April–The Open Movement

We have had two events for April already, one was a talk by Carolina Botero on April 2, regional coordinator for Creative Commons in Latin America, and one was a Twitter chat on openness on April 9. We had some technical difficulties with Adobe Connect during Carolina’s presentation, so we had to move to a Google Hangout. We managed to record the video but not the audio for her presentation, unfortunately. You can find the video here.

A record of our Twitter chat on openness on April 9 can be found here.

Our next two events will be:

1. A presentation by Karen Fasimpaur on open education and open educational resources in the K-12 context, April 16, 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern time in N. America (see the time in your area here). To join in to this presentation, log in as “guest” at the presentation time, here: http://bbw.adobeconnect.com/ooe2013

During this discussion, Karen will talk about her own journey into open education, a survey of what OER is available for K-12 and how it’s being used, and opportunities for educators to get more involved in open learning. We hope this will be an interactive session in which we can talk about the topics and questions that are of most interest to you. Please post a comment on the Google Plus event page with suggestions for what you’d like to talk about!

Karen has worked in education and technology for over 20 years. An enthusiastic evangelist for open education, she started and manages the Kids Open Dictionary, founded the P2PU School of Ed, has co-facilitated MOOCs, and manages several online community spaces.

2. A Twitter chat on topics discussed during Karen’s presentation, specifically focused on open education in K-12, using the #OOE13 hashtag. This will be on April 23 at 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern time in N. America.

Openness and open education links

What is Openness

There are many, many definitions of “openness” out there. For a course at the Peer 2 Peer University called “Why Open?” (https://p2pu.org/en/courses/588/content/1143/) there was a survey in which respondents said they think openness means and why it’s important. Here is a list of their answers: http://pad.p2pu.org/p/What_does_%22open%22_mean_to_you

And there is a great chart with links about openness (hover over those parts with circles) on this blog post by Kevin Hodgson: http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/2014/03/30/staying-closed-in-the-age-of-open/

One thing you could do during April is to blog about what openness means to you, after reading these answers.

What is open education?

Here’s a nice overview of open education, by David Wiley and Cable Green, a chapter in an (open and free!) book: http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/chapter-6-why-openness-education

You could also (or instead of the above) blog about whether or not (and why) you think engaging in open education might be a good thing, and what obstacles you can see to doing so.

K-12 OER community of practice

There is a new K-12 online community of practice on open educational resources where you can learn about OERs and open textbooks, see examples of how people are using these in K-12 classrooms as well as in online courses, and join discussions about open education in a K-12 context. Here is the site: http://www.k12opened.com/community/

Do you use any open educational resources in teaching and learning? And/or have you created OER’s for other to use? You could blog about this and explain what you use/what you’ve made!

March Topic 6 Student Directed Learning: Digital Storytelling – Multimedia, Remixes & Mashups

As we move from curating content to the concept of multimedia and remixing I want to start with Pharrell Williams 24 hours of happy http://24hoursofhappy.com/. Sure it’s Universal Studios and EMI, but it could also have been done by you or me (if we had enough caffeine.


It is cool how most of the dancers just seems to be making it up for their four minutes of fame. I find myself wishing some of the random people would take a second to dance with them. Who knows maybe some do and I just haven’t seen them yet.




Because the idea had never been done before, “It was difficult to explain it to the talent,” says Valdes. “The main directive was, Have fun! We wanted people to dance in whatever way the music moved them. The only technical directions they got concerned the distance they needed to be from the camera.”

Those chosen by audition had the advantage of getting the song in advance, allowing them to rehearse their moves. But on the day itself, everyone got just one take, including Pharrell. “That’s what accounts for the charm,” says Valdes. “Everyone knew they had one shot–this was their moment to go all out, and we love that.”


I like to tell people that I am not creative. My talents lie in taking what someones else has already created and using it in a new way. Today NPR was nice enough to throw me this TED blog interview with Kirby Ferguson.


Kirby is the author of Everything is a Remix. I don’t know if I stole the comment from him or someone else, or possibly it was an original idea. I do know that when I first realized this about myself I assumed that I was of lesser stature than those creative geniuses of the past. It turns out that I’m not, I’m pretty much the same.


So what does this mean for education. Most of that is up to you. Certainly, the first piece of advice most of us got in teacher college was to not reinvent the wheel. That is so true, we can substitute, augment, and modify to suit our needs; redefining.all of the time would be too exhausting.


During our first synchronous session we will talk to some teachers and students who took a tried and true lesson, “every student creates a five minute presentation on on chosen topic.” Instead of sitting through three days of presentations the students recorded their five minutes. Then one day in class every student was asked to watch five on their own and grade them using a rubric. The teachers still had to listen to all 100 presentations, but we are thinking about better methods for next year.


