Tuesday, October 16, 2012

End of the Fall Book Club

Thank you to everyone who participated in the fall book club. There were great conversations surrounding this incredibly interesting book. In the next few days I will notify the winners of the two trips to the HECC Conference. If you don't win a trip to the conference, there is still time to register. Visit http://hecc.k12.in.us/conference/ to get more information about the conference and to register.

We plan to have another book club in the spring. Watch for more details in the Learning Connection's Ed Tech Connect community.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Week 7 -- The Youth Edge

This is the last official week of the book club. There will be an opportunity next week to share your thoughts on the Afterword, if you would like. But this week, we get to talk about how kids factor into changing how their education is being delivered. As Dr. Chen said in the Foreword, "Today's youth are building a pathway to change education." How are you involving your students in changes being made in your classroom or school? Are you allowing them to have a say in how technology is being utilized, maybe in projects they are completing? Or have students had an opportunity to do any teaching, either with peers or younger students? Has the fact that today's students are constant and natural users of technology led you to meet them where they are? Share what you've done, what you want to do, and/or questions you may have.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

One Week to Go

Don't forget that next week will be the last week for the Fall eLearning Book Club. Make sure you have read the book and made a meaningful response to all 7 of the weekly blog posts to be eligible for one of two free trips to the HECC Conference in November. We will also be awarding PGPs to book club participants.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Week 6 -- The Co-Teaching Edge

This chapter is all about utilizing the community in educating your students. How are you involving "co-educators" in your classroom? This may include bringing others into your classroom, taking your students outside of the school walls for lessons, or getting parents more involved in your classroom and their children's education. Have you seen improvements in your students' behavior or grades? What suggestions do you have for your fellow teachers regarding this topic?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 5 -- The Time/Place Edge

How have you extended your classroom outside of the school day? Have you seen changes in student performance or success? Has your school or district made any changes to the length of the school day or year? What are your thoughts on the time and place edge? If you are interested, you can find many of the videos referred to in this chapter here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Week 4 -- The Technology Edge

This chapter is full of amazing examples of technology being used to enhance teaching to lead to greater student success. We see examples of online learning, one-to-one classrooms, the use of audio recording, wikis and other web 2.0 tools, gaming, and assistive technologies, among other things. After reading this chapter, think about one or two ways that you have changed your methods of teaching to utilize technology or, if you have not made these changes yet, which of these ideas sounds like it would work the best with your teaching methods and your students. Share your ideas, successes, or struggles in this blog entry.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week 3 -- The Curriculum Edge

Last week we looked at our thinking about education. This week, Dr. Chen challenges us to rethink curriculum. In this chapter, Dr. Chen shares some incredibly inspiring stories about shifts in curriculum at schools in the United States and around the world. Some of the big ideas in this section are a move to project-based learning, offering more foreign language courses (specifically Asian languages), the addition of multimedia communication to the curriculum, the need to consider the emotional lives of our students, and a shift in assessment to more accurately assess what we want our students to learn. Have you considered any of these areas in creating/revising your curriculum? Have you or your school made any dramatic shifts and, if so, what have been the outcomes? What concerns do you have in "the curriculum edge"?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 2 -- Edge 1

Edge 1 is all about changing our way of thinking about education. In this chapter, Dr. Chen discusses ten areas of education where we need to move from either/or to both-and thinking. What are your thoughts about this idea and of these ten either/ors? Can you think of any other either/ors that need to change to both-ands? Share them and your thoughts on this idea.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Week 1 -- Introduction

Today is the kickoff of our fall eLearning Book Club. Let's get started with a quick introduction. Respond to this post (by clicking on the Comments link below this post) with your name, school/school district name and your role. Also, please tell us if you are participating as part of a group at your school. It will be great for participants to have an idea of who they are collaborating with in the book club. Beginning next week we will discuss one of Dr. Chen's "edges" each week, beginning with the thinking edge. Don’t forget – all Indiana educators that make a meaningful contribution to each of the 7 weekly blog posts will be registered to win one of 2 free trips to the HECC Conference in November. We will draw the names of the winners at the end of the book club.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fall eLearning Book Club

Get the Edge on Innovation

Join the Office of eLearning this fall for our eLearning Book Group as we read and discuss Milton Chen's Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools. This book is available as an eBook or in paperback.

