We’re doing it!

Last March, I was selected from a pool of 13 to be one of five Semi-Finalists for Maine State Teacher of the Year. For the past five months I have been working on a portfolio and a lesson. It has been a grueling process and really made me reflect on my practice and hw technology fits in to good teaching and learning. It made me very uncomfortable, yet pushed me in many directions.

Yesterday, all five semi-finalists presented their “lesson” to candidates in the Masters Teaching Program at The University of Maine. Each lesson was completely different, but all of them used technology in some way. One of the evaluators told me that this was the first year everyone came with a computer. (an aside: Interestingly, the students did not have computers, an major change for me. I am used to students being dually engaged with the teachers and the computer, not just the teacher. It made me realize how much technology is around me all the time.)

While driving home, I was reminded of David Warlick’s post about technology conferences he has attended: “This is one of those very unique conferences, the quality of which I first saw when I keynoted the state ed tech conference (ACTEM) in Maine a number if years ago. It took me months to realize what was different — what that quality was, even though it was really quite obvious. It was a prevailing sense that anything/everything that was being suggested, introduced, taught, or discussed at that conference could be taken back to the schools and implemented.” ACTEM has tried to make the focus of the conference be about teaching and learning.

The work we are all doing as workshop leaders, integrators and conference presenters IS filtering down to the classroom. It’s being remixed and used for creative projects and assignments. And the results are impressive. It was great to see all the wonderful work being done in our classrooms and that the MLTI and technology is making a difference for our schools.

Original image: ‘_DSF6082
by: marco antonio torres

2010 MLTI Student Technology Conference

Maine students and the World Food Programme invite you to join in helping to feed the hungry around the globe via http://mlti.freerice.com

On May 27, 2010 at 1 PM EST (5 PM GMT) during the 7th Annual MLTI Student Conference, students from across Maine will be going to MLTI.freerice.com as a body – working in a wireless environment that has been fine tuned by network technicians of the University of Maine System and Cisco to facilitate 1000 simultaneous connections. But in 2010 purposeful use of social networks has to be a part of taking on any major effort, and so Maine educators are reaching out across their state-wide, national, and worldwide human networks to invite others to join us in donating rice via a customized version of FreeRice.com.

To learn more about the 7th Annual MLTI Student Conference, please head here: http://www.mlti.org/studentconference

To join us in helping to fight world hunger, go here: http://mlti.freerice.com

To help fight hunger in Maine, go to http://www.gsfb.org

To help fight world hunger beyond the conference, head to http://freerice.com

(PLEASE NOTE:  Though the http://mlti.freerice.com site is now live, rice “earned” via the site in advance of the 1 PM EDT (5 PM GMT) start time for the Conference session will not be “counted.” Once the conference session begins, the site will be re-set, counting of contributions will begin fresh, and the site will remain live until the amount of rice available for donation has been exhausted.)

Summer Technology Professional Development

If you are interested in taking graduate education courses in using technology in the classroom at The University of Southern Maine this summer, here is a listing of the courses being offered:

Summer 2010 Courses

  • EDU 300 Educational Media and Technology
  • EPB 599 Digital Storytelling
  • EPC 500 The Read/Write Web in the Classroom
  • EPC 508 Technology Integration for the Classroom Teacher: Mac
  • EPB 510 Technology Integration for the Classroom Teacher: Windows
  • EPC 511 Learning to Use Podcasting and Vodcasting for Teaching and Learning
  • EPC 512 21st Century Teaching and Learning with Technology

Summer 2010 Conferences

Added May 8. 2010 Professional Development Opportunities in New Hampshire (Deb Boisvert’S Blog)

MLTI Student Tech Team Conference

We had a terrific day at the Student Tech team conference on Friday. Ben and Ben taught Quizlet to a small group and did a great job explaining the ins and outs of the collaborative flashcard program.

Our Google Super session was amazing. We interacted online with Susan Gendron, the Commisioner of Education in Maine, and George Nelson from NASA. Ernie Easter helped us in the audience, and Google Docs pulled it all together for us. Perhaps the most amazing part was that we over 550 people from around the globe to answer our survey. Here are the data points and survey charts. It was so much fun to work with Jim, Sarah, Kern, and Cheryl. Everyone just rolled with the whole session. We has 800 + people in the audience all on apple iBooks and MacBooks. Cisco had a great chart which showed how many people were on line at once.  Cheryl has done a great job blogging about our experience.

MLTI Student Technology Conference

On May 29th, Kern Kelley, Sarah Sutter, Cheryl Oakes, Jim Moulton, and myself will be offering a Google Super Session at the MLTI Student Technology Conference around the ability to ask questions and collect data. To prepare for this session, we have a “tell us about school where you learn” survey. We are asking you and your students to help us show the power of the network by providing data anonymously. Thank you in advance for helping us. We’re planning on sharing the data when we’re done. The survey is here.

