Items & Events
- The Michigan Association of Middle School Educators (MAMSE) Annual Conference will be held in Saginaw Township on March 12 & 13 at White Pine Middle School.
- The Ohio Middle School Association’s Annual Conference will be held at Kalahari February 19-20.
- The National Middle School Association’s Annual Conference will be November 5-7 in Indianapolis, IN. The theme will center around globalization and service learning.
- The Middle Level Essentials Conference will be held at the Red Rocks in Nevada April 23-34. Tell your high school colleagues about the special “conference in a conference” on ninth grade teams.
- A link to Will Ricardson’s featured presentation at NMSA ’08.
- The LEAGUE’s Knight Scholarship Competition:
The KNIGHT scholarship is a national scholarship competition where 3 students will receive $5,000 each for their writings or reflections on civic experiences in one of three categories: Persuasive Essay (building awareness and inviting action for change in your school, community or the world), Personal Narrative (experiences with service and volunteerism), or News Story (creating newspaper articles that reports acts of service and volunteerism by young people). The scholarship is open to high school seniors from all over the country, even students who are not part of a LEAGUE classroom can apply! The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (http://www.knightfoundation.org) promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities. Since 1954, the foundation has given more than $300 million in journalism grants. Applications will be posted at www.theleague.org beginning January 5th. Students must submit their applications before the March 6th deadline. For more details about The LEAGUE and the KNIGHT scholarship please visit www.theleague.org.
- Virtual Pioneers invite you to their website: www.virtualpioneeers.ning.com. VP conducts virtual social studies trips in Second Life.
- See the folks who attended NMSA08 this year and left a message on the virtual wall at SchoolTube! Videos are posted for you to either relive the experience or get a taste of the convention from the folks who attended.
- Recommended website: http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/ Thanks to Teresa for the recommendation on the website!
- New report posted on NMSA’s website: Middle Level is the Turning Point for College and Career Readiness.
Book Update! – Disrupting Class
Algebra on YouTube:
YouTube is perhaps best known for its cavalcade of homemade performances and TV clips, but many people like Nissim are turning to it for free tutoring in math, science and other complicated subjects.
Nissim typically scours the video-sharing Web site for clips of bands and comedy skits. But this time she wasn’t there to procrastinate on her homework. It turned out YouTube was also full of math videos. After watching a couple, the psychology major says, she finally understood trig equations and how to make graphs. (Khan clip)
Session I: A Web of Connections: Why the Read/Write Web Changes Everything (601)
Blogs Wikis, and Podcasts: Book related to this session. Will Richardson
http://willrichardson.wikispaces.com for the notes to this session and the links.
Provide feed back at the discussion space of the wiki.
Begin with stories about kids to contextualize.
1. Laura Stockman (Buffalo, NY)
25 Days to Make a Difference is her blog.
This turned into 10 months of making a difference.
All the conversations are monitored by Mom and Mom makes the posts.
This site is blocked at her school.
2. Sara’s Story
She texts over 600 messages a day.
The point: She has a learning network that is local. That is if we use the technology to make it learning.
We don’t let them blog.
We don’t let them text.
We don’t let them use the technology that they are already are using.
The web is now a Read/Write Web technology today.
The Big Shift is coming in access to this technology and how it is being used to engage students, either for good or evil.
Book: Here Comes Everybody: How Digital Networks Transform Our Ability to Gather and Cooperate by Sharkey
The Techtonic Shift: This changes the game, think Printing Press and its impact on Western Civ.
We cannot escape this group forming ability provided by the Web.
Will Richardson is an upset pubic school parent because his children are not being prepared for their future.
8,000 affinity groups within the Obama campaign which in essence is the platform of the campaign.
This gives the members power of choice within the groups and in the campaign and as a result empowerment. (Local control)
Kansas State Rep running for office:
Kid put up a post about needing a “group” and got an average of $8.19 per donation and a total of $90,000 for his campaign.
Newspapers aren’t going to survive in the current business model.
Christian Science Monitor is going web based totally.
surfthechannel (The TV guide to illegal content on the net.)
Can go to see all the tv channels of the world.
Pick your tv show and you can watch.
Based in Sweden. Different Laws Apply!
Businesses are about groups with common interests.
People read the posts about the product to make a decision on purchase.
Book: Wikinomics (The more you share, the more you get)
“For Mike” A social spot to grieve for a fallen friend.
Kids are going home to unfiltered worlds. Ironically we’re doing harm by not giving them the opportunity to fail.
Learning is changing.
His blog (as example).
Clustr-Web Traffic tracker
Each dot becomes someone in his group and someone he can learn from.
www.fanfiction.net Write a new chapter to the book that you really like.
Twilight. Harry Potter
Kids are going to be Googled during their lifetimes.
We need to teach them the best way to do this without exposing them to the damaging things of social networking.
Social networking is not inherently a bad thing.
Richardson wants his kids found on the net as a networking tool.
We’ve been Datelined to death on the dangers of the internet.
Clarence Fisher and his blog.
Teaches his kids how to blog and as a result increases their learning opportunities.
Learning is changing.
Text 46645 to text google to find the answer to a question.
Why are we asking kids to memorize information when they could use a device to find it more rapidly.
Joke: Give an open phone test!
Content is not scarce, it is ubiquitous.
MIT has every course online for you to take. (MITopencourseware)
Teach content evaluation skills and then turn them on to other content sources to learn and bring to the classroom.
Content is not static anymore.
Considers this the most important website on the the net at this time.
Content has been proven to be current, accurate, and dynamic.
Textbooks are not dynamic enough.
We need to teach in hypertext environments.
FLYP media.com www.flypmedia.com
Making our classrooms with “thin” walls.
Learning is a everywhere experience.
Yugma- tool for ?
Flat Classrooms project.
Teachers are everywhere, we need to help our students find them and identify.
Key advantage: Create a web page or blog and kids will use the experience to learn from their productions.
Willow Web (Radio WillowWeb)
Kids become invested in the learning. They do real work for real audiences and create real learning in the process.
Its not enough to just do a paper on it.
Challenge: What’s stopping you from doing this stuff in your own personal learning environments?
Think about this as building networks and not just a transfer of what we did on paper to now doing it on the web.
How are you going to build your Map?