23 Things

I have been out of the loop and the blogosphere for awhile now. Life seemed to happen and other things took priority. This school has been busy already and I can’t believe that it is November! I am taking part in the 23 Things” class that was offered through my ISD in hopes that not only will I learn something new, but to get back on the horse and start blogging again.

MACUL 08 Opening Keynote

This morning’s opening keynote at MACUL was delivered by Mary Cullinane (marycul@microsoft.com), the director of the Innovation and Development Team for Microsoft Education and was fantastic. I know that several people have already blogged about this keynote.  She discussed human creativity and building schools for the future. She prompted a lot of thought based on “What if”? What if we understand our customers (students)? What if we were guaranteed not to fail?  What if we knew exactly what we wanted in a learning environment? What if we had resources we needed? What would we create? This really got me thinking. What would I create? What would my learning environment look like? I am sure that my walls would be more transparent and we would travel, even if virtually, everyday. I would allow my students (learners) to have more control over their environment and what they learn and how they learn. (Steve Dickie, Kevin Clark).What would you create?macul08

NECC 2008

I found out today that my proposal to present a poster session at NECC in San Antonio was accepted! I will be presenting a poster session on Global Explorers – Where Students are Making the Global Connection. The presentation will be on July 2, 2007 at 9-11 am. Hope to see everyone there!

Daniel Pink on Discovery’s Ed Tech Connect

This in from: Michigan Discovery Educator Network

Where will you be on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 7:00 pm (EDT)? Join Discovery’s Ed Tech Connect for professional development with author, Daniel Pink.

Daniel Pink, bestselling author of A WHOLE NEW MIND, will describe how three powerful economic forces are putting a premium on right-brain abilities in the workforce. He’ll describe the six artistic, empathic abilities that now matter most — and discuss how educators are beginning to surface and sharpen those abilities in students.You will not want to miss out on this opportunity. There is still time to register.

You can RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/2y6f9c TODAY!


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Teach Jeff Spanish dot com

Chris Craft from Crucial Thought and his sixth-grade students have come up with a brilliant project, called “Teach Jeff Spanish”. The students are creating videos to help teach Jeff Corwin, (and anyone else who would like to follow along) Spanish.  These motivated students have created their first episode and I have to applaud their work. Keep in mind, as you wander over to Teach Jeff Spanish, that these very motivated students created this with very little help from their teacher. YES! That’s what learning is about! My students, who are involved in a collaboration project, Global Explorers, with students from Colombia, (South America) will definitely follow this project, as we all the help we can get with our Spanish!

Fantastic job and we are anxiously waiting for the next episode!



The Fire Has Been Lit!

When school lets out for the day, children are bombarded by parents with the famous question, “What did you do in school today?” In which most children glumly reply, “Nothing.”  Well not today and not my students. My students have been taking part in my thesis research on international collaboration. The Global Explorers have been connecting and collaborating with a group of students in Bucaramanga, Colombia through podcasting and a wiki. Today these students connected on a closer level. For 1 ½ hours, 46 students in Michigan and 46 students in Colombia taught each other words in their native language, discussed authors, sports, weather, hobbies and money. Using Skype and webcams, these students had the experience of a lifetime. They talked, questioned, laughed, and cheered. They were still talking about the conversation long after the computer was shut down. In the words of one student, “My parents ask me every night at dinner about my day and what I did in school. This can’t wait until dinner. I can’t wait until I get home to tell them I talked to kids in Colombia!”

The fire has been lit!

View this montage created at One True Media
Skype Video call 11/14/07

David Warlick workshop

Today at our county-wide inservice I was able to participate in an all-day workshop with David Warlick. I will blog more about this later but here are some notes and links to check out for now. I will say this- Excellant presentation! Awesome day!

How can you effectively provide content when the walls are down?

Most of us grew up in schools that prepared us to work in straight rows, perform repetitive tasks, under close supervision

It is no longer that future for our students now. Our students no longer look at their parents and see their future.

Our culture can carry our information and communication with us

In 2003 we generated 5 exabytes of new info

5 exabytes in Library of Congress X 37000

Only 0.01% of that info is printed

We need to start teaching students to learn digitally not with pen and paper

We are preparing our students not for my future but for their future

Students are being insulted by learning in a 19th century classroom

Students of today carry conversations with them. They have tentacles that reach out to those connections.

