Call for Collaboration

I just skimmed the May 2009 District Administration article “A Call for Collaboration” and was reminded of a group project I recently completed with some grad students from UW Stout. For the first time, in my online learning career, I have made an interpersonal connection to fellow students!  Typically, in a complete asynchronous environment this does not happen.  In a world of text, it is very hard to identify with people.  For my own personal learning journey, the best experiences come from a blend of synchronous and asynchronous tools.  With the rise of Web 2.0 tools… making that personal connection has become increasingly easier to accomplish!

If interested in learning more, you can check out our work on our group wiki OR see the summary of our project by clicking the voicethread below!  Enjoy!

Glogster – Poster yourself!

I have stumbled upon a VERY cool tool called Glogster!  The educational potential for this site web2.0 site tremendous! It allows students and teachers to build posters on virtually any topic!  YThese digital posters allow students to build and interact with videos, pictures, clipart, text, and sound.

I actually utilized it while developing the framework for a Podcasting class that I am thinking about developing online.  These are the following tools I will use throughout the course.

  • Createsurvey – for my pre/post survey (link)
  • – to have participants build the story or script
  • Elluminate Live to show participants how to use audacity and to check progress on their scripts
  • Glogster – to build the final story poster

I will tell you that I have spent oodles of time building this course and I would love to hear your feedback!  Check it out by clicking my Glogster Podcasting site!

You will need to have your screensize at minimum of 1024 x 728 and you will have to scroll down to view the entire page.  What do you think?  I cant tell you how many times I have seen students working on the old fashioned collages by clipping newspaper or magazine pictures out.  Think of how many trees will be saved by using this site AND how much funs students can have building them. They even have a Glogster education site that just recently opened!

Hack this school please

“These Kids Syndrome”–the tendency to explain away the shortcomings and failures of our education system by saying that “these kids can’t learn”; or “these kids don’t want to learn” or “these kids are just too far behind.” And after awhile, “these kids” become somebody else’s problem. And this teacher looked at me and said, “When I hear that term it drives me nuts. They’re not ‘these kids.’ They’re our kids. All of them.” (Obama, 2008)


While I was reading chapter 5 of Wikinomics (in one class) and learning about constructivism and  Blooms Taxonomy (in another class),  I stumbled upon  a conversation of a consortium in SE MN that is looking at developing a charter school due to declining enrollment.  One of the links that was included, to make the case, was a video of a charter school in Minnesota that is totally project based.   There are no schedules, there are no bells.  Students are completely in charge of their learning!  Their adviser (aka teacher) is a learning resource consultant and provides individual two way communication with the students vs the sage on the stage one way communication of the traditional industrial aged classroom.  The schools are governed by majority of teachers vs administrators and traditional school boards.

The classroom pedagogy as you and I know it, is completely thrown out the window.  The customers, the students, are also co-innovators and creators of their curriculum.   They are required to develop projects based on the standards of our state.  They learn about things that are meaningful to them.  They are creative and engaged with their learning environment because the work they have chosen is authentic and relative to their personal goals and aspirations.

I was excited to see this topic of discussion because I was able to merge two areas of my current studies into a very relavent problem we face in our schools.  Our traditional schools are losing students (and funding) to online schools, PSEO, open enrollment, home schooling, and dropouts…

Isnt it time we rethink the way we do school business and deliver education?
At what point will we no longer have a choice? – free concept mapping is a great freebie that allows its users to visually collaborate and/or organize projects.  Below is a quick concept map that I created for past workshop I have taught.  I am thinking of how I can move some of my sessions online.  Each objective should list specific course materials (readings, resources and rubrics), high quality discussions that embed critical thinking skills, and assignments/projects as evidence of the user's newly developed podcasting skills.  As you look at my map - what else should I add?  Maybe quality feedback from the student to the instructor and visa versa?

You should be able to zoom in and out and move the map around to read it better!

Mobipocket and Feedbooks

I always knew that the SMART Phone was a fabulous tool and could be extremely useful in the classroom – but today really takes the cake!  Feedbooks is a web2.0 resource that allows users to dowload free books!  But what made this site extremely powerful was downloading the books to my mobipocket reader! Mobipocket is like the iTunes for books on mobile devices! You can use the mobipocket store to purchase, download, and syncronize books to your smart phone.  However, when using both feedbooks and mobipocket,  I can now synchronize literary works such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, White Fang, or Hamlet onto my Palm Treo for FREE!  I also noted that mobipocket has free application called Mobipocket creator (home and pro) which enables users to create personal content like ebooks, photo albums, ect.. and then distribute via the SMART phone!  I think our teachers and students could be very creative when using tools like this in the classroom!  What do you think?

TIES 2008 – Exploring Google for Educators – My notes

Molly Schroeder, Edina Public Schools

Saturday, Dec 6 from 8:30 – 11:30

What a wealth of Google knowledge this Minnesota Google CERTIFIED teacher has!  I thought I had a pretty good knowledge of Google, but she took me a step further!  We played with:

My favorite resources was something called Google Lit Trips.  Basically the site teaches great literature by using Google Earth mapping out road trip stories from literary works.  Grades k-12!

Her agenda can be found here

Presentation Zen

I have decided to do a little reading this summer and picked up a book called Presentation Zen.  It is a fabulous read that describes how to take the PowerPoint presentation to the next level.   Imagery is extremely important and the author, Garr Reynolds, lists a couple of resources for some sites that offer free (and good quality) images.  I decided to share some of those links!  I hope to use some of the books resources and concepts in my digital imagery class I am teaching this summer during our academy.   Happy surfing!

Tag Galaxy – a new way to look at Flickr pictures

You have to check out Tag Galaxy a 3D Flickr image search engine!  First enter a tag, and a related galaxy will appear on your screen. Each planet contains the pictures of a certain tag, and when you click on them, the images are placed on a globe.  Your can rotate the orbe until a picture catches your eye.  Click the pictue and it will expand – click it again and it grows larger and will give reference to the Flickr site the picture comes from.  Sure, you can go to and search the traditional way – but exploring this way is just more fun!