Social Media FOR Schools: Developing Shareable Content for Schools

By Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Cross posted to the Langwitches Blog

There is a difference between Social Media IN schools and Social Media FOR schools.

 

While social media in schools deals primarily with policies around how to use (or not use) social media in the classroom with students, social media for schools is about storytelling and getting their stakeholders (teachers, students, administrators, parents, community) to spread these stories.

In the best case scenarios, social media IN schools is focused on:

  • developing best practices HOW to use social media to support teaching and learning
  • connect, communicate and collaborate through social media to an authentic global audience

In worst case scenario, social media IN schools is focused on:

  • preventing the use by students
  • regulating the use of social media by teachers
  • not allow access to prevent network security issues, institutional transparency, cyberbullying, etc.

This post does not focus on any of these issues, but on the potential of using social media FOR schools. Telling the story of schools serves several purposes:

  • curation (find, filter, organize, connect and present) information for their stakeholders
  • adding value to a conversation, topic, theme, initiative with quality content
  • sharing of best practices in teaching and learning
  • making quality content visible to and shareable with others
  • creating connections and a network of schools to advance education
  • documenting institutional memory

SocialMedia-for-Schools-tolisanoColumn Five states in the video, The Value of Visualization,

Your message is only as good as your ability to share it

 

The quote above begs the question, how schools are leveraging the power of sharing their message via social media and grow their ability to develop shareable content to contribute to a global educational community?

develop-shareable-content-tolisanoLet’s look at developing shareable content for schools through an academic lens and in terms of branding schools globally as a learning community.

Let’s consider the why, who, what and characteristics of developing shareable content.

share-why

WHY SHARE?
According to The New York Times Customer Insight Group, there are 5 reasons why people share. How do these reasons relate to the reasons why schools might be sharing?

  1. Feel connected
    Share school and team spirit and belonging through different venues. How are stakeholders connected to teaching and learning at the school? Who is involved in initiatives and projects? Who is part of the school community?
  2. Define themselves
    What do we, as a school, stand for, support, believe in? How do we fit in the community? What is our mission? What are our goals as a school community? What are we accepting as demonstration of our core values?
  3. Entertain
    Schools share images, videos and other media to provide enjoyment and give an insight to school life, capture teaching and learning as well as share products of student and teacher creativity.
  4. Support a Cause
    Schools spread initiatives and calls to action, encouraging support for variety of causes.
  5. Build & Cement relationships
    Schools are building, growing and cementing relationships with community members, local and global businesses, current and past students, families, faculty, experts, consultants and global educators.

share-who-whatWHO & WHAT TO SHARE?

Students share

  • own learning
    Students document their learning journey through the use of digital portfolios that are visible and accessible to an authentic global audience.

Teachers share

  • own learning
    Teachers experience reflective, metacognitive, connected learning through the use of their own professional learning portfolio
  • professional development
    Teachers collaborate and contribute to a school’s professional development blog to document and share their professional development experiences ( conferences attended, online learning, professional readings, etc.)
  • student learning
    Teachers capture evidence of learning (and its process) to inform further teaching. Teachers also share student work and learning to connect globally with experts and peers to amplify learning.

Administrators share

  • own learning
    Administrators are models of life long learners for their faculty and students. Through curation of resources and reflection of their own learning in progress, they make their commitment visible to others.
  • teacher learning
    Administrators share bright spots of teaching, learning and innovation at their schools with a global audience
  • school initiatives
    What are the goals of moving a school initiative forward? How will you achieve buy-in from stakeholders? How will you share information about background, supportive resources, progress, successes, etc.?
  • lead storyteller
    Administrators should be the lead storytellers of their school. Lead storytellers do not leave what is being said about the school to others. They choose, what and how the story of their school community is told.

Community shares

  • school experiences
    The best marketing tool for any brand is when others share their (positive) experiences with their own network. This type of endorsement is worth more than if it were coming from the brand itself.
  • events
    taking advantage of multiple “points of view” and documenters , gives the audience an amplified perspective and “coverage” of any event.

