Skyping in the Experts? Skyping out the Experts?

Chris Lehmann was interviewed yesterday on what appears to be the NEW EdTechTalk, sub-titled, 21st Century Learning Webcast — anchored now by Alex Ragone and Arvind Grover.

Principal of the soon to open, and certainly to be “something new,” high school, the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, Lehmann answered some pointed questions, such as, “What’s an old english teacher doing, leading a science focused high school?” Correction: if you met Chris, you’d swear he isn’t more than 28, but he is. The picture to the right is Chris with MIT Media Lab Director, Nicholas Negroponte.

A podcast of the interview is now available, but what I’d like to point your attention to is something that Chris mentions in one of yesterday’s Practical Theory blog entries.

Why wouldn’t we have our kids doing this? (Answer — we should have our kids doing this!)

Lehmann continues…

With Skype and some good add-on software (and a quick google search of “Record Skype Calls” found several solutions worth trying), our kids can be up and podcasting interviews in no time. When our kids are researching, wouldn’t they want to use this technology to talk to experts in the field? When they are publishing their 21st Century research projects, now they can pull in audio clips of those experts into their final presentations. What does it mean that we can partner with other schools out there to create these podcasts with these tools?

Podcast on EdTech Talk – Practical Theory

I’d like to add another angle to this. Chris’ enthusiasm about his experience leads me to wonder what students might gain from being interviewed themselves. As students complete their research papers, Hyperstudio Stacks, web sites, or any other kind of research-based information product, we should begin to refer to the young scholars as experts in that area, and offer them up for interview by other classes, in other locations. The distances could be geographic. They may also be age, where younger students in another class, use Skype to interview an older students who just completed research in an area of curricular interest.

What do you think?

technorati tags:, , ,

Blogged with Flock

I think Digg for EduBloggers is a good idea…

Just wanted to throw in my support for Will’s idea of a Digg style news collector for education bloggers.

From the “Throw it Up and See if it Sticks Deptartment” I just put together a Digg-type site over at CrispyNews specifically for those of us who are focused on the Read/Write Web and the implications for education. Here’s how I think you could use it if you bought into it…

Weblogg-ed » Digg for EdBloggers / Do We Need to Get Our Act Together?

Of course the concept is that we all become the editors of this publication. As we read the stories and believe that they are important, we can increase their ranking among all other stories by clicking the promote button. We set the headlines.

…And to be honest, this is all stemming from a bigger burr in my brain of late that has to do with the seeming randomness of all of the really great work that people in this community are starting to create. It’s just feeling like it’s all over the place, and that if we could in some way get our collective act together, we could start creating an incredibly valuable resource. I know it’s all about small pieces loosely joined, but wouldn’t it be great to point the newcomers to one spot that was a clearinghouse for all of this work? Not to mention the value it would have to us old timers in terms of bringing people in. I mean all of a sudden, it seems like everyone has a wiki, and most all of them have great intent and good content. But there’s also a lot of duplication of effort, and more importantly, dis-connection, at least that what it feels like to me.Am I wrong?

Weblogg-ed » Digg for EdBloggers / Do We Need to Get Our Act Together?

I haven’t used Digg very much, because, frankly, it’s just too much reading. But that’s the reason why this is such a good idea. There are simply too many good education bloggers out there with too many ideas for this slow reader to handle.

So, let’s Digg it.

technorati tags:

Blogged with Flock

My Top 10 05-06 School Year Posts

Our favorite Cool Cat Teacher (Vicki Davis), has challenged us to find our favorite 2005-2006 blog posting. I spent an evening in front of three episodes of The West Wing (Season 5), skimming through my school year writing, and identified a goodly number of posts that I was pretty happy about. Then culled them down to the top ten, as suggested by Cool C.

I haven’t ranked them in David Letterman style. I don’t think I could. I did, however, include the honorable mentions as Cool did. I do believe that this is a good idea. As she mentioned, Vicki’s blog continues to be hit, and I know that a lot of educators are involved in staff development on blogging, and that they are visiting the blogs of other educators. So giving folks access to what we think are our best is a good way to illustrate what we think edublogging is all about.

