Sunday, February 28, 2010

one voice

...lobbying for differentiation.

Many of us are already doing things that provide every student with access/process/connections to an indispensable art form by the time they graduate. 
What is needed is a coming together of those stories... a logging of rich activity in order to:
1) educate our communities...our country that wise/different decisions can/will be made about spending/providing web access for all, as well as a new way to measure success
2) provide a solid model base for teachers/students who haven't yet tapped into the potential of rich web use

Please help my brave students (brilliant like yours) in their attempt to get the attention of  President Obama, the attention of the country ... of the world - so that our voice - lobbying for differentiation - can be heard.

Their message comes from many places, including all of you. A summary of our cry out for radical action is said best by Sir Ken Robinson:
Education is about developing human beings, and human development is not mechanical or linear. The answer is not to standardize education, but to personalize and customize it to the needs of each child and community. There is no alternative. There never was.  ....And now the web allows it.

The short version of their proposal:

Why our school is a good model:
1. We are just like everyone else, in that we desperately need change in how we spend 7 hours a day, 5 days a week.
2. Because of our low funding resources, our plan models a true disruption, doable by any school, beginning fall 2010.

Vital pieces of the plan:
a) Content is no longer fixed. Standardized testing of content is hurting our country -it is encouraging more and more of the wrong things. 
b) Access/process/connectivity is now the standard and should be made available to all. 
c) Individualized instruction via open sourced networking of people and info will provide richer, more authentic and more humane learning spaces for all stakeholders. When learning is not bound by geography, but rather connected by passion, the result is indispensable citizens in a nation, rather than cogs in a factory.

With their application, they send a 2 min video. They want the video to be from everyone.
Here's their request to you:
Please go here, and submit a 2 or less minute video where you have captured your school engaging in rich open source learning (ie: something you couldn't do w/o access/tools - several examples)
They plan to mesh the videos together into 2 min.... kind of like this:
and also provide each one separate for individual viewing if he is so inclined.

By Wed would be great, By Friday will work, their application is due March 15.

It's not about one person, or one group even, it's us.
It's about all of us. 


If you're so inclined - the longer version of their plan is here.. under the Innovation Lab..


If you like.. please rate it (on the right)- so  that our voice will be strong...bold...heard.


Friday, February 26, 2010

students in action - that's what it's all about

great beginnings... july 09 - first meet up with Cape Town


create a ning site called talk.ed and populate it
jing explaining our ning


discuss/edit/share and finally create me-videos (purpose is to help them find their passion and to help direct their connection to an expert individual tutor gus below and the rest here


gus starting us out sharing project ideas and expert tutor possibilities


gus's human beat project


maddie's prezi reviewing relations and functions


madi, lauren m and shannon on domain/range/function/relation


courtney's ppt on d/r/f/r 


simeon's use of quizlet to create a study place for his peers



keaton and megan's video on arithmetic and geometric sequences


austin and cody's sketchfu on exponential vs linear growth


austin's amazing eye sketchfu - the class's first dabble with sketchfu


erin and kelsey's ongoing splashr mosaic of the entire year in algebra 2


pj and jeff dabble with toondoo over fraction busters


catching a 2nd wind - yeah it got messy - how do we survive without the box?..



vicki makes an ipod quiz on fraction busters



making sure we're keeping up with the jones's
these students (in the pilot open-sourced class) took the same tests as all the other pre ap alg 2 math classes. throughout the year, their scores stayed the same and/or above the other class averages.


first tutorial that gains a following - (students from other classes start requesting topics)

more from the same kool beans student: math in 10 minutes

a gus and molly creation


lauren, maddie b, madi & shannon reach out to orphans in uganda -  
ongoing - just sent them $600 for wifi and other things...


often we find croatia and uganda meeting on our ning site to chat.


the school - our friends in croatia go to. they happened to win the international edublog award this year - for best ed use of a wiki. - we keep good company. our contribution there.

after spending about two months interacting with students in croatia (mostly blogging back and forth, some incredible student posts - mostly on their class ning), we decide to watch freedom writers together.. and then decide to toast to change


croatia sings jingle bells for us

Find more videos like this on English for Class IIIA


in search of a virtual chalkboard for our ning. we first dabbled with flockdraw and more flockdraw, and end up loving and going with dabbleboard - now residing in the middle of our ning. this is me catching them during class one day when I was away at a district meeting.

tested out best ways to do boxed math
biking while graphing:


call out to expert tutors

explanation of grid and of the open source class philosophies via jing
and now we have our open source alg 2 explanation via jing


interviewed former graduates (jessica)


interviewed teachers (hewson) that were brave to try out our suggestions for change


interviewed students (nash) in hewson's class


beginning conversations with lucas on why we need to branch off math into passion for next year
part 1 of innovation lab


beginning conversations with hannah on why we need to train kids to be tech experts


more on the student teaching the teacher how best to use a cell
a conversastion worth noting: student was leary of sharing this video public. when asked why - they said then teachers would think we are only going to cheat with cells. 
i think this is huge - we've taught them cells are bad - that we will only see them as bad. can't we just put them away during test time? not the rest? 
and here is me - going out on a limb - thinking they should get 1-2 lifelines during a test. agree - disagree - be outraged.. that's real life. school should be real life.


