Posts Tagged 'Anna Batchelder'

Literacy is Priceless has Moved – Check dotLearnt.com

Anna Batchelder, Bon Education, dot.Learnt

After 3 years of writing Literacy is Priceless, I am officially retiring this blog and moving my education technology digital diary and passion for digital literacy to a new blog – dot.Learnt and a new digital sketchbook.

As my company’s website states:

Fall 2010: Bon Education launches dot.Learnt–a group blog written by team member and guests of Bon Education. dot.Learnt takes on topics at the intersection of education, technology and social media. It is a reflection of the work and thinking Bon does in the Middle East, North America and Asia. To visit dot.Learnt click here. Recent posts include:

Thanks to the thousands of educators and literacy-lovers that have read and left comments on this blog. You have challenged my thinking and opened my eyes to so many wonderful resources and stories. I hope that you will find the content, research and reviews we share on dot.Learnt useful. Please feel free to stop by, leave a comment and add us to your RSS reader.

Sincerely,

Anna

Founder, Bon Education@bon_education, personal sketchbook on education annabatchelder.com/ideas.
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Open Education – What’s Next?

open education, OER, bon education, anna batchelder

Recently I’ve participated in a number of discussions around creating open education repositories and initiatives in the Middle East. Beyond the question of finding sizable portions of open Arabic content to seed a new repository, the questions of sustainability (how do we pay for this?), language (who’s Arabic?) and so what?! (What will people do with the content?) always come up shortly after.

Putting the first two bold words aside, let’s focus on the so what?! of OER. As Max Fawcett (Managing Editor at Alberta Venture) points out in the Open Education Open Debate:

Education, after all, isn’t an acquisitive process, an exercise in procuring and storing information. Instead, learning is a social process, one in which people get from point A – ignorance – to point B – enlightenment – through a messy combination of challenge, failure and consolidation. While there might be a few people who can (and should) take advantage of open-source learning models, there are, I suspect, far more who can’t. Information, in the absence of the ability to apply it, isn’t very valuable, as anybody who’s ever tried to fix their own car using only the supplied factory manual understands only too well”.

This reminds me of a comment in Brian Lamb posted in his blog two years ago:

“If we live in an era of information abundance, why is the primary drive around OERs the publication of more content? And what other activities around the open education movement might be an effective use of our energies? What other needs have to be met?”

In the past couple of years we’ve seen online course initiatives like P2PU and the Open High School take steps towards using the open content out there in meaningful ways. But, I would like to hear directly from teachers and students:

With so much free content out there on the Web, what services or apps would you like to see built in conjunction with all that content to help bring more meaning, value, time savings and/or joy to your education?

Anna

@bon_education

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Shmoop: CliffsNotes with panache!

I’ve blogged a bit about Shmoop in the past (see: Essential Web Tools for Teachers and Students and Shmoop will make you a better lover…). Check out why the Shmoop study guides and new Economics section are so great in the screencast below! The tool I used to make the screencast was Screenr–a fabulous, new and EASY tool that lets you record your screen and post videos to Twitter, Facebook, your classroom blog and more in a snap!

Anna (@bon_education)

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Students speak out: What does it mean to be a 21st Century Learner?

Recently, while reading Bill Boyd – the Literacy Adviser, I came across the video below in which students from Ringwood School discuss what it means to be a 21st Century Learner.  What they say is actually very much in sync with the vision I hear adults at edtech conferences (such as ISTE) discuss all of the time. Now, the trick is how do we get large systems of schools to move swiftly in this direction! If you know of a school (or district) that embodies the vision painted below or that uses technology in creative and innovative ways, I welcome you to post a link to its website in the comments section of this blog so that other LIP readers can learn and discuss.

To learning in the 21st Century and beyond!

Anna

@bon_education

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A Time to Reflect: Teaching with Technology in the UAE


Last fall the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research approached me about working with them on the creation of a 21st Century Teaching Scholarship program for teachers, as well as the build out of an online portal for Ras al Khaimah educators to exchange ideas, lessons and best practices in English and Arabic. I welcome you to listen to my podcast reflection above to learn about the program, the amazing work and collaborations of educators in Ras al Khiamah and my post program reflections.

I would like to thank the Foundation for providing me the opportunity to create and teach a program for such passionate educators.

To global collaboration and education!

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

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50 Best Blogs for Literacy Teachers (and a brief update)

Wow! The month of April flew by with hardly an extra moment to blog on Literacy is Priceless! This has been an incredible month between:

Now that I have a moment to sit down and write, I want to extend a huge thank you to Online University Reviews for including Literacy is Priceless on their list of 50 Best Blogs for Literacy Teachers. This is definitely a list to bookmark! In particular, make sure to check out two of my favorites on the list:

To great travel, interesting education conferences and literacy!