There are a few ways to participate in the book club. The first will be to join discussions in the eLearning Book Club Blog. This will be the home base for the book club. Visit this site often to participate in discussions about the book. You can also join the site by clicking on "Join the Site" on the right toolbar. Discussions will officially begin on August 27th and will run for seven weeks, through the week of October 8th. Each Monday we will post a question to spark discussions. Participants will have the chance to win an opportunity to meet Dr. Chen at the HECC Conference in Indianapolis in November. To qualify to win one of the two trips to the HECC Conference you must make a meaningful contribution to each of the seven weekly blog entries. We would like to thank HECC for providing the registrations for the two winners of our drawing.

Another way to participate is to form a local reading group, either at your school or school district. We encourage schools or districts to create their own reading group and to meet in person, if possible, along with participating in online discussions. Please let us know if you form a local group.

We hope this is an enjoyable learning experience for all participants. We look forward to offering other opportunities such as this in the future. If you have any questions please contact Meri Carnahan.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Summer eLearning Book Club. The questions, ideas, and discussions around the book were excellent and hopefully expanded your thinking. Three of our bloggers shared their thoughts seven or eight weeks of the 8-week blog and will attend the Indiana Computer Educators’ Conference (ICE) in October free as a thank you for their committed participation. Congratulations to Angy Northern, Cindy Armbruster, and Vicki Schmidt. Ladies, please contact Meri Carnahan to get details on your prize.

If you weren’t a winner this summer, it’s not too late to learn and win with IDOE! Our fall book is Milton Chen's Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools. Our group will begin on August 27th and the discussions will run for 7 weeks. Participants will have the chance to win the opportunity to meet Dr. Chen at the HECC Conference in Indianapolis in November. Watch for more details on this book club in the Learning Connection's Ed Tech Connect community.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Last Week

This is the last week of the book club. For the last blog post, I'd like you to think about how you are going to do things differently in your classroom this year. Is there anything that you are going to change because of what you read in the book this summer or in the blog discussion?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Creativity in Your Classroom

The last paragraph of chapter 7 on page 83 is all about creativity and, according to Kindle, contains the two most highlighted passages. Have you given your students the "freedom and autonomy" (page 83) to show creativity? Are you finding or allowing your students to find new and different ways to share what they have learned? Or is this something with which you are still struggling? Share your successes and your struggles.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Ways of Looking at Time on Task and Learning

I love the letter that Mr. Johnson wrote to his students after he yelled at them (pages 112 and 113). This shows a big shift in his thinking about the learning taking place in his classroom. He's come to realize that the idea of "time on task" has changed and also, as stated toward the end of the letter, "You [the students] have taught me that if students are excited about learning, they will end up working harder." Have you noticed a change in how you think of learning and time on task in your classroom since the introduction of technology into your classroom? Have you seen a shift in your students' attitude toward learning?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Digital Citizenship

There is an entire chapter of the book dedicated to the idea that just because kids are digital natives, that does not necessarily mean they are digital citizens. How are you handling the idea of digital citizenship in your school or classroom? Is this something that is implicitly taught to your students? Is it taught through modeling? What do you think is involved in students becoming digital citizens?

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Fears

In the book, John Spencer brings up several examples of teachers' fears and hesitations in teaching in a 1:1 pencil/computer classroom. What were some concerns that you had as you heard about or prepared for your 1:1 computer classroom or what are some things you witnessed from your fellow teachers? How did you or other teachers deal with these concerns as you entered the reality of a 1:1 classroom? Or what are some concerns or roadblocks that still stand in your way?

Monday, June 25, 2012

John Spencer

If you were unable to attend John Spencer's sessions at Center Grove's iPossibilities conference, you are in luck. All of the sessions have been archived and are available on the iPossibilities website. Also, Mr. Spencer made an appearance in our blog. Hopefully he will have time to join us again and will enjoy our conversation.

Students and Technology

We talked last week about changes to the teaching and environment in this one-to-one pencil classroom. This week let's talk a bit about the students in a one-to-one classroom. Tom seems to have quite a bit of respect for his students and, in turn, it seems like his students are very resonsible in working with this new learning environment, too. How have you seen your students adapt to the addition of technology into your schools or classrooms, whether it's a one-to-one situation or just a few computer classroom or trips to the computer lab? Do you see your students taking reaponsibilty for their technology like the students do in chapter 5 (in respect to the plog) and chapter 2 (in respect to public and private property)?