first official poll on our ning


first interaction with cape town students - not surprisingly - spent talking about common music interests... suprisingly... sharing interest in Harry Potter, being as how the student, Ben, from colorado, talking to the student, Jackson, from cape town, heads our Harry Potter club

more on ben's thinking


stopping for now.. have more to add - later....

a standard process

2nd in a series of 3 posts on what we should/could be standardizing.

content was fixed,  
access/process/connection was variable.
access/process/connection is fixed,
content is variable.

a standard process:
want students to learn more?

1) model learning through personal learning networks (with or w/o tech)
Will Richardson: how to network a) safely b) ethically c) effectively
personalization - through professional/personal learning network's - through ning/wetpaint/etherpad
student centric as kids are creating their own public - engaged in meaning-making and writing about self-selected topics that are relevant and interesting to them - Wieman's expert individual tutor - web 3.0 tailoring (internship ningl/virtual classroom - for: reflection/story telling
Cameron - knows intuitively how to create value, add his default intention is to share it with others - most of the time for free. That why he has a public. 
The same is becoming true for Simeon.
Alan November on tech providing more rigor - ie: student created tutorials
Do we insist that the class is one public?
Or do we just insist that each one in the class finds/creates their own public (like in real life).
That would allow for more of a passion driven pursuit.
ie: some who need it - may be a part of a community of 2 (them and expert individual tutor), others may end up with a community of hundreds

2) invite them places w/rich questions 
Notice - not rich tech - tutors roll will always be about the learning, not the tools.

3) get out of the way     
Dan Meyer - be less helpfulpatience with irresolution
Alan November - who owns the learning - change will only happen if we give up the ownership - 2 min
Alan November - 3 skills kids need: 1. info processing 2. global communications 3. self-direction 7 min
redefine the role of the adult in the room very clearly.
The role of the adult can no longer be described as a teacher when everybody is a teacher.
Thinking of the adult as the only teacher is artificially turning abundance into scarcity
and it's minimizing our available resources exponentially.
We can ask interesting questions, like: how do you feel about your friend not being so good about math?
A fixed group of people that constantly interact with each other and learn from each other.
The leader also learns, but in different domains.
If teaching is helping others then everybody is at the same time student and teacher.
The adult in the room is also student and teacher, and is there to supervise and direct, but not to control.
4) repeat till 1,2,3 is flow

 In order to maintain community/change - need to work thru 3 human universals
1) We're all humans and we all want to be treated as humans all of the time.
2) We all make mistakes. When those mistakes are rectified gracefully remarkable stories
are being created.
3) We all have our own cultures and values that don't always match but we all try to do good.
w/in plns - discover design do

per Alan November - myths and opportunities....
and - 2 things we're short on: time and money
so give them back time in class and quit spending so much on gimmicks to help teach

This standard would be assessed at a building level by whether or not each staff member is engaged in their own carefully selected pln, that stretches them daily.
Proof would be
1) the ability to ask any teacher on any given day, what they learned the day before.
2) visible modeling of teacher's pln experience and their learning with their class daily. The teacher's comfort/patience with irresolution, and the teachers ability to know what to do when she doesn't know what to do (erica mcwilliams - usefully ignorant.)


the short version (part 2 of 3 things that should be standard in public school)
are your teachers actively involved in some type of professional/personal learning environment where they are being challenged and learning something new daily that they bring to and model for their students?

in the craziness of innovation, how does public school assess it

the key questions- 
what do we assess? what should be standard? what should/could be one size fits all?
                          update: beta tool to document/measure/validate
               may 2: update: perhaps clearer version

1. used to be: the standard we wanted for every student was fixed content - so we assessed at each building - in each state - how much each student had learned (and/or memorized) that fixed content, aka csap/act/sat/etc
We were creating students to work in factories, to follow rules, to assure a status quo.

2. today: the standard we need for every student is fixed access/
process /connectivity- so we need to be measuring that accessibility to connections and process for each student at each building in each state. 
Because of the capabilities the web allows - we are now creating students that are indispensable, students that create factories we can't even comprehend, students that write new rules, students that don't accept the status quo, and most of all - students that are patient and embracing of irresolution .

I started working through these ideas over a year ago with my expert individual tutor. They are just now starting to really make sense to me. Perhaps you will understand his explanations of assessment better than mine.

