Category Archives: vste

Experiencing the Conference After the Fact

We missed Tim Stahmer at the VSTE conference but still felt his presence through the virtual world as he tweeted and retweeted and commented. Search on #vste14 to find all the tweets.

I know there were others who were unable to attend live and really appreciated the time we took to reach out to the virtual world.

In a way, I am one of those virtual attendees. I am so busy at the conference that I don’t get to attend sessions. Thank goodness for our digital media team that diligently streamed and archived. And for all the presenters who so generously shared their presentations and resources on the Google Plus community. There are lots of comments and photos at the Facebook group.

I am a fan of live events as they generate great energy that can then continue afterwards through the virtual world. My last word to the attendees was to encourage them to continue the energy flow through the VSTE online communities. That will make the conference a complete success.



RL? SL? Isn’t It All L?

One of the themes that came out of last week’s online course discussion about Web 2.0 was a sense that if you had an active online life, you didn’t have such an active offline life. Some students indicated that they didn’t spend much time online as they did other things and had other hobbies. They are the kinds of comments that I am already familiar with from others who seem to feel like there is a stark dividing line between the online and offline worlds and also seem to feel a little sorry sometimes for those of us who are online a lot.

I find that to be an artificial division, probably because I am online a lot and I don’t like the idea of being judged for that choice. I assure folks that I also have quite an active offline life that includes singing in a choir and playing in a recorder ensemble, making crafts, cooking, exercising, and reading lots and lots of analog books. And, in almost all cases, the online world informs those offline hobbies. Just last night, I looked on the web for a recording of a Medieval French song that I will be singing with the group to help me with both my pronunciation and rhythm. I belong to a Ning for recorder players that includes members from all over the world. The pattern for the baby sweater I’m crocheting came from the Web and I’ll be sending it to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation whose real life need was advertised on the Web. The digital books I listen to when I exercise come from a variety of sources online and are often chosen based on the recommendations of other readers. I share and discuss my digital and analog reading with both a face to face book group and several at LibraryThing. And Monday evening last I met with a group of educators in Second Life–at the Jamestown Fort meeting house on VSTE Island–to hear from author Elisa Carbone about her real life writing.

My conclusion: My offline life would simply not be as rich without my online life. They complement each other and are inextricably woven together into one life. Perhaps I should feel sorry for those who haven’t found that connection. Or perhaps we can recognize that we all have different ways of living, both online and off, and just leave it at that.

Surrounded by Community

I spent most of yesterday online with educators, exploring the meaning of community.  Several hours were spent in Elluminate as part of Powerful Learning Practice‘s ongoing professional development program.  From there, I moved to Second Life for VSTE’s weekly meeting where we explored educational groups.  We ended the evening with a snowball fight and, as you can see from the picture below, I dressed for the occasion.  (Always wanted to have wings!)


I just felt energized the whole day, having access to all these fellow travelers without having to leave my house!  We shared both professional and personally; we learned; we had fun. It was the kind of experience I would wish for learners of all ages.

Besides being reminded of the power of online community, I learned some specific content.  I was introduced to Google notebook, a tool I had not explored before.  I installed it and was eager to try it out this morning.  So, I logged into Twitter, knowing that someone would have a link to a good article to read.  Twitter has increasingly become a big part of my virtual learning community in a way that I could not have imagined when I first joined.  I was not disappointed this morning as Will Richardson had posted a link to a New Yorker article on teacher quality from Malcolm Gladwell.   My primary job right now is working with pre-service teachers and identifying good teachers is always a concern.

I read the article and, as Will suggested, skimmed the football stuff.  When I got to the first paragraph that was really about education, I discovered that it had already been highlighted by someone else, using Diigo.  I moused over to read the comment and discovered it had been made by Michael Scott, who I had just seen last week in Roanoke and who is a member of the VSTE Ning.  I took a break from reading to add Michael as a friend in Diigo.  The next highlight and comment came from Clay Burrell, a fellow Twitterer whose blog, Beyond School, is always thought provoking.  All I could think of is what a small world it was since, according to the Internet World Stats, there are nearly 1.5 billion people online these days.

I think the lesson here is that online is a real community, as real as the face to face community I enjoyed at last week’s conference in Roanoke.  It’s something my non-networked friends just don’t understand.  And it isn’t something that happened overnight either.  But it is part of my life now, and as I sit at my desk working alone from home on a rainy day, I feel the presence of that community.  Thanks to you all!

