Monday, September 14, 2009

CCK09 September 14, 2009 Elluminate Session

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Blog at

I have moved my posts and comments to If it works out, I will remain there. If not, I will return to blogspot.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Peace Train is with Us: Web 2.0?

On Sunday I was lying on sunny, warm, refreshing Grape Bay Beach, Bermuda listening to my MP3 player. My wife, daughter, her husband and their eighteen month old son Michael were with me. Some of you may remember the song I was listening to that, when I first heard it in 1971 caused a "gust of hope" to rise up in me. I still get that feeling today. It seems that hope springs eternal.

I Googled the song and discovered that it had been sung in 2006 at a concert to honor the "Banker to the Poor," Muhammad Yunus, who received 1/2 of the Nobel Peace Prize. The other half was shared with Grameen Bank. From the Nobel Prize site...
Professor Muhammad Yunus established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, fueled by the belief that credit is a fundamental human right. His objective was to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans on terms suitable to them and by teaching them a few sound financial principles so they could help themselves.

From Dr. Yunus' personal loan of small amounts of money to destitute basketweavers in Bangladesh in the mid-70s, the Grameen Bank has advanced to the forefront of a burgeoning world movement toward eradicating poverty through microlending. Replicas of the Grameen Bank model operate in more than 100 countries worldwide.

To learn more about Dr. Yunus, Grameen Bank, and other Nobel related resources, check out the Nobel video site.

The song I was listening to on the beach was Peace Train by Cat Stevens, who later changed his name to Yusuf Islam. Stevens said
Peace Train' is a song I wrote, the message of which continues to breeze thunderously through the hearts of millions. There is a powerful need for people to feel that gust of hope rise up again. As a member of humanity and as a Muslim, this is my contribution....
Peace Train

Now I've been happy lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun
I've been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Something good's bound to come

For out on the edge of darkness
There runs the peace train
Peace train take this country
Come take me home again

Peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Come on the peace train
Peace train's a holy roller
Everyone jump upon the peace train
This is the peace train

Get your bags together
Come bring your good friends too
Because it's getting nearer
Soon it will be with you
Come and join the living
It's not so far from you
And it's getting nearer
Soon it will all be true

Peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Come on the peace train

I've been crying lately
Thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating?
Why can't we live in bliss?

For out on the edge of darkness
There rides the peace train
Peace train take this country
Come take me home again

Peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Come on the peace train

Come on, come on, come on the peace train...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Give stuff away and see what happens!"

Alan Levine, Cog Dog Blog, posted a lovely argument for sharing on the internet, Lovely Photo Devivatives.
...what is more interesting, uplifting, is the magic that happens when you give something away, when you don’t attach statements of what you cannot do with media you’ve created, but attach statements of what you can do.
He goes on to tell the story of friends, Jim and Susan, who used Alan's photos to develop artistic interests. He shared; they produced works of art derived from the photos. The pastels Susan created are beautiful and presented in the post for us to enjoy along with the original photos. It seems to me that no one lost out in that transaction. The bargaining involved is elemental, something fundamentally human. It represents the best of what we can offer to the planet, and our future as a planet can be secured if we can figure out how to mine this simple treasure.

Sharing is a CORE VALUE for Web 2.0. It caught my attention as I began my visits eleven months to the learning spaces, ubiquitous on the Internet. Web 2.0 with sharing is selfless; Web 2.0 without it is selfish, and, for me something less free and organic. I hope we can protect and preserve this quality forever. If you agree, then it's logical to ask what challenges that value and how do we counter it?

I think the biggest challenge to the three Web 2.0 C's (collaboration, cooperation, and creation) is contained in one's answer to the question I came across in the blogosphere:

How can I make a living in a Web 2.0 world? How do you answer the question and does your answer challenge or protect and preserve sharing?

