Learning 2.008 – I’m so excited (to quote the Pointer Sisters!)

Wow.

 I. am. actually. going. to. this. conference.   

Can you even begin to imagine how excited I am about this? It is such a great opportunity to connect with people I have worked with and talked to in my online network of connected friends who teach me so much. It’s an opportunity to meet with many who I haven’t yet had opportunity to connect with. Just being at a conference with so many like minds is going to be so exciting and such a learning experience.

I can’t wait to hear the thoughts of people like David Warlick, David Jakes, Ewan McIntosh, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Marco Torres. People who will be presenting include Clay Burell, Kim Cofino  and Jeff Utecht – more minds I want to tap into!! I’m particularly looking forward to finally meeting Clay who has had such an impact on my life this year. I’m also looking forward to meeting Simon Power, an Australian teaching in Shanghai.

I’m actually catching up with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach in Melbourne next week. I’ve been working with Sheryl to get an Australian arm of the global cohort for Powerful Learning Practice formed. The cohort’s pretty much come together now. It’s really exciting and we should be kicking this off on September the 8th. I see this as a way to move my school forward. It’s been wonderful getting to know Sheryl online and I’m looking forward to our face to face meeting next week.   

Would I have thought this is where I’d be when I started blogging in January? No way. Just goes to show you what can be achieved with determination and persistance (and a very supportive school behind you who appreciate what you are doing – I am so very grateful). To retweet @thebuddha;

 All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become. 

AUPs – Acceptable Use Policies. Here’s help from David.

David Warlick writes a blog called 2cents worth. If you’re not reading it, you should be. He seems to be a man with a remarkable capacity to do so much. I envy people like this – he certainly uses his cognitive surplus to best effect.

He’s put together a wiki to assist all of us grappling with the formation of Acceptable Use Policies in our schools. This is what he has to say on the home page of the wiki;

Welcome to School AUP 2.0

This is a dynamic document designed to support teachers, school media specialists, and education leaders in developing, maintaining, and enforcing policies designed to:

  1. Promote the most effective, productive, and instructionally sound uses of digital, networked, and abundant information environments.
  2. Provide safe digital environments for learners and to instill safe practices and habits among the learning community.

This wiki site will serve as a launchpad to other documents and communities seeking to provide guidance in acceptable use policy development and also as an incubator for ideas related to issues, document structures, new problems and opportunities, and maintenance.

  

 

What is going to be useful within the wiki are the following pages:

Resource pages with RSS feeds from David’s Diigo account and Del.icio.us sites tagged by anyone.

AUP Guiding Documents (tagged “aup” & “guide”)

Sample AUPs (tagged “aup” & “sample”)

AUP Examples (tagged “aup” & “example”)

Cell Phone Policies (tagged “aup” & “cellphone”)

Running down the right sidebar is an RSS feed listing for blog entries that include school and AUP.

I know that I’m going to be making use of this site as will other educators worldwide. The formation of these policies in this ever changing digital landscape is essential if we are to proceed confidently with our students interacting in a read/write environment. Just ask Al Upton. I know that when our school launched ourselves into Project Global Cooling I spent a considerable amount of time trying to put together a permission form for parents to sign so that students could contribute to the ning site supporting the project. At that time I relied heavily on a document put together by Clay Burell that is accessible on his website.

Thanks David for sharing your thinking and providing a space for educators from all corners of the world. Another great example of the sharing nature of this network.   

* Good luck to Clay Burell and his students from Korea International School for their Project Global Cooling concert that starts shortly. He’s not ustreaming so I can’t provide a link.  I hope everything goes well. Clay has been an amazing support person for me and I want everyone to know this!!

Personal Learning Networks – finding the right balance

I’ve posted recently about how I’m finding it difficult to achieve the right balance between my online activities and my real world life. I think things have exacerbated for me because it’s been school holidays and I’ve had more time to expand my Personal Learning Network. I’ve been more active on Twitter and have been able to access networks at different times of the day, rather than the couple of hours a night that is the norm for me during the school working week. There have been others posting about the same thing – it seems there is too much to learn and too little time.

David Warlick wrote about needing a zipper for his PLN so that he could control it and allow himself time to do things like play his guitar and veg in front of the TV. Jeff Utecht picked up on this and has written a very useful post where he outlines the stages of Personal Learning Network adoption. I love the diagram he has produced to explain these stages and hope he doesn’t mind that I insert it here (notice that he has given it a creative commons licence so everything should be fine!);

      

I’m definitely at stage 3 but think I’m starting to move into stage 4. No doubt this has been prompted by members of my family using the words ‘internet addiction’ and the fact that my kids are over my blog and sick of seeing me with my computer at all times of the day and night. I’m also just so tired – the school holidays are nearing an end and I don’t feel rested at all. I’m in an almost constant state of thinking about how we apply these ideas into our educational settings; I toss ideas around and try to make sense of the vast amount of knowledge that I’ve been exposed to. I’m loving it but realise that balance is important – roll on stage 5!