Hour of Code – For those who are 6 to 106!

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Computer Science Education Week is Dec 9-15, 2013. An “Hour of Code” is an amazing event in which educators are encouraged to spend one hour, during next week, introducing aspects of computer coding to their students.

This learning opportunity is a “one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify ‘code’ and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, an innovator.” Teachers are encouraged to explore the wealth of ideas, tutorials, and resources provided on the “Hour of Code 2013″ web site.

Hour of Code-400x300

There are an incredible variety of  step-by-step, self-guided, tutorials that are provided for both students and teachers. Not only are these innovative tutorials designed to run through computer browsers, on smartphones, or on tablets; some of the “coding” activities require no computer at all. Should you have any concerns, they are probably addressed in the “Hour of Code – Frequently Asked Questions”.

No experience in computer coding for either teachers or students is necessary. All that is required is for teachers to be risk-takers and learn along with their students. I recommend that all teachers practice saying three most important words … “I don’t know” but quickly follow-up with … “but when you figure it out, please teach me”. Other experienced educators suggest advising students to “Ask three … before me!” to reduce the pressure to try to answer all questions. This may appear to some educators to be a “cop-out”, but it reinforces that no one knows all the answers and that true learning is a collaborative effort. Furthermore, a student’s self-worth is dramatically increased, whenever s/he can teach an adult.

So I encourage you to take an hour next week and have fun, learning to “code” with your students.

Sorry, I have to run now and figure out how to navigate that darn “Angry Bird” through that puzzle.

Take care & keep smiling :-)

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Lip dub: I’m havin’ a good time!

Activity, ETMOOC, How To, Project, Tutorial No Comments »

Educators looking to engage their students in a fun, educational activity should consider having their students create a collaborative lip dub video of a favourite song. For those unfamiliar with the process, Wikipedia states:

A lip dub is a type of video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing to make a music video. It is made by filming individuals or a group of people lip synching while listening to a song or any recorded audio then dubbing over it in post editing with the original audio of the song.

Having joined the Educational Technology & Media’s Massive Open Online Course (#ETMOOC), I was invited, with other participants from around the world, to participate in a collaborative lip dub.

[ETMOOC Lip Dub: http://www.youtube.co/watch?v=cxwbdLMt_Bo]

I admit that my knowledge of the lip dub process was limited. In early March 2011, Andy McKiel and Darren Kuropatwa hosted a professional development session entitled “Social Media: Challenges & Opportunities for Education”. Not only were they willing to motivate their own teaching staff, they also extended an invitation to educators outside their Division. As this previous link indicates, I left this P.D. session reflecting on the power of one’s Personal Learning Network (PLN). This focus was the result of Dean Shareski’s lip dub video in which he invited 75 friends from around the world to help create a 40th birthday video entitled “Happy Birthday Alec Couros”.  I envied the organizing strategies together with talented movie editing and the commitment of hours that went into creating this masterpiece. It was evident that Alec’s friends were having so much fun engaging in this collaborative lip dub that I knew that the process had potential for students. 

I was delighted when Dean Shareski took the time to share the important “behind the scenes” processes involved in his “Happy Birthday” lip dub. Although his blog post entitled “So I started this Google doc..” shared many of the critical steps, I still felt that the steps outlined were still somewhat theoretical for me because I had not invested my energies or passion into the process. The key part that was still missing in my learning journey, was to be more actively involved in either participating or making a lip dub.

Imagine my delight when I signed up for the Educational Technology & Media’s Massive Open Online Course (#ETMOOC) to find that Alec Couros was planning to create a lip dub, with collaboration from people around the world. I decided to sign up. as a participant, so that I could get a better understanding of the mechanics involved in organizing and creating a lip dub.

To help my readers gain a better appreciation for the steps involved in organizing and creating this #ETMOOC lip dub, I’ll outline the steps below:

  • Alec first invited #ETMOOC participants to consider taking part in this crowd source lip dub activity. Information was sent to participants by both email and through Twitter. Members were given ample time to consider how they might like to participate.
  • Using a Google Docs spreadsheet, Alec invited members of the #ETMOOC community to suggest the name of a song whose lyrics promoted or provided meaning to this special collaborative “singing” experience.
  • Once several songs were suggested, Alec used the “Poll Everywhere” survey process to gain feedback as to which of the 10 most popular suggested songs would become the actial audio track. All members of the #ETMOOC community (regardless of whether they wished to actively participate or not) were encouraged to vote for their favourite. Through continuous tweets, Alec kept the ETMOOC community aware of the the voting results.
  • Once Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” was chosen as the most popular, Alec then provided the #ETMOOC community with a specific YouTube video of a Queen performance so that participants could practice singing along with the performer or refining guitar solos.
  • I found Alec’s “Lip Dub Project” instruction document to be a key ingredient and insight in the organizational requirements of a lip dub with so many participants, from so many different locations, with so many different combinations of hardware and software. This is a “must read” for teachers who are considering creating a lip dub activity. True, you may not need all the extras that Alec has considered (in that his participants are from around the world), but Alec has identified key items that all teachers will find beneficial.
  • In his instruction manual, Alec printed line by line the lyrics to the  song “Don’t Stop Me Now”. After each line, a space was left where a participant could add his/her name indicating that they would sing this specific line. Alec even suggested lines where he encouraged more participation that just one individual. Furthermore, participants were encouraged to engage others  (as well as pets) in creating their video segment so that the fun and laughter could be shared.
  • Participants were encouraged to showcase images to represent the community where the individual was located. If you look closely, at my participation in this #ETMOOC lip dub, you will note that I am wearing a red jacket with the letters CANADA displayed across the front, with a Manitoba flag hanging in the background with an NHL “Jets” cap positioned proudly on my head.
  • Alec suggested that participants make a video of them singing their selected lines(s) of “Don’t Stop Me Now”. To facilitate merging the individual participant clips, Alec suggested participants capture themselves singing their selected line as well as the previous and next lines to allow for trimming during the challenging editing process.
  • The key to working with so many different video segments is to determine a file-naming code or convention. Alec insisted that each individual name his/her video as a combination of the participant name/twitter, geographic location, and the song line number. Following this important advice, my video file contribution was named:

Brian Metcalfe-@bkmetcalfe-WinnipegCanada-Line5.MOV

  • Alec set up a mechanism so that the respective video clips could be sent to him using the Dropbox and DropitTome services. An alternate email process for sending video files was also included so that all participants could send their song snippet to Alec by the stated deadline.
  • Alec then shared the collected video files in Dropbox with Josh Stumpenhorst (@stumpteacher).  Josh volunteered to use his “magic” with Pinnacle Studio to create the resulting #ETMOOC Lip Dub.
  • Once the video was created, it was shared on YouTube with the #ETMOOC community and the world.

