Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Learning Revolution - Education Films - Why Hitting 50K G+ Comunity Members Is Sad - New Public Calendars - Occupy Your Brain

The Learning Revolution
Weekly Update

March 4th

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.
- Abigail Adams

Welcome to the Learning Revolution. The technologies of the Internet and the Web are reshaping where, when, and from whom we learn. The Learning Revolution Project highlights virtual and physical events from Web 2.0 Labs and its partners. These events bring together educators, learners, leaders, and others to rethink and reinvent education. To receive the weekly Learning Revolution newsletter, please join the Learning Revolution network.


Partner Spotlight

Digital Wish

Digital Wish - Empowering Educators with Technology
Digital Wish is a nonprofit that helps educators get technology for their classrooms. Membership is free, just sign up at www.digitalwish.org.

Sign up at www.digitalwish.org.

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

Partner Announcements

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 admin@web20labs.com.

  • Wednesday, March 5th World Read Aloud Day, is held annually on the first Wednesday of March to remind us all that reading is a human right that belongs to all people. However, 793 million people around the world lack this basic human right and we must join together and take urgent action to change this. Visit the LitWorld website for fun and easy celebration ideas and download our free activity kits. Spread the word about World Read Aloud Day on social media to help us grow the movement. Join the movement. Read Aloud. Change the World.
  • Wednesday, March 5th at 7pm ISTE - The Seven Habits of Tech-Leading Principals, The ISTE Standards for Administrators (ISTE Standards-A) give principals a guide to effective leadership in integrating technology with instructional practices. This webinar will take an inside look at one tech-leading principal’s leadership habits as she guides a PK-8 school through a successful bring-your-own-technology (BYOT) initiative that’s now in its second year. Please join Principal Michelle Otstot to see how the ISTE Standards-A look and sound in her school and get her advice to principals looking to develop the key habits of tech leadership. Registration information available here.
  • Wednesday, March 5th at 9pm Teachers Teaching Teachers, Weekly conversations hosted by EdTechTalk, a collaborative open webcasting community. For more information, click here.
  • Thursday March 6th - Saturday March 8th in Boston, MA Digital Media and Learning: DML Connecting Practices 2014, The conference is meant to be an inclusive, international and annual gathering of scholars and practitioners in the field, focused on fostering interdisciplinary and participatory dialog and linking theory, empirical study, policy, and practice. The fifth annual conference – DML2014 – is organized around the theme “Connecting Practices.” This year’s conference calls on us all to build shared agendas and goals, to reach across the boundaries that separate our disciplines, fields, institutions, and sectors to re-imagine the where, when, and how of educational practice. Registration information available here.
  • Thursday, March 6th at 8pm #globaledchat on Twitter, This is a conversation of all things global ed, ranging from classroom best practices to conversations around global issues. This Thursday's topic - Global Issue Focus: Gender Equality. This is in coordination with International Women's Day, so you can also use the hashtag #IWD2014. Join the conversation using the hashtag #globaledchat.
  • Saturday, March 8th at 12pm CR20 LIVE - DonorsChoose: Tips for Success, If you have important learning projects, tools, books or even technology hardware/software you need for your classrooms and can't find funding to purchase them, this is a show you won't want to miss. Laura Candler and Francie Kugelman will be our special guests for this Classroom 2.0 Live show and they will be sharing how to use DonorsChoose.org to obtain funding for your classroom projects. Learn more at Classroom 2.0 LIVE, and follow the conversation with #liveclass20.
  • Saturday, March 8th at 9am PST in San José Silicon Valley CUE Technology Event: T3 Teach Through Technology, Common Sense Media’s free 1-to-1 Essentials program offers schools a customizable roadmap for 1-to-1 planning. Learn about free tools to get parents, teachers, and students on board with 1-to-1 learning. Register for this free event here.
  • Monday, March 10th at 8pm TL Chat LIVE!, Second Monday of each month is the Teacher Librarian Twitter Chat. Follow #TLChat on Twitter to participate. More information here.

For a full list of all upcoming partner events, click here.


  • The free School Leadership Summit online conference, March 27th, 2014
    Upcoming deadlines: Presentation proposals are being accepted between now and March 15th, 2014. Proposals are be accepted on a rolling basis, so consider submitting now! Please see the instructions for submitting a proposal 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!

Highlighted Recordings

Michael Furdyk from the Global Education Conference 2013 - on "Imagining Future Friendly Schools"


Esther Wojcicki from the Learning 2.0 Conference - on "Teaching 21st Century Skills Through Journalism"


Carol Black from the Future of Education Interview Series - on "Occupy Your Brain"



Classroom 2.0
  • Survey: Games and gender-related attitudes. Colleen Hunter, from Pacific University, is calling all video game players over 18 to participate in her research on gender-related attitudes and gaming. Do you have 15 minutes to participate in this research? Click here.
  • Amazing teacher opportunity at the Smithsonian. Phoebe Hillemann shared this great opportunity for teachers to explore the connections among American art, technology, and your curricula. Teachers will learn how to use digital tools in the art classroom, work with a cohort to design and share lesson plans, and learn from the curation, education, technology, and content experts at the Smithsonian. Thanks for sharing, Phoebe!
  • Being considerate of reluctant readers. Karen Cameron gives us five reasons that some readers are more reluctant than others, and some great ideas for changing the way we think about reading exercises to accomodate everyone. Thanks, Karen! Readers everywhere will appreciate these practical tips.