I take a lot of pictures, but I have not yet developed the habit of uploading them to Flickr. Cog Dog's post has caused me to think I want to begin learning how to do that. That's sharing too. Thanks Cog Dog.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Four Double Six Six Four - 46664

Nelson Mandela's 90th Birthday Celebration ~ London, UK

It's in Our Hands

A Number Worth Thinking About....

46664 Home
46664 Global Community

This post is dedicated to Sharon Peters who will be arriving in Cape Town, South Africa tomorrow beginning her mission of education in Africa.

46664 is an African response to the global HIV AIDS epidemic that invites the whole world to take the fight in hand. It's our aim to raise awareness overall and educate the younger generations in particular. By gaining global backing for the cause, we will also raise funds to directly assist the many HIV AIDS projects we support. We intend to do this by using our international ambassadors to spread our messages of hope, our calls to action, our pleas for compassion and our requests for assistance and support for those living with HIV AIDS.

46664 (we say four, double six, six four) was Nelson Mandela's prison number when he was imprisoned on Robben Island, off Cape Town in South Africa. He was jailed in 1964 for 27 years for leading the liberation movement against apartheid and for his impassioned stance on the rights of everyone to live in freedom. He was prisoner number 466, imprisoned in 1964. The Robben Island prisoners were never referred to by their names, but rather by their numbers and year of imprisonment - hence 46664 was Nelson Mandela's number.

This was very much the strategy of the apartheid regime, to reduce those people fighting for the right to freedom to nameless numbers.

It was for precisely this reason that Mr. Mandela decided to use this powerful, symbolic number in the fight against HIV AIDS. Through this simple, poignant means he has demonstrated and communicated to the world that people must never be reduced to simple numbers - we are human beings, all equal, and those infected and living with HIV AIDS have the same right to live and to be treated as equals.

This is how the number 46664 became the icon for promoting Nelson Mandela's global HIV AIDS awareness campaign.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

For Children in Massachusetts Today is a New Day

It has taken ten years of advocacy by colleagues throughout Massachusetts to achieve this reform package. I am proud of the role MASCD has played in shaping the agenda. Working together with hundreds of educators, business leaders, parents and politicians, we have come to a new day for children. The power to transform is with us; let us use it wisely. "It's about all the kids!"

(Note: Pay particular attention to Goal 4: Innovation and Systemic Reform to Create a 21st Century Public Education System) Technical Help Request: Please comment on how to anchor this to the goal 4 section below if you know how. Thanks

Below is a communication I received from a colleague of mine in Massachusetts. I am the President of the Massachusetts Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (MASCD) and Mary Forte Hayes is the Executive Director. Yesterday Mary was at the Kennedy Library when Governor Deval Patrick announced the next generation of education reform. The last major educational reform in Massachusetts was in 1993.

Dear Colleagues,

It was an exciting day today (June 25, 2008) at the Kennedy Library, a perfect setting for the launch of a visionary plan for education in the Commonwealth. I was there, as were many education and policy leaders and friends of MASCD. The Governor unveiled his vision for education, which is a call to completely redesign the system as we know it. He kept repeating “Today is a new day,” with good effect, and with the backdrop of the wall of windows onto the blue sky and water of Boston harbor framing the skyline. The Governor stressed many times, as did Secretary of Education-designate Paul Reville, that “all children” means ALL. Paul Reville recapped details of the 10 year plan that have been shared over the past 2 days. There are some very bold actions included. They are consistent with our priorities and well-aligned with the Whole Child compact. See summary below, which I have taken from the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE). Thanks to MBAE for the timely summary.

Mary Forte Hayes
Ready for 21st Century Success

The New Promise of Public Education

Acknowledging that our schools "must ensure that high school graduates know and are capable of much more than ever before", this report calls for transforming public schools over the next decade to meet the needs of current and future realities rather than perpetuate past practices that did not prepare all students for the demands of higher education and a technologically driven economy. With an unequivocal commitment to eliminating disadvantages based on socio-economic status, the proposed reform strategy focuses on four challenges:

International competition and an outdated curriculum

- Massachusetts must shift its focus from a 20th century approach to teaching to a modern curriculum that includes 21st century themes such as global and cultural competency, financial literacy, and other applied skills as well as strengthening content ranging from math, science, and world languages to social sciences and the arts.

