Wednesday, August 8, 2012

NWOET Conference Blog

Getting ready to hear Eric Sheninger give the keynote @NMHS_Principal

It is the few schools that think about re-inventing themselves that will make it in the 21st Century.

We know we are doing great things.  It is about creating a level of transparency that communicates our actions to our stakeholders.

Education is changing - The Characteristics of a 21st Century Education


Students are growing up in a world where designing, communicating, and collaborating take place all the time outside of the schoolhouse walls. (The question is how do we leverage this reality inside the schoolhouse walls).


Until 2009, Eric's school was closed devices in the name of attention and the removal of distraction.

Social media is so much more than Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  Anything that engages people in conversation is a web 2.0 social media tool.


@NMHS_Principal showed us the Conversation Prism: #nwoet #nwoet12 (Re-tweeted from Michael Roush @mdroush)


Viewing the Social Media Revolution Video

Education is so much more than bubbling in answers on a standardized test.  Outside of school we see lots of examples of creativity.

Social Media is a multi-dimensional educational tool

The Six Pillars of Social Media
Public RElations
Professional Growth
Student Engagement


When you model social media as a professional tool, this is how your parents, students, and teachers will treat it.  When you lock down your social media, it is just like a locked down static website.

We need to meet our stakeholders where they are, which is in the social media arena.

New Milford has a YouTube channel and Streams live events on UStream (including last year's graduation).

They also reguarly use flicker and blogs to communicate stories

Eric's blog:

When you see brands, feelings come to mind, both positive and negative.  We want positive thoughts we people see and think about our schools.  We need to be purposeful in the messages we craft for our stakeholders.

9:47 - 60 plus principals who share strategies to boost achievement, cut bullying, increase engagement, etc.

In education we treat phones like a technological problem rather than a discipline problem.  If students are texting in class, it in NO DIFFERENT than passing a note.  If these things are happening, the student if probably bored and the lesson is most likely not very engaging.  We need to rethink how we leverage the free tools that students are bringing with them on a daily basis to school.

BYOD works because students are treated like adults and are taught about appropriate uses.  The students feel respected and are learning that their devices can be used for so much more than just texting or playing games.


We shouldn't be focused on finding new ideas.  Everything is already out there.  We need to focus on collaboration and creativity.  We need to take ideas and tweak them in order to fit the context that we exist in.

Anywhere, Anytime Learning - Breakout session lead by Eric Sheninger

Problems with traditional professional development - If it is not relevant, if it does not create connections, and if it lacks passion, it will most likely fall short.  In addition, professional development most often focuses on what worked in the past and what could be applicable in the present.

Successful professional development must give a nod to the future, be engaging, and provide opportunities to apply knowledge.

An alternative to traditional professional development is to create a Personal Learning Network.

PLN's allow us to devote our time and resources to learn about tools that will help us transform education.


Twitter allows you to mine the internet and distribute the best collective thinking to those you interact with.

PLN's allow us to get out from behind the walls of the classroom and connect with ideas that we are passionate about.  It allows us to connect with others who we would not otherwise see.  The literacy is then about how you create these personal learning networks.

Website with Eric's presentation information:
NOTE: This site is the one stop shop for accessing tools to create or augment a personal learning network.

Essential PLN Tools (The key is to determine what works for you)
Twitter, Blogs, Google+, Social Bookmarking, RSS Readers, Digital Discussion Forums

Eric's Delicious Page


Attending a presentation on Google Apps for Education.  Presentation and tools can be found here:

A new addition is the research tool that is now embedded in Google Docs.  This allows for instant citations.

A wealth of resources on twitter (guides, hashtags, videos).

Eric is super open to sharing so the wheel does not need to be reinvented.

The twitter backchannels for the conference can be found at #NWOET and #NWOET12

Specific tweets that are a companion to this liveblog can be found @scarletandgray


21st Century Collaboration Tools - Presenter David Harms

The key to flipping a classroom is to start small and then build upon successes.

When students are actively engaged with their learning, it aides with knowledge encoding and makes learning relevant.

In order to ensure that students take care of the flipped part of the homework (usually whatever they had to watch and respond to), design in class experiences that reward the completion of the outside work.  For example, students who watch the video lecture and take

PBL collaboration tools - Email them to get the full version for free

Songify - Allows students to create songs with classroom content.


Presentation will be archived on Slidesorter

BYOD in the Classroom

Watching two high school students present on their experience with BYOD - Report no thefts of devices during the first year of the whole school rollout.

Apps that they shared:

Adobe Reader
Geoboard - Rubber band creator (sounds corny but it is a great creativity enhancer)
Nova Elements - All about the periodic table.  Lots of content (including videos) as well as eye candy
Google Translate - An essential tool for districts that serve multilingual populations and are short on interpreters.
Scientific Graphing Calculator

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