Tag Archives: tweet

Tweet For Ed Funding: Not Everything Is Free!

Yours Truly Facilitating The Indiana Team’s March To Capitol Hill

Welcome to a short midweek post dedicated to political action in education. I firmly believe that educators must proactively support technology in education. It is my hope that when students enter a school they walk into an environment that is engaging and promotes 21st Century standards along with the important core curriculum. Please read on and I invite you to help the people at ISTE as they support technology in the classroom. As always you can follow me on Twitter at (@mjgormans) and also read about free resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki. Please read and consider… Thanks – Mike

I have been a long time advocate for students and the educational needs of the classroom. At the same time I understand that budgets are limited, in fact, that is the reason for both my Blog and Wiki! Both of these publications are my attempt at making teachers aware of free and inexpensive resources. While these are important, it is a reality that hardware, infrastructure, professional development, internet access, and their maintenance to support student learning is not free. For this reason I have met with legislators in my state capitol in Indiana and I also had the opportunity to lead a state delegation to Washington, DC’s Capitol Hill last year at NECC09.  (See picture above.)

Being a member of the ISTE ESEA Reauthorization Advisory Group, I recently recieved an email from Hilary Goldmann, who is the hard working Director of Government Affairs for ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education). She reports that ISTE is asking educators to contemplate taking some necessary action in order for all schools to at least maintain the current technology programs they have in place. At the present time the 2011 federal budget eliminates funding for Enhancing Education Through Technology, or EETT, which is the only dedicated funding stream for educational technology. On Wednesday, May 12, educators, parents, administrators and students from around the country and across the world are asked to speak out to support funding for ed tech. ISTE is suggesting that you take a moment to send a tweet, write a blog, update your Facebook status, start a Ning thread, or communicate by whatever means you have access to online to voice your support for dedicated ed tech funding in the 2011 federal budget. Below are some suggestion for ways you can make a difference.

Sample short messages for Tweets and social networking: (Sample of key Legislatures  included)

  • @TomHarkin #EETT Support innovation in learning & teaching. Fund #edtech at $500m
  • @DavidObey #EETT Support innovation in learning & teaching. Fund #edtech at $500m
  • @ThadCochran #EETT Support innovation in learning & teaching. Fund #edtech at $500m
  • @RepToddTiahrt #EETT Support innovation in learning & teaching. Fund #edtech at $500m
  • Our schools need 21st century education, #EETT. Fund #edtech at $500 m
  • No funding for #edtech? No prep for 21st century. Fund #EETT at $500m
  • I support #edtech. I vote. Fund #EETT at $500m in 2011
  • As a principal/teacher/parent I know our kids need #edtech skills. Fund #EETT at $500m

Sample blog topics:

  • How has ed tech improved the way you teach?
  • How has ed tech improved the way students learn?
  • What would you do with additional ed tech funding?
  • What will your students lose if EETT funding goes away?
  • Why is it important to have up-to-date technology in classrooms?

Please take a moment to reflect and consider any action. Perhaps you desire more information. Please click here (good information for you to be aware of) for details on the 2011 ed tech funding plans. You can also read about educational technology advocacy at the ISTE site Thanks for taking the time to read and consider.  Not all of ed tech resources are free and inexpensive, but as I find them I will be sure to let you know. Thanks for your time and please consider subscribing by RSS or email! Have a wonderful week and continue that journey toward 21st century education. – Mike

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The Twitter In Google… A Wave Between The Two!

Welcome back to  a week dedicated to the Googal in Google. While Google has developed its own tool called Wave it also continues to develop features that compliment twitter. In this midweek post I share with you how Google helps you search for tweets and even find new people to follow. While Google continues to Wave its own micro blog, it also understands the importance of a Tweet. Speaking of tweet, please feel free to follow me on Twitter (@mjgormans) and I will do the same!  Now lets explore the Twitter in Google! – Mike

OK, why would you want to look at the history of a tweet?  Simple, by looking back at  tweets, users can explore any topic that people have discussed on Twitter. Perhaps you want to know how how the news broke about health care legislation in Congress, what people were saying about Justice Paul Stevens’ retirement, or perhaps the twitters happening with the release of the iPad.  You may want to replay all these tweets to gather information. Perhaps you want to look up information on a new piece of software and find great web links that better explain it. This will be possible with the new replay feature that will be available globally in English within the next couple days. For Google’s  initial release, you will be able to  explore tweets going back to February 11, 2010, and soon after, you will be able to go back as far as the very first tweet on March 21, 2006.  All you will need to do is click on Options (at the top of search results) and Updates (on the left side of search page results). You will get all of the tweets and a history timeline at the top. Move and click the  the history timeline as you wish. For those that want to see it right now , try out this special link and put in your own search term!

