Pete and C – Keynote Opening

Sir Ken Robinson

Began with discussion of his experience visiting Las Vegas. Las Vegas exists only because of imagination – in his opinion currently education kills imagination
Some people only exist at their jobs – others can't imagine anything else
Ex- seeing musician in the club - “I've always wanted to do that” Musician responded “No you wouldn't I play 4-5 nights a week and practie 5 hours a day- you wouldn't be doing this unless you loed it”
People who are fullfilled love what they do – they are in their element.
Most school systems divert people from their natural talents – we have a crisis in human resources – people are dislocated from a sense of purpose.
30% of kids don't graduate from high school – 50% in urban – 80% in Native American communities
Can't say its just the kids it is endemic of the system- not one entity (teachers, principals, etc) The key word is system. This is a system that is out of alignment with the way kids work, the way they think and the skills they need for the future.
His kids are in school here – found curriculum similar to English schools- a heirarchy driven by high stakes assessment and testing – ethic of payment by results – curriculum getting narrow – kids disaffected – teachers demoralized.
He believes it wouldn't take much to change it. Most governments feel it is just about raising standards. Who can argue? But knowing what standards to raise and how is the real trick. The irony is he finds that the pressure put on schools is in the interest of the economy- yet business is complaining that kids aren't getting skills they need. Kids can't think creatively, work in teams...etc. We need to get back to energizing kids. The whole system of education is overburdened with other people's agendas.
He suggests Peter Brook's book on theatre as a model:
Peter Brook felt that much of theatre is useless. He wondered what you could take away from theatre and still have theatre. He suggested get rid of lights, set, stage, directors.... one thing you can't get rid of is an actor in a space and somebody watching – focus on this relationship. Never add anything into the relationship that gets in the way.
Sir Ken suggests the same should happen to Education. Make it about the student and the teacher who wants to help them. What can we take away and still have education? We have to look at Education and question what we are assuming.
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new- so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country. ” - Abraham Lincoln
What are we taking for granted about education that we can't even see anymore?
Very hard to know what we take for granted. He polled the crowd – how many people under 25 were wearing a wrist watch? None – yet most people over 25 had one. Why? Under 25 people don't need one- they know the time is everywhere. Life has changed dramatically in terms of technology.
Thought: Technology is not technology if it happened before you were born.
His daughter won't wear a wrist watch – it is a one function thing- how lame is that. She takes for granted that everything is multifunctional. The world is getting faster. What will our children's kids take for granted?
Told us about a discussion with a tech from Apple- right now most powerful computer on earth has the processing power of a cricket – in five years most likely the power of a 3 year old – this crosses a threshold- they will be able to think- write their own programs. By mid century it is predicted that you can buy a computer for under $1000.00 that has the same ability as the entire human race.
Bottom line: our kids minds are moving faster. Also a factor: huge population increase on the earth.
Strain on the earth's resources unprecedented. These two factors are combining to produce a world we can't predict and we are stuck with an educational system based on the Industrial Revolution.
In late 1800's Britian was the world leader- great world power- huge influence. No one would believe that in 2 generations this would be gone. This was a nation that did not keep up with change. We need to keep up with change.
Showed a picture of tiger in green jungle. He said that in Western culture we call it a tiger. In Eastern/Asian cultures they say it is a tiger in a jungle or a jungle. Focus is different. Western focus is on individual- Eastern cultures on group. Point is that what we take for granted gets right in our brain and we don't even notice it.
Some things we take for granted:
    • going to school is all about going to college (Is this a good thing?)
    • education is linear
    • success requires earlier standards (pressure)
Implied in this is the difference between academic and vocational courses- the idea is that academic courses are for “smarter” people. Yet many go to college with no idea of what they want to do... graduate still without an idea/focus/direction.
Told an anecdote of meeting someone who wanted to be a fireman- at end of school the teacher asked all to tell what they wanted to do- all said college but him- he said a fireman and the teacher ridiculed him. Years later he saved his life when the teacher was in a car accident.
Point: we depend upon diversity
Next he discussed linear idea- why do we group kids by age? Why the pressure at such an early age? Why interviewing kids to get them in the “best” kindergarten.
Increasingly school is all about standardizing. “Our policy makers have come to confuse standardizing with raising standards.” - Sir Ken
This is a fast food concept for quality insurance- not appropriate for Education. Another concept from this industry works better- the Zagart guide or Michelin guide. They say – here are the criteria for greatness- if you meet the standard you are in. This is a better model – they are all excellent but different.
We have evolved into accepting the fast food model and what we need is the Michelin model.
Talked about the importance of allowing children to learn by discovering – following their nature. Being good at something isn't a good enough reason to do it. You need to be passionate about what you do.
Cited examples from the Beatles – Paul McCartney and George Harrison were both unsuccessful in the same school- what does that say? Elvis Presley was kept out of glee club in school.
Human talent shows itself very differently – educations' job is creating the conditions for growth. He believes we need to move from an industrial metaphor to an agricultural metaphor.
  • customize to local circumstances
  • reconstitute the curriculum
  • standardized tests cannot become the culture of Education

