Watch 140edu live today and come tomorrow!

Starting today at 9:00 AM EDT, #140edu will be broadcast LIVE.

The event can be seen on UStream over at: conference will be broadcast from until 6:00 PM EDT today.

Review the #140edu schedule over at:

#140edu broadcast will continue tomorrow (August 1, 2012) starting at 9:00 AM
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5 steps to building social media presence from scratch

Gone are the days when imparting knowledge was the primary work of a teacher. Today’s teachers need to be able to support their students in knowing how to effectively connect, communicate, collaborate, cooperate, and create. This means that to prepare today’s youth for success in the world, educators must become savvy users of social media. Opting out of online worlds which students can use to change the world, is no longer an acceptable option for teachers.  

But getting started can be scary.

The video below features my interview with Author Learning Center where I share ideas for how authors, and really anyone, can begin to build their social media presence.  Below the video are the ideas spelled out with a focus on education for innovative educators who are interested in developing a robust online presence and start connecting with others who share their ideas.

5 steps to building social media presence from scratch

  1. Don’t be afraid of zero - We have to start somewhere and when it comes to social media, that means starting at zero. That’s okay. Take that first step and join the biggies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Start a blog and don’t worry about not having any followers. You’ll start at zero, but it won’t be long before your connections reach the double and triple digits.
  2. Find your people - Who cares about what you care about? Each social media service has a way to connect with those who share your interests.  Do a search for groups or tags that relate to your areas of interest.
  3. Look around - Once you find people who care about what you care about, look around. See what the norms are. This is called lurking. Read. Learn. Think. Reflect.
  4. Join the conversation - Reply to tweets.  Respond to posts. Share ideas. Let people know what you are thinking. Build your network.
  5. Collaborate and create - Invite your network to join you in the creation of great things using online collaboration resources. For example, find others who are interested in doing what you are doing and write an article together using Google Docs, make a presentation together using Prezi, create a book using Flickr, work on your school curriculum map with Google spreadsheets.

Following these five steps will not only help you find those who share your passions and interests, but it will also lead to you (or your students) establish yourself as a leader in the field.  The resume is a 20th century relic. Sure, you can have that one dimensional representation of who you are, but what will set you apart from the rest is the online persona you actively create and the connections you make in your network.
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BYOD in the 21st Century - Video Quickie

Editor's note:  I just love this video about the advantages and limitations of BYOD.  It's a great conversation starter for schools or districts who are considering this.  

Guest post by by Cross posted at r.u.a.ware

The Innovative Educator has often addressed the BYOD/T issue and has clearly presented the advantages and limitations of this concept for education both in her blog and by linking to various other authors; even linking to some authors that do not share her point of view. Her “7 Myths About BYOD Debunked” in THE Journal is one of the articles that should be on the top of educators’ reading list on the matter. 

Marc-AndrĂ© Lalande*, pedagogical consultant for the RECIT Provincial Service (that’s in Quebec, Canada), presents the BYOD concept and some of the pros and cons in “BYOD in the 21st Century”: a humorous 8-minute “South Trek” spoof Pedagogical Quickie. This clip should prove useful for educators who wish to start a conversation in their school or center on the subject. In Lisa Nielsen’s style, the limitations of the concept are not ignored, but rather explained and ideas for solutions are shared.

The rift between everyday life and the traditional school model - with its lectures, rigid schedules and standardized testing - is greater and greater everyday that BYOD initiatives are pushed back to “the future”. Access to information has changed in our day-to-day activities... BYOD, along with a change in pedagogical practices, could help schools catch up to the present.

Other videos, including “To Tweet Or Not To Tweet”, are available on Marc-AndrĂ©’s YouTube channel and are aimed at dealing with educational issues ranging from content creation to professional development.
    Read more articles about BYOD published on The Innovative Educator blog here

    * Pronounced pretty much like “Marc and Ray    Lah-Land” ;o)
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    The hottest posts that everyone's reading

    Here’s the roundup of what's been popular on The Innovative Educator blog this week. Below you’ll see the top weekly posts along with the number of pageviews. I hope there's something that looks of interest to you.  If it does, check it out. If you’re inspired, share it with others and/or leave a comment.

