T+L Conference 2009 – Day 3

educational Social networking

Steve Hargadon, Elluminate (CA)

Social networking is not just MySpace and Facebook, although they give a good idea of how popular the social networking envi- ronment can be. When the tools of social networking are applied in education, the results can be dramatically positive. We’ll look at social networking for teacher professional development, for classroom use, and as part of a growing trend toward Web 2.0 technologies that can create engaged learning environments. At- tendees will gain a better understanding of what social networks are, their pros and cons for use in and out of the classroom, and what practical experiences educators are having using them.

Social networking is a part of our lives.  It’s a major part of our children’s’ lives.  So we had better not just understand it, but find ways to use it within education.

Some interesting links to look at:

http://www.classroom20.com – a resource for teachers using social media

http://www.learncentral.org – social network education

http://www.elluminate.com – “Where bright ideas meet”

http://www.Educationalnetworking.com – this is a fairly exhaustive  list of social networks being used in education

A useful session, if only in the references in the links above.  More interesting still is the fact that social networking is such a big topic in education now.

What School Boards need to know: Planning for andusingdata Jill Abbott, SIF Association (DC), Ann Flynn, NSBA (VA)

Another session on data!

Once again, the focus is on having clear and identifiable reasons for collecting data. This may seem like an obvious one, but there’s an awful lot of data being collected out there that is simply ignored, and/or serves no purpose.

Success factors in data collection and use:

  • set a vision
  • begin with the end in mind, but be flexible
  • involve stakeholders
  • effective and frequent communication
  • data visibility – make it available

Interesting note taken from this one – someone mentioned that schools need to have “a culture of high expectations”.  Can we say that we have that in all of our schools today?

Engaging Parents’ Support for emerging technologies in the Classroom: key findings from Speak up 2008 Julie Evans, Project Tomorrow (CA)

Today’s school leaders face many new challenges in cre- ating 21st century learning environments including how to gain the support of parents for emerging technologies such as mobile devices, online learning and digital content. In this session we will feature data findings from Speak Up 2008 that reveal the different perspectives of parents, administrators and students about the use of these emerg- ing technologies in the classroom, and convene a panel of school and district administrators to share their ideas on how they are effectively engaging parental support to drive 21st century learning. Participants who attend this session will learn:

  • How parents, administrators and students value emerg- ing technologies for learning
  • Which emerging technologies are perceived as having the greatest potential to drive student achievement
  • How your school and district can more effectively de- velop and leverage parental support for 21st century learning environments

Speakup – this is such a useful tool that we need to get into our board.  Free and offering access to comparable data from across Canada and throughout the United States.  This should be a “no brainer”.

Anywhere Computing: enabling Scalable one-to- one with open Source Benoit St-André, Benoit des Ligneris, Revolution Linux (PQ) The roots behind one-to-one programs across the world are to enable universal access to technology in schools and leverage all the learning opportunities that technology can provide. While giving a laptop to every student seems to be the way to enable one-to-one, we think that giving access to the technology the mo- ment students need it using Open Source applications is a better way to enable one-to-one. We have seen many one-to-one projects started that were running in some classes, but that could never be scaled up to a whole school district. In this session, you will see how the concept of “Anywhere Computing” could help you to bring your one-to-one project to life by removing barriers that prevent access to technology. Come and see how you can give access to a universal platform using Open Source tools through various devices such as netbooks, thin clients and desktops, in your school district or at home. Come and see examples and visions of enabling scalable one-to-one according to school district realities using Open Source technologies.

Interesting to see these guys here in Denver.  They’re a Montreal based company, and they are having a big impact here.

Open source classroom management tools are way better than I had thought.  The ability for a teacher to see what is on any and/or every screen at any given moment? Well, that makes control a pretty sure thing.

They are doing amazing things with thin clients.  Easy to manage and easy to deploy.  Very neat stuff.


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