Google Labs can always be a lot of fun!  Today, Google announced a new lab tool called Google Follow Finder.  Once you are at the Follow Finder page just enter your  Twitter account name. This new lab tool will publish a  list of people you might be interested in following. Get other suggestions  from Google by entering other Twitter user names. If the Google Follow Finder displays someone you want to follow, just click “Follow on Twitter,” log in, and that person will be added to your following list in Twitter. Google claims that ” this integration is based on Twitter’s new @anywhere frameworks, which make it easy for any site to add Twitter functionality”.  The lists in Google Follow Finder are generated by using public following and follower lists on Twitter. The idea is pretty cool, although being a new Google Lab feature I do think there are some bugs to tweet out.

Thanks for joining me  for another look at the Googal in Google!  As always please take a moment to share with others and I invite you to follow me on Twitter (@mjgormans).  I will do the same and we can tweet each other towards new discoveries in 21st Century Learning! I also invite you to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and to also visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki,  filled with great information! Have a great week and take a moment to watch your own tweets in Google! – Mike

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I’ve Spent My Life In The Middle And There Is Not A Better Place To Be

nmsa

I have filled this posting with some great information, including a new site from the people at the census, a contest in the fine arts, and a free online curriculum about the wise use of money. This is the first of a two part blog as I network and learn at the national Middle School Conference in Indianapolis. The content I provide will cover all levels, so read on! – Mike

I have been trying to determine a way to include the National Middle School Conference – Making A World Of Difference  in this week’s 21stcenturyedtech Blog. I have the honor of presenting at this conference and  I am already  contemplating speaking at a conference that is not totally dedicated to educational technology. I know I should feel comfortable because I have had a long lasting relationship with the middle. I am well into my own middle age, I was born in the middle class, as a middle child. I have taught middle grades for over thirty years in Fort Wayne, Indiana which can be considered middle America. I will travel one hundred miles south to Indianapolis, which is in the middle of the state, and join nearly seven thousand other middle level educators as we approach the middle of another school year.

I know the experience will be far from middle. Still, I have many questions as I prepare to network with others in the middle. Will I find out that they don’t tweet? That’s really alright because I have been slow on the twitter. Will I be NINGless? I don’t think so because I have already found a great NMSA Conference Connection Page. I know both sides of my brain will be challenged as I listen to Daniel Pink discuss the half of the brain that will conquer the world. As I dig deeper into the program I discover that Alan November will be part of a spotlight session that highlights the NMSA Technology Day!  In fact, Will Dagget will bring great comfort as he discusses rigour, relevancy, and relationships. Hold on,  Rick Wormeli will be speaking about a journey into the non-linear fourth dimension. Wow, I am really starting to feel comfortable! As I look through the concurrent sessions I am seeing terms such as UDL, differentiation, 21st century skills, and multiple references to the word technology.  A glance at the main conference web page reveals an awesome reference to the National Middle School 21st Century Classroom!  I even noticed my session  entiltled  21st Century Project Based Learning – No Cost and Low Cost Investments with Rich Results for Students. I am really starting to feel comfortable since I note my wife Jane will co-present with me.  But wait,  it is not on Tech Saturday, instead it is on Friday! Presenting on a different day than Tech Day  really is alright with me since it is, after all, on the middle day of the conference. If you happen to be at the conference please stop by Friday at 2:00 PM and meet me in the middle! I am sure that this will be a conference that puts students in the middle of their learning with the facilitation of technology way above the middle.

I will be publishing my next Blog from  the NMSA09 Conference in Indianapolis. It is my intention to share best educational practices highlighted at this year’s conference. I thought I would give a quick preview by sharing some awesome information found on the National Middle School Asociation Main Home  Page. This is information that can be used at any level. To start off, take a look at the new Census In Schools Page. You will find a population counter with links for teachers, elementary kids, and teens! On the teacher page you will find a wealth of activities and lesson plans! I was amazed at the sixty second radio shows highlighting each day of the year! How about a set of 22 maps  highlighting the geographical distributional changes in the US from 1790 until 2000. Perhaps you will enjoy the lessons provided for grades k-12. For elementary kids there is a great Flash Web Site filled with fun activities. The teen site has great state facts, engaging activities, and statistics that relate educational attaintment and income. There is also material for schools and the facts for feature area provides a wealth of data for those wanting to create relevant graphing and charting opportunities.

Do you have any students interested in  the Arts? The National Middle School Association is  calling for the submission of original student artwork in the online publication Expressions from the Middle and on a poster that will be sent to more than 25,000 people worldwide. Students choose their favorite type of media to work with including oils, watercolors, charcoal, colored pencils, sculpture, computer generated graphics, or multimedia. View past years winning entries of this highly engaging contest. You will note as you look through the different years that there is not just art work, but also Podcasts; cool!

