K12 Online - Interview with Susan van Gelder

I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Susan van Gelder this past summer at the Building Learning Communities conference in Boston. Susan is from Quebec. She maintains the ICT Leaders and Learners web site which is part of the Quebec English Schools Network. She interviewed me about the upcoming K12 Online conference ... I gave her a scoop ... listen for it. ;-)
Interview with Susan van Gelder (23 minutes 40 seconds)

Show Notes
K12 Online  
Will Richardson 
David Warlick 
Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach 
Wesley Fryer 
Bud Hunt 
Alan Levine 
Anne Davis 
Ewan McIntosh 
The Landmark Project 
The New Story Virtual Handouts 
Writing HTML 
Seize The Time! 
Jeff Utecht 
LAN Parties

Tags: ,

Three days left ....

and counting. ;-)

The deadline for submitting proposals for K12 Online is Saturday. If you or anyone you know was thinking of submitting something ... NOW would be a good time. Particularly in the Overcoming Obstacles strand. ;-)

You can submit your ideas here.

Tags: ,

This is a writely (recently acquired by Google) document. I created it back in March when we were working on last year's Coin Hunt. It's a list of clues (and some of their answers) that we used in the Coin Hunt.

My AP class is working on their second "Publish It!" assignment. I've suggested they use http://writley.com or http://thinkfree.com to collaborate and then use the "publish to blog" feature. I'm just testing it out myself. ;-)

class of 2004 - class of 1997

To how many decimal places does Kate Bush celebrate with us?

A triangle puzzle:
find the next line in the triangle then add up all the numbers in that line. (10)

The three digit number under the infinity symbol

Four years ago, Our Day was featured in "the everyday happenings of weebl and sometimes weebl's friend bob." How many π's are there? (http://www.weebl.jolt.co.uk/pie.htm) (16)

In what year were the first 100 digits of π first calculated? (1701 by Machin)

Which number is missing in the first 30 digits of pi's decimal expansion? (0)

Yasumasa Kanada at the University of Tokyo, in 1995, calculated π to how many decimal places (to the nearest billion)? (1241) - How long did it take him to do the calculation? (116 hours) = ?(1125)

Johann Heinrich Lambert (1728-1777) was the first to prove that the number π is an irrational number. In what year did he do this? (1768)

In 1897 the State House of Representatives of Indiana unanimously passed a bill setting pi equal to what value? (16/(sq.rt.3)) Were they right? (no)

K12 Online: Share the Wealth!

Wes posted where we stand as far as proposal submissions for K12 Online as of yesterday.

The excitement is building and there are lots of ways to keep up-to-date with what's going on. You can subscribe to the conference blog, you can follow what's happening across the blogosphere over at hitchhikr, technorati (here and here) or at bloglines.

Help make the conference a success by summitting a proposal (or three) for the conference. This really is a grass roots event. It's success depends on all of us. Your contribution will improve the education of all our children and colleagues. Can you think of a better way to spend your time?

Scribe Post Hall Of Fame Badges

ScribeBadge11I've just done some reorganizing of The Scribe Post Hall Of Fame Wiki. I've archived last year's Hall of Famers and have two inductees already for the new school year. I know there are some other teachers out there using scribes in their classes. I hope you'll tell them about the Hall Of Fame, add yourself as a contributor (including of an email link is optional) and start inducting each other's students into this year's Hall Of Fame.
ScribeBadge11Last year I had talked about designing a badge for the inductees. I've designed two different badges, available in two different sizes. I've already pasted one into one of my student's posts. Mind you, so many of them are doing such great work so early on in the semester, I expect to see a prolifferation of Hall Of Fame inductees.
The HTML code for the badges is on the wiki. Just copy and paste it in right at the begining of your student's Hall Of Fame worthy posts ... and feel free to add your own badge designs; the more the merrier. ;-)

Blogs as Assessment For Learning Tools

As I said in my recent podcast with Bud, I want to have my kids do less "handing in" and more "publishing." An idea I picked up from Will Richardson. Thursday was the first "Don't hand it in. Publish it!" assignment for my AP Calculus class.

