Here Are Programs Every Classroom Should Book

December 13, 2007

Content Provider Program: New Literacy: Blogs
New Literacy: Blogs by Adora Svitak
This dynamic three part blogging program allows you to accomplish three goals: you can help your students meet state standards without sacrificing creative learning, you can enhance their career and educational prospects by helping them build constructive and …
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY
Audience: Education: Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Curriculum Director, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Title One Coordinator, Teacher, Paraprofessional, Parent, Media Specialist/Librarian, College/University, K-12 Educator, Public Library: Library Patrons

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Content Provider Program: Writing Dynamic: Writing Inspiration
Writing Dynamic: Writing Inspiration by Adora Svitak
Child author and internationally renowned speaker Adora Svitak solves the problem of “What to write?” once and for all. Adora shares her own sources of writing inspiration, and teaches students how to look for inspiration in the world around them.
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY
Audience: Education: Grade(s): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Curriculum Director, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Title One Coordinator, Teacher, Paraprofessional, Parent, College/University, Media Specialist/Librarian, K-12 Educator, Public Library: Library Patrons

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Content Provider Program: Writing Dynamic: Essay Made Easy
Writing Dynamic: Essay Made Easy by Adora Svitak
An engaging and interactive introduction to essay writing led by child author and internationally renowned speaker Adora Svitak. Comedic and dynamically visual, this program helps students make the transition to persuasive essay writing, developing the skills …
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY
Audience: Education: Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Curriculum Director, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Title One Coordinator, Teacher, Paraprofessional, Parent, College/University, Media Specialist/Librarian, K-12 Educator, Public Library: Library Patrons

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Content Provider Program: Write to Learn: Chinese American History

Write to Learn: Chinese American History by Adora Svitak
A dynamic way to engage students and create a sense of personal connection with the subject matter, the Write to Learn lesson plans teach kids how to use creative writing to process and explore social studies lessons.
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY
Audience: Education: Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Title One Coordinator, Teacher, Paraprofessional, Parent, College/University, Media Specialist/Librarian, K-12 Educator, Public Library: Library Patrons

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Content Provider Program: Write to Learn: Women’s Suffrage
Write to Learn: Women’s Suffrage by Adora Svitak
A dynamic way to engage students and create a sense of personal connection with the subject matter, the Write to Learn lesson plans teach kids how to use creative writing to process and explore social studies lessons.
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY
Audience: Education: Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Curriculum Director, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Title One Coordinator, Teacher, Paraprofessional, Parent, College/University, Media Specialist/Librarian, K-12 Educator, Public Library: Library Patrons

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Content Provider Program: Write to Learn: Child Labor

Write to Learn: Child Labor by Adora Svitak
A dynamic way to engage students and create a sense of personal connection with the subject matter, the Write to Learn lesson plans teach kids how to use creative writing to process and explore social studies lessons.
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY
Audience: Education: Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Curriculum Director, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Title One Coordinator, Teacher, College/University, Media Specialist/Librarian, K-12 Educator, Public Library: Library Patrons

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Professional Development Provider Program: IVC Content: Programs for Learning and Collaboration
(Register today to start 2008 with CILC!)

IVC Content: Programs for Learning and Collaboration (Register today to start 2008 with CILC!) by CILC Professional Development
Do you need to get your staff on board with interactive videoconferencing (IVC)? This awareness session serves a dual purpose. First, for your staff, it creates interest in IVC and its resources. Second, it provides a model from which to plan and deliver ongo…
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY
Audience: Education: All members of the organization, Public Library: All members of the organization

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NDLW Awards Update~ By The Numbers

November 5, 2007

I’m beginning to feel as though we’ve created our own version of Dancing With the Stars. While there aren’t really any “judges,” they wouldn’t count in the end anyway.  As in the show, winners of NDLW Awards are determined by the peoples’ choice.  Your vote counts!

I hope you’ve taken the time to read CILC’s NDLW Award submissions. I’ve read through them twice.  I had to, because the first time I read them—and this is the honest truth—I unabashedly cried (just like I always do when I experience or witness excellence in unexpected places).

There are 40 submissions for you to read, and, as of 11:00 a.m. EST on Monday, November 5th, there have been 1,977 views of the awards and nearly 1,500 views of the nominations page with 1,410 of you having voted for your favorite star.

