Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn

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Online Learning Challenges

By Barbara Bray      July 23, 2010 -- 07:47 AM

Designing Online Learning Environments that Engage Learners
(first published on OnCUE Summer 2010 Vol. 32 No. 2 p. 10-11 and cross posted on barbarabray.net)

Teaching online is fundamentally different than teaching face-to-face. The design of effective online learning environments requires rethinking teaching practices. The rapid advances of educational technology encourages the growth of collaborative online learning experiences unconstrained by time and space. Even so, students may not learn from technology alone; they learn with the support of competent facilitators ...   more...

Comments: 1   Last Comment By ibrahim betil  February 10, 2011 -- 11:58 PM

Thank you Teachers!!!

By Barbara Bray      July 3, 2010 -- 09:31 AM
This song is for those who inspire us. Thank you!!!

Comments: 3   Last Comment By small Irazema Valdivieso  April 24, 2012 -- 11:25 AM

Tips for Building Trust in an Online Community

By Barbara Bray      June 7, 2010 -- 09:00 PM
There usually is one manager of an online community. The manager can be called a community manager, a team manager, or an eCoach. The members of your community will need to trust you to feel safe in your community. Here are seven tips to ensure a trusting relationship with the members of your community.

1. Personalize your Community

Ask your community members to fill out their profile, add a picture, and share information about themselves. Encourage members to introduce themselves right away in the discussion forum. Personalize all communications you have with each member. If you ...   more...

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Trusting your Social Network

By Barbara Bray      June 3, 2010 -- 11:41 AM
Since Facebook made changes to their privacy issues, users have made some drastic moves like removing themselves from Facebook. Trust is a big concern online. Dan Martell in his study on Flowtown by Pew wrote:

The way that people interact and conduct themselves online is changing, and with the discussion surrounding privacy and social networks escalating in recent weeks, it seems that we have reached a tipping point. Pew Research recently released a study that focuses on individualsí online identities, which takes into consideration reputation management and what people are really using ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Cheryl Vitali  June 4, 2010 -- 07:53 PM

Just do it

By Barbara Bray      May 30, 2010 -- 07:11 AM
I read Seth Godin's blog post But what have you shipped? and thought about how that relates to teachers. If you just sit there and think about what you should do or not sure you can do something, then nothing will happen.

I write because I love writing. I write even if no one reads my blog posts. I hope you do and they give you some value, but that's not why I write. My mother was an artist who had to draw or paint. It was in her blood. When times were tough, she still painted somehow. Then her talent opened doors for her and she became a courtroom artist. I think of her when I sit down to write. ...   more...
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Tread Softly on Their Dreams

By Barbara Bray      May 25, 2010 -- 01:10 PM
Sir Ken Robinson talk explains about doing your passion, doing what you are good at and personalizing learning. It's all the things I've been saying for so long. Not everyone is supposed to go to college. How he puts it is that human talent is diverse. It's the diversity that makes us who we are. School, starting in Kindergarten, is focused on getting everyone into college and follows the manufacturing model. That model is broken. He is so right. We are in a revolution and reforming this model will not make it work. I'm curious what you think of his talk. It's under 17 minutes but I highly recommend ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Khephra  May 25, 2010 -- 03:25 PM

Balancing Act

By Barbara Bray      May 20, 2010 -- 09:15 PM
Most people that become coaches tend to be nurturers. They became a teacher or coach because they like to help people. A good coach sets up the guidelines for an effective relationship with the people they coach. Agreeing on a contract for meetings, communication and due dates will ensure the relationship will work. A relationship between a coach and the coachee needs to be built on trust: trust that both will show up on time, tasks are done in a timely manner, questions are answered and materials are created when needed.

Contracts need to be reconsidered for a successful coaching relationship. ...   more...
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Getting the support you need when you need it

By Barbara Bray      May 19, 2010 -- 01:51 PM
Teachers need coaching more than ever especially with the cut backs in professional development opportunities at the local level. Schools need a cost-effective and convenient way to help their teachers attain the skills and knowledge they need to meet their learning goals. For some teachers, it might mean learning how to differentiate instruction because now they have larger class sizes with students with wider ranges of abilities. This holds true for teachers and students at all levels including universities.

One shot workshops are a great way to introduce concepts and theory but not the place ...   more...
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Mentoring and Coaching - Do you need it?

By Barbara Bray      May 7, 2010 -- 05:17 PM
Seth Godinís post Mentoring, platforms and taking a leap asked "how much support does someone need (or get, or deserve, you pick) before they ship their art?" Real artists are passionate about their art. Nothing stops them from painting, singing, or playing an instrument. Itís in their blood. The thing with artists is that they have to be immersed in their art, because they love it. Unfortunately, they may not be the best at promoting their art.

Teaching is an art. Most teachers become teachers because they want to make a difference in children's lives. Everyone started out as a student and ...   more...
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Determining Value of Community

By Barbara Bray      April 27, 2010 -- 08:07 PM
Ning is ditching their free service and according to Jon Dale this is a brilliant move. Educators and non-profits are ranting all over the Internet about how this move is going to destroy all the work they have been doing for so long. Just think of all the free networks set up for educators. Ning is going to provide a paid option for educators and non-profits that is supposed to be affordable. Ning has grown so large that their premium users have suffered.

The economy is affecting everyone plus big and small companies including Web 2.0 and social media. Facebook is under attack for its privacy ...   more...
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Defining the Skills Gap - Part Two

By Barbara Bray      April 21, 2010 -- 01:09 PM
There ARE highly qualified people AVAILABLE right now -- collecting unemployment checks. Consider that one of the top careers of the unemployed are tech workers. These are responsible and very talented people who were laid off for H1B visa workers working for 30% of what U.S. workers were paid or even less.

It started during Reaganís administration when it was put in place where workers could be hired as W2 workers working as contractors not paid any benefits. So many of these talented and qualified workers were not counted in employment statistics because they were considered temporary ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  April 28, 2010 -- 08:44 AM

Such Tweet Sorrow

By Barbara Bray      April 19, 2010 -- 07:47 AM
Here is an interesting twist on Romeo and Juliet that is taking shape in England: a collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company and Mudlark, a cell phone company. They create a Twitter version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet called Such Tweet Sorrow.



It takes place in an English market town where Juliet is posting a video on YouTube, Mercutio has lost his cell phone, Nurse is a lawyer, and Romeo is too busy play Xbox to do much tweeting.

Interesting take on modernizing this love story. Remember West Side Story? That was the 1960 version. So now you can join by following any or all of ...   more...
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Defining the Skills Gap - Part One

By Barbara Bray      April 18, 2010 -- 07:36 AM
Employment figures are rising this month. In March the payroll jobs increased by 162,000. The Dow topped 11,000. This is showing that the recovery is actually happening. However, the recovery is going to be slow not only because businesses are just starting to get back on their feet, credit is still tight for businesses, and one big factor many are just starting to realize: employers are saying that the employees they need are not available.

Tapan Munroe wrote:

Manpower Inc.ís 2009 worldwide talent survey involving 39,000 employers in 39 countries concluded that nearly one-third of the employers ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Amit  May 3, 2010 -- 09:56 PM

The Way Free is Going

By Barbara Bray      April 15, 2010 -- 08:49 PM
Ning offers online networks and the ability for members to set up their own communities. Millions of people have used Ning for free. I wasn't even aware that there are premium versions. TechCrunch just announced that Ningís Bubble Burst - no more Free networks and cut 40% of its staff. What does this mean for you if you are on several networks (communities) in Ning?

Currently, Ningís premium options include support (which has a $10/month and $100/month options for different service levels); Custom domains ($5 a month); Extra storage and bandwidth ($10...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Teresa Roebuck  April 15, 2010 -- 09:16 PM

The Power of Crowdsourcing

By Barbara Bray      April 5, 2010 -- 08:12 AM
Looking for a new way to connect to thousands maybe millions? Most of us are turning to the Internet and social media. CloudCrowd is a brainchild of talented software engineers and hackers who were frustrated with the Internet and how it could use the crowds to outsource.

From their about page:
CloudCrowd is the next evolution in business process outsourcing. The company uses the Internet to tap into vast underutilized pools of talent, labor, and creativity to get work done. CloudCrowd helps companies reduce overhead, increase efficiency, and lower costs by breaking large projects ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Amit  May 3, 2010 -- 09:47 PM

Content Marketing: Interview with David Szetela

By Barbara Bray      March 25, 2010 -- 10:21 AM

Looking for other sources of revenue? How about increasing traffic to your website? You may want to look at placing ads on your site. If you are planning to add text or graphical ads to your content, then I highly recommend reading David Szetelaís book: Customer Now.  You can download it as an eBook.

Using your content to build revenue is an interesting sideline for teachers. Just think about all the content you have created and its value. Instead of selling your content, how about putting relevant ads within your content. I asked David some questions about because I had ...   more...

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Vote and Sign Petition for 21st Century Students

By Barbara Bray      March 7, 2010 -- 10:00 AM
I just set up a petition on Change.org for 21st Century Students. I looked through all the causes and did not see a cause that mentioned this so I decided to start one. I need your help in getting this cause noticed. Go to Vote for 21st Century Citizens.


Let me know if I need to change anything. Please share and encourage others to vote. The timeline is short. Thanks!    more...
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My Challenge to Obama's Challenge to Schools

By Barbara Bray      March 2, 2010 -- 07:33 AM
President Obama is proposing $900 million to states and school districts that agree to drastically change or even close the worst performing schools. The problem is once again focused on schools and teachers. Obama said, "There's got to be a sense of accountability."

We have had, for most of these low performing schools, a big sense of accountability for the last nine or so years. I had a lot of hope for Obama and making change for our country, but this hit a nerve for me. This is one more stab at public schools with the students that have no other means to get the education they need to be successful. ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Natalie  March 4, 2010 -- 01:50 PM

Technology's Impact on Learning

By Barbara Bray      February 14, 2010 -- 10:14 AM
Technology may not make the difference in how a student learns. What makes a difference is the learning environment: how the teacher designs learning, and how they use and integrate technology appropriately. In some cases, maybe no technology is appropriate. In-class discussions may work better. Think-Pair-Share where students are looking into each othersí eyes works well and may increase their self-esteem. Maybe going outside or on field trips. However, there are wonderful opportunities for technology where there is no access to valuable resources.

Add video conferencing for a field trip ...   more...
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Participating Online

By Barbara Bray      February 10, 2010 -- 06:41 PM
What does it mean to participate online? I asked a few of my teacher friends this who are more of the boomer age category. Many told me they really only felt comfortable with email. Some of them joined Facebook and have added friends. They usually do not comment on status updates from their friends. They send them a personal message.

