Open Online Experience Registration Begins

This year has been the year of MOOCs for me, and it seems the rest of the world. I started with DNLE at Stanford, the first MOOC I actually finished. (My first MOOC was edfutures with Dave Cormier in 2010 but I kind of petered out after 6 weeks)

In September I started working with Alec Couros and his many co-conspirator on #etmooc. I learned a lot about designing a connectivist MOOC. I put that learning to work right away in designing the Open Online Experience (#OOE13).

Over the past month or so I and 40 other educators have worked hard to develop OOE13. OOE13 is a 10 month course starting in September 2013 and ending in May 2014. There are two main goals of OOE13. The first is to help educators learn and develop the skills necessary to integrate technology into the classroom. The second is to help educators create and nurture connections that will continue through and beyond the experience.

The experience is specifically designed to parallel the school year. Which at first seems like a very long course, but in reality is a short 9 week course stretched out to allow busy working educators the time necessary to explore each topic without putting undue burden on their lives. We also hope it will become a theme for some groups as they work together during the year. We hope you will join us during the journey.

It isn’t necessary to register for the course, everything should flow through our wiki (, but to get the full effect we ask you to register here, or here.

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Openspokes How I Learn

Second week of Openspkes vlog and already I forgot what day I’m supposed to post. Ah well life goes on. I’m posting here on the correct day.


This week’s topic was “How do you learn” Surprisingly enough I actually can do quite well in the traditional school system. If you tell me what you want me to know and where to find the information i can do that pretty easily. I never did start learning the skills of self directed learning until my late 30’s or early 40;s. I had a whole lot of stuff to unlearn, I’m still working on it actually. I get a bit better each day.

Etmooc helped a lot. Discovering that I didn’t have to learn everything, but should (heavily emphasis on should) pick a focus and dive deeply into the learning. I’m hoping to share my newfound knowledge with my new project OOE. More on that later. First my video.



Well it happened, our school board approved our one-to-one technology plan.  As part of that plan I have proposed a yearlong edtech professional development experience.

 My professional development plan for the 2013-2014 school year is based on what we are calling an Open Online Experience (#OOE go ahead say it out loud). Basically I am taking #etmooc and stretching it out over the 10 month school year. This will allow my teachers the opportunity to to grow together during the year as they adjust to a one to one environment without putting too much extra work on their shoulders.

 Overview of the Experience:

This course provides a rich, immersive experience into the study and use of educational technology in teaching & learning.


September – Topic 1 Welcome Event & Orientation to working and learning in a blended environment

October – Topic 2 Connected Learning – Tools, Processes & Pedagogy

November – Topic 3 Digital Citizenship – Identity, Footprint

December/January – Topic 4 Digital Literacy – Information, Memes & Attention

 Second semester topics

 February – Topic 5 Content Curation – Using what is there

March – Topic 6 Digital Storytelling – Multimedia, Remixes & Mashups

April – Topic 7 The Open Movement – Open Access, OERs & Future of Ed.

May – Topic 8 Celebration – Final projects plans for the future

 A key ingredient to this experience is connecting to a wider network of educators from around the world. It is my hope that many of the educators who participated in #etmooc, now and in any future iterations, will also be participants, co-learners, and mentors here in #OOE.

 For those who are interested I have created (read stole from #etmooc) a short survey to gather information from interested parties. Please feel free to share this survey with anyone whom you think would be interested. I will contact you again before August.

 For anyone interested in helping to organize this experience please leave a comment below or email me at dendari AT gmail DOT com.  You can also search for and apply to join the Open Online Experience Planning Community on Google+.

(edit updated to the correct version of the registration forms)

ICE13 Reflections

I’m getting pretty sick of Facebook. I come home from work and find myself spending too much time reading cutesy sayings and memes. So it was a surprise that after a full day at ICE13 and getting home after dinner I completely forgot to check Facebook. Not, an I’ll check it later after playing with the kids. I just completely forgot. The day actually didn’t seem like it was going to go all that well. I missed most of the morning Keynote (Wesley Fryer) because of traffic and my own late start. Then I spent most of the time there trying to get connected and orientating myself. It wasn’t until after my first session started that I finally broke down and asked for help. I just handed my computer to a guy with a red shirt (got PLN official tech service personnel)  he connected me and handed it back. Literally, the only word said during the entire exchange was thank you.

Moving at the Speed of Creativity

Connected and ready to learn I finally started paying attention to the session. Embracing Failure by Diana Laufenberg. I missed the tinyurl she put up, but here are three different places she seems to have placed resources for this talk. Mentor Mob, Word Press, Wiki. Takeaways (not necessarily what she said, but what I understood):

  • Lessons learned from success are fleeting, but lessons learned from failure last a lifetime – paraphrase from a NASA quote.
  • Honda is proud of their failures because it means they are pushing the edge.
  • Students should be taught to celebrate failure instead of trying to hide it.
    • Her favorite engineering class would cheer when someone failed (in a good way not a mean way)

What we can do in our schools?