Dawn Colavita is keeping the results-to-date close to her chest.  She won’t even tell me, but she does say that in some categories it’s an unbelievably tight race.

Have you read the submissions yet?  (It’s a heartwarming experience.)

Have you voted yet? (Remember— YOU are the judge.)

The Gift of Understanding in a Flattened World

October 30, 2007

International Education Week is November 12-16, 2007.

Giving students an awareness of the wider world in which they live and giving them a sense of their own role within it—while developing a respect and value for diversity—is a gift of understanding we cannot afford to withhold.

Have you ever stopped to think how doable this gift of understanding is because we have videoconference technology in so many schools today?

I did a quick search in the Collaboration Center on CILC’s Web site.  There are teachers searching for other teachers whose classes could connect to theirs for international-themed discussions.  

Here is what I found… and please click on any of the links to drill down to details.

Searched for international in Collaborations
International   I am looking for a classroom in Egypt, China, Greece, or Rome to collaborate with for a Social Studies class. I have a 6th grade classroom and would love to set up a pen pal type collaboration or just a cultural exchange of info.
Audience: Education: K-12 Educator

international videoconferances  I teach gifted and talented k-2nd grade in a tiny cotton farming community in Taft, Texas.  I do a unit on multicultural studies. I am looking for international classrooms to do videoconferances with. Please contact me at cguajardo1@taftisd.net or…
Audience: Education: Pre-K Students, Kindergarten, Grade(s): 1, 2, 3, 4

International Face-to-Face Spanish and Medical Spanish tutoring using real-time internet video  We are very excited to introduce the only service making educated and experienced Spanish tutors, who live in Central America, available to any school in the US with a broadband internet connection. There is no need for new hardware…
Audience: Education: Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, K-12 Educator, Business/Community: Business Member, Community Member, Government Agency

Debate  Our debate class would like to debate the war in Iraq with an international class (we would be interested in classes across the US). We would also be interested in discussing other debate topics of interest. Our class meets from 9:34-10:25 EST. Thank you!
Audience: Education: Grade(s): 10, 11, 12

Read Around the Planet VC Celebration  TWICE invites you to participate in a celebration of reading using video conference technology!  TWICE provides a matching service for point-to-point videoconferences between schools. Teacher matching is done based on your registration information.  Part…
Audience: Education: Kindergarten, Grade(s): 1- 12

Here are additional ways you can give your students the gift of understanding of the world around them:

 Free CILC Webinar
International Education Week is the week of November 12-16, and CILC will offer a panel of International based speakers who will explain his or her program and the various levels of involvement. Teachers are
welcome who are looking for their first step into an international experience, and teachers are welcome who are looking into their next, more involved international experience. Panelists will field teacher questions and share resources.

Mashup (Part I)

October 26, 2007

Yesterday, Roxanne Glaser wrote… Don’t know if you are tired of the Web 2.0 stuff or not…

And that got me to BlankenBlogging about whether I am or not.

Although there’s something del.icio.us in the mashup of words slashdotting their way into the avatar of my 1st Life, this convergence still makes me feel a bit Google Gray.

To be quite truthful, The Long Tail swirl of wiki widgets casting pods throughout the folksonomy of my mental web quite often gives me Adsense that IM playing DodgeBall in a Flickred 2ndLife.**

Is there an escape?

I doubt it.

And there shouldn’t be—if we are to embrace the power of human ingenuity that moves us from social silos to interlinked humans who can generate and distribute knowledge with expansive freedom to share it.

And I am of the opinion that whole new worlds are open to those who mashup the videoconferencing power of human, face-to-face social networking with the power embedded in the tools of the Web 2.0 world.

Stay tuned to read how Roxanne is pulling back the curtains to reveal the power of these new worlds.

**D.I.Tor (Digital Immigrant Translator)

Google Gray         (Anyone born before September 7, 1998)
Web 2.0                                    The Long Tail
Blog                                           wiki
del.icio.us                                widget

mashup                                    podcast
slashdot
                                   folksonomy
avatar                                       Adsense
IM                                              dodgeball
flikr                                           2nd Life 

CILC’s NDLW Awards

October 25, 2007

 Janine Lim wrote in a comment to one of my blogs: Ruth – can you explain on your blog what the last two categories of the awards are? I am not sure what fits into those categories…

I think Janine is referencing the following:

In an earlier blog I mentioned the CILC Symposium is occurring during the USDLA-sponsored National Distance Learning Week (NDLW), Nov 12-16, 2007. Through October 31, you can nominate someone or yourself for a NDLW Outstanding Service Award, which will be given to winning teachers, directors, vendors, and others working within the videoconferencing world.