At first, I thought that feeling comfortable only emailing instead of posting or commenting is only with boomers, but I am finding that people of all ages use different social media and participate in online learning communities for different purposes and in ...   more...
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Building Trust in Online Communities

By Barbara Bray      February 9, 2010 -- 08:10 AM
Mutual trust is a shared belief that you can depend on each other to achieve a common purpose. [How to Build Trust]

Have you joined a lot of online communities? If so, which ones are you an active member? Why? Could trust be one part of it? Each community is designed around a purpose or shared vision. If each member realizes their personal goals are in sync with the goals or purpose of the community or their goals helped design the community goals, then each person will work to keep the community going. When there is no purpose, the community falls apart. [Purpose in Learning Communities...   more...
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Are you blocking creativity?

By Barbara Bray      January 29, 2010 -- 08:45 AM
After reading Brian Clark's post "Do you recognize these 10 mental blocks to creative thinking?", I get it why it takes so long to change education. Clark wrote:

People like to call this ďthinking outside of the box,Ē which is the wrong way to look at it. Just like Neo needed to understand that ďthere is no spoonĒ in the film The Matrix, you need to realize ďthere is no boxĒ to step outside of.

You create your own imaginary boxes simply by living life and accepting certain things as ďrealĒ when they are just as illusory as the beliefs of a paranoid delusional. The difference is, enough people ...   more...

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A Whole New Mind about Education

By Barbara Bray      January 23, 2010 -- 05:27 PM
My eCoachís Book Club
book until 2/15/10.
I just finished "A Whole New Mind" by Daniel Pink for our book club. Iíve participated in conferences, read books, and watched TED videos that talk about bringing creativity and innovation back to the classroom. My last post was about how Piaget explains that schools were designed to train our factory workers and where that model isnít working anymore. From Pinkís book, Piagetís explanation, and so many other sources that I am learning about, we are in the midst of CHANGE, if we like it or not.

Educators created a system, just like the QWERTY keyboard, ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  January 25, 2010 -- 05:38 PM

Passive vs Active Education

By Barbara Bray      January 21, 2010 -- 06:43 PM
Today's schools are not much different than schools in the early 1900s. Most schools in the US continue to have a 180 day schedule with almost 3 months off in the summer. Schools are open about 6 hours a day. Teachers usually work isolated in their classrooms behind closed doors. Schools were designed to complement our factory model. We needed factory workers who would follow orders and not think on their own. Anyway, that's what we got: a passive education. A few of us (including me) didn't fit in this model very well. I tried but found that I wanted to go in a different direction or had a better ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Cheri  July 26, 2010 -- 06:33 PM

Linking Data

By Barbara Bray      January 4, 2010 -- 12:58 PM
Iím sitting in the Oakland airport waiting for my delayed plane. Thought Iíd post a new blog after listening to a Ted Talk from Tim Berners-Lee about Linked Data. How cool that the airport has free Wifi. Berners-Lee actually is the inventor of the Internet 20 years ago. In this talk he shares what the future of the web will be all about. This talk was almost a year ago yet is still timely. We are connecting, sharing, and uploading pictures (data) all over the web. What does this mean to you, your data, and your future?



I see this happening more with social networks and other types of online communities like Ning and My eCoach. However, our school structure is still built around closed systems. Administrators and those continuing to protect the past state that "the data is to be protected." Students hand in papers to their teacher and no one else ever sees that report. What if the research that a student does solves a universal problem that could help mankind? Will that teacher recognize that the research (data) is valuable and needs to be shared?

How do you encourage teachers to open their classroom doors and let students share? What about teachers sharing best practices? This can be done pretty easily by putting up examples of student work, reflections on the process, short video clips of the lesson being implemented, etc.

Just imagine if students could connect their research and ideas (data) on global warming. Students might even come up with a solution.

After all it is their future.
   more...
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Future of Schools 2020

By Barbara Bray      December 28, 2009 -- 08:20 AM
By 2020, I cannot see in my vision our school buildings used in the same manner they are today: 180 days a year open only for students. I read Larry Cubanís post this morning about his end of year prediction of classrooms in the future. Itís almost 2010 and there has to be more than thinking about what we have today and relating it to ten years from now.

Hereís what I hope to see: schools and public libraries as community learning centers available to all learners open 24/7 supplemented with online courses, professional development, coaching, networking, and publishing. There is even a Federal ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Tommy  January 4, 2010 -- 12:33 PM

What happened to all the cards?

By Barbara Bray      December 18, 2009 -- 08:35 AM
This is the first year I received more holiday greetings by email and Facebook instead of the number of cards I usually get. Yes, there are still some traditionalists (guess Iím one about this issue) who sent out some cards. I have display the ones I receive on my mantel. Am I supposed to print out what I receive online? Just doesn't seem the same. If people are purchasing items online, sending eCards, and Skyping instead of visiting their families, will this affect our economy? Of course!

The economy is affecting how much you spend on holiday presents and cards, but now there are alternatives ...   more...
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Disrupting Schools amid a Revolution

By Barbara Bray      December 17, 2009 -- 04:27 PM
It seems like everything is changing. Weíre in the middle of a revolution and many donít know it. There are many people that want to continue the status quo. So what is the status quo?

A top-down system where teachers teach the set agenda with standards, tests, and text books. Each teacher is assigned a classroom where they usually close the door and teach in isolation. Schools start at 8am and end at 3pm. It is rare that the schools are used before or after schools because of less funding. Students sit in rows, answer questions that are asked of them by the teacher, write papers that only the ...   more...
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DELC Conversations

By Barbara Bray      December 10, 2009 -- 09:20 AM
I am very lucky to have been invited to join the Digital Education Leadership Conference (DELC) for a second year. The invitees come from all over the US and are respected leaders and innovative thinkers. Last year we worked on the Studentsí Education Proclamation.

We started with a Kick-Off Dinner with the theme: Careers of the Future. Steve Heard shared a great video trailer of The Futures Channel that helped us brainstorm what the future of education will look like. We were given homework to come up with either acronyms like LOL, proverbs, or a prequel to a movie.

Everyone came up with ...   more...
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Digital Democracy in a Global Environment

By Barbara Bray      December 6, 2009 -- 09:51 AM
Article adapted from my column in OnCUE Winter 2009:

The world is shrinking. Boundaries are fading between schools, organizations, and countries.  The Internet has changed every sector of business and education. Businesses and governments are developing strategies to address how they are using technology in their daily operations, marketing, and future planning. Why not schools?

We are in the middle of a digital revolution. Younger generations are challenging the status quo with the words íSo what?í íIím not so sure about thatí or íWell thatís one opinion among many.í

In 1995, Don Tapscott ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By Anna  December 30, 2009 -- 10:11 AM

Generations Use of Internet Explained

By Barbara Bray      December 3, 2009 -- 08:21 AM
From the report, Generations Online 2009 from Pew Internet and American Life, they found that over half of the adult population ages 18-44 are involved in internet use.

Generations Explained

It's interesting to find that the biggest increase in an age group is from the 70-75 year olds from 26% to 44% increase. I'm an older boomer who lives online and there are lots more like me. What does this report mean about the Gen X and Gen Y generations?

What I see is that more of all age groups are finding that the internet provides more for us now. It seems to me that in just two more years, social networking ...   more...
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ILPs began with Scope and Sequence

By Barbara Bray      November 18, 2009 -- 02:24 PM
Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) help learners define their learning goals and the action steps needed to meet those goals. An ILP can be set up for one or more goals with evidence of where the individual is currently and where they plan to be by a specific date toward meeting those goals. Individuals can create multiple ILPs for different goals. If the individual is part of an online coaching program, their eCoach or online mentor/coach can monitor their progress as they meet their goals with ongoing feedback. The reason why I found ILPs to be helpful was how they personalized the learning ...   more...
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My Story with CBAM (Concerns-Based Adoption Model)

By Barbara Bray      November 14, 2009 -- 08:15 AM
I started doing research on adult learners and change in the early 90's for my Masters and am surprised that we still have the same issues today. Have you ever heard of CBAM (Concerns-Based Adoption Model)? Whenever there's an innovation of some kind, people take to it at different levels. This is called Stages of Concern.

...   more...
Comments: 12   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  November 18, 2009 -- 02:16 PM

Social Marketing: The Social Media Revolution

By Barbara Bray      November 8, 2009 -- 03:45 PM
Iím using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and My eCoach for connections to family, friends and colleagues. Yet, something is happening about how my connections are working for me and My eCoach. I am noticing that when I post something to Twitter someone might retweet it. Thatís when you see RT in front of your @twittername and the information you posted earlier reposted by someone else.

Iíve uploaded a post with a link to Twitter only to have it be retweeted several times and show up on my page again but now associated with someone else. Iíve even seen it appear in my status updates and/or ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  November 9, 2009 -- 07:31 AM

Discovering Out of the Box Solutions for Professional Development

By Barbara Bray      November 5, 2009 -- 03:28 PM
How can you provide professional development on a tight budget? U.S. schools are looking for ways to trim their budgets and professional development is on the top of many lists to cut. If we want to find and retain high quality teachers and administrators in our schools, we have to start thinking creatively. There are innovative ways to use technology as an inexpensive professional development solution.

At the Edublogger Con at the National Education Computer Conference 2009 (NECC) in Washington D.C. this past June, there was a discussion group on professional development with about thirty teachers ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By xexe  March 25, 2010 -- 10:07 PM

Leading from the Heart

By Barbara Bray      November 2, 2009 -- 08:23 PM
We set up a new leadership team in My eCoach, mainly because we have been receiving support requests from new and veteran principals. The question that keeps coming up from many of these leaders is how to build a positive school climate especially with all the budget woes, teacher layoffs, and violence happening in schools today.

Schools represent people serving people. Administrators need to come from the heart. What I mean is that the key task of the leader is to get inside the ethical culture of their school and the school community. Leaders and their staff can be more productive when they ...   more...
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Updates, Posts, Comments - Oh My!

By Barbara Bray      October 30, 2009 -- 02:57 PM
I have been following different social media trying to determine what works for the learning environment and to build your personal learning network. Actually - each of the different types of social media work, but they have specific purposes.

Facebook works for personal and professional purposes depending on how you connect with others and what you post.

 Audience Purpose
 Activities% of participation
Family and Close Friends
Connect and catch up with only people you know
Share life and travel experiences
Post pictures
Comment
Participate in programs like Farmville
Poke
50% of family
...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Wendy Gallegos  November 22, 2009 -- 02:03 PM

Ways to Learn Math

By Barbara Bray      October 28, 2009 -- 01:07 PM
Math is beautiful. Anyway thatís what Iíve been told. When I was growing up, I understood numbers and practical math right away. I was able to add and subtract quickly. Times tables. No problem! You should see me count my cards in cribbage. I got some math like recognizing patterns everywhere.  Fibonacci Theory. Yes! I see it.

Then I was exposed to Algebra and abstract concepts. I just didnít get it. If only I had easy explanations like this:



What if we changed school so students taught each other math concepts and used the Internet to connect, share, and publish?    more...
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Learning English using Legends

By Barbara Bray      October 27, 2009 -- 05:09 PM
I participated in a one hour workshop with Nellie Deutsch and Gladys Gahona on Storytelling and Cultures. They used WiziQ to present the creation story on Sun and Moon in English and Spanish. This is an interesting way to learn English and Spanish. I don't speak Spanish but when Nellie read the first part of the story in English and then Gladys read the same section in Spanish, I recognized words. I just love hearing the sound of Spanish read so beautifully.

