It’s lunch time as I type away at my keyboard to write this. I just finished a very enjoyable 45 minutes listening to 105theHive as they streamed music and critical commentary through the web from their classroom using their home-built internet radio station. Kudos go to @hdurnin and @glassbeed for their efforts to lead this project with their students.

While this was happening live, I was keeping on eye on The Twitter as well. The students were tweeting from @105theHive and responding to a number of people, adults and students around the world as they played their music.  I was particularly struck as @gill_ville had her students tweeting along with the students at 105theHive and asking questions and interacting through their class Twitter account @gill_villeans.

At the same time, @Grade1 had her primary students tweeting out retelling and doing character analysis from the story The 3 Little Pigs.

Three different classes, three different project foci, and all interacting with the world in new and exciting ways.

In the meantime, I have just read an email from a friend who has been told to essentially ‘cease and desist’ from all social media efforts. The administration doesn’t support it, and in my view, doesn’t understand it, and quite likely is scared of it.

So. Which group of students will likely remember what they did in school today, and transfer that learning to a lifetime of learning?

Just wondering…

Edupunk Podcast 6

Apparently you can’t use iFrame type embed codes on a WordPress.com hosted blog, which is where we have EdupunkPodcast hosted. I’m able to put up the links and stuff, but not embed the video, and now that Spreecast has added embed codes, it’s something I want to do. So I’ll post the videos from the show here. You can still visit the Edupunk site to find the iTunes subscribe links, and get the edited, with intro music etc.. version of the show, but I’ll post the uncut video feeds here as well.

Here’s Episode 6, where Danika and I are joined by the Kings to talk about eLearning.


TWiSE #64 – Earth Science @ Waterloo

VROC just posted episode 64 of This Week in Science and Education, where Kevin and I visit the Earth Science Museum at the University of Waterloo.  It’s a very cool place with lots of things to see when you visit there. If you live in the London area, you should check it out. If you teach in the area, it would make a great spot for a class visit to learn about geology.

It’s worth watching the whole episode to see the whole thing, but I want to link a specific part here. I had the opportunity to talk to Kathy Feick, who is a 3rd year student at Waterloo.  We had a short conversation about what she does at the Museum and also about the kinds of things that she has learned about being a university student and what high school students and teachers can consider in order to help with that transition. Click here to jump to the specific part of the episode where we discuss this, or watch the whole thing embedded below. (Jump to 16:09 if you want to just see the discussion I’m talking about)


I had the great fortune to spend this past Friday with a room full of educators at the 2012 Abel Leadership Summit. The day was led by the dynamic trio of Alec Couros, George Couros and Dean Shareski.  They did a great job of facilitating and leading discussions.  There were a few lasting things that stuck with me, and as I went back over my tweets from the day I thought I’d jot a few other things down. I used Twitter as a backchannel as we often do, but I found myself also thinking about how I would access the things I was posting later on, and in my mind it became my note taking for the day as well. 

Digital Literacy VS Digital Fluency
This was an intriguing idea that I hadn’t heard expressed in this way before, and that’s the idea that there is a difference between literacy and fluency in a digital way. And that a person can have a certain amount of competence with digital tools or media, and be ‘literate’ but that to truly be fluent is another level of understanding altogether. The analogy of a carpenter having the basic skills to make a basic structure, but not the indepth skills to make a truly nice house really struck me as effective.

One of the themes that came up several times was the idea of play. And that for educators, it’s a tough one to get our brains around sometimes. But it became clear that all learners, regardless of age, could benefit from some unstructured, and more importantly, un-tested time to play and learn in whatever way suited their learning.

One of the ideas was that planning to do things in cycles of several years is a huge disservice to the students in our clases now. If you have a 5 year plan to make things happen, then the students in Grade 8 will be out the door of Grade 12 before you finish your plan. Kids deserve more than that. Makes for tough decisions, but its something that we must consider.

George spent a bit of time telling stories about how important stories were. And it struck me that we don’t spend enough time doing that. We often hear talk about how important reflection is to us as learners and educators, but it seems to me that doing it as a story telling time might be more valuable. There is an honesty and a simplicity in the telling of a story that doesn’t seem to have much of the same baggage associated with it as the concept of reflection. Imagine if we had 20 minutes at the end of the day to sit in the staff room and just ask each other to tell the stories from the day.

Do They Know They’re Awesome?
Dean talked about the idea of positive deviants, and that there are many of them out in the schools across the country. The teachers who are doing wonderful things with kids, and are unaware that they are, in fact, awesome. It’s important to start to point that out to people in a true rich way. Not with the intent of kissing butt, but to simply point out the amazing and awesome things that teachers are doing everyday. Sharing the stories.

All in all it was a great day of learning and thinking and sharing.  There was much more in the day as well. If you search the hashtag #ABELSummit on Twitter, you’ll find all this and more!

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