Before I get to a response, here is some important info about CILC’s NDLW Awards—

      NOMINATIONS CLOSE OCTOBER 31, 2007.
          
BOOKMARK THE NOMINATIONS PAGE, BECAUSE IT’S WHERE YOU’LL VOTE FOR THE WINNERS
      VOTING OPENS NOVEMBER 1, 2007 AND CLOSES NOVEMBER 7, 2007

Here are the categories for CILC’s NDLW awards:

Award Categories

Content Providers
Collaborative Projects
Student Driven Projects
Professional Development for Educators
Support program(s) for Education (by Not-for-Profit organizations)
Support program(s) for Education (by For Profit organizations)

It’s the last two categories for which Janine asked clarification.

     Support program(s) for Education (by Not-for-Profit organizations)

Think ESC or BOCES or Region or ISD or SEGP or any other non-profit organization that has contributed vision, direction, action, or support to our professional niche. These folks should be recognized.

     Support program(s) for Education (by For Profit organizations)

Think for-profit company — a business that has donated or financed or created programs and/or services that have benefited our professional niche. These folks should be recognized.

So, move your mouse to the Award Nominations page and submit your nominee now.

Breaking Through the Crust

October 24, 2007

I’m feeling reflective today. Maybe it’s the steady drip of much needed rain that gives me license to pause and consider how far we’ve come in the past decade or so.

Just a mere 15 or so years ago, “virtual field trips through videoconferencing” was a nearly inconceivable concept. Today there are many informal educators now attached to classrooms through the magic of fiber-based videoconferencing—like astronauts coupled to their spacecraft as they work in space. Our classrooms, once isolated from learning centers in our communities, routinely connect to museums, zoos, science centers and other rich, national learning resources.

I sense a quiet but revolutionary awakening.

Vast natural resources, which are inherently engaging and interactive, are embedded in our informal education communities. Content providers from our informal education institutions are becoming a wedge, helping schools break through a time-honored crust that has us believe teachers, alone, are academically responsible for teaching our young.

Videoconferencing, a technology that connects our classrooms to the far spaces of our universe, helps us know that is not true.

Today, on the CILC Web site alone there are nearly 150 videoconferencing providers from the US, the UK, Canada and Australia—and these do not represent the total list of opportunities teachers have to engage students and enrich their minds by connecting to never before reachable destinations.

But I sit in an office on the ninth floor of a downtown building, far from the classroom where I once taught. (This is a view from my window.)

Although my view is nice, I miss watching children on the edge of their seat, their eyes sparkling with the wonder of newly discovered worlds.

I thrive on hearing stories of student engagement and would love for you to tell me your stories. What content programs have you given a star rating or a thumbs-up on the CILC website? What made your videoconferencing experience so good? How did students learn needed concepts that would not have been possible without videoconferencing technologies in your school?

So, please tell me your stories — rblanken@cilc.org. You never know when Dawn Colavita may feature you in CILC’s e-News.

Creative Geese and Right-brained Thinkers

October 19, 2007

A colleague and I recently attended the Arkansas Distance Learning Association (ARDLA) conference in Hot Springs.

Incoming ARDLA president Max Kolstad is a Network Services Lead for Arkansas Dept of Info Systems. He’s going to be a panelist for the CILC Symposium, so if you’re planning on attending, I know he’ll entertain you all the way to wisdom; otherwise, just email Max.

Distance learning in Arkansas is really beginning to take hold among K12 schools. They’re also discovering the inspiration for learning that occurs by accessing content providers, and legislative funding is being set aside for that, too. How many states can make that claim?

During conference conversations, Arkansas distance learning leaders discovered that CILC’s Content Dollar Bank is exactly what they need to manage their appropriations for content access.  You might find this useful as well.  If you want to know more, you can contact Julia Heighway, CILC’s director of content providers.