A stubborn achievement gap - This can only be closed by acknowledging that children have different needs based on the advantages and obstacles they encounter outside of school. Public education must be coordinated with other social and health services so all children can meet high standards.

An education workforce crisis - Student achievement depends on teacher quality. The teaching profession has to be promoted as the critical and valuable vocation that it is in order to attract and retain outstanding candidates. The system for preparing, supporting and evaluating teachers must be comprehensively re-designed.

A century-old system - The system of standards and accountability instituted in 1993 has brought us far, but reaching the goal of bringing all students to proficiency requires a new, individualized approach. In an economy where the same skills are needed for college and for jobs at family-sustaining wages, it will take new, differentiated approaches to give all students what they need to succeed.

Read the Full Report

Four Goals of Action Agenda

Putting Children's Learning Needs First

For each goal, the Patrick Administration has identified what will be achieved in the short (by 2011), mid (by 2015), and long(by 2020) terms to reach the stated vision. Details can be found at:

Goal 1: Raising Student Achievement

Key short term goals include increased support for early childhood education; an inter-agency Child and Youth Readiness cabinet; a pilot drop out prevention and intervention program for urban districts; Student Support Coordinators to link services for students in low-income schools; and a statewide data system that will provide a "Readiness Passport" to document all education and social service experiences received by every child.

Goal 2: Teachers and Education Leaders - Supported and Effective Educators

By 2011, establish differentiated pay for high-need locations and disciplines; pilot intensive induction and mentoring for new teachers; establish Readiness Science and Math Teaching Fellowship to increase supply of teachers in these fields; accelerate development of "real time" assessment data to support instruction; strengthen MCAS requirement with complementary measures of student growth and 21st century skills; build state capacity to attract and retain a highly competent, culturally diverse teaching force. Mid- and long-term actions would strengthen teacher preparation in several different ways and provide support for continued improvement at all education levels.

Goal 3: College, Career and Life Success

In addition to integrating 21st century skills into all aspects of public education; needs based financial aid would be increased; offer community college opportunities to early childhood educators and income-eligible parents; provide accelerated graduation and early college opportunities; allow in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants; build a school-to-college web portal; offer college readiness assessments to high school juniors; and guarantee transfer credit among public colleges and universities. In the longer term, additional initiatives to increase work and college readiness will be implemented, in some cases focused on students with specific needs.

Goal 4: Innovation and Systemic Reform to Create a 21st Century Public Education System

The Readiness School concept which has received much press attention is part of this goal, which would also establish a Readiness Finance Commission to recommend cost savings and efficiencies, potential sources of revenue, and options for a complete overhaul of the state's education finance system. Other key features of this goal are expanding learning time both during out-of-school time and the summer; establishing a public-private Commonwealth Education Innovation Fund to foster innovation; expand student access to online learning; and provide other incentives and programs to use technology to improve teaching and learning.

Links to Subcommittee Reports and Video of Announcements
Above summary provided by MBAE, email of 6-25-08.

Friday, June 20, 2008

K12 Online Conference 08 Proposals: July 11, 2008 Deadline

Republished Post from K12 Online Conference 2008

As requested: Please duplicate this post and distribute it far and wide across the blogosphere. Feel free to republish it on your own blog (actually, we’d really like people to do that ;-) )....

Second Call for Proposals

This is our second call for proposals for the third annual “K12 Online Conference” for educators around the world interested in the use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice. We’ve made two changes to the inital call so please take note.

