Learn East 2015

In August, I attended Learn East. For the first time in a long time, I went solely as a learner. I helped a bit in the maker space with Jacob, but he did not really need any help.

Listening to Sally Ng talk about how much she loved tech and STEM and one “women in comp sci” image of a person behind a screen all day turned her off, was so instructional. One poor 20 min presentation turned her off her talent. Fortunately, she has many talents upon which she can draw.

I was able to met and chat with David Alston. For a while, we have been moving AROUD each other. We finally got a chance to chat. I think there will be some synergy here.

The new SMART Tech rep was there. When he found out I was in the building, he removed the “FOGARTY-STUDY (still spelled wrong)” from his deck.

Found out that Partners in Learning is going to do an Ed Camp 21 in Freddy soon. I wonder if Lia will be coming??

Bryan Facey and Jeff Whipple run a fantastic session. I am so luck to spend time with both of them. They are so generous to me. Here’s hoping for more in the future.



Tech in the Classroom with AEI

At the end of July, I spoke to the Atlantic Education International (AEI) conference. There were lots of principals, new teachers, veteran teachers on their way to China and other places. I spoke about tech in the classroom. It was not a how to, but rather, look at what they can do, here is why you would want to. The literacy peer-authoring vs co-authoring really hit a chord.

It is interesting that people think they are doing collaboration or critical thinking or communication, until they see other things that are happening and all of a sudden, they are not so hot after all.

We need to keep preaching and showing real classrooms doing real work to inspire.

Nureva Troove and SPAN

It was a privilege to be invited to NUREVA’s to play with their new ideation products, SPAN and their digital Portfolio software, Troove.

Screenshot (56)nureva Troove

I really like both of their products. There are some classrooms that are SOOO ready for both of them. They fit into what the school of tomorrow should look like. Large digital space to work and the ability to use digital portfolios over the lifetime of a student can help get an accurate picture of a student, not just how they perform on tests. I hope that these will have enough critical mass to be sustainable. Are teachers, report cards, standardized testing and the whole system etc… ready for such things??

What could happen if the outside community can make comments and participate in the education of a student?

It will be fun to see how it all plays out.

Wearable lights arrive at Pheasey Park, UK

Earlier in the year, the Y4 UK students from Plessey Park Elementary suggested inspired us to make wearable lights for the Dominican. We were thinking only 3D printed. Our students learned how to sew, make circuits, solder, ohms law etc…We produced a few variations on a wrist wearable light with 6-10 LED’s.

The interesting connection physically solidified the virtual network we are creating. John Howe and Tracey Winey at Preston Middle, Colorado; me at RHS in Canada and Plessey Park in the UK have been working on designing and building lights for students who cannot study after dark. These collaborations were by email, Bridgit, SKYPE, Notebook and AMP… all virtual.

I flew to Keystone Colorado for INNEdCo. John drove from Fort Collins where I gave him 3 prototypes. He kept one. A few short days later, John flew to ISTE in Phili. David Whyley also attended ISTE Philip. They both spoke about OML while they were there. John handed two RHS wearable prototypes to David. David brought them back to the UK. David delivered them to the Y4 Plessey Park kids.

In early July, the UK kids were still in session. We were on summer break. We had a final skype/SMART AMP session where the UK students showcased their colorful decorations for the wearable lights that “were still under construction”. We had some great discussion about colours, boy and girl designs, the cost of multiple colours etc… At the end, we had a surprise unveiling. The story about John and David meeting in Philadelphia was told, a box was taken out and opened, revealing two wearable prototypes ready to be decorated by the UK students. They were wide-eyed and excited, that their virtual idea had changed the minds of high school students and now was live in front of them. We are anxious to see what becomes of them in the up coming year.


Innovation in Education Colorado (InnEdCo)


SMART Invited me to speak at InnEdCo in Keystone, Colorado, June 22-25th, 2015. I spoke on “How we can Make Students Successful in a Collaborative World”. In addition to talking about how collaboration can be taught side by side with literacy and word problems, I also presented some of the One Million Lights work. We showcased SMART AMP with the Can-UK collaboration.

I re-met so many people from Fort Collins. There seems to be a connection there. There were 3 people that came up to me and said something like, “I saw you speak at SES,…” and then continue to describe my talk. It is nice to know that what I am saying seems to be memorable.

I had a wonderful 30 min early morning face to face with one of the organizers of the conference who also happens to be an important person in Fort Collins Education. I think I challenged her thinking a bit around collaboration, 1:1 devices and SMARTBoards, particularly around peer editing vs co-authorship.

I am so thankful to John and Julie Howe for coming to visit me. They had so many other things on the go, yet they drove down to see me. Thank you. In addition to reconnecting, I was able to pass him some of the wearable lights that my grade 10 students made.

Later, John went to ISTE Phili and met with David Whyley who was also at ISTE. Two great people met each other. John handed the lights to David. David took the lights back to the UK to bring our little international collaboration full circle.

What happens next is the topic of another blog entry.

PS. I won a Lifeproof case from OTTERBOX for a phone that I do not have. TIme to find a Samsung S5!!