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

Bon’s on Facebook!

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How to Build Effective Online Education Communities

This week I will lead a number of presentations and discussions at the Global Forum on Technology and Innovation in Teaching and Leading in Dubai. One of the topics I will discuss is, “How to build effective online education communities”. If you manage an online education community or are interested in starting one, I welcome you to read through the presentation above!

Looking forward to discussing online education communities on Wednesday! Feedback and comments are welcome!

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

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5 Ways to Keep on Top of OER News

Originally posted on the Curriki blog.

As an addendum to 10 Ways to Support OERs via Social Media, I thought it would be nice to write a follow-up post on how to keep up with open education news. If you are a fan of OER or OER curious, here are a few ways to stay “in the know”:

  1. Google alerts – Set Google alerts for terms like “open education,” “open education resources,” and “OER” to have the latest and greatest OER news delivered to your inbox as-it-happens, daily, or weekly.
  2. Twitter search – Search for #OER to see what people are saying about OER now!
  3. Trusted tweeters – Follow OER tweeters like:
    1. @Curriki
    2. @OpenEdNews
    3. @creativecommons
    4. @MITOCW
    5. @OERCommons
    6. @opencontent.
  4. OER bloggers – Add OER blogs to your RSS reader! Here are a few to start with:
    1. Curriki’s blog – FYI we blog about OER content on Mondays and OER news on Fridays!
    2. Open Education News – For an up-to-the minute play-by-play on all things OER, this blog is a must-read!
    3. OpenSource.com – Read our review of the site here.
  5. OER Conferences – Digital discussions are great, but what about meeting the people behind the alerts, tweets, and blog posts?! Here are a few upcoming conferences in which OERs will be discussed!
    1. The Global Forum on Technology and Innovation in Teaching and Leading (Dubai, UAE, April 15-17, 2010)
    2. The 8th COMMUNIA Workshop – Education and the Public Domain: The Emergence of a Shared Educational Commons (Istanbul, Turkey, April 19-20, 2010)
    3. University Leadership: Bringing Technology-Enabled Education to Learners of All Ages (Massachusetts (MIT), USA, May 23-26, 2010)
    4. ISTE 2010 (Colorado, USA, Jun 27-30, 2010) – Make sure to check out the Open Source Lab!
    5. Open Ed 2010 –  (Barcelona, Spain, November 2-4, 2010)

Gotta love OER Fridays!

Anna

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#10Ways to Support the Open Education Movement via Social Media

I just posted the blog below on Curriki. Given the topic, I thought many Literacy is Priceless readers would enjoy it as well. To see the original post, click here.

A colleague of mine recently sent me the Mashable post, “#10Ways to Support Charities Through Social Media”. As a follow-up, I thought it would be fun to create a list specific to Open Education Resources (OERs). So, here it goes…

  1. Write a blog post about OERs—If you find a great free and open education resource on sites like CurrikiOER Commonsand Flat World Knowledge, write a short post about it! Teachers are always looking for great free classroom content online that has been endorsed by a fellow educator!
  2. Share OER stories with friends—If you’ve written a blog about OERs, post a link to the entry on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Delicious, or Google Buzz. Or, just post a link to the resource itself. Curriki makes this process easy! Open any resource on Curriki and click on the “Share” button at the top of the page. This will allow you to share the gift of free lessons with your social networks in a click!
  3. Follow OERs on Twitter and Facebook—We tweet @Curriki. To find other OER tweeters, go to Twitter Search and type in #OER. Many OERs have Facebook fan pages as well.
  4. Support OERs on Awareness Hubs—Several websites have popped up to support non-profits in their work. Take a look at Facebook CausesiGive and iSearch to start!
  5. Find Volunteer Opportunities—OERs are always looking for enthusiastic educators to share their knowledge with classrooms around the world. When you visit an OER like CurrikiConnexions or FreeReading, most have explicit information on how you can donate lessons, expertise and time from the comfort of your own classroom or home. Check out the Curriki donate page to start!
  6. Embed an OER Badge on Your Site—Feel good about connecting teachers in need of high quality online content with great OERs by putting a widget or badge on your blog, website, Facebook page and more.
  7. Organize a Tweetup—Meet OER fans offline at events like the upcoming Communia Workshop in Turkey or the ISTE Conference in Denver. Or, create an event in your hometown. For tips on how to organize a successful tweetup, check outMashable’s guide to tweetups.
  8. Talk about your love of OERs on Video—Then post the video on YouTubeVimeo and other online video services. Even though the OER movement is growing stronger by the second, many people don’t know about it. Connect great teachers with great free content. Spread the word about OERs!
  9. Petition for the use and creation of OERs in your School Districts—I am always surprised when I meet with schools districts unaware about OERs (especially the cost savings of OERs!) or districts that don’t allow teachers to put district-created lesson plans online open source (Wouldn’t a teacher in Cambodia benefit from a math resource from your district or county and vise versa?! Were tax dollars used to create that content?! Hmm!). Use tools like Petition Online and Twitition to rally for the use and sharing of OERs within your district and beyond!
  10. Organize an Online Event—Invite your friends to a tweet-a-thon and tell them to tweet great OERs to the world during a specific time period with a hashtags like #OER or #IloveOERs!