What a great way to learn a language: listening to a story from native speakers. I joined the Storytelling and Cultures Ning and hope to join ...   more...
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New Search Engine: Google Squared

By Barbara Bray      October 25, 2009 -- 09:49 AM
Tom Barrett just wrote a great guide to a new search engine designed by Google: Google Squared from their Google Labs. Saw a retweet of his link on Twitter. Instead of me trying to reinvent the wheel, I suggest you go to his Blog: ICT in the Classroom for detailed instructions. Google keeps breaking the mold on innovation and social networks keep opening the door to new ideas and tools.



Google Squared a great tool for teachers and just about anyone who wants more than links. There are preselected search terms on this first page, so I squared "roller coasters" and got this.

I tried testing ...   more...
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What are people searching for?

By Barbara Bray      October 22, 2009 -- 10:28 PM
One of the cool things we have is a web analytics program to help us determine how many hits, unique visitors, and pages accessed daily and monthly. Our numbers are going way up. Yesterday, there were over 200,000 hits with 4,000 unique visitors. Trying to figure out what people want isnít always easy. We know we cannot create or find everything just anyone might be looking for. We have sent out surveys and had a pretty good return on respondents. Yet, the results may not always reflect what the mass majority of users really want. So within our analytics program, we can see the search terms ...   more...
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Does your PLN help your PLC become a CoP

By Barbara Bray      October 13, 2009 -- 09:19 AM
adapted from article for OnCUE Summer 09

Learning can happen anywhere at anytime from anyone and anything. Your connections and any information you use are learning experiences that can help you grow personally and professionally.

Personal Learning Network (PLN)

There is nothing new about PLNs. They are the people and information sources that help you meet your learning goals. Building your PLN means that you not only seek to learn from others but you also help others in the network learn. Anyone can make a contribution. Your PLN can be your most powerful learning tool ...   more...

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Invented Math Strategies with Abbott and Costello

By Barbara Bray      September 26, 2009 -- 02:52 PM
Math is beautiful and everywhere, but it isnít always easy for everyone. Creative teachers can open exciting doors for students with invented strategies for whole number computation. There are multiple ways to solve any one question. Check out some interesting and funny examples from some segments from Abbott and Costello. I used to watch these and never knew I was learning new ways to add or subtract.

13 x 7 = 28

Numbers Game

How about showing these to your students and have them come up with their own math skits?

   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  September 26, 2009 -- 04:22 PM

Reflections on Teams, Learning, and your Digital Footprint

By Barbara Bray      September 23, 2009 -- 12:18 PM
I always tell myself to stop, think, reflect on your day. I haven't done that as much reflecting as I would like. Today, I decided to share my reflections on what I think about school today and what learning means to me.

I work at home. All of our eCoaches either work at home or after their regular jobs. That's what's so cool about working online. You can do this anywhere at anytime. Schools are still designed around the agricultural model and we seem to be stuck with it just like we're stuck with the QWERTY keyboard. I type fast. I'm used to this keyboard but it was created in the late 1800s to ...   more...
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The Web as Acts of Kindness

By Barbara Bray      September 21, 2009 -- 08:28 AM
Jonathan Zittrain suggests the Internet is made up of millions of disinterested acts of kindness, curiosity and trust.

People like to solve problems. Wikipedia is just 45 minutes away from destruction. The readers care about it to create a counter-vandalism unit. I am finding this same thing happen with My eCoach. People are checking links, submitting websites and images, and coming up with new ideas all the time for My eCoach because they care about the community. They are also supporting each other on their teams.

We started My eCoach with the idea we would help eCoaches support their communities. A little different than wikis and blogs. What I am seeing is that more members are contributing, learning from each other, and wanting to support what others are doing. Zittrain's speech gives us hope for the Internet but how can we use this to stop cyberbullying, stalking, and concerns about predatory acts. Rekindling acts of kindness where each of us fight for each other and stop viral acts that harm anyone. Right now, we created My eCoach with the idea of an eCoach supporting, protecting, and facilitating the work of their members; pointing to other members' work and connecting people with similar interests.

The power of many of the social networking tools is how they connect people. The viral manner of the Internet is that if something harmful is posted about you on the Internet, your friends and colleagues will be there to support you. This means that there has to be a feeling of trust that you won't be similarly attacked. I found that to build trust on Facebook or Twitter is not that easy. You probably have people following you that you don't know. You can block them, but if you have alot of people, how do you know what the connections are, what they are saying, unless it comes back to you?

We also are identified by the people we are associated with. If you are part of a larger community and some of the people (you don't know) have completely different interests (be they political or religious), will you be branded one way or another? Are you a lurker and uncomfortable about standing up for your rights? Will you defend someone else and use your name or post anonymously?
   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Cheryl Vitali  September 21, 2009 -- 06:17 PM

Visualizing Hallucinations

By Barbara Bray      September 17, 2009 -- 09:23 AM
Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks brings our attention to Charles Bonnett syndrome -- when visually impaired people experience lucid hallucinations. He describes the experiences of his patients in heartwarming detail and walks us through the biology of this under-reported phenomenon.



How does this only happen with visually impaired people? He mentioned that the hearing impaired have hallucinations including music. I find this very interesting and wonder what these hallucinations mean. If you lose one of your senses, then it becomes more heightened and sensitive. Does this happen with people born blind or deaf? As a physician, Dr. Sacks mentioned that 10% of visually impaired see these hallucinations but only 1% acknowledge them because they don't want to appear mad.

Have you had a dream or nightmare that wakes you up? Temporal lobe dreams are more what most of us have that might include people we know.

More on the Charles Bonnett syndrome, Wikipedia reference, and a biography.

   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Valerie Bebee  September 20, 2009 -- 02:57 PM

Finding and Living your Passion

By Barbara Bray      September 6, 2009 -- 09:04 PM
What if you have a passion that is bigger than your life? Have you ever known a student who liked to doodle or hum but couldn't follow most directions in class?

I saw 60 minutes tonight about Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless man with paranoid schizophenia who is a gifted musician. Steve Lopez, a reporter from LA Times, wrote a series of stories about Nathaniel that was turned into a movie. Then I watched the movie tonight. Read Nathaniel's story.

This made me think about all the people who live on the street. What a waste to have so many people thrown away. I can't imagine what it is like to be lost, ...   more...
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Learning to Cope

By Barbara Bray      August 31, 2009 -- 08:55 AM
Take big breaths. Yes, I can do it. I'm putting in a new phone, fax, and DSL line. I'm testing my patience. Before, when things didn't work out as well as I thought they would, I would find myself breathing faster, heart rate sped up, and clenched my teeth. I'm learning to be aware of these feelings, my reactions, and today I was tested to see if I could do it.

I moved from one area code to another which means my phone and fax numbers on all my marketing materials will be different, have to forward, and pay a small fortune per phone call. We have a backup server that we keep in our office so we ...   more...
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Each Day is a New Day

By Barbara Bray      August 30, 2009 -- 10:41 AM
Iím learning something every day. I moved this weekend. Iím learning that it is okay to
  • make mistakes
  • not lift a box that is too heavy
  • get rid of stuff
  • appreciate family and friends
  • not do anything
  • take naps when I need them
  • meditate
  • garden
  • play with my dog
  • go for a walk
I know this sounds like something that I should already know and do, but I am a multi-tasker. I was born that way. Actually, it is very difficult for me not to be busy. Thatís why I love blogging, writing, networking, creating projects in My eCoach, and reading. I plan to not plan on some days and be more spontaneous. Each day is a gift. ...   more...
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Finding Your Creative Self

By Barbara Bray      August 16, 2009 -- 02:15 PM
I was brought up to think on my own; to color outside the lines; to be creative; and always ask "why" even if there is no answer to the question. I am curious why we are here; why the grass is green and the sky is blue; why being passionate about something makes you feel so good; why there are so many questions. I thank my mom for believing that each person is unique and can do whatever they want to do.

 I believe...
 I donít believe...
  • everyone is gifted.
  • everyone is smart in different ways.
  • each of us has talents that we may not use.
  • each day is a new day.
  • in loving yourself first.
  • you
...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By Josh  August 18, 2009 -- 06:47 AM

What makes a hero?

By Barbara Bray      August 16, 2009 -- 11:41 AM

In these hard times, more people are offering their times and services to others in need. Hereís a few heroes from People magazine who are helping others in their areas:

Cars for Poor Families

Cars for Poor Families
Hal Colston has provied cars to more than 3,000 people for the purpose of getting to work and off welfare.

Free Motel Rooms to the Homeless

Free Motel Rooms to the Homeless
Tim and Nancy Niolai provided free shelter to more than 100 homeless people


Giving a Stranger Shelter

Giving a Stranger Shelter
Marilyn Mock bought a house ...   more...

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Living your Dream

By Barbara Bray      July 22, 2009 -- 09:21 AM
When you have a passion for something, it makes each morning exciting and new. You cannot wait to see what happens next. Doing something you love makes your life have purpose. With the economy in such a mess, especially for our schools and even worse in California, how do many of our educators like me and many of you reading this post, continue doing what you love?

We became teachers to make a difference - for the kids - not for the money. But now, itís starting to hurt. States are in the red and taking money from counties; counties are taking money from cities; cities are grabbing what ...   more...
Comments: 3   Last Comment By small Steven Sanchez  August 10, 2009 -- 04:01 PM

Free Digital Content

By Barbara Bray      July 15, 2009 -- 12:02 PM
The Internet, social networking, and Web 2.0 tools are changing the way we deal with content. In reading Ron Millerís article on the Free Content Conundrum, I can see that publishers like newspapers and even textbook companies are trying to figure out their new business model.

David Meerman Scott states in his books "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" and "World Wide Rave" that the rules are different on the web. He says that good content does it naturally because when people come to your site, the popularity of this content rises, it raises your search engine ranking. Then, even more ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Teresa Roebuck  July 22, 2009 -- 09:49 PM

Is Twitter making Blogging Obsolete?

By Barbara Bray      June 27, 2009 -- 11:16 AM
Are more people coming to your blog via Twitter? Twitter is more of a conversation aggregator. Disqus.com aggregates a connected stream of twitter conversations about your blog post.

I am trying to follow the conversations about this session at EduBlogger Con 09 about Twitter vs Blogging. Iím going to come back and try to make the conversations flow smoother.

Why do you blog? What are you trying to flush out (beginning - middle and end)? You can do this with a blog where with a twitter gets people to learn about your blog. 140 characters is just not enough to reflect on your blog. Twitter actually ...   more...
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Professional Development and Web 2.0

By Barbara Bray      June 27, 2009 -- 06:45 AM
I am sitting with a group of technology integration specialists and professional developers at the Edublogger Con 09 at NECC. First question from Darren Draper was how many of you set up a backchannel at your school.