I think that Alec summarized the intent of this lip dub project when he stated:

Let’s have fun with this! Show some of that joy and exuberance that many of you have shown thus far. I hope that this results in a great bonding experience, more familiarity with community members, and an artifact that helps to represent the experience of #etmooc.

Although many would consider the uploading of the lip dub to YouTube as the final process in this creative endeavour, I am so thankful that Alec took a most important additional step. Alec found the time to reflect on this lib dub project in his post “Making of the #etmooc Lipdub”. I find that I always learn so much from educators who are willing to share tips and strategies to improve projects with the benefit of hind-sight.

I encourage readers to check out Alec’s reflective post to learn how using a file-name convention starting with the line # (rather than at the end) allows one to automatically sort video clips in order of the songs lyrics. In addition, I particularly liked Alec’s reminder of how he added a “+” sign alias to his Google mail “couros+etmooc@gmail.com” so that he could more easily filter email related to this innovative project. However, without Alec’s reflective post, I would not have realized that my “Don’t Stop Me Now” video clip (which was my first video attempt on our iPad Christmas gift) was suffering from the dreaded “Vertical Video Syndrome”.

In conclusion, I was so delighted to be an active participant in this engaging and fun activity. Furthermore, having the flexibility and freedom to choose which of the Queen lyrics I would sing was very important to me. I felt that as a Life-Long-Learner and recent MOOC participant, I was proud to sing “Don’t stop me now … don’t stop me … ’cause I’m having a good time … having a good time!”

Take care & keep smiling :-)

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The eyes are the windows into the soul

Activity, DS106, Food for Thought, How To, Tutorial 6 Comments »

You might ask, like my wife, why am I enrolling in the DS106 course again. Didn’t I get my “fill” of on-line learning a year ago? The simple answer is that there are gaps in my learning that I want to try fill. I have found that through the on-going support, comments, and instructional blog posts of the DS106 community, I can take ownership for my own learning and professional development.

In the previous post, I alluded to the fact that GIF animation had become so much more sophisticated over the past dozen years. Certainly, I was actively engaged in the Spring 2012 DS106 course and I was extremely pleased at the skills and knowledge I had gained. However, as I continued to read other DS106-related blog posts, during the remainder of 2012, I realized that my GIF animation was quite limiTed.

So now that I have “dotted my “T”s … we’ll now cross our “I”s” :-)

Judge Judy Animated Eyes

[Animated GIF reflecting "The eyes are the windows into the soul"]

The Back Story
As an educator, I am so grateful to the DS106 individuals, who not only share their assignments, but also take the time to provide insights and instructions into their creative process. Sometimes when we attend Educational Technology conferences or professional development sessions, we are exposed to perfect, polished activities or projects. However, on returning to our classrooms, we may become discouraged when we attempt to replicate the process ourselves. Some of the reasons for this failure might include lacking the necessary hardware, software, or more importantly, the skills that the sharing educator took for granted. I welcome the DS106 model in which participants are encouraged to share their insights into their creative process.

To illustrate the importance of this “Back Story” process, I urge educational readers to view Dean Shareski’s K-12 Online Conference keynote video entitled “Sharing: The Moral Imperative”. Here, Dean suggests that “the ability to teach and share beyond our classrooms is moving from ‘nice to do’ to ‘necessary to do’”. Although this keynote was extremely powerful and the message is still just as important today as it was in the Fall of 2010, it was Dean’s “Back Story” that I appreciated. Later in the conference Dean shared a remarkable, instructional “behind the scenes” video to help educators better understand why and how his original “Sharing” video was created. Here, I learned a number of tips including how Dean set up his scrolling iPad (above the video camera) to function as his teleprompter.

In the past, the vast majority of individuals were content to be “consumers” of information from sources such as Internet web sites. Only a few were “producers” who created animated GIFs and learned to craft web pages using HyperText Markup Language (HTML). However, there has been a dramatic shift!. Today, the vast majority of students, particularly those in the DS106 community, learn best as “producers of knowledge”, be it their own blog or crafty, video-based, animated GIFs. In order to encourage such production, I recommend that one strive to include insight into how each assignment was crafted through a “back story” process. Through providing such “teachable moments” your learning will improve and perhaps, more importantly, you will provide a learning legacy for others.

My “Animated” Learning Journey
My motivation to begin was the realization that many of the creative “GIF masters” (that I referenced in the previous post) were starting with video rather than a static image to create their animated GIFs. As I was unfamiliar with the process for capturing video, I searched the DS106 website for  information on “animated GIFs”. I was delighted to find a DS106 wiki, which was a veritable gold mine of tutorials. The one that I explored was:

Based on this information, I jumped in “with both feet” and started searching YouTube for possible videos. I selected a video entitled “Judyism: Judge Judy At Her Best”. I thought that the expression in Judy’s eyes might not only help me learn more about animating from a video clip but might also qualify my work for the “GIF Me Again About My Eyes” assignment worth “two points”.

My next hurdle involved finding a reliable mechanism for downloading YouTube videos. I still use an older Windows computer running the XP operating system so my choices of free downloading options may be somewhat limited. I investigated the Fastest YouTube Downloader, Freemake Video Downloader (for Windows) and the Pwn YouTube process.  Gizmo’s Freeware  posted “Finally a Free, Flexible Youtube Download That Works” which recommended Freemake Video Downloader. I had previously installed this software during last year’s DS106 class. However, during a more thorough investigation this year, I became rather concerned when it was revealed that Freemake Video Downloader used the “Open Candy” system during installation. I admit that when I install software, I always read each page and opt-out of any additions of other products or new toolbars. I pay a yearly license fee to run commercial, up-to-date virus protection and regularly run Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware to remove any potential unwanted threats. So with this latest information, I utilized the Pwn YouTube process, which appeared to be the least invasive approach, to downloading video from YouTube.

Once I had captured the “Judge Judy” video, I downloaded MPEG Streamclip to trim the frames that displayed the eye movement. I found by using the arrow keys on my keyboard, I could advance along the timeline and select video frame-by-frame. These frames were then exported into the GIMP image manipulation program which I had downloaded and installed.

