Meta-Tech-Trends within the Horizon Report


The Horizon Report from the New Media Consortium is always an interesting document and I have not yet read the 2009 edition (but I intend, too, and you can too, with this link to the pdf). The organization does a fine job of thinking of applications that are impacting education now and into the future.

The main topics in this 2009 report:

Time-to-Adoption: One year or Less

Time-to-Adoption: Two to Three Years

Time-to-Adoption: Four to Five Years

I noticed that they created a list of what they are calling MetaTrends, which are based on five years worth of research and the list seems intriguing.

Here is a bit from the Horizon Wiki:

While the currents and eddies of emerging technology are complex, it is clear that the Report has been following at least seven metatrends with some regularity:

It seems to me that these trends represent a greater integration of technology into our daily lives, with more concepts of collaboration and user-generated content into the Cloud world. Plus, the idea of us becoming part of more intricate networks makes a lot of sense. There is a lot here to digest, but it is well worth a look.

Peace (on the horizon),

A Great Series of Resources

Tom B. has created a couple of amazing slideshows about using Google Docs, Google Earth, Interactive Whiteboards and Flip Video cameras in the classroom. The ideas are rich and if you are wondering about these programs, Tom’s slideshows should point you in the right direction.

I found this one about the flip/portable video cameras to be very helpful:

Peace (in sharing),


Sue Says: Build Your Network


Sue Waters (whose Edublogger site is a must-read, I think) has put together a great wiki site around the concept of the Web 2.0-based Personal Learning Community. Using the results of a survey from folks in her PLC, she established a one-stop resource for folks thinking of dipping their toes into the, eh, waters.

Ideally, a supportive PLC will help guide you along in your reflective stance as an educator, writer, explorer and then provide the framework for you to be a mentor to others. Also, a good PLC provides some guiding questions about your journey: where are you going and why are you going there and what are the outcomes.

I like how Sue also included a quick set of pointers that she gathered from her own network and experiences as you begin to consider your own PLC:

  1. Start slowly and find mentor(s) to help you.
  2. Use the same username across tools
  3. Share as much as you take
  4. Ask as much as you answer
  5. Try new TOOLS before you decide they’re not worth the time
  6. Comment on other people’s blogs
  7. Life long learning is the key!

So, get your network connected! Head to Sue’s wiki for more information.

Peace (in sharing),

Asking Questions of the World

I stumbled into the Ask500 Questions site this weekend and it has been fascinating. Here is the concept: you write a question, pose some possible answers and let visitors to the site cast some votes. Ask500 Questions then tracks the answers on a map and breaks down the results a bit. I guess if a question gets to 500 people (seems doubtful right now), then the question is retired.

I posed a couple of questions, including whether or not technology helps someone become a better writer, whether teachers should encourage their students into social action projects, and (as you can also upload images) which Boolean Squared webcomic character is destined for something spectacular.

Go ahead and vote yourself and add your own question.

You can also embed the queries and results into a blog post, so let me give it a try:

I was pondering whether this has any applications in the classroom. While I may not want my students freely roaming the questions — some may be on the line of appropriateness — it might be interesting to have them propose a question and possible answers, and then track what happens to the results as a class (after casting some predictions).
Peace (in results),

Looking, Searching, Calling for Days

The Day in a Sentence is back and we are hoping for your words. If you have been a reader here or just a casual passerby, please consider joining us this week at Day in a Sentence. (See the archives)

(Go here to see a bigger version of the comic)

As the comic dog says, the hurdle to participation in Day in a Sentence is small:

  • Reflect on a day of your week or your entire week
  • Boil it down into a sentence
  • Share it as a comment on this blog post
  • I collect them all and then publish as a writing community over the weekend
  • We celebrate!

I hope to see your words!

Peace (in reflection),

Memoir Mondays: Fairtale(s) of New York

This is part of a project at Two Writing Teachers

When I was a kid, I would spend a week or two most summers with my grandmother who lived in New York City, just near the Hudson River. She was a little eccentric, as most kids think their grandparents are (right?), but I loved the sense of adventure that I would have with her in the Big City during my visits.

New York was so completely different from my little suburban town in Connecticut and I used to be thrilled to stand out on the balcony of her 17th floor apartment and feel as if I were standing on a cloud, just floating across the skyline. The highest I could get in my neighborhood was a big tree in the woods and the view was nothing like my grandmother’s balcony.