Monday, June 18, 2012

How Does Technology Change the Classroom?

Chapter 4 begins with Tom sitting in on a "behavior meeting." Apparently other teachers are having a problem with a student with whom Tom gets along well. In response to why this student is doing well in Tom's class, he says, "'I really think it's because he and I have found a way to get along.'" In addition he says "This child trusts me because I don't shame him.... I try not to waste his time with meaningless work and in return he doesn't waste my time with meaningless chatter.... None of that requires a pencil." How does technology impact learning? How does it change the teacher's role? The student's? Does technology increase student engagement? How do you think the use of technology changes the classroom or the teacher? What essential parts of traditional teaching and learning are key to student success outside of technology?

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Conversation Begins

After reading the first chapter of the book, what do you think of John Spencer's pencil analogy? Do you think it is a fair comparison to the conversations that are being had about and opinions of 1:1 computing in schools? Share some of your initial thoughts on the book and this analogy.

John Spencer at Center Grove's iPossibilities iPad Conference

I received this update from Julie Bohnenkamp, Technology Director at Center Grove Community School Corporation, regarding John Spencer's sessions at the iPossibilities iPad Conference today, Monday June 11, 2012.

We are extending our live offerings to all of John Spencer's sessions. They will also be archived.

John Spencer’s Sessions
Live Broadcast of all 4 sessions: http://mediacast.centergrove.k12.in.us/tight_url.cfm/URLID/766

Keynote – 8:30-9:30


The Four Stages of a Tech Journey – 9:45-10:45

The Four Stages of a Tech Journey uses the metaphor of an integration journey as a reflective framework for both teachers and technology coaches. Here we walk through story of the Tech Tourist, Tech Foreigner, Tech Immigrant and Critical Citizen as teachers grow professionally. The session includes interactive dialogue, practical resources and a philosophical framework for technology integration.

Pocket Change: Engaging Digital Citizens – 11:00-12:00 p.m.

This sessions deals with the issues of digital citizenship beyond simply the calls to play nice and don’t bully and into the notion of using mobile devices as critical thinking citizens. Participants will wrestle with how to embed digital identity, ethical use, intellectual property, online collaboration and social media advocacy through project-based learning.

Paperless Math – 12:45 – 1:45 p.m.

Currently, schools are shifting toward the conceptual, critical-thinking, process-oriented Common Core Standards. With the explosion of apps and web tools, students can leverage technology in a way that isn't possible in a traditional paper and pencil math class. This session provides ten examples of paperless math strategies that can be used in both the primary and secondary level.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Conversation Begins in Six Days

We hope you are getting excited about the beginning of the eLearning Summer Book Club. Have you started reading the book? Get your thoughts organized and be ready to start posting on Monday, June 11th. Don't forget to join the blog by clicking on "Join this Site" in the right hand column on this page. This will make it easier to stay connected with the blog and others reading the book. For those of you interested in hearing Mr. Spencer speak, you will have that opportunity the same day we begin our book discussion. He will be the keynote at Center Grove's iPossibilities conference. If you are interested in attending the conference, there may still be space available. Check the conference website for more information. If you are not able to travel to Center Grove, they will be streaming the keynote. The live link to John Spencer's keynote will be http://mediacast.centergrove.k12.in.us/tight_url.cfm/URLID/766 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 11. For those unable to view the session live, Center Grove will be archiving the event. We will post that URL when it is available.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Welcome to the eLearning Summer Book Club blog. This summer we will be reading Pencil Me In: A Journey in the Fight for Graphite by John T. Spencer. Visit this site often to join discussions about the book. You can also join the site by clicking on "Join the Site" on the right toolbar. Book discussions will officially begin on June 11th. We will be posting some questions to spark discussions, but we also welcome you to post your own questions and observations about the book. Five to ten blog participants will receive a free registration to the ICE conference which will be held October 10-12 in Indianapolis. To qualify for the drawing for free conference registration you must make a meaningful contribution to the blog conversation at least once a week between June 11th – August 3rd.