I admit that I do not know very much about making animated GIFs from video. However, I found that by viewing Michael Branson Smith’s excellent “Animated GIF” video and following the detailed steps in the DS106 wiki tutorial, I was able to produce my first animated GIF from video.

The Last Important Question
My wife, who was also a teacher, was very involved in her school divisions “Science Fair”. When judging student projects, one of her most important questions near the end of her interview with students was “If you were to do this over again, what would you do differently?” Such a question is one that I think we, as professionals, should continually ask ourselves.

In my case, I know that there are three things that I would like to attempt:

  1. Explore the process for adding an additional “reverse string” of selected video frames to the exported images  to make a smoother, cyclic animated GIF. Michael Branson Smith explained this process do well in his video “GIFFing Video Clips with Photoshop”  (starting at approximately the 5:00 minute mark). However, I’m not sure that my copy of “Photoshop Elements 6″ has all the necessary features.
  2. Explore different YouTube download processes and conversion to different formats. I would like to find the best combination to not capture quality video clips but also display the resulting animated GIF in the best format in my blog.
  3. Most importantly, I’d recommend that DS106-ers use as their primary resource “The DS106 Handbook”. I believe the renovations to the DS106 web site have been spectacular. The format is so much more inviting and is organized in an efficient manner with all the tools you need identified in the handbook. Therefore, don’t search for “Ds106 animated GIFs” like I did, which brought up the older wiki-based information; rather check out the ever-evolving and updated links in the handbook such as:

I admit that this post is rather lengthy but I hope that by modelling the “Back Story” process, I can encourage others to share their tips and tricks along their learning journey.

Take care & keep smiling :-)

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“Tools For The 21st Century Educator” – P.D.

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Sisler High School, the Winnipeg School Division, Eyeconic Media and Microsoft Canada will be hosting a five day Professional Development session on cutting edge ICT skills for digital learners during the week of July 9 – 13, 2012. Our goal is to engage and empower educators through hands-on workshops.

Although the cost for each workshop is $50.00, anyone may sign up for individual morning or afternoon workshop sessions which are of interest:

  • Workshop 1: The Cloud Classroom – Monday July 9th, 9:00 am -11:45 am
  • Workshop 2: Web & Gaming Graphics – Monday, July 9th, 12:45 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Workshop 3: Video Conferencing in the Classroom – Tuesday, July 10th, 9:00 am – 11:45 am
  • Workshop 4: Video Editing for the Web – Tuesday, July 10th, 12:45 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Workshop 5: Photo-imaging for the Web – Wednesday, July 11th, 9:00 am – 11:45 am
  • Workshop 6: Introduction to Web Design – Wednesday, July 11th, 12:45 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Workshop 7: Web Graphics & Animation – Thursday, July 12th, 9:00 am – 11:45 am
  • Workshop 8: Audio Composition – Thursday, July 12th, 12:45 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Workshop 9: Game Design for the Web – Friday, July 13th, 9:00 am – 11:45 am
  • Workshop 10: Online Teacher Presence – Friday, July 13th, 12:45 pm – 3:30 pm

Additional P.D. details and specific workshop content can be found in the E3 Workshop Booklet which may be downloaded in PDF format.

There are still some workshops seats available, so register as soon as possible at: Eyeconic Media (www.eyeconic.ca)

Take care & keep smiling :-)

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‘DS106: Thanks for the Memories’ Video

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My first DS106 video assignment is a “Digital Story Compilation” in which I was challenged to “Create a video compilation of some of your favorite things you’ve made in ds106″. I titled it “DS106: Thanks for the Memories” because while I was creating this video, I was totally engaged in the process of documenting my new-found experiences in my DS106 learning journey.

 

I must admit though I was so envious of some of my colleagues who assembled a 3-5 minute video of their creative images, added a soundtrack, uploaded it to YouTube, and quickly moved on to their next video assignment. True, their videos represented their accomplishments and other DS106 students, who shared the learning experience, could view the elements without the need for additional commentary to explain the back story.

By comparison, my video, like my blog posts, tend to favour the longer formats. I am jealous of my colleagues who can write effortlessly and share ideas with an economy of words. Some might consider my style to be somewhat “anal”(ytical). This approach might be reinforced if one knew that I initially attempted the relaxed “voice over” narration and rejected it after several “takes”. As an educator, I just felt uncomfortable “winging it” and recording a narration as the video progressed.  Therefore, I created a Word document with an embedded table which contained both the slide images and their respective narrative “sound bites”. Believe me, after matching images and writing appropriate narration to enhance the video, I have a new-found admiration for the work that goes into video production.

Your “Teacher’s Voice”
However, it was my adult son who raised another aspect of video creation that I had not considered. After listening to my “20 Questions & Answers About DS106” radio show, he provided me with some constructive feedback about my sound-track, when he stated:

Dad … in your narration, you pause too much and your speaking is too slow and deliberate. Radio announcers talk quickly and move right along. I think you seem to be lapsing into your “teacher’s voice”.

Certainly my “radio show” narration was somewhat stilted. In fact, I will warn viewers that even the following “DS106: Thanks for the Memories” video appears to have this same deliberate narrative quality that I, as an educator, tend to use in an instructional setting.

It was this feedback and reflection that caused me to finally ask this very important question:

Who is your audience?

While most DS106 students were designing audio-visual creations, their primary audience was their respective instructor and their supportive DS106 colleagues. Each of these audience members were quite familiar with the DS106 massive, open online course (MOOC), the “Daily Create” activities, and its challenging assignments. These individuals were immersed in the ABC’s of “Always Be Creating” and “Always Be Commenting”.

On the other hand, as a former teacher, who has been sharing educational blog posts for more than two years, I write for a primary audience who are K-12 educators, with my DS106 community an important secondary target. Whereas, my colleagues are creating for an audience who knows the complete DS106 back story, I am sharing with many educators who are not even aware of what the MOOC acronym represents let alone understand the mechanics and learning that goes on within this course. For this reason, I feel the need to explain in more detail so that my blog-following educators can better understand the dynamics, the energy, the fun and most importantly the learning that is taking place within this creative DS106 community. As an educator, I am doing my best to share powerful ideas and creative endeavours that I hope can somehow be adapted to work successfully within the K-12 environment. So perhaps, I am using my teacher’s voice but in many ways, I am still teaching.

