The Strength of Weak Ties

Everyone participates. Everyone contributes. Leveraging the power of digital networks to connect people, resources and ideas to drive creativity and innovation forward...and actually accomplish something!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

TechLearning Chicago

Tomorrow I give the keynote at TechForum Chicago. For once, I'm actually done with all my work so I'm getting ready to watch some NBA playoffs. This is the third time I've given Making IT Stick, so I think its pretty tight. It had to go on a diet, as it took too long to get to my seven strategies for making some innovation stick in schools.

A big thank you to all those who responded to my request about what they look for in a keynote. Very, very helpful.

Presentation Wikis: resources
Making IT Stick
Digital Storytelling 2.0
The Ten Keys to Effective Professional Development

davidjakes jakes tltechforum

Monday, April 23, 2007

Congratulations to David Warlick

Congratulations to my good friend David Warlick, whose blog was named by Edutopia's 2007 Reader Survey as the Best Blog for Educators. From the site:
"Tech-savvy soothsayer David Warlick walks away with it. Warlick's lively blend of wit and wisdom nicely complements his focus on modern thinking and design in the classroom. Warlick's approach is fresh and forward looking, but he also spent more than thirty years working with public schools, so he leavens his visionary ideas with the grit of reality. Says Warlick, "My goal is to inspire and energize with ideas and possibilities that will challenge [people] to expand their perceptions of teaching and learning, and dare to consider our professional future with optimism and excitement." Amen to that."
Obviously a very knowledgeable author, speaker and technology advocate, David is even a better person. I'm lucky to count him as a friend.

Congratulations, Dave!

It Still Exists

My job as Instructional Technology Coordinator affords me many opportunities to do a lot of different things-and one of them is to work with kids in classrooms from time to time. So today I had a chance to introduce a group of seniors to digital storytelling-they'll be producing a story that will contribute to our Digital Diplomacy Project.

We're asking our kids to produce a digital story that will address the following prompt: As an American, I believe....

We want kids to have their say, we want to teach them that they can contribute, and we want them to cut through all the political rhetoric to show anyone who will watch what Americans are really about. And we want other kids in other countries to respond, hopefully in their own videos.

The teacher, Matt Formato, captures it beautifully:
"Here is a challenge to the young people of our country and those on the other side of the world--to go through the wall that separates the ambassadors and heads of state--to reach into the hearts and minds of peers in foreign lands with the truth as we live it, as we can best convey it--partly in image, partly in sound, but always in our own voice."
I wish I could write like that.

We began by showing the clip from John Edwards YouTube site where he asks "What are you going to do?" He continues on by asking for people to have their say by posting a video to his YouTube site. It certainly provided a nice context for our discussion (full disclosure: I'm not a John Edwards supporter-at least not yet).

After showing example digital stories, we finished by showing the pictures of the Nigerian kids and their new laptops and their school-that woke the kids up (second semester seniors, 1st period). Now I don't know if these laptops will be able to handle video, but we asked the kids to imagine that the two little boys in the image were viewing their first video, and it was the one of the videos from our class. What would it be like to provide kids half-way around the world with their first perspective of what an American kid was like?

Despite NCLB and AYP and all the other obstacles, the art of teaching, and the power of being an educator, still exists.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Keynote Address-TechForum Chicago

I'll be doing the keynote presentation at TechForum Chicago a week from this Friday. The presentation is entitled Making IT Stick, and explores the concept of stickiness, and how new innovations become internalized in what a school does and is. I've done the presentation several times now, so I'm looking forward to the leaner and meaner version that I'll do at that conference.

Being relatively new to keynotes, I've had chances to discuss the purpose and composition of keynotes with David Warlick and Hall Davidson. Both have been fantastic and have shared many ideas with me.

So now I'm asking you. When you attend a conference, and attend the keynote, what kind of presentation are you looking for? Do you look for more philosophical, or practical or a mix of both? What attributes does a good keynote have?

I would sincerely appreciated your comments.

tltechforum david jakes

Monday, April 16, 2007

Visual Literacy and 21st Century Skills Workshop

Tomorrow I'll be presenting in Palos Heights District 128 for my good buddy Jim O'Hagan-the topic is visual literacy. I'm fortunate that I'll also be able to see Will Richardson, who is doing the keynote address. Will should be in a good mood, as it looks like the Cubs will put one in the win column tonight.

I've prepared a 3-part visual literacy and 21st Century learning wiki to support my presentation. Part 1 sets the stage with an overview of some dynamic emerging visual image resources that illustrate the amazing growth and potential of visuals online, Part 2 is my rationale for including visual literacy instruction in education, and Part 3 aligns my definition of visual literacy with suggestions for classroom instruction and activities.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

TechForum Orlando

I'll be presenting at TechForum Orlando on Friday, assuming the weather cooperatives after a vicious spring storm in Chicago-I'll be doing a digital storytelling session with Kay Teehan, and in the afternoon, I'll be presenting my take on professional development, entitled The 10 Keys to Professional Development.

I've been experimenting with wikis as a virtual handout (certainly nothing new) and I've been using pbWiki for that, which I have found to be user-friendly and with enough features to keep me using the product.

So, if you want to take a look at the 10 Keys wiki, it's here. I'd be interested in your feedback on the top 10, especially number 10 and how I measure student learning as a result of professional growth activities.

I'll also be doing this in the afternoon at TechForum Chicago.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Power of Google Earth: Darfur Crisis

ABC News is reporting a joint project between Google and the United States National Holocaust Museum to use Google Earth to visualize the genocide taking place in Darfur. From the site:
The Museum and Google Earth unveil an unprecedented online mapping initiative. Crisis in Darfur enables more than 200 million Google Earth users worldwide to visualize and better understand the genocide currently unfolding in Darfur, and to respond to the crisis.
The red fires on the Google Earth image represent the 1,600 villages that have been destroyed. Blue histogram bars represent the populations of the villages, and it is even possible to see the tents of the refugee camps...

Again from the site:
Beginning with Darfur, we are building an interactive “global crisis map" that will provide citizens, aid workers and foreign policy professionals with a new tool to share and understand information quickly, to "see the situation", enabling more effective prevention and response.
Certainly, this site maximizes the visual power of Google Earth, coupled with the distribution capability of the Internet, to put a different kind of face on the crisis, and bring it into the consciousness of everyone...

The site continues with resources on how you can create your own GE presentations on Darfur using placemarks and how you can help.

Interestingly, and sadly, when I went to ABC to get the link, it wasn't the Darfur crisis that was the lead story with the large graphic. It was about the paternity case involving the late Anna Nicole Smith.

Sort of says it all...

darfur googleearth usnhm

Thursday, April 05, 2007

What's next?

I haven't been posting anything lately as I have had some issues with my hand surgery, so it's been sort of hard to type. But really, for the most part, I'm tired of all this-I just don't have that much energy to think and write at this point and contribute on a regular basis, so...

I've even had a hard time reading the posts in my aggregator, which is unusual for me.

Not that you want to hear my issues...

I did manage to put together a post today for, entitled AYP Blinders.