    Jul 15, 2010, 23 comments               1980
    Jul 22, 2012, 1 comment                   1776
    Aug 24, 2010, 50 comments            1602
    Jul 24, 2012, 6 comments                 1496
    Jul 26, 2012, 0 comments                  1368
    Jul 18, 2012                                          1330
    Jul 23, 2012, 6 comments                 1066
    Jul 25, 2012, 1 comment                   974
    Jun 24, 2012, 3 comments                858
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    Facebook finally considers opening up to the under 13 crowd

    If you know kids under 13 you might also know that many of them have Facebook accounts and for good reasons like connecting with family and friends, sharing pictures, playing games, and finding others with similar interests.  For innovative educators the under 13 rule has been frustrating as Facebook can be used powerfully in middle school where you may have some pre-teens.  

    Well, now Facebook is developing technology that would allow pre teens to use the site under parental supervision and I'm hoping that this could eventually be extended to educators as well.  Facebook is looking into connecting children's accounts to their parents' and using controls that would allow parents to decide whom their kids can "friend" and what applications they can use. 

    Check out this video from the Wall Street Journal to learn more.

    With Facebook's move to allow preteens access, schools will need to consider how to best support educators that want to integrate this into meaningful learning opportunities for students.  
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    10 BYOT / BYOD Back to School Basics

    Windows Phone 8
    Gone are the days where students sit neatly in rows all prepared with the same back to school supplies ready to consume instruction. As the 2012/13 school year approaches, one thing is clear. One-size-fits-all is out and personalization is in. This doesn’t only apply to the classroom instruction, it also applies to the mobile devices your students choose to use for learning. Today student choice = personalization. The teacher sets the learning goals, but students choose their own tools or learning.

    In 2012/13 Blackberries are old school adult devices. iPhones, Androids, and Microsoft’s new Windows 8 devices are what the cool kids are using in school. Below are the BYOT / BYOD back-to-school basics that will help ensure your students' personal learning devices are geared up for the upcoming school year.  

    1. Pen & Paper - Old school pen and paper are out.  Digital notes are in. Ask your students to select a notetaking app.  This may be a simple memo tool or something more complex like Evernote.
    2. Video - 21st century educators won’t waste students’ time with video capture of lectures. Those will be uploaded by the teacher to their online space using their own videos or ones phone in apps like TED or Khan Academy, but students will want to tell their stories or create work using video capture. iMovie and MovieMaker rule the roost. You can start there but there are also many other free apps available like Videolicious, Viddy and Splice. For video
    3. Photo - Capture learning evidence with photos.  Use the camera installed on your mobile device and do more with apps like iPhoto, Photo Gallery, Picasa and Flickr.  
    4. Book - Your students don’t need to waste money on a single function device like an eReader. Make sure they have a book app as well.  Your students will want a traditional eReader such as Google Play or Kindle as well as an audio book app like Audible.  
    5. Drawing - There are many reasons your students might want to draw, but one of my favorite is to give a visual representation to capture and make meaning of ideas. See how Brad Ovenell Cartner does this here. Brad uses an app called Paper on his iPad. Fresh Paint is a popular windows app for drawing.
    6. Video calls - Ensure your students have an app to connect to their world face-to-face. Facetime (iPhone), Google Hangout,/Video (Droid), and Skype (Windows) are all good choices.
    7. Storage - You’ll want to ensure your students have selected a cloud storage tool.  My favorite is Google Drive. Dropbox, iCloud, and SkyDrive are also popular choices.
    8. Social Media - 21st century educators know the value of personal learning networks. In addition to the social media outlet teachers choose to engage in school work, you’ll want to support your students in developing their personal learning networks using platforms like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
    9. Music - Generation text often works best with some music playing in the background.  Have some extra earbuds on hand for those who have forgotten them and let your students get to work listening to their favorite tunes using something like Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, or Zune
    10. Games - We’ve finally moved past the conversation of if games are valuable for learning to what games do your students find most valuable for learning.  Many of your student’s devices come with built in games and apps. Will they be creating worlds with Mindcraft? Honing their physics skills with Angry Birds, or using Xbox Kinect Apps for Education?
    What’s important for 21st century educators to remember is that when it comes to the tools and resources, you don’t have to be the expert. Share your learning goals with students and speak to them about the tools and resources they like best to meet those goals. You’ll learn from them and they’ll learn from each other when it comes to what to use. In the meantime, your job is to help them to become lifelong learners using the tools they own, love, and need for success in the world.  