share-characteriscticsCHARACTERISTICS OF SHAREABLE CONTENT

The content created should exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Title: must be capturing
    We only have a split second to catch the attention of our audience in the age of information overload. The title should capture the potential viewer’s interest and encourage to share with their own network (word of mouth or/and online network) Think… “5 Ways to Avoid the Back to School Blues” or “Hurrah, The School is on Fire”
  • Content: relevant, timely, useful
    The content must by relevant to the potential audience. Is it relevant to tweet out the school’s lunch menu? (Depends on the audience… students, faculty, parent community… possibly… a global audience… most likely not). Think… Looking to make global connections for your students to participate in a project about the 2016 Olympics? Make sure the content does not get disseminated a few days before the start of the games, but allow time to form these connections. Disseminate content, useful to others, to teach and learn about the Olympics the months before the upcoming games.
  • Accompanying Images and Videos (and other visual content)
    Our brain processes visual content at a much faster rate than text alone. Statistics support that your audience will be more likely to click on a post if it contains a visual versus text alone.
    Think… infographics, Memes, short video clips, how-to-guides, high quality photography
  • Added Value
    Shareable content usually provides some sort of added value to potential audiences to encourage re-sharing. Simple copying or repackaging of material created by others (might also infringe on copyright) does not support building of a creative, innovative school brand. Find ways to add value for others by curating and filtering information, adding perspectives to issues, make connections to thoughts, ideas and concepts visible to others. Think…” Carol Dweck’s Growth versus Fixed Mindset is sweeping the educational arena around the world, we are sharing with you how our faculty is applying her work in the classroom….”
  • Appeal to Emotions (joy, fear, surprise, self-esteem effection, trust, hope, pleasure, uncertainty, amusement)
    Nothing can be stronger than provoking emotions in your audience to encourage them to share your content with others. What matters most to your audience: their children, their teaching job and career? their education? Career readiness? Safety? Create content that appeal to any of these emotions) Think… fostering loyalty and driving school advocacy. How about about holding a contest for alumni to contribute photos of their years spent at your school or create an infographic about your school’s alumni college success or a video following a recent graduate to a feeder school?
  • Easily shareable
    Make it as easy as possible for your content to be shared, streamline the process as much as possible for your audience. Make your content available on different platforms to encourage the users of these platforms to share with their network. Think… Have social media share buttons embedded in your posts (Tweet this, Pin This, Like Us on Facebook, etc.). Best if you can make one-click sharing available.
  • Defines people
    We share with others the things that define us? Take a deep look at what defines your school and its community? Is it academics? Is it Sports? A combination? Is your school known for innovation? Show your audience a version of themselves, a way they define themselves or as they want to be seen by others and they’ll be more likely to pass it along to their network. Think… content that demonstrates leadership in innovation among competitor schools. Content that supports the vision of the school employing top educators of the region.
  • Illustrates thought leadership
    We live in a moment in history, where change happens at lightning speed. Traditional pedagogy, tried and proven to be effective for decades, suddenly is proving to not prepare students with the necessary skills and literacies for their future. Every school, every administrator and every teacher is presented with opportunities for action research in any area of educational interest. By choosing to explore these opportunities further, we all are becoming pioneers redefining and transforming teaching and learning. Think… Capture and document the learning process your school is undertaking as you implement digital portfolios.
  • Adapt, Remix and Improve
    Stand on the shoulders of your network. Learn from others, adapt, remix and improve on their work. Become part of an ecosystem to collaborate and improve education. The different puzzle pieces making up the ecosystem feel first hand how contributing makes each component function better. Take a closer look at Creative Commons work from other educators and schools and create content to add value, share examples or perspective. Think…sharing means amplification
  • Insight to real world stakeholders live in
    Share content with your audience that demonstrates to them, you have an insight into their real world. Do you want students/parents/teachers to help tell the story of your school, create content that gives them insight into their own world and they will help you spread the word. Think…content that illustrates how to survive pre-teen and teenage years. Create content that guides your students through the selection of high school courses. Illustrate how to manage homework load.

 

Ephemeral, Aerogel, Plinth: 6th Grade Vocab on State Test

Cross-posted to ASCD EDGE.

Let us peruse a list of words  featured on the recent sixth grade New York state exam:     

ephemeral 

aerogel

plinth

ominous situation 

paroxysm

clamorous

tutelage

furlong

absconders

surmised

Perhaps each of us should commit to using  these words today in our communications.  Surely one result would likely be alienation from our recepients. ( “Hey, how’s your aerogel?“)

Arguably there is universal admiration for a command of vocabulary, but the thought of eleven and twelve year olds wrestling with these words in a timed pressure cooker suggests an “ominous situation“.      What were these test makers thinking?  Perhaps they yearn to design those  SAT exams for seniors.  The sobering fact that the results will have a direct impact on how a teacher is evaluated points to a profound disconnect.   However, there is one phrase used in one of  the test items that is telling: “transitory moment of presence in a distinct location”.   Let us hope this is a transitory aberration.  

Celebrity in the Mix #BookItForward

Original posting at Learning Personalized:

 

We are so excited to share our guest blogger this week:

Mrs. P from Mrs. P’s Magic Library!

Mrs. P Bookitforward-1

Her favorite book is Wanda’s Wart – written and illustrated by Robin Robinson http://www.robinillustration.com/books/

Wanda’s Wart is an all-ages indie picture book about the importance of friendship, honesty—and not being afraid to stand out for what makes you an individual.  This story may be a tool for dealing with certain kinds of bullying, and for kids who run the risk of suppressing their interests and talents just to fit in.  I love the message that we could all be a little more fearless about being ourselves, warts and all.  You can enjoy a reading of this story at my free website too.

 Thank you so much, Mrs. P, for sharing your favorite book and helping us to #BookItForward! If you’d like to see and hear much more from Mrs. P, be sure to visit her Magic Library where you can hear stories, play games, and do lots of fun activities!

 Now it’s your turn!

 What is your recommendation?

#BookItForward encourages people to share a book they love with a person they love. It can be a new book, a used book, or a recommendation for a library book!

Here’s how:

  1. CHOOSE a great book.
  2. GIVE it or recommend it to someone who would enjoy it.
  3. POST a photo of the book tagged with #BookItForward on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
  4. TAG three people in the post to nominate them to #BookItForward next!

