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Discourse about Discourse: Educasts by Ben Wilkoff
Wake up and smell the educational technology.
Two New Documents
October 26, 2007 09:17 PM PDTI have been working on a couple new documents that make sense for the development of pedagogy and the future of education. You can find the links to them at the k12online conference: http://k12online.wm.edu/AuthenticLearning.pdf http://k12online.wm.edu/101Resources.pdf A New Possibliity
October 26, 2007 09:04 PM PDTThis new possibility (which is now kind of old) is a total reversal of some of the things that I have consistently talked about and advocated for. This only comes about because of a great contact I have made with the principal of our online school (eDCSD). The possibility is this: Starting from a place of amazing technology and bringing in education rather than starting from a traditional school and trying to shove technology into it. What do you think about it The Act of Creation
September 24, 2007 04:17 AM PDTSometimes we get so caught up in creating the system and the environment for learning that we forget about the most important element of that environment: creation. The singular act of creation is not something to be glazed over; it is the backbone of all that we do, and sometimes we need people to remind us of this. Articulating Vision
September 13, 2007 02:10 PM PDTI am now convinced that the only way to create widespread change within our schools is to articulate a singular vision for the future of education. I don't know if I am the person to articulate that vision yet, but I am working toward it. Beginning the year, systematically.
September 13, 2007 01:59 PM PDTThis podcast is all about how I am starting my year. I would love to know how you are starting your year and how we can collaborate (share) any of the resources and systems that we have set up. Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org Choices, Choices...
September 13, 2007 01:32 PM PDTThis is the first podcast in over a month because I needed to upgrade for more storage space. It is not an enhanced podcast, but I'm sure it will be illuminating nonetheless. I was trying to figure out which content management system to use for The Academy of Discovery. I am still not sure if I picked the best one, but I am pretty confident that we are doing some great things. Check it out at http://academyofdiscovery.com. I vs. We
July 31, 2007 08:09 PM PDT
I don't know when it happened, but I have started using the word "we" in my podcast and blog when I would normally use the word "I." I believe that it is due to my increased awareness and involvement of the community that I have surrounded myself with. I also think that many more of "us" should start using "we" when "we" write and speak. It makes me feel like I am a part of something, that "we" are going in a particular direction. I want "us" to be aware of how amazing "our" community can become, so long as we don't fall into some of the pitfalls that I describe in the podcast. Let me know what you think of this idea at email@example.com.
The image for this podcast is by http://flickr.com/photos/factoids/. I think it is amazing.
Totally Wired Acceptace Speech
July 24, 2007 09:08 PM PDT
Well, it has been a week or so since I got back from San Fransisco where I accepted the Totally Wired Teacher Award for 2007 from Edutopia and Yahoo for Teachers. This podcast has the introduction and my speech. I don't think that it is particularly eloquent, but I do think that it goes right along with everything that I have worked for on this podcast. Let me know what you think.
July 17, 2007 04:44 PM PDT
Well, this is the official podcast about my interview with Littleton Public Schools. Although I was passionate and had a great experience in the interview, I was not offered the job. That made my decision to leave the classroom much easier. I still think that this podcast is relevant to anyone else who is thinking about leaving the classroom. I also outline the idea that passion and vision are the two elements that will allow you to progress professionally and personally. I think that I will continue to explore these ideas in the classroom next year, and I am extatic that I will have one more year to impliment all of the ideas from this podcast into my practice.
July 05, 2007 07:52 PM PDTThis podcast is pretty heavy:
I was in Osawatomie, KS for the 4th of July. It flooded earlier in the week, and my sister-in-law lost her car and her apartment due to this natural disaster. This event really got me thinking about how we can use the technology that our schools provide (especially in 1:1 programs) in order to create social networks for a community. I hope that we can start putting together ideas like Steve Hargadon's Public Web Stations (link below) in non-crisis times. If you have any ideas about how to do this, please shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am also interested in knowing if you would rather I don't include links and pictures with my podcast, but rather simply upload the mp3 file. If you have an opinion either way, please post a comment on this podcast.
June 27, 2007 12:30 PM PDTIt is with some hesitation that I post this podcast. I am a teacher, and I will always be a teacher. However, I have been given the opportunity to do more. I have been recruited (although not formally given the position) for a Technology Integration Position in a nearby school district. This podcast is all about coming to terms with the idea of leaving the classroom so that I might create change and achieve School 2.0 in a larger way. At this point, I am very much interested in following my passion for finding solutions, and if this job provides solutions for more teachers and more students and also for my family, I don't know that I can do anything other than pursue it. I am, however, still looking for others who have either made this transition or who have rejected it in favor of the classroom. Please e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any questions or ideas.