All the great schools in the country are the ones that liberate the teachers. - Sir Ken
Encourage kids to set their compass to their own true north. There are no facts about the future, what we can do is invest in our own creative abilities.
Shared a film about Blue Man group – whose first rule was to challenge the assumption they grew up with in school that they were not creative. All people are creative. If ordinary people find their element – extraordinary things can happen.
Blue School:
“Traditional model- children are freight cars- need to fill them with grain as they roll down the track - we are interested in creating a rocket launch pad”- Blue Man Group
“Traditionally we hide who we really are- look at the vibrant colors that come out when you let the part of you that is an outsider come out.” - Blue Man Group
Sir Ken closed with the metaphor of Death Valley. It rained in 2005 and the desert bloomed- an unexpected and historic event. Even Death Valley is not dead but dormant- all organic systems are only looking for the right conditions to bloom.

PETE N C Session: Data Literacy and the Graphical Representation of Information
Jesse Berg, MSIT, Med
Began discussing inquiry- it boils down to answering a question through research - how to “take a mess and make something out of it”
Inquiry encompasses 21st century skills
Inquiry starts with questions – produces more questions
Important – we live in a world where there is so much data- we need to understand an interpret it
Simple data representatoin: cartograms
Cartograms tell a story – transfer data into stories
Example from wiki- map from Univ of Mich showing red and blue states alter the data to represent the state as a population – changes the digital story picture
Cartograms promote inquiry and visual thinking – good way to question assumptions which is what inquiry is all about
GIS – Graphical Information Systems
GIS specialists emerging in all sectors- area of tremendous growth. Many people speculate that murders have dropped in Phildelphia specifically because of GIS. Police in philadelphia use GIS to allocate resources.
Showed an example using the software in our packet- GIS Solutions for Education- sets of maps and graphics that can be manipulated.
Start by making a data base – import information from websites, etc.
Using an example of earthquake data he produced a visual map of earthquakes by pulling information into the software- it automatically created a map. Then went out to the United States Geographical Service and downloaded live data to add into the graphic representation.
NOTE: need to look up CSV file – much data is in this format
Q- How can maps and graphics help us to make meaning?
Athentic data now added to the map in real time!! Exciting!
Q- How might your students react to seeing live data that brings the information down to their lives?
Q- How can we use GIS to do this?
Q- For students: what do I need to know about the data that created the visual in order to understand the meaning?
GIS program also allows you to change the maps you create – size, shape, etc. (ex- change flat map of world to eliptical)
Inspire Data
Same process – can import materials – this program toggles between data (table) view and plot view
Note: when analyzing data – students rarely see what data is before we give it any criteria or organization
Inspire Data:
1- input data
2- apply criteria (will lay out data on an x and y coordinate)
3- toggle between data and plot view
4- alter and tweak the plot view (can add lines)
5- add notes under the plot view
6- can continue to manipulate data/views – and take a camera shot of each plot to save as a slide
Q- How will creating data maps and understanding the process help kids become data literate? (Able to read, interpret and understand data and representations of data)
Process: What is a map? What is a graphic representation? How do these tell a story? What story do I want to tell? How can I tell it with graphics? How can I tell it with maps?
IDEA for Lorraine's class: What if you took their social studies book and cut out all of the text and asked them to work in groups to figure out the text ONLY from the illustrations, graphics and maps?
Use prompts/real world questions to teach students about data.
Example: We need to send rescue workers in to Haiti- how do we know the best time?
Students create a plot of siesmic action for the region- plot it out in different ways changing the criteria: activity over time? Activity compared to depth? Etc.
Important to use data in more than one way to get a well rounded picture.
Inspire data also includes an online survey feature where you can launch a survey allowing students to go to a website and add information to your work.
Inspire Data easy to use – Help feature will coach you.
Inspire Data drives writing about data- the note feature, the online feature.
Inspire Data allows point plots, bar graphs, Venn view, pie chart views
NOTE: look up box and whiskers
Inspire Data comes with built in data across the curriculum- don't need to always find your own data
GIS software helps you “build the map” from imported data
Inspire Data helps you “build the data base”
Dig into Data! - good theme
Data visualization helps us problem solve and make decisions
(Great concept for Lorraine's group)
Quantity of data we have is so vast – people are needed with creativity to gather and interpret it.