Designing New Literacies

by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano
cross posted to the Langwitches Blog

designing-new-literacies-tolisanoIn Mike FIsher and my keynote/workshop last week at the Wildly Excited Conference at the Grand Rapids State University in Michigan, I shared the following blended sketchnote (blended= self-drawn doodles/sketches combined with a photograph). Participants were asked to take a look at the image and use the Visible Thinking Routine I see, I think, I wonder from Project Zero. They shared their thinking in a backchannel in a Today’s Meet room.

Before looking at my image annotations and reading the examples/ excerpt of the backchannel below with teachers’ responses, consider going through the exercise yourself. Take a few minutes to intensely look at the image above and follow the thinking routine: I see…, I think…, I wonder… Share your responses in the comment section below, adding your thoughts…sharing and making your thinking visible to others.

annotated-sketchnote

How could you use these techniques shown or demonstrated in your own classroom?

  • sketchnoting
  • visual prompts
  • I see, I think, I wonder routine
  • Backchanneling
  • annotated sketchnoting (or other visuals?)

Teacher Visible Thinking Routine responses

  • One of the difficulties of education our students learn differently than we do,
  • I see an interest in connecting internationally.
  • I wonder what amazing things could happen in classrooms if we all started being more techie and digital in our classrooms?
  • I think it is about the new age of learners
  • I see people handing boxes up to a person standing on them. To me this means building a learning network.
  • I think this is where the digital learning age is headed. I wonder if I’m ready for it
  • Artwork: its Silva. Her family, life. Moving, lectures, author, etc.
  • Are books of no value anymore?
  • how do I use this when I can only get computers once every two weeks
  • Fast paced graphic learning like they are used to. Keep things moving!
  • I think today’s kids brains are wired differently than most teachers over the age of 30.
  • The drawing is busy a lot going on and represents changes in technology and many options of technology
  • I see various ways of gaining/sharing knowledge. I think it represents the current work. I wonder how available for kids in poverty.
  • I think my processing speed needs to incease!
  • I see what students are bombarded with on a daily basis
  • I know this is a worldwide reality and it is exciting, but no wonder our kids are ADHD.
  • I see lots of possibilities!!!!
  • collaboration
  • We need to change our way of teaching. We need to teach more about accessing information.
  • I wonder: when do we allow our brains to have a break from all of those distractions
  • I think this is an accurate picture of our society today- lots of different ways to interact and connect with a variety of people
  • students now have the ability to visit other places and interact with others virtually, without leaving their bedroom or the classroom
  • Global learning and global appreciation is more easily obtainable.
  • Students can use various ways to present their thoughts.
  • We can connect with everyone across the world. We no longer need to be in our own classroom.
  • new literacies: apps, threads, global literacy, digital collaboration, graphics, imagery and film, multiple languages, software and programs
  • I see a variety of media.
  • I see the ink connecting with classes across the district or within our building could be a small start
  • A bunch of disconnected images
  • The power of learning in different ways.
  • Having the luxury of so many ways/strategies to help students in their learning. Looking at learning as evolving.
  • Open a book to learn new things!
  • I wonder how I can use these strategies with classroom with young ones who have special needs.
  • I see a selfie being taken.
  • There are a variety of items that are connected, but if I don’t have a way to connect them they float out in space.
  • I see connections between teacher facilitation and individual work.
  • #world wild learning!
  • when I look at the movie projector I think that many young kids don’t even know what it is!
  • Holy overwhelmed Batman…
  • The tough part is when the students start text talking. I see that a lot in our chats in the online classroom.
  • So many ways available for us to teach and learn.
  • I see flags and think I know those countries and I wonder why are those there, is that where she has been?
  • It’s like going on vacation to other places without leaving your room.
  • Global learning can take place when using technology and connects students with much more information than ever before!
  • Students have so much in their minds!
  • Constant scrolling messages distract ability to sort out my own thoughts!
  • Globalization–speaking multiple languages is important to connect–by plane and/or virtually!
  • Students are learning so much each day through so many mediums. How do we help them prioritize so it changes them?
  • Students learning in the classroom is constantly changing to the digital world.
  • Represents the many ways people are connected.
  • I don’t get the rain clouds in the middle
  • Students can communicate all around the world
  • I see what someone brings to the classroom
  • I see a lot of experiences. I think this looks like a great way to describes oneself through visuals. I wonder who drew this
  • Connecting the world through digital learning and accessing new ideas. A bit overwhelming
  • I think technology can pave a path toward global awareness.
  • Learning is global and there are infinite ways to share
  • I think the drawing is overwhelming
  • It’s the brain of most of our students
  • That image looks like the information overload that most of our kids are living with on a daily basis. 😉
  • Many options!
  • Reminds me of the book the Lexus and the olive tree
  • It helps us link or connect our learning to others
  • This is a lot to take in, but this is the way our kids learn now. Very different from what I am use to
  • Great for discussion! Visuals can say so much
  • I think: multitasking and information overload
  • I see literacy becoming more technology based and global. I wonder how it will impact students’ ability to communicate in person.
  • I see learning 2.0
  • Our small learning community is focusing on global cultural and we could reach out to other countries
  • I see interaction in person and remotely
  • Linking ideas together globally
  • There r endless ways to teach and communicate w students
  • The image seems busy to my list-making mind. I’d love the pictures to be in a row.
  • I Think about educational chances
  • to me it represents learning and the different possible ways to learn
  • This picture reminds me of my brain right now! And many of my students!
  • I see interesting artwork that is very symbolic
  • Links to what is already known in the students’ lives, multiple ways of learning and multiple ways of achieving literacy.
  • I see students connected to the whole world. I think I want to do this! I wonder how I can adapt it for my third graders.
  • World traveler who is equipped with technology, family and friends
  • I think this represents our ability to gather knowledge from all over the world using technology
  • Helps all types of learners
  • I see the ways the world is connected
  • Sensory/information overload
  • the power of tapping expertise worldwide
  • Connecting multiculturally.
  • merging the old with the new in innovative ways
  • Digital media brings it all together
  • Very global…learning around the world
  • I see lots of ways to communicate