Social media is the perfect tool for spreading great ideas. Tell Curriki how you are using social media to support the OER movement by posting a comment on the Curriki blog, this blog or by sending a tweet  to @Curriki.

From one OER fan to another,

Anna Batchelder

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

Note: The image above was created by Fred Cavazza and is licensed under the CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License.

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Passion Projects

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about coaching as a strategy for teaching. Coaches must not only help people develop goals and paths to their fulfillment, but they must identify and stir the passions in those they work with so that they perform at their technical and emotional best learning naturally every step of the way.

One of the things I love about coaching teachers, students and professionals about how to use digital media to educate, engage and inspire is that I get to think about passion a lot. I ask people, “What are you so passionate about that you just have to share your thoughts with others?” They think and then I say, “Now, start blogging/podcasting/filming about it!”

As Seth Godin writes in his recent book, “What Matter Now“:

When the economy tanks, its natural to think of yourself first. You have a family to feed a mortgage to pay. Getting more appears to be the order of business. It turns out that the connected economy doesn’t respect this natural instinct. Instead, we’re rewarded for being generous. Generous with our time and money but most important generous with our art. If you make a difference, people will gravitate to you. They want to engage, to interact, to get more involved.

In the digital world, the gift I give almost always benefits more than it costs.

If you make a difference, you also make a connection. You interact with people who want to be interacted with and you make changes that people respect and yearn for.

Art can’t happen without someone who seeks to make a difference. This is your art, it’s what you do. You touch people or projects and change them for the better.

This year, you’ll find that the more you give, the more you’ll get.

How are you helping your students, colleagues and friends share their passions and art in 2010? What passion projects have you come across that you can’t help but share?

From one curious blogger to you,

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

P.S. Thanks to Dave Bill (@dcinc66) for sharing Godin’s inspiring e-book on his blog – where I originally learned about “What Matters Now”.

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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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Information is everywhere; the challenge is to make effective use of it.

I just posted a blog entry on Curriki that I suspect many Literacy is Priceless readers will enjoy as well. To see the original post, visit the Curriki blog.

The movement towards open content reflects a growing shift in the way academics in many parts of the world are conceptualizing education to a view that is more about the process of learning than the information conveyed in their courses. Information is everywhere; the challenge is to make effective use of it. -2010 Horizon Report

Open education enthusiasts will be delighted to read the 2010 Horizon Report—an annual document put out by the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative highlighting six emerging technologies/practices likely to enter mainstream education in the coming five years.

This year’s list includes:

  • Mobile computing (next 12 months) – Learning via devices such as smart phones and netbooks
  • Open content (next 12 months) – Think Curriki (i.e. free education resources that people can mix, modify, customize and share)
  • Electronic books (next 2-3 years) – Electronic reading devices à la the Kindle and the Sony Reader
  • Simple augmented reality (next 2-3 years) – Real world images with virtual computer-generated imagery/data overlays (Watch this video to see examples of simple augmented reality.)
  • Gesture-based computing (next 4-5 years) – Devices controlled by your body movements (See video example here)
  • Visual data analysis (next 2-5 years) – A combo of stats, data mining and visualizations to better understand large data sets (For examples of this, take a look at visual complexity.)

The Horizon Report points out that behind these emerging technologies/practices are four trends:

  • The abundance of information available online today is challenging traditional notions of what it means to be educators from keepers of information to coaches and sense-makers.
  • People expect to work and study anywhere and anytime.
  • Technologies are increasingly cloud-based. (For more on cloud-computing, click here.)
  • The work of students is increasingly collaborative and multidisciplinary.

If you have the time, this year’s Horizon Report is a fascinating and practical read filled with examples and further readings on each of the technologies/practices above. Make sure to check out the section on Open Content where you will discover more great OERs such as SmartHistory and FolkSemantic.

Until next week…

Anna Batchelder

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

P.S. Curious what emerging technologies were highlighted last year? Check out our 2009 summary of the Horizon Report.

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