers.

My Thoughts:
New school has the "luxury" of starting from scratch with their systems. Most schools have time and money invested in existing hardware, software and services.
Very secure system but is it at the cost of flexibility?
Haven't created a separate LLT like Canadian International School

Central to Modern Crime is the Concept of Identity. Central to the Concept of Identity is technology.

The Presenter: 
Paul Jackson  (Chief Inspector of Police Computer Forensics & Training - Hong Kong Police)

The Gist: 

  • Youth and Cybercrime
  • Identity used to be simple. ou were who you were.
  • Youth have different identities based on context
  • The meaning of identity is blurring and police are having to adapt
  • Example: Run on Bank of East Asia late last year, triggered by text messsages and online, went viral and people turned up to withdraw their cash. How to find original sender?
  • Some people say, so what about Cybercrime? Doesn't hurt anyone... But what about online suicide pacts? What about online bullying prompting suicide?
  • Does the education system put enough into teaching ethics?
  • Finland shooting, guy posted video on Youtube before it saying that he was going to kill people.
  • Virtual worlds, great technology, but as with the real world, crimes can happen in the virtual worlds; vice, prostitution, drug dealing, pornography
  • Hidden communities. People living at home and never set foot outside the house. Order food online and are difficult to police
  • Most use is benign but we ave to be aware of the risks
  • HK Law
    • Access to a computer with criminal or dishonest content
    • Prohibition on publishing obscene material
  • Use 'Loitering' law to prosecute 'Upskirt' photos!
  • isafe Good educational material
  • Students don't seem to care about giving up their personal information
  • Example of a predator: Hong Kong paedophile would chat with kids on MS, engaged their trust by conversing, agreeing with their points of view. Gradually introduced talk of a sexual nature, drawing on the natural curiosity of the kids. Eventually suggested a physical meet and then abused them.
  • Parents too confident that they know what their children are up to. Children have alternate lives.
  • Loners without good friendships are those most likely to succumb
  • Kids have multiple identities on Facebook. One for the parents to see and one for their friends. 
When police in HK deal with an offence by a teenager
  • First step should be to examine the nature of the offence - an it be dealt with at a parent/school/social worker level?
  • Reporting as a crime is a serious atep as all reports treated seriously 
  • Minors get one chance, first offence they get a very stern warning
  • Second offence has to go through the courts

"The doer is merely a fiction added to the deed - the deed is everything"

My Thoughts:
Again it seems that we need to educate our students to be safe. How much emphasis are we giving this and where is it in our curriculum?
We should get this guy for careers talk to students. Cyber crime forensics is a growth area!

Keynote: Andrew Thompson: Education 3.0: A framework for Change in Teaching and Assessing 21st Century Skill

The Presenter: Andrew Thompson, Former minister of Learning, Saskatchewan, Canada, now educational advisor to CISCO
The Gist: 

  • Newspaper heading "Majority of pupils failing to master 3 Rs"
  • 20Th century education shaped by Ralph Tyler's Rationale
    • What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? (Defining appropriate learning objectives.)
    • How can learning experiences be selected which are likely to be useful in attaining these objectives? (Introducing useful learning experiences.)

    • How can learning experiences be organized for effective instruction? (Organizing experiences to maximize their effect.)
    • How can the effectiveness of learning experiences be evaluated? (Evaluating the process and revising the areas that were not effective.)
  • Rooted in the 20th century
  • How are we adapting it now?
    • Trying to spread education to all
    • Accountability - how to compare students and schools
  • There has a lot of progress. Primary school attendance about 80% globally
  • 21st century change
  • Fewer children being born in Asia, in 40 years this will impact economy, less cheap labour
  • Growth will need to come from higher skilled labour and technology
  • Teachers are going to be even more important in producing higher quality education
  • We will be 18 million teachers short by 2015! 
  • The new three Rs
    • Responsive Communities
    • Relevant to Students
    • Results Oriented
  • Responsiveness: Economic and social, what skills do they need as citizens?
  • Relevance: Formal --> Blended Formal?Informal. Anywhere anytime education
  • Results: Acquisition model --> Application model
  • The most important quality that employers are looking for are creativity and problem solving
  • "Online access to content is allowing us to be answer rich but question poor"
  • Web 1.0 - Information, Web 2.0 - Participation, Web 3.0 - Collaboration 
  • Virtualised communities is where we will be
  • Have to change classrooms to make them collaborative, interactive and engaging; need Intelligent systems for Energy management, Asset tracking, Building controls. Safety: messaging, signage surveillance.
  • Change: Assessment. TIMMS and PISA
  • Assessment 
    • It Matters, 
    • You cant improve what you cant measure 
    • Poorly done. Negatively impacts resource allocation, diverts attention and distracts teachers
  • Need to meet principles of coherence comprehensiveness and continuity
  • US exploring competency based assessment using e-portfolios and a comparative pairing approach. But who is the judge? Just teachers? Anyone with an edu email address?
  • Computer assisted assessment is getting cleverer, moving beyond multiple choice
  • Learner response systems (eg ActiVote) ideal for formative assessment 