PETE & C Session: Technology and Differentiated Instruction
Technology and Differentiated Instruction: Symbiosis
Bill Dolton

Began by polling the group – what are our jobs? What do we know about differentiated instruction.
Modeled differentiated instruction with technology for us. We were encouraged to blog or twitter during the presentation- play the slide show from our laptops.
What are the attributes of a digital native:
born in digital age
life experience
higher degree of comfort and experience with technology
How would a digital native approach a new piece of software?
Play with it... learn by doing... read the manual? NO!
The kids we work with now by birth are born in the digital age but may not all fit the profile.. some may act more like digital immigrants
ACOT- Apple study – found you had to immerse students in the technology at school and at home
Looked at the process of adopting technology as stages.
ACOT Stages of Adoption:
Entry- little to no use
Adoption – minimal productivity use
Adaption – productivity use embraced
Appropriation – full adoption
Invention- new uses, shares with others

CBAM Concerns Based Model - people adapt technology as they need and want it
Non use, orientation, preparation
  • need direction and support
Mechanical, routine
    • confident, use
Refinement, Integration and Renewal
    • expanding into sophisticated uses

Rogers Adoption of Innovation
Innovators- always on the cutting edge
Early adopters
Early majority
Large majority
Laggards: resistance, avoidance

We need to consider these models to help us understand our students.
How do your students differ in the ways they think about and use technology?
How does relative access impact where we find students?
What does this imply for classroom technology use?
How can we differentiate the use of technology?

Comment from the group: the lack of Universal Design in technology makes this difficult.
What kinds of things do we need to think about when we use these tools?
    • Can our kids get access?
    • Can they all use them?
    • Can they use them safely and well?