Warning: There's math in this. ;-)
We're doing a lightning quick review of precalculus over the first two weeks of school. While all the material we're covering is familiar, we're covering it differently. There is a greater emphasis on multiple representations of functions (symbolic, graphical, numeric and verbal) and the use of technology (graphing calculators) to analyze and manipulate functions.

Thursday's class was a review of exponential functions. I handed out a "Lab" that invited students to find similarities and differences between linear and exponential functions and to identify key features of the exponential function. They worked in groups of four to answer six questions. There are 16 students in the class so there were four groups. They started with 15 minutes left in class; not enough time to complete the assignment. This was their homework assignment:

  • » Either face-to-face, on the telephone or online complete the six questions in your group.
  • » One member of the group will publish your solutions on the blog.
  • » When the other three groups have posted their solutions each student must leave one comment on each of the other group's published work. Your comment must say either that you agree with their solutions or not. If not, you must include what you think the correct answer is and why. This means that each published solution set will have a total of twelve comments.

In class on Friday I asked them to tell me, as a class, what they believed the correct answers were. I told them this little story I had read from A School Yard Blog a while back (it's worth reading the entire post called Ted ... really, follow that link):

There is a story of the new recruit at an engineering company, fresh out of college, who was given a circuit to analyze on his first day on the job. He worked on it for most of the day and then brought his solution to the manager who had assigned the task that morning. The recruit placed his solution on the desk and waited eagerly for a response. The manager looked at the paper and then filed it. The recruit lingered for awhile and then said, “Well was I right?”

The manager was shocked. He asked, “Why would I pay you to find answers that I already know?”

I did not offer an opinion about what was or was not correct. I also asked them to tell me how they knew if they were right or wrong. They had to decide if they were right or wrong and figure out how to tell the difference. I gave them a mark for each correct published solution. I also looked at each student's comment. As long as it either indicated agreement with the published work or disagreement with justification, they got a mark for each comment. So the entire assignment was out of 9 marks. Although they got more marks for the work done as a group, the real work began when they published their work and analyzed the work of their classmates in the comments. (Assessment As Learning.) I have never felt grading an assignment to be so irrelevent and the learning done to be so significant. How do you attach a numeric grade to this? I must, so I did.

One of the posts was published very late (the time stamp is 9:34, the time they started typing) so I gave them until midnight Friday to get their comments in.

Like I do for their wiki assignments, I grade their work using irows. In Firefox I have one tab open to the blog where I grade their posts. I am automatically emailed as comments come in. I keep one tab open to my email and another to the irows spreadsheet where I enter their grades on the fly.

Of the four groups, one did not publish anything and one student made no comments at all. As for the rest, judge for yourself. And if you're so disposed, let them know what you thought. ;-)

K12 Online Blog Goes Live

The K12 Online 2006 blog has just gone live. You will find the updated conference announcement there. Wesley Fryer has agreed to take on the role of convener for the Overcoming Obstacles strand. This rounds out the organizational team to four of us and Wes has already made significant contributions to the smooth running of the conference.

Wes designed the web form we will be using for the submission of proposals. Everyone is encouraged to submit a proposal. More details are on the conference blog: www.k12onlineconference.org. The blog will be updated regularly with everything you need to know about the conference. We'll also contine working on the site design over the next couple of days so you'll probably see regular changes to the look and feel of the site as we settle in.

Also, David Warlick and Alan Levine have graciously agreed to round out our list of keynote presenters. Alan is giving the keynote for the Basic/Advanced Training strand and David is kicking of the conference with a preconference keynote on how to get the most out of an online conference.

Lastly, you'll notice the new banner for the conference in the top right corner of our blogs. If you want one on your blog that links back to the conference blog (and who wouldn't?) here's the html code you can copy and paste into your blog template:

<a href="http://www.k12onlineconference.org/"><img src=" http://www.myaimistrue.com/k12badge.jpg" width=120 height=60 border=0></a>

If you want it centered, copy and paste this:

<center><a href="http://www.k12onlineconference.org/"><img src=" http://www.myaimistrue.com/k12badge.jpg" width=120 height=60 border=0></a></center>

Thank you to everyone who has proliferated the original post announcing the conference. There are so many of you it's difficult to thank you individually. Please continue to spread the word about K12 Online 2006 far and wide. We'd like to see hordes of teachers new to the blogosphere participating so tell your friends all about it ... and keep those proposals coming, there's still room for lots more in all four strands. ;-)

Tags: ,

Did you know? - The Winnipeg Remix

Having been away from the blog for the better part of the summer I came across Karl Fisch's Did you know? post last weekend. Like everyone else, I was completely blown away.

