Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Learning Revolution - Week's Free Events - May Is Ed Tech Month - Geo-Educators - Natural Math - Oxygen Masks and You

The Learning Revolution
Weekly Update

April 8th

Play is the highest form of research.
- Albert Einstein

The technologies of the Internet and the Web are reshaping where, when, and from whom we learn--and even how we think about learning. The Learning Revolution Project highlights our own virtual and physical events and those of our more than 200 partners. We also highlight good conversations about learning taking place between educators, learners, leaders, and others from the school, library, museum, work, adult, online, non-traditional and home learning worlds. The Internet is shifting the boundaries of these worlds, and we believe that as they increasingly overlap and integrate they will be critical to framing and preparing for the learning revolution starting to take place.

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  • Learning Revolution Big Events Updates. In case you missed the big email announcement with information about this year's growing list of events, please visit my blog to see the news. We're so excited to have such a great list of offerings for you, so please remember to share with your colleagues!
  • Reinventing the Classroom - Correction. Some of you noticed that the announcement about our exciting ed tech event on May 1st, Reinventing the Classroom, had a broken link -- sorry about that! The conference details and call for proposals can be found at Don't miss this terrific opportunity to present to or learn from others, and that will kick off a month of great ed tech events.
  • May is Ed Tech Month: Free PD Webinar Series by PowerUp WHAT WORKS. Our friends at PowerUp WHAT WORKS, an American Institutes for Research project, and the Learning Revolution are excited to announce an 8-session professional development webinar series in May for teachers, ed tech coordinators, and school leaders. Topics will include how to integrate technology into English Language Arts and Math classrooms, differentiated instruction, technology implementation strategies, and more. These sessions will be delivered by top-notch researchers and practitioners who you can learn more about here. We will provide PD certificates to those who participate in the series, so please give a heads up to your colleagues and mark your calendars for Tuesday and Thursday evenings in May! More details will be coming soon.

Partner Spotlight

natural math

Natural Math How do you want your child to feel about math? Confident, curious and deeply connected? Then Moebius Noodles is for you. It offers advanced math activities to fit your child’s personality, interests, and needs. Learn how you can create an immersive rich math environment for your baby. Find out ways to help your toddler discover deep math in everyday experiences. Play games that will develop your child’s sense of happy familiarity with mathematics. A five-year-old once asked us, “Who makes math?” and jumped for joy at the answer, “You!” Moebius Noodles helps you take small, immediate steps toward the sense of mathematical power. More information at

Interested in becoming a Learning Revolution Partner? Please fill out a Partner Application today.

Interested in becoming a Learning Revolution Partner? Please fill out a Partner Application today.

Partner Announcements

National Geographic: Last month, National Geographic announced its brand new community for educators: the Geo-Educator Community. National Geographic defines a geo-educator as any individual working to improve young peoples' understanding of the world. The Geo-Educator Community is a space for geo-educators to share resources, collaborate on projects, learn from one another and give support. You can connect with the Geo-Educator Community through a variety of online platforms including Twitter, Facebook and the secure educator site, Edmodo. Through these platforms you can join interdisciplinary discussions on getting students outside or connecting classrooms to peers around the world through global collaborative projects. You can also find weekly highlights of useful resources for geo-educators of all backgrounds and educational settings. Together, National Geographic and geo-educators across the country are working to make their students ready to engage successfully with their interconnected world. Join them and proclaim yourself a geo-educator today. Learn more at


Become a Learning Revolution Partner and share your Partner Announcements in our weekly newsletter!

One Week Calendar

All events are listed in US-Eastern Standard Time. To become an event partner and have your events listed here, please email