Building Content Knowledge: Collaborate and Curate

cross posted to Langwitches Blog by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Mark Engstrom. 8th grade Geography teacher and Assistant Principal at Graded- The American School of São Paulo, has redesigned his entire course.

Students move through the modules of this blended learning course on Geography at their own pace.  They build out content knowledge using a Personalized Map (through google maps) and the content delivered through this Digital Learning Farm method will be curated so that they can build out multiple pins on their map.  This content is then used as content knowledge to increase their understanding of the region.
He wanted to experiment with a different type of note taking to add to students’ documentation of gaining subject specific content knowledge. 

collaborate-curate

The class was divided into 3 groups. Each group contained one  person responsible to contribute by :

  • taking  notes on one google doc- each has a column
  • adding raw data (statistics, facts, charts, graphs, etc.)
  • adding images that visualized what was being talked about
  • writing on the backchannel
  • asking questions
  • linking to the course’s Essential Questions

collaborate-curate

collaborate-curate 3

collaborate-curate

collaborate-curate2

collaborate-curate4

collaborate-curate5

 

Take look at the following video summarizing the class.

It is incredibly insightful to be going through and analyzing the backchannel chat after the class is over. It gives you a better understanding of:

  • what students heard
  • what students felt was important to capture
  • the discussion that evolved in the backchannel alone
  • the connections students made and shared

waitingfortherains-backchannel1

waitingfortherains-backchannel2

waitingfortherains-backchannel3

waitingfortherains-backchannel4

waitingfortherains-backchannel5

waitingfortherains-googledoc

waitingfortherains-googledoc2

It was now back into each individual student’s court to CURATE their own notes. Students had access to all  documents from each group as well as the backchannel. It was up to them to go trough the information and take the pieces that they deemed important to add to their content knowledge.

Digital curation

 is the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets.Digital curation establishes, maintains and adds value to repositories of digital data for present and future use.This is often accomplished by archivists, librarians, scientists, historians, and scholars. Enterprises are starting to utilize digital curation to improve the quality of information and data within their operational and strategic processes

Curating information has become a critical skills as part of information literacy. The ability of finding, evaluating, analyzing, remixing,  organizing and archiving information is more important than ever in the information overload era. The amount of information we are confronted with and that is being thrown at us is exponentially growing with no sign of stopping nor slowing down. We need to find ways to support students in becoming  curators of information.

One of the students, Ben, observed the following as he was going through the notes from the Backchannel group:

I found these very interesting because Florens and Tibet really try to link what is happening in India to our life in São Paulo which for me is a smarter way to learn things; by comparing them with your everyday life.

waitingfortherains-curated-notes

 

Visible Thinking in Math- Part 1

Cross posted to the Langwitches Blog by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

The conversation about visible thinking in Math started with one of our teachers at Graded, The American School of São Paulo, Adam Hancock, wanting to know how he could incorporate having students’ use their blogfolios in Math class. It seemed natural to have students write for Humanities (Language Arts and Social Studies), but writing did not seem part of what Middle School Math was about.

How could “blogging” go beyond taking a digital image of a Math problem on paper or a quiz and writing about “how the student felt about solving the problem or passing the test?”or ask themselves what they could have done better?

One of the first steps was to bring more “language” into the Math classroom. In a Skype call with Heidi Hayes Jacobs, she said that Math should be taught more like a foreign language.

photo 2

Students need to know vocabulary words and become fluent in “speaking Math”, in order to be able to communicate their thoughts and ideas.

photo 1

Videos and screencasts are great tools to articulate, visualize and then share ones’ thinking when working to solve a Math problem. Below is a video of Adam, modeling solving a mathematical equation.

Google Glass- Math Equation from langwitches on Vimeo.

Making Mathematical Thinking visible had the following purpose for Adam in his classes:

1. give students a truly differentiated math experience and expose them to a wide variety of math concepts.

2. encourage self directed learning and allow them to demonstrate their understanding in a way of their choosing.

3. make their learning process visible and allow students to reflect on their growth and learning in the process of solving the problem, by using the KWHL routine (What do I know? What do I want to know? How will I find out? What have I learned?)