Karl put a very generous copyright on his work. On Monday and Tuesday I downloaded the powerpoint and mp3 files and started remixing Karl's work. Just a little bit. I took out reference to Karl's school, added a reference to mine and some Winnipeg and Canadian content.

On Wednesday we had an orientation day. Our first introduction to our students. I decided to wait another day before discussing the course outline. I showed them this movie ... the day my daughter Emilia started first grade:

We had a class discussion afterwards. Mostly, they were very quiet. I posted about it to their blogs and they have been reacting in the comments ever since. Just this morning I finally posted a link to the video. You can see it, and my student's reactions on their blogs: Pre-Cal 30S (Fall '06), Pre-Cal 40S (Fall '06) (this blog had a "bug." It was deleted and rebuilt. The 10 comments left by students beforehand were preserved and reposted as a single long comment by myself. Authour's names were preserved), AP Calculus AB (2006-2007).

I feel there are a number of lessons to be learned from Karl's presentation. The most important of which is: To be successful in the very near future will require that everyone become life long learners. What students should take from school is learning how to learn.

As you read my student's comments you'll note that they confuse "computational ability" with intelligence. Something I have to clear up with them. ;-)

On a technical note, I learned how to convert a powerpoint presenation into a movie while doing this. The steps I took on my mac:

  • »In PowerPoint, save as a movie.
  • »Open iMovie. Drag the PowerPoint movie into iMovie window. (It took about 15-20 minutes for this operation to complete.)
  • »Click on media. Drag the mp3 file into iMovie. (Loaded fairly quick.)
  • »Edited the movie to match the length of the mp3 file; cut "seconds" from individual slides. It seems that the movie gives a greater amount of time for each slide than was in the original PowerPoint file.
  • »Export as an mp4 file.

I wanted to share what I learned. It also occured to me that this might be a good way to create presentations for K12 Online 2006 -- create slides in PowerPower and use something like Audacity to create the mp3 file. We had hoped to have the conference blog up by this weekend. Right now it looks like we should have it operational by Monday or Tuesday -- no promises but we're working hard on it. We'll also make badges for your blog available at that time.

Tags: , , ,

Bud & I: The Back to School Edition

Bud and I got together on Friday September 1 to do what we hope will be the first in a series of podcasts for this new school year. We talked about how our use of blogs and other online social tools is evolving and what our plans are for the new school year -- it's our Back To School Podcast. We talked for about 45 minutes and had a good time bouncing ideas off each other. Give it a listen and add your ideas into the mix.

In this podcast I talk about my plans to begin using a new blogging service for my class blogs and my motivations for doing so. After talking with Bud I looked into the new updated Blogger (currently in beta). All my new blogs will be using Blogger Beta. Also, listen for a "special announcement" right at the end of our talk. ;-)

The Back To School Podcast (46.2 MB, 48 minutes 7 seconds)
[streamed audio]

Show Notes
Darren's new class blogs (Pre-Cal 30S (Fall '06), Pre-Cal 40S (Fall '06), AP Calculus AB 2006-07)

Darren's old class blogs (Pre-Cal 40S (Winter '06), Applied Math 40S, AP Calculus AB)

James Farmer


Richard's scribe post

Ewan McIntosh

Ewan's June workshop (I know I said July -- I made a mistake ;-) )



AP Calculus blog



Blogger beta (new)




www.educationbridges.net/elgg/ (Everyone makes mistakes, ;-) )

Dave Tosh

Bill Fitzgerald


Will Richardson

Building Learning Communities 2006


Clarence Fisher's post: network administrator

The Mentorship Project

Othello movie in Warcraft (Bud's student)


Rocky Mountain News

Pachelbel Canon - on guitar

You Tube

Marco Torres

Marco's keynote @ BLC 2006

The World is Flat

Students made this... (safe blogging guidelines)

Steve Lazar

K12 Online 2006


Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach


Bud's Blog

Darren's Blog

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. You can leave an audio comment or text by clicking below. ;-)

K12 Online 2006

Announcing the first annual "K12 Online 2006" convention for teachers, administrators and educators around the world interested in the use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice. This year's conference is scheduled to be held over two weeks, Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30- Nov. 3 with the theme "Unleashing the Potential." A call for proposals is below.