    For ideas for classroom management, lesson plans, responsible use, safety, permissions forms, and much, much more check out Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning.
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    Innovative educators use infographics to engage learners

    If you’re an innovative educator who knows your students sometimes find traditional teaching methods like textbooks and tests to be a bore, consider infographics.

    These great tools are making their way into more and more classrooms. Take for example the following infographic. It shows that while there are some exceptions, overall, countries that have high levels of English speaking citizens tend to have a better Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    This type of infographic is a great way to ignite student’s curiosity and contemplate questions like:

    • Why is this case?
    • Should all countries invest in English language learning?
    • What is the correlation between GDP and other languages?
    • If/when a country prioritizes learning the English language does it lead to increased wealth and power?

    Rather than giving students assignments with answers residing in the teachers’ edition, innovative educators are using infographics like this which require students to use critical thinking skills and don’t necessarily have just one right answer.  Some educators are not only using these as tools to help stimulate critical thinking and discussion, they are also encouraging learners to create their own infographics using tools like Thinglinkand
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    3 reasons students are banned from BYOT / BYOD

    In New York City the mayor has banned students from using the technology they own and love for learning in school. This decision is not left to teachers, parents, school boards, or administrators. It is a mayoral mandate that despite protests, is closed for discussion.

    Here is why the chancellor and mayor do not give students the freedom to choose the tools that work best for learning:
    1) Since 2006 the mayor has vigorously defended the ban on student owned digital devices in school calling them unnecessary and disruptive distractions that interfere with learning.

    2) In light of the recent scandal at Stuyvesant High School, the NYC school chancellor explained that we must ban students from using their own technology because people are always trying to think of new ways to do things like get answers to questions. He says, that’s cheating and it’s not acceptable.

    3) The mayor's latest rationale for banning student tech in schools is kids might use them to watch pornography. “You have a big liability with pornography. The city would get sued right away.” And, in fact, it is our systems lawyers who are making policies and guidelines for students and teachers.

    School policies and guidelines look very different when those in charge spend time working, or at least consulting, with those who know how to empower students to learn about that which is meaningful to them with the tools they love and/or own. When that happens policies can shift focus from doing what is easiest, to doing what is best for students.
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    5 majors to discuss with teens thinking about college

    While the new common core standards call for all students to be college and career ready, the narrowed, one-size-fits-all initiative gives little attention to customizing coursework to a student’s unique talents, interests or abilities. As a result, like me, many young people are left with a diploma in one hand, and the other hand scratching their head, unsure of exactly what course of study they want to pursue. The end result can be a hefty investment in tuition, housing, and books in a major that’s just not right for them.

    The high school years are the right time to begin having conversations about what might be the best field of study to pursue. If that field includes college, these are five majors to consider that might lead to fulfilling careers. Discuss these with teens early so they can begin focusing their high school experience toward activities, studies, internships, and/or work that will help them make the most of college and life.

