Monday, February 25, 2008

Meme: Passion Quilt

Joyful Learning Connections

I've been double tagged for this meme by both Cathy Nelson and Connie Cossar. This was a hard one for me, I find this kind of visual thinking challenging. I wrote about my passion for educational technology in a recent blog post titled "Why I Love This Stuff." This picture captures the essence of what I was trying to say. I guess a picture is worth a 1,000 words (or at least 221).

Here are the rules:
  1. Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
  2. Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
  3. Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
  4. Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce.
I look forward to seeing the images that Jenn, Darren, Matt, Allison, and Nedra and Sabrina choose!

Image Citation: "hands across america" The Singular Achievement of Keanu Reeves' Photostream on Flickr. 18 August 2006. [] 25 Feb 2008 .

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thinking Blogger Awards

Earlier this week RashKath tagged me with a thinking blogger award:

Congratulations, you won a

The participation rules:
If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

5 blogs that make me think:
(I read a lot of blogs, so picking only 5 that make me think was hard to do. )

1. Your Not so Normal Everyday Teacher: Not only does this blog make me think, it also makes me laugh. This blogger likes "to make sarcastic and witty remarks" as well as making "honest and intelligent exchanges about current policies, experiences and changes being made in the public education system." The combination makes for a fun and thought provoking read.

2. On an E Journey with Generation Y: This is the second time I've tagged Anne with a meme, but I can't help but include her blog on this list. She writes about her experiences integrating Web 2.0 technology into her classes. She is doing some incredible things.

3. Beyond Podcasting: Susan describes her blog as "An educator's journey to ubiquitous technology in the classroom. " And herself as "a techno-geek teacher." Her posts are both thoughtful and thought provoking.

4. Not so Distant Future: After meeting Carolyn Foote in Philadelphia, I know she is a great thinker both in person and Online. Carolyn is a high school librarian in Austin Texas. She uses her blog to discuss web 2.0 tools, teaching strategies, and library research tools for educators.

5. Burnt Toast and Inside Jokes: This new student blogger has made an amazing and inspiring start. Her writing is wise and funny. As she puts it: "Musings of a teenage girl are usually stuffed full of "like"'s and "love ya!"'s... but not me!" and she is true to her word.

So there you have it, 5 fabulous bloggers. I thank them for enriching my professional life. I would also like to thank RashKath, who's blog also deserves this recognition.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Networking with

I wrote about the fabulous social bookmarking Website almost a year ago in a post titled Try Delicious, It's Yummy. I also made a screencast that shows you how to set up your account and some of the great features of Check out that blogpost or watch my YouTube screencast to learn more about the basics of

Recently, I discovered the networking feature of I've seen it there for a while, and I have people in my network, but I only just learned what you can do with it.

I've created a little screencast below that shows how to use the Networking feature of

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click to Play

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Two for Tuesday 2-12-08

1. Happy Valentines Day. In the spirit of Valentines Day, check out :
"Since August 2005, We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from a large number of weblogs. Every few minutes, the system searches the world's newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases "I feel" and "I am feeling"... The result is a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 - 20,000 new feelings per day."
The applet on this Website provides several different graphical interfaces that represent how people are feeling around the world. You can break these out by gender and age. This could be a great resource for found poetry! Darren Draper shared this on Twitter in December. I've been waiting until Valentines season to share it with you. How are you feeling?

You have to see it to understand it, so here is a quick look at the site:

2. Take a Vacation: For those of us about to be on winter break, it isn't too late get away. SideStep is a robust travel search engine that searches over 200 travel websites for the best airfares, and hotel rates. You can sort your results by, price, airline, airport, time of departure, and time of arrival. It is pretty amazing. Wishing I was heading someplace warm...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Collective Intelligence

The following occurred within a span of about 10 minutes:

kjarrett New blog post: Free, web-based forms with Google Docs! 11 hours ago

Elizabeth Davis lizbdavis Created a tech survey for my teachers (using Google Forms). Anyone willing to look at it and give me some feedback? I'll DM the link. Thanks

Wendy Drexler WendyDrexler @lizbdavis Happy to help with survey.

Anna Baralt abaralt @lizbdavis Would love to help out with your survey.

colin davitt room214 @lizbdavis I would be glad to take a look

H270 H270 @lizbdavis - I'll take a look Liz.