I can't suggest/push/offer enough - the importance of an expert individual tutor in today's open sourced world. That is the one biggest thing web access has to offer our students. If we feel the need to standardize/equalize anything in public education, it should be that every student has access/connections to and a process with one of these.

true assessment is an ongoing process with constant feedback via Michael Wesch 
let's help kids move toward self-assessment

and individuals should never be rated on a standardized test unless, of course, we believe cogship is the best we have to offer our students ..via Tom Peters:


Thursday, February 25, 2010

be different

i can't watch this enough...
we have to do it ed.

this crazy curse called passion

yesterday: One of my admin emails me this
What was he thinking?..dangerous to send stuff like that to me.

this morning: Kool beans info grabs me via twitter. A bit later as thoughts are just percolating in me - I get this sense that I have to share it. 
So I tweet:
I wish I had the capacity to soak more in. For a kid to be bored or even remotely disengaged today is beyond me. There has to be a simple and immediate solution.

A quick response is tweeted back to me:
(to) @monk51295 There is no simple solution. It's a complex problem, developed over time. That's the kind of fix it needs. No magic bullet. Sorry

and that was it: That's when I started cursing Seth Godin, for admonishing me to ship. What his writing has taught me daily over the last 2 years ....well I knew this was bigger than just tweeting back.

I replied to the above tweet:
ever so respectfully, in my mind: maybe yesterday, not today. i'm not talking magic bullet, i'm talking power of connections


here's the thing:  
If we are going to just tweak at ed, I can get more sleep. 

If we don't believe there's a new power for changing ed by fall - then there is really nothing worth changing ed for. tweaking it yes- changing it no. 

So i've decided - along those lines...

If we believe in this change - we should get the President to come...
The goal is not for the President of the US to speak at our commencement - but because of his position - a grassroots voice would be heard by those asking for and wanting change but not seeing the possibility/practicality of it happening
Laws and traditions binding us might be rethought by those making and sustaining them - and visible change by fall could happen.


a plan:

just submitted these four ideas here:
if you're so inclined - join in. one strong voice. we can.

It's easier to teach compliance than initiative.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

math on googlewave

just met Clint Hamada - tech teacher in vietnam...
he was tweeting about this great idea for use of googlewave

@warrena: #asbup2010 observing an awesome IB math class collaborating on Google Wave.

@chamada @monk51295 Tchr creates a new wave for every problem set. Students give hints and suggestions while working them out. #asb2010

@chamada @monk51295 They then link the waves to another wave that has the syllabus: creates dynamic record of examples. #asb2010

kool beans... let's try it.

sub plans... that simple

not only is life/school getting exabytingly more fun... simplicity is starting to rule.
                                                                                                    you go @mrrobbo


rambling notes from colearning


messy notes... shhhhhhh

michael and ben


claim a space in a google doc  -

pd = redundant for everyone to be doing the same thing....
share stories - you and person you are talking to have done the same thing...
ie: building tech creates how to videos, then find out many have done the same thing
how are you collabing that? - dividing up responsibilities then using blackboard as our delivery tool

how can we help this situation not occur anymore...
seeing if anyone has done it before

cde is working with itunes u - maybe that's the co environment - searchable lesson data base

bud hunt: not a good idea to have one place

we need many one places
the new of the web is individualization -

twapper keeper - best twitter themed product - let's you see an entire stream
as pd

zach - most of my hashtags are ridiculous
i use delicious or whatever that is more meaningful

i think it's important to distinguish between what you are learning... learning how to change ed - we now need a universal tag, learning how to learn in class - individual

i don't have A space - because there's too much

we can get hung up in the tools... and locating them all... that's not good.
we need to focus on a need...let's let the kids get hung up on the tools and how to's

i think we don't spend out time efficiently when all we talk about is the tech

we need to zoom out

teaching is the most private thing you can do?................

efficacy:  the ability to produce the desired result, the ability to distinguish in a timely manner

de-personalizing the space - if you show a 4with a kids name, then it's not about a king person

zac - we are focusing to much on breath over depth
we never learned how to read the web   - no b

schoooling by design ch. 4

big shortcomings


bud hunt  - pd3  - show and tell is for everyone

slides on wiki page

give it a whirl and focus on one thing for a second
we all have a lot of rolls - noblame for the next hour...
rober folgum
show and tell is a good metaphor for tansparency
curtic bonk - the world is open - andyone can learn anyting from anyone at any time

jane croaws - reinventinging pbl

make things visible and sicussable
i take pictures as a teacher because i want to have conversations about them

who's in your circle your network, who's listening in , what's worth talking about,sharing

how are you modeling learning in your work?

gatto - 7 lessons of a school teacher - do you model science or are you modeling obedience

two ideas:
1. productive eavesdropping -
2. purposeful transparency - we are transparent by accident a lot

st vrain has a blog space and a twitter space
bud - learned more about my super on twitter in the last couple of months compared to any in the last several years

how do we engage our community in a conversation in what we are trying to do...