    1) Economics - Economics and other business degrees are among the highest-paying degrees available at college. While the coursework can be challenging, the results are worthwhile. Economics degrees can lead to jobs in business, other financial fields and academia.
    2) Health sciences- Health-related degrees can lead to the lucrative field of health sciences. While others jobs are affected by economic factors, health care remains in demand regardless of economic conditions; people do not stop getting sick during a recession. Degrees in health sciences can lead to careers in areas such as doctors, physician’s assistants, and nurses. Such careers allow one to help others and lead to high levels of job satisfaction. With Baby Boomers at retirement age, this is a field in high demand.
    3) Communication Studies- Communication degrees prepare students to enter fields like advertising and public relations. Starting salaries are reasonable, the work is fast-paced and exciting, and there is tremendous room for growth for those with talent. This degree also prepares studentts for running their own business once they gain some real-world experience.
    4) Education - Teaching degrees do not always lead to the highest-paying jobs, but the field is rewarding and those who pursue it are responsible for educating the future. Additionally, with experience and additional study, the work can lead to fairly lucrative jobs in administration. Educators who find an environment that fits their style find the rewards of teaching lead to high job satisfaction rates.
    5) Information Technology - As high school principal Chris Lehmann points out, “Technology is like oxygen, ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible. This is a field that will continue to boom for decades. With an IT degree, some experience and certifications, students can make six-figure incomes in a relatively short period of time. Further, the field continues to change and redefine itself, which leads to new opportunities throughout one's career.

    These five majors are some areas that are likely to lead to employment opportunities.  Of course this is only a start.  If these are not areas of interest for the young people you are involved with, dig deeper, review college catalogs and trade publications and talk with people in various fields to investigate which opportunities are most likely to lead to success. 
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    New Study Confirms Teaching Generation Text Ideas

    In "Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning" we cite a number of studies regarding the prevalence of cell phones and the trend toward kids getting phones at younger ages.  In fact, we encouraged our publisher to label the book for grades 5-12, when they had originally used 7-12.   A new independent study conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs confirms what we were already seeing in regard to cell phones.  Most notably:

    Kids start receiving mobile phones in grade school

    • Kids receive their first mobile phone, on average, at age 12.1.
    • Of the kids who have a mobile phone, 34% have a smartphone.

    Mobile phones are a kid's go-to device
    • If kids had to choose one technology device for the rest of their lives, the majority say they would choose a mobile phone above all else — computer, television, tablet.
    • 75% of kids think their friends are addicted to phones.

    Another great aspect to this study addresses phones and rules.  In "Teaching Generation Text" we share ways to manage phones effectively once they are accepted as a learning tool.  Bans don't work as many frustrated school staff are realizing.  The study supports our philosophy that embracing phones and managing them is much more effective than the cat and mouse game of banning them.  The question addresses parents, but the idea of rules with phones applies to schools as well. This study found that:

    Kids are willing to accept rules
    • 90% of kids think it's OK for parents to set rules on how kids can and cannot use the phone.
    • 66% of kids have rules at home about use of their phone; 92% of these kids think they are fair — and this is consistent across age groups and types of phone (i.e., mobile phone and smartphone).

    For ideas for classroom management, lesson plans, responsible use, safety, permissions forms, and much, much more in our book go to Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning.
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    The hottest posts that everyone's reading

    Here’s the roundup of what's been popular on The Innovative Educator blog this week. Below you’ll see the top weekly posts along with the number of pageviews. I hope there's something that looks of interest to you.  If it does, check it out. If you’re inspired, share it with others and/or leave a comment.

    Jul 15, 2012, 11 comments  3406 views                                             
    Jul 17, 2012, 3 comments    3128   views
    Jul 18, 2012   2772  views
    Jul 8, 2012, 13 comments    2055  views
    Aug 24, 2010, 50 comments        1908 views
    Jun 24, 2012, 3 comments   1346   views
    Jul 15, 2010, 22 comments   1257                                               
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    TED-Ed: Great delivery & creation tool, falls short on global collaboration

    Chris Anderson addressed an audience of innovative educators at this year’s Building Learning Communities conference to discuss the launch of the TED-Ed platform. He shared that the great power of technology was its ability to facilitate amplification, specialization, and collaboration. TED-Ed knocks the ball out of the park on two of the three.