I trust that readers will find ideas and learning opportunities within my 18 minute Vimeo video entitled “DS106: Thanks for the Memories“:

DS106: Thanks for the Memories from Brian Metcalfe on Vimeo.

In closing, it seems particularly fitting to share with you Solomon Ibn Gabriol’s five step process for learning and acquiring wisdom:

The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence,
the second listening,
the third memory,
the fourth practice,
the fifth teaching others.

Take care & keep smiling :-)

Credits:
-   Flickr – Creative Commons image “Thanks for the memory
by Leo Reynolds – http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/4037019936/

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‘ReCaptcha Illustrated’: A Unique Assignment

Activity, DS106, Tutorial 3 Comments »

Although this assignment and tutorial has been created as part of my contribution to the DS106 learning community, it also has great potential as an activity/project for our Senior Years’ students. “ReCaptcha Illustrated” is a unique Visual Assignment that was proposed by Alan Levine (aka cogdog), who challenged DS106 students to:

Include a screenshot of a word pair from a reCapctha in an illustration or visual mashup that shows what the words might mean. Use your imagination to create something meaningful out of the random words.

When you write it up, provide some narrative that puts the image in context.

As someone who can trace his heritage back to the “Emerald Isle”, it would have been ideal if my visual mashup creation, and its equally important narrative, could have been posted on March 17th.

I will provide a step-by-step tutorial to help engage others in this unique learning experience.

1.   After reading the description of the “ReCaptcha Illustrated” assignment, I searched for a web site that would allow me to activate a ReCaptcha display.

2.  My Google search led me to the “What is a reCAPTCHA?” site with an active reCAPTCHA “generator”.

3.   I examined the initial “two string” display, which made no sense, so I kept pressing the “recycle” button located above the “speaker” icon to generate a new text combination for consideration.

4.  I admit that I rejected perhaps 80% of the reCaptcha images generated because I was unable to visualize a context under which the displayed text might apply.

5.   However, when I found a reCaptcha display which looked promising, I took a screen capture and saved the image. Some of my “possibles” are shown below:

This one had possibilities if I could find an image of a “farming family”. I could then manipulate the photo and add a speech bubble having the children complain that “Ma …kills o(ur) farming”.

 

 

This one looked much more promising. I envisaged a teenaged boy, texting his buddy and (with an unfortunate slip on one letter) proudly announcing “I’ve dat3d Lisa”. Perhaps this display might also be a person typing in a 15 character password using the popular technique of replacing the letter “E” with the image reversed number “3″.

6.   When the reCaptcha displayed this one, based on my Irish heritage, I immediately imagined “a bubble in green beer”.

 

 

7.   The next step was to find an image of a “green bubble” using Flickr’s “Advanced Search Tool”.

8.   In the “search field” at the top of the page, I entered the two words “green bubble” (without quotes). Since I only wanted Creative Commons-licensed images that I could modify or mashup, I clicked on the check-boxes in front of the following two statements near the bottom of the search screen:

  • Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content; and
  • Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon

9.   I began searching for images that I felt had potential. Whenever I found an image that I thought I might use, I clicked on Flickr’s “Actions => View all sizes” menus to check the “license type”, and verified that the image was available for downloading.

10.   Whenever I found a possible image, I always recorded the image’s URL address in my Research URL File, together, with a brief description and a 1-10 rating. Experience has taught be that it takes little time to record the URL at the time of download as opposed to deciding to use an image and then having to go back later to find the image address. If you finally decide on an image and then have to go back later to find its URL for citing purposes, you often can no longer remember the exact search parameter terms which can be very frustrating and a real time waster!

11.   I decided on this “Green Bubble” Flickr image with its Creative Common’s Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike attributes. Under this photo’s license, I could “Share” and, most importantly “Remix” or modify/manipulate it by adding a speech or thought bubble. I proceeded to download the largest format size available that didn’t exceed 1024 x 768 pixels.

12.   I think that one should always follow the DS106 “ABC” mantra of “Always Be Commenting”. In particular, I believe that it is proper etiquette to leave a “Thank You” comment below the original Creative Commons image that you are going to use. Furthermore, I try to provide a URL link to the the remixed image in your own Flickr photostream. This provides an opportunity so that the individual who uploaded the original file can visit your remixed or modified creation so s/he can see how you utilized the original.

13.   Next I decided that I would need to add a speech bubble to the image. The only mechanism that I knew for accomplishing this task (at that time) was to use PowerPoint 2007. I started this application and used the Insert => Picture menu items to transfer this image on to a PowerPoint slide.

14.   After dragging the image’s corner handles out to fill the entire slide, I clicked on PowerPoint’s Insert => Shapes => Callouts menu items and selected the “thought bubble” icon. I clicked on the slide and dragged the “thought bubble” into position.

15.   Since the reCaptcha’s “A green bubble.”  text was displayed on a white background, it is very important that one right-clicks on the active “thought bubble”, selects the Format Shape => Fill => Solid Fill => Color, and selects the white “Theme Color” to match the white background of the reCaptcha disply.

16.   Next one must choose the Insert => Text Box menu items and enter an appropriate “thought” as a layer above the bubble image.

17.   One must now use a graphic viewer, such as the Irfanview freeware for Windows, or image editing software to capture only the reCaptcha’s “A green bubble.” text with its white background. Once this portion has been saved as a new image, it can be inserted onto the PowerPoint slide.

18.   All that remains is to add appropriate text into the thought bubble, add the ”A green bubble.” image, and experiment with resizing and positioning these components.

19.   Once you are satisfied with the thought bubble text and it’s position on the slide, it is important to save this file. Certainly one can save this PowerPoint file (of one slide) as “Greeen Bubble.ppt” or (.pptx using the newer 2007 file format) or any suitable file name. However, it is also important to save this single slide as an image. To do so one must click on PowerPoint’s Office Button” in the top left corner of the screen and select Save As => Other Formats menu items. Under the “Save in:” location options, navigate to an appropriate folder or location on your hard drive. Next, click the “Down arrow” at the right end of the “Save as type:” field, scroll down, choose the “JPEG File Interchange Format (*.jpg), enter an appropriate “File name:” and click the “Save” button. When prompted “Do you want to export every slide in the presentation or only the current slide?”, click the “Current Slide Only” button to save the following creative image for display and/or later use.