Good reference: - attempts to catelog web 2.0 tools
Remember a lot of these are boutique applications – specially designed to meet a specific need or user group – you can pick and choose options for your tools
This can also be overwhelming.
What are some ways we can use technology for differentiation?
Idea: allow kids to use varied web tools for culminating portion of a project
This also allows kids to experience a variety of things over time and get to know the tools- models multiple ways to express themselves

Note- valuable resources on the tech for differentiation wiki. Includes external links and resources, reommended readings, online resources for differentiated instruction, lists of technologies to help differentiate including assistive technologies.
IDEA FOR JOE: Check out the Tech Tips and Strategies section for some great classroom tips, I think some of these strategies might work for you.
IDEA FOR JACKIE: Check out the “Student Information” strategies for ideas for creating small groups of learners
GREAT RESOURCE FOR ALL: Everyone check this out- it succinctly sums up some strategies for reaching all learners that I think really applies to our inquiry work:

This is a goldmine!!!
Big Idea: Important to challenge students. He prefers turning “project based learning” into “challenge based learning”
Challenged based learning:
student autonomy
driving questions
centrality to curriculum

How can we facilitate effective challenge based learning?
There are some challenges to this- student attitude “tell me what you want and I will produce it”
Current ideas about learning – expert passing out knowledge
Teacher patterns of breaking down a task into steps and teaching the steps
Give me step by step is just giving them the fish for the day- not the fishing pole
“I will slow down as much as you need me to so that you can develop the steps”
As teachers we don't want to take a risk – parents will be confused – doesn't fit teach to the test push

We need to change minds- how do you change minds?
By modeling – by example – trust yourself – trust others – establish a climate where you can take risk and try things – we need to do this as teachers so that we model it for kids
Discussion acknowledged that there are times when we need to impose rules and structure
Will the professional development need for technology ever go away?
Discussion: don't know where there is a point where it goes away – but would be great to have it integrated into what we are doing
Will there be a time when all teachers are comfortable and confident using digital tols for learning?
Discussion: most said yes -some said no
Function of access??
Important note: need to differentiate professional development as well as student instruction

PETE & C Session: Using Ning as a School Social Network
Session #DL06
Dianne Krause
Ning – a social network tool that can easily be adapted for the classroom. It is essentially a “make your own facebook”. It appeals to students, allows large amounts of media uploads direct to the site for free and can contain features like a chat room, forum, blog. You can create a closed space by creating groups and making them private for members only.
The teacher creates a Ning and then the students can set up a “my page” – person who creates the Ning has the power to allow editing.
A Ning my page has status bar just like facebook. Students may choose their own templates and features (if the teacher has approved the features when the Ning was set up) and use some creativity to create their page. Each page has a comment wall. Ning pages are like profile pages on facebook.

Ning can also have blogs and discussion. Unlike Blogger- where only a certain amount of people can join and comment, it allows for a large number of commenters and can be a closed environment – a totally private Ning.
Ning – kids can view other kids pages – kids can also turn off that ability – kids need to friend each other if they chose privacy settings.
We are allowed to enter and view the presenters Ning as a guest but we are not allowed to comment or edit in any way. The presentor's ning can be found at:
password: guest

This is the speakers professional development Ning.
When creating a Ning it is important to note that Ning is a Social Network not made for education – so it is not as secure as some of the other blogging sites.
You can see an entire presentation on how to create a Ning plus some samples at:
Further advantage: a Ning owner can send a broadcast message to everyone in the Ning. It makes a great tool for collaboration. One warning- it is difficult to post and share resources. The presenter uses to get around this. (She creates a storage for documents on, copies and pastes the url into a text box such as the notes feature on her Ning and it will appear.)
For techies: you can embed anything that has html code with a few exceptions.
Note: Ning is blocked in some school districts , but it is possible to ask to open up only the specific url for your Ning. In order to participate in a Ning, students must have an email address and must be over 13.

Ning vs. Wiki
Ning- discussion features far more robust
Private group feature is a big thing for creating closed safe spaces
Profile page great for kids – kids can personalize it and they prefer it for it's similarity to Facebook
Videos have comment box right there
Ning allows more free upload space than Wiki
Ning allows blogging if the teacher chooses to set up that feature
Can upload videos directly- you don't have to go through you tube or teacher tube
Ning has archive features – you can archive and privatize
More features than wiki – more attractive to kids
Suggestion: set up Ning and invite parents

How to Create a Ning
Go to
Give your ning a name
Give your name an address
Click create
Sign up or sign in
Describe your network
Choose public or private (can change later – if you make a group THIS IS NOT TRUE)
Add features (create manage tab) – drag them in- you can always change them later -
whatever you drag in appears as a tab on the front page

Cannot change green right column – this stays no matter where you go in the Ning
Appearance: choose a theme
Use on screen prompts to help to get started with content
Manage tab always available to change features – send broadcast emails etc.
Ning Help is VERY Good!