KWHLAQ2

KWHL-Mary

KWHL by Mary

Prezi by Isabella

More student blog posts:

The process of making mathematical thinking visible, as well as the artifacts’ quality, was hopeful, awkward, “messy” and challenging…

Adam and my observations:

  • Students were working in different areas of math, and most of them had to learn something new, and tie it to what they already know in order to explain their problem.
  • It is not a natural skill for students to be able to “speak” Math. There is a need to expose and encourage students to use mathematical language to communicate.
  • The ability of being able to articulate and make a thinking process visible is a skill we need to support our students in becoming fluent in. It was challenging for students to think about and articulate their learning value instead the production value of their artifact.
  • Some students focused in their reflection on documenting the steps of what they did as they were solving the problem, not on the necessary thinking that was involved. Some students don’t/didn’t see the reason why they should be reflecting on their learning in Math.
  • It seemed unnatural to ask students to write a reflective blog post tagged on the end. It seems artificial and one more thing to do as an add-on, versus reflection as part of the learning process. Option of breaking the reflection process into different blog posts along the way, which later on can be linked to each other to demonstrate the process path.
  • When students are given a lot of freedom to demonstrate their understanding, a lot of them need structure and some clear guidelines or else the product does not turn out very well. This may improve with practice and more opportunities for them to work independently.
  • Many students didn’t fully follow the KWHL routine, and only posted an explanation to their problem. In some cases the explanations were wrong. In many cases, they didn’t actually post the KWHL page, and so they lost sight of “the point”. Maybe because this was a new process, a lot of students produced “the bare minimum “. Generally speaking, students who are conscientious and engaged did well and produced meaningful blog posts. If they did the KWHL process correctly, they documented what they didn’t know before they began researching their problem, and then demonstrated what they learned in the process.
  • There is a sense among many students that this is actually ‘more work’ than just taking a test, and therefore it is harder.

These observations are helping us continue to strive for meaningful activities and strategies that support student learning. I am often reminded of Vicki Davis’ blog post, Fail Foward, Move Foward. The word “fail” has a connotation in education, that has to change, along the paradigm shift of how we learn best and differently. In the spirit of Failure is Mandatory in the Culture of Innovation, we are celebrating these “failures” and seeing them as challenges to continue to talk, think, rethink, repeat, throw out, tweak and re-imagine…

fail

Quote seen in Tweet during #asbunplugged

I am excited to see how we will continue to make thinking visible in Math and help students write /blog about their thinking strategies in order to become fluent in the language of Math. A big thank you goes out to Adam for learning along side!
Stay tuned for Part 2 in Visible Thinking in Math…

First Experiences with Google Glass at School

by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Cross posted to Langwitches Blog

selfie

In December, I received a Google Invite to become a Google Glass Explorer. I was not given much time to accept the hefty price tag or let the Google invite expire. In the name of education and my passion for thinking and exploring new ways to transform teaching and learning, I accepted…. (still not sure how I feel about …)

On Monday, I took my Google Glass for the first time to school. We had a pre-service workshop planned (we just returned to school after the summer break here in the Southern Hemisphere) and I wanted to test if I could use the device to document the workshop to

  • capture moments of discussion
  • record what the presenters shared
  • share what participants contributed to the conversation

Google Glass- Reflection Workshop from langwitches on Vimeo.

Here are a few thoughts after the first week:

  • I am overwhelmed ( …too much stimuli)
  • Not as intuitive as I thought it would be…  (I feel like a student driver having to pause, before I step on the clutch>shift into gear>push the gas pedal> slowly let go of the clutch… while at the same time look in all the mirrors and forward to steer where I need to go)
  • My fluency is missing. (…yes… that one… the one that I am so used to having with my smartphone, iPad and laptop…so used to it in fact that I usually don’t think about it anymore… I feel illiterate…)
  • Tickling behind the ear from speaker that vibrates the bone behind my ear… (…It is a weird feeling…)
  • battery life…(…used to battery lasting all day+ with my other devices…) need to build in breaks during the day to recharge..
  • Unit gets hot when using too much (especially recording video and googling)
  • Long, curly and unruly hair that constantly tangles in front of the camera is a problem in terms of recording,  tapping and swiping. (… not cutting my hair or wearing a pony tail is not an option…)
  • I was not prepared for the attention and the varied reactions the device evoked in people. (… I am admitting that the varied emotions from colleagues and students have hit me almost like a brick… from super excited to curious, not interested to (not openly) negative and almost hostile emotions. Again, NOT all of the reactions were verbal or bodily clues, but more (strong) waves of emotions directed in my direction… Never quite experienced or was aware of something similar…
  • Feeling on the spot when recording… self conscious… what do I say? How does my voice sound?
  • I am definitely in the Substitution stage, when looking at using Google Glass through the lens of the SAMR model.

Many colleagues wanted to see what I was seeing and were eager to try the Google Glass on. The easiest instruction, I was able to give, as I could not see what they were seeing on the screen was:

  • When you see the time… say “OK Glass”, then “take a picture”.
  • Swipe down… then tap on Glass again and swipe forward to see the last images taken.