James Hollis jameshollis @lizbdavis I would love to review your tech survey!!!

SarahSutter edueyeview @lizbdavis Any chance I can take a look at the survey too?

Deacs84 Deacs84 @lizbdavis I'd be interested in seeing what your survey looks like. Happy to offer feedback

rashkath rashkath @lizbdavis Hi! I am interested. DM

alice barr alicebarr @lizbdavis I can look if you like

Teryl Magee teryl_magee @lizbdavis I'll take a look

Holtsman Holtsman @lizbdavis Would love to see it.

The MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (learned about this from Lisa Durff) asks the question:
How can people and computers be connected so that—collectively—they act more intelligently than any individuals, groups, or computers have ever done before?

Collectively, these educators helped me to craft a document far superior to what I could have done on my own. They live all over the country and the world (rashkath is in India). This could never have happened before Web 2.0. I feel very fortunate to live in these times.

Thank you all so much!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Two for Tuesday 2-5-08

Envisioning Schools of the Future

I continue to think about how schools might/could/should/will change to meet the needs of a 21st century global economy. This week I have come upon two interesting resources that address this question.

1. Do Schools Kill Creativity?

The first is a video of a TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson. Sir Ken asks the question: "Do Schools Kill Creativity?" He is an excellent and entertaining speaker. I highly recommend listening to his entire talk. Some things that struck me: "Creativity is as important as literacy," "If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original." Thanks to Jo McLeay for pointing me to this one (via Twitter of course;).

Tom Friedman on Education in the ‘Flat World’:
A discussion with author Daniel Pink on curiosity, passion and the politics of school reform in the global marketplace.

In this article from the February 2008 issue of School Administrator Magazine, Tom Friedman, author of
The World Is Flat, and Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, discuss the future of schools.

Here are a few quotes that stood out for me:

"...if we live in a flat world where whatever can be done will be done, guess who’s going to win? People who get the signals first, who do it before it’s done to them." - Friedman
"In a world where information was scarce, schools operated as kind of a repository of that precious resource. But now information is abundant. A school doesn’t have to harvest and distribute this scarce resource. It has to serve some other kind of function." -Pink
This last quote seems particularly appropriate for those of us voting today on Super Tuesday.
"The president has to be someone who inspires on the big issues, one who can lay out projects that really stimulate education all the way down the line. Today, the president’s got to be our chief education officer." - Friedman
What do you think? Are schools killing creativity? Are we preparing students to thrive in a world where information is abundant? If not, what can we do to change that?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Why I love this stuff

I am often asked - "How do you find time for all of this technology stuff?" "How do you keep up with it all?" My answer is I love it, and here are some of the reasons that I do.

1. It's inspiring - I read blogs, listen to podcasts and participate in discussions that inspire new ideas. They keep me thinking and questioning. They force me to synthesize and respond. They keep my mind awake.

2. It's interactive - The beauty of the Read/Write Web is that it is interactive. I can always find a discussions to contribute to. And if I ask a question, I can always find an answer from someone, via Twitter, Ning or a comment right here on my blog.

3. It's immediate - If I post a question on Twitter, I can usually get a response within minutes. It is wonderful to know that my network is out there ready to respond if I need them.

4. It's endless - There is no end to the new technology tools that I can explore Online. Sometimes this is overwhelming, but it is also comforting. I know I will never come to the end of my journey. There will always be something new to find around another corner.

5. It's real - After attending the Educon 2.0 conference and meeting so many of my Online "friends," I know that what exists in this virtual world does translate to real life. The people I met there were as interesting, knowledgeable and nice as I had hoped they would be.

What do you think? Why do you love this stuff? How do you find the time? How do you keep up with it all? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Join me on Tumbl'n Teachers

This week I discovered a Website called Tumblr which is like a mini-blog where you can share things of interest you find on the Web. This can take the form of text, a quote, a link, audio and/or video. I created my own page on Tumblr here: It isn't interactive, but you can subscribe to the feed and follow others who have Tumblr pages.

Tumblr also has a group feature, which allows you to create a group page that can be posted to by all members. @techieteacher put together a group called tumbl'n teachers and you can find it here:

If you are interested in joining the group DM me on Twitter or send me an email at