Thursday, December 13, 2012

State of the Curation

So I am still thinking critically about curation and it seems like there are new tools all the time.  What do they accomplish?  Have I properly maintained the tools I launched?

So let's start with the very beginning, paper.li
This newsletter was a great introduction to curation, but it was confusing. Many of these tools are still regarded as spam, but if they are maintained they can be very valuable information aggregators. If I don't want to waste time online, I will read from one of these service. Pare.li allows me to draw form sources, like lists on twitter, as well as # searches and individual twitter users. In comparative terms Paper/li has one of the broadest ranges of manually assignable inputs to the search.

After Paper.li, my attention was captured by Scoop.it.  While the Paper.li topic was just Edtech, I set up the Scoop.it to look at student engagement and BYOT.

The engaging part of scoop.it was the emphasis on pictures.  This focus pervades much of the new web 2.0 tools.  The newest one to catch my eye has been NewsMix.  Newsmix is a visual composite blog built from a designated list of up to 25 people on twitter.
I have assembled 2 of these channels.  The first is "YOUR ADE NEWS" For this channel I searched for Apple Distinguished Educators and used them as the sources.
apple distinguished educators, great ideas from apple distinguished educatorsThe ADE and GCT teacher communities are great points to start for best practices in ed tech curation. they have been identified as generous active members of the community and they have received training and support.
In each of these curation projects I have tried to create a specific focus.
The second Newsmix I set up was in support of the Palo Alto Tech Using Educators (#PATUE). This page was seeded with many of the great people I have connected with through PATUE.  So far the hardest thing about writing this post has been how much I have read from each of these sites as I am trying to grab screenshots or embed codes.  Which brings me to a bit of a sore point on Newsmix.  I can't find the embed codes, and I don't know enough to code up my own bridge.  But as you can see above, scoop.it has a high performance widget and it isn't a premium feature, it is functionality.

Another difference in functionality, as I compose this in blogger, the scoop.it widget is grinding away up there.  On the other hand the Paper.li widget is invisible and only appear when published.
Out of these 3 I like the search structure of Paper.li the best, while Scoop.it owns the widget world. Newsmix is new and does a great job of making twitter visual.
I hope that the ADE page helps me connect to members of that community, as quite frankly, I would like to be one.  The #PATUE page I hope to use as an extension of the community building around the PATUE Talk and Chat events.
While one of my friends dismisses all of this as spam, I hope to use it for good through intentionality and reflection. (learning is living)
Use the comments to weigh in, is this spam and do you hate it?


Saturday, December 8, 2012

PATUE TALK with Eric Simons




patue, palo alto technology using educators, palo alto twitter using educators, spitting distance from silicon valley, teachers and parents, teachers, parents, parents and edtech, edtech, educational technology, learning online, twitter chat, weekly conference series, professional development for teachers, professional organization for teachers

PATUE 4 12/4/12  CLACO and a web 2.0 workflow for teachers



patue, palo alto technology using educators, palo alto twitter using educators, spitting distance from silicon valley, teachers and parents, teachers, parents, parents and edtech, edtech, educational technology, learning online, twitter chat, weekly conference series, professional development for teachers, professional organization for teachers
Erin Klein on Eric Simmons


PATUE TALK: This workshop, presented by the Palo Alto Technology Using Educators on 12/4 will featured Eric Simmons, Founder of Claco.com.  Eric has been profiled by many media outlets as the AOL squatter.  Eric talked with us about his vision for Claco.com and education.  

Here is the talk as it happened! (the livestream video was better quality than the handheld)




Friday, December 7, 2012

Cake-Based Assessment

Last Thursday's (11/28) #literacies Chat explored the multitude of literacies people know and communicate with.  It was an enjoyable chat that sparked a memory for me.

I shared that my students have many choices on demonstrating mastery of content.  In our 9th grade class we read The Odyssey and we write many small essays, but you have to allow them to explore other modes of expression.  If you do it right you can really prompt some critical thought and reflection.

NOTE: in these cases cake-based assessment works because it fit the needs and matched the learning objective.

I was prompted by the discussion to dig through my video file and find the recording of Raquel discussing the 4 tier cake she constructed to discuss the interconnected narratives of William Faulkner's Light in August.  But before we get there, let's talk about another occassion of cake-based assessment.  Dr. Landers, my wonderful colleague, requires her students to read independently in addition to the assigned reading in class.  One of the options for reporting back on the independent reading was to do some interpretive baking.  Each student has to present their response to the class and discuss the critical and analytical elements. (In this case knowing your audience also includes knowing if they are allergic to peanuts or soy.)


These cakes, and giant cookie, worked will for independent reading reports.  So much of the process is joyful engagement in the act of reading and sharing about what we have read.

In my AP language and composition class we finish the year with Faulkner's Light in August.  Light in August is difficult.  The narrative structure is innovative and manifold.  I ask my students to do a creative interpretation project to help keep them invested in the challenge of building their own understanding of the text.  Here is a the cake that I was first talking about in #cakeliteracies.