Thursday, July 19, 2007

Presentation by David Warlick: Video Games as Learning Engines

NJ Elite 07/19/07 Video Games as Learning Engines - Presenter David Warlick
We continued this morning in attending a second workshop. David Warlick presented on how video games can be used in education. He mentioned several people that discuss or write about the cutting edge of technology using the idea of gaming. He began with the definition of what is a game? He referred to Glenn Wiebe of ESSDACK definition as

NJ Elite 07/19/07

Workshop on Podcasting for Teaching and Learning - Presenter: David Marra of Apple, Inc.

This morning we attended a workshop on using podcasting in the classroom. Podcasting is used for a combination of different media elements to create projects and for the publishing the product to the world via the web. The informaation is shared, collected and then created that can be used on an Apple or PC fomat. Podcasting has become a cultural phenomena. It is a combination of an Ipod and traditional radio broadcasting. Not only can a lesson be recorded via audio and video but handouts are also avaliable using iTunes as the gathering software. On iTunes there are 90,000 podcasts available at no cost. The website for finding educational podcasts is Podcasting began in 2004 and has bloomed into a major cultural icon. Companies have used podcasting as an internal training for their employees. They are also used in higher education as an extension of the classroom presentation. One university using podcasting is Standford University. The website is There are several tools can be used for creating podcasts iMovie, iWeb, iDVD, iPhoto and GarageBand. Audacity software can be used for creating podcasts in PC devices but it is audio only. Even though the podcast is created on a Mac, it can be played back on any device. David presented that an iPod could be connected directly to a projection device using an iPod AV cable. The iPod also has a universal docking device that connects the iPod to a remote control to control the iPod. David also demonstarted how GarageBand 3.0 functions and some of the added features that can be used. The presentation was done well even though there was issues on using the Internet.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

NJELITE 2007 Conference: Summer of Learning

NJPSA/FEA/NJASCD One-Day Summer Convention Wildwood, NJ 07/17/07

Summer of Learning 2007

At the convention there was 4 main workshops. They included School Law, Teacher Leadership, Blueprints for Student Success and Differentiated Instruction. I attended the workshop of Differentiated Instruction. Willa Spicer, Jennifer Hunsinger and Tina Gordon presented on technology in differentiated instruction and how it could be incorporated within the classroom. The definition of differentiated instruction by Tomlinson is "Differentiating instruction is not an instructional strategy or a teaching model. It’s a way of thinking about teaching and learning that advocates beginning where individuals are rather than with a prescribed plan of action, which ignores student readiness, interest, and learning profile". The main focus is teaching all children to understand and finding evidence of learning. Students need to be information managers. Jennifer Hunsinger presented a powerpoint presentation with hyperlinks related to the concepts of differentiated instruction. Then Tina Gordon and the Math supervisor of Wall Township School District, Erin Embon showed a video on how differentiated instruction is implemented in Wall Township. Different teachers at different grade levels demonstrated how differentiated instruction was adapted in different subject areas by ability grouping. At the end of each teaching strategy, teachers were interviewed on what they thought about differentiated instruction and the changes they would make for the next implementation, the time and planning necessary to have a success lesson.

There was an exclusive keynote luncheon with Pedro Noguera, Ph. D. in the afternoon. He presented on "What Do Educators Need to Know to Reduce the Achivement Gap". He showed a powerpoint presentation that discussed the achievement gap and how this can be achieved. He discussed about confronting the achievement gap and the normalization of failure that is accepted in the school culture. The conditions needed to raise student achievement included shared leadership, collaboration, on-site ongoing professional development, etc. Placing the best teachers in the classroom with the lowest performance students is not the usual practice of most schools. Normally the best teachers are teaching the AP courses and teaching the high scoring students. Effective teaching strategies mentioned included simulations, Socratic seminars, project-based learning, constructivist methodology, etc.. The presentation was well received by everyone.

NJ Elite 2007

NJ Elite Wildwood, NJ 07/07

A Different World, A Different Worker

Today's presentation was done by Daniel Pink the author of "A Whole New Mind". He presented to us the concepts of Abundance, Asia and Automation. He discussed that American is a country of abundance presently compared to previous generations. He mentioned that an increase in the number of storage facilities has to do with the increase in the abundance that can be found in America. He continued about the exportation of jobs from the US to Asia. In his analysis, he mentioned that even though certain jobs may be exported still the US economy generates more employable positions than those exported. Industry leaders are looking for employees that are rounded using both right and left brain functions to perform their duties. He presented about "high concept" and "high touch". "High Concept" involves the ability to detect patterns, create artistic and emotional beauty. "High Touch" deals with having empathy for others and the ability to stretching beyond the ordinary in pursuit of purpose and meaning. Look at the whole picture rather than just a minute focus, is what is needed in the modern employee. He presented the 6 abilities that matter most. 1. design, 2. story, 3. symphony, 4. empathy, 5. play and 6. meaning. He explained each ability in detail leading to how we need to prepare students today to compete in a global society.

Daniel Pink
After his presentation there was a break. Then there was a question and answer section with Daniel Pink. After this session, there was a book signing for Daniel Pink and a reception for attendees.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Celebrate Teaching and Learning Conference in New York March 23 and 24, 2007 at the Piers 92 and 94.

I am planning to attend this conference and I intend to blog the different sessions I plan to attend. An example of the sessions I will be attending include a Panel Presentation- New Jersey: Becoming a 21st Century Schools State, The Bronx Zoo- Distance Learning Adventures, NYSUT - Multiple Intelligence Strategies, The George Lucas Educational Foundation, Best Practices, DR. Mel Levine, How Learning Needs to Work, etc. After attending an ESAC meeting at Channel 13 WNET, the conference will be quite exciting and educational. I hope to take back many practices to my school district.