In 1976, during the huge Independence Day celebrations, her hi-rise apartment complex had some great events down at the in-ground community pool, where we would go just about every day during my stay. I can still smell that chlorine of the water and the wonderful freedom that I had there as my grandmother would gossip and doze on the lounge chairs while I swam, played video games and wandered around.

On that July 4, we watched from her balcony as fireworks for the Bicentennial Celebration lit up the skyline with an incredible array of lights and dazzling displays of pyrotechnics that rattled my bones and shook my teeth. It was a wonderful night.

During the days, we would wander around the city, sometimes going in cabs but more often, traveling around by bus. Sometimes, she and I would go to the Radio City Music Hall to catch a movie (I saw Pete’s Dragon there and a movie called Bite the Bullet, I remember) and we would often be late, coming in halfway through a movie and then sitting through the second showing to catch the beginning of the movie. It was stran I triedge and disorientating asarrative to piece together the n. (I am still not sure what Bite the Bullet was all about except that someone in pain had to chomp down on a bullet as they performed some kind of surgery).

I was in awe of the skyscrapers above me and wary of the dog poop that seemed to be everywhere on the sidewalks in her neighborhood (or at least, that was my perception and her constant warning: Look out for the pile). I was fearful of the grated subway vents that shook if you walked over them and in tune to the sounds of the city — the blasts of car horns and street musicians.

I had never seen so many people, of such different colors and languages, in my life.

I like to think I am a better person because of those visits to my yes weregrandmother — that my e opened to possibilities that my little town would never have presented to me. I was thinking of this the other day as the local newspaper had a series of articles about some high school students who come to my neck of the woods from New York City to get away from their troubled neighborhoods for an education that is, we are told, out of their reach where they live.

I wonder if there are reverse programs — sending rural kids into the city for a school year program — or if that just goes against the stereotypes of inner city kids lacking for something that a suburban town can provide.

Peace (in changes of scenery),

(PS — Anyone get the reference to The Pogues in the title of my post?)

Wow! Wordle is Cool

I found this site via Larry (always a good connection) and it is called Wordle. Wordle takes your words and then reforms them as a Word Cloud, giving prominence and good placement to words that are repeated or used most often in the text you provide it.

As an experiment, I took all of my own Days in a Sentence from this year (since January — I keep them in a Google Docs file) and created this:

I love that Students is the biggest word on my cloud. (Although why the word Goo is bigger than some others has me pleasantly puzzled)
Then, I grabbed all 20 (so far) submissions for this week’s Day in a Sentence feature, and gave Wordle another go.
Check this out:
The word Week is pretty big, but I also see Summer and Teachers and Students in our collective Wordle Mix. I love transforming words, you know?
What can you do with Wordle? Let me know.
Peace (in word clouds),

My RSS-ed World

This file has been created and published by FireShot

I was lucky enough to be asked by the National Writing Project to write an article on how I use my RSS feeds and blogging to connect with the world and other teachers, and also to move myself forward in thinking about technology and information flow as a teacher and as a blogger. The article was published this week at the NWP’s revamped Resource site. (See the article entitled” “Bringing the World to my Doorstep“)

How do you use RSS?

I would be curious to know if other folks see RSS as a way to control the wave of information. What I am finding is that I need to continually nurture the RSS (I use Google Reader now but I used to be a fan of Bloglines, until it would not play nice with Edublogs one time too many) and weed it like a garden: I add new sites as they pique my interest and remove old ones that just seem to take up space, and worry about the sites that I don’t even yet know exist but would be important to me.

Peace (in connections),

Gail Updates Her Edublogs Manual

Whenever I have given a workshop on Edublogs for teachers interested in blogging for themselves or their classrooms, I have always turned to the manual put together by my friend, Gail Desler, who is part of the Area 3 Writing Project and who is the “blogwalker” (I love that name). Her clear and concise steps and explanations, and her willingness to share, are greatly appreciated. So when Edublogs did a major make-over this past week (and it looks fantastic to me), Gail was just about to finish up a revision to her old manual. She quickly went back to work and came up with a revised, revised Edublogs Manual.

Thanks, Gail, for sharing your work with us.

Head to Gail’s Introductory Manual to Edublogs 3.0

Peace (in sharing),

100 Tools for Learning

This list of 100 web-based applications came into my RSS the other day and it seems like a wonderful resource, moving across all sorts of applications, programs and possibilities. This comes from Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day at the Center for Learning and Performance.

I deeply appreciate when other people put in the time to compile a list like this and then share it with the world.

Check out the list of 100 applications (pdf)

Peace (in sharing),