Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DENSI Update Day 4

Day 4 of #DENSI started this morning on such high notes (literally). A group of us #DENSI members gathered together to take a walk along the beach this morning. Tally (@TalzBee) and I decided to try geocaching along the way together. At first technology was a hindrance. Apps didn't want to work. Maps weren't precise. But finally it all clicked. A woman walked by us singing a good morning (not sure if it was more to her self or as a greeting to us). Either way it made me smile. Working collaboratively to navigate in the right direction, Tally finally found the microcache under a fence point joint by a beach house along the boardwalk. Still impressed with how quickly she did that. It was a wonderful feeling that surrounded me as I went about my morning after that coup. I had been out twice before unsuccessfully. This was amazing to participate in so early in the morning.

We came back and prepared for the conference to officially begin. Off to hear the opening session.

Steve Hargadon from classroom 2.0 addressed the assembled members of the DEN during the opening session today. He fired up the cloud and helped several discover their worth, find their voice, and renew their passion. I took prolific notes this morning. And yes, I resorted to the old fashioned method of note taking as the technology around me rebelled today. Was Mercury in retrograde or something and I didn't get the memo.

From today's opening session:
We were challenged with “Why is what's happening now different?”
A website was shared To me this is a cluttered site with a wealth of information only a click away. Mr. Hargadon quoted John Taylor Gatto in saying the factory model of education and schooling is broken. Perhaps the change that is coming can be precieved as more of a tidal wave approaching. I loved that he joked that Steve Dembo is Hanging 10 and tweeting from the crest of the wave.

Education will be shifting to an exploration and design from the bottom up instead of from the top down. Teacher, parent, and student are going to be given a greater voice in the educational narrative (of today? Of tomorrow?) The value is students are going to need it to participate in the 21st century skill world. Can they be a part of the conversation?

Structured reform: reform narrative testing and tasking
Freedom reform: freedom of flexibility engagement and individualize. We as educators are the new superheroes. But over-tiredness is this superhero's kryptonite. I took several photos during the session. I hope to turn them into a meaningful product here to share out. But that will have to wait for tomorrow as there was more to the day to be shared out. Yes, Mr. Hargadon inspired me to renew my desire to share information via my blog. I have renewed purpose and have reclaimed my voice. I hope you will utilize your voice and leave comments on my blog posts.

Session 1 – Jennifer Wagner
In recent days I have had several conversations with a distinguished woman named Jennifer Wagner, @JenWagner. I had the privilege of attending her session today entitled Show Off Your Stuff, A perfect segway from Mr. Hargadon inspiring us to find our voice. Jennifer offered simple solutions for how to share our voices (or that of our students) in a nonthreatening approach.

Suggestion 1:
You can take pictures of student drawings and upload into Flickr. Simple yet effective. This can then be shared home or abroad.
Suggestion 2:
Wordle based on data collected from a Google Form. As our district begins to slowly implement Google Apps for Education, I found this concept very encouraging. During larger collaborative projects the data collected can become unmanageable and rather ugly to focus upon. But turning it into a graphical representation makes it much more informational at a glance.

[insert pause here... I have found my voice. But I need to find my bed for tonight] My notes are in my Google Docs and I promise to share out the rest soon.

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