This year’s conference is scheduled for October 20-24 and October 27-31 of 2008, and will include a pre-conference keynote during the week of October 13. The conference theme for 2008 is “Amplifying Possibilities.” Participation in the conference (as in the past) is entirely free. Conference materials are published in English and available for worldwide distribution and use under a Creative Commons license. Some changes in the requirements for presentations are being made this year and are detailed below. The deadline for proposal submission has been extended to July 11, 2008.

Call for Proposal Submission Form


As in past years, K12 Online 2008 will feature four “conference strands,” two each week. Two presentations will be published in each strand each day, Monday through Friday, so four new presentations will be available each day over the course of the two weeks. Including the pre-conference keynote, a total of 41 presentations will be published. Each twenty minute (or less) presentation will be shared online in a downloadable format and released simultaneously via the conference blog (,) the conference Twitter account, and the conference audio and video podcast channels. All presentations will be archived online for posterity. A total of 82 past presentations are currently available from K12 Online 2006 and K12 Online 2007. If you are planning to submit a proposal, please review archived presentations from past years to determine what you might offer that is new and builds on previous work. A variety of live events will also be planned during and following the weeks of the conference.

Please make note that we have moved the “Prove It” strand to Week 1 and the “Kicking it up a Notch” strand to Week 2.


Week 1

Strand A: Prove it

Although some teachers are excited to “amplify possibilities” using computer technologies, Web 2.0 tools, and 21st Century learning strategies in their classrooms, how do we know if these innovative instructional strategies are really working? Since information technologies and emerging brain research continue to rapidly evolve and change, it is challenging as well as vital to find current, meaningful research to undergird the learning initiatives we are using in our classrooms. What are “best practices” for teaching and learning with the new participatory media? This strand will share research results from the field that support students in using knowledge to communicate, collaborate, analyze, create, innovate, build community and solve problems. In addition, successful methods for developing and/or delivery of action research projects or research-based instruction in today’s digital world will be explored. In some cases, participants may be invited to participate in ongoing or beginning research on Web 2.0 tool use, constructivist pedagogy, or other 21st Century research issues. Educational research about emerging professional development strategies, contemporary learning theory, systemic school reform, and other current themes of educational change are also appropriate for inclusion in this strand.

Help us to examine such research questions as:

o What does research in learning science, instructional design, informal learning, and other fields tell us about today’s learner and their success?

o What design features must teachers incorporate into their instructional activities to support meaningful learning?

o What is the role of assessment in today’s changing classroom? How should assessment be structured to meaningfully assess student achievement in the context of the modern classroom?

Strand B: Getting Started

Everything you wanted to know about getting started with web 2.0 technologies for learning but were afraid to ask. The presentations in this strand will focus on specific, free tools for newcomers. Whether you have one classroom computer or a laptop for every student, digital technologies can provide new opportunities to connect with other learners, create new and exciting knowledge products, and engage students in an expanded learning process beyond the traditional “boundaries of the bell.” Teachers first introduced to Web 2.0 tools are often unaware of the new possibilities for teaching and learning afforded by the Read/Write Web. Presentations in this strand will amplify and model what is possible in terms of pedagogy, student creation of content, and collaboration. Practical classroom implementation ideas will be emphasized. Presentations will focus more on the ways new tools can be used to engage students in learning, rather than focusing exclusively on how specific tools are used. If you’ve ever felt like everyone else knows more than you about teaching with technology and you need help getting started, this is the strand for you.

Week 2

Strand B: Leading the Change

Innovative approaches to teaching and learning using web 2.0 tools are often utilized by a limited number of “early adopter” teachers in our schools. This strand seeks to amplify ways educators in a variety of contexts are serving as constructive catalysts for broad-based pedagogic change using Web 2.0 technologies as well as student-centered, project-based approaches to learning. Presentations in this strand will both showcase successful strategies as well as amplify critical issues which must be addressed for innovative learning methods to be adopted by teachers, librarians, and administrators on a more widespread basis. These issues may include (but are not limited to) issues of copyright, fair use and intellectual property, Internet content filtering, student privacy and safety issues, administrator expectations for teacher utilization of Web 2.0 tools, pilot initiatives utilizing key Web 2.0 technologies in different content areas, and innovative ways students and teachers are providing just-in-time support as well as formal learning opportunities for each other focusing on Web 2.0 tools. Successful approaches for both large and small schools, in rural as well as urban settings, will be included. This strand will explore and amplify a menu of practical ideas for educators in diverse contexts who want to continue amplifying possibilities in our schools.