June 19, 2007 09:24 PM PDTWell, there are two main elements to this podcast. 1. This is my first blog post/podcast about being named the 2006 Totally Wired Teacher by Edutopia and Yahoo Teachers. I am honored, but I hope that the one thing that comes out of flying to San Fransisco is that I meet as many would-be advocates for School 2.0 as I can. I really would love to be a larger instrument for change than merely by blogging and podcasting. 2. I am challenging everyone to come up with a description for Teacher/Classroom 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, and 2.0. I would really like to know what it should look like at all of these levels. What should we be striving for in our classrooms? What should a stranger be able to come in and observe?
June 11, 2007 05:02 AM PDTThe more that I think about doing something "different" in my classroom, the more that I feel that process should be transparent. Not just for my students and their parents, but also for my administrators. Principals, Assistant Principals, and even Super-Intendants should be aware that there is change happening in the classroom. They should also want that change to occur, meaning that they should actively support it. But the only way that this is going to happen is if we start advocating for it. </ br> So, this podcast is all about how we should be writing our own job descriptions for the jobs that we dream about doing as teachers and presenting them to our administrators. I think that if we take this proactive approach, many will listen and start to think differently about what should be going on in the classroom. </ br> Show Notes: </ br>
June 05, 2007 03:12 AM PDTFeedback continues to be something that requires a lot of thought to do right. I want to provide my students with as much timely feedback as possible, but I don't want to have to resort to the methods of printing out blog posts and putting paper sticky notes on them. In this podcast I explore the possibility of giving student feedback using web annotation tools. If anyone has any good ideas for tools like this (other than diigo) please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
May 28, 2007 10:26 PM PDTThis is the first podcast that I have done on my new MacBook and I was used GarageBand rather than ChapterToolMe in order to create the chapters. I have, as of yet, not been able to find a way of exporting the chapters and links into html using GarageBand, so you will have to download the show in order to get the links. If anyone has a way of doing this, I would love to hear about it. As for the episode itself, I have been hoping for a very long time that my students are learning everything that I want them to. I want them to come back to me after years of amazing creation and show me just how much influence they have derived from my class. I do not expect to change each of my students, but I do believe that many of my students see value in the School 2.0 environment that we are trying to create. The three things that I want them to be known for and to come back and tell me all about are Authenticity, Analysis, and Passion. If they have those three things down, there is no telling what they can do. http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2006/08/did-you-know.html http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/httpwww.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/persuaders/ http://discovery0607.wikispaces.com/The+Weekly+Authentic http://discovery0607.wikispaces.com/message/list/reflections http://headrush.typepad.com/ http://yongesonne.edublogs.org Digital Ex-Patriots and The Formula for Transparency
May 14, 2007 09:19 PM PDTWell, I may be going out on a limb with this one, but I have described in the podcast a level of discomfort with technology that goes beyond the simple immigrant/native debate. The fear and panic that is associated with technology in the classroom comes from Digital Ex-Patriots. These people (parents, teachers, administrators, etc.) are so sure of their anti-technology stance that they are actively pursuing a life (of education) away from technology integration. These are the people that we must win over if we are going to continue our collaborative efforts and truly create change. Please let me know what you think about this concept in the comments or in an e-mail (email@example.com) Show Notes:
May 12, 2007 05:41 AM PDTI am very worried about what is going to happen to my students when they leave me at the end of this school year. Not because I think that they won't be able to handle to rigors of high school life, but rather because I think that they won't be able to handle going back to a traditional classroom. I wonder what the transition will be like when they know that collaborative tools exist, but they aren't allowed to use them for school. Will they revolt? Will they create change? Or, will they just take it as another in a long string of disappointments from their learning institutions.
May 06, 2007 05:14 AM PDTThe podcast episode is based upon the idea that teachers will listen to someone who has a lot of experience teaching without technology and then stumbled upon the effectiveness and authenticity of technology and became an advocate for change. They will not listen to someone who grew up with technology, and for who it naturally comes to. They need "one of their own kind" to bring them on board with the School 2.0 movement.