Education Revolution Google+ Community
  • A path toward understanding of mathematical concepts. Secondary math teacher, Kyle Pearce, shares his most recent article on developing deeper thinking about mathematics among teen learners. Read about Kyle's approach to teaching math and share your feedback here. Thanks, Kyle!
  • Learning revolution in higher ed? Conor Cusack shared a recent article published on LinkedIn about a radical shift in higher education. This article is generating lots of discussion - get involved here.
  • Instructional design goes micro. Christopher Pappas shares this great article on the future of online course design, written by Tadej Stanic. Remember those lengthy lectures you had to read in your online classes? Learn how content curation and chunking information can lead to the design of micro-learning content. Thanks for sharing, Christopher!

Global Education Conference
  • Participate in World Read Aloud Day. Megan Karges of LitWorld has reminded us that tomorrow is World Read Aloud Day! On March 5th, wherever you are, grab a book, poem, article, famous speech, graphic novel (anything goes!) and read aloud with family, friends, colleauges and community members. Read aloud in person or over video chat. Read aloud to one person, or read aloud to many. Your actions will create joyful change. What will you read tomorrow? And who will you read with? If you're looking for ideas about how to incorporate this great event into your Wednesday, check out Megan's post here.
  • Global iBook to whet the appetite. Kristen Paino has shared another opportunity for your students to be contributors to a Global iBook, and the topic is something we all love - food! We want to know foods that are special/unique to where you live as well what types of foods are prepared/eaten at special celebrations, holidays and daily meals. This is a great topic to generate discussion and growling stomachs in your classroom. Find out more information about the project and learn how you can contribute here. Thanks, Kristen!
  • How to assess 21st century skills. Global Education Conference co-chair and ed tech wonderwoman, Lucy Gray, has shared this great article on the assessment of 21st century skills as outlined by two of RAND's great research team members - Brian Stecher and Laura Hamilton. We conducted a comprehensive review of assessments of 21st century competencies, including widely used measures and some that are in development, and we talked with educators about how these measures are being used and about the challenges and limitations associated with them. Based on this review, we identified a set of key lessons learned for those who develop or implement these new assessment systems. Read about their findings here. Thanks, Lucy!

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

It might be hard to overstate the impact of Google on the world of education. It's hard to find an historical parallel to their ability to roll out services that are both big and free. But while Google does a great job of creating these offerings, they are definitely "lean:" usually little technical support and sometimes unimportant enough to Google to keep them going if they don't produce enough eyeballs. Perhaps we've gotten used to this, and perhaps we've also gotten used to the lack of parallel services being offered by other organizations because of how hard it is to compete with the Google giant. I normally don't complain because Google's calendar program, alone, makes such a huge difference to the virtual conferences that we hold--and it's just one of the Google tools that I have come to rely on pretty heavily. But it does bother me that Google's model for the services that can be so helpful to educators seems to fall down significantly in one area that is hard to overlook: supporting community organizers.

Let me explain. As a long-time fan of Ning, and as the creator of Classroom 2.0 so many years ago now, I think that online communities for educators and learners have the potential to dramatically reshape the learning landscape. The potential for learners to join and participate in "micro" learning communities with actual practitioners has the feel of being an inevitable and brilliant outcome of the technologies of the Internet, and the Google+ community model--free and boundary-less, as opposed to Ning's fee-based and exclusive model--in theory should be the perfect place for this historic opportunity. But this is where Google seems to have the most trouble. The visionary building and use of Google+ communities would require that Google think about the needs of the community organizer, not just the needs of their own advertising model or of the individual user. This middle ground of supporting organizers is a real blind spot for Google, and by not supporting or tapping into the strength of organizers, they miss the opportunity for the technology to really take off.

My "Education Revolution" community is a case in point. This experiment (it took all of half an hour to set up) is about to hit 50,000 members. But I never look at it, my guess is that most of you do not, and I don't think it's really having much impact. As the community creator, I feel like I have almost no control and get very little benefit from the community. I can't organize the content in any way. I can't communicate directly with members. I can't even change the name of the community to reflect my shifted focus from "education" to "learning." And I can't use it to find a way to serve our audience more broadly because any work deleting spam (one of the few things I can do as the organizer) does not pay me back for the effort--not that everything I have do do has to bring me "benefit," but in the most positive sense of that word, I need some "benefit" (or ability to make a difference) in order to justify the time spent doing those tasks.

Perhaps I think I'm more important than I really am. The truth is that my 130,000 members across my Ning networks is a drop in the bucket compared with Google's gazillion users. But perhaps Google's reliance on algorithms and lean offerings to massive numbers can serve as a reminder of what many of us see missing in the starry-eyed, big-data solutions often trotted out as the next innovations in education. While there is a lot to be accomplished and learned from large-scale measuring and service-providing, in the end we are just people trying to influence and help other people, and when that role is not supported, no amount of great tech will replace it.

See you online!

Steve Hargadon

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