What I would like you to do during the first two weeks of this month (later in the month we might do some fun remixes) is to search the web for the most creative remixes you can find. Then add them to the Google plus community and tweet them using the #ooe13 hashtag. If you can work it into your  lessons, have some of your students remix something and share that.


I look forward to seeing many of you on March 10th for our first synchronous session. We will be starting at an odd time 2:20PM CST to coincide with our school period. Many of the students will probably leave around 2:50, but we will continue on until everyone feels like we have completed our session. If you need some ideas you can look at:


If you want to delve deeper into the legalistics of fair share and copyright.

February – Topic 5 Content Curation – Using what is there

What is Content Curation?

Take a moment to consider where your course content is coming from. Very possibly you rely on a variety of published texts assembled around the general standards of your curriculum. These edited volumes may be organized around common unit themes, but the selections chosen don’t often suit our students, so most of us head to the web to find suitable content. We collect links, print pdf documents, and save documents to our GDrive. Is this content curation?

Beth Kanter describes content curation as

“the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme.  The work  involves  sifting, sorting, arranging, and publishing information.  A content curator cherry picks the best content that is important and relevant to share with their community. It isn’t unlike what a museum curator does to produce an exhibition:   They identify the theme, they provide the context, they decide which paintings to hang on the wall, how they should be annotated, and how they should be displayed for the public. … it is more about putting [curated resources] into a context with organization, annotation, and presentation. Content curators provide a customized, vetted selection of the best and most relevant  resources on a very specific topic or theme. …a content curator continually  seeks,  makes sense of,  and shares the best and most relevant content on a particular topic online.   Content curators have integrated this skill into their daily routine.”

Robin Good is an expert on content curation, which means he spends a ton of time thinking about what it is, what online tools can do what for whom, and where content curation is heading.

Have a look at the definitions that Robin Good has curated in Bundlr.

Which definition resonates with you? Hang on to it as we think about content curation this month. Tweet out your current understanding about content curation and what tools you already know and love. Blog about the challenges teachers and students might have when faced with the overwhelming amount of information available. Post your thoughts in the Google+ community.

Another content curation Master is Howard Rhinegold. Here he is in conversation with Robin Good where they explore the idea of content curation and its growing importance in supporting our understanding of the digital world.



Content curation happens in a variety of ways:

  • Within a Learning Management System

Examples include: Moodle, Blackboard, Schoology, Edmodo, It’s Learning, Canvas, BrainHoney

  • On a Webpage, Wiki or Blog

Examples include: Google Sites, Google Docs, Weebly, Wikispaces, Edublog, WordPress, and Blogger

  • Using a Web Tool both Teachers and Students can curate content

Examples include: Diigo, Delicious, Evernote, Pinterest, Livebinders, LessonPaths, Learnist, EduClipper, Scoop.it, Bundlr, Bag the Web, SpringPad, Paper.li, Netvibes, Curatr, YouTube, Twitter

  • Using Open Educational Resources

Examples Include: OER Commons, OER Resource Roundup, CK12, MIT OpenCourseware, P2PU, OpenStudy, NITXY, HippoCampus, Khan Academy, OCW Search, OER by Subject

  • Using Primary Source Material

Examples include: Digital Vaults, Docs Teach, Historical Scene Investigation, World Digital Library, Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources

Which of the areas above would you like to focus on this month? Which tools? We will be discussing these tools and others with our guests in the Webinars. That would be a great time to ask questions about them.

Schedule for the month

February 3 Webinar: Content Curation with Steve Anderson

8 p.m. to 9 p.m. CST

The month kicks off with Steve Anderson, Director of Instructional Technology for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in North Carolina, nationally recognized speaker and presenter, co-founder of #EdChat and @Web20classroom, on Twitter, Steve is a prolific curator and sharer of information and we are delighted that he will share his expertise with us on curation.

Click here to add this event to your calendar.

February 10 Webinar: Content Curation with Richard Byrne

8 p.m. to 9 p.m. CST

                           Richard Byrne is an educator, Google Certified Teacher, and author of the “Free Technology for Teachers” blog, which has won numerous awards for resource sharing and the best educational technology blog. Richard has presented around the world, and will be sharing his thoughts on creating blogs and websites for 24/7 learning and teaching with technology and primary sources.

Click here to add this event to your calendar.

February 13 Twitter Chat: Response to the Anderson and Byrne Webinars

8 p.m. to 9 p.m. CST

Join us for an #OOE13 Twitter Chat as we discuss the first two Webinars and talk about the best tools for curating content

February 17 Webinar: Content Curation As it Relates to SAMR with Susan Oxnevad

8 p.m. to 9 p.m. CST

Susan Oxnevad, Instructional Technology Facilitator from Oak Park, Illinois, and curator at “Cool Tools for 21st Centry Learners,” will be sharing her work with with the SAMR 

model of technology integration, and it’s relationship to content curation.