Liz Davis was hoping are what are some out of the box ideas. What would PD look like if you could envision it in the future?

Boot Camps
Time for Reflection
Teacher Researchers
Coaching
Building Backchannels

Time - build more time  - Liz shared that independent schools have freedom - and can build this into the schedule. Jeff - you ...   more...
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Encouraging and Empowering Sharing

By Barbara Bray      June 16, 2009 -- 09:47 AM
The new web and social media encourages sharing. Should sharing be by default? When you upload something to Twitter, del.icio.us, or Facebook, you are sharing. But what about anything you post anywhere on the web? I read Wes Fryerís blog and it made me think about sharing.

Hereís a video from Creative Commons Wes shared:



If you use a Creative Commons license on anything you pose, then you are sharing and explaining how others can use your materials. You determine the type of license.


Is this enough for you? I encourage sharing, posting, collaboration. Yet, there still needs to be a secure ...   more...
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Raising Aspirations

By Barbara Bray      June 13, 2009 -- 09:22 AM
School Matters - Raising Aspirations

Prime Minister Gordon Brown shares case studies on the importance of raising the achievements of school children. The video looks at the challenges of closing the achievement gap between the rich and poor with examples like KIPP schools.

Do small schools make the difference? How do we keep small schools in the public school system with the budget constraints?

   more...
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Is the Bologna Process what U.S. needs?

By Barbara Bray      May 22, 2009 -- 08:55 AM
The Bologna Process, named after the Italian city in which it was created, allows students and professors to attend or work at universities in the 46 participating countries. European leaders think the process will increase competitiveness and attract top international scholars.

Can the United States benefit from the Bologna Process or is it falling behind Europe?

Universities in the participating countries still have varying levels of quality. Some students are better prepared for college than others. The Bologna Process allows students from any of the participating countries to attend universities ...   more...
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Is Unschooling for You?

By Barbara Bray      April 29, 2009 -- 07:09 AM
My experience with school in the 1950's and 60's left me questioning myself if I was smart. I didn't have confidence in myself in most of my K-12 life. I was an average student, shy. I grew up outside of Washington D.C. where girls were not allowed to wear pants and patent leather shoes. Really! My high school is still standing and looks like every other high school in the area. I know girls wear pants now but the structure, the teacher-centered classrooms - those are very similar to my experience.

It took going to college to realize that a more open-ended structure worked for me. Yet, it still ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By Dennis Imoto  April 29, 2009 -- 10:42 PM

Facebook Etiquette

By Barbara Bray      April 19, 2009 -- 07:54 AM
Since so many people I know are using Facebook, I thought Iíd share some rules when using Facebook with you. Enjoy!

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Rules for Living

By Barbara Bray      April 17, 2009 -- 04:19 PM
If you're going to follow anyone's rules for living, why not the Dalai Lama. Here are 18 rules for living from Owenkelley.net.
  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, donít lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three Rs:
    1. Respect for self
    2. Respect for others
    3. Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Donít let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  7. When you realize youíve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Cheryl Vitali  April 18, 2009 -- 09:35 AM

What is eCoaching?

By Barbara Bray      April 6, 2009 -- 07:42 PM
You may think that eCoaching is online coaching. It is more than that. Are you a trainer, a mentor, and/or coach? You can provide online coaching support for others if you determine their purpose for being online. This is not as easy as it may sound.

When you look at your organization and where you fit in it, is it working? Has everyone defined their learning goals? Are they working toward them? eCoaching supports each person involved to help them meet their learning goals. This takes planning. You can do this alone with an eCoach in social networks if you build a network of people who want to ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Sara Zimmerman  April 7, 2009 -- 10:51 AM

Teaching in New Ways

By Barbara Bray      March 29, 2009 -- 09:52 AM
It's the teacher that matters most. Check out Chris Betcher's Slideshare. Saw Dr. Marzano at the CUE conference so this is great to see the data in this form. Thanks Chris!

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Bring Play back into the Classroom

By Barbara Bray      March 19, 2009 -- 11:16 AM
Something really got to me today. I received this report on Play Disappearing from the Kindergarten Classroom. What happened? We ask our children to grow up way too fast and then life comes hurdling toward them full speed. They have to be able to test well. Why? Whoís test?

A good friend of mine who was a Kindergarten teacher quit - retired after 25 years. She couldnít stand spending hours on hours teaching children how to fill in a bubble on the test sheet. She had to cut down on reading time, cut down on play time, cut down on singing, dancing, art. I even think this is starting to happen ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Linda George  March 19, 2009 -- 12:37 PM

Challenge for our Future

By Barbara Bray      March 12, 2009 -- 09:19 AM
Today teaching and learning is changing before our eyes. This is the crucial time to design what learning will look like. I challenge you to come up with ideas for our children and grandchildren.

Take a look at most schools today They usually are placed centrally in a community. They start at 8 and close at 3. Very little happens before or after school now because of funding issues. It is a closed campus so community members are not allowed on campus. Students move from grade level to grade level. Teachers manage the classroom. Principals manage the teachers. Teachers tend to be isolated in their ...   more...
Comments: 6   Last Comment By Carlotta  March 26, 2009 -- 08:30 AM

Reviewing the Past

By Barbara Bray      March 8, 2009 -- 09:40 PM
Before discussing the future of learning and elearning, I want to review the past. Iím going to write a few posts about learning, teaching, and the Internet. This post is about how the Internet began from Aarpnet to the present with some background information with the following eight minute animated documentary.


History of the Internet from PICOL on Vimeo.

I started using computers in the early 80s. Think the first was a TRS-80 and a portable Compaq with 5" floppy disks using 64K memory. I was hooked. Started using FrEDMail and AT&T Learning Circles with students so we could connect online. ...   more...
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Who owns your content?

By Barbara Bray      February 16, 2009 -- 11:44 PM
Have you been reading about Facebookís new intent to use any of their membersí content as long as they want? [source] What do you think of this? What do you think happens to any of your content on FlickR, Google Sites, or other social networking tools? Looks like Facebook responded to the flood of messages about this. [source] Be aware though that if you made your content public and left Facebook, they can do anything they want with it.

I have joined lots of social networking sites including Facebook. I even created a My eCoach Share Place so eCoach members could share with the world what ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Russ Knopp  March 22, 2009 -- 04:15 PM

What is the best way to use statistics?

By Barbara Bray      February 2, 2009 -- 03:08 PM
If we have good data, then we assume it will make sense to others. I suggest watching Hans Rosling show how he uses stats about poverty and disease for TED conference.


   more...
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Watch a baby learn and laugh

By Barbara Bray      November 26, 2008 -- 06:54 AM
Since the holidays are coming up, lots of families are taking time to enjoy each other. I am spending lots of time with my 9 month old granddaughter and am amazed at how much she is learning each day. I took Cali out to a local park and a father and son were flying remote control airplanes. We were watching. Next thing I knew Cali started talking and laughing.

The weird thing is that this laugh is the laugh I had when I was young. My daugher Sara, Caliís mother, had the same laugh. Are laughs genetic? In any case, I wanted you to have a good laugh and enjoy Caliís Laugh.


Caliís Laugh
RSSSubscribe Podcast: http://my-ecoach.com/podcast.php?rid=42912


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Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Sara Zimmerman  February 23, 2009 -- 04:06 PM

What does FREE mean to you?

By Barbara Bray      November 7, 2008 -- 08:28 AM
When you first see the word FREE about a product, you get excited. right? Free - for me? Yeah! Of course, youíre going to jump at the chance of getting something for FREE.

What does that mean to you? Do you value it if it is FREE? Letís take a look at what that might mean now in these scary economic times.

So you joined Google Groups, use Google Docs, uploaded a video to Google Videos, made a Google Site with Pages. Those are FREE and cool. I agree. Have you read the Terms of Use? Here's an excerpt from Google's Terms.

11. Content licence from you

11.1 You retain copyright and any other ...   more...

Comments: 1   Last Comment By Janet Bianchini  January 13, 2009 -- 11:20 AM

Learning to Change - Changing to Learn

By Barbara Bray      October 13, 2008 -- 09:34 AM
The keynoter for the pre-conference of K12 Online Conference Stephen Heppell shared this video on YouTube.

Iíve been thinking about this for as long as I can remember. Schools have to change to keep up with our students. They use technology everyday and schools ban that technology. I worked with independent study programs where students who may have been at risk worked at home and had jobs. Once or twice a week they met at school to follow-up with assignments and sometimes to work on projects.I like the idea about using school as the place for teamwork and projects. Letting students collaborate online using: text messaging, cell phones, and social networks. Use school for teachers to collaborate. Thatís what weíre doing in eCoach: providing online private and public spaces for confidential issues and sharing best practices. Also having a place for teachers to co-author projects and not reinvent the wheel. We can do it!    more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  October 15, 2008 -- 10:23 PM

Cross-Age Cross-Curriculum Projects Change Teaching Practice

By Barbara Bray      October 12, 2008 -- 10:21 PM
The K12 Online Conference starts with the Pre-Conference on October 13. Each of the presenters are posting their presentations as podcasts 20 minutes or less. I am presenting the findings as an audio podcast and PowerPoint presentation. The teachers and students did all the work. Pat Lusher and Cecelia Nauda are coordinating the EETT grant and provided data, documents, and other information included in the powerpoint or as separate files below. Nancy Kuznicki and Donna Blanton shared podcasts about the projects. This presentation is on Thursday, October 23 (Day 4).


Throwing Away the Box...   more...
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Come join us at the K12 Online Conference

By Barbara Bray      October 8, 2008 -- 09:28 AM
I created several teasers with different tools and decided on a short video trailer for my presentation at the K12 Online Conference. We were asked to prepare our presentation in a 20 minute downloadable format. What might be the best way is to create a website with downloadable presentations, videos, podcasts, and files.

What is my presentation about?

I have been very lucky to work with some amazing people in Pinellas County Schools, Florida with the EETT grant for cross-age cross-curriculum projects. This meant that 109 teachers and eMentors were going to design and implement six  6 week ...   more...
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Rigorous or difficult?

By Barbara Bray      October 2, 2008 -- 04:24 PM
I have been reviewing online and face-to-face courses to determine effectiveness. One thing I did notice is the amount of busywork and difficult assignments in both cases that really didnít meet the objectivess.

Let's rethink how we deliver our curriculum so we donít just give work to make sure our students are doing something. A difficult course may be one that provides endless activities that may or may not be relevant because the instructor wants to make sure they touch on multiple products or ideas.