I also decide that we need a School 2.0 plank in the 2008 presidential election. No matter who wins, I want our commander and chief constantly thinking about how technology can influence learning in public schools across the nation.
April 24, 2007 06:10 AM PDTWell, I guess it was bound to happen sometime, but I really didn't expect it to happen this soon. We have received funding for our School 2.0 within a school idea, The Academy of Discovery. So, what do we do now? How do we continue to articulate the vision in the face of overwhelming support. Adversity I can handle, but what do we do now that everyone is behind us, just waiting to see how we can pull this off. It leaves me very excited to have the freedom of collaboration and experimentation within my community, but it also leaves me scared for blank page that we have been given to write on. I just hope all of our posturing and framing doesn't signify nothing.
April 19, 2007 04:28 AM PDT
I have become dissatisfied with talking about School 2.0 only among educators. It seems to be this feedback loop that creates a lot of noise, but in the end, really doesn't create any massive change. So, I am proposing a change in tactics. We need to begin talking to anyone who has the time to listen about School 2.0. We need to show them artifacts of authentic learning so that they know just how effective it can be. We need to get outside of the blogosphere and podcast communities, and talk to the parents that don't get it yet. Although "consciousness raising" is important amongst teachers, it really should be our only tactic in bring about a transformation in education. Most of this is why I will be starting up another podcast over at The Podcast Network. I am looking for educators and non-educators alike to interview, anyone who is willing to think critically about the shared vision of student-centered education. Please contact me for details.
April 10, 2007 04:33 AM PDTThis podcast was created because of a discussion I had with my students about the merits of rubrics in a School 2.0 classroom. The data was mixed. Some students felt very comfortable with rubrics because it let them know how to get an A. Others believed that rubrics would hinder their creativity and ability to be authentic. Although I had asked students to help me create a rubric for an assignment, I had never asked them if they thought a rubric was a good idea at all. This podcast is a summary and a discussion of what I decided to do: Student-Centered Youbrics. Show Notes:
April 04, 2007 09:09 PM PDTThe two wiki project that my students have started to work on have taught me that an open framework that allows for embedded materials is preferable to any all-in-one solution that tries to do too much at once. I also would like to apply this concept to my classroom in a concrete way. My students should be able to embed their knowledge and experience into the framework of the classroom. They should be allowed to use whatever service/method they can to prove that they have learned something. Show Notes and Links:
March 31, 2007 09:36 AM PDTOne of my students came up with an amazing metaphor for how intellectual property should work in the classroom and in greater society. She described the idea that remixing should be like cake making. You buy all of the ingredients and then can prepare any kind of cake you like. Once you have the cake, however, you can't un-remix it and get back to the sugar and flour. You can also borrow sugar from a neighbor, but generally you give them credit when you are serving your delicious cake. I hope that this podcast outlines such a metaphor a little bit better, but I think that this is the metaphor for creating connections that I was looking for a few podcasts back. If you like this podcast, I recommend the Great Remix Debate. You can also digg this podcast at http://digg.com/podcasts/Discourse_about_Discourse_Educasts_by_Ben_Wilkoff
March 28, 2007 04:56 AM PDTI give all of the credit for this podcast to my amazing students. They were the ones that kept a debate on intellectual property, remixing, and mash-ups going for nearly thirty minutes. They were the ones that came up with the amazing examples to support their points. They were also the ones to inspire many thoughts on creating rules for how we use content in the classroom. I am now convinced that each classroom of students should decide for themselves just what they want to be done with their content. Should teachers be able to use it for next year's class? Should teachers remix their content into more polished work? We need to be asking the students to come up with what their own boundaries for intellectual property are, and we need to be teaching them where the boundaries are drawn already. I have decided to split this podcast up into about 40 chapters because that is how many different ideas were thrown around (mostly by different students). I have attached each student's blog to the chapters in which they spoke. The one request I have is that you comment on this post and tell us which side won the debate. (Although, I'm sure my students wouldn't mind if you commented on some of their blog posts either.)
