October 15, 2011

ACTEM MaineEd Conference October 2011

One of the opportunities I look forward to each year is the MaineEd ACTEM conference each fall. This year I chose not to present, but attended sessions on Global Learning with Lucy Gray, iPads in first grade and the implementation of iPads in the Auburn Kindergartens. My focus was on attending sessions with the many teachers from Yarmouth who attended. In a conversation with Tara Maker from Apple I became interested in attending the three day workshop that Apple was coordinating with Auburn on the literacy research being launched in Auburn. I was able to register for the conference and to gain a spot for a representative from the new Yarmouth Education Foundation. I also learned from Peter Robinson (Auburn) and Lars (Apple Engineer) about some of the particulars of setting up iPads for classroom use.

ACTEM MaineEd Conference Links 2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

October 2, 2011

Global Projects and Collaborations

Some of the most powerful learning opportunities that recent technologies have made available to our students are global collaborations. Over the last year I have expanded my professional network and I have had the tremendous opportunity to connect with several teachers who have started global projects.

Last fall I participated in the pilot elementary FlatClassroom® project and last spring I joined a group of teachers in the Flat Classroom Certified Teacher's Course based on the upcoming book by Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay. To followup on the learning from those experiences I am helping to manage the FlatClassroom elementary "A Week in the Life..." project which has over 500 students comparing and contrasting their communities, schools, languages and environments. The students are meeting each other in Edmodo and the wiki for that project will be up later this week. The next round of this project starts in February, 2012 and that timing will allow our third grade students to join in as part of their countries unit.

Some second grade classes are connecting with other schools around the "community" unit that is hosted at the wiki: http://ispycommunity.wikispaces.com/. Classes are starting this project this week and the final product will be Voicethreads from each school.

A fourth grade class is connecting with other readers on the Read Across the Globe wiki. This will be a good experience of reading and writing with other students before our fourth graders start their own writing blogs. The first book we are reading is In My Family by Sheila Kinkade & Elaine Little with a forward by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

Throughout the year we are planning to work with several other global collaborations including the Global Classroom Project 2011-2012 that was started by teachers in Ohio and Australia and is posted at http://globalclassroom2011-12.wikispaces.com/

I have found some of these projects through my online Professional Learning Network (sometimes called a PLN) and others through "clearinghouses" for global projects like the Global Education Collaborative ning hosted by Lucy Gray.