Classroom 2.0 – Ning for eductators
Great resource for looking at professional social networking.
Using Ning for Educational Social Networks
The Future of Education ning

Pete and C Session: Copyright and Fair Use

Fair use laws depend on context and situation.
Fair use comes in to play when the benefit to society out weights the benefit to the artist.
Context and situation are important.
It is a judgement call- remember the guidelines are only that- guidelines.
If you have repurposed this becomes fair use.
See a discussion of the Fair Use Act from the Center for Social Media at this link:

Case Study: Coffee table book maker wanted images of Grateful Dead- they were denied- went to court and they were approved because they repurposed the images. Images once used for publicity were repurposed for historic documentation.
Creative Commons content- collected free use materials but can be limited. Do we allow students to use other sources? If so how much and in what ways? What about sites like Flickr- are we asking students to check for sources?
It is a judgement call and it is up to the educator to avoid simply playing it safe.

Now it is suggested to use the Code of Best Practice- designed to replace Fair Use Guidelines which were not the law but were interpreations of the law. You can find examples of the Code of Best Practice in action at the Center for Social Media website above. (Media literacy experts banded together to create the code of best practices and fair use for best practices in media education.)
If you are using media in your classroom then you need to teach media literacy. Teach kids how to exercise their rights to fair use.
Fair use is flexible and dynamic- favors transformative practice and is part of the copywrite act of 1976. Some frequently asked questions about fair use can be found here:
Four concepts to remember per the speaker- Nature- Purpose- Effect – Amount
a lawyer addresses copyright issues

Suggested resources:
Fair Use Scenarios for discussion
Teaching About Copyright from the Media Literacy Center at Temple

Also an excellent compilation of resources from Camille regarding instructional technology and copyright issues can be found at:

Pete & C Session: Flat Classroom with Skype

Shelby Foster Central Manor Elementary School
Shelby Foster Penn Manor School District

Ironically the session I was going to attend on professional learning networks was cancelled and so after some roaming around I stumbled into this wonderful session embarrassingly late! I took some brief notes on the 7th -12th grade activities highlighted however the speakers provided us with an extensive guide to Skypiing and using Skype in many creative interactive projects on their moodle- so my notes pale in comparison. Don't miss clicking on the link below. Just choose "log in as guest" to see the presentation.

Flat Classroom Moodle

And here are some highlights from the 7th -12th grade projects to whet your appetite!
Skype American Soldiers overseas - ask parents, ask other teachers,network network network to get contacts- then email first to arrange it
Intenet Safety Exercise - they use this for 7th grade girls night out - the teacher begins a chat with someone claiming to be a 7th grader in NY (really another teacher waiting on skype) the girls get pulled in - ask questions - learn all about this "7th" grader - suddenly he calls - the girls push the teacher in charge to accept and when she does up pops the school technology director
8th Grade Language Arts have to do a persuasive speech - they Skype into a 12th grade class across the state and perform their speeches on camera - the 12th graders critique and email comments to the classroom teacher
World Culture Night- students and parents in the school library skyped with contacts in Japan and the Ukraine. These contacts came from relatives of the students. (note: this really increased parent interest and involvement in the school)
Skpye into the local nursing home (started with someone's grandmom).
7th grade buddies- students in elementary school are paired with 7th grade buddies for chat and skype calls to learn about middle school
Learning Support students Skyped the administration office to share reading projects
Skype students into a school board meeting
Cool stuff!