“Enquiring Minds Want to Know”
Providing a narrative to put the image in context

Background
This assignment has great potential for being used to engage students in Manitoba’s Senior Years Information and Communication Technology (ICT) courses. Undoubtedly, it could be introduced in both the “Applying ICT” and the “Digital Pictures” courses.

One might consider having students investigate the work of Luis von Ahn at Carnegie Mellon University as he developed different CAPTCHA processes. Some excellent resources were provided in my earlier blog post entitled “CAPTCHAs Reduce Blog Comment Spam“. Once students are more familiar with CAPTCHAs, this “hands-on”, multidisciplinary assignment will complement the theory and provide an excellent opportunity for students to demonstrate their creativity.

Although the somewhat technical portion of this Visual Assignment is completed, there are still ample ways to demonstrate creativity. This “reCaptcha Illustrated” activity has many learning opportunities for Senior Years students. Why not request that pairs of students work on this activity together? One person may take the lead in the more technical areas while his/her partner may wish to focus more on this narrative component. Regardless of how the work load is divided, students will learn more through communication in a collaborative environment.

ReCaptcha Illustrated – The story behind the image
The scene opens on St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. The story centers around a wee, Irish leprechaun by the name of Tommy O’Toole. Since early morning,Tommy has been celebrating all by himself in the local public house (or bar) called “Clancy’s Cellar”.

Tommy has not been keeping track of the number of beers that he has consumed. but it is safe to assume that even the locals would agree that “wee Tommy” is, indeed, intoxicated.

Tommy shouts to the barman … “Clancy  … draw me another pint of your best green beer, my good man.” Within moments a large glass tankard automatically appears in front of Tommy.

Just as Tommy toasts St. Patrick, hoists the tankard to his lips, and is about to pour the green nectar down his throat, he stops abruptly. He spies a large green bubble staring back at him from the frothy surface of his beer. Grasping the mug in both of his alcohol-induced shaky hands, Tommy slowly lowers his tankard and gingerly sits it carefully on the bar so as not to upset the delicate equilibrium.

Although his mind is somewhat clouded, after spending more than seven hours sampling all varieties of green beer, Tommy says to himself … “Faith and begorrah … have ye ever seen such an amazing green bubble? I wonder if St. Patrick is, indeed, sending me a sign of future good luck? I must share this good fortune with my closest friends.”

Through squinting eyes Tommy surveys the patrons of “Clancy’s Cellar” and, regretfully, does not recognize any of his friends. “How can I share this moment with my personal learning network?”, Tommy thinks.

“I could take out my cell phone and take a picture of the bubble”, thinks Tommy, but he quickly dismissed that poor idea. He says to himself. He mutters to himself, “Although my brain is a bit fuzzy, the picture would be worse, as my hands would shake so much while taking the picture”.

He continues problem solving as he thinks of a strategy. “I could brace my shaking hands on the bar and take a much steadier photo to send to my friends. No … even if I they were to receive a good quality picture of this green bubble, they would all accuse me of “Photoshopping” it. There has to be a better solution”, he thought.

Then Tommy shouted out loud … “OMG!”

He quickly realized that he had to invite all his Irish friends over to this bar ASAP, so they could witness for themselves, this wonderful green bubble.

He reached into his pocket with one shaky hand and slowly withdrew his cell phone. He grasped the device in both shaky hands as he navigated his thumbs over the keypad. Even in his drunken stupor, “wee Tommy” remembered he had to be extra careful with that one key that kept sticking.

“Was it the letter ‘e’ or the number ’3′?”, he muttered under his breath.

“I’m sure that every sober person knows that the uppercase ‘E’ looks like a backwards ’3′”, however Tommy was far from sober. “It’s understandable that everyone becomes confused over their similarities. They look so much a like”, thought Tommy in his drunken state.

Tommy realized that there was some urgency in sending a quick message to members of his PLN, so they could quickly travel to “Clancy’s Cellar” and view this amazing green bubble.

In his mind he began formulating a message he could send out through Twitter. Wee Tommy struggled to compose a coherent message. Furthermore, he knew he had less than the standard message length of 140 characters, because he needed to alert his friends using the important “#Irish” hashtag.

Tommy’s brain tried its best to send signals to activate both thumbs appropriately as Tommy stabbed at each key in turn.

As displayed below, there was a close correlation between the thought image in “wee Tommy’s” brain and the message that each of his friends actually received through Twitter …

Take care & keep your “Irish eyes” smiling :-)

Credits:
-   Flickr – Creative Commons image “Green Bubble
by jacsonquerubin – http://www.flickr.com/photos/spacial/4861327151/

-  Brian Metcalfe’s DS106 “photostream”
http://www.flickr.com/photos/life-long-learners

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SmART ART that is “off the chART”!

Activity, Project, Tip, Tutorial 2 Comments »

Today I will focus on some “hidden” Art-based projects that Manitoba students and educators have created and shared. I have purposely used the adjective “hidden” because these educational treasures often get little exposure beyond the school in which they were originally created. However, should the ideas migrate to other students or teachers, they often, unfortunately, tend to stay “hidden” within the originating school division’s boundaries.

Why do we, as educators, spend so much time searching the Internet for practical classroom-based ideas which we can download and then “tweak” or modify to meet our local provincial curriculum? My experience suggests that we often do this because we are unaware of the proven educational resources that have been created and used successfully by other Manitoba educators and students.

I recently attended a meeting in Brandon of the Manitoba Association of Educational Technology Leaders (MAETL). I regularly attend such meetings because I am eager to learn of new educational ideas and  resources that I can share with other students and teachers. At this meeting, I was not disappointed. Part of the morning was spent discussing how technology leaders might, more actively, share the inspirational, educational “nuggets” that each individual knew about within his/her own school division. Following the formal discussion, I had a chance over coffee to talk to Ron Nordstrom, who is the Technology Coordinator for the Beautiful Plains School Division. As is so the case, a chance remark afforded me the opportunity to learn a great deal. Although, I have known Ron for perhaps 15 years, I was unaware of his many talents. Recently, I have been following Ron through Twitter and I was impressed with the sketch that Ron had chosen for his gravatar. I asked Ron, who had he commissioned to created his life-like sketch. Ron replied that he had sketched his own image and that in addition to acting as Technology Coordinator, he also taught Grade 5 and 6 Art at Hazel M. Kellington School in Neepawa.

