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Sons and Daughters April 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — grannynannycook @ 9:44 pm

Photo: It's official. Age 6. Maturity abounds.

Wildwood by Colin Meloy cover.jpg

When we arrive
Sons & daughters
We’ll make our homes on the water
We’ll build our walls aluminum
We’ll fill our mouths with cinnamon now

These currents pull us ‘cross the border
Steady your boats
Arms to shoulder
’till tides will pull
our hull aground
Making this cold harbour now home

Take up your arms
Sons and daughters
We will arise from the bunkers
By land, by sea, by dirigible
We’ll leave our tracks untraceable now


Adjacent to lyrics: Book recommended by six year old grandson on right (abundant maturity does not run in the family). Above caption: fam foto in Portland, OR at Easter.

Because of the sunny weather, it has been very difficult to focus on class work. However, there is still lots of learning going on in grannynannycooks world. Had my first Google hangout tonight!  So, now I have learned to skype and hangout!  Watched the WebEx videos.  Interesting communication tool.  I reckon the  advantage of WebEx is the exchange can be recorded for posterity, an option I’m not sure Google hangout offers.

Kind of getting the hang of Pearl Trees.  It is similar to Diigo, but obviously with a graphic component.  Although it is easier for me to bookmark into pearl trees, not sure I comprehend the organization structure of the orchards yet.  I have little to no structure in Diigo either, but it is more linear than what I am calling the random orchardization of information I’m experiencing in Pearl Trees.

Found lots of good rubric models thanks to a suggestion from Tomas in the March 28 WebEx, so am trying to use the MatSu models he mentioned.  Still fine tuning Assignment 3, but am feeling more comfortable going forth with it.


Unplugged April 9, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — grannynannycook @ 10:00 pm
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Been unplugged for a while, in Tennessee with the Amish.  Always a mind boggler, living with no modern conveniences – NONE.  Similar to camping with a permanent roof overhead, perhaps.  The Amish education process is fascinating.  German is the language of the family.  Children speak only German until they attend school, where they learn to speak English.  Schools, as with all aspects of Amish life, have no electricity. Formal education stops at Grade 8.  No special programs and each child carries a lunch to school.  “Because the Amish lifestyle is a deliberate effort to separate from the world and maintain self sufficiency, they believe that linking their homes to electrical wires would constitute a connection with the world and would violate the Bible’s instruction not to be conformed with the world. This decision protects the Amish community from outside influences which would come from radio, television and the Internet.”

When I did return to the real world in Washington State with brief access to internet, struggled with the Pearltrees on the ipad.  Just found the ipad tutorial today, now that I’m back to a windows machine!  Am sad I missed the WebEx meeting.  Have identified a math standard for project. Need to narrow down an English standard also.  Will probably work solo to not hold anyone back.  Plan to diligently work on rubric as well as pre and post assessment.

Helped a daughter move to Oregon.  Even if there had been WI-FI, neither of us had time to use it! Finally, spent a couple days in Angoon.  Didn’t get to check out the technology at the schools, but the wonderful local folks I spent time with were certainly part of the head down society: cell phones galore and in constant use.


Ring, ring: the learning process March 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — grannynannycook @ 11:06 pm
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pew process

The complete report can be found at How Teens Do Research in the Digital World, or highlights found at Library Journal’s Infodocket


Ahhh, the video game debate goes on and on and on and on March 5, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — grannynannycook @ 12:45 am
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To play or not to play is not the question.  Please visit this storify link for the latest and greatest from grannynannycook.

Grannynannycook Toots the Video Game Horn

And for the grand finale:  Gamifying Education


Augmented Reality (AR) this week’s love interest March 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — grannynannycook @ 10:44 am
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As a school librarian, AR meant Accelerated Reader.  More recently, in techno terms, it is an acronym for Augmented Reality.  In my brain, the word augmented causes dissonance.  Sometimes my twisted mind reads it argumentative reality.  Go figure.  AR piqued my interest about a month ago while perusing the Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) 2013 conference program.  Looking up info about it was like opening a can of worms.  There are a lot of technical descriptions of how AR works, involving terms like triggering and layers.  After attending the ASTE conference in Anchorage and experiencing AR personally, here is the way I fit it into my schema.

