Hi Connie. I was wondering if you have students who would be interested in participating in a nationwide SAT Vocab Video Contest @ MIT university. You can view contest details at BrainyFlix.com Please let me know. Thanks!
My name is Alyshia Olsen; I am a 20 year old college student from Olin College of Engineering. I am a part of a group of 6 Olin College students (we're in Needham, MA, and engineering students) who has taken a year off to work on an education related project. Since you are in the 'e-learning and online teaching' group, I thought you might be interested! Our project is called AlightLearning, and this is our "short" project description:
Under the assumption that within ten years, the landscape of modern education will have fully integrated what we now define as new classroom media: video, online collaboration, open source curriculum and other web tools, we hope to pioneer a web software tool that acts as a platform for this new media, bringing the power of the web and its tools to students, teachers and parents in a secure, comfortable and innovative environment. Our goal is to have our free software at a pilot middle school by April 15th, 2009, continuing to develop and coordinate with our users to create a product that other schools want to pilot and use at their schools, while allowing individual teachers to implement this tool in their own classroom.
Our project, titled Alight Learning, is currently trying to win a competition for startup funding on ideablob.com. You can find us at http://ideablob.com/3975 . We would love your support in the form of a vote within the next couple days, but more importantly we'd love your feedback and comments. Our description on Ideablob is short, and even the one above hardly gets at many of the issues we would like to take a stab at solving, but at least it's a start.
Feel free to email me back, check out alightlearning.com, anything you like!
Hi, this is Kevin. Hope your summer is going well and you had some time to relax.
I've started a new Ning network for Middle School Science Teachers and I thought you might like to join as you are (may be) also a m.s. science teacher. I thought it would be really good to have just middle school science teachers share some of their labs, demos, concerns, what works and what doesn't about teaching this level. Hope to see you there.
Connie, I just wanted to leave a note of gratitude. Can't leave them for all, but you and Nancy and others, with Steve to start us all off, were a great deal of value to me last week. Friday I submitted an application for The Education Entrepreneur Fellowship at The Mind Trust. Its a very nice package to work on building sustainable initiatives in education. Don't know how mine will register with the evaluators, but I'm certainly proud of the proposed project and the ideas backing it up.
The expression of those ideas has been refined a great deal in the past year thanks mainly to this community, the folk at the Fordham Institute, and Rick Hess & staff at AEI. And while those two groups are excellent at holding to principles, remembering the worst of our schools always, and pinging for good research, its been this group that has really filled in the gap between my own personal experiences and the great wide task that is building an economically sensible education system that respects the civic culture that got us all this far.
I know you work amazingly hard at school, in the field, online, and at home, and just wanted to thank at least you for the work here & at fireside. I have a much greater level of hope today than I did a year ago, primarily due to the collaboration you all are enabling.
Sorry--I just now saw your comment. We do have a wiki, but it's really not-so-great. We really do much better in person. I can direct message you an invite to our wiki, but if you just want to Skype me, I'm GingerTPLC. You can do it just about any time from here to WinterBreak. Sometimes we'll be "in the middle of it" but sometimes not.
If you want to give me a brief "ping" an hour or so ahead of time, we can easily adjust what we're doing. The kids are getting very used to visitors coming in person and via Skype.
This is prob not related to your Creature Project so much, but we do a Monster Exchange earlier in the year to accent descriptive writing. The kids create monsters, write up a descriptive narrative story, and then swap writing. All of the monster drawings are on the wall, and they have to match the art with the writing.
Next year, I would love to do this with another class.
Anyway, we made this movie:
It does sound like you're presiding over the evolution of a new kind of homeroom class. Even the mayhem stage sounds exciting, though it probably would come across on a webcam as just chaos. However, when things calm down a bit I'd like to discuss with you how we can share what you're learning with students and teachers everywhere through the World Mind Network. I think your kids could end up being the most famous 4th and 5th graders in the world.
We at the World Mind Network are really interested in your experience with your new homeroom of 20 4th and 5th graders. Is there any we we can capture part or all of the magic you are exploring with either webcams or video cameras? If so we would be glad to provide them. You can go to worldmindnetwork.net to see some of our webcam feeds.
You may recall that last month I suggested that today's connected kids seem to be creating a new 'species' of humanity, because of their amazing collaborative abilities via MySpace, YouTube, etc. And you had a very insightful comment on my post. It seems that you are facilitating,
or 'midwifing' this change. I would love to share this with the world.
Hi Connie - thank you for answering my question(s). We are just now getting gaggle sorted out, probably another week before administration is comfortable with it being up and running!. I will be a little while longer on the Ning group, but we will get there, probably try for the teachers to test bed a pilot first. Thanks again -- Harold By the way I used to be stationed up at St. Ignace for 3 years 79-82
Thanks for the nice words. The dog is my puppy Starbuck and he is a deep soul. I use the blue snowball mic for roundtable discussions. http://www.macobserver.com/review/2007/01/16.1.shtml
It seems to hover around 100 bucks.
I just read your actual survey response. I had just seen your comment in CR20 when I replied.
I'm not sure how far I'm going in this direction. I've done professional development for a while and I'm really looking to go a different direction in my research.
I worked for a series of grants at Indiana University for a few years: Interdisciplinary Collaborative Program (ICP), and a couple others that I forget names for :) TACIT and ICCATS. Essentially, they were all very similar. They taught language teachers to incorporate content into language classes and content area teachers to incorporate language methods into content area classes. These were all really great programs and the students (in-service teachers) really did benefit from them when asked during follow-up interviews 1, 2, and 3 years later.
I should also mention that most of these courses where online. I taught a couple and assisted with a couple.
The problem with doing professional development research, in my mind, is that we already basically know what has to be done to change practice, but, in most cases, we can't get the system to do it. I'm a big fan of Gusky's work on professional development. He really has a systems view, which I think is necessary to design, develop, implement, and evaluate initiatives.
So, this may be my last foray into professional development research, but you never know :)
If you'd ever like to talk, let me know. I'll be here :)