ITRT Mini Conference Keynote: Fred Scott

Here are my notes from Fred’s excellent keynote.  (Now, I’m sitting in his breakout session.)

ITRT Mini Conference
Keynote Speaker: Fred Scott, Manager, Instructional Technology, Chesterfield County Public Schools

Hardware? Software?  No…Let’s Connect With HUMANware

Humanware refers to people.  We have been investing in hardware, software and webware, but what about the people?  We need to invest in the people in order to improve instruction with technology.  We need to connect humanware to school goals, student goals, etc?  When our kids leave the school system there is a whole world out there.  They may not stay in their community…we have no idea where they will be and what they will be doing.  Fred’s framework asks how we connect IRTRs with the humanware: teaching, coaching, training, and learning.

Where does humanware fit in?  Alignment for success:  are you aware of your technology master plan in your district? professional development; curriculum blue prints; if teachers are only going to teach the SOLs, then we are still behind.  The last piece is school improvement so you should be aware of the school improvement plan.  How do we get connected with those people?

Data Wise from Harvard University includes 8 steps that begins with organizing for collaborative work and ends with acting and assessing.   He has a matrix of tools that will help the team be effective.  He aligned the school improvement process with technology tools.  The ITRTs need to understand the school data such as the report card.

Training:  Rich Allen, Train Smart, 2001  Five Pillars of Training:  Engage, Frame, Explore, Debrief, Reflect
Engage: Prepare the mind, you have 5 minutes to establish the connection with an adult; teach people NOT content; teach WITH people to understand the content
Frame: establish relevance, you have one minute to establish relevance, what are you going to help them learn, why is choice good?  Because then people can make connections, now you have the next 30 minutes to involve the key concepts
Explore: Learning + Enjoyment = Concepts; people remember the good and the ugly
Debrief: Consolidating learning: how are they going to apply it to the real world?
Reflect: Embed Learning: give them stories.

Quotes Confucious: I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.

Teaching:  connect the goals and objectives, what are we doing and trying to get across
The ABCD method of writing objectives
Condition: how should they be able to do it?
Degree: how much should they be able to do it?

Time Dependancy

Discusses Marzano’s strategies:  we don’t see it as much as we should
The nine strategies are very powerful: the top three are reinforcing effort and providing recognition, summarizing and notetaking, similarities and differences

New book: Using Technology With Classroom Instruction the Works

He outlines planning question and instructional strategies.

He suggests applying the Madeleine Hunter model: from purpose to closer
Hal Portner, Workshops that Really Work

Showed the A Vision of K-12 Students Today

Coaching: NSDC says that effective coaching means you are with a person one on one.    In the coaching model, there is some risk.  There are three major levels of risk; are you going to be conservative, moderate or aggressive?

Kimberly Ketterer, “Coach, Nurture or Nudge?”  L&L

Coach:  there is a paradigm shift from a traditional classroom to one who integrates technology.  The adult is now a risk taker who trusts the coach.  They are willing to embrace the information and collaborate.

Nurture: The adult is not confident and are still learning skills and applications.  But they are willing to try.  this adult lacks the confidence and they want to watch you do it.  They will say that time is a major problem.  They like small achievements.

Nudge: This is the person that is satisfied with the way things are.  These people are uncertain and anxious.

Learning:  How do ITRTs connect to the learning process to get adults to learn?
Showed a graphic of the basic neuron types:  what does it take to help teachers understand the make up of the brain and what’s happening inside.  He talked about Howard Gardner and multiple intelligence theory.  You can assess your learning style here.

Marcia Tate: Sit & Get Won’t Grow Dendrites:  she talks about adult learning and strategies and activities for how to work with adults.

How do we connect Humanware to Web 2.0 for professional development and learning?  He pointed to
•    Center for Learning & Performance Technologies

Here’s what ITRTs need to do:
•    We have to know the goals and objectives of the school.
•    We have to develop collegial relationships.
•    We have to recognize that the adults have the expertise.
•    We have to align activities with the curriculum.
•    We have to help them understand that technology can help improve instruction and delivery.

We must provide our children the best possible learning environments to foster critical thinking, innovations and problem solving to better our society.  Fred Scott

ITRTs Lead Out Loud:

To get results with technology integration, we need to invest in people…nurture, cultivate and develop them to ensure that tools make a difference in learning.

Remember, FRED:
Educate and

They did a share fair at his school division for the school board so they could understand the ITRT position.  for downloading the presentation