serendipity tool
network of practice

the way you model your behavior is what you are truly communicating....

make things visible and discussable

help desk
about 200 titles of softward for tech guy to - how does he do that
phone list - attach the expert in that particular software or tech tool
list of tech reps

put artwork on that page

if you can find the ties that bind and help people connect - that's huge

tired of saying - you're not talking... starting to say - here's what we're talking about - come join us..

huge below - so that you have something to bring to the table
7 min to answer... who's in your circle, network, who's listening in , what's worth talking about, how are you purposefully modeling transparensy, behaviors, etc.

my circle has always been students - but a year ago started out with triiibes, leading to an expert individual tutor, leading to twitter. my circle is now filled with people who realize ed needs to change, and are trying to figure out ways to do that. i've learned a ton from these people - mostly online, and in books they have suggested (absolute most from expert ind tutor), but i think i'm moving more into swimming with the kids.
i think most of what i know about learning is from listening to kids, and from letting them see me on an authentic passionate journey to change the 7 hour day.
i think what we need to model most - is being usefully ignorant - knowing what to do when we don't know what to do per erica mcwilliams. i think what we need to model most is how to be an artist - via linchpin, making whatever we do indispensable - doing things that matter, so we are happy to lose sleep in order to ship. 
i think we need to model transparency. i think tansparency is the new currency - esp transparency in dealing with failure. it's golden.
i heard michael wesch talk in denver a couple weeks ago - he made this comment - it's an incredible moment when i realize kids in the room know more than me about something.
most of us are too afraid of transparency to let that happen....

if they don't come with you - that's ok

figure out how it has to be essential

tom barrett - don't water stones

homework: think of something educationally awesome 
your homework: 
share that story
tell us why it's important
post a link to your show and tell on out etherpad

he hasn't said anything about credit or pd - he's assuming we all care about this...

jenna ream   cu denver

bring conversation forward to change ed

cool analogy:
the path on the grass - some parks don't make the path first - they wait and see where people walk and then make the path  (via liz alhorf  chaparell highschool)
comes back to a responsibility for ownership

ed is a social process; ed is a growth, ed is not a prep for life but is life itself  john dewey

sharing images, are conversation starters
image inspired conversation
the amount of time spent on any one concept - the amount of brevity and who's brain is it in
when you are presenting - most of it is in your brain
when we just offer a picture - no parameters...

changed experience -
no just an image - and you talk about it
they make the active action in their mind... if they are not making the connections

if i ask you to say more about your response
if i question you - it means i can't wrap my head around what you're doing

the whole idea of right vs wrong

experiment with the itouches, blocks, etc, with 4 year olds...    to them it is the same as playdough, paint, etc


google apps  via bud hunt and karl fisch (months into google apps pilot)  and michael wacker

google apps itself is like 5-6 things
google docs is something you can use on  your own

organizational cohesion
gaggle - sells a plug in for email - prestine

google - - for linkes assign's get kids blogging and email - but they use moodle with

a way to keep the web stuff kids created...

set up 2 domains, k-5 and 6-12 (share with outside)
the more domains you have the more space you have

google apps you get 10 gigs across the domain
why are we teaching here to use a closed off


why are kids so opposed to school emails? why do we spend so much time and money on things kids are opposed to? the digital project - let's find out how kids are learning outside the classroom, let's find out more about their learning spaces - and use those thoughts and strategies within the realm of school

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

current brain cranking

these guys are cranking my brain just now..

Zac Chase, who teaches at Science Leadership Academy in Philly, and shares his thinking here:
thinking like from this post..Important Words:

and Ben Wilkoff, who teaches in Highlands Ranch Colorado in the Academy of Discovery, school within a aschool. Ben shares his thinking here:

mesh up of these two schools:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

more freedom = less danger

yay chicken man.. you go 

our collection of info on web use


authentic pd

If I wanted the world to hear one thing about professional development, it would be the words I heard yesterday at #colearning #gotpd 2010 from this guy....


What I heard Ben say, is that the biggest 

for him came after he found himself a


and an

I think that's where pd begins, sustains, and never ends.
I think we back off everything... especially tech tools.
All we hold teachers accountable for is connecting to a *group like this.
[This is what I believe an authentic *personal/professional learning network is: 1) people you pick per passion 2) people you develop an optimizing prof/personal relationship with  3) people who hold you accountable ie: you have/share thoughts/findings that intrigue the bejeebers out of you; together you wrestle with that thinking; you nudge others with similar curiosities]

More from Ben... reading a post he wrote just today...

Given time and support to develop and maintain those groups, I think all we are hoping teachers get....all they are hoping for, ...will simply flow.


it's the first suggestion in this model...

Teacher-centric pd...what do you think?