Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Co-Creating with Creative Commons

In a few hours, I'll be up early in order to make the drive to York University. Once there, I'll be taking part in the ABEL Summer Institute, where I'll be leading a workshop on Creative Commons.

In keeping with the theme of ASI2010: "Creating the Future Now", I'll be working with participants in my session to co-create a Creative Commons Field Guide. If all goes according to plan, our collegial effort will highlight a number of innovative ways that teachers and students can leverage Creative Commons in the classroom.

Creative Commons is an excellent vehicle to model academic integrity, and to provide learners with raw content for their multimedia creations. I'll be using the slidedeck below to provide a rationale for using and attributing Creative Commons works, and to highlight a wide range of CC licensed exemplars.

How will we Create the Future?

During the latter half of my workshop, we'll be producing and publishing a professional development resource. If you'd like to contribute to this e-book, I invite you to follow the steps below to share your idea.

Step #1: In 25 to 50 words, teachers will be asked identify a strategy, project, or idea for leveraging Creative Commons.

Step #2: Teachers will be challenged to identify a CC licensed photo that can be used to illustrate their idea. I'm encouraging the use of images by Stuck in Customs so that our resource will have a consistent look and feel.

Step #3
: Participants will contribute their ideas.

During the week following the ABEL Summer Institute, I'll be condensing the ideas into a common slidedeck which will be made available as a downloadable e-book from my Slideshare account.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hidden Treasures

Remember the good old days when folks used to play outside?
Geocaching is a wonderful way to remind yourself and friends and family that we're surrounded by wonderful natural places ripe for exploring. If you have access to a GPS device, you can use longitude and latitude coordinates and secret clues to locate 'hidden treasures'.

Yesterday, we used Geocaching Toolkit and an iPhone to lead us to cache locations near Springbank Park in London, Ontario. While we've gone hiking and geocaching before, I was lucky enough to capture the moments that followed my son's first geocaching 'find'.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mac Mini-camp

This week, I hosted four colleagues for a full day of hands-on learning intended to help novice geeks to get the most of their Mac computers. Contrary to traditional large group PD, this audience had the luxury of going in any of a number of directions, and could do so at a comfortable pace.

I fielded a number of queries about this informal PD through via Twitter, so here are my top 10 discoveries from a day of learning with friends:

1] You can use a large screen television as a projection device.

2] Although the operating system is simple to navigate, there are simple tricks that you may take for granted that may be greatly valued by your colleagues.

3] Small changes to System Preferences can allow any user to be more productive.

4] Individual needs are much easier to address in a small group meeting than they are in traditional PD. (I.e., A teacher with a new external hard drive invited us to explore how to use Time Machine to backup files.)

5] If you use Skitch, ctrl+shift+5 is the new ctrl+shift+4

6] Teachers can have fun with Skype by contacting folks in the same room; and you can demonstrate the power of this collaborative tool by inviting guest experts to dial in to share their expertise. Thanks @BrendaSherry, @KellyPower & @IainRobertson!

7] Delicious is a great tool to introduce teachers to the power of the hive mind.

8] Engaging in conversation within a PD session is a good thing. How else can folks teach one another and share their giddy love of learning?

9] This type of learning should be taking place on a regular basis. The consensus from participants was that we should schedule follow-up meetings. First on our next agenda: "So, What happened?"

10] Teacher-learners are happy to share food in exchange for tech tips!