Monday, September 28, 2015

Have You Seen the Taxonomy of Global Connection?

In their 2012 book, Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time, Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis created a Taxonomy of Global Connection that shows a hierarchy of 5 different levels of online interaction.  It begins with connecting students in a class using Web 2.0 tools and ends with students managing their own global connections with other learners across the world. 

The interesting part of this hierarchy is that it isn't just about the technology.  It has multiple strands of complexity:

  • Geographic Location: This strand begins within the classroom and then extends into the school/district and finally traverses the globe.
  • Project Management: The second strand involves who is in control of the interactions.  The bottom two levels are local interactions controlled by the classroom teacher.  The middle level involves an online global collaborative experience that is managed by an external educator or group of educators.  The top two levels involve student-to-student connections in an effort to achieve agreed upon goals.  Level 4 is managed by teachers who manage, facilitate and monitor the project as well as managing the timeline.  Level 5 uses teachers as facilitators but the students are actually running this peer-to-peer project.
This is a fascinating way to look at global learning.  How does it fit your collaborative projects or your idea of how global collaborative projects should be organized?


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Iowa Education Hashtags

How do we contact the educators in Iowa?
  • We could email them, but we would need all of their email addresses.
  • We could send them post cards, but that is costly.
  • We could text them, but we would have to know their phone numbers.
  • We could tweet them, but then we they would all have to be following our twitter persona (i.e., @zeitz)

They would hear our short but important messages if they were following Iowa-Specific Twitter Hashtags.

It's easy, it's quick and it segments specific sectors of people . . . It's PERFECT!!!

The other day I was trying to find Iowa Education specific hashtags when I realized that I didn't have to do this alone. There are thousands of Twitter-using educators in Iowa who could help me.

I created a Google Doc (editable by anyone with the link), Iowa Education Hashtags.  I then created a tweet asking colleagues to help me create this collection of hashtags. I tweeted it a couple of times and the content began to grow.

Presently, the list looks like the one that is below, but it is growing.  Please visit it, Iowa Education Hashtags, and add any that Iowa-specific Education Hashtags that you might know.  Please include your name and the URL of a website that might be linked to the hashtag.



Here is a snapshot of the Hashtags on the Iowa Education Hashtags site.  Take a look to see what the updated list includes:

Similar Job Types

#IowaTL - Iowa Association of School Librarians (
#IACoPI - Iowa Communities of Practice on Blended Learning
#Iowa1to1 - 1:1 in Iowa
#iaedldr - Iowa Administrators
#ialegis - Iowa Legislature - @jasonellingson

Iowa Specific Topics

#IAEDFuture - Future Plans describing ideas after the Iowa Education Summit
#iowacore - Iowa Core Standards
#iowaaiw - Authentic Intellectual Work - @jasonellingson
#iacomped - Iowa Competency-Based Education - @jasonellingson
#iaedreform - Iowa Ed Reform - @jasonellingson
#NoBullyIA - used before/after the bullying summit - @jasonellingson
#SBAC - SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium - @jasonellingson
#iastem - Iowa’s STEM initiative - @jasonellingson
#iowa1to1 - 1:1 schools in Iowa
#iowatl - Iowa teacher-librarians - i.e. @scsdmedia

AEA Hashtags

#gpaea - Great Prairie AEA - @sethdenney
#gwaea - Grant Wood AEA - @sethdenney
#plaea - Prairie Lakes AEA - @jasonellingson
#nwaea - NW AEA
#aeatech - Iowa AEA instructional technology consultants - @sethdenney

Specific Schools/Districts

#BCLUW - BCLUW school district
#VanMeter - Van Meter School District
#2020HowardWinn - Howard Winneshiek School District
#Westmonona - West Monona school district -@techytweecher

#soloncsd - Solon Community Schools
#newellfonda--Newell-Fonda School District

Iowa Technology Organizations

#itec - Iowa Technology and Education Connection - @sethdenney  (

ALERT:  Here is a GREAT schedule of Education TweetChats across the country.  
It is created by CyberMan.  He is an AMAZING educators who has catalogued everything.  

Can you add any hashtags?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Benefits of Blogging in the Elementary Classroom

This is a wonderful 4-minute video by Linda Yollis and her 2nd/3rd grade students provides a realistic examination of how blogging in your classroom can turn writing projects into communication projects.   

Mrs. Yollis shares how she has used it to change how she is teaching and her students share what they are learning.  I especially like how the students talk about how they rate their comments on other people's postings.  They rate them using 1 or 2.  The 1 comment responds to the posting but the 2 comment asks questions and continue with the discussion.

I know that I will be using this in my Using Digital and Social Media class.  What about you?  Is it benefiting your blog use?


Please respond with a 2-type comment below.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Opening Day for Educators at the Iowa Lakes Community College

I have the privilege sharing some ideas with about 80 educators at the Iowa Lakes Community College today.  Should be an exciting time.

This was originally organized as a lecture, but I have requested that everyone bring their own computers or smart phones or that the college supply laptops so that it will be a hands-on experience.  My strategy is not to tell them about using technology to support learning but to actually have them take collaborative notes, share their discussions from group work, analyze data collected through a Google Form, Blog, video conference and even video capture with the new YouTube Capture app.

Ths is the full slideshow which is stored on

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Inspirational Videos to Get You Ready to Start the New Year!


The new school year is here and 

                                       we are set to blow the doors off!

I was prepping for a class when a tweet crossed my screen that lead me to this inspirational video with Jeff Goldstein.  They turned his words into a musical creation (how did they do that?) that is quite moving.   

We've Got to be that Light - A Gift to American Teachers
A message from Jeff Goldstein about who teachers are and what is important.

I'm a Teacher: An Educator's Anthem
This is an inspiring video with a catchy tune.

A Salute to Teachers
The GLOBE program provides this thank you to teachers like you.  


 You DO Make a Difference!!! 

Dr. Z

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

The Anatomy of a 21st Century Classroom

We have talked about the differences between 20th and 21st century classrooms, but here is a chart that describes the anatomy of a 21st century classroom.  You will see that it is divided into the 4 C's of the Partnership for a 21st Century work suggests plus Research.

You will also notice that this chart separates the roles of teachers versus students.

What do you think?  Does this do an admirable job of describing the anatomy or do you have something to add?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Google Apps and Collaboration Presentations at Iowa Central Community College

I have the wonderful opportunity to provide a few workshops at the Iowa Central Community College faculty conference called Tools for Teaching (T4T).

I have two sets of workshops that I will be presenting.

Dr. Z's Creative Cookbook for Collaborative Learning workshop - This is a workshop where we will be reviewing what it means to learn collaboratively and then explore tools and strategies for making it happen in the classroom.

Here is the Slideshow that I used in this workshop:

Google Apps in the Classroom workshop - This workshop will cover a variety of apps that we can use to improve the Learning and Teaching experience for Students and Teachers.  It is difficult to identify the proper tools to introduce, because there is a wide and varying range of skill levels in this faculty.  I hope that it will be a mind-blowing revelation for those who don't have much experience with Google Tools and an interesting mind-expanding experience for those who already use these tools with their students.  Most importantly, I hope that I learn something from my attendees that I will be able to use in my future teaching.

Here is the list of Resources used with the workshop.  This is an open, interactive Google Doc so it will include information beyond what Dr. Z originally posted.

Here is the Slideshow that I used in this workshop:

I would love to receive your feedback in the comments below or share it using the icons below.