Shifting topics a bit — and you’ll need to forgive me for releasing the rubber band on the train of your thoughts here — while driving back home from the Arkansas conference, my colleague and I saw a flock of right brained geese heading south. We decided these geese were right brained because it was one of the most creative flight formations we’ve ever seen. But you know…. The geese were headed in the right direction for it being the Fall season, so I’m guessing they’ll get wherever they’re going.

Perhaps these geese out of traditional formation were providing a visual for what our classrooms need to look like to get us wherever we need to go. In a keynote address at ARDLA, the speaker mentioned Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind and his declaration that we need to shift our schooling process to produce creative, right brained thinkers.

Let me ask you….. How do you connect the dots between your work in our field of using videoconferencing and other collaborative technologies and the need for creative, right-brained thinkers moving into our workforce?

Honoring the Great Work of Kids (Part 2)

October 16, 2007

If you’re looking for ways to engage students in authentic research, presentation skills, and use of technology, then you’ll want to be involved in the 2007-2008 Kids Creating Community Content (KC3) contest.

The contest, sponsored by TANDBERG, is open to all students in grades 7-12 across the US.  As the TANDBERG spokesperson said, “This is about kids being creative and communicating local pride.”

CILC’s Bev Mattocks, the KC3 project manager, tells me that students are to research a topic in their community and develop an informational program geared toward a specified audience to educate them about their topic.

Students will then present their live videoconference to another school and a group of judges in February 2008.

Or… How about groups of kids already showing off their community?

You need to check out Stamford High School in Stamford, TX and Scott County High School in Huntsville, TN. These kids are already creating content — the epitome of what can happen in a school when there is a Whole New Mind(set) where kids learn what they need to learn from books and apply it to the communities in which they live.

Talk about authentic, creative, relevant work — it couldn’t be done like this when most of us reading this blog were in school.

Honoring the Great Work of Kids (Part 1)

October 15, 2007

Here’s an inspiring thought….

Let’s recognize the great work of kids.

In an earlier blog I mentioned the CILC Symposium is occurring during the USDLA-sponsored National Distance Learning Week (NDLW), Nov 12-16, 2007.  Through October 31, you can nominate someone or yourself for a NDLW Outstanding Service Awards, which will be given to winning teachers, directors, vendors, and others working within the videoconferencing world.

We’re good at honoring adults.

How about experiencing the remarkably and impressively creative work of kids?

Like Redmond, Washington’s Adora Svitak.

Adora Svitak With her down-to-earth charm and audacious wit, 10-year-old writer and literacy expert Adora Svitak embodies the benefits of creative learning. Adora has been teaching writing workshops since she published her first book at age seven. She has been featured on Oprah, CNN’s Young People Who Rock, NBC Nightly News, and countless other programs. Adora’s presentations feature live writing demonstrations, interactive activities, and storytelling. Her social studies workshops teach kids (and teachers) how to use writing as a creative learning tool across disciplines. Adora provides kids with a tangible and exciting example of where writing can take them.

I suggest you hurry and get in line to schedule Adora for a videoconference visit to your school.

National Distance Learning Week (NDLW)

October 10, 2007

My blogger inspiration today comes from Jan Zanetis, market manager for education with Tandberg. She is also on the board of directors of the USDLA, which is sponsoring National Distance Learning Week (NDLW), November 12-17, 2007.

The CILC Symposium, which will be anchored in Indianapolis, Indiana, November 13-14, is one of the featured NDLW events. Wow. That’s pretty cool. Especially since Tandberg is sponsoring a luncheon where John Flores, exec director of USDLA, will be addressing Symposium attendees through videoconferencing. His speech comes just before the NDLW Outstanding Service Awards ceremony where we’ll honor select contributors working in the education videoconferencing sector.

Jan tells me awards will be given in the following categories:

Content Providers
Collaborative Projects
Student Driven Projects
Professional Development for Educators
Support program(s) for Education (by Not-for-Profit organizations)
Support program(s) for Education (by For Profit organizations)

There’s still time for you to nominate a special person–even yourself, too, for that matter. That’s perfectly okay with us.

By the way, if you can’t attend the Symposium onsite, then you may attend virtually with a choice between VBrick’s streaming technology or Elluminate’s webinar application. That’s pretty cool, too.

p.s. Don’t forget to register  for the CILC Symposium. For more info, you may email Dawn Colavita at dcolavita@cilc.org.