We then discussed some of Ron’s engaging Art activities, together with the student creations, that I wish to share with you. Readers should begin by examining the wealth of Art-related resources that Ron has compiled and displayed along the side of “Mr. Nordstrom’s Art Wiki“. To showcase the creativity of his students, together with the focus for the Art lesson, Ron designed this powerful image-enhanced blog resource called “Nordstom Art“.  I encourage readers to examine, and comment on, the creative student image galleries and lessons that Ron has shared under the following categories:

  • Superheros
  • Shades of Joy
  • Beauty of the Beasts
  • Cartoon Watercolor
  • Van Gogh Style Landscapes
  • Patterns and Texture Fish
  • Creative Names
  • Cartoon Watercolors
  • Ted Harrison Water Colors
  • Crayon Value Drawings
  • Faces in Proportion
  • Value Half-Drawings

Ron has also conducted a Superhero Challenge where students, with Internet access, may submit their own superhero drawing. Not only can viewers compare and contrast this gallery of portraits (all which display correct facial proportions), they can also examine each hero’s individual profile and super powers. Imagine the fun that students can have drawing their superhero and then writing about his/her exploits?

Finally, Ron described a book-creating service that he had recently used. As an dedicated teacher, Ron wanted to capture the lessons, ideas and, most importantly, the creative art work that his talented students had produced. To do this Ron submitted the ideas and images to blurb.com where he made his own book entitled “Art Projects – Examples From Grade 5 & 6 Art Classes“. I encourage readers to preview Ron’s excellent Art resource and share it with other educators who appreciate and/or teach Art to middle years students.

So often, as educators, we expend a great deal of effort preparing lessons and activities which engage our students. Perhaps there are some readers that will want to investigate the Blurb book building service to create their own coffee table book.  Regardless of whether such a book captures the creativity demonstrated by your students, a grandchild’s first steps, or a trip of a lifetime, the resulting book, that you create, will indeed be treasured.