  • Next century learning will have to:
    • Change systems
    • Change Practices
    • Change outcomes
  • It will all be in a collaborative outcome
  • How will we do it?

My Thoughts:
Daunting! So much change to come. We will need much more education for teachers. Heck, we will need more teachers. 
We need to get tertiary education systems onboard. So much assessment is driven by the need for an entry score.

What is an unconference?

Yesterday at lunch time we had the opportunity to take part in an unconference (wiki link). A web page was set up where anyone could post a topic. Other viewers could then click it to vote. Just before lunch the sessions with the most votes were allocated to rooms, we then grabbed our lunch and turned up for the discussion.

Some of the unconference sessions:

  • the nuts and bolts of 1:1
  • Facebook in the classroom. Is anyone doing it? Is it blocked at your school? Open discussion.
  • chat about google docs
  • "Birds of a Feather" for technology directors

I suggested the Facebook gathering so naturally I went along. Only one of the attendees was currently using Facebook with her class but she said that it was a great way to keep the information stream running to her students.
The consensus was that we should be using it because that is where the students are but that it would be necessary to make up another account to keep students out of our private lives. Nobody wants students to see them drinking alcohol or having candid conversations with real friends.

Forum: Clouds of Uncertainty

The Panel: Ray Schneider (Canadian School), Wes Fryer (Google certified  Teacher), Paul Chillingworth (Island school) , Andrew Turner (former communications minister in Saskatchewan, currently working at Cisco)  

The Question: Why are schools continuing to spend money on servers and disk space when Google will give a lot of it to you free?

  • Cloud based computing stores files 'in the cloud' on servers offsite. Can access it anywhere, eases collaboration, concerns about ownership and privacy.
  • Reliability? What if company goes bust? What if it is down for maintenance when you need the file?
  • How safe is it?
  • We need systems in place to get permission from students and parents if we are going to host students' work and likeness in the cloud
  • Perhaps teachers should be restricted in what cloud services they use for ease of training. Say for example everyone uses Wetpaint rather that some using PBwiki and some wikispaces. But then doesn't varying our tools increase teacher's and student's abilities to transfer skills?
My Thoughts:
The people with concerns tended to have an administrative role and to me seemed overly cautious. Most tecahers just want access to whatever tools are going to do the job best.
The vast majority of data created in school is totally innocuous, who cares about possible (but highly unlikely) security breaches in this case. Naturally we should keep sensitive financial and social data in the securest available place.

And introducing...

My good friend and colleague Feona Crawford will be adding her 2 cents to the blog as a guest poster at the conference. She will probably be more coherent than me because she can type faster. Feona is a fantastic Biology, Science, Psychology, and Mathematics teacher who has the good taste to hail from Adelaide. She is great fun to work with and in her words "...gets bored if things stay the same too long...". Feona has had an amazing career in education so far and is an inspiration to me. Good luck Feona.

Models for teaching teachers technology in Canadian International School Hong Kong

The Presenter: John D'Arcy (Canadian International School)

The Gist:
  • Learning and teaching technology department - 5 full-time member team teaching 130 teachers how to use technology in the classrooms (1750 students). They do NOT fix computers (there is a 5 person team of technicians), they do NOT teach kids
  • Trying to create a learning community in the school
  • They offer free basic parent training in day time and at night
  • Parents pay for extended training
  • Technology vision came out of SARS and a need to be able to support students better in the future. Had no space for labs or room for desktops around the room. Had to go 1:1.

