Monday, May 25, 2009

Due Wednesday 5/27 - Tech Trends and Education

The following materials support our discussion of Technology Trends & Education. While there is no formal quiz over these RWLDs, they will prepare you for several topics that we'll be discussing in class. These can also be useful resources to support your extra credit blog or final presentation (ideas for improving the use of technology in your unit).

Read: Stumbling Blocks: Playing It Too Safe Online Will Make You Sorry

Watch: Hack the Debate, a short video (2 min) about how and Twitter teamed up to hack the presidential debates in 2008.

Read: It’s Not JACK in the Box, it’s RAVI!, a blog post by Bernie Dodge about how some fast food restaurants are using call centers to handle their drive-thru lanes.

Watch: Disrupting Class - a (2 min) video excerpt from Second Life about social learning (from North Carolina Virtual Public School -

Watch: Second Life with Autism, a short video (4 min) about how persons with autism are using Second Life. (FYI: the full Amanda Baggs video referenced is here.)

Download the 2-page PDF handout: 7 Things You Should Know About Virtual Worlds (from

Read: Listening to Themselves: Podcasting Takes Lessons Beyond the Classroom (from
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Due Tuesday 5/26 - Assistive Technologies

We will be reviewing the issues that students with disabilities must confront. As teachers, we are legally and morally obligated to provide our students with learning opportunities that best accommodate their needs.

IDEA (The Individual with Disabilities Education Act)
Introduction to the Individual with Disabilities Education Act. Please read through the whole page.

Universal Design for Learning
Explains the basis of UDL and how it will support learners in achieving their goals.

Assistive Technology: Enabling Dreams
From voice-activated software to customized laptops, technology can change the way disabled students communicate, learn, and play.

Assistive-Technology Tools: Keys to Learning for the Visually Impaired
A teacher at Boston Latin School demonstrates the latest devices for helping students who have visual impairment.

Aimee Mullins: Running on High-Tech Legs
In this TED archive video from 1998, paralympic sprinter Aimee Mullins talks about her record-setting career as a runner, and about the amazing carbon-fiber prosthetic legs (then a prototype) that helped her cross the finish line. (This a video of a presentation from TED Talks. We STRONGLY suggest that you visit to hear some of the greatest minds on the planet present their ideas and visions.)

AbilityNet GATE
Read the opening page and review the software solutions that are listed in the box on the left side of the page.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Due Friday 5/22 - Mobile and 1 to 1 Learning

This week we're going to explore some mobile technologies and 1:1 learning initiatives. During the lecture on March 25th, we're going to do some 1:1 activities so make sure you bring your laptop!

The first part of your RWLD is to listen to a webinar hosted by SIG 1:1 entitled Emergence of Ultramobiles in Education. It's about an hour long so allow yourself some time to view the whole webinar.

The next article discusses eleven ways to get the most out of a 1:1 laptop program. Eleven Tips for Better Laptop Learning by Jon Orech

Did you know that India is working on creating a laptop that costs $10? Here's an update on that project. A $10 Laptop? by Scott McLeod Make sure you visit the links off this blog and the comments at the end of this blog post for more information. This is very interesting!

Read about the Mission, Progress and People involved with the One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC) Make sure you watch the short video on the homepage of the OLPC site.

Due Thursday 5/21 - Digital Natives and Web 2.0

Today we will be exploring how the digital world has changed the world, the people and how we interact with one another. This week's assignment begins with an article by Marc Prensky about Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. This is followed by a group of videos to introduce you to blogs, wikis and twitter. There are a couple of podcasts that include interviews of educators about using new technologies in schools. Have fun!!!

Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.
This is the classic article about generation differences. Reflect how this applies to your life and your associates.

Blogs in Plain English
You have heard of blogs. Do you know what they are? This 3-minute video does a good job of describing blogs and blogging in plain, easy-to-understand, English.

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Blog in the Classroom
Here are the opinions of 10 high school students about why to use blogs in the classroom. It isn't educational theory, but it provides some personal insights of students.

Blogger: How to Start a Blog (YouTube Video)
A 2-minute video on how to create your Blogger blog and begin with your first posting.

Wikis in Plain English
Another plain English introduction to a technology tool. This 4-minute video describes how a wiki works.

Using Wikispaces in the Classroom (Podcast)
This is a 30-minute interview with Vicki Davis, a high school teacher in GA, and Adam Frey, the developer of

Twitter in Plain English (YouTube Video)
A 3-minute video explaining Twitter.

Shifting Our Schools Episode 9: How to Go Deeper in Student Learning. Why Go Deeper?
This is an exceptional podcast where Michael Lambert shares some of his instructional and assessment practices that take the learning deeper and make it more meaningful for his students. Mike will talk about making connections in the brain and making connections between other areas of study. You can read more about this in the podcast's "show notes."


Learning Styles of the Net Generation
9-minute video about how educators should address teaching today's students.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Due Wednesday 5/20 CyberCitizenry

Welcome to the RWLD's related to the topic of CyberCitizenry. The resources that I selected for you will take some time to complete (hear me out procrastinators ;-)). However, I feel that they are very important pieces to complement my lecture and great learning experience for all teachers and parents. It's very important that you watch both the "Growing Up Online" video and Personal Safety module at Each of these resources brings a very different perspective to the issue of CyberCitizenry.