    An extension of TED’s commitment to sharing ideas worth spreading, TED-Ed’s commitment is to creating lessons worth sharing. This in turn amplifies the lessons by the best teachers to students across the globe.  Below is an example of a video which this lesson was created around.

    The TED-Ed lessons bring into focus how the future of education will bring specialization to the teaching profession with the lessons from the world’s best educators captured as well as the specialization of those able to bring those concepts to life via animation, video capturing, and editing capabilities.  This will free time for educators to work with individual students, pairs, and small groups.  

    Collaboration - The missing piece
    The TED-Ed platform is powerful in shifting the way teachers may spend their time in the classroom, but it misses the boat on collaboration as pointed out in the following tweet:
    JackieGerstein Ed.D.@jackiegerstein
    @InnovativeEdu How does TedEd promote global collaboration? There are no tools for doing so on the site? Only tools for making tests

    Chris Anderson explained that the collaboration happens when lesson creators and animators connect but it doesn't seem that the capability to do so is built into the system. Most importantly there is no way for learners to connect and collaborate. This would be a powerful feature that hopefully will be incorporated in the future.  

    The power of the platform
    Providing lessons that can be used for learning anytime/anywhere is not the only power of the platform.  What some teachers will find exciting is that they can customize existing lessons or create their own lessons using any YouTube video including those they themselves have created.  What's more, they can track learner progress because each unique lesson has its own url and learners can view their progress by viewing the "recent activity" tab.

    What you’ll find on the site
    Here is an outline of what you’ll find on the TED-ed site. You can watch it on video here.

    • These are video series.
    Best Flips
    Best flips are exceptional, user-created lessons. Users nominate the lessons they build. The lessons are carefully selected by volunteer teachers and TED-Ed. Want to see your lesson here? Don't forget to hit nominate after you publish.
    You can transform any YouTube video into a lesson worth sharing and customize it by adding your own supplementary materials and sharing your lesson with others.

    • Watch
      • View the video
    • Think
      • Questions which students will answer and submit
    • Dig Deeper
      • Ideas to continue the learning
    • …And Finally
      • Concluding thoughts

    Once teachers become comfortable with TED-Ed for lesson delivery and creation, they may want to support their students in become lesson creators too. Anyone can create a TED-Ed lesson. For the best lessons, don't forget to nominate them for Best Flips to amplify lessons that can be shared with the world.

    So what do you think? Is TED-Ed a tool you can see incorporating into your practice.
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    What will you do the first five days of school?

    "We can lose the value of a whole year if we do not get the first five days of school right." - Greg Whitby @gregwhitby Executive Director of Schools, Diocese of Parramatta
    What do you do during the first five days of school to ensure the year is off to a great start? That is what attendees of this year’s Building Learning Communities conference are sharing, discussing, and rethinking face to face and via the Values Exchange Community.

    Alan November gets the conversation rolling on the First Five Days Theme Board with these nuggets:
    Culture Questions for the First Five Days
    Who should own the learning?
    Who should work harder during class?
    Who should contribute to the learning of the whole class?
    What are the potential global relationships?
    How can teachers learn as much as possible about their students during the first five days?
    What PD can we provide to teachers to prepare them for the first five days of school?
    -Alan November (conference organizer)

    Digital Learning Farm
    Alan November’s article about organizing students with real digital enabled jobs, such as tutorial designer that empowers all students to create content to contribute to the learning of the whole class. These jobs can be set up during the first five days of school as a basic to the empowered culture of
    -Shared by David Seedhouse (Value Exchange community developer)

    What do you plan to do during your first five days to ensure the year gets off to a great start?  Even if you’re not at BLC, you can register here to join the conversation at the First Five Days Theme Board.  
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