Thursday, May 26, 2011

Using Social Media to Enhance Your Professional/Personal Development

What a GREAT webinar we held today!!!

This was our opportunity to contribute to the  University of Northern Iowa Hot Topics in Education webinar series. Robin Galloway and I are gave this webinar on May 26, 2011 from 3:30 - 4:30.

Here's the Link to the actual hour-long webinar that you will be able to watch through Adobe Connect (You don't need Adobe Connect to watch this, however):
Using Social Media to Enhance Your Personal/Professional Development 

This webinar was our opportunity to explore how today's professionals need to take responsibility for their professional development. We introduced a variety of ways that people can facilitate their own professional/personal development by getting involved in educational learning communities. Some existing online communities were cited and then we shared some tools they can use to create/enhance their own personal learning networks.

Here are some of the resources:
Distributed-Learning Communities as a Model for Educating Teachers (Dede) 

Online Education Communities
Classroom 2.0 - An active education community with over 56,000 members.
1:1 Laptop Schools - An education community dedicated to connecting and inspiring educators in 1:1 schools.

Twitter for Teachers - Terrific intro video to show how teachers can use Twitter.
Twibes - Search Twitter Groups that fit your interest.
Listorius - Lists of twitter-ers who are sorted by areas of interest. Great place to find people to follow.
How to Use Twitter to Grow Your PLN | Edutopia  - Lists of educationally focused twitter chats.
#edchat   .    #edchat website - An active Twitter chat list.
Tweetchat - This site helps you get involved in Twitter chats.

Cited blogs:
Dr. Z Reflects - Blogging for understanding about ed tech, learning and life (Leigh Zeitz)
Cool Cat Teacher - Vicki Davis shares her life and ideas about teaching and learning.
2 Cents - David Warlick pontificates about social media, education and learning.
Angela Maiers - Angela shares her ideas and experiences about working with teachers and students.
Blogging Resources - Resource page on Dr. Z's ActiveWeb20 wiki.

Social Bookmarking
Diigo - Bookmark, share, highlight and notate your favorite places on the web
Delicious - Another bookmarking site.
Social Bookmarking in Plain English - Explained in simple terms.
Social Bookmarking Resources - Resource page on Dr. Z's ActiveWeb20 wiki.

Virtual Events
TED Talks - Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.
Hot Topics in Education: Professional Development Webinars -
K-12 Online Conference - Online conference where presenters submit 20 minute presentations that can be watched anytime. This site has 5 years of videos.
Flat Classroom Conference - Website for the Flat Classroom Conference in Beijing this past February.

Organizing Your PLN
iGoogle in Plain English - 50 second intro to iGoogle
RSS in Plain English - Real Simple Syndication explained in simple terms.
PLN Resources - Resource page on Dr. Z's ActiveWeb20 wiki.

The webinar was attended by a number of teacher, students and life coaches from multiple states.
Please keep in touch with Robin and myself:
What additional sources to you suggest? Add them to our learning community through the comment section below.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

100 Best YouTube Videos for Teachers

Image of TV with 100 Best on the screen.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, John Costilla shares a list of the Top 100 Videos for Teachers provided by

This list of videos have been divided into 9 different categories including history, arts, science, language, classroom management, How-Tos and a variety of others.

I can take a tour of the Rijksmuseum or learn sign language or get tips on classroom management.  It even includes The History of the World and The Theory of Everything. The selection is quite varied.

I must admit that some of the videos were inaccessible because they had been removed from YouTube. Some of the links weren't touch and go. I had to copy the link to paste it into a new browser window.  Anyway, it is a useful set of resources that you will enjoy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

White House Webinar Explains Osama Bin Laden Death to Students

How do you explain cheering Bin Laden's death to students?  This is as problem that many teachers are having.  It is difficult to explain the dark world of terrorism, but how do you explain to third grade students when they see people cheering the death of a person?  

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have someone from the White House explain about the Osama Bin Laden's death?  This happened last Thursday, May 5, at noon (CST).  Ben Rhodes, Deputy Assistant to the President, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriter, gave a 10-minute presentation on what happened. It wasn't fancy but it was effective. He had a slide show filled with photos that was interspersed with this discussion.

Mr. Rhodes began by explaining the events of 9/11 and how things have progressed since then in trying to find and capture Bin Laden. The broadcaster had been part of the group who were involved in watching the invasion from the White House and was well-informed on the progression of events.

The amazing part of this event is that over 1600 viewers were involved.  While some of them might have been individuals like me in their offices I would imagine that most of them were classes of students. There is a recommendation on the site that suggests that because of the sensitive nature of the webinar, it would be best to limit viewers to middle and high school students.