March 20, 2007 05:08 AM PDTMy students are different. Not from yours, but from the ones that came before them. They are desperate to connect everything together: disciplines, ideas, home and school. They need a way of bridging the gaps that many adults artificially create. We must help them to connect. I don't have any five point plans in this podcast, but I do have a good example from a student about tormenting substitute teachers. Have a listen. I am looking for a new image to help explain this phenomenon of connection as a reaction to the increasingly splintered world that they experience. If you have any grand ideas about this, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 13, 2007 08:58 PM PDTIn creating a wiki for my vision of School 2.0 within a school, I have found that there is quite a bit of research out there supporting 1:1 computing, constructivist teaching practice, and engaging technology usage in the classroom. What is even more amazing is that I didn't know that this research existed because it has been so universally ignored by much of the proponents of this kind of reform. We must have this kind of research on the tips of our tongues, and we must be ready to spout off both the anecdotal evidence and the numbers to anyone who wants to know more about where education is going. We must also create our own research from our own classrooms. This podcast describes three different ways of achieving this goal: 1. A malleable research model that can assess new types of technology as it becomes available. 2. Survey and reflection of what is working in our classrooms. 3. Comparisons of certifications of mastery. Show notes:
Is School 2.0 just a fad?
March 06, 2007 08:20 PM PSTAlthough there is a lot of talk about School 2.0 among those in the edublogosphere, I believe that many educators are going to try and wait out the torrent of technology integration that they currently are experiencing because they believe that it is merely a fad that will eventually go away. If we are serious about this type of systemic change, we need to be able to convince everyone that School 2.0 is not a fad. In this podcast I came up with a few observations about the nature of School 2.0: 1. We need a watershed collaborative School 2.0 event that causes all educators to take notice (I'm thinking of a hybrid between the numbers on myspace with the education of the K12 Online Conference (http://k12onlineconference.org/)) 2. Once you give students the power to create their own learning, you can never take it back (nor would most teachers who have tried it, want to take it back). 3. Students are clamoring for School 2.0 classrooms, even if they don't know that is what they are looking for. 4. School 2.0 is not a fad because it doesn't repackage something that has come before (like many movements in education). It is truly something new. Show/Chapter Notes:
March 03, 2007 07:06 AM PSTSupport is such an essential part of education, but many of us who are looking ahead to a technologically rich educational experience sometimes forget this. Because we are savvy, we expect others (including our students) to be savvy. I created this podcast in order to flesh out a few of the ways that we can support teachers who want to transition to School 2.0. The basic points that I came up with were: 1. All teachers need an aggregator starter pack. 2. School 2.0 must be framed in terms (and using tools) that most teachers understand. 3. Small groups of teachers must conduct relevant research within the specific school before many teachers will buy in. 4. School 1.0 teachers should engage in assessing School 2.0 products from the small group's classrooms as a way of transitioning into a more collaborative model. I have also decided to start including the chapter information and links as part of the show notes for those of you who do not have access to a podcatcher that recognizes enhanced podcasts. # 00:00:00: Outdated Paper? Dave Cormier's Blog (http://www.davecormier.com/edblog/) # 00:02:04: How does support look in School 2.0? School 2.0 Wiki (http://school20.wikispaces.com) # 00:04:20: An Aggregator Starter Pack Netvibes (http://www.netvibes.com) # 00:06:16: RSS as Support xFruits (http://www.xfruits.com) # 00:08:32: Framing collaboration Ourtenwords.org (http://www.ourtenwords.org) # 00:12:20: Collaboration Take 2 # 00:13:35: Supporting Relevant Research Terry Freedman (http://www.terry-freedman.org.uk/db/web2/) # 00:15:16: Flat Classroom Assessment The Flatclassroom Project Wiki (http://flatclassroomproject.wikispaces.com) # 00:16:50: Summary and Conclusion My blog (http://yongesonne.edublogs.org) What Myspace can teach us about School 2.0
February 21, 2007 07:18 PM PSTThis podcast was brought about because of the classroom discussion that my eighth graders had about what a terrible affect Myspace can have on their lives. I wanted to start brainstorming a school-sponsored space that we could substitute for Myspace that would be an extension of the classroom. This space would have the ability to connect students over academic interests as well as personal interests. It would allow for photo sharing and digital storytelling within these photos. Primarily, however, this space would allow students to comment on everything. Each element of the space (a module) would have a feedback form, so students would get comments about their school notes, their podcasts, their blog posts, their beliefs, and their photos. I can't think of anything that would engage students more than being able to get specific feedback on all of the important aspects of their lives, and to do it all in an environment that wouldn't allow the inflammatory remarks that are a systematic part of Myspace. Let me know what you think of this idea and its feasibility at email@example.com or http://yongesonne.edublogs.org The Internet as Utopia
