Monday, June 27, 2005

Monday at NECC

This posting covers a FirstClass User Group meeting and the Annual ISTE SIGTC Forum with David Warlick as the featured speaker and a panel discusion of the use of handhelds in the classroom.

FirstClass User Group – Monday – 8:00 – 4:00 pm
 had attended a full day FirstClass user group meeting about a month ago in Denver, CO. I stopped by the user group meeting this morning to check in, ask a few questions, and listen to the presentation on RAD (Rapid Application Development).

In our district we adopted FirstClass about ten years ago as our Intranet or “in-house” communication system. It has been so well accepted that I could eliminate Internet Browsers from our teacher’s desktops before I could eliminate FirstClass.

We have over 1,200 staff members with accounts, and we expect everyone to check their mail at least twice per day. It is easy to set up groups by grade level, subject area, school building, etc. I can post a message to an individual, a few staff members, a “list” of teachers from a certain group, or a “conference” or discussion area.

I hope to implement RAD next year which will allow our teachers to register for workshops or send in tech support requests by sending in a FirstClass mail request and it will go directly into a database.

If your district is looking for a communication package to allow staff members to communicate with each other, keep personal and group calendars, register for staff development workshops, etc. take a look at FirstClass.

I stopped by the ISTE SIGTC Annual Membership Forum at 12:00 pm. I attended this last year in New Orleans and found it to be very informative. I was also able to make some good contacts with “techies” from around the country.

This year David Warlick (Visionary, Speaker, and Author) was the featured speaker. Below are some of the thoughts and comments I was able to capture during his presentation.

Telling a New Story… The Role of Technology Leadership in Changing the Educational Landscape
Played a video set in the year 2015 called EPIC2014 about the state of the news industry ten years from now.

Part of being a reader in the 21st Century is being able to prove the authenticity of a source.

We were always taught to believe what we read – now we have to question the information that is found via the Internet

Current “authentic” sources can’t always be trusted. Examples are “Rathergate” and paying a news reporter to favorably promote the “No Child Left Behind” law.

Book – The World is Flat by Tomas Freedman
The parts for the author’s Dell laptop came from all over the world. Our world is going global. He says the countries tied into this network will never go to war with each other.

UPS has about 2% of the worlds GNP in the back of a truck.

Google is now handling about 1 billion searches per day.

Last year of the 2.8 million science degrees about 1.2 million were earned by Asian students in Asian universities.

The Long Tail
If you graphed the number of products sold, the “long tail” is the products who don’t sell enough to be sold in a store, but now can be sold over the Internet.
Some music is being sold that wouldn’t ever be produced by a music lable.

Students need to be shown how to produce content, not just read content.


Will Richardson, top educational blogger – weblogg-ed – David Warlick reads his blog every day.

RSS feeds – designed for computer consumption – can use Bloglines to read the RSS feed.

David Warlick uses NewsFire to read RSS feeds. BTW – David is using a Mac running OS X for his presentation.

New York Times is publishing some of their content through RSS feeds. David simply dragged a “chicklet” from the New York Times to his NewsFire reader.

Teach42 Podcast – first educator to Podcast site for Teach42 – he has a catagory for RSS – David dragged the “chicklet” to his NewsFire reader to follow new RSS sites that are added to the list.

David Warlick’s Wiki is at and all the links from his presentation can be found there.

Even if there is no reason, nod your heads, gives me energy.

Landmarks RSS News Feeds Generator

Content (information) is become a conversation rather than a product.

Definition of being a reader must change. Defination of being a consumer must change.

“Classroom Blogging – A teacher’s Guide to the Blogssphere” was available 3 hours after he was done with it. If you purchase it, they print it and send it to you. If he finds an error he uploads the corrected version and he has the 2nd Edition just that quick.

Student loses points if they can’t prove something they used is true. Student should be able to ask the teacher to prove something is true.

The Flynn Effect
Our IQ rose 17 points between 1947 and 2001
It is genetic – why are we becoming smarter? It’s technology, games, gadgets

Pickmans or Pitmans (game) – kids can train them to do different things

In 2002 – Nintndo invested $140,000,000 in R&D, our government invested half as much.

Picture of David’s Son – iPod, XBox, headhphone talking to others that he collaborates with in Internet game, chatting on keyboard with others in the game, plus IM with other friends around time. We see technology, he sees it as information and communication.

Handheld Panel
Holding Hands: How to Use, Maintain and Mangae HHC in Schools

Elliot Solloway, Professor, U of Michigan
1:1 Works (handhelds or laptops)
Each child needs their own pencil
Not enough money to buy laptops for every child, much less support them
Buy handhelds and keyboards for them

Kathy Norris, Professor, U of North Texas
brings the teacher teacher perspective
If it doesn’t work for the teachers, students won’t see it
Start with your existing curriculum
Writing is an obvious place to start
In the old days thought teachers would program in BASIC to write own curriculum
success where principal is supportive and teachers are highly collaborative with each other.
ePaper & ePencil
Why couldn’t we sustain LOGO? Not a direct link to the curriculum
Handhelds can link directly to the curriculum

Dave Rafferty – Midwest Computing Solutions
Recently 3 years with Palm
Now on technical side
Streaming video, streaming audio is here now

Robin Ellis – Quakertown Community School District, Quakertown, PA
Pilot project at elementary level
Every child has a handheld
Size of the screen is an adult issue, not a child issue
Zire 75

Chris Chamuris – Pennridge School District, Perkasie, PA
Group of teachers came to him
Purchased small set for MS Science
Now 4 labs of 20 on a cart – shared model
Used as mini-laptops
Transfer using “documents to go”
Moved to elementary level – beginning the journey
Software for heart monitoring in physical education

Carol Teiteleman – Bucks County School District, Doylestown, PA
Working across the state of Pennsylvania
As the principal goes, so goes the school
Put them into the principals hands
Teachers asking for programs to do “such and such”
Roving sets that go from school to school
Seeing the need for 1:1 – then they will use them differently
That which will change the life of a child can be held in a hand ???
Quote by “Elliot Solloway”
Threshhold to using handhelds much lower

Moderator – Camilla Gagliolo, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, VA
Brought handhelds in where they could be used
Primary grades in classroom all day long
Writers workshop – daily – brainstorming and drafts
Use Inspiration for Palm or Mac
Use FreeWrite?
Started with the teachers and gave them the assessment tools, got them excited
Video of students – using Palms with keyboards
Student: Can use it in the room, don’t have to save and quit because someone else is coming in.

During the Q&A session I have my iPod capturing the discussion and will post the summary next week.

Go Observe – principals – Elliot
Principal may not carry laptop but may carry Palm – Dave

Keynote – 5:45 pm – David Weinberger

7:00 Opening Reception

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