Augment means extra.   In context, AR means adding a little extra to what you are actually viewing.  At the conference, there was an art “gallery”/ bulletin boards in a communal area.  The displayed art was from students all over Alaska.  It could be viewed with extra media added by downloading the AURASMA app on an ipad or iphone (maybe other devices?).  There were several Alaska high school students on hand for most of the four day conference to help explain AR to not so techie people like me.

First they helped me download the free AURASMA app, which helps onlookers view the extra stuff associated with each artists work.  Once in the app, they helped me find Jason Ohler’s “channel” (collection of images of all the art in the gallery at the conference).  Next, they showed me how to use the app which matches the images with media stored on a cloud somewhere.  Upon opening the app, four corners appear on the screen like on a digital camera window, or a QR reader.  Point the device at a piece of art so it fits within the guides and the app locates the extra stuff which matches the image.   For example, pointing the viewer towards a painting of a bird might bring up information on the bird by which the student art was inspired.  Another drawing revealed a video played in a fast speed documenting the creation of the piece.

Essentially, students created the art, students created the extra media, Dr. Ohler created the AR connections to view the two media together.  The students created and submitted two files, (1) photos of their art and (2) the extra stuff (media files) they wanted to associate with their work,  and Ohler made them accessible together with Aurasma.

There was another AR gallery at the conference which required a different app, LAYAR.  However, it would not download on my antiquated iphone (yes am trying to update it still).  When I asked Dr. Ohler why he chose AURASMA instead of LAYAR, he said because the tech support was awesome, very collaborative folks, and it was free!

Here are a few resources and some technical lingo, explanations, and applications for AR in education.  Of course, you can always look it up on Wikipedia.

Many AR links eventyally lead to the Google Glass Project.  This link is a quick video of some google glass basics.  This “what you need to know” about google glass article will be helpful in understanding the concept. In addition, it explains the difference between google goggles (an app) and google glass (device/hardware).   A good question to ask is will your students soon be wearing google glasses?  Finally, a practical application for google glasses for those of us who have to take an airplane to get away.

In closing, it is important to remind ourselves that technology is the tool to facilitate learning.  This link is a summary of Why It’s Time To Focus On Skills (Not Just Cool Tools) .

P.S. By the time this post was finished, so was the update to the iphone, so all’s well: iOS 6.1.2.  Now I can get the Costco app. ♥


Exploring on the diffimooc Highway February 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — grannynannycook @ 12:28 am
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To differentiate the process is HOW to teach the content which has been differentiated (first diffimooc module).  Jennipher Willoughby describes it like this: the processes and techniques used to help make sense of a given topic.  Here are her suggestions for developing strategies for differentiating instruction based on process:

  • Provide access to a variety of materials which target different learning preferences and reading abilities.
  • Develop activities that target auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners.
  • Establish stations for inquiry-based, independent learning activities.
  • Create activities that vary in level of complexity and degree of abstract thinking required.
  • Use flexible grouping to group and regroup students based on factors including content, ability, and assessment results.

Specific Ways teachers can differentiate the process are:

  • activity choice boards
  • tiered activities
  • multi-level learning
  • center tasks
  • similar readiness groups,
  • choice in group work,
  • varied journal prompts,
  • mixed readiness groups with targeted roles for students

Some of the above ways to differentiate how we teach (the process) are elaborated in the Annotated List of Differentiation Strategies.  In the wiki assignment, our group incorporated some of the strategies in our group project lessons. Dr. Graham suggested the On Target site which I really like. Over the years, many of these strategies have been added to my personal teaching bag of tricks.  I learned many of them in what was called CRISS (CReating Independence through Student-owned Strategies) when I began teaching in Montana years ago.  Many other wonderful strategies are elaborated upon in Section 3 at this site:  are listed in section three of this journal article: CLASSROOM STRATEGIES AND TOOLS FOR DIFFERENTIATING INSTRUCTION IN THE ESL CLASSROOM

Here is a graphic based on Tomlinson’s (strategies at bottom)work:


Lori’s Learning Log for Module One: Differentiating the Classroom Environment through Technology in the #diffimooc. February 19, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — grannynannycook @ 11:40 am
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Thus far, she has learned:

  • What a MOOC is
  • A little bit about tagging and sharing
  • About the following tools for teacher productivity and managing student progress: edmodo, dropbox, evernote, moodle,
  • About the wonderful universe of cloud tools.
  • About the plethora of options for younger students to use ipads for everything educational
  • How To:
    • How to form a group using Google group
    • How to use google reader to read updated shared information
    • How to create and maintain a blog
    • How to create a video (and about reflector)
    • How to tweet and use Tweedeck to track the whole mess
    • How to use livetext for submitting assignments and receiving feedback
    • How to use diigo
    • How to use wikispaces (wikis)
    • How to locate learning style inventory online instruments

Am I able to put all this together to improve instruction and create successful differentiated learning opportunities for students? Yes, with practice.

How I would implement these tools to allow students to self-assess, to set and track goals, to analyze student differences, and to manage formative and summative assessment, have been elaborated on in this wiki page.


Clouds February 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — grannynannycook @ 10:17 am
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I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Written by Joni Mitchell

Cloud illusions: using the imagination to envision cloud dragons, dogs, elephants, faces. Now we imagine apps in clouds, yikes!  My first “cloud” search returned this result: cloud manufacturing.  What?!  How to make clouds was part of the first grade science curriculum when my teaching career began many years ago.   Of course info on cloud manufacturing sent me off on a cybermethodolgy tangent.  Then, the morning news sent me down another path researching cyber warfare: Cloud Computing Brings Cyber Warfare and Cyber Attacks.

Finally, after all my curiosities were satiated, it was time to focus on the task at hand, not clouds, but the tools therein, for managing and delivering feedback to students. Some suggestions came from the twitter sessions:

  • “Show Me app is a cloud app. Students and teachers share video tutorials. I use it for formative assessments in math religiously.” Chris Carlson @thelearningcube.
  • Also looked at Voice Thread as per the tweet suggestions of the same night (Thursday, 2/7)
  • was suggested by another diffimoocher.
  • Learned about screenshots (cmd-shift-3 or cmd-shift 4 to select what you want to screen shoot on a mac) via tweets from Colin and Chip, and subsequently how to insert the shots into Word Docs.
  • Reflector app was referred to, but have not investigated it yet, although I think I know what it does.

Looking at other sites and suggestions from Dr. Graham’s resources, I learned how some students use Evernote in this wonderful summary:

This is what a day looks like … I use Evernote to review my notes before going to class. At class, I take notes. If there is a paper handout, I snap a photo of it during class and annotate it with Penultimate or Skitch, then save it to Evernote. If the professor is saying or drawing something that is specifically important, I would record audio or snap a photo respectively. When I get home, I may read some articles in Flipboard, and then save them into my Evernote notebook that fits the subject. I might watch a video on Khan Academy and take screenshots of important moments in the video. Afterwards, I will take notes on the video and insert those screenshots for visual memory. In addition to all of this, I keep all my files in Evernote. All of my paper documents, I scan at home right into Evernote. All of my digital docs are always in Evernote. So I have one place to search for everything. Great!

Besides these suggestions, I looked at the offerings for the cloud by Dell, Microsoft, Apple icloud (of course), Lenovo, AWS (Amazon Web Service offers a cloud too), Adobe, and of course Google.

Here’s what I gathered into my learning nest from the #diffimooc Connectivist Daily:

Bon Stewart defines my circuitous learning path so well:

Part of the problem is filtering: I’ve realized recently that in my dissertation work I’ve failed, so far, to build a robust framework through which I can filter the seven hundred vaguely-related-to-the-Internet-and-learning-and-identities ideas that I encounter out here every day in my brilliant network. I meander in circles, fumbling to re-word and re-work things, trying to translate or adapt concepts I encounter and figure out whether they fit into the big picture of what we’re doing out here in this world of networked practice. Sometimes they do. Often they are rabbit holes. Seldom can I tell the difference in advance.