Diana Laufenberg


  • Work with students to build a mindset and skill set to be resilient to failure
  • Create a culture that is less about finding blame and more keyed towards praise

What to watch out for:

  • When our top teachers stop learning
  • Critical indicators of roadblocks
    • not communicating on same wavelengths etc…
  • People who drain us
  • Placing blame on outside forces

Lunch Keynote with Scott MCleod

Personalization or Individualization

Personalization – giving students a personal map leading to the point we want them to go. For example an adaptive computer program that pretests students then gives them appropriate problems based on their level of knowledge.  Ending when they reach mastery of the goal set by the programmers. Individualization – Allowing students to decide at least one of the four negotiables of student learning from Peter Pappas  

  1. Content
  2. Process
  3. Product
  4. Evaluation

Interestingly enough I was in a workshop the next day about Illinois Shared Learning Environment and that was all about personalizing education, not individualization of education. Scott did talk about the SAMR model of technology adoption.

  1. Substitution
  2. Augmentation
  3. Modification
  4. Redefinition

With that in mind I wonder if it is necessary for the majority of public education to make the step of personalization of education before we can as a group move to individualization? After lunch was a bit of a break and then Scott Moderated a

technology is a given not a debate

A slide from the panel

panel on leadership. First suggestion was that we are getting better at professional development for teachers, but we are forgetting about principals.

If we give every student a device doesn’t that mean we they should use it? Scott Meech so Scott Mcleod followed up with, “Can a teacher be a good teacher without technology?” Which of course was slightly misunderstood as can a lesson be good without technology, but in the end the consensus became that teachers should not have a choice. They must incorporate technology , but it is not necessary to force the use of technology. Twitter of course had to join the discussion CLOUDUCATION_: @dendariRelevant post from Scott McLeod: Does this happen in any other sector? Should teachers get the right to refuse to use technology? An unqualified no. Some other random thoughts from the session:

  • We wrote a responsible use policy and not an acceptable use policy.
  • Discussion of technology use was the big conversation of the board in the first year. Second year the conversation was about workflow.
  • Use your network to get an idea of what technology might be suitable for use in your school. Don’t go wandering around the vendor hall and let them tell you what you need.
  • Social media does not cause problems it reveals them!!!


I was given the opportunity to return using my boss’ registration. Over breakfast I got to talking, this is very unusual because I never talk to strangers, and missed the first session. Beth Grafton, who would later present Using Technology in an Inclusion Classroom, was very interesting. Soon our table mate, Brendan, (how cool is that same name and all) asked a few questions. Something like two hours later we finally broke up and went our separate ways. I did go to see Beth’s session later in the afternoon, but it turns out I had heard the gist of it while she was talking to Brendan. I think it amazed some teachers how she could pull up the revision history of a Google Document and show in detail how she mentored a student from outline, to topic sentences, to paragraphs,  and finally a finished paper. It amazed me how well her students responded when she gave them freedom to choose (al la Peter Pappas) and they responded. They responded so well in fact, that one regular ed teacher couldn’t  believe her student was capable of turning in the work he did turn in. In between seeing Beth twice I stopped by the ISLE session. Here district 87 and ISBE are working on a virtual environment (inBloom) that will allow employees to have a shared place to house all data that collected about students. (SIS, Tests, etc…)

From ISLE and district 87 slide deck

Teachers will also be able to share lessons tagged with metadata that will allow them to search and match data not just to specific standards, but also to specific classrooms and students based on need. Thus allowing schools to personalize instruction for each child. I think this is a huge step in the right direction. Anyway that we can bring content to students in ways that are more suited to their learning styles is a bonus. Anyway we can learn more about our students, (data) is a good thing. As I mentioned earlier; I wonder if it is necessary for the majority of public education to make the step of personalization of education before we can as a group move to individualization?

Teaching to the Standards

Teaching some would say it is an art. Some would claim it can be measured quantitatively. Here is an example of, I don’t know what? I think it is a person trying to teach teachers how to teach a common core standard.

From the website SouthEast Comprehensive Center SEDL site. (I think SEDL stands for Southwest Educational Development Laboratory)

SEDL‘s mission is to strengthen the connections among research, policy, and practice in order to improve outcomes for all learners.

So is this a good example of connecting research and policy to actual practice?


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Cross posted at

November is national novel writing month. Participants are challenged to write 50,000 words in one month. (For the math adverse that is 1666.67 words per day)

 One group decided to take a different approach. they decided to write the entire novel in one day. So they opened a Google Doc and invited anyone to help with the writing. This is what they wrote. Title: Digi Daze

 This may not be your cup of tea, but there is more. I was in a webinar with one of the organizers of this novel and we wrote a crowdsourced poem in half an hour. We wrote Mayhemism 


This might be possible in a regular classroom. However, as with most things some ground rules actually help the process. As Jesse Stommel says,

 A potential pitfall of this sort of work is a variation of the bystander effect, whereby participants will see a problem or gap in the document but assume someone else will fix it. The more collaborators involved, the more the effect is amplified. One solution is to delegate ownership of different parts of the process to each participant. While smaller scale collaborations (of 2 or 3) are simpler logistically, they still present certain challenges.”

 To see a 30 minute poem being written try the YouTube video (yes it is sped up)