Pictures Words Sounds Numbers

Teaching and Learning with Technology online conference, May 4 – 7, 2009. This looks like a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of professional development without having to travel, and it’s FREE! Former Governor Angus King gives the opening keynote on the 4th, followed by an opportunity to experience Second Life with Tim Hart. The sessions on the 5th – 7th cover all subject areas and topics. I hope you can join in!

If you’ve ever wondered….

how the State of Maine has been able to implement and support a 1:1 laptop initiative, listen to this podcast. Jeff Mao from the Department of Education is interviewed by Drs. Scott McLeod (Iowa State U.), Jon Becker (Virginia Commonwealth U.), David Quinn (U. Florida), and Jayson Richardson (UNC-Wilmington). Their podcast, Four guys talking about education, technology, leadership, K-12 schools, and/or higher education is available at BlogTalkRadio.

MLTI Student Tech Team Conference

I had the distinct pleasure of accompanying Mike Arsenault and three high school students to the Maine Learning Technology Initiative Student Tech Team Conference at the University of Maine in Orono. This conference was sponsored by the College of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Session 1 were student presentations. I attended:

Capturing It As It Happens in Video, Audio, and Still Images (Kern Kelley and Students from Nokomis High School) So many events happen in every school… Awards ceremonies, sports, concerts and other cultural events happen regularly. In this session you will learn how the Nokomis Warrior Broadcasting crew (www.nokomiswarriorbroadcasting.com) has made a name for itself by effectively capturing the raw video, stills and audio and editing them and publishing professional quality final products. And you know what? You can too! Come learn how!

The students explained how they run their Broadcasting group. They also talked about the power of video. They showed an example of how a type written essay could be made far more effective as a media project. They showed how the essay made the progression to Powerpoint, then an online slide show and then to a DVD. Each time the essay was enhanced, first with pictures, them music and then transitions. The text, however remained the same in each rendition. The final product was much more powerful then the written text version. The students did a very good job presenting.

Sessions 2 and 3 were given by students or adults.

I attended a session given by Apple engineer, Eric Williams called Automate your Mac: making workflows with Automator. I have never had much a chance to work with automating tasks and this was fun to play around with. The best part of this session was the questions that students were asking. In particular, one student asked if there was a way to take notes and make the notes go in a specific folder based on a time stamp. So for example, Social studies class ends at 11:00 AM and at 11:01 the document gets put in to the Social studies folder. What a concept. I had never thought about this. We worked on it a bit and Eric showed us a few ways to streamline items such as naming files with time stamps. One of our students, Ben, was also in the session. He is thinking about ways to help other students automatically back up their school work using one of the scripts. Good stuff!

At the end of the sessions, we met back in the auditorium where bazillions of prizes were given away. But perhaps the best part of the conference was our drive back. The students were buzzing all the way home about all they had learned! As they debriefed they talked about all the things they want to do to help fellow students and teachers. It was amazing! Here’s a few items they brainstormed:

  • They will help teach our summer course for teachers.
  • They want to offer after school sessions for teachers and/or students next year.
  • They would like to teach during a staff development day
  • They want to formalize how students and teachers access the tech team and help information.
  • They assume they will do our laptop rollout next year and started planning the important points of the presentation.
  • They wonder if they need to teach teachers an application or if maybe they could be the teacher when a new application is introduced.

OK, so I am out of my mind at this point! As they continued talking they spoke about how much their laptops help them learn and how it is changing what they are doing and how they just couldn’t imagine not having them and how lucky they are. They learned about all different programs and web apps, and had a laundry list of what they are going to try. They were all going to go home and try all the new programs out. Thank goodness Mike was driving because I was getting so excited being a captive audience of these students. Oh how I wish I had my iPod recorder!! This conversation was a dream come true for me.

A couple of quotes:

  • “Even though this was a long day and a long ride, it seemed to go by just like a school day”
  • “I met Bruce and he was talking all about the super computer. I have no idea what he was saying, but that guy is amazing!”

I have been on such a high all weekend. Seeing students so excited and turned on was a blast. They also vocalized how much they loved learning in this forum. They felt confident to ask seek out other adults and ask questions. I know they will take what they have learned and run with it. I can’t wait for Monday!

Now my question is, how do I harness that excitement and share it with teachers in the classroom????

A shoutout to Jim Moulton, the Maine Apple Computer team, and The College of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Thanks for putting on such a great event!

MLTI Art, Creativity and Innovation

I went to the MLTI spring conference this weekend. Sessions mainly were designed around how people were using their laptops in they creative arts area. Melissa Noack and I presented the Collaborative History Project that Melissa does with her photo students. We also shared strategies for student engagement using the book The Art and Science of Teaching by Robert Marzano.

I went to an excellent session on Social Art presented by middle school teachers in a one to one environment. They recreated the project 100 people: A World Portrait. Students interviewed people from all walks of life within a 25 mile radius and then wrote and podcasted the stories. It culminated in a beautiful book. The teachers do alot of cross curriculum projects and clearly had accomplished a great deal with their students.

I caught the tale end of Sarah Sutter’s Digital Camera workshop. She has some great ideas for how to use the camera in the classroom. Hope to see her at ACTEM