Assignments/ReflectionClick here to add this event to your calendar.

  • After each Webinar, blog and share your reflection.

    • What resonated with you?

    • What do you want to implement?

  • Pick a unit/lesson and using the tools and protocols discussed this month, curate content to meet the needs of the learners in your setting.

Digital Literacy

Welcome back. Our first meeting of the new year will be Wednesday evening at 8PM CST. Time and date conversion link here. During 2014 there are already synchronous meetings scheduled for different times and dates than our usual Wednesday evenings, be sure to keep an eye on those changes. Also some participants have mentioned trying to start a twitter chat that is more convenient for people outside of North America. If you are interested please volunteer to help. You can email me, (dendari@gmail.com) or better yet start a discussion in the G+ group.


Digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship are inexorably linked. We cannot have one without the other. Sometimes I cannot decide which should come first. Should we learn to be good citizens before learning to use the tools, or can we be a good digital citizen before you learn to use the tools? Our overarching question for the month is “What comes first Digital Literacy or Digital Citzenship?”


We start the month we the story of a family and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). One of the problems with a person who suffers from RAD is they continually make dangerous decisions. When they do this online they can get into serious trouble. You might say that a person with RAD can learn to be digitally literate, but may not be able to achieve safe citizenship status.


As connected educators we are inclined to feel and believe that helping our students become connected will be positive. However, in cases such as this becoming connected is dangerous. We will look into detail on a particular family’s saga of RAD and then try to figure out what it means for connected educators.


The goal for the next two weeks is to take your digital literacy or digital citizenship ideas and examine how safe they are. We usually think of the danger as coming from external sources, such as bullies, predators, or damaged reputations, what if the greatest danger to our students was actually from themselves? How do we keep them safe?


Take the time to examine your lessons and become familiar with how you can keep your students safe even when they do everything they can to bypass your security. If that means asking some questions of IT or becoming big brother we want to know. After our meeting on Wednesday take some time to share how you will be be more safe in the future.

Topic 3 November Digital Citizenship

What is Digital Citizenship?

In the past ten years we have gone from police officers in classrooms teaching internet safety to media literacy to digital citizenship, and maybe even just citizenship.

What is your definition of digital citizenship?

Digital Citizenship can be a hard thing to define, and your definition can change over time.

Blog prompt:

During week one start a blog post with your definition of digital citizenship, you don’t have to post it right now if you don’t want to. Throughout the month, you will probably want to add to your post and refine it and perhaps add some useful resources.

What are the rules the rules and policies of your school, district or country? This Digital Citizenship Resource Guide is from Alberta Education (in Canada.) Janet Webster lives one province to the west in British Columbia. In this post she explores the impact of British Columbia’s Freedom of Information Act on her classroom. Are the laws and guidelines from your province or country much different?

Looking for more resources about Digital Citizenship? Check out Edutopia’s 5 Minute Film Festival about Digital Citizenship and the University of British Columbia’s Digital Tattoo site.

What’s your Digital Footprint?

Google yourself and write a post about what you find. Try different variations of your name, how do the results change? (for example Jane Doe, Jane E Doe, Jane Elizabeth Doe)
Use a web 2.0 tool like Vizify to map your social presence
make a movie about it. Want to try a new tool? Check out Splice, Jing or Storybird.

Student Activity

Read Cleaning up your Digital Footprint, a Student’s Perspective, and share it with your students. Have your students map a digital footprint (theirs or someone else’s) and have them assess it . Is it safe, professional, relevant, accurate? This post describes an activity where students had to “stalk” assigned people on the web and assess their digital footprint.

How can you build a positive digital footprint?

Whether or not you contribute to it, you have a digital footprint. Take charge of your digital footprint by blogging, tweeting, contributing to online communities.

Read George Couros Post about his Digital Footprint, and his resources for creating a Positive Digital Footprint.

Blog prompt:

During week two write a post about your digital footprint or record your reflections in another format (audio, video, cartoon…) If you don’t know where to start try one of the activities in this post Taking Care of Your Digital Self.

Blogging can help students and teachers establish a positive footprint. Read
5 Reasons your Students Should Blog. Looking for resources about blogging with students? Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano’s post Assessment in the Modern Classroom has great ideas about assessing blogging and other 21st century skills. She also has a fantastic Blogging Scope and Sequence for K-8 classrooms.

The Student Blogging Challenge has great blogging and digital footprint resources. Your classes and individual students can sign up for the twice yearly blogging challenges. They also need mentors for student participants. Linda Yollis and her Primary students are a great resource about blogging and other 21st century literacies.