Please share your top ten and tag them with mytop10eduposts.

Top ten EduPosts

Honorable Mention

technorati tags:

Blogged with Flock

10 Habits from the Cool Cat Teacher…

I’m way behind on this one, though just in time for NECC06.  I just ran into a March blog from the Cool Cat Teacher (Georgia educator, Vicki Davis) and it looks like great advice for educators learning to blog this summer.  This would make a fantastic Handout.

Ten habits of bloggers that win!

Cool Cat Teacher Blog: Ten habits of bloggers that win!

Way more than 2¢ Worth

Blogged with Flock

MySpace • MyNation

MySpace now has 72 million users1. That is larger than the populations of 213 countries2. Perhaps we could deal with the social online networks thing if we thought of it for what it is — MyNation. This is their digital nation. They are citizens, and they’ve never been taught digital civics.

1 Bulik, Beth S.. “How MySpace is Like World-of-Mouth Marketing on Steroids.” AdvertisingAge. 5 Jun 2006. Crain Communications. 15 Jun 2006 <>.

2 “List of Countries by Population.” Wikipedia. 15 Jun 2006. Wikimedia Project. 15 Jun 2006 <>.

Impact of Web 2.0(TM)

I haven’t had a chance to read all of them, but this comment, from Deborah Gast, one of the attendees of yesterday blogging workshop in Chapel Hill, caught my attention.

But in our schools we make some learners teachers.
Sometimes they talk and talk.
Sometimes they show and show.
Sometimes they pass out papers.
Sometimes they test the other learners.
Sometimes they inspire the other learners to learn.
Sometimes they inspire the other learners to dream great things.
Sometimes they uninspired the other learner, even bore them.
Sometimes they forget about joy of learning.
Often they loaded down with paperwork that teaching is a second job.

Sometimes there is no conversation for an hour maybe even all day long.
Is blogging a way to start the conversations once again-QUIETLY ?

Could the teacher become a learner again?

Could the students become teachers?

Could our classrooms change so much that a school would not be a building but a community?

A school connected by conversation not walls.
A school in the world, not shut-up in crowded rooms.
A community built with learners of different ages working together on a project of intense interest to them.

A Blogging Story

I am in Chapel Hill, working with educators from the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools, and I am telling them my Podcastercon story. In summary, I presented a session at January’s Podcastercon about podcasting and education. As soon as the 90 minute session was over, I checked my aggregator and there were already three blog entries written about the session, obviously moblogged. One of the blogs included a photograph that I took during the session. First thing the next morning I am translating blog entries about the session that are written in Dutch.

So what’s happened with information in this story? [contributions from workshop attendees]

  • information was shared globally almost immediately
  • the session lasted longer than the scheduled time, through blogoshpere
  • Information was not interpreted and shared by one person, but by many, some of whom, didn’t even attend the session
  • Because the learning is a conversation, it becomes what individuals need. It’s active.
  • There’s no stopping place, constantly refreshing itself.
  • The bias and perspective of the communicator is not always obvious.
  • Learner becomes teacher and teacher becomes learner — conversation.
  • New ideas/knowledge is constructed through the conversation.

Comments are from workshop attendees, exploring how the changing shape of information that was indicated in the story impacts on what and how we teach — and how we learn.

The Great Silence has Begun

Vacation in ThailandSchool’s out for most of us. Educators across the northern hemisphere are relaxing for the first time in months, looking forward to a month or a little more of R&R, sitting by the pool in sunglasses, or taking a vacation or a fact-finding tour of Paris, London, Tokyo, or some other exotic locale that they teach about. But they aren’t blogging, and they aren’t e-mailing. It’s quiet.

I’m busy programming, doing some writing, and preparing my presentations for NECC. I also have a number of workshops and other events to keep me busy between now and then. I’m traveling up to Chapel Hill later this morning for a day-long session on blogging and the read/write web.

I suspect that NECC will be the awakening for the summer, as educators privileged to attend will be blogging the event, and virtual attendees will be reading and responding.