There will be four "conference strands"-- two each week. Two presentations will be published in each strand each day, Monday - Friday, so four new presentations will be available each day over the course of the two-weeks. Each presentation will be given in podcast or screencast format and released via the conference blog (coming real soon now; give it a day or two ;-) ) and archived for posterity.


Week 1
Strand A: A Week In The Classroom
These presentations will focus on the practical pedagogical uses of online social tools (Web 2.0) giving concrete examples of how teachers are using the tools in their classes. They will also show how teachers plan for using these tools in the delivery of their curricular objectives.

Strand B: Basic/Advanced Training (one of each per day)
Basic training is "how to" information on tool use in an educational setting, especially for newcomers.
Advanced training is for teachers who have already started using Web 2.0 tools in their classes and are looking for: (a) advanced technology training (eg. how to write your own blog template or hack existing ones), (b) new tools they can make use of in their classes, (c) teaching ideas on how to mash tools together to create "something new," (d) a pedagogical understanding of how technologies such as Weblogs, wikis, podcasts, social bookmarking sites, RSS feeds and others can deepen learning and increase student achievement, or (e) use of assessment tools to measure the effectiveness of Read/Write Web technologies in their personal practice and with their students.

Week 2
Strand A: Personal Professional Development
Tips, ideas and resources on how to orchestrate your own professional development online; the tools that support Professional Learning Environments (PLEs); how to create opportunities to bring these technologies to the larger school community; how to effectively incorporate the tools into your personal or professional practice; or how to create a supportive, reflective virtual professional community around school-based goals.

Strand B: Overcoming Obstacles
Tips, ideas and resources on how to deal with issues like: lack of access to tools/computers, filtering, parental/district concerns for online safety, and other IT concerns while trying to focus on best practice in the use of Web 2.0 tools.

For organization purposes, each strand is overseen by a conference convener who will assist and coordinate presenters in their strand. The first presentation in each strand will kick off with a keynote by a well known educator who has distinguished his/herself and is knowledgeable in the context of each topic. This year's conveners and keynote presenters are:

Convener: Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
Keynote: David Warlick

David Warlick is a 30 year educator, author, blogger, and Web 2.0 programmer. Since 1981, he has been using information and communication technologies to help people learn, young and old. When his school could not afford any software for it's computers, he taught himself to program and wrote award-winning instructional games, before computers could even display in color. His blog posting are read around the world, and his free online web tools are accessed millions of times a week. At heart, David Warlick is a teacher, with a contagious passion and enthusiasm for helping people discover a brand new world of teaching and learning. David blogs at http://2cents.davidwarlick.com and podcasts at http://connectlearning.davidwarlick.com.

A Week In The Classroom
Convener: Darren Kuropatwa
Keynote: Bud Hunt

Bud Hunt teaches high school language arts and journalism at Olde Columbine High School in Longmont, Colorado. He is a teacher-consultant with and the Tech Liaison for the Colorado State University Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, a group working to improve the teaching of writing in schools via regular and meaningful professional development. Bud is also the co-editor of the New Voices column of English Journal, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English. A consumer of copious amounts of New Media, Bud blogs and podcasts about his practice and larger educational issues at http://www.budtheteacher.com.

Basic/Advanced Training
Convener: Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
Keynote: Alan Levine

Alan Levine is the Director of Member & Technology Resources for the New Media Consortium (NMC, http://www.nmc.org/ ). Before this, he spent 14 years evangelizing technology for the Maricopa Community Colleges, where he first hoisted a web server back in 1993 on a Mac SE/30. While at Maricopa, Alan was a key contributor to significant efforts such as Ocotillo, a faculty-led initiative that promotes innovation and drives change, created the Maricopa Learning eXchange (MLX), a virtual warehouse of innovation that pioneered the use of RSS in syndicating learning object content, and developed Feed2JS, an open source software shared for allowing people to easily incorportate RSS content into web pages. Alan works from home in Phoenix, Arizona and publishes his work on CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/).