The best part was the last 20 minutes where the students/viewers were actually able to ask questions. These questions asked about how Bin Laden's death will affect the threat of terrorism in the U.S.; why they buried Bin Laden at sea; how they compared the DNA and a variety of other pertinent questions from the news.

The Discussion on Bin Laden webinar archive is available for you to review.  It has a 10-minute segment of Rhodes' presentation and then they divided the students' questions into 2 10-minute segments.

I haven't been able to find any archives of other White House webinars through Discovery (or anyone else).  Do you know of any archives? This would be a valuable asset for Discovery and the White House to create.

What do you think?  Did you use this with your students?  Will you use this with your students? How do you like the way that they addressed this issue?  

How did YOU address the issue?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Web Tools Adorn 21st Century Bloom's Taxonomy

Richard Overbaugh's image
Bloom's Taxonomy has a new face. Well, actually it isn't so new. If it were a human, it would be old enough to drive.

Back in 1956, Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues realized that they didn't have the common vocabulary to discuss types of questions that would be used on test or in class. Some questions only required learners to recall the capital of Iowa, while answering others involved synthesizing ideas from multiple sources to create a new opinion. It took them a couple of years to finalize on the 6 groups that they used in Bloom's original taxonomy. Would you believe that they were arguing about whether to put Evaluation or Synthesis at the top right up to printing time and that it was answered with a coin toss?

In the mid 1990s, Lorin Anderson and a team of cognitive psychologists updated the taxonomy by changing all of the nouns to verbs, adding Creating on the top, and folding synthesis into Evaluating.

This is a welcome change where they put the emphasis for learning on the individual to create. It has been reflected in a variety of tools include the ISTE NETS-S.  ISTE placed the emphasis of using technology on Creating with technology instead of Operating the computers.

Recently, there have been a few educators who have been aligning Web 2.0 tools with Bloom's Taxonomy. This is a useful tool to show the variety of opportunities with the available online tools, but it is also a wonderful way to help classroom teachers link the tools with their curriculum.

Schrock's Google Taxonomy

Kathy Schrock's Bloomin' Google.
My favorite arrangement was done by Kathy Schrock. Kathy is always at the head of the pack when it comes to organizing things.  You know, little things like the World Wide Web or the vast collection of Google Tools.  She creates the wonderful instruments and I sit in Awe (just south of Des Moines) asking myself "Why didn't I think to that?"

Anyway, while the image above is linkless - when you go to her Bloomin' Google website each of the logos links directly to the tool (don't click the image above because it won't take you there.) She also is using this as a means for collecting educators' ideas about her creation.  She has included a Google form below the table where teachers can add their "ideas and justifications for why you might have students utilize apps and tools in the cognitive area they appear on the taxonomy"

Penney's Digital Taxonomy Pyramid

Samantha Penney's Digital Taxonomy Pyramid.
While Kathy limited hers to primarily Google Tools, Samantha Penney at the University of Southern Indiana crossed Bloom's Pyramid with over 50 Web 2.0 tools. Samantha says that she created this for some summer staff development. It is based upon Andrew Church's concept of Bloom's Digital Taxonomy.  She used Go2Web20 and Cool Tools for Schools.

Once again, the image above has no working links, but if you venture over to Bloom's Digital Taxonomy Pyramid you will find that each of the logos links to an individual tool. I haven't checked all of them out yet, but there are a bunch that I have used yet.

This is a wonderful merging of theory with practical application. These organizers provide some sanity in the ever-exploding world of Web 2.0 tools.

Which tools are missing? What do you use that you don't see included on one or both of these charts?

Do you disagree with any of these categorizations? There is often a murky distinction between these levels.  Seems that only academics worry about the strict distinctions, but what do you think?

I challenge you to make your opinion known on the comments below.


Monday, May 02, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Is Dead!!!

Yes, Osama Bin Laden is Dead!!!

After a long 10 year of war and terrorist attacks, we have finally killed the head of the snake.

Yes, there will be other heads who will be trying to graft themselves onto the top of the Al-Qaeda reptile, but this is a huge accomplishment in the war on terrorism.
Twitter is ablaze with
#binladen tweets.  Most of them are celebrating the death of the terrorist leader and some of them are asking if it is too early to tell Bin Laden jokes.

Wondering where he was found?  A cartographer identified the location of the Bin Laden compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and marked it on the Google Map. Search for
Osama Bin Laden's Compound in Google Maps and it will take you to the spot. 

It is amazing to see the immediacy of this identification. The funny part is that as of 12:27 AM CST, people have already posted 180 reviews of the compound.  They are complaining about bed bugs and poor maid service. 

I don't know what to say that is profound about tonight's events. By the time you read this, who knows what will have happened in the world as a result this event. It may be an escalation of the  war or, hopefully, it will mean a reduction in the peril in the world. 

Whatever the change in world, it can be said that the world will never be the same.

How has it affected your world?