But first, please take a few minutes to answer this anonymous survey. Responses will be aggregated to better understand the level of our participation (or absence) in cyberspace. We will look at the results during our lecture.

If you haven't yet, login and complete the Personal Safety module on the website.

Watch all 7 segments of the pbs feature “Growing Up Online”, and consider the questions below.

Questions to ponder after watching "Growing Up Online":
  • The program describes social networking sites as places where kids post pictures, accumulate friends, post messages to others and describe themselves. Social networking also allows young people to express themselves, experiment with different perspectives, and play with aspects of their identity. Do you think it would be possible to use social networking in the classroom to better facilitate students learning? Can you imagine an example to support your opinion?
  • Who should be responsible for teaching about cyber safety-- parents or school?
  • What is or should be a teachers’ role in students' online life?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Due Tuesday 5/19 - Diversity in Media and the Classroom

Read about challenges in defining Multicultural Education and also about the areas of social transformation.

Read about “Key Characteristics of a Multicultural Curriculum” by P.Gorski

Watch the video “Misconceptions; Do’s and Don’ts of a 1st Year Teacher” created by Mississippi State University students about racial stereotypes

Read short article “Transforming Myself to Transform My School: with the special attention to “Ten Critical and Self-critical Things I Can Do to Be a Better Multicultural Educator:

Analyze short “State of the village report” from 2005
originally created in 1992 by Donella H. Meadows

Additional resources:

How to Tell if You Are a Racist? Consider the questions, answer to yourself.

Uses and Gratifications model of the media (Blumler and Katz)

Video “Tellin' Stories” about program designed to increase parental involvement and student achievement in America's public schools.
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Due Monday 5/18 - Copyright, Fair Use & Creative Commons

This week's RWLDs will introduce you to the fundamental principles of copyright law, fair use of media, creative commons licensing and works that are in the public domain.

Read pages 1—6 of Copyright Basics (PDF) from the US Copyright Office (

Read Brief Notes: Copyright for Students (PDF) from the Iowa AEA Online web site. Bring a copy of this document to lecture (either printed or on your laptop).

Read 7 Things You Should Know About Creative Commons (PDF) from EDUCAUSE.

View the YouTube video A Fair(y) Use Tale.

Explore the interactive web site Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright (especially the section "Files on Record") from the Library of Congress.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Due Friday, 5/15 - Evaluating Media

This lecture reviews the important characteristics in educational media and how educators should approach reviewing, evaluating and implementing media. Whether the media is found on the Web, on a computer or on a television, most of the characteristics that the should be considered are the same.

This week's RWLDs includes information about the various types of computer-based instruction, evaluation strategies for software and websites, and a variety of issues you need to consider when identifying instructional media that you plan to use in your classroom.

Online Simulations: How They Work in the Classroom
How can digital simulations bring the real world into your classroom? See what a teacher has to say.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources

A checklist of items to consider when evaluating a website to be used as a source. It is filled with examples that support each point. Be sure to click on each of the links included.

ARCS Model of Motivational Design
A quick review of Keller's motivational design model. This will be discussed in class so you need to be familiar with this model.

Evaluating Educational Software for Children With LD: What Parents Need to Know
Quick overview of the elements that should be considered when reviewing software for special needs children. These considerations will apply to purchasing software for all types of children.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Due 5/14 Visual Literacy

Image: Creative commons: Ray eye

“Are you visually literate? Are your kids?”
Read the blog posting by Leslie Madsen Brooks and follow the links listed.

Color Matters
Visit the Color Matters website and read about color symbolism in different cultures. Browse the website to learn more about the significance of colors in our lives.

Basic Principles of Visual Design
There are four basic concepts of visual design, Contrast, Alignment, Repetition and Proximity (CARP). Understanding the principles and being able to name them will greatly enhance your visual literacy.

Supplementary Resources:

Color Resources
Visual literacy – ideas and resources for young learners

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Due 5/13 - Organizational Tools

The Key Learning Community: Cultivating Multiple Intelligences - Video (9:00)
Describes how a K-12 school addresses students needs by addressing their multiple intelligences by providing exploration and development opportunities.

Concept Mapping: How to Start Your Term Paper Research - Video (3:55)
Video on how to create a concept map to organize a paper.

Kidspiration - Video (6:14)
Introductory tutorial on how to use Kidspiration.

Kidspiration Math View - Video (4:12)
Select the Math View link under the "How to Use" title.

Social Bookmarking in Plain English - Video (3:25)
Simple intro to social bookmarking and using This video is more conceptual than instructional. Good overview.

Google Docs in Plain English - Video (2:50)
Simple intro to using Google Docs. It provides an overview of the Google Docs process.

Google Docs Forms Tutorial - Video (4:41)
Learn to create online forms using Google Spreadsheet.

Wikiwall: Natural Concept Mapping - Video (4:17)
Demo of touch screen concept mapping software. It's not Inspiration but it's an interesting format that uses some of the same technology interface as the iPhone.


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