Looking for a multi-curricular unit on finances, money, and economical survival with great resources and activities? Talk about timeliness and relevance! Then check out Saving Our Futures: A Financial Responsibility Program for Young People It is an exciting online curriculum teaching young people in middle and high school  financial responsibility. It also advocates for smarter money management in the home, communitiy and government. It was developed by the Academy for Educational Development for the America’s Promise Alliance. This specific curriculum was written to be integrated with the documentary film I.O.U.S.A. Best of all it is free! What I have included is just a small sample of what can be found on the main homepage of the National Middle School Association.

Please join me for my next posting from NMSA09 in Indianapolis. If you happen to be at the conference feel free to attend my session on Friday at 2:00 PM entitled  21st Century Project Based Learning – No Cost and Low Cost Investments with Rich Results for Students. If you can’t make it to Indianapolis please join me at the 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with even more information regarding 21st Century Learning!

-Mike

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I Can Back Off My Blogging, Turn Down My Tweeting, And Even Wrap Up My Wiki, But I Can’t Wane My Wordling

wordle

I have long heard of Word Webbing, Words Diagrams, Word Art, but how about a Word Cloud? By now you may be either familiar with a Word Cloud, have googled the Weather Channel to get a better idea, or maybe have taken a look out your window to see if there really is such a thing. The concept of a Word Cloud maintains that  “If a picture paints a thousand words, then what can a thousand words paint?”  The answer of course is a Wordle. Yes, Wordles are amazing Word Clouds that can be created by all.  On a recent  internet surf I found that this Word Cloud holds the sky as the limit while providing an abundance of  sunshine for the educational setting.

So, Wordle is an application that creates Word Clouds (pictures made of words) based on the frequency of the words that are entered in the Wordle Site. A great explanation can be found at Wikipedia and Many Eyes. The University of Oxford even defines a word cloud as “Graphical representation or word frequency that presents a picture of the most common words used with those used more often displayed larger”. As I reflected on Wordle Word Clouds it occurred to me that they were a reflection in themselves. They display our very words and in a sense give an analytical look at who we are, and what we write. This is where my Wordle Addiction first began. I immediately needed to find my biography on a website and “Wordle It”. Wow, what an awesome idea, kids write a biography and Wordle their biography! My addiction did not end there. How about writing a paragraph about my favorite college football team and another on  one I despise the most. Wordle them both separately and compare, then contrast! Michigan and Ohio State provided a great lesson and it is hard to walk away without understanding the standard of compare and contrast. Imagine the possible contrasts between the Red Sox and the Yankees! My need to Wordle grew as I discovered summaries of author’s books, main ideas of textbook paragraphs, collaborative thinking of groups of people, menus from restaurants,  favorite lyrics from songs, an entire poem or ballad, descriptions of characters from books, movie summaries, and  weather reports from across the nation. I found that editorials that I agreed with made great Wordles!

While I never ran out of my own ideas I had the need to surf the internet to find how others were creating their own Wordles. I found a collection of famous and current presidential speeches . In fact, the Boston Globe published an analysis of McCain’s and Obama’s  presidential speeches.  How about a website that  provides a Wordle Quiz to guess song titles.  Take a look at these famous speeches through history as viewed through a Wordle.  You can even Wordle your Twitter as displayed at this site.  A country’s constitution may be an insightful Wordle, perhaps even two contrasting constitutions as displayed in the USA/India Wordle.  I looked hard and could not find Wordles to match ingredients found in food. Being a past science teacher I desired a Wordle  displaying the make up of a compound using the chemical equation and element word frequency. Unfortunately no such Wordle!

Which leads to using Wordle in the classroom, if you hadn’t already noticed I had started this topic. Your  imagination and creativity is the best approach, but if you need a jump start some of these websites may help. You may want to check out 20 ideas at the Clever Sheep. How about this slide presentation created by Todd Barret that discusses Thirty-eight Ways To Use Wordle.  The Wordle Users Group also has a wealth of ideas and information if you are willing to dig through the forum. These Ten Insights come from the U.K give an abundance of ideas to build on. I am excited about extending my new addiction with other past addictions. By multitasking these addictions I could super impose a Wordle over an existing graphic or picture. Think of the implications in animating your Wordle. Both of these are ideas that I will be exploring in the future on my 21centuryedtech wiki that is hosted separate from this blog. Check it out!

In the mean time start Wordling! Be sure to learn more about Wordle and how to use it at at  Many Eyes. Take a look at the video at the bottom of this posting from Teacher Tube. It is truly amazing and rewarding to come up with ideas for your own personal Wordles while you explore the many classroom applications. I have yet to see a Wordle of curriculum standards but I am sure it exists! Of course, I couldn’t resist doing a Wordle of this Blog which I shared at the top of this post. I hope you enjoyed it, and yes I will be sure to report my newly made  Wordle of this blog post to my wiki and even send out a short tweet! But first I have a new Wordle to make.

Happy Wordling!

Michael Gorman

Wordle Tutorial

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