Strand B: Kicking It Up a Notch

You’ve been using blogs, wikis and other technologies for awhile but perhaps haven’t seen them transform your classroom and the learning environment for your students in the ways you think they can. This strand amplifies ways new technologies can be used to transform classroom and personal learning. Rather than merely replicating traditional, analog-based learning tasks, how can digital technologies permit teacher-leaders to “infomate” learning to add greater interactivity, personal differentiation, and multi-modal exploration of curriculum topics? Fresh new approaches to using Web 2.0 tools for learning and authentic assessment will be highlighted. Presentations will explore innovative ways Web 2.0 tools can be blended together to help students create, collaborate, and share the knowledge safely on the global stage of the Internet. Maybe it’s time to share your insights and experiences with your teaching community. Join these sessions to gain insights on amplifying the possibilities of learning in your classroom and/or your professional practice.


This call encourages all educators, both experienced and novice with respect to Web 2.0 learning tools, to submit proposals to present at this conference via this link. Take this opportunity to share your successes, strategies, and tips in “amplifying the possibilities” of web 2.0 powered learning in one of the four conference strands.

The deadline for proposal submissions is June 23, 2008 at midnight GMT. You will be contacted no later than July 2, 2008 regarding your proposal’s status. The conveners reserve to right to reposition a presentation in another strand if they believe it is best placed elsewhere. As in past years, conveners will utilize blind review committees to evaluate all submissions.

Presentations for K12Online08 must conform to the following requirements:

  1. Presentations must be a single media file of twenty minutes or less in length.
  2. Presentations must be submitted in a downloadable and convertable file format (mp3, mov, WMV, FLV, m4a, or m4v.) Presenters wanting to use an alternative format should contact their respective strand convener in advance.
  3. Presentations are due two weeks prior to the week the relevant strand begins. (Week 1 presentations are due Monday, October 6, Week 2 presentations are due Monday, October 13.)
  4. Presentations must be submitted only one time and on time. Early submissions are welcomed! Repeat submissions (with changes and additional edits) will not be accepted. Presenters should proof carefully before submitting!
  5. All presentations will be shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

The following are optional but encouraged presentation elements:

  1. Prior to September 13th, presenters are invited to submit a “teaser” (maximum video or audio file length: 3 minutes) about their presentation. This can be any type of online artifact and does not have to be downloadable. Examples may include videos, animations, posters, audio interviews, etc.
    • In addition to marketing the presentation, teasers can be designed to encourage and solicit community input related to the presentation topic in advance of the presentation submission deadline.
    • View teaser examples from 2007 at
  1. Supplementary materials supporting presentations are welcomed. These can be wikis with supporting material links, linked examples of student projects, school district exemplary initiatives, social bookmarking collections, and/or other related content.
  2. Follow-up projects and/or live interaction opportunities for conference presentations which further amplify the possibilities of the presentation topic may be included. (This can include sharing and building of content prior to, during and after the conference.)

As you draft your proposal, you may wish to consider the presentation topics listed below which were suggested in the comments on the K-12 Online Conference Blog:

  • Special needs education
  • Creative Commons, Intellectual Property, Copyright and Fair Use
  • Student voices
  • Community involvement
  • Games in education
  • Specific ideas, tips, mini lessons centered on pedagogical use of web 2.0 tools
  • Overcoming institutional inertia and resistance
  • Aligning Web 2.0 and other projects to national standards
  • Getting your message across
  • How Web 2.0 can assist those with disabilities
  • ePortfolios
  • Classroom 2.0 activities at the elementary level
  • Teacher/peer collaboration
  • Authentic assessment
  • Overcoming content filtering issues
  • Navigating “open web” versus “closed web” publishing of student work

Prospective presenters are reminded that the audience of the K12 Online Conference is global in nature and diverse in their educational context. For this reason presentations and presentation materials which address issues from a variety of perspectives are welcomed.


