Archive for February, 2010

Transforming Lives and Communities through Technology

A little hope, a helping hand, education and an Internet connection can go a long way towards building individuals and communities. Watch and be inspired!

Thank you CDI!

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

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Curricula 2.0: Improving Education Access and Quality

Tomorrow I will present my paper, “Curricula 2.0: Improving Education Access and Quality” at the Gulf Education Forum in Dubai. To read the paper, I welcome you to view the document on Scribd below. -Anna (@bon_education)

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Developing Your Personal Learning Network

I recently discovered a blog post by Lisa Nielsen on “5 Things You Can Do To Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network“. It contains a wonderful video (see above) by Will Richardson on why teachers should “get outside of the classroom and build our own classrooms and our own curriculum. The change here is that we can really connect around ideas that we’re passionate about” regardless of where we are physically on the globe. After all, in order to fuel the spirit of others, we must fill that of ourselves!

As Lisa points out, the following are easy ways to start/continue building your PLN:

I am so thankful to the thousands of educators and passionate learners I’ve been able to connect with through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twine, Twitter, Ning, and more from sunny sandy Dubai! Through you all, each and every day (every tweet!) is a learning moment.

To one giant global classroom!

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

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It Takes a Village: School / Family Partnerships

I just posted the writing below on the Curriki blog, but given the topic, I suspect it will resonate with LIP readers as well. To see the original post, click here.

image by Enrique Burgos Garcia

I am in the middle of conducting comparative research in the UAE about teacher use of and attitudes toward technology in the classroom – looking at teachers across a variety of curriculum systems (British, UAE, Indian, etc.).

Recently, while conducting focus groups with both teachers and principals, I learned that one of the things schools across all systems struggle with is parent engagement. How do you get parents to understand the importance of participating in their children’s education, especially in cases where parents don’t have many formal schooling experiences to draw from? Second, when many parents are offline, but on SMS, how can SMS be used in creative ways help parents learn about and engage with the schools’ curriculum at home in the case where parents simply won’t come to school?

While there are no magic answers to the questions above (although feel free to share recommendations and anecdotes in the comments section of this blog), the Open University has put together a very useful free online course for teachers called, “Parents as Partners” aimed at helping teachers 1) understand why parents do and don’t participate in school initiatives/activities, 2) develop a framework for working with all types of parents, and 3) prepare for the challenges and successes that arise when working in partnership with parents.

If you don’t have time to do the whole course, I recommend thinking about the activity Why work with parents? as a way to help you articulate to parents the variety of reason why they should be involved.

For more research on the topic of parental engagement, check out A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement (Southwest Education Development Laboratory 2002). And, for those educators working with parents that are engaged and online, feel free to share Digital Tools for Homework Help with classroom moms and dads. Make sure to check out the curriculum tab to see a wealth of homework help resources including:

  • Age Appropriate Educational Sites for Kids
  • Internet Search Tips for Finding Homework Help Resources in a Snap
  • Open Education Resources of Note – Free Educational Content that Can be Shared, Mixed and Modified.

To partnerships!

Anna

@bon_education

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Why the Social Web Can’t Be Ignored

more about “Garys Social Media Count“, posted with vodpod
Recently I came across the above “Living Statistics” flash app on Personalize Media. If you are studying the impact of social media on society in your classroom, this is a wonderful chart to explore and discuss. Make sure to click on the “now,” “+1 day,” “+1 week,” etc. buttons to see how many new blog posts, Facebook members, and tweets have been created around the world in 2010 alone! Thanks to Gary Hayes for sharing such a wonderful app/classroom discussion piece!
For more ideas on how to discuss social media and digital literacy in your classroom or home, take a look at, “MySpace in Democracy” – a wonderful free unit on Curriki by educator Samuel Reed. As the unit description points out:

This 6-8 week unit draws upon social studies, media literacy and inquiry to explore how social networks and media technologies promote and disrupt democratic practices. It is intended for middle grade students (grades 6th-8th).

The unit is organized in 3 major sections: Communication Timeline Inquiry (Week 1-2), First Amendment and Cyber Rights Inquiry / Webquest (Week 3-4) and Free Cyber Speech and Internet Safety Public Service Productions (Week 5-8)

One more blog post to add to the chart above!

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

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