A cheesy graphic I made which may be more confusing than anything else!

One of the hottest 2.0 tools being used at my schools right now is Glogster EDU (click to visit Glogster EDU and also check out my getting started handout here) In case you are wondering about "glogster," it's a digital poster-making tool and is loved by students AND teachers as a way to present information. It's flashy, easy to use and gives students the ability to really personalize their content and make something that is unique and easy to share with their peers, parents and teachers. And just to share, I learned about Glogster from @cbrannon who is an awesome science teacher at my school. Oh the power of sharing...

So how do I teach more teachers and students how to use it?
I don't...they do! You see, I spent time during a TechIn20 Session on Glogster helping a few curious folks get started with the tool. Well, over the past few weeks one of those curious 6th grade science teachers started using glogster with her students, saw the value of it and decided to help another 6th grade science teacher's class get started with it (our 6th grade is made up of 3 teams). So basically, here's what happened...One science teacher started using Glogster, taught her kids how to "glog" and used it as part of a unit in her class. After her kids proved to be proficient "gloggers," she sent them to the science class on another team (where the kids & teachers were unfamiliar w/Glogster) and they taught those kids as well as that science teacher how to "glog." That teacher (the one who learned from the students, not me) then sent her students to the 3rd team and helped them learn how to "glog." NOW that science teacher is preparing her students to teach the math teacher nextdoor how to "glog." As my boss would say, that's a great example of "force multiplication." I taught one who taught another who taught another...and you get the picture. If you don't, then check out the graphic below.

Now all 6th grade 3 teams at one of my schools have a new, fun tool in their toolbox that they can readily use! That's a great success and I applaud my awesome teachers for spreading their passion for this tool and opening up to allow the students to teach them something. Afterall, a teacher must be a life long learner, right? And what better way than learning from their students is there for a teacher to demonstrate that teachers are learners too? Also, I am finding that Glogster is a great tool for getting teachers to test the 2.0 waters and see that it's not all sharks and jellyfish! Now I just need to get this model going in all curricula across 6th, 7th and 8th grades at both of my schools. Just seeing the results from this experiment excites me and shows me the the power of teachers and students sharing as equals in what they know, what they want to learn and what they can accomplish! All of this because someone shared...

To see some of Mr. Brannon's student Glogs on Body Systems, visit his wiki here.

This is a video I saw first posted on Twitter by @chrislehmann.    Here's the 3 tweet conversation...

There's a little Twitter talk for you in case you wonder how it goes down.  

So here's the video.  It's obviously meant to bring a smile and maybe even a laugh, poking fun at the apparent differences between digital resources and physical textbooks from a student's pov.  But it says so much more.  I think this is something that teachers, especially those who aren't very comfortable or confident with embracing new technologies, could watch with their students and then follow up with a conversation.  Who knows where it might lead!?  If there is an openness and students feel that their feelings and ideas are respected, they may be able to help their teacher understand why students today consider digital resources to be a vital part of their learning.  This isn't to say that teachers who love their textbooks need to toss them out, but there does need to be an awareness that the rich digital environments where many of us learn do offer things that a textbook can't touch.  I may just pitch this video and idea to a few of my teachers and see what kind of conversations are stirred.

And one more thing...does anyone else think the textbook industry and the prices they charge for these static objects that don't even have hyperlinks is a bit crazy?  It's a racket if you ask me.

So this is my first post on my first Professional blog devoted to technology and learning (I've had a family blog for about a year). This blog is one of those things that I’ve agonized over, procrastinated on for months and basically just put off until now. I even skipped an entire day and a ½ WITHOUT TWEETING! You see, I am sitting on 999 updates (well, I was!) and I decided to make my 1000th update a link to this blog, which meant I had to get this thing going!

Actually, making the blog was the big hurdle. What should it look like? What widgets do I put on it? What do I call it? How do I edit HTML to make it work like I want it to? What links do I put on it? All those kinds of silly things that don’t really matter to anyone but me have consumed WAY to much of my time in the creation phase of this thing, yet I did get it how I want it…for now. The next hurdle I have stared at for too long is the question of what do I have to say to the edtech world that someone hasn’t already posted? There are so many AMAZINGLY BRILLIANT folks contributing to the edublogosphere that I wonder if there is room for one more voice and if I even have anything original or valuable to say? Well, I guess we will find out!

So my reflection for this post is on silencing my “tweeter” for almost 2 days! I didn’t stop reading tweets…I just refrained from sending. I was present but just couldn’t say anything and didn’t participate in the conversation. And that’s what Twitter has become for me- a giant conversation w/Giants that changes quickly, challenges deeply and consistently equips me with the best resources and ideas for doing my job better. I don’t think I realized how much I share (which is very little compared to many of those I follow) until I stopped. Replying to others, retweeting, sharing links, posting TwitPics, adding in my comments and random tweets throughout my day are things I have grown very attached to and somewhat dependent on. I think many of us start our day with Twitter. I check Tweetdeck before reading email or Google Reader. It’s one of those tools that has gone from a novelty to a necessity for me. So let’s just say, I am glad the blog is up, the silence…or should I say “twilence” is lifted and I can get back to the conversation, as well as a few things here at work that have been neglected while getting this done.

And as for this whole starting a new blog thing…

It’s sort of like getting a new car. First, you research for weeks, shop around and kick lots of tires. Next, you buy it, get the seat adjusted, position the mirrors, tune the radio and press all the buttons. Finally, you are ready to take it out for that initial drive when you are not really thinking about where you are going and instead, focusing on enjoying your new ride. But pretty soon you get settled and it becomes less about the car and more about what it’s meant to do…which is get you from one place to another. I think that’s how this blog will be…I will quit tweaking the widgets and just start using it as a place to post my thoughts, reflections, and connect with others. Only time will tell if really discover the power that this thing has and really start using it for its original purpose, which is to share and connect.