February 18, 2007 08:51 AM PSTThis was a discussion I had with my 8th graders about how the Internet could be used as a vehicle for creating a utopia in their everyday lives. I was truly surprised and intrigued by some of their responses. Many of the students believe that the internet is a "0." Meaning that there are just as many bad things on the internet as there are good. One student also identified the three most influential groups for his (and other young people's) life: The Governement, Celebrities, and The Internet. Another student proposed splitting the internet into different sections, so that no one who was looking for educational materials would be able to stumble upon to pornography and misinformation. I am encouraged by my kids' ability to think so abstractly on this subject, but I am disheartened to find out that so many of my students hold such a bleak look of the most amazing resource of our time. I wonder if each of them were immersed in a School 2.0 experience they would feel the same way. Parents as School 2.0 Stakeholders
February 13, 2007 08:58 PM PSTConvincing parents that the skills of School 2.0 are important is going to be one of the biggest jobs facing all teaching in the very near future. I have outlined in this podcast three possible ways of accomplishing this goal: 1. Student exemplars of continual advancement. 2. Constant communication and reflection on learning between parents and teachers, students and teachers, and parents and students. 3. Parent and Student testimonials of engagement and achievement. My hope is that by identifying the things that are the most convincing to parents, we can create a compelling argument for technological school reform. How do we assess School 2.0?
February 11, 2007 08:36 PM PSTI've been trying to figure out for a while just how assessment is going to look in School 2.0. I have developed (or at least half-baked) 3 types of assessments that I would consider in this new type of environment: 1. Conversation 2. Reflection 3. Aggregation The New Graduation Requirements
February 01, 2007 07:55 PM PSTI have been thinking a lot about how we have the same graduation requirements that we have always had. We may have upped the number of Math and English classes, but each student has to do the same things in high school, jump through the same hoops. Why is it that none of the new literacies and skills are included in the graduation requirements? Why should each student accomplish the same things in four years, when they will all be doing different things with their lives? Shouldn't we be preparing our students to compete, to stand out in a crowded field of applicants? Well, this podcast tries to answer a few of these questions. Teacher-Proof Teaching
January 31, 2007 04:04 AM PSTI created this podcast because I was frustrated with the way our vision of education seems to conflict with the reality of education. I know that the administration at my school wants only what is best for kids. I do not have any doubts in their abilities as leaders. Yet, I do wonder if every "education movement" we fall prey to is good for our school. This podcast takes a critical look at current educational practices, and is therefore both different from and similar to my other podcasts. The Perfect Learning Environment
January 31, 2007 03:57 AM PSTThis podcast is of a discussion that I had with my 7th and 8th grade students about what they think the perfect learning environment would be like. I asked them a few guiding questions, but their ideas were purely their own. I think there is a lot of insight here. If you would like to follow the online discussion, you can go to our conversate page at http://conversate.org/conversation/3JTD3.
The Discovery School within a School
January 29, 2007 04:18 AM PSTA colleague of mine and I were brainstorming all of the technology implementation possibilities for the next school, when he suggested that what we were talking about was not merely two classes (Social Studies and Language Arts) collaborating, but that we were shifting the paradigm of teaching to a School within a School. On this podcast, I attempt to flesh out what a technology-centric School within a School would look like and I hit upon a couple of things: 1. Online interactive notebooks. 2. Collaborative note taking. 3. Curriculum wiki's that are edited by students and teachers. 4. Teacher reflective blogging. 5. Strands of curriculum that students could learn all disciplines within. 6. Synchronous and Asynchronous online discussion. Why All Teachers Should Be Using Web 2.0
January 23, 2007 08:37 PM PSTI have been thinking a lot about this question. Should all teachers be using the Read/Write Web in their classrooms, or am I merely a part of the latest educational technology trend. I try to answer it in a fairly in-depth, before-school podcast. The Future of Literacy
January 23, 2007 08:21 PM PSTThis is a podcast about how I see the world of literacy shaping up in the next few years. This idea was brought about by discussion ideal learning environments with my 7th and 8th grade students.
My hope is that these educational podcasts add something to the cannon of classroom research and theory being done in K-12 situations across the country. These podcasts are made either in my car or in my 7th/8th grade classroom. They are mostly discussing the different elements of creating a 21st century learners (Web 2.0 technology, Authentic practice, Flat classrooms, etc.)
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