  • Year 5 up is 1:1
  • Carts in years up to 4
  • Laptops owned by students / parents
  • Year 5 and 6 laptops stay at school. Students too small / young for responsibility
  •  100% Apple, same model to ease management and equity issues
  • 7 up take them home all the time, 7s and up have administrator rights.
  • Technology at CDNIS - implementation
    • "there is no rush"
    • pragmatic and compassionate (have expectations of teachers, they have to be on the journey)
    • curriculum and pedagogy
    • teachers and students first
  • www.xtranormal.com example of engaging tool
  • LTT Guiding Principles
    • Collaboration is a key, if one person wants to get something going, they have to work with their peers in faculty or year level
    • Diversity in tools, whatever works
  • Try to promote higher order thinking, using Blooms Revised Taxonomy and working towards curriculum outcomes 
  • Teachers must believe
  • Skills - Integration - Infusion. Stages of teacher tech use in schools. When teachers are achieving their curriculum goals using higher order thinking and when tech is no longer even a consideration we are at the infusion stage
  • Don't let the people who are negative about it have the biggest voice
  • ltt.cdnis.edu.hk repository of student work that teachers want to share
  • Students tag their comments with what thinking skills that they are using
  • Infobits: 15 min demos, Infobytes: After school or a half day, Infotubes: recorded information, vodcasts
  • Google docs for teacher feedback
  • Teacher accountability, teachers have a yearly 1:1 meeting with team to talk about what they are doing in class
  • If it is infused into the culture it will go beyond sustainability

My Thoughts:
A Mac is a beautiful thing.
The Canadian School have an absolutely amazing system! Very privileged.

Keynote: Robyn Treyvaud: Developing responsible ethical and resilient digizens

The Presenter: Robin Treyvaud
Her bookmarks on Delicious http://delicious.com/rtreyvaud

The Gist:
  • Online is a place, not a thing, to our students
  • Average young person has 94 contacts in phone, 78 people on messenger and 86 in his or her social network online
  • Technology has enabled kids to have more and closer relationships that ever before. Almost all students use tech to enhance face to face relationships.
  • Tech is normalised. It s part of their ives and they neither 'like' it or 'dislike' it
  • This generation is capable of self regulation when educated about risk.
  • Parents don't have the skills to keep up with what there kids are doing. Kids maintain their privacy.
  • Kids will always explore risky behaviour and some will do this online. We need to educate appropriately.
  • We cannot make the internet completely safe
  • Have to develop responsible and ethical digtal citizenship. e need to embed it into our current curricula
  •  Parent and child views of what is bad about the internet diverge
  • The internet is not the cause of problems, it is just a medium that amplifies what is already there. People with issues have a voice where they did not before.
  • Online victimisers are most often known to the victim, they are their 'friends'
  • Online bullying starts about year 2, pirating starts about year 4, middle school students experience 
  • Solution does not rely on technology but on sociology and anthropology
  •  Kids don't tell parents when they see pornography because don't want to get into trouble. Most have seen it by the age of 12.
  • Sexting: Children biggest producers of child pornography. Minors face criminal charges for passing on or receiving these messages. End up on a sex offenders register
  • Thats not cool http://www.thatsnotcool.com/
  • Students need to realise that everything that they post will be there forever. Students think that this is not so. These digital footprints are a character reference for the future.
  • Triple J Hack half hour : My Face. Good link to use with students
  • www.digizen.org cyberbullying resources with more video. Good stuff. Resonates with kids.
  • Need age appropriate codes of conduct. Need to find space in curriculum. 
  • digicitizen-wiki.com
  • www.cybersmart.gov.au

My Thoughts:
She had lots of great research to back her up, check out her Delicious links above.
Let students loose on the internet, but educate them.