So far, I was not able to screencast from Google Glass to my iPhone via wifi (it continuous to show me the black screen with the instructions, even though glass and iPhone are on the same network. It is simply too much multitasking to handle Glass, turn off wifi, then turn on bluetooth, then connect iPhone and Glass to be able to demonstrate screencast on the spot…)

It was interesting (also for me) to later see the images the testers had taken..

tall-perspective

(tall perspective… this is how I look to a tall person…I was not aware that the ceiling could look so threatening… 🙂

guest-shot

(test shot from someone that is more of my height)

Google Glass test

Curious colleagues having a go at wearing Google Glass.

photo 3

photo 4

Here is a selfie to show how I am managing using my reading glasses at the same time as Google Glass. Not the best solution, but it seems to work for now….

first-looks

google-glass-paparazzi

Students were lining up after class asking to wear Google Glass in order to give it a try. Most of them had heard of Google Glass. It spread like wild fire throughout our Middle School.  There were a lot of  “cool” and “wow”. It wasn’t long before Paparazzi also arrived wanting to take a picture of Google Glass as evidence of having seen one.

Do you remember the first email you sent? The first email you received? Remember having to dial in to check your email and not being able to use the phone line while you were online?

vignette

Above is a vignette image taken with Google Glass. I was sitting with a new students, helping  set up her school laptop. I received a vibration sound behind my ear and looked up from the computer screen at the Glass screen to see that my mother had emailed me an article from the La Nación (Argentinean Newspaper) about how wearing Google Glass could get me into legal problems. The irony of the moment was not lost on me. 🙂

google-explorer

I am not the only explorer at our school. A High School student, Bruno, is also a committed user. I felt a sort of camaraderie, as both of us are on the forefront by experimenting and walking a fine line.  What is acceptable in a school environment regarding wearable technology and what is not? Bruno has been wearing Glass routinely during the day, showing a much higher fluency and adaptation. He inspired me to make sure that I was only going to find out how Glass was going to transform my work, if I wore it consistently. It reminded me of ” The best camera you will ever have, is the one that you have with you” that pushed my iPhone into the number one position to be followed by my SLR camera.

While my focus of using Google Glass to “explore new worlds” in terms of teaching and learning, Bruno is focused of finding innovative ways to transform and “make his life easier”.  His point of view is that of an app developer.

Just as I experienced a myriad of reactions when wearing Glass, a student wearing Google Glass, a technology that all of us (administrators, teachers and peers) are not familiar with, inevitably will bring up anxieties, disruption and fear.

Bruno is dealing with setting the example at our school. What will this mean when more and more students start having these powerful devices and will  that mean in terms of teacher/student relationship, student learning, curriculum, assessment practices, what do we consider cheating, how do we deal with multitasking, distractions, inappropriate use of the technology, etc.?

I believe Bruno is aware that he is setting the example and is taking on the responsibility.  Our school administrators and teachers are recognizing the need to start the conversation now! WHAT DOES THIS TECHNOLOGY MEAN IN OUR EDUCATIONAL SPACES? They are also recognizing that Bruno is an integral part of that conversation to craft a policy that does not BAN and BLOCK, but encourages exploration and innovation.

I am looking forward to being part of that conversation…

School policy regarding wearable technology were not the only discussion that were sparked by the simple appearance of Google Glass on campus. I have had super interesting conversation about

  • the meaning of wearable technology and what does that mean for our future?
  • we wondered if in 10 years, we will laugh about how “silly” we/I looked with such a “big” device on our/my head (same type of feeling when we think of the size of our first cell phones or the big air conditioned rooms that held a computer…)
  • Image in Public Domain

    Image in Public Domain

  • Freely giving away our private data (GPS location? What do we see at the moment? What words are we googling? etc.) I am not saying that we are not already doing this with other devices, but wearable devices have the purpose of making it even more “natural” and instantaneous to do all these tasks and transmitting and sending them. (… I have to admit I am increasingly more uncomfortable when Google ( or other companies), by default, takes the choice of NOT wanting to share or collect data away from me…
  • What about Google Glass etiquette? When is it appropriate? When is it inappropriate? What about in an educational environment? What about in public spaces? (… I am very conscious of etiquette… I know I am walking a fine line as soon as I wear Google Glass… I want to be able to gain the trust of colleagues and students… that I will not take images nor film without making sure that they are aware of the device being on and a “no questions asked” policy if someone feels uncomfortable…)
  • How can we use such a “disruptive” device to transform (re-define) what we teach and learn?

I was able to take Google glass into a Science classroom (with permission from the teacher ,of course) and take photos and videos of the students conducting a lab. Google Glass is such a novelty though that students were interested in Glass rather than their lab… most of them begging to wear them…I was very conscious of NOT wanting to disrupt the class (…. will need to make sure that students have a chance to look at them, ask questions and wear them… before I go into the next classroom)

science

Google Glass- Science from langwitches on Vimeo.

I also wanted to test out wearing Google Glass while driving… yes,  I can hear all of you yelling at me from afar. I literally have a 2 minute drive to school… I left a little extra early for even less traffic… and as you will be able to tell from the video, I am a VERY safe driver… looking several times right/left/right/left and one more time, before turning at an intersection…

Google Glass- Way to Work from langwitches on Vimeo.

