Category Archives: google

Lateral Innovation Network Outline

“The path to transformation is decentralized, distributed, and disciplined.” – D. Hargreaves

Objectives*

  • Open the instructional, professional, and curriculum development processes to a peer-led network in order to provide a more effective means for sharing best practices and transferring them more rapidly
  • Improve the quality of teaching and learning broadly across a group of schools
  • Create a climate for teachers to innovate by promoting:
    • the motivation to create new professional knowledge;
    • the opportunity to engage actively in innovation;
    • the skills for testing the validity of the new knowledge; and
    • the means for transferring the validated innovations rapidly within their school and into other schools.

Structure of Network

  • Totally cloud-based
  • Initial focus would be K-8. Elementary and middle level innovation capacity would lead high school transformation.
  • Implement a common communications infrastructure. All districts would join Google Apps.
  • Implement a common Learning Management System. See below. (approximate cost $10 per student)
  • Curriculum development on Curriki.
  • Common tags would be established to identify work across all platforms.

LMS Functionality

  • Individual learning plans for every student
  • ePortfolios
  • Units can be matched to current and future standards
  • Capacity to share instructional materials, units, and assessments among teachers
  • Other standard LMS functionality: design online and blended learning activities, implement assessment, monitor student academic progress, iterative academic feedback, teaming of staff and students around learning activities, connect to web-based learning resources, establish non-traditional support groups for students, new learning opportunities and new structures of knowledge – mash up, 365 and 24/7, parent connection, personalization around UDL principles.

*Objectives adapted from Working Laterally: How Innovation Networks Make an Education Epidemic by David Hargreaves.

Social Share Counters

My Google Apps Presentation

Here is the outline of my Google Apps presentation for the VPA conference on May 11, 2010.

Why move to Google Apps?

  • FUD (and sometimes FUDD) Concerns
    • COPPA – “If you are using Google Docs within Google Apps Education Edition for your school domain, your school assumes the responsibility for complying with COPPA and the information that students submit. When offering online services to children under 13, schools must be cognizant of Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  COPPA is a regulation that requires parental consent for the online collection of information about users under 13.  Per the Google Apps Education Edition Agreement, any school administering Google Apps Education Edition acknowledges and agrees that it is solely responsible for compliance with COPPA, including, but not limited to, obtaining parental consent concerning collection of students’ personal information used in connection with the provisioning and use of the Services by the Customer and End Users. Parental consent and notification could take place in form of a permission slip granting use of Google Apps and/or other technology services at the school.”
    • FERPA – Google’s Privacy Policy
    • CIPA – A free message security service can make the system CIPA compliant.
    • Archiving – Google provides each user with over 7 GB of email storage.  A message discovery service is available for a fee.
    • Technology Schools Can Trust
  • The Case of Oregon
    • state-wide access to Google Apps for schools through the Oregon Virtual School District
    • Oregon negotiated a state-wide agreement with Google to address privacy and protection concerns for all of their schools
    • Accelerate Oregon – “a public-private partnership is dedicated to providing Oregon schools with the tools necessary to advance teaching and learning with Technology”
Social Share Counters

Opening Inservice Remarks, August 25, 2009

It’s great to see you all. I hope you had a restful and enjoyable summer in spite of the rain.

I want to take a few minutes and talk about about some of the changes we have planned for this year. Some of them are administrative and others are more instructional.

MLP – We have implemented MyLearningPlan, an online system to manage professional development. MLP is a company that has a significant presence in 49 states – they are the market leader for this type of product. We are the first district in Vermont to use this system. We will see how it goes. I have observed the Vermont relicensure process now for over 10 years. Like you, I have witnessed many changes to the process over time. In spite of the talents, artistic and otherwise, of the members of our local and regional standards boards, I remain convinced there has to be a better way. Our system of relicensure is overly complicated, time consuming, and not necessarily supportive of continued professional growth. It is my hope that our experience with MLP will not only serve our needs, but also serve as a model for reform of the entire system.

We will be rolling out the “instructional catalog” feature of the system in September. This aspect of the system allows us to handle enrollment in SU or district-sponsored activities. Completion of these activities is recorded automatically in your MLP portfolio which will assist you in tracking these activities. Considering these are some of the most valuable activities from an organizational perspective, I am looking forward to promoting this aspect of the system. Keep an eye out for “Google Apps 101” trainings – we will use MLP to handle registration and enrollment in these workshops.

AMS – AMS is the new leave taking system. As opposed to MLP which is hosted on MLP’s servers, AMS is located in the BRSU office. Last year we used a similar system to handle leave requests for administrative staff across the SU, and this year we wanted to do the same for all staff. This has been a significant undertaking as we had to consolidate the leave records for each staff member into a single database. If you think there is an error in your leave balances contact Celeste Keel. If you have trouble logging into the system, email me.

Perhaps the most exciting innovation this year from an instructional perspective is bringing students into our Google Apps system preK-8. We will be rolling this out differently in each building because it requires the support of board members and parents, and also requires staff members to understand how this change can be harnessed from an instructional perspective. I have developed model usage guidelines for students and parents and will be developing some for staff members as well. I am looking forward to adding our students to the system because I think it puts in place a necessary precondition for instructional innovation – the ability of teachers and students to communicate electronically in order extend and embellish classroom activities with online resources.