Learning in and Beyond the Classroom: Mobile content and iPod Touches

The Presenter: Kathleen Ferenz

The Gist:
  • .
  • We all a big Macbook and an iPod Touch to play with! Yay!
  • How do  we leverage technology to address individual student needs?
  • Touch does not replace laptops
  • but it allows further mobility
  • Watched a video: kids using touches; looked natural, were collaborating, using it for text input, music making, in a variety of postures, all working on different things
  • 5th grade students don't need directions to use it
  • Video: Skip Johnson, principal at school in America. Audiobooks uploaded to their touches that they take home, they listen while they track the words in the book as an aid to literacy. Can look up words that they don't understand.
  •  http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/ free audiobooks
  • Need a "Gabillion" wireless access points
  • Hands on with the Touch, basic skills
  • Lots of traditional activities are replicated but helps with organisation, can't lose paper.
  • Video on the Touch: Show a video with a projector on the whiteboard and the kids can miss things. Put it on the Touch and they can watch in their own time.
  • Students can make vocabulary flash cards using inbuilt applications
  • Quote "This is the kid's thing"

My Thoughts:
  • Lots of implications for working with ESL
  • Engaging
  • Great as an adjunct to laptops

Student-Produced research skills video

The Presenter: Sharon Vipend and Richard Friedrichs
HS Librarian & Dept Head, Information Commons - HKIS 

The Gist:
  • Library changed name to "Information commons"
  • Focus on digital tools on-line books and references
  • Students need to take  a class called "Information technology ad Media"
  • Found that students not very skilled at research, especially with more traditional media
  • http://ourdigitalfuture.pbworks.com wiki used for course
  • Students reviewed communication technologies from the past as background. Students created pages researching the different communication technologies
  • Students were tasked to make a teaching video on research skills, content open.
  • 7 teams of students had mixed success
  • Students realised there own research skills shortfalls were not up to scratch when researching th eresearch skills video. Wasted time on process.
  • Coming out of that, all freshmen now have to attend seminars on research skills. Now front end loaded with explicit instruction of research and technical skills, followed by video production. 
  • Before, the take up of these skills was hit-and-miss depending on what teachers the students had had.
  • http://www.amazon.com/Still-Cheating-Dont-Get-Caught/dp/159643306X book regarding ethics, good for teaching about plagiarism.

My Thoughts:
Not revolutionary, evolutionary, but if it gets the students creating then it is a good thing in my book

Keynote: Bruce Dixon: Are you ready for this? Re-imagining the possibilities

The Presenter: Bruce Dixon
http://www.aalf.org/    Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation:  1:1 information
The Gist:
  • Lots of people think that when you get a laptop "we can get on with what we were doing" or "it will transform things" without knowing how that is going to come about
  • When and where and what and how we teach must change
  • Look up Levy and Murnane "How the demand for skills has changed"

  • Talked about the idea generation required to come up with new solutions.
  • What does transformation look like? What is your role in making it happen? Fundamental change or incremental improvement; the question isn't which is right, but rather why has there been so little discussion about the question?
  • Despite our technological advances he doesn't see that we have progressed much at all.
  • Students have ubiquitous computer use at home. School catching up.
  • In to many schools the technology emperor has had no clothes. Technology driven ideals, ill-defined expectations; trivialising teacher competence
  • 59% of kids spend less than 59 minutes in front of a computer at school (Australian stats from a couple of years ago) the model wasn't working.
  • Computers as a 'shared' resource gets in the way of learning
  • OLPC transforming education in developing world. Movement towards equity. 
  • Need personalised learning, computers should be able to provide if we can expand our pedagogical opportunities.
  • Text book publishers will be trying to dominate the space. Just a book on a screen with a few links thrown in. Need to rethink text books. What should they be?
  • Portugal giving laptops to every child and free broadband wireless access to every child!!!.
  • The only way to give students access to personalised learning is through 1:1. It doesn't matter if they have a computer at home if they don't have constant access at school
  • Laptops: 'an instrument whose music is ideas' 'an imagination machine'
  • Embrace accountability make it transparent; people will listen to teachers; not journalists and politicians
  • Technology is pedagogically inert. Whether it sustains, supplements or subverts is up to us.

My Thoughts:
Lots of work to do pedagogically. Really excited about the possibilities.
What is it we can do to allow students to create more cognitively complex work?