No! You Can’t Just Take It!

Cross posted to Langwitches Blog.

No! You can’t just take it!

No! You can’t take it, because you found it on Google!

No! You can’t just right click>save>use, just because you can!

No! You can’t just pretend that you created it!

No! You can’t make money off my work that I shared FREELY under certain conditions!

No! You can’t just take it…even in the name of education!

No! You can’t just take it… even if AND ESPECIALLY BECAUSE you are a teacher!

No-you-can-not-just-take-it

By “it”, I mean my work, which includes images, visuals, infographics, infoflyers, blog posts, how to guides, text, jpgs, videos, pdfs, etc.  Just because I love my work, spend HOURS writing, designing and creating does not mean I want someone else to take credit for it. Just because I share my work for free online DOES NOT mean that I give away ALL my rights. I have chose a special kind of copyright license to encourage others to (hopefully) learn from my work.

My work is licensed under Creative Commons license.
Creative Commons License
On every page on Langwitches (in the footer), you will see the above icon stating

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

This means, I support collaboration, remixing, building upon and sharing my work AS LONG AS the following restrictions

  • ATTRIBUTION
    give attribution to me as the original creator (and if I used and credited other work licensed under CC, please give these creators credit to)
  • NON-COMMERCIAL
    do not use my work in any shape or form to make money, include in a website, book or other form where you receive monetary contributions/reimbursements/etc.
  • SHARE ALIKE
    if you use my work, you agree to also share your work under the same Creative Commons license terms. In other words… if you choose to include any work or part of my work in your work, do not slap a copyright symbol on your site/book/app/etc. preventing others from continuing to build upon it.

As an educator you NEED to know and understand copyright and Creative Commons licenses! It is our responsibility to not only teach copyright as part of digital citizenship to our students, but also to MODEL it anytime AND everytime to our students.

I often wonder WHY educators (among many others) just take it, simply because they can.

Is it:

  • Ignorance?… “I did not know”
  • Laziness?… “I don’t have time to deal with that” …to learn about Copyright law and to take the the extra time to find out who this image originally came from…
  • On purpose? … ex. taking the time to crop out the attribution included on an infographic or image
  • Anonymity?… What are the chances that someone will actually find out that I used their work… and then bother to take the time to take action against me?
  • Truly believe they are doing the right and ethical thing?

I have chosen various paths to deal with DAILY violations of the CC copyright license that I have chosen for my work:

  • Ignore it
    It is turning into a full time job to find violations, contact information, write an email, follow up, etc. I am a one woman operation, who does NOT charge for anything on my blog, nor supplement with ads and commercials…
  • Contact the author of the violation
    by writing a canned response letter such as:

    In your recent blog post you used one of my images without giving proper credit.
    [insert URL of violation]
    My work is licensed under Creative Commons , attribution, share alike, non commercial.
    As an educator, I believe in sharing freely under these conditions to build collaboration and encourage added value, remixing and creation.
    I see a copyright symbol on your own blog, which violates the “share alike” part of my license.
    I am asking you to please add attribution to the image, remove your own copyright of your work or remove my image.
    Please make yourself familiar with copyright and Creative Commons licenses if you use material beyond the ones you have created yourself.
    Thank you in advance

     

  • I make contact to only
    • receive no response
    • Receive a rude response
    • Receive a one liner such as: “Sorry, I did not know…”, “Will take it off my site” or “I am in my right to do what I want under Fair Use”
  • Share my frustration on Twitter, Facebook page and now on my blog
    CC-infringement
    I have received comments such as the one below on my Facebook Page

“I agree in principle but Langwitches has to make a decision to share the free content with and without attributions…or remove the resources and charge membership to get access. The choice is always yours (Langwitches) …just stop whining and complaining.

Darrell Garrison takes it a step further by asking the question  “Who is to Blame for Wrongful Attributions for Educational Blogs and How Do We Fix it?

I was frustrated yesterday as I was reading an article from one of the educational sites that I enjoy called Edudemic. I usually read what they’ve posted once a day and I almost always read articles involving ideas of how to create PLNs or guides for social media and educators no matter what the source. Yesterday I got to the bottom of the article and saw a graphic by  Silvia Tolisano that I have shared many times and itself is based on an original graphic by Alex Couros as Silvia points out on her Flickr page.

What can we do to raise awareness of Copyright law and the ethical importance for teachers to be knowledgeable and models in adhering to licenses and ethical behavior when it comes to digital citizenship?

What have you done, when you realized that other educators take your own work or someone you know and “pretend” they created it?

Annotexting

Collaborative blog post by Mike Fisher and Jeanne Tribuzzi, of the Curriculum 21 Faculty.

The companion LIVEBINDER OF INTERACTIVE TOOLS IS HERE.

Expecting students to read deeply and draw meaningful conclusions is at the heart of the Common Core ELA standards. Students are asked to read closely, cite evidence, and make evidence based inferences when they read. They are expected to deepen their learning by valuing textual evidence and reading critically.  Annotating text is one way students can cite textual evidence, infer and deepen meaning as they read..