Is this because the instructor wants ...   more...
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Check out the K12 Online Conference

By Barbara Bray      September 14, 2008 -- 09:56 AM



The K12 Online Conference 2008 invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference is run by volunteers and open to everyone. The 2008 conference theme is ďAmplifying PossibilitiesĒ. This yearís conference begins with a pre-conference keynote the week of October 13, 2008. The following two weeks, October 20-24 and October 27-31, forty presentations will be posted online to the conference blog for participants to download and view. Live Events in the form of three ďFireside ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Ken  September 15, 2008 -- 08:38 PM

Making Movie of Project for Teaser

By Barbara Bray      September 13, 2008 -- 10:02 AM
I am learning different programs to create a teaser for my presentation at the K12 Online Conference on Cross-Age Cross-Curriculum Projects from Pinellas County Schools in Florida. This presentation will be sharing how these projects were developed, impacted student achievement, and new projects they are starting this year. Hereís one I made this morning with Animoto. Each of the presenters will probably create one or more teasers for their presentations. Iím still learning so will probably make a few more with different programs. Any feedback is welcome!


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School Should Not Be Boring!

By Susie Johnson      September 12, 2008 -- 06:30 PM
I cringe when I hear anyone say that school is/was boring!  Isn't it time we put our (really) best practices back in school?    School reform has brought about many changes through the years, but the one area that has really been catching the joy of learning again is career technical education and regional occupational programs (CTE/ROP).  Students that do not pass a high school math class are required to repeat it.  Ugh!  No wonder a student can feel bored if he or she is forced to sit in the same seat and hear the same curriculum and still not understand ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  September 13, 2008 -- 10:22 AM

How did the birds do that?

By Barbara Bray      September 9, 2008 -- 09:22 AM
I was just in Portland and went with my son and niece to watch the Vaux Swifts funnel into a chimney at Chapman Elementary School. There must have been over 50,000 swifts flying in formation, diving at the chimney, and then flying off again for 2 hours. It was a beautiful dance where the audience (thousands of people) would ooh and ahh as the birds got closer to the chimney and then flew off again.

Then they somehow knew it was time to swirl and funnel into the chimney.

Vaux Swifts RSSPodcast: http://my-ecoach.com/podcast.php?rid=37671

How did they know when to group together and fly as a funnel?
Why ...   more...
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Joy in Learning

By Barbara Bray      September 9, 2008 -- 08:40 AM
How many times have you heard from students "School is boring?" That doesn't have to be the case. I read Joy in School in the latest Educational Leadership and it all made sense especially now with the emphasis on testing. We need to bring back Joy and an excitement about what people learn. Not just memorization. My take on the points in this article:

Make Learning Pleasurable
When you were young, why did you learn? Not what you learned in school, but outside of school. Most of the time it was because you were excited about something. You wanted to learn how to ride a horse - not because it was ...   more...
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Can kids teach themselves?

By Barbara Bray      September 2, 2008 -- 09:17 AM
Watch this video from Sugata Mitra from the Lift Conference about his "Hole in the Wall" theory and the absence of formal teaching:








20 minutes but worth watching if we are part of the global society and want to reach our at-risk students. He shares his "Hole in the Wall" experiment. Can kids teach themselves?    more...
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Death of the Credit Card Economy

By Barbara Bray      September 1, 2008 -- 09:31 AM
I read this article on Slate after finding a link to it on Twitter. Maybe this article is a little disheartening but I am finding that I am and others in my family are spending less. Iím relearning all the things I learned when I was a little girl (long ago) that "a penny saved is a penny earned."

Credit made life too easy. See an outfit you need, buy it. So what if you donít have any money, charge it. Want to go on a trip? Charge it. Pay for it later over several years. It got too easy for all of us and now itís coming to back to us. We became too greedy and wanted stuff. The best cars. A bigger ...   more...
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Are schools ready?

By Barbara Bray      September 1, 2008 -- 08:03 AM
Scott McLeod in his post Dangerously Irrelevant responded to Jeff Utechtís post on preparing our students for the 21st century to be global citizens. Postman & Weingartnerís quote McLeod shared from Teaching as a Subversive Activity is as applicable now as it was in 1969:

What students do in the classroom is what they learn (as Dewey would say) . . . Now, what is it that students do in the classroom? Well, mostly, they sit and listen to the teacher. . . . Mostly, they are required to remember. . . . It is practically unheard of for students to play any role in determining what problems are worth studying or what ...   more...

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How about Zenovating?

By Barbara Bray      August 20, 2008 -- 10:46 AM
I haven't been keeping up with my blog. Guess you would say I have taken time to enjoy the summer. Yep! But now it's time to get back and start sharing again. I tried to figure out what innovation means in today's world so I've been doing lots of research and thinking.

Learning is different today than what many of us as teachers thought it was all about. We defined learning as how we teach, what a classroom is supposed to be like, but we didn't define it from the learner's perspective.

All of us are learners. The world is changing and so should what we define as "School". Especially now with information ...   more...
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State of Schools around the US

By Barbara Bray      July 17, 2008 -- 07:23 AM

I live in California and work around the country. I am appalled about the state of education and how we are leaving more children behind then we ever have before. The focus of "No Child Left Behind" was framed so people thought that we were going to fight for all children. Actually, what has happened is that "Every poor, disadvantaged, learning disabled, at-risk, and minority child is left behind." What kind of country is this that we do this to our future. In todayís SF Chronicle, the headline is 24% of high school students will dropout.

Where are they? What are these dropouts doing now? How ...   more...

Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Mrs. Shannon Riek  July 24, 2008 -- 04:56 PM

Fun on the 4th of July

By Barbara Bray      July 6, 2008 -- 12:06 AM
I did something different this 4th of July. I joined my sister in a lead car in a 4th of July parade in Orinda, CA. It was so much fun. The convertible was decorated. I practiced my wave and smile. So along the route, I smiled larger than I thought I could. A few times I took pictures.





I even caught a picture of me in the side mirror.












After the parade, everyone went to the park for picnics, music, and lots of tents with art and more.












At night we sat on a golf course with thousands of others to watch a fantastic fireworks show.


Fireworks RSSmore...
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Google Earth telling Amazon Indians story

By Barbara Bray      July 3, 2008 -- 07:49 AM
In the SF Chronicle today, there is a story about how Google Earth is helping the Surui tribe in the Amazon by telling their story and helping protect their land. This tribe made contact less than 40 years ago and has been outfitted with GPS and computers with Internet access. The new technology is replacing bows and arrows to protect their land. Chief Almir Surui, a college graduate, came to the bay area and asked Google to provide them with technology to monitor illegal loggers and raise global awareness about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

I found another article where a new tribe was found...   more...
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Arriving at NECC day after Edubloggercon

By Barbara Bray      June 29, 2008 -- 08:49 AM
Being at NECC in San Antonio is what I need right now; gathering ideas, meeting new and old friends, learning, and more learning. I am sitting in the Blogger's Cafe reviewing the comments from yesterday's Edubloggercon.  While I was waiting in the airport I watched Vicki Davis UStream from her session. What is Edubloggercon?

An international all-day "meetup" of educational bloggers and those using collaborative technologies will take place on Saturday, June 28th, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio just before the start of NECC. All are invited--whether you yourself ...   more...
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Women in Film

By Barbara Bray      May 23, 2008 -- 03:51 PM
Some time ago I added a post on Women in Art. Cheryl Vitali sent me this link and thought it would be a fun morphing video to watch if you have nothing else to do. I see lots of my favorite actresses - some missing. See if you see any of your favorites.

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No Significant Impact of Reading First Program

By Barbara Bray      May 4, 2008 -- 08:32 AM
President Bushís Reading First program has had problems from the beginning. There are charges of conflicts of interest, budget fights, and now  the Department of Education finds that it doesnít work any better than approaches already in place. There was no difference in comprehension scores between students who participated in Reading First and those who did not.

"There was no statistically significant impact on reading comprehension scores in grades one, two or three," Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst, director of the Institute of Education Sciences, the Education Departmentís research arm, ...   more...

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What does understanding mean to you?

By Barbara Bray      April 26, 2008 -- 08:51 AM
In redefining what learning in the 21st century means, I reflected on what learning means to me. I see each day and moment as a learning opportunity. I just came back from a long walk in a beautiful park where the birds were chirping. It was so peaceful and a great place to reflect. I stopped at a bridge over a lake and stood quiet for ten minutes just looking around and taking everything in.

I saw a colorful male mallard duck with his mate. Some questions popped into my head (even though I already knew some of the answers):
  • Why are male birds more colorful than ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Roxanne Clement  April 29, 2008 -- 05:26 PM

What does assessment look like to you?

By Barbara Bray      April 12, 2008 -- 07:07 AM
Just read Accountability, Yes. Teaching to the Test, No by Patricia Deubel and have some thoughts. Deubel wrote that before NCLB, many teachers closed their doors and taught what they wanted. There was little accountability on what was taught. However, with NCLB, the pendulum swung way to teach what is taught on the test. She also mentioned teaching to the state standards.

Since I work in multiple states and have most of the standards, I see many inconsistencies between states where some are more rigorous. All have too many standards that touch on content that may or may not be relevant. Historical ...   more...
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Making and Strengthening Connections

By Barbara Bray      March 20, 2008 -- 08:17 AM
David Warlick is presenting today in Arkansas with Pat Wolfe about what's happening inside and outside of the brain. [2 Cents Worth] Wish I was there but next best thing is to follow David's blog. This quote he wrote is great:

 "You donít grow brain cells.  What grows are dendrites, and Dittos donít grow dendrites!"

Pat shared MRIs of an MRI reading of brains when ...   more...
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Presentation that opens the mystery of the brain

By Barbara Bray      March 18, 2008 -- 10:16 PM
íI am trillions of cells sharing a common mind--I am life!í

ďOh my gosh, Iím having a stroke! Iím having a stroke! And in the next instant, the thought flashed through my mind, this is so cool!Ē

You want a guided tour of the human brain? Follow Harvard-trained neuroanatomist Jill Taylorís extraordinary account of the cranial hemorrhage that shut down her left brain when she was 37 years old. But the talkís value ó its preciousness ó lies less in the plain-language, enthusiastic science it offers us, than in the door it courageously opens to the mystery of the brainís right hemisphere ...   more...

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Gamers as Leaders

By Barbara Bray      March 11, 2008 -- 09:06 PM
Looking at the digital native, you see someone who has been part of the gaming world most of their lives. Can games help prepare them for their future? From ďThe Gamer DispositionĒ by John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas, I realized that there are multiple characteristics that can also prepare gamers to be leaders in the business and education worlds. The multiplayer online games expect users to be quick, be able to adapt and evolve as games change, and know the rules, tips, and even make the rules as they progress through this new type of social system.

