Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Ed Revolution Response

I recently listened to the new podcast by Ben Grey, Andy Kohl, and Scott Meech called The Ed Revolution. These 3 guys are ed tech people in Northern Illinois. They have presented at a lot of functions. If you are anywhere any of these guys are presenting, I highly recommend you attend their session as it is very worth while. They are a wealth of information.

I thought is was a very good podcast. Especially because the first episode was on Internet Safety which is an interest of mine. As I was listening, a lot of things came to mind. Instead of commenting on their blog (which they do recommend in the podcast). I decided to listen again and develop this blog enjoy.

A few thoughts:
**When you have a parent presentation, how do you get parents to attend? Three years ago when I started in Skokie we had an Internet safety night and it was attended by 3 people, the social working, PTA president, and a mom who watches her child on the computer. This year, we offered a book club on the book Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teen by Nancy Willard. This is a really good book and I highly recommend it to both educators and parents of children who use the computer. No one was interested in being in the book group.
**A couple of years ago when I was in Northbrook (actually in Andy's district pre-Andy) we had Judy Freedman from Easing the Teasing that Scott talked about. Prior to her come we surveyed the 6th-8th graders on their computer loosing habit. She did a great job and the event was highly attended. She incorporated our results into her presentation. One of the great parts of her presentation was that she had someone who was cyberbullied come and speak about her experiences. This was eye opening to the parents. Once again, I thought how do we get parents who are not tech savvy and do not realize what their child is doing online to these meetings?
**In Skokie we have a mandatory class for 6th graders and new 7th and 8th graders on Tech Safety and Responsibility. In this class we discuss Internet Safety, Cyberbullying, Tech Responsibility, AUP, Online Communities, and Tech Safety.
**I teach K-8 and I am always shocked to hear about primary students who use the computer unsupervised. As the guys said, this is happening earlier and earlier in student's life. When we develop an Internet Safety Curriculum, will we need to develop curriculum on a sliding scale or a spiraling scale?
**I did a 45 minute breakout session at the Illinois Computing Educators in February on Internet Safety Resources. In this session I shared a varied of resources for elementary, intermediate, middle, and parent resources. I shared the info on a wiki. Feel free to check it out and use it in your curriculum planning.
**Ben recommended trying to download YouTube videos quickly and easily. Very cool! I also like the Mac application called Tube TV.
**Scott mentioned Simply Box. I haven't had the time to explore this, but it reminds me of FavThumbs. FavThumbs is a way to see your delicious links visually. I tried to link to it here, but I couldn't. I don't know if they got rid of the website, but it would definitely be something to check out if you can find it.
Another thing Scott mentioned was that Simply Box is free. I wonder how long it will be free. It seems to me that a lot of things that are free change and start charging for their free service. Most recently, Gcast. I just got an email that said April 1st, podcasting by phone will require a $99/year fee.

Alright, those are my thoughts. Feel free to respond in the comment section.

1 comment:

SMeech said...

I am happy to see that we have inspired you to blog again as your busy life is breaking into your blog time apparently.

The podcast was fun to create and I look forward to our future. Andy and Ben are going to be tough to keep up with for sure. The next show should be interesting as we look at a district plan and how one goes about putting that together. We are not talking the traditional tech plan that you turn into the state, but a comprehensive vision of education.

I enjoyed your wiki and have linked to it for our district teachers. Additionally, I think everyone should think about a comprehensive look at an Internet Safety program.

Here are my thoughts lately on comprehensive Internet Safety prorgrams...

1-Content needs to be flexible as issues are constantly changing.

2-Curriculum should not focus solely on "fear" or other one approach fits all schemes.

3-Internet Safety doesn't fit into the "core" curriculum for many educators and it is difficult to convince them to devote time to the topic.

4-Internet Safety issues need to be very localized to the specific community's needs which means a lot of the pre-made stuff doesn't always jive.

5-Programs like these are not sustainable many times because other crises areas arise that draw away from their slotted times.