  • Wednesday, April 9th at 4pm Thinking Scientifically: Video and Formative Assessment with POPstar Robert Miller, POPstar Robert Miller - an award-winning 5th-grade teacher - hosts this interactive workshop covering inquiry-based science curriculum; the creative use of video; and one of his favorite resources, NSTA’s Formative Assessment Probes. Take advantage of Robert’s expert tips for explaining frequently misunderstood science topics; gathering student data; and helping students think scientifically. Join here.
  • Wednesday, April 9th at 9pm Teachers Teaching Teachers, Weekly conversations hosted by EdTechTalk, a collaborative open webcasting community. For more information, click here.
  • Thursday April 10th - Saturday April 12th in San Mateo, CA Leadership 3.0 Symposium, The Leadership 3.0 Symposium is a collaborative effort of the ACSA, Computer Using Educators and Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership. It is truly “for administrators, by administrators.” Three organizations, one mission – Educational Leadership for the 21st century. Learn more here.
  • Thursday, April 10th in Milfold, MA CoSN - 2014 Massachusetts CTO Clinic, Join the Massachusetts Educational Technology Administrators Association (METAA) for their 5th annual CTO Clinic. The theme, "On the Road Topics," will focus on the paradox: You know your schools' cultures, you know what they need, but how do you move forward? Learn more here.
  • Saturday, April 12th at 12pm CR20 LIVE Weekly Show - Featured Teacher Donna Roman, Donna Adams Rom├ín is a 5th grade teacher at Mill Creek School in Illinois, blogger, trainer, and presenter committed to providing rich learning opportunities for her learners and professional learning network. She is a recent recipient of ISTE’s first place SIGOL Online Learning Award (2013) and a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. Donna is active in Professional Development online and in her district, CoSN, ISTE, Flat Classroom®, and iEARN. Join here and follow #liveclass20.
  • Sunday, April 13th at 8pm I Have a Question - Ed Tech Weekly, Weekly attempt to crowdsource answers to education questions from our community of communities. Tag your questions #eduquestion or post them on our Facebook page or Google+ community.
  • Monday, April 14th in Nashville, TN Free Tools to Help Schools Harness Technology for Learning, Join Common Sense Media to learn about their suite of free resources to help schools harness the potential of technology for learning. Three main resources will be covered. Participants will first learn about teaching students digital citizenship using a free K-12 curriculum aligned to Common Core Standards, available online or on iPads. Second, they’ll be introduced to the 1-to-1 Essentials Program, which offers a customizable roadmap of key pieces schools need to prepare for a 1-to-1 device rollout. Last, participants will learn about Graphite, a service that helps teachers find the best apps, games, and websites for students and use them in their teaching. More details here.
  • Monday, April 14th at 8pm TL Virtual Cafe - #TLChat LIVE!, Second Monday of each month is the Teacher Librarian Twitter Chat. Follow #TLChat on Twitter to participate.

For a full calendar of all upcoming events and conferences, click here.


  • Learning Revolution Conference Online, April 24th - 25th, 2014
    Upcoming deadlines: Presentation proposals are being accepted between now and April 15th for the inaugural Learning Revolution Conference Online. The conference strands include Learning Theory, Learning Practice, Learning Science, Learning Spaces, and Technology & Learning. Please see the call for proposals and submission instructions here. Don't miss out on a great opportunity to connect about learning!
  • Reinventing the Classroom, May 1st, 2014
    Upcoming deadlines: Presentation proposals will be accepted between now and April 25th for Reinventing the Classroom. Conference strands include Teaching with Technology, Student Devices, Online Learning, Subject Specific Ed Tech, Creative Ed Tech, Web 2.0 & Social Software, and Administrative Support. Please see the call for proposals and submission instructions here.
  • Library 2.014, October 8th + 9th, 2014
    Upcoming deadlines: Presentation proposals will be accepted between now and October 1st for Library 2.014. This fully online, participatory conference presents a unique opportunity to showcase the excellent research and work that you do every day. How does your library manage digital collections? Is your library mobile friendly? Do you have a story to tell about maker spaces? Your participation as a presenter will steer the global conversation about the future of libraries. Please see the call for proposals and conference strands and consider submitting your proposal soon!

Highlighted Recordings

Kim Cofino from the Global Education Conference - on "Adventures in International Education"


Sugata Mitra from the Learning 2.0 Conference - on " Learning 2.0"


Pam Moran & Ira Socol from the School Leadership Summit - on "Maker Leaders Build Hope"


NMC Navigator Top Ten

Top Learning Tech Stories of the Week from the NMC/Horizon Project Navigator.

  1. 10 things wrong with what kids learn in school
  2. Technology and the Future(s) of the University
  3. Teaching kids about privacy and social media gains traction
  4. New Mobile App Turns Real World Environment Into Engaging Language Learning Opportunity
  5. Adding Coding to the Curriculum
  6. Famous Dinosaur Chase Reconstructed in 3-D
  7. Classrooms go tech heavy
  8. 5 Ways To Do EdTech On A Shoestring Budget
  9. New strategy would drop college textbook costs to zero
  10. Why do we make students sit still in class?