Annotations make thinking visible for teachers and students. We can use the words and features of a text to better comprehend it, ask questions, and note our thoughts while reading. One goal of comprehension is that students will be proficient annotators of texts to understand more deeply by interacting and making thinking transparent while they read.

There are many reasons to ask students to annotate text: for basic comprehension, to show evidence of conceptual understanding, to show what is implied, to identify the claims in an argument, to read like a writer and identify characteristics of genre, to notice the nuance of language…and many other reasons.   Giving guidance as to what we want students to annotate for will be beneficial for the reader. Otherwise, they will annotate everything that comes to mind, and the work may not be helpful to the reader or the teacher.

Annotations are often a singular, individual experience. Annotexting ups the ante all around.

Annotexting is a process that involves the collection of thoughts, observations and reactions to reading that show evidence of critical thought. These annotations, rather than being on paper, can be collected with different web tools so that students can collaborate, both locally and globally, around the conclusions that they will ultimately draw from their reading.

Students submit their annotations via their smart phones or other digital devices, and then analyze each other’s notations collectively.  They could be looking for main ideas, thematic and literary elements, or big ideas from the work.   They could be looking for evidence of connections to other texts, their own experiences, or world issues. They could simply be searching for meaning to support them when reading complex texts.

In addition, students could reflect on the collective evidence as a metacognitive activity to assess their own learning.  Perhaps the collaborative exercise raised new questions for them or offered them new ways of thinking about the text. Perhaps there is something else the student wants or needs to know?

Metacognition can be strengthened when citing evidence in text.  Textual evidence that supports the thinking behind what they are thinking is a gigantic first step into the depth and complexity that the Common Core is asking of students.  Annotexting kicks that up a notch by engaging task specific tools that offer opportunities for strategic thinking and globally connected opportunities.

Consider THIS ANNOTATED TEXT.

The student wrote all over this poem. The student underlined specific words and wrote annotations about them in line with the text. This student is engaging in a thoughtful, albeit singular, analysis of this poem.

What changes with multiple perspectives?

We have our own ideas about squat pens and writing utensils as weapons  (based on the student’s annotations) but they are different than this student’s collection of evidence. What would have changed in the interpretation of this poem if our perspectives were woven together? Does the collaborative process of conversation yield a greater product? Does the thinking extend when multiple perspectives are mixed? Does the evidence yield to strategic thinking when multiple viewpoints are involved?

Besides the strategic and capable use of digital tools, annotexting offers students the opportunity to value evidence, think critically and engage with different perspectives.  Rather than working independently to read, comprehend and analyze text, annotexting will allow students to engage with other audiences in tasks with an expanded purpose, supporting college and career readiness.

We’ve created an example of what this could look like in Corkboard using William Blake’s poem, “The Tyger.” (Click on the Corkboard tab in the Livebinder. The example is in a subtab.) You can see other examples in several of the tabs in the binder. We would also like to share this DISCUSSION RUBRIC (2007) that you can use as students submit annotations and begin to draw conclusions about what their evidence is pointing to.

In order to get students to own this process, we have to relinquish some control. Let them think, let them make mistakes and respond. Let them draw conclusions even they are not the conclusions we would have drawn. We can be there to coach them through misconceptions.

The college and career ready student (on page seven of the ELA Common Core document) is expected to attend to audience, task, purpose and discipline in both reading and writing. The standards also expect students to think critically and value evidence.  The document goes on to explain that the college and career ready student should use digital media strategically and purposefully.  Annotexting is at the intersection of all of these capacities.

In addition to collecting evidence with web tools, there are also digital APPS that we’ve come across that would work for Annotexting too. (These are represented in the LiveBinder as well.) Some are notetaking apps that let you collect evidence and annotations with a digital device and some let you edit and annotate PDF files and documents. There are resources in the binder for both iTunes and Android Market Apps.

Some Youtube tutorials:

GoodReader app
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIrBS8d_CCA

PaperPort (this one’s free)  it let’s me import my pdf files…and annotate them!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Yu1Fg4xu9E

Note Shelf- for notetaking
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0H7es6CkE8k&feature=related

iAnnotate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHoAGbQcp2o&feature=related

Phatpad
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t55Y6M-hriQ

If you would like to explore this and other Modern Learning moments more in depth, check out Curriculum21’s Webinar Series and our all new LEAD21 Academy at this year’s Curriculum Mapping Institute.  We will also be exploring the Common Core as it relates to Curriculum Design at the upcoming Ohio Regional Conference in May. (Space is limited!)

Fisher, Michael L., Jr. and Nancy Cook.  “Notice, Think, and Wonder: New Pathways to Engage Critical Thinking.” IN TRANSITION: Journal of the New York State Middle School Association. 25.1 (2007): 15-18. Web. 25 Feb. 2012. <http://www.nysmsa.org/associations/611/files/ITv25n1_Fall 2007.pdf>.

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Curriculum21 Podcast- Episode 14

Jeanne Tribuzzi and Mike Fisher discuss considerations for school wide literacy initiatives in preparation for CMI 2011. They talk about recent sessions at the ASCD conference on Literacy and reflect on some of the learning moments with participants.