One problem that has been haunting me over the last few weeks is how to lasso blogging a little more firmly into the instructional endeavor, some sort of unified field theory that more clearly aligns blogging to literacy, especially to new literacy. I’m working on it, not that I’ll find anything. I keep trying to mimic Einstein and his thought experiments, but all I come up with is sun glasses and fact-finding tours of Scotland 😉

2¢ Worth!

Image Reference

w00kie, “Trading Sunglasses.” W00kie’s Photostream. 9 Mar 2005. 14 Jun 2006 <>.

Blogging a Conference

Blogging a conferenceThere are many ways that we might take NECC to new dimensions through its wireless access to the World Wide Web, especially version two of this digital space. But perhaps the simplest and most potent way is by blogging the sessions that you attend. So here are some steps and pointers for blogging a conference session. I’m just thinking off the top of my head here, so please comment with additional suggestions.

  1. Set up a blog. There are many ways to do this, but Blogger ( is probably the easiest way. Of course, there is the potential for embarrassment when people can click to other blogs from your blog page. Many educators are using James Farmer’s EduBlogs tool. I’ve recently worked up a handout on setting up an EduBlogs blog for educators. You can download it at:

  2. Even with a powerful blogging tool, it may make more sense to actually write the copy of your session blogs with a text or word processor, and then copy it into your blog. I use Mac’s Textedit, which also includes spell checking. Plus it will read your text back to you, though I don’t recommend that during the session.
  3. If you will be live-blogging (sometimes called MoBlogging or mobile blogging) its a good idea to add a shore note at the top of your blog explaining that the entry is being written live. You see, people believe that all good teachers are also good spellers, that the two go together. Of course, that ain’t so. So a note such as:

    <tt>This entry is being written in real-time, so please forgive misspellings and awkward wording.</tt>The enclosing <tt> tags cause the text to look typed, setting it apart from the rest of your entry.

  4. Don’t just blog your notes. The new web is not just about idea reporting. It’s about idea building. Type your notes on what is said and shown in the session, but also add your insights and comments. Be sure, though, that you distinguish your comments from the notes. A good way to do this is to italicize your comments. You can accomplish this by enclosing your insights with emphasis tags (<em></em>) or italics tags (<i></i>) — like this:

    idea idea idea idea <em>What a cool idea</em>

  5. Hopefully, the presenter will suggest a tag for your blogged session notes. If not, just use the last name of the presenter or first and last name if it’s <em>jones</em>. Although EduBlogs treats its categories as tags, it is still a good idea to insert tag links into your blog. If you are in one of my sessions, you would take your blog by inserting the following text at the bottom.

    Tags: <a xhref=”” mce_href=”” rel=”tag”>warlick</a> <a xhref=”” mce_href=”” rel=”tag”>necc</a> <a xhref=”″ mce_href=”″ rel=”tag”>necc06</a>Simply replace references to warlick with the last name of your presenter.

2¢ Worth!

The Next 18 Years

Kayleigh CarvinSeveral days ago, Andy Carvin blogged about the June 2nd birth of his daughter, Kayleigh. In his article, he speculated about the advances in educational technology that will likely occur while his little one is in school.

On Saturday, June 10th, my son, Martin, graduated from high school. It would be very easy for me to review the advances in educational technology that have occurred during the past 18 years — how, when he was born, I hadn’t even heard of the Internet — and now, he produces videos using technology he could wear on his belt, and broadcasts them to a global audience of his friends.

Martin Warlick Graduating from High School

The one thing that is quite likely for both Kayleigh and Martin is that they will probably live decades longer than their parents. For their sake, I hope that 18 years from now, we will not be celebrating our technological achievements as much as what we have achieved in our maturity as a society. I hope that their world will continue to change, but that the changes we most notice and applaud will be how we have learned to respect, to forgive, to be patient, to sacrifice, to value our joy and the joy of others more than our tools and toys, that we will think less about the digital bits that we can transmit around the globe and much more about the truly fundamental element that holds the universe together — Love!

2¢ worth!