Classroom 2.0
  • Too Cool for Cartoons?. Classroom 2.0 member and instructional designer, Joe Ribera, develops distance learning materials for educators and wants to know whether animation is an appropriate alternative to the "talking head" model of delivering video instruction. What do you think? Share your feedback with Joe here.
  • CEET Meet: Disrupting Assessment with Digital Badges. Sue Hellman has shared this PD opportunity for teachers that will discuss how digital badges are transfroming the age-old model of assessment in schools. This event takes place online April 4 - 12 in short, targeted sessions. Learn more about it here.
  • Glean: STEM Video Streaming for Your Classroom or Library. Karen Cameron has shared another great tool with us this week: Glean, free video lessons for students. Tags enable searching by subject, from Dividing Polynomials to Speciation. This is a great way to complement your lesson plans, and a neat tool for libraries to use to spice up after-school homework programs!

Education Revolution Google+ Community
Global Education Conference
  • ePals and Smithsonian Announce Junior Folklorist Challenge. Global Education member, Susan McLester, announces a global challenge for young story tellers. This project, which also teaches the authentic journalism skills of interviewing, shaping stories and more, is a great way to keep kids engaged and learning as we bring the school year in for a landing. See the full press release and details about how to participate here.
  • Free Resource to Assess Global Competency. Mark Otter shares the VIF standards for global competency which are based on understanding, investigating, connecting, and integrating. The assessment resource provides grade-specific competencies and examples, and is a great tool for you to assess your own classroom. Thanks, Mark!
  • Looking for French, Spanish and Italian Participants. Alicia from Know My World is hoping to find participants in Spain, Italy, or France for a digital exchange project. Please forward to your European colleagues for a great opportunity to participate. Thanks, Alicia!

Submit a Video or Quote

We'd like to feature a user submitted video each week. Get creative! Post your short video answer to the question: What does the learning revolution mean to you? We'll be highlighting one video each week, and sharing the rest on our YouTube channel. You need to include #learningrevolution in the title of your YouTube video.


Do you have a great quote on education? Send us your favorite education quote to add to our collection and we'll be sure to give you a shout out in our next newsletter.

Final Notes

There's a story I tell about airline masks, and although I believe I read it somewhere authoritative, I cannot say for sure it is true. It's still worth telling. The idea is as follows.

We're likely familiar with the phrase that is repeated by flight attendants giving safety briefings before a flight departs: "In case of emergency, oxygen masks will drop down in front of you. Please pull the mask down toward your face and place the mask over your mouth and nose. If you are traveling with a child, please attend to yourself first, then the child."

The conventional wisdom about these instructions is that you will not be able to help a child if you yourself are not alive and conscious. I have no reason to think that this is not good advice, and it has broader application to making sure we care for ourselves in order to be of help to others. Certainly when we think about teaching and learning, there is a good lesson here about the importance of the health and well-being of the adults who care for children and youth.

Additionally, although usually not recognized, and potentially of deeper import to teaching and learning, is a secondary explanation I have heard for these instructions. This is that children are reluctant to do something that they have not seen adults doing, and the best way to ensure that they accept the oxygen mask on themselves is if they see an adult they trust doing so first. I call this the "You, first" principle, and I believe it is one of the most significantly less-understood concepts in our current shallow models of thinking about learning.

For those of us who love reading, it's not usually because someone made or paid us to read, but rather because we're likely to be able to point back to adults we watched who loved reading themselves. Think of something you love to do, or a significant way in which you contribute to the world, and I suspect strongly you can identify the individuals who modeled for you that living in such a way could be done. The teachers who have most significantly impacted my own children are those who showed their own love of learning, and who demonstrated how to live with energy, passion, and devotion. They are some of my personal heroes for modeling their own "lives of learning" and in so doing have challenged my own children to do the same.

It's one thing to say that our children are going to need to new skills to navigate the sea of information that is the Internet... to say that they will need to become curators of knowledge, to be able to think deeply and critically, to make and create, and to represent their own thinking and activities online and with others. It's quite another thing--and a huge challenge, to be honest--to navigate these waters ourselves so that we can model how it is done. It is maybe such a large challenge that we are afraid to try for own fears of failure. But we must, for perhaps there has never been a more important time in the history of learning for humankind. The potential is enormous, but so are the challenges, as the answers to the hardest issues of our world right now will require deep thinking, sympathetic understanding, and clarity of communication; what they definitely do not need are students who have taken all the tests but have never been inspired by a great learner, and who have never come to believe in their own ability to lead lives of significance.

See you online!

Steve Hargadon
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