Lastly, I wanted to discuss the governance work that is going on. Last year the five districts that operate schools adopted new board policy manuals. These districts now have common operational policies. We are about to begin the next phase of this work which is the creation of Ends policies. The boards will be tapping your expertise to come to an understanding of what their communities want to see as outcomes for each school. These outcomes or Ends will be set up in policy and will guide and focus the future direction of each school.

I see this governance work as being critical to the future success of our schools. We are in a time of great change in terms of the structure of public education. Some of these changes are the result of technology which will put pressure on schools to become more efficient in their operations while at the same time delivering instruction in a more personalized manner; what one of my colleagues refers to as the “disaggregation of one.”

I am confident the mission of public education will remain, to a certain extent, unchanged. The Vermont constitution defines that mission as discouraging vice and promoting virtue in order to serve the larger public good. I believe we will need to tap back into this historic mission and bring to the forefront the importance of this work. The work you do is vitally important not only to the future success of each student but for the success of our world. To that end, I want to thank you for your efforts on behalf of our students, their families and our communities. I wish you success in the coming year, and let me know if there is anything I can do to better support you in this work.

Thank you.

Social Share Counters

August 13 Tech Session: Learning Communities and Web 2.0

Introduction – the Larger Context

Web 2.0 technologies are essential tools for educators to build collaborative learning communities in their schools, districts, states, and around the world. I believe such communities are necessary to expand educational opportunities for all students in an interconnected world.

Employing these technologies can enhance educational practice in several areas:

  1. Focusing and Extending Professional Development – Web 2.0 technologies are an effective means for educators to reflect upon new learning and to share that learning with other educators. Using these technologies, professional development opportunities can be expanded to have a larger impact on personal and organizational learning.
  2. Harvesting New Ideas on the Future of Education – New ideas about how we organize educational experiences for students are being published almost exclusively using Web 2.0 media. This is a large, global conversation. Educators need to be fluent in the tools necessary to aggregate, filter, and synthesize this information so that they can better understand the future vision of education and help contribute towards that vision.
  3. Improving Society – Students use these Web 2.0 tools in social networks 24/7. Educators need to be participants in the social networks of their students so they can shape the use of these technologies to serve the larger social good. This is the essential and historic purpose of schooling.

How to Move Forward

Looking at the various technologies available, I think it is essential that each educator establish their own personal account with Google. This will provide access to a variety of Web 2.0 tools under one account and allow educators to collaborate with each other in an easy manner.

  • Google Reader – use Google Reader to aggregate RSS feeds, take notes on them, and share feeds and comments with other educators.
  • Blogger – use Google Blogger to publish and share information about professional development and educational practices.
  • Delicious – use Delicious to bookmark or tag websites, and then share these tags and comments with other educators.
  • Twitter – use Twitter to share ideas and to follow the ideas of others.

Session Content

The focus of this session is on using specific Web 2.0 social technologies to assist members in creating professional learning communities within the Association and in their own organizations.

VSA Ning (http://vtsupers.ning.com)
-Ning features (blog, forum, video)
-subscribing to ning content
-create your own ning and more help

Using Feeds
Firefox
-setting up a Google account
-using Google Reader
-more help with Google Reader

Google Account Features
-blogging with Blogger
more help with Blogger
Google Voice
Google Wave

Microblogging with Twitter
-using a hashtag to create a group – #vsa
-Twitter clients (TweetDeck, DestroyTwitter – both of these require that you first install Adobe AIR)

Social Bookmarking with Delicious
-install Firefox Add-on
-using Delicious (create VSA group or tweet to #vsa hashtag)
more help with Delicious

Vocabulary/concepts
embed
RSS
feed
url
tags
Twitter hashtag (#vsa)

Social Share Counters

New Web Browser – Google Chrome

Google has announced they are developing their own web browser called Chrome.  Not sure why they developed a comic, however, to explain its features.  Not sure if we need another web browser to choose from either.  I will wait for the Linux version before I try it.

Social Share Counters

New Google Mobile App

Google has created a new mobile app specifically for the iPhone.  You can read more about it here.

This app also works nicely on other phones and mobile devices.  To access your BRSU Google Apps on a mobile device, go to http://www.google.com/m/a/brsu.org.

Social Share Counters

Web 2.0 Presentation

Here is the presentation I gave at the March inservice on Web 2.0 and Google Docs as a collaboration platform.

Social Share Counters

Moving Mail from Outlook to Gmail

Here are some instructions for moving the mail on your hard drive in Outlook to your Google Apps Gmail account

There are a couple steps to the process:

  1. Enable IMAP access in your Google Apps email in the settings area;
  2. Configure Outlook to access your Google Apps email as an IMAP client; and
  3. Copy the mail from your hard drive into your Google folders. Don’t forget your sent mail.
Social Share Counters

Introduction to Google Apps

Here are the instructions for configuring Outlook for Google Apps.

http://google.com/support/a/users/bin/answer.py?answer=13278

Here are some quick videos that explain Google Apps.

http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/admins/apps_video.html

http://services.google.com/apps/site/overview/index.html

Social Share Counters