Most info we will need in 10 yrs will be digitized. If they do not have access then it is though they cannot read.

Will students learn formal language with imspeak?

We should be amazed at students who invented this language.

We should not teach them how to write but when to use imspeak and formal language.

Wombat= waste of money, brains, and time

We look at information as a product. Something we consume.

Students see information as raw material. What can we mix it with to create new information?

Take content off of the internet and create new info.

What do you hope that person knows that empowers them to tell me what to read? What does it mean to be literate?

Students need to be prosumers of information.  We need to raise discriminating prosumers that can discriminate and tear apart info when gathering.

For the first time in history, our job as educators is to teach our students for an unknown future.

Stop integrating technology and integrate literacy.

Teach our kids how to teach themselves.

We were taught to read what was handed to us. This was literacy. Our students are reading in a global electronic library. We need to be literate in this new information environment

Find the info

Decode it

Critically evaluate it

Organize it into personal digital libraries

Arithmetic expands into employing information

We need to be effective readers and learners, as well as producers of information.

We are now able to be part of the global economy and flat world.

If all you can do is communicate in writing it will be without value if no one chooses to use it.

Writing expands into Express ideas compellingly

We see technology. Students see information.

What is it about the elements of a video game that is so compelling, that we can bring that into the classroom and our teaching?

 Handouts are found here:


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Even when I’m not there, the learning continues

As much as I would like to think that I have complete control of my life and what takes place, I know it is an illusion. I am too busy to be sick and can’t possibly schedule a day off. Most of us can’t. Last Thursday, after fighting a horrible kidney infection, I was admitted to the hospital. I had finally given in, reluctantly. Mostly, because I didn’t want to miss school and my husband was scheduled to leave for Japan on Sunday. Well, here I am and I miss my students. As I sit, reading through the home-made cards that they made, I had a great idea! Just because I am not there physically, why can’t I be there virtually? Enter my fantastic networking circle, which comprises Webcast Academy, Twitter, Second Life, Skype, and various others. I sent out a message to many people about the simplest and best way to still interact with my students while lying in a hospital bed. My friends and I decided upon UStreamTV and Slideshare. We figured the ease of producing and sharing would be easiest for those who would need to show it to my students. I am able to place the productions on my class web site, MrsLykowski, and they will be able to view them in the tech lab, on the classroom monitor, with a projector, or at home. Now some teachers I am sure, will ask, “why go to all of this trouble?” My answer? I have based my classroom on making connections and to always treasure learning experiences. I truly miss my students and the joy they bring me every day. (No. This is not the medications talking.) I can tell that since I began the Global Explorers project with my students, they are hungry and thirsty for more. They are excited about the connections we are making across the globe. Some have even downloaded Audacity at home, and played around with it. They excitedly check out our wiki, they tell everyone that their podcasts are in iTunes, and they can’t wait to learn more; do more; teach others more. Below is the first video I uploaded to my site. Now I am off to create a Slideshare about our upcoming Adventure book report. My students are waiting!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.ustream.tv/CLykowski/videos/H0PnTXpgbI9USR0GX0kdtQ" width="416" height="340" wmode="transparent" /]

Technology ADD

I think I have discovered a new disease (and what a fun one it is!). I call it Technology ADD or TADD. It occurs when your learning network has grown by leaps and bounds in a short amount of time. Symptoms to be aware of are: Mulitasking using such tools as Twitter, Skype, Bloglines, UStream, and many others. Trying to obtain as much knowledge and connections from various sources such as k12 Online Conference , and finding yourself trying to explain to people who have not been afflicted with this wonderful disease, only to have the ‘deer-in-the-headlight’ look staring at you.

Last night, I participated in several wonderful connection and learning opportunities, and at one point I felt as though I had ADD – my mind, eyes, and fingers were flying in so many different directions. David Warlick presented a fantastic Fireside Chat for k12 Online Conference. At one point there 111 people in the Elluminate room! From there, I headed over to Will Richardson’s tv channel (odd that we can now have our own channel). After that, I spent time with friend and co-presenter of Teacher Talk Webcast, Susan van Gelder on a Skype call and a practice run-through of streaming for our upcoming show next week.

All of this took place within 3 hours. WOW! The possibilities of connection still astound me. A link to the Fireside chat video has not been posted yet, but you will find the Fireside chat below.


And now off to work!

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