Speaking of treasure, I want to thank Ron Nordstrom for sharing his talents and treasures with me and my readers.

~~~~~

Since this post is focusing on educational Art projects, I thought that I would share with readers two instances of unique Art projects that Winnipeg School Division teachers and students created several years ago.

Kate Wallis and her Grade 3 class at Sister MacNamara School challenged other students to take part in an innovative “Picasso Principals” challenge. At that time, Kate’s students sketched an image of their principal, Dale Scott, using Picasso’s creative style. Although this challenge started as an Art activity, it quickly developed into a unit which integrated Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Technology. I encourage readers to examine this web site and peruse the wealth of integration ideas and resources that are displayed through the “Index” links menu. Although this Art unit is more than 10 years old, it still demonstrates creativity and innovation on which today’s teachers and students might capitalize.

When I viewed Ron’s lesson on “Ted Harrison Watercolors”, I immediately remembered another Ted Harrison-related article that I had published in my “Bits and Bytes” newsletter in March, 2005. Sheila Malcolmson, of Tyndall Park School, shared an instructive article entitled “Smart Art – Tyndall Park students showcase Ted Harrison“. Here, in her article, Sheila described how her students created images using Ted Harrison’s style to complement the Social Studies unit on the Arctic Region. Windows users will still find the Anfy book flip freeware a unique tool to help them display exact-size images in a rather effective manner. Furthermore, I encourage readers to peruse the “Tyndall Park Alphabet Book’ that Sheila’s students illustrated using the Ted Harrison technique. Wendy Groot, who was the technology support teacher at the school, helped showcase the student’s artistic talents by displaying their creativity on the school web site as well as incorporating each student’s Ted Harrsion style image into a HyperStudio stack. Although HyperStudio may not be as popular in schools as it was several years ago, one can still download this creative “Tyndall Park Alphabet Book” as a Windows executable HyperStudio file, to view the talents of these Grade 5 students.

In conclusion, I ask that readers pass along these engaging Art-related resources to teachers who might wish to use them with their students. Regardless of when these ideas were first created, the resources of such creative and dedicated educators need to be shared so that other students might benefit.

Thanks to all for caring and sharing.

Take care & keep smiling :-)

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‘Excel’lent Maths Problem Solving Puzzles

Activity, Bits and Bytes, Freebie, Tutorial No Comments »

When I taught middle years Mathematics, I found myself intrigued by the different ways students solved puzzles. Classic puzzles, such as the following problem, use letters to represent numbers which can be displayed as simple calculation problems in disguise. One must replace each letter by a single 0 to 9 digit. The same digit must be used to represent the same letter. So, if you believe that 4 is being used to represent the letter A, then 4 must be used for all A’s in the same problem. Of course, one must use a different digit for different letters. After one substitutes all the letters for the numbers, a perfectly valid calculation problem will result.

Although some students might approach the problem using a “brute-force” method in which guesswork was employed, I was fascinated by those who approached the problem logically or employed a variety of strategies. I found that it was wise to provide my students with an opportunity to share with the class what assumptions were made and what strategies were used. For example, most would try to solve the above puzzle as shown in its subtraction format. However, some students found this puzzle easier to solve when the problem was rewritten in its corresponding addition format. Such “working backwards” is an effective strategy for solving problems and one that works well in this case. In addition, unlike most mathematical problems where there is only one correct answer, I encouraged students to see if they were able to find more than one series of letter substitutions that would solve each particular puzzle problem.

Excel Spreadsheet Format:
In the January, 2001 issue of “Bits and Bytes”, I wrote an article entitled “Spreadsheets: A Problem Solving Puzzle Creator“. This extensive article, provided the reader with insights into how I designed the spreadsheet component using Microsoft “Works” to create problems such as the above. Recently, I decided to improve and upgrade these same six problems so that they could be used by those readers using the 2007 (or later versions) of Microsoft Office. Educators may download a single Excel 2007 workbook which contains each of the six puzzles as individual worksheets at the end of this blog post.

Word Document Format:
As an educator, I wanted to provide students with an opportunity to identify the hunches and strategies that they used when attempting to solve these problem/puzzles. In order to facilitate this important documentation step, I created a Word document containing each puzzle as an embedded spreadsheet followed by a “What I/we learned” portion at the bottom of the page where students could list the various steps and strategies they took in solving a particular problem. The individual six Word problem/puzzles can be downloaded as “freebies” at the end of this article.

Suggested Lesson Steps:
I would use the following Word puzzle activities in the following manner:

1.  Divide up the classroom into teams consisting of two or three students of similar abilities. I believe that the collaborative interaction in the team approach, as well as a reflective “What I/we learned?” nature of this project gives the best results for learning. Since the puzzles are arranged in order by relative difficulty, I would assign particular puzzles to challenge teams while providing a “best-fit” scenario.

2. Make a backup of all Word document puzzles (and keep them in a safe place) in case student puzzles get saved over the originals.

3. Transfer a copy of each Word document puzzle to a computer server drive location to which the students have access.

4. Open the first Word Puzzle #1 (ONE + ONE = TWO) on a workstation and project the image onto a screen so the entire class can see how the activity will work.

5. Demonstrate where team members will enter their names at the top of the document and stress that student teams must frequently save their progress using a file name format and drive location with which they are familiar.

6. Stress the need to document the team strategies and hunches and have students in class suggest why certain letters can take on certain values. For the initial demonstration, I would only choose values for E within the range 1-4 so that there is no need to carry over a 1 to the adjacent column. You might ask students if E could take on the value of 5 and to explain their rational to support their decision. Likewise, why can E not equal zero?

7. Before attempting to activate the spreadsheet component, enter a few of the class suggestions in the “What I/we learned” area at the bottom of the page and save the Word document (using the agreed upon location and file name convention). Possible sample comments can be viewed by clicking on the image near the end of this article.

8. Demonstrate how the embedded spreadsheet is activated by double-clicking within the yellow frame. Inform students that one will know that the spreadsheet is activated when the Excel column letters and row numbers appear along the top and left hand edge.

9. When the embedded spreadsheet is activated, one can position the mouse over the red-coloured “DIRECTIONS” link to review the puzzle-solving process.

10. Using the suggestions and the strategies listed by the students, enter a value for E in the “Guess & Test Area” and observe the changes in the “Results Area”. Remind students that the <Enter> key must be pressed after inserting any value into the “Guess & Test Area”.

11. Students must regularly update and enter strategies at the bottom of the Word document by deactivating the spreadsheet. To do so, one must click outside the yellow framed embedded spreadsheet. When the spreadsheet column letters and row numbers disappear, one is now in the Word document format.

If the information in the yellow frame becomes lost or distorted, immediately click the "Undo Object" (reverse arrow button) or enter the "Ctrl-Z" keystroke combination to recover.

WARNING: Sometimes when one returns to the Word document, the yellow frame disappears or is not completely displayed. If this happens, students must immediately click on the “Undo Object” (the “reverse arrow”) button or enter the <Ctrl-Z> keystroke combination. This “undo” step will always recover the original Word document display with the complete yellow framed puzzle/problem and team comments at the bottom.

12. Remind students to take turns so that different team members alternate tasks between entering strategies and hunches at the bottom of the Word document and activating the spreadsheet component to enter another letter value to observe the results and progress.

13. Continue with the demonstration on Puzzle #1 until the spreadsheet feedback area finally displays “CORRECT!”

14. Return to the Word document (using the Undo process) to re-draw the Word document and finish entering any additional strategies or hunches that the class agrees upon. Remind the class that it is important that students not only document strategies that worked but also hunches that need more refinement. Stress that we often learn more from our failures than our successes.

15. Invite students to suggest whether Puzzle #1 can have other solutions. Discuss such possibilities, without demonstration, particularly if you wish to use this puzzle with a team as an easier entry into this activity.

16. Save the Word document, one last time, and demonstrate how you wish this completed Word puzzle file to be submitted to the teacher.

17. Now ask the students to arrange themselves into the teams that you have chosen and advise each team which puzzle is their responsibility. Select a particular member of each team to open their assigned Word document puzzle.

18. Instruct another team member to enter their team or individual names at the top of the Word document puzzle and save this named document in an appropriate location using their student names as a file identifier.

19. If one of your teams is working on Puzzle #1 (which was used during the demonstration) tell these team members that they have to find a different solution than the one that was demonstrated.

20. Direct team members to examine their puzzle (in the word processing format) and discuss any beginning steps or strategies that they think might be used to help solve the puzzle. Have a new team member type their initial strategies/thoughts  in the “What I/we learned” area at the bottom and save their team Word puzzle document before proceeding.

21. Ask a new team member, to start the puzzle by double-clicking within the yellow frame to activate the embedded spreadsheet. Remind the teams that the spreadsheet is “activated” when the Excel column letters and row numbers appear along the top and left side boundaries.

22. If necessary, team members can move the mouse over the red-coloured “DIRECTIONS” link, when the spreadsheet is activated.

23. Have each student, in turn, enter a value in the “Guess & Test Area” and observe the results in the “Results Area”.

24. Frequently remind teams, to return to update their strategies at the bottom of the Word document. To do so, one must click outside the yellow frame to deactivate the spreadsheet. Once the spreadsheet column letters and row numbers disappear, one may update the strategies and hunches at the bottom of the Word document. Remind students that if they return to the Word format (where no Excel column or row indicators are displayed) and the yellow frame spreadsheet does not display properly, one must immediately click the “Undo Object” (reverse arrow) or enter the <Ctrl-Z> keystroke combination to recover the Word document without any distortion.

25. Have students alternate between activating the spreadsheet, entering the next number, observing the results, returning to the Word document (using the “Undo” process to re-draw the Word document) and refining or typing in the new hunch or strategy to be tested.

26. Once the problem/puzzle feedback indicates that the team is “CORRECT!”, have the team complete the “What I/we learned … Area”, save the final version of the Word document, and transfer the resulting Word document to the teacher.

27. After finding their first solution, suggest that student teams, re-open the same puzzle, repeat the same steps to see if they can find more than one solution to their particular problem or to determine if their solution unique.

28. This problem solving activity could be used again by ensuring that different puzzles were assigned to different teams.

~~~~~~~

Sample Team Word Document


< Click the above image to view the display in a larger format. >

Freebie Downloads:

Take care & keep smiling :-)

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K-12 Online – Acknowledging the Archives

Application or Web App, Professional Development, Read/Write Web, Tutorial 1 Comment »

In this blog post, I will review two K-12 Online Conference presentations from the past year’s archives. My reason for focusing on the past sessions, rather than the present, is based on the following professional development assumptions.