Welcome and Keynote

Well here I am at HKIS for the C21 Hong Kong Learning Conference HK. I'm at  the cocktail party and opening speech. There is a buzz! 500 participants from 17 countries and over 60 schools throughout Asia. The food is great and I am looking forward to seeing some great presentations.

Had a nice welcome from the principal.
Flat classroom project Sue Cofino and Julia Lindsay came out to tel us about it.
Talking about using Nings and wikis etc to "flatten" the classroom and get the learning the hands of the students.
"Erasism" new project to get rid of racism for students in grade 7/8. If you want to take part contact them online.

The Keynote Presenter: Wesley Fryer

The Gist: 
Create - Communicate Collaborate
-The 'Now' generation, steeped in technology. Used a Black Eyed Peas song to illustrate the idea.
-We aren't here to entertain..
-He mentioned the Obama speech to students the other day. Year 5 students made video blogs in response. Wes showed us one student's work. She paraphrased Obama saying "They made Twitter and Facebook 20 years ago" Just goes to show the perception of students. She ended up getting over 200k hits on her video uploaded to Youtube.
- Creating, Communicating and Collaborating much easier today
-We need to be bridges for our students, the digital divide. They can be bridges for us. People at the conference should be bridges for those who could't make it. Relationships are as important as ever.
- Not everyone needs to create a 'viral video' but we should all be creating.
- 1:1 learning is the future, a revolution
- How can we transform learning? Can't just replicate what we are already doing. Need to move on.
- Showed a video about a child with cancer who attends her school from home via Skype. Students interacting with the girl. She feels part of the class.
- Teachers are across the spectrum of technology use and ability. Wes saying that all teachers should become certified at creating with video. We need to learn the 'grammar'.
- Can now do things not dreamed possible in the near past.
- Media literacy is critical. Every single image we see is carefully crafted as a message. If we step into the creative space it opens up our mind to these things.
- Have to get past the 'accommodating' stage to the 'tranformative' stage with technology. Need to do more, bringing the technology doesn't bring the transformation. Need the pedagogy to change.
- Wes challenges us all to collaborate with one other classroom next semester.
-http://k12onlineconference.org "The K-12 Online Conference invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference is run by volunteers and open to everyone."  theme this year is "Bridging the Divide". Gives us all access to amazing presenters in video form. We can all engage with them.
- "Create" is at the top of Bloom's taxonomy
-http://storychasers.org/  Check it out! "Story Chasers Inc. is a nonprofit organization empowering learners to become digital witnesses, safely and constructively sharing their voices on the global stage of the Internet."

Find his slides

My Thoughts:
Great! Emphasised the fact that pedagogy is the key. Doesn't matter what technology you have. Have to advance beyond chalk and talk.

2 Games for fun and education

In my opinion the best educational games aren't those that actually set out to educate. So many 'educational' games are simply rote learning tools dressed up and although rote learning has its place, it is only fun for a while. Added to that is the fact that if you know a game is supposed to be educational, then that sucks the fun from it before you begin.
A couple of years ago I came across Bridgebuilder
by Chronic Logic. It was created in 2000 and gives you the opportunity to create 2D bridges to span a given gap, and then run a train across it to see if it is structurally sound. It starts off easy and then the levels increase in difficulty to become fiendishly tricky. The creator of Bridgebuilder has since left Chronic Logic and you can get an updated version from his new site. The total size of the game is only 239Kb so it is quick and easy to download and setup.
I have used Bridgebuilder with a senior science class to look at simple engineering principles such as trusses, arches and the importance of triangles. The physics engine in the game allows you to examine where the stress is distributed in your bridge and is great for illustrating the effects of compression and tension forces.
 I have also used it with a year 4/5 computer club as a problem solving exercise. It would be a great game for early finishers in a primary classroom.