I read a powerful blog post on Technological determinism, much of which I could relate to.  Managed to fit the concept into my schema by summarizing:

Bon Stewart, the author, purports that determinists believe technology gives us the solutions, not the users. Stewart refutes the determinist concept as faulty, reasoning it is the human connections enabled by technology that gives us solutions, not, for example, the app itself.  Says the author, it is important that we “being able to recognize technological determinism and address it directly might give those of us who find value in networked connections and connected learning an important tool for building better conversations about this, and therefore better connections.”

Went to check out a link from #etmooc Erin about Wordle.  Exceeded my computer knowledge when a pop-up said I had to have Java, so I stopped.   Without spending hours and hours, I tried to figure out how to use the blog post option in Microsoft Word, but gave up on this and went back to plan A: paste a doc into new post.  I’m such a wimpy techie.

Took a look at the Best Ipad Apps for Classroom Video Production suggestions, and book marked them for future reference.

Because I’m not much for the being center of attention, don’t like to speak before crowds, don’t like to have my picture taken, much less broadcast, and I’m sure my thoughts will really have no effect on the universe, I’m not sure I have the personality for being a blogger.  Hoping to find some empathy at this site, I make them blog, but do they want to? , but did not.  However, the rhizomatic learning twisted around and around resulting in gathering some ideas to effectively use blogs with students.  A comment from another struck a chord regarding connectivist learning and moocs:  I am not just learning HOW to connect by WHY connect.  Next link took me to a wonderful essay, Let’s Stop Talking about Teaching with Technology, and Start Talking about Teaching, where I studied this graphic and stellar gem of wisdom:

The basic work of teaching has not changed. Teachers still collaborate, still communicate, still find and share resources, still manage student behavior, still deliver content, and still assess students.

The difference is that we now have more tools and resources to improve our efficiency.

Look back at those six tasks that teachers do. The basic work of teaching has not changed. Teachers still collaborate, still communicate, still find and share resources, still manage student behavior, still deliver content, and still assess students.The difference is that we now have more tools and resources to improve our efficiency.
  1. Cloud computing is nothing more than finding a more efficient way to collaborate with students and staff
  2. Content managements systems are nothing more than finding a more efficient way to communicate with students and parents
  3. Personal learning networks are nothing more than finding a more efficient way to find and share resources
  4. Behavior management software is nothing more than finding a more efficient way to give formative feedback of soft skills and track student behavior
  5. Flipped classrooms are nothing more than finding a more efficient way to deliver direct content
  6. Electronic portfolios and digital quizzes are nothing more than finding a more efficient way to assess student knowledge

From the #diffimooc, I really value the reflective learning graphic from Barbra D.  Somehow I got really off task with this brilliant philosophical post and subsequent links.  .

Am I connected with the above people?  Not really.  Am I learning from them? Absolutely.  Ultimately, will I use the cloud resources the district uses?  Probably.  Why?  Even though I believe it is better to teach five ways to communicate one thought than one way to communicate five thoughts, standardizing for students and parents, simplifies the task of being a connected learning community.


Moocluk Cognitive dissonance February 5, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — grannynannycook @ 10:13 am
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After reading the MoocGuide‘s 5 key challenges for moocs, please read the article below.

  1. It feels chaotic as participants create their own content
  2. It demands digital literacy
  3. It demands time and effort from the participants
  4. It is organic, which means the course will take on its own trajectory (you have got to let go).
  5. As a participant you need to be able to self-regulate your learning and possibly give yourself a learning goal to achieve.

Coursera MOOC overwhelming


Part 1: Kardashev’s Crystal Ball February 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — grannynannycook @ 10:02 pm
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Today’s meanderings brought this to the frontal lobes. Check out this scale, then look at the tech trends.

The Kardashev scale is a method of measuring a civilization’s level of technological advancement, based on the amount of energy a civilization is able to utilize.  More on this concept later!

Ten Breakthrough Technologies for 2012  These are the 10 most important technological milestones reached over the previous 12 months. To compile the list, the editors of MIT Technology Review select the technologies we believe will have the greatest impact on the shape of innovation in years to come. This impact can take very different forms, but in all cases, these are breakthroughs with the potential to transform the world.



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