Some educators, that are new to the K-12 Online Conference, may peruse this year’s presentation descriptions and perhaps feel somewhat intimidated by the sophistication and knowledge of the presenters. However, I have always maintained that all educators, like their respective students, are travelling along their own personal learning continuum. As such, it is important to find professional development sessions that meet each individual’s current needs. Perhaps, equally important, is that the learning opportunity arrives “just in time” or when the learner is most receptive. When one finds timely, professional development sessions with a “good fit”, there is a much better chance that such opportunities will help educators move forward in their learning and encourage a willingness to try new strategies, applications, and resources.

As I indicated in my last post, the K-12 Online Conference provides professional development opportunities through a powerful instructional video mechanism which facilitates investigation when the individual learner is “ready”. Furthermore, unlike a traditional keynote speaker who delivers his/her message and then exits the stage, these video learning opportunities are conveniently archived for review as far back as 2006. Such wide ranging video learning opportunities can be perused, played, and even paused (to note a particular interesting web resource address) as one extracts the relevant and meaningful message. In addition to the archived videos there are also very important supporting resources and applications that should be investigated as well. True, you might think that when you review a video presentation created for the 2007 K-12 Online Conference, that you are three years “behind the times”. Not so …, I contend. Regardless of one’s position along their personal timeline, one doesn’t stagnate when one tries to implement new ideas. Furthermore, when one reviews a K-12 Online Conference video and related resources created in 2007, one can be assured that the message still has applicability and the related computer applications have improved dramatically over the past three years and now have so many more educational features.

Now that these assumptions have been identified, I will continue by briefly outlining two rather interesting, archived, K-12 Online Conference presentations from the past.

K-12 Online Conference theme for 2008
“Amplifying Possibilities”

I chose to look at an introductory or “Getting Started” keynote entitled “How Can I Become Part of this ReadWriteWeb Revolution?” I was immediately set at ease as I watched three educators, Alice Barr, Cheryl Oakes and Bob Sprankle, sitting outdoors, sharing their educational insights with their video audience in a rather down-to-earth manner. As they talked about introducing technology to students, each educator held up a “flip video” and captured the dialogue and expressions of their colleagues in a very conversational manner.

They agreed that VoiceThread was an excellent mechanism for helping educators begin to learn about technology and utilize web 2.0 applications with their students. I liked Bob’s comment, which I am paraphrasing, when he stated that …

bringing in these technologies (e.g. flip video units) has a transformational effect that can help educators move out of their comfort zone and patterns of what they have been doing for years. When you hand out a flip video to your students, you no longer control learning and no longer are you the gatekeeper of knowledge.

These three educators have formed a professional learning network called the “seedlings” and I encourage other educators to connect with them.

K-12 Online Conference theme for 2009
“Bridging the Divide”

Each of the video presentations in the K-12 Online Conference is filled with a wealth of pedagogical information. Indeed, some use amazing techniques to get the message across to the audience in a meaningful manner. My favourite instructional video presentation has to be last year’s “Getting Started” keynote by Joyce Valenza entitled “The Wizard of Apps” which is embedded below:

Joyce uses a very unique video presentation to share her message in an entertaining and informative manner. I encourage readers to view Joyce’s additional “Backstory to the Wizard of Apps” where one can appreciate the collaborative endeavour that went into producing this remarkable instructional video. Undoubtedly, the creation of this video engaged students who were passionate about performing and producing this polished presentation.

This 'new tools workshop' wiki resource, is a 'one stop shop' for educators ...

However, learning is not limited to the actual K-12 Online Conference video presentations. Rather, dedicated presenters like Joyce Valenza often provide a wealth of extensive additional resources. Not only does Joyce supply links to her presentation slides, she also supplies a link to her “new tools workshop” wiki which provides a plethora of possibilities for educators who want to explore the potential of using web 2.0 applications in their classrooms.  This “new tools workshop” wiki resource, is a “one stop shop” for educators wishing to explore applications that will engage students and enhance classroom teaching. With this presentation and her accompanying resources, Joyce and her students, have set the bar high for future presenters.

I trust that I have demonstrated that the K-12 Online Conference archives of 2009, 2008, 2007 & 2006, contain relevant educational ideas and resources, that interested teachers can learn from, long after the video presentations were first shared online.

In closing, let me challenge readers to take action in the manner suggested in Dean Shareski’s 2010 keynote “Sharing: The Moral Imperative”. When we find educational resources that help us to better “teach and reach” students, we make time to share these ideas with others. I just did … and I trust you will too.

Take care & keep smiling :-)

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K-12 Online Conference 2010

Activity, Professional Development, Read/Write Web, Tutorial No Comments »

One of the most popular “four letter words” that educators like to hear is “FREE”. Imagine the tremendous opportunities that would exist if these popular four letters could apply to the traditionally, very expensive process of professional development.

If you have Internet connectivity, you too can take advantage of a very unique, free, annual, educational professional development opportunity. I encourage readers to reserve time during the first week of October to beginning exploring the potential learning opportunities at the following web resource:

The K-12 Online Conference is a free, online, annual professional development conference offering opportunities for educators around the globe to share innovative ways web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. Our conference this year will take place in October, and will include four different strands: Student Voices, Leading the Change, Week in the Classroom, and Kicking It Up a Notch. Our conference is entirely organized and facilitated by volunteers, which include a conference organizer for each strand.

If one checks out the schedule of K-12 Online Conference presenters, one will find that this year’s four strands and sessions are arranged as follows:

  • Pre-Conference Week: October 11-15, 2010
  • Week 1: October 18-22, 2010
    • Leading the Change (Keynote and 9 additional presentations)
    • Student Voices (Keynote and 9 additional presentations)
  • Week 2: October 25-29, 2010
    • Week in the Classroom (Keynote and 9 additional presentations)
    • Kicking It Up a Notch (Keynote and 10 additional presentation)

“Cultivating the Future” is the theme for 2010. I encourage readers to review the descriptions of the wide variety of multi-media presentations and mark down the dates and times so that you can experience them “live”. However, don’t worry if you have a conflict and are not able to get online at the time of a specific presentation. One of the most important aspects of this K-12 Online Conference is that presentations are archived so that one is able to review both the multi-media sessions and the wealth of online resources at your convenience. In fact, educators can go to these archives of sessions presented in 2006, 2007, 2008, or 2009 to gain access to relevant, educational ideas and resources that may have been presented years ago but still have relevance today. It is no wonder that the K-12 Online Conference is described as “the conference that never ends”.

Take care & keep smiling :-)

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