Chronic Logic have since released sequels, Pontifex, Bridge Construction set (A.K.A Pontifex II) and Bridge it (essentially a remake of Bridge Construction set with glitzier graphics). All three are available to buy from their site, or you can download a demo. They will do educational pricing if you email them with your needs. The gameplay for these later versions is similar but the bridges are three dimensional and there are new materials to play with including suspension cables and hydraulics for the creation of draw-bridges so that you can make a greater variety of designs. They are brilliant and offer a more involved challenge but it is hard to beat free.
The second game that I feel compelled to recommend is Fantastic Contraption which is similarly themed in that there are levels of increasing difficulty, it is a physics based game, and triangles are king when it comes to stability.

The aim of the game is to move a box or ball from a starting area to a goal area. You have at your disposal two types of rod, self-powered wheels and unpowered wheels with which to move the box or ball. You can fling it with a catapult, build it into a car, send it on a conveyor ride, or pick it up with a crane. There are usually many ways to succeed in the task, and many more ways to fail.
The principles of gravity, pulleys, levers, force, friction and Newton's Laws can all be explored.
Again this is an excellent problem-solving exercise for all age groups. It is browser based so no need to install anything. For an extra US$10 you get access to a gazillion levels designed by the community. You can rate them for difficulty and quality. There is a companion site made by fans that helps to keep track of all of the extra levels. It has been bought by the Fantastic Contraption owners so should become integrated with the main site soon. It also has a wiki that has a page about the physics of the game so you could have your students explore the gravity constant in the FC 'universe'.
I spent waaaaay too much time playing this in during my recent holidays, give it a go.

Mixedink: Write democratically

By now, many people will have used wikis, blogs, Google Docs, Zoho or something similar to get their students collaborating on a task. They all enable multiple editors to work on a piece of writing, be it a poem, a practical report, a letter, a procedure or an essay.

Mixedink also allows people to collaborate but it differs in the execution and is aimed towards getting larger groups to work together.

Anyone can start a piece of work for any purpose. As with other services, invites are sent to potential collaborators. If for example you write a letter to the government of Japan complaining about whaling, collaborators can read and rate your work. They also have the option of writing their own version and while they do, paste in and modify the best bits from your letter. When they are happy with it they publish their version and then other collaborators can repeat the process until there are many versions, each rated by their peers. At the end of a period set by the organiser of the letter/article etc the version with the highest rating is the 'winner'. Below is a demo video:

Implications for teaching:
Collaboration in all forms is an essential skill and this service could be a great way to inspire and direct students to think about a given topic. The rating system encourages analysis of existing ideas and the drafting process encourages synthesis. One problem that many students have is in drawing on a number of secondary sources to create their own work. We have all had to mark a zillion cut-and-paste horrors. Plagiarism is something that can't be overcome without explicit teaching of how best to stitch together concepts and ideas. This tool has the potential to assist teachers and students to examine the process of writing a good piece that uses other's work ethically.

As with all work involving collaboration online, care would haveto be taken to set guidelines for students re: language, personal attacks etc. but this should be standard for all classrooms anyway. 

The rating system does have the potential to favour popular students and we don't necessarily want the physically attractive yet illiterate students to have their work rated highly. I would advocate having the students set up anonymous accounts that only the teacher knows the true name for. It is a shame that Mixedink hasn't prepared for educational users by allowing educators  to create class sets of numbered IDs like a couple of other web 2.0 services do. Maybe later.

Likewise there might be some hurt feelings for students whose work is rated lowly. This is something that students should be prepared to deal with and it is an opportunity for some real self-examination ie "did I work hard enough?", "how can I improve my writing?", "Why did Jenny's get rated so highly?"
Some ideas for use:
Interclass debates: Imagine if the main arguments for and against were assigned to whole classes or even year levels. An interesting way to see what arguments would hold the most weight with a large number of people
Writing an 'issue' letter: Write to government or a company to voice your discontent or otherwise about an issue.
Story writing: Set the class a character, problem, setting etc and let them create.
School newsletter: Crowdsource an article on any topic
Student council: Prepare submissions to the school executive about an issue of concern to students.

You get the idea!

What I'd like to see for educators:
1) The ability to create bulk logins for students.
2) As mentioned above, the rating system could become a popularity contest. I would like an alternative rating system that rates work according to an algorithm involving number of visitors, average time spent reading the article divided by length of article, number and amount of paragraphs copied etc.... but then, I am a maths teacher.