Monday, March 30, 2009
2. Doing old things in old ways.
3. Doing old things in new ways.
4. Doing new things in new ways
Marc Prensky's Essential 21st Century Skills
Marc Prensky's Open Letter to the Obama Administration
Friday, March 27, 2009
Check out the links below to some of Shayna's work:
Lewiston Middle School Civil Rights Team
Memoirs for Change: The Lewiston-Auburn Memoirs Project (LAMP)
Memoirs for Change
Storytellers for Peace
Sun Journal: "LMS Students Share Stories As They Write Memoirs"
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink. ~ George Orwell
Education Week Interview with Education Secretary Arne Duncan from Education Week on Vimeo.
Diane Ravitch at Bridging Differences: "Is Arne Duncan Really Margaret Spellings in Drag?
Melanie Smollin: "Education's Piece of the Stimulus Pie - Following the Money"
Schools Matter: "Meier and Konsky on Duncan"
21st Century Literacy
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Having just completed a day in Bangor with teachers there who are working on Inquiry-based Instruction and Essential Questions, my partner in crime, Jim Burke and I were very impressed with many of the things that are happening there in Grades four through 8. We were part of an all day professional development experience that reached all content areas. Jim and I covered the language arts curriculum and presented resources and ideas for language arts teachers.We were just a small part of a day arranged by Martha Thibodeau through the Title IID grant. One of the resources presented was Wordle. I am sure most are familiar with Wordle, but if not it makes wonderful word clouds. Last night while watching CNN's commentary on President Obama's press conference, the commentators used his words in a Wordle word cloud. It was blown up to a tremendous size, and they were able to pinpoint the words that were used most often and it highlighted the power of words. The Bangor teachers were thrilled with exposure to this new resource, and now its reach to mainstream media has taken it to real world uses and shows another use beyond our imagination.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
1. What have we learned from the first 7 years of MLTI?
2. What might work even better in the future?
MLTI Laptop Information (2009 Deployment) at LIM Resources Wiki (Feel free to edit (update).
Discuss on LIM Online Community
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
My sister is an elementary school teacher. To me, that makes her an automatic saint, no documented miracles necessary.
She is also a young teacher in a small school and moves around grade wise: first rate last year, second grade this year, and third grade next year. I asked her about a recent teacher in-service day. "At least I got my math curriculum done," she said "you know, for the next teacher." And that got me to thinking about curriculums as usable documents.
Flashback to the experiences of my friends becoming teachers. Some entered classrooms where the retired teacher had left behind binders and file cabinets full of their "curriculum", presumably for them to use. Being young and overwhelmed, in the end most of it ended up being tossed out. On one hand, this is certainly a shame to have all that work gets thrown out but on the other, who wants to shift through someone else's organizational logic or stream of conscious thought? I certainly wouldn't.
To me the only way a curriculum is usable by more than one person is if it's very general and able to fit within a few typed pages. I would tend to look online for ideas for lesson plans but in general I want to plan on going to teach a concept myself. The fact that I would have to teach meteorology in April? No problem. The fact that I have to use what I think is your crappy lesson on clouds? Not so much.
(Come to think of it, all I wanted in the last school I worked in was to look at the school's curriculum and for two years I asked. I've still never seen it.)
Do any of your schools use a curriculum in a real way? If so how can we best share it amongst other teachers and with the public?
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Google Sites Web Page
You have now performed an inquiry-based activity and explored information about inquiry-based learning in science.
What do you think makes a lesson inquiry based?
What can you change in the science activities you do with a class to move them from closed to directed to open inquiry?
Make a list of criteria important to include in an inquiry-based science activity.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Lindsay started the classes by showing a very short Discovery Education video on bio-diversity and then had very effective discussions with her classes on what was good and what wasn't so good in the video construction in preparation for the students making their own videos.
They are also making great use of their MLTI laptops to do research on a variety of issues relating to the rainforests. MARVEL - Maine's Virtual Library - is a great resource for this work.
Lindsay MacMillan's Great Rainforest Resources Portaportal
Rainforest resources at LIM wiki
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
"A tool should have a low floor, wide walls and high ceiling" ~ Mitch Resnick and Seymour Papert.We have been bombarded with web apps for the past couple of years. It is overwhelming for even those of us who spend a great deal of our time trying to be aware of what is available.
The first issue is to have a place that collects and organizes these new tools. Simple Spark is a favorite spot for me to check out what is available. Then there is, of course, Go2Web20, which is perhaps a bit glitzy, but helpful nevertheless. And there is also Webappsreview.
The next issue is to actually choose the best tool for what we want to accomplish. The tool needs to be so easy-to-use that even beginners can quickly make use of it, and yet, at the same time, needs to offer the ability to offer higher level options for those who are growing in skills. When the learning-curve gets in the way of what we need to accomplish, I would suggest that we need to reconsider. Clunky and archaic systems that get in the way of efficient learning have no place in education. It shouldn't be a complicated ordeal to accomplish a simple task. Teachers are pragmatic and will use what works well as there is no extra time to spend endlessly troubleshooting.
Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers gives reviews of the latest apps and sites . . . and suggests ways they might be used in the classroom.
My current favorites: #1 Ning, #2 Google Sites
What are your favorite web tools?
"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." ~ Albert Einstein
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Take a look . . . see what you think.
Stephen Downes: Introducing Edupunk
The Wired Campus: Frustrated with Corporate Course Management Systems
Ken Carroll: Edupunks Need to Grow Up
Is Teaching a Subversive Activity?
David Warlick: What's This about Edupunk?
Brian Lamb: abject learning
Jennifer Jones - Injenuity: Viral Professional Development
Friday, March 6, 2009
The Maine Historical Society, in partnership with the Maine State Library, is seeking Maine communities to participate in the 2009-2010 program cycle of the Maine Community Heritage Project (MCHP), an innovative program that promotes collaboration between local schools, historical societies, and public libraries through the exploration and celebration of local history. The MCHP grows out of the Maine Memory Network, the Maine Historical Society's nationally recognized statewide digital museum, and is supported by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services.
The MCHP is a year-long program designed to mobilize Maine communities around the exploration and sharing of their local history. Each participating community will build a website on the Maine Memory Network that gathers and radically expands access to historical images, documents, and information related to the history of their community.
Applications from local partnership teams—each of which must include a local school (grades 6-12), library, and historical organization are now being accepted. Eight communities will be selected to participate in the program which will run from July 2009-June 2010. Participating communities will receive extensive training in digitization, access to powerful yet user-friendly online tools, guidance and support from full-time project staff, and funds of up to $7,500 to support project activities. All Maine communities are eligible to apply. The application deadline is: April 9.
For an application, or to learn more about the MCHP, please visit here or contact Kristie Littlefield by email at or by calling (207) 653-9287.
There is an embedded version of Cooliris below, but to gain the full power of its capabilities, a browser plugin needs to be downloaded here.
Additional Photo Resources at the LIM Wiki
Monday, March 2, 2009
eHow: How to Do Well on Standardized Tests
Great Schools: What Standardized Tests Do and Don't Tell You
Wikipedia: Standardized Tests
Standardized Tests: What Parents Should Know
The Use of Standardized Tests in Maine
Maine Schools Move to Use Regional Standardized Tests
MEA (Maine Educational Assessment)
David Silvernail: Maine's Laptop Program: Creating Better Writers
David Silvernail: Cost and Characteristics of Maine's High Performing Schools