Personal Professional Development
Convener: Will Richardson
Keynote: Ewan McIntosh

Ewan McIntosh is an educational technologist and teacher of French and German. Based in the Edinburgh area of Scotland he frequently works around the UK and Europe, leading student and teacher workshops and conferences. He is an experienced workshop facilitator in the area of Web 2.0 technologies in education across stages and curricular areas. Ewan blogs at http://edu.blogs.com

Overcoming Obstacles
Convener: Wesley Fryer
Keynote: Anne Davis

Anne is known for seeing the educational possibilities in the use of weblogs with students in classrooms, having implemented wonderful ideas and weblog projects with students and teachers in K-12 classrooms and at the university level. She currently works at Georgia State University in the Instructional Technology Center in the College of Education as an Information Systems Training Specialist. Her weblog, EduBlog Insights is a co-winner of the Best Teacher Blog in the second international Edublog Awards, a web based event that recognizes the many diverse and imaginative ways in which weblogs are being used within education.

We'd like to invite you to submit a proposal to present at the conference. If you have something you'd like to share with the community, both people who are new to blogs and/or experienced bloggers please email the appropriate conference convener above with your ideas. The deadline to submit a proposal (just the proposal, not the finished product) is September 30, 2006. One of us will contact you to finalize the date of your presentation. Your presentation may be delivered in any web-based medium (including but not limited to...podcasts, PowerPoint files, blogs, websites, wikis, screencasts, etc.) and must be emailed to your assigned conference convener one week before it goes live, (see above strands) so that it can be uploaded to the server.

The conference organizers are:
Darren Kuropatwa

Darren Kuropatwa is currently Department Head of Mathematics at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is known internationally for his ability to weave the use of online social tools meaningfully and concretely into his pedagogical practice and for "child safe" blogging practices. He has more than 20 years experience in both formal and informal education and 13 years experience in team building and leadership training. Darren has been facilitating workshops for educators in groups of 4 to 300 for the last 10 years. Darren's professional blog is called A Difference (http://adifference.blogspot.com).

Sheryl Nusbaum-Beach

Sheryl is a technology/education consultant for the National Education Association (NEA), the Center for Teaching Quality, SRI International, the Virginia Community College System, the Virginia Department of Education, the Miami-Dade Public Schools, the Alabama Best Practices Center and adjunct instructor in the School of Education at The College of William and Mary. She has had several journal articles and book chapters published, been featured on public broadcasting television and radio shows, and is a regular presenter at local, state, and national conferences speaking on topics of homelessness, teacher leadership, virtual community building, and 21st Century learning initiatives. Sheryl blogs at 21st Century Collaborative (http://21stcenturylearning.typepad.com/blog/).

Will Richardson

Will Richardson is known internationally for his work with educators and students to understand and implement instructional technologies and, more specifically, the tools of the Read/Write Web into their schools, classrooms and communities. A public school educator for 22 years, Will's own Weblog (Weblogg-ed.com) is a primary resource for the creation and implementation of Weblog technologies on the K-12 level and is a leading voice for school reform in the context of the fundamental changes these new technologies are bringing to all aspects of life. Will is the critically acclaimed authour of the best-selling book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Tools for Classrooms (March 2006, Corwin Press).

Wesley Fryer

Wesley Fryer is an educator, author, digital storyteller and change agent. With respect to school change, he describes himself as a "catalyst for creative educational engagement." His blog, “Moving at the Speed of Creativity” was selected as the 2006 “Best Learning Theory Blog” by eSchoolnews and Discovery Education. He is the Director of Education Advocacy (PK-20) for AT&T in the state of Oklahoma.

Conference Tags: k12online, K12online06

If you have any questions about any part of this, email one of us:

  • Darren Kuropatwa: dkuropatwa {at} gmail {dot} com
  • Sheryl Nusbaum-Beach: snbeach {at} cox {dot} net
  • Will Richardson: weblogged {at} gmail {dot} com
  • Wesley Fryer: wesfryer {at} pobox {dot} com

Please duplicate this post and distribute it far and wide across the blogosphere. Feel free to republish it on your own blog (actually, we'd really like people to do that ;-) ) or link back to this post (published simultaneously on all our blogs).

Tags: ,