Brown and Thomas share five key attributes ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  May 29, 2008 -- 01:51 PM

Education Candidate? Rethink Issues - Collaborate on Visions

By Barbara Bray      February 28, 2008 -- 10:02 AM
USA Today shared an opinion by Wendy Purlefoy about which one of the candidates is really the education candidate. She lists real issues that need to be considered including:

....candidates should answer these five questions:

  1. Fifteen percent of our nation's schools are overcrowded. As a result, teachers say they spend an inordinate amount of time policing classrooms. Do you have a plan for relieving this overcrowding?
  2. How will you ensure that children attend schools that are places of teaching and learning, not violence and crime?
  3. Teacher recruitment, retention and quality are suffering. ...   more...
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Filling the Gap

By Barbara Bray      February 24, 2008 -- 09:30 AM
Iím a baby boomer. Turning 60 this year. I used to think this was old. Now I feel like itís a new stone to turn over. Problems with getting older is mostly physical. Most of my fellow boomers are ed techies who love this stuff. They blog, comment, connect, and share maybe even more than the next generation.

Like a lot of my friends I started in the 80s buying the first desktop computers. Think I had the first laptop (weighed 20 pounds) and first Apple (cost me $4,200 then). I was so with it. Loved it. Still hooked. With the new social networking tools, Iím just like my kids ...   more...
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Saving our Kids

By Barbara Bray      February 21, 2008 -- 07:53 AM
Have you had enough? I listen and cry. What is happening in our urban schools? The dropout rate is higher than ever and these arenít stupid kids. They are smart - street smart but we dump them because they cannot pass the tests. I bet I couldnít have passed the math test when I was in high school. But thatís not the problem. Poor kids are going to be out - trying to get work - without a degree. What can they do? How can we help them?

Will Olkin wrote They Schools in the New York Times today. He quoted a teacher concerned about the status quo and not doing anything that will make a difference:

ďWe ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By jsteph  February 21, 2008 -- 09:21 AM

Meme: Passion Quilt

By Barbara Bray      February 19, 2008 -- 10:32 PM

Thanks to Barbara Cohen of Independent Thinking for tagging me for this cool Passion Quilt meme.

Directions: Find or create an image that captures what you are most passionate for kids to learn about.



I took this picture from the air of the Hayward salt ponds. What I like about this is how you can find beauty from most anywhere. Patterns on the ground make a real quilt to enjoy. The world looks different from above and now with Google Earth, students can find these patterns and leave a placemark with facts, images, videos, and even create an audio podcast. This picture is in our
eLibrary...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Andrea Hernandez  February 20, 2008 -- 06:18 AM

What happens when a language dies?

By Barbara Bray      February 11, 2008 -- 09:05 AM
Have you ever heard of the Eyak language? With the death of Marie Smith of Alaska, this aboriginal language has died. With the spread of English and suppression of native languages, more will end.

Chief Marie Smith Jones, the last fluent speaker of the Eyak language of the Alaskan Indians, died in January at her home in Anchorage. She was 89. Chief Jones worked diligently to preserve her native tongue and other indigenous Alaskan languages. She was the last person to have learned the language the traditional way, taught as a child from her parents. A tribute in the SitNews.

Her long-time ...   more...

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What is it all about anyway?

By Barbara Bray      February 9, 2008 -- 01:54 PM
I always knew my heart was focused on children. I believe that every child is gifted and special and wonderful. When they are born, they are so innocent and sweet. My first grandchild was born yesterday and I cannot even tell you the feelings I have. First I was relieved knowing the baby is healthy, then that my daughter was okay, that Cali has all of her fingers and toes and is alert. It didnít matter if the baby was a boy or girl. I was anxious, relieved, impatient to meet her, wanting to help in any way.

Meet Cali Ann (born Feb 8th)

Cali will be loved and spoiled (especially by me). She will ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Barbara  February 11, 2008 -- 11:13 AM

Do you have Social Networking Etiquette?

By Barbara Bray      February 3, 2008 -- 08:36 AM
I keep adding myself to more and more social networks. I twitter, post on Facebook, keep del.icio.us tags, connect on LinkedIn, etc. etc.  I know that my children, my nieces and nephews use Facebook daily. Watching what they and their friends post, I wonder if they realize that the world is watching. Alison Miller wrote in her blog Connecting in a Connected World her questions about Facebook and SNet-iquette:

We need to teach people about SNet-iquette (Social Network ettiquette), and the positive and negative effects of their online íbehaviourí, and how they are creating an online ídigital ...   more...
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Proposed cuts in Budget

By Barbara Bray      February 1, 2008 -- 04:39 PM
Oh no! The Federal budget is slashing education - completely eliminating educational technology. Here's a summary:
  • Reading First would be restored to $1 billion. That's the amount it received in fiscal 2007, before Congress whacked it down to $393 million.
  • Title I grants to schools districts would increase $406 million, or 2.9 percent, to $14.3 billion.
  • Special education grants to states ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Lisa Dilles  February 10, 2008 -- 01:58 PM

2 Million Minutes

By Barbara Bray      January 28, 2008 -- 11:17 PM
As I Twitter and learn, I came across Wes Fryerís blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity about a new documentary called The documentary film ďTwo Million MinutesĒ highlights stark contrasts in the educational experiences, perspectives, and expectations of high school students in the United States, China, and India. The filmís title is derived from the mathematical statistic that following eighth grade graduation, students have approximately two million minutes to spend until they graduate from high school. The filmís YouTube trailer gives a taste for its focus and main points.


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Becoming a Teacher 2.0

By Barbara Bray      January 27, 2008 -- 11:12 AM
At Educon 2.0, there are wonderful conversations that I encourage you to read, listen, and share. Wish I could have been there but have been part of the conversations via Twitter and checking out the agendas, handouts, resoures. Thanks to the conference planners, contributors, and presenters!

Konrad Glogowski from the  Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto provided resources on professional development and designing communities of practice for teachers that I wanted to share with you. I like the way you can use Voicethread as a collaborative research tool ...   more...
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Open Letter to Next President

By Barbara Bray      January 26, 2008 -- 08:43 AM
James Comer wrote this Open Letter to the Next President in this weekís edition of Education Week:

There is abundant direct and indirect evidence that students from all backgrounds can thrive in environments designed to promote their development. Given the compelling case for the developmental impact of constructive interactions between young people and the adults around them, and the fact that many school people are not adequately prepared to provide these interactions, the obvious place to begin a program aimed at effecting school improvement is in the preparation and support of future and ...   more...
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Joining Conversations Educon 2.0

By Barbara Bray      January 25, 2008 -- 08:19 AM
On Social Media Citizenship, Alicia wrote that comments are great starting points. Many of the same people are blogging and posting. We used to start our conversations at conference. In fact, I used to go to lots of conferences to network and now I twitter and read and comment on posts. Jan 25-27 Educon 2.0 is going on in Philadelphia.



I would love to be there but am not able to go. Iím going to check out whatís going on virtually. What is
Gary Stager really saying? I love when he pushes the envelope. Will Richardson talks about personal learning networks. Kevin Jarrett and Sylvia Martinez ...   more...
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Growing Up Online

By Barbara Bray      January 21, 2008 -- 11:58 AM
Tomorrow night (Tuesday, January 22) on PBS Frontline is showing "Growing Up Online," where they peer inside the world of the cyber-savvy generation through the eyes of teens and their parents, who often find themselves on opposite sides of a new digital divide. FRONTLINE producer Rachel Dretzin investigates the risks, realities and misconceptions of teenage self-expression on the World Wide Web. . Hereís a trailer:




If you watch it or see archived versions, share your comments on teens today.
   more...
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Got Pecha Kucha?

By Barbara Bray      January 19, 2008 -- 09:52 AM
Pecha Kucha (which is Japanese for "the sound of conversation") has tapped into a demand for a forum in which people can present, minus boring content. 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds for a total of 6 minutes 40 seconds. Just think of really fast-powered storytelling before the next presenter is up. This keeps presentations concise, the interest level up and gives more people the chance to present. [source]

Go to Pecha Kucha Night to see presentations going on around the world. This was designed in 2003 for designers to show their work quickly. Daniel Pink writes about Pecha Kucha in his Wired article...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Dean Shareski  April 11, 2008 -- 10:26 AM

Empathy: Making Compassionate Choices

By Barbara Bray      January 12, 2008 -- 08:33 AM
Most of us are so busy that we donít have time to think of another person and their concerns. Do you know how to tune in to another person if you donít have the time? With all that is on our plates and, especially now with all of our technology, we tend to focus on ourselves and our issues. Daniel Golemanís talk Why aren't we all Good Samaritans? from Ted.com made me think about how we learn what we do. Maybe it has alot to do with the choices we make.


Educators, as a service industry, are givers and helpers by nature. We want to make a difference. We want our children to succeed. Teachers tend to only learn what they know or what they learned. In the past six years, our focus has been on increasing student achievement scores in reading and math.

Doesnít it go deeper than that for many of the children at-risk? Children living in poverty have so many more issues to think about:
  • will I eat tonight?
  • will mom come home?
  • why did my brother have to die?
  • how can I understand math when I canít understand what the teachers are saying in English?
Society blames teachers for poor scores or the parents. Can it be more than that? We may be going into a recession and many more middle class children will be in trouble.

What will we do then?

Social networking should be about connecting and sharing. Is it about showing how many friends you have? Are these real friends? I notice on some of these sites that it is more about who connects to you, who you know. I joined Facebook when I saw you could add causes. However, very few people give.

How do we bring back compassion and really share, help, give? So some questions:
  • How do we help teachers design curriculum that builds compassionate citizens?
  • How do we encourage teachers to share and open their classroom doors?
  • How do we build community service into all grade levels?
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Trying to define community

By Barbara Bray      January 11, 2008 -- 08:00 AM
I find myself in so many different communities that I am not sure what or how you define what a community is. Maybe there are multiple types of communities depending on the purpose and shared vision of the members of that community. I created a presentation about purpose (Learning Communities for Different Purposes) and plan to keep adding to it. Pretty soon, thereíll be more co-authors adding content about different communities, purposes, etc.

Purpose is important but there are many communities that are just floundering without participation.

My family is my main community. I always touch base ...   more...
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Being Innovative

By Barbara Bray      January 10, 2008 -- 08:06 AM
Do you ever feel that you have already seen everything? Then I see what artists and animators can do with their computer and Iím amazed. Hereís what an animator (Alan Becker) created using flash and stick figures. Took him three months but he says it was worth it. Click below:



Animator vs. Animation by *alanbecker on deviantART    more...
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How does your brain interpret what it reads?

By Barbara Bray      December 30, 2007 -- 10:29 AM
I received this and found that I could read it. I was surprised. Let me know if you can read it.

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dsenoít mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Jim Siering  January 8, 2008 -- 12:18 PM

The Unlearning Curve

By Barbara Bray      December 8, 2007 -- 09:33 AM
Just read Will Richardsonís blog post "Unlearning Curve" and the 10 things to unlearn. I truncated his list so please go to his blog to read his full list. Some things from his list that you might want to think about: We need to unlearn
  • that we are the sole content experts in the classroom...

  • the premise that we know more than our kids...

  • that every student needs to learn the same content and at the same pace..

  • our fear of putting ourselves and our students ďout thereĒ ...

  • that we continually have to block and filter access to the sites and experiences they need our help to navigate.

  • the ...   more...

