Edubloggercon took place the day before the official sessions at TCEA. It’s not about blogging, it’s about spirited discussions on interesting topics.
There were about 200 people attending. In the morning, we all gathered together and voted on the types of topics we wanted to talk about. There were four one-hour time slots, with about four sessions per slot. For each session, one person was volunteered to lead, and those of us interested in the topic peeled off to ask questions and contribute to the discussion.
There should also be an Edubloggercon at ISTE. I found it well worth it.
Rita Oates on Helping Parents cope with their childrens’ web activities
Rita Oates is Vice President, Education Markets for ePals, and a national speaker on digital citizenship.
Parents’ biggest fears from their kids using the Internet are
- that they would borrow their parents’ credit card and make purchases
- that they would share family information
- that they would see porn or gruesome pictures
- that they would share indecent photos
- that they would be subjected to cyberbullying
- that the family PC would be infected by viruses
What is interesting is that 30% of all kids end up being cyberbullied at some point, but fewer than 20% of those actually report it. A growing source of cyberbullying is students bullying teachers. A student is 10 times more likely to be cyberbullied than to be contacted by a predator.
Not to excuse the behavior or blame the victim, but statistically, the vast majority of kids who interact with predators are kids who are in danger of other types of risky behaviors, so the solution would seem to be more to coach and counsel the kids than to wall in all kids. Using two analogies:
Don’t ban cars, teach children how to cross the street.
How well did it work for Sleeping Beauty to ban spinning wheels?
For schools, the best scalable strategies are to create a role based infrastructure with separate rights for teachers, parents, students under 13, and students over 13.
Schools do not have to go overboard on protecting students to be CIPA compliant; they do not have to shield students from every conceivable bad connection and web site; they just have to show that they are taking prudent steps.
You can view the complete slides of Rita’s presentation at http://3.ly/parenting.
International Collaboration Websites
I also participated in the session on ways that classrooms could participate in international collaboration. The ability to operate as part of a multinational team and understanding how cultural differences affect perceptions and actions are increasingly important skills.
We came up with a list of applications and web sites that facilitated teachers and classrooms connecting.
iEARN connects over 30,000 schools with over 130 different projects. Projects include:
- Connecting Math to our lives
- Friends Book, making international friends
- Creating an international magazine
- Sharing local history
The Flat Classroom Project
The Flat Classroom Project was featured in Thomas Friedman’s book, The World is Flat, and started with a collaboration between a class in India and one in Beijing.
Two or more classes work together on a project, using tools like WikiSpaces or Ning. Sample projects include How the World Wide Web has Changed the World, and Connecting the World Online.
Live Mocha allows people to practice speaking other languages with native speakers. If I am a native English speaker, and I want to practise Spanish, I can connect with someone who speaks Spanish and wants to learn English. We can help coach each other. There are both free and paid versions.
The Global Education Collaborative
The GEC is a Ning community around the Global Education Conference. You can connect with others who share interests and information on the globalization of education.
Education Beyond Borders
This is a teacher organization, looking to connect teachers from around the world to share incites and best practices. For example, their Education Without Borders project assembles a team of educators to provide professional development in a target country based on that countries curriculum.
Connect All Schools
The goal of Connect All Schools is to connect every school in the US with the outside world by 2016 through introduction of global issues curriculum, new World Languages, online collaboration, youth and teacher exchanges, professional development on international education, video-conferences, etc.
GSN helps teachers find collaborative learning partners around the world. Sample projects include:
- CyberFair 2011, where youth conduct research and publish their findings on the web
- Doors to Diplomace, which is sponsored by the US Dept of State for Middle School and High School kids around the world to learn about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy
ePals helps teachers find classrooms around the world to connect with their kids, for projects and discussions. National Geographic has helped design and sponsor many of the projects.
Cool Tools Duel
The final session of Edubloggercon was the cool tools duel.
There were two teams, each at a computer and projector. There were ten rounds. In each round the team had to show a cool website or app. The winner of each round was determined by the applause of the other attendees.
I couldn’t keep up with the applications, but one of the other attendees kept notes on the Edubloggercon Wiki. Here are her notes, with a few annotations by me.
myfakewall.com Fake facebook pages can be created. This makes for a great project, “pretend that the founding fathers could use Facebook to communicate with each other, create a Facebook page for Samuel Adams.”
Corkboard.me like Wallwisher
Citrify (photo editing program)
polleverywhere.com online polls, texting polls
snipsnipit.com can snip videos from youtube, teachertube, etc. so that you can share just a portion of the video, instead of making someone watch the whole thing.
quiQR Iphone app that creates and makes QR codes and reads them too.
Spashtop remote turns your ipad into a remote control for your desktop computer $1.99.
You load the desktop app to your computer, and your iPad or phone will find your computer on a network.
360 degree panorama app for iphone lets you take 360 degree or panorama photos. Here is a great exmple of a 360 degree panorama, taken by a friend building snowmen with his kids: http://occip.it/pt3z2o8r
paperrater.com Like turnitin.com but free
awesomehighlighter.com allows you to highlight a web page, and then share your highlights and annotations with others.
8 mm classic camera app $$ 2.00 cool video editing software for the iPhone
Meetingwords.com Create a public pad. Like etherpad.
wiffiti.com for texting or twitter messaging to an address
rockmelt.com is a Chrome based browser that aggregates your social networks.
Jot Not pro 99 cents can scan a wall and sends it to evernote, etc.
pixelpipe app Lets you publish your media via an app
http://www.twitterfall.com/ allow users of Twitter to view upcoming trends and patterns posted by users etc.
I’ll never be able to keep up with all the new websites and applications that are being developed for social networking, smartphones, and education. It was great to talk to others who are also struggling to keep up. Each of us was able to learn from each other.