Acceptance decisions will be made based on RELEVANCE, SIGNIFICANCE, ORIGINALITY, QUALITY, and CLARITY. Borrowing from the COSL 2008 call for proposals:

A submission is RELEVANT when

- it directly addresses the conference and strand themes

A submission is SIGNIFICANT when

- it raises and discusses issues important to improving the effectiveness and/or sustainability of 21st Century teaching and learning efforts, and

- its contents can be broadly (globally) disseminated and understood

A submission is ORIGINAL when

- it addresses a new problem or one that hasn’t been studied in depth,

- it has a novel combination of existing research results which promise new insights, and / or

- it provides a perspective on problems different from those explored before

A submission is of HIGH QUALITY when

- existing literature is drawn upon, and / or

- claims are supported by sufficient data, and / or

- an appropriate methodology is selected and properly implemented, and / or

- limitations are described honestly

A submission is CLEARLY WRITTEN when

- it is organized effectively, and / or

- the English is clear and unambiguous, and / or

- it follows standard conventions of punctuation, mechanics, and citation, and / or

- the readability is good

NB: All proposals will be vetted by blind peer review committees. All decisions made by the blind peer review committees are final.


The first presentation in each strand will kick off with a keynote by a well known educator who is distinguished and knowledgeable in the context of their strand. Watch for our announcement of Keynote presenters in the next few days.


    • Darren Kuropatwa is currently Department Head of Mathematics at Daniel Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is known internationally for his ability to weave the use of online social tools meaningfully and concretely into his pedagogical practice. Darren’s professional blog is called A Difference ( He will convene Getting Started.
    • Dean Shareski is a Digital Learning Consultant for Prairie South School Division in Saskatchewan, Canada. Dean is an advocate for the use of social media in the classroom. To that end he works with teachers and students in exploring ways to make learning relevant, authentic and engaging. He also is a part time sessional lecturer for the University of Regina. He is celebrating his 20th year as an educator. Dean blogs at ( Dean will convene Kicking It Up A Notch.
    • Sheryl Nusbaum-Beach, a 20-year educator, has been a classroom teacher, charter school principal, district administrator, and digital learning consultant. She currently serves as an adjunct faculty member teaching preservice teachers at The College of William and Mary (Virginia, USA), where she is in the dissertation phase of completing her doctorate in educational planning, policy and leadership. As the cofounder of the Powerful Learning Practice Network she helps schools and teachers from around the world use community as a powerful tool for systemic change. You can find out more on her website at She will convene Prove It.
    • Wesley Fryer is an educator, author, digital storyteller and change agent. He summarizes his ongoing work with educators and students in social media environments with the statement, “I’m here for the learning revolution.” His blog, “Moving at the Speed of Creativity” was selected as the 2006 “Best Learning Theory Blog” by eSchoolnews and Discovery Education. Social media sites to which Wes contributes are listed on Wes will convene Leading the Change.


If you have any questions about any part of this call for proposals, please contact one of us:

  • Darren Kuropatwa: dkuropatwa {at} gmail {dot} com
  • Sheryl Nusbaum-Beach: snbeach {at} cox {dot} net
  • Dean Shareski: shareski{at} gmail{dot} com
  • Wesley Fryer: wesfryer {at} pobox {dot} com

Please duplicate this post and distribute it far and wide across the blogosphere. Feel free to republish it on your own blog (actually, we’d really like people to do that ;-) ) or link back to this post (published simultaneously on all our blogs).

  • Conference Tag: k12online08
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