Comments: 1   Last Comment By Kathleen Scott Meske  January 3, 2008 -- 11:31 AM

Some fun blabbering

By Barbara Bray      December 5, 2007 -- 07:06 PM
How about Blabberizing your pictures?

Over the holidays, you might want to have some fun. How about Blabberizing your pictures? Blabberize is a free program that lets your pictures talk.

Upload a Picture for your Blabber

Generally you want to pick a picture where you can see a person, animal, or picture of someone or something facing the camera with their mouth closed. As that has gives the best results but feel free to experiment! ...   more...

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Social Networking or Self-Promotion

By Barbara Bray      November 27, 2007 -- 09:00 AM
How many of you post to your blog regularly? Do you put your blog on Technorati or have RSS? Are people commenting on your posts?

I read Steve Demboís post this morning Self-Promotion: Where do you draw the line? and it got me thinking. Why do many of the EdTech world blog?

Since funding cycles have changed, the educational technology world is struggling. There is not as much money going around for many of the same people. So Web 2.0 tools (most free) give you an opportunity to publish, share, give your opinions, comment on others, link to and from, and even embed in your blog. Because the power ...   more...
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Report says Americans are reading less

By Barbara Bray      November 19, 2007 -- 07:34 AM
The National Endowment for the Arts study "To Read or Not to Read" was just released and found that an increasing number of adults in America have not even read one book in a year. [source] Some of the findings include:
  • In 2002, only 52 percdent of Americans ages 18 to 24 read a book voluntarily, down from 59 percent in 1992.
  • Money spent on books, adjusted for inflation, dropped 14 percent from 1985 to 2005 and has fallen dramatically since mid-1990s.
  • The number ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By Kathleen Scott Meske  January 3, 2008 -- 11:34 AM

Future of the Global Student

By Barbara Bray      November 11, 2007 -- 08:30 AM
Collaboration  - always learning - rethinking how we learn and connect is important, especially today with instant information, everyone and anyone a journalist, actor, writer. So what does this mean for our students and for their future. Kim Cofino presented at the Teach IT conference in Singapore and shared her presentation on SlideShare. Curious what you think...


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Framing Change: providing a place and time to wonder

By Barbara Bray      October 29, 2007 -- 09:21 AM
Ben Wilkoff, a 7th/8th grade Language Arts teacher at Cresthill Middle School in Colorado presented Obstacles to Opportunities ďStarting From Scratch: Framing Change for All StakeholdersĒ presented at the K12 Online Conference. Ben designed a school model called The Academy of Discovery.

He shares about framing change for schools, teachers, students, administrators, and parents. If you think of school in its present form, then the thought of any change is monumental and overwhelming. He explains very clearly that you need a new framework of pedagogy and his focus at Cresthill is a singular concept ...   more...
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Importance of Critical Thinking Skills

By Barbara Bray      October 14, 2007 -- 08:37 AM
I just read "Changing the way we think about learning" article in the SF Chronicle by Linda Hammond-Darling.

One of the central lessons of No Child Left Behind is that if school sanctions are tied to test scores, the testing tail can wag the schooling dog. And a key problem for the United States is that most of our tests aren't measuring the kinds of 21st century skills we need students to acquire and that are at the core of curriculum and assessment in high-achieving countries.

While a debate rages about whether our tests should be created at the national or state level, th...   more...

Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Cheryl Vitali  October 17, 2007 -- 07:19 AM

What will learning look like in the future?

By Barbara Bray      October 3, 2007 -- 07:59 AM
I was very lucky to be invited to participate in the first convening of Innovation for the KnowledgeWorks Foundation with a very prestigious group of people from around the country. One of the goals for this convening was to develop a new vision for Professional Learning Communities in the future. The questions that kept popping up was about the future of teaching and learning.

One article we read was Why Teacher Networks (Can) Work by Tricia Niesz from Phi Delta Kappan where she talks about Communities of practice in which learning and teaching are interwoven in social networks, and someday ...   more...
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Technology and Its Impact on Society and Culture

By Barbara Bray      September 25, 2007 -- 01:20 PM

Society has always been impacted by technology. Each invention has affected how people relate to one another and how cultures have expanded or ended. Technology impacts how cities grow, where people live, and who owns what. Technologies are the reason a few people are very rich, that people are more social, and that teaching and learning is changing. We are at a crucial time in history where we as educators can make a difference in how our students interact with one another ...   more...

Comments: 17   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  October 21, 2010 -- 08:16 AM

Blogging about Yourself

By Barbara Bray      September 25, 2007 -- 09:14 AM
Konrad Glogowski shared a post "Learning to be Myself" on his blog of proximal development that I recommend teachers to read who want to blog with their students. He starts out "If education is essentially a social process, then the teacher needs to be part of the learning community, not only as its facilitator but also as one of its members."

The blog he uses with his 8th grade students is all about him and how he relates to the curriculum. The title is not just his name but something catchy and he thought about for some time. He created an avatar and description that represents him and  ...   more...
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What would you do?

By Barbara Bray      August 26, 2007 -- 11:29 AM
If you had a problem like this, how would your students handle it? Multiple choice question or authentic tasks?

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Reflecting on the Process

By Barbara Bray      July 22, 2007 -- 08:40 PM
The process of learning is more important than the culminating activity or providing the right answers. How can we connect students to the real world? How can we create a school environment that allows enough time for reflections?

Will Richardson envisions that change isnít just the ability of students to publish, but to connect, reflect, and be able to continue the life-long skill of reflection long after the class or assignment is over.  He states:

ďThrough teaching them to use these tools to publish, are we also teaching them how to use these tools to continue the learning once ...   more...

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New Learning Theory?

By Barbara Bray      July 16, 2007 -- 08:25 AM
One learning theory may not be enough for todayís kids. Schools are changing - especially public schools. I was advocating Constructivism as the theory of choice - learning for a purpose until I thought about kids today with video games. There usually isnít a product yet the learning is exponential, interactive, and collaborative. Where does that fit with pedagogy and learning theories?

Constructivism suggests that learners create knowledge as they attempt ...   more...
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Do we need teachers?

By Barbara Bray      July 8, 2007 -- 08:38 AM
This question is appearing in the blogosphere and I need to jump in.

Dean Shareski wrote The Honeymoonís Over  where the debate is on about putting technology into every childís hands. He references:
You have to read all the posts and comments (dig deep) to get the points:

Gary comments on the $100 laptop for Nigerian students:

Get schools entirely out of the computer business and give ...   more...
Comments: 4   Last Comment By Erin Elliott  August 7, 2007 -- 04:52 PM

Hidden Talent

By Barbara Bray      June 30, 2007 -- 09:11 PM
Listen! Enjoy! Paul Potts singing opera on British Idol. Amazing!

I believe that talent like this is more than a gift. Brings tears to my eyes!    more...
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Women of the Web (WoW) Podcasting

By Barbara Bray      June 26, 2007 -- 06:42 PM
The night is getting dark in a deserted convention center (at NECC) - surreal with some of the audience listening in the Second Life room and Roxanne, Janice, and I listening to the ongoing podcast as it was happening (edtechtank.com/chat). Kind of weird just sitting a few feet away trying to listen with it delayed. Members of the audience shared their highlights of NECC. Ian Jukes presentation, the panel with David Warlick, Gwen Solomon, et al, and the main points were the connections and the people. So fun! I was lucky to add something on kids and podcasting.


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Comments: 3   Last Comment By small Teresa Roebuck  January 13, 2010 -- 07:34 PM

Edubloggercon - Preconference NECC 07

By Barbara Bray      June 23, 2007 -- 01:05 PM
The Unconference met on Saturday, June 23rd. Connecting face-to-face meeting the people you read. Wow! Steve Dembo wrote on Teach42 In Retrospect
"EdubloggerCon has come and gone adn to say it was a succes would be an undedrstatement. The networking alone made it a success, but it was the conversations that are going to stick with me." 


I was only able to attend after 3pm - however, want to share the
sessions and networking that happened thanks to Steve Hargadon and so many others.

Session Block 1:

Expanding the Circle: (Steve Hargadon) Brainstormed ways to introduce educators ...   more...
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Remembering with a little humor

By Barbara Bray      June 17, 2007 -- 11:57 AM
Iím dealing with something that is so new to me and realize Iím not the only one dealing wit this. Iím kind of caught in the middle - a new middle. My father has Alzheimers and Iím at that age where I forget where I put my keys. My kids are on their own but still need us. Being a baby boomer is boomeranging so hereís a fun video on remembering.



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Comments: 1   Last Comment By lifelonglearner  June 17, 2007 -- 12:44 PM

Women in Art

By Barbara Bray      May 28, 2007 -- 07:31 AM
When I saw this video, I wanted to share it with you. Watch the eyes - listen to the music and you will be mesmerized for a few minutes.

500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art
 Artists


Have your students watch this as a prompt to discuss art history. Do you think this will engage your students? What kind of activities do you see branching from this? What kind of questions will you and your students ask?

URL of this video on YouTube and links to more work by this author
http://youtube.com/watch?v=nUDIoN-_Hxs
   more...
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Change? Future? What are we really talking about?

By Barbara Bray      May 27, 2007 -- 08:28 AM
In some classrooms around the country technology changes the way teachers interact with students.

Isnít this still using traditional methods? Okay - there are laptop classrooms with one-to-one initiatives. Students are in groups doing collaborative work. Thatís cool! But are we tapping into the way technology is changing everything else in our world?


How about looking at what students are doing now? Our college, high school, and middle school students are using social networks like MySpace and FaceBook. Iíve talked to my niece who txt msgs and has more social time in FaceBook with ...   more...
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Technology and Culture

By Barbara Bray      May 25, 2007 -- 08:53 PM
So this is the theme for my next article. Decided to brainstorm here and figured that I might get some ideas from you.

The world is smaller now than it ever has been. And flat... You can produce your own books, publish your writings, and connect with a student in India as your tutor. mmmm... culture? What does that mean now?

So more people speak English but now more people in China speak in their first language on the Internet. How do we connect with each other? Do all of our communications go through a translation program first?

With the discussion of digital immigrants vs digital natives, I started ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Andrew Reid  August 4, 2007 -- 01:34 AM

future classrooms?

By Barbara Bray      May 15, 2007 -- 10:59 AM
I was looking for information on active boards and was sent some information about multi-user multi-touch screens. Then found several presentations by Jeff Han on his multi-user technology. Too cool so have  to share:

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Are you a Change Agent?

By Barbara Bray      May 11, 2007 -- 09:00 AM
Technology specialists and coordinators are finding that their jobs are becoming tentative - even librarians are losing hold in some districts - especially in California. So what Iím seeing are more tech people in districts, regional centers, state departments around the country are finding ways to recreate new positions for themselves. Many are creating courses that are hosted on their own servers - blogging with other techies - using Web 2.0 tools. Social networking is cool! Are we using them the right way?

