Thursday, January 17, 2008

Library of Congress Shares Photos

Just saw this blog post about the Library of Congress doing a project with Flickr. They are posting thousands of photos that have no known copyright. Some are missing info, and they are hoping people will annotate them and add comments. There are some great photos here, that can be used by anyone! If you add their Flickr site as a contact, you will be able to see whenever they add more photos.

International Day for Sharing Life Stories

Digital storytelling seems to me to be one of the most profoundly useful ways to integrate technology in the classroom. I was reminded of this again by an email about the International Day for Sharing Life Stories planned for May 16 by the Center for Digital Storytelling in San Francisco and the Museum of the Person International Network, in Brazil, Portugal, the US, and Canada.

Check out the examples of people telling stories about their lives on the Digital Storytelling site. They are inspirational, and might give students some ideas about how to tell their own stories.

May 16 is also the birthday of Studs Terkel, a man who has been collecting and publishing people's stories for many years, and this event celebrates his life. I remember when his book Working came out in 1974. I was working in a steel mill then, and thinking a lot about what people do for work and what it all means. Since then I have settled into much more acceptance about working, but Studs Terkel was always questioning, reflecting, and championing ordinary people.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Classroom 2.0 Get-Together is SF

Classroom2.0 on the Ning social networking site is a great place to get answers to ed tech questions, see what other teachers are doing, make international connections, and just generally make friends with birds of a feather. Steve Hargadon, the organizer of Classroom2.0, is now organizing some face-to-face meetings of interested teachers. The first one will be in San Francisco on Feb. 1 and 2. Wikispaces is providing some sponsorship, including providing a location, and will be announcing the location once they know how many people will be coming.

Check out the list of workshops, an ever-evolving wiki page, and add yourself to the list of attendees if you want to come.

There is also a link to a page where people are signing up to organize similar events in their own cities, so go there if you aren't close to San Francisco.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Professional Learning Community Blog

Well, I was swept away by the holidays, a trip to New York, and budget matters before that, many budget matters.... so haven't posted for a while. Just catching up on my blog feeds, and I want to post again about the Adult Education Matters blog by Martha Rankin and her staff at Newport Mesa USD Adult School. The blog is a part of their overall professional development plan, and they use it to keep staff updated on work of various teams, to post documents such as their school-wide PD plan, and ESLRs (expected student learning results). They even have a short PowerPoint about their ESLRs that students view and then sign via SmartBoard.

This blog is such a good example of how blogging can be used by an administrator and program to build a sense of community and share information, I wish every adult ed program in California could check it out. The goals of the blog are:

- to provide current research and articles on the matters of adult education

- to give useful and successful ways to put the research into practice in the fields

- to create an online “home” for professional development ideas in the form of videos, music, pictures, documents, and online articles

- to build a learning community among adult educators and provide an e-forum in which they can collaborate

Technology integration is an important part of their school-wide professional development plan, and is reflected in each of its four sections. For example, they support peer tech mentors to offer tech tips during a 20 minute period at the beginning of class when students have independent work to do. Topics include using SmartBoards, blogging, Internet sites, writing projects, etc. There is a big emphasis on collaboration, and on the importance of technology as a part of 21st century literacy. What a great model!