I have been talking ...   more...
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rethought the title

By Barbara Bray      May 7, 2007 -- 08:26 AM
I keep rethinking what learning is all about - so thought - why not change the title of this blog? I know that my focus is on professional development but I think professional development needs to change to reflect learning for students and teachers and administrators and parents and... everyone.

This digital landscape is affecting every facet of our lives especially learning. Iím putting this out there to shake things up - do we need schools? At least the schools we have today?


I read Marc Prenskyís article in Educational Leadership "Listen to the Natives" and see this with people under 25. ...   more...
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Future Set in 2015

By Barbara Bray      April 24, 2007 -- 10:11 AM
This was in the Blue Webín newsletter and shared by Linda Benafel on the techstaffdevelop listserv.

Title: Making It Happen

URL: http://epic.makingithappen.co.uk/new-master1.html

Description: Epic 2014 is the original flash online movie made by
Robin Sloan for the Museum of Media History. Set in 2014, it charts the history of the Internet, the evolving mediascape and the way news and newspapers were affected by the growth in online news. It coined the word "Googlezon" from a future merger of Google and Amazon to form the Google grid, and speaks of news wars with the Times becoming a print only ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  May 10, 2007 -- 07:07 AM

RSS as Professional Development?

By Barbara Bray      April 24, 2007 -- 08:23 AM
What does Professional Development mean to you? I was reading through different blogs on community, pd, Web 2.0, and decided that with Web 2.0, community can mean anything to you and maybe something completely different to me. So how does community fit with PD? I see how Dean Shareski explains the whole ďprofessional development via RSSĒ...   more...
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Connecting in a Flat World

By Barbara Bray      April 3, 2007 -- 07:50 AM

Two issues I would like to explore:

  1. a desire for authentic learning opportunities
  2. creating learning experiences that are engaging and fun

How do you harness the power of like-minded individuals across long distances to reinforce online training, on-site coaching, learning with engagement, ongoing participation, and encourage them to continue coming back to their online community?

How do you phase in a community-building approac...   more...

Comments: 3   Last Comment By small Linda Ullah  April 28, 2007 -- 06:25 AM

Blog about Blogging

By Barbara Bray      March 28, 2007 -- 08:09 AM
Kimberly Moritz, a high school principal from Gowanda School District, wrote a blog about blogging with students that I wanted to share with you.

Itís a mistake to ask teachers to blog with their students. It causes anxiety and worry about too many things. Teachers may worry that their own writing will be judged. They worry about inappropriate comments and linking to undesirable places and people. They also figure they donít have anything to say.

Thatís why I say ďforget blogging with your kids.Ē Blog for you, for your own learning.

What do you think?

   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Bill McGrath  April 4, 2007 -- 12:53 PM

What's really a Community?

By Barbara Bray      January 3, 2007 -- 10:27 PM
Social networks encourage people to find others via tags. What do most people do when they find others? FaceBook lets you build a list of friends. Some teens have over 800 friends listed. Are these friends that they can call on, collaborate with, share stories a real community?

There are so many cool Web 2.0 tools that let you do neat things: Digg a news article and see it go to the top of the list; view and share videos on YouTube - why watch TV anymore? - you can even embed the videos on your blog; Bloglines lets you keep tabs on any changes on other blogs. Are you thinking what Iím thinking? ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Sheri Barker  February 9, 2007 -- 08:49 AM

Online communities help me connect

By Barbara Bray      December 26, 2006 -- 09:29 AM
During the holidays, it is good to take time for yourself - maybe read - reflect. With the new year on its way, you may want to write yourself some resolutions. I do the same ones every year - diet, exercise, more time with my family. I love playing games. We played lots of Texas Hold íem, went to the movies, read, talked. Nothing like family. But here I am again, writing in my blog when the family sleeps.

I have connections with you, my online community. Something draws me to you. I find exciting resources online that I want to share. Itís cool when you share. I learn about new ways to teach ...   more...
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Defining Collaboration

By Barbara Bray      December 7, 2006 -- 08:19 AM
I came across Tom Haskinís blog Grow Change Learn and his post the four phases of collaboration. He writes that it is human nature for strangers to come together one step at a time. Some people never realize the full potential of a collaborative relationship. He mentions Web 3.0 that I wrote about in the previous post. Web 3.0 is the idea of building collaborative communities.

Read his post and please share your thoughts about collaboration.

   more...
Comments: 3   Last Comment By small Russ Knopp  December 26, 2006 -- 01:09 PM

Communities and Collaboration

By Barbara Bray      December 4, 2006 -- 09:40 PM
If people collaborate are they part of a community? Are several different types of collaborations mean building community?

There are different types of communities and collaborations. Everything seems to be based on how members of communities collaborate or if they collaborate. Some example collaborations:

  • A person starts a document in Google docs ...   more...
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Web 2.0 Features

By Barbara Bray      November 2, 2006 -- 02:40 PM
Blogs
Use
Technorati to find blogs about themes, topics, keywords. Another engine is blogpulse.com that not only lists blogs it also give the trends with how many entries that were entered on a certain day (Trend This). Many times people take quotes from your blog but they may not ask permission or leave a comment. You can search for your name and see who cites you.

Blogging is about conversations - reading what others say and then quoting others and growing knowledge together.

Wiki
pm...   more...
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Web 2.0 and Education

By Barbara Bray      October 26, 2006 -- 12:06 PM
Web 2.0 connects people and harnesses collective intelligence. There are no boundaries. It is a platform that delivers a service where customers use a specialized database. Google is a good example of Web 2.0 - much like a phone call, which happens not just on the phones at either end of the call, but on the network in between. Google happens in the space between browser and search engine and destination content server, as an enabler or middleman between the user and his or her online experience.

The Web 2.0 lesson is to "leverage customer self-service and algorithmic data management to reach ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Tonya Herron  November 1, 2006 -- 11:47 AM

What is Web 2.0?

By Barbara Bray      October 19, 2006 -- 03:07 PM
Dion HinchCliffe shared something I want to share with you: "It sounds like the Cluetrain Manifesto all over again. Well, it kinda is. Except that itís actually happening today all over the place and you can use it now (see BaseCamp, BackPack, del.icio.us, Flickr, Kiko, DropCash, Meebo, AjaxOffice, Bindows and dozens of others if youíre not sure.)" He created a visual map of Web 2.0 you may find interesting and a mashup ecosystem of Web 2.0.

Tim OíReillyís essay ďWhat Is Web 2.0.Ē offers a good explanation. He provides a ďcompactĒ definition of ďWeb 2.0Ē on his blog and goo...   more...
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Focus on Community

By Barbara Bray      September 10, 2006 -- 07:31 AM
What does community mean? How do you build an online community that is not just a social network? Why do people need an online community that is a safe environment. What do I mean by safe?

A place
  • to take risks without being judged or punished
  • to ask any type of question and not worry if it is the right or wrong question
  • where there is someone to help you - just-in-time instead of just-in-case
  • to upload materials that only the people you want can have access to them
  • where you can create different types of resources and provide different levels of access
When I first shared the ide...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Patty Palmer  September 19, 2006 -- 02:51 PM

Copyright and Online Learning Communities

By Barbara Bray      June 1, 2006 -- 09:04 AM
Copyright in education seems obvious but there are so many issues that cloud what is legal and ethical. Teachers need to consider four issues when determining if a work is allowed under the principles of fair use:
  • the purpose and character of the use,
  • the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion to be used, and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market.
Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 110 (2) of the Copyright Act (2002) referred to as the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act, provides guidance for educators.

I have worked with ...   more...
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Barbara Weintraub  August 14, 2006 -- 03:25 PM

Lesson Study Teams

By Barbara Bray      February 24, 2006 -- 12:23 PM
Have you thought of using My eCoach for Lesson Study?
More and more of you are forming collaborative teams and sharing ideas about how you would teach to this standard or how to meet this studentís learning style. The dialog is becoming so rich that I am thinking that our learning community is becoming something different than what we first thought.

What is Lesson Study?
Lesson Study is a form of professional development that breaks a tradition of isolation in education ...   more...
Comments: 3   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  December 21, 2006 -- 07:02 AM

Changing School Structure and Culture

By Barbara Bray      February 12, 2006 -- 10:26 AM
I just returned from NCCE in Portland and was thinking about a few things we discussed.

In Washington state, each high school freshman student is assigned a teacher and put on a team with 19 other freshmen where the teacher is their coach throughout their high school years to help them build their portfolio and the culminating senior project. Teachers have one meeting a month with their team of students on top of their regular teaching schedule. I talked to a few teachers from Washignton but I may not have all the information clear about this program.

The idea of each teacher being a counsel...   more...
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New Professional Learning Communities Standards

By Barbara Bray      November 11, 2005 -- 02:03 PM
My eCoach team review literature and research on Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). We needed standards for PLCs to help the eCoaches as they develop their own learning communities. We have copyrighted these and plan to include these in our standards database. However, before we include these in our database, we want to make sure we are going in the right direction. Please give us feedback or suggestions. Thanks!

Professional Learning Communities (PLC) Standards (2005)

I. Supportive Environment Ė The PLC provides an environment that supports all learners within the community.

Ia. ...   more...
Comments: 3   Last Comment By small Sheri Barker  August 4, 2006 -- 09:00 AM

Defining Professional Learning Communities (PLC)

By Barbara Bray      October 19, 2005 -- 02:34 PM
What is a PLC?

A Professional Learning Community (PLC) is comprised of people (teachers, para-professionals, administrators, and other community members) who collectively examine and collaboratively work to improve teaching practice. A PLC can but does not have to be situated in one school or district. With the ability to work online from anywhere at anytime, members of the community can connect, find others with similar interests, study and review existing teaching practice, and do action research to improve teaching and learning.

Being a teacher is challenging work and can be isolating. ...   more...
Comments: 6   Last Comment By angelica laurencon  August 9, 2010 -- 05:02 AM

Online Collaboration

By Barbara Bray      June 21, 2005 -- 03:36 AM
My eCoach Online is still a pretty new program  - however, we are being approached by different groups to build collaborative projects for teachers and students. This is pretty big! Adding students means security issues and management issues for teachers. We want to do this right so we are going slowly- planning with the help of our development partners.

We want to see teachers from different states and countries share ideas and resources - possibly co-author projects. There are online programs that provide existing collaborative projects. Many are great!

Which ones work for you?
Do ...   more...
Comments: 6   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  August 31, 2006 -- 02:41 PM

Encouraging Participation

By Barbara Bray      June 21, 2005 -- 03:22 AM
So you built an online course or have a team in My eCoach Online - how do you encourage teachers to login, share ideas, and collaborate?

We built My eCoach Online as a Professional Learning Community focusing on the coaching and mentoring model. However, many teachers are used to the traditional lecture model. Many of us were taught in a traditional lecture mode  providing a syllabus with a timeline of due dates. We only know what we know. Very few of us participated in a coaching situation during our own school situations. We did whatever our teacher asked us to do.

The coaching model ...   more...
Comments: 8   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  July 16, 2006 -- 01:53 PM

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