Kathy Cassidy blogs (and uses other web 2.0 tools) to help her students connect with others around the world. She wrote about her experiences in her recent book Connected from the Start.

Kathy will be joining us on November 13th to talk about ways that students can create positive digital footprints.

Looking for more activities?

Explore Verena Roberts high school MOOC about Digital Footprint. Try one of the activities, skim the resources, or read some participant comments. Here are Verena’s collections of resources for Digital Citizenship and How Kids are Learning.

Learning how to code gives students more opportunities than relying on what others have created. Organizations like Little Miss Geek and Girls Can Code provide positive female role models to young girls.

If you are looking for a blogging challenge, consider joining the National Blog Post Month which encourages participants to write at least 30 blog posts and 15 comments. Here are some suggestions for posts for National Blog Post Month.

Digital Leadership

How can you or your students use your digital skills, digital tools to make a difference in the world? What is digital leadership?

Join students and teachers discussing this in the Twitter Chat on November 23.

Blog prompt:

How can you use your digital citizenship knowledge, skills and abilities to make a difference in the world? In week three blog or share in another digital way about students or teachers who are making a difference, or how you are making a difference.

Learn about Blog Action Day which was on October 13th. Review and contribute to Kevin Honeycutt’s crowd-sourced List of Ways Kids Can Make A Difference.

Verena Roberts just finished moderating a MOOC about Leadership for high school students. Students were learning in many different spaces, the Tweets from the sessions have been storified here. In this post she explains what high school students need to know about Moocs. Here are some of her links for Hacking and the Maker Movement. Other sources of inspiration are groups like Teach The Web, Mozfest 2013, or Make Something Yeg. KIVA lets individuals make micro loans directly to individuals with ideas.

Keep in mind that Digital Leadership often requires that we put ourselves out there in ways that make us vulnerable and uncomfortable.

Digital Identity

What is web literacy, and the web literacy standard?
Using the Web Literacy Standard design your own digital citizenship badge.

Doug Belshaw will be joining us on November 23rd.

Blog prompt:

In the last week of the month, revisit your definition of digital citizenship. Has it changed? If so update the post or add a new post with your new definition. Have you learned anything or found out about resources that you can use in your teaching practice?


Summary overview of Doug Belshaw’s talk on Nov 25:


Digital and Web Literacy. Explaining the difference between them and how we can have a ‘Standard’ for the latter but have to rely on ‘guiding principles’ for the former.


What is web literacy, and the web literacy standard?


The Web Literacy Standard is a map of competencies and skills developed by Mozilla, led by Doug Belshaw and a community of stakeholders.



Using the  Web Literacy Standard design your own digital citizenship badge.

Link to Open badges http://openbadges.org/


Link to Doug Belshaw’s Neverending Thesis: What is ‘digital literacy’?  http://neverendingthesis.com/index.php?title=Main_Page


Let’s embed Doug’s Ted Talk about Digital Literacies here:

<iframe width=”853″ height=”480″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/A8yQPoTcZ78?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

here is the link: http://youtu.be/A8yQPoTcZ78


Blog prompt:

In the last week of the month, revisit your definition of digital citizenship. Has it changed? If so update the post or add a new post with your new definition. Have you learned anything or found out about resources that you can use in your teaching practice?

If you are looking for even more resources:

Tools from Common Sense Media article about California’s Eraser bill http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/blog/how-to-teach-your-students-to-think-before-they-post on their site they have great activities about digital literacies for students.



Safe vs authentic. Single vs. multiple. The footprints we leave (ghostry). Managing identity and footprint (all ages.)

The Biggest Lie on the Internet – Terms of Service Did Not Read http://tosdr.org/

Newstory about Lightbeam from Mozilla lets users track who is tracking them online (Firefox addin) http://mashable.com/2013/10/25/mozilla-lightbeam/

Link to Open badges http://openbadges.org/

Link to Doug Belshaw’s Neverending Thesis: What is ‘digital literacy’?   http://neverendingthesis.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

Topic 2 Connectivism and being connected.

The Open Online Experience is organized under a Connectivist learning model. While that is not the same thing as being connected we will capitalize on the similarities during the month of October.

We will start with two simple activities over the next two weeks. Building our networks and determining what that means.

Building our network:

October is connected educator month here in the United States of America. You can learn more about that here. For many of our participants learning to connect and building a PLN is a huge step. To help with that process we share the following resources.


What it means to be a connected educator:

Others among us have strong vibrant PLNs. Or perhaps you are building your PLN and would like to do more. Then step up your game and discuss why we should be connected and how that improves our classrooms. Share with us here  http://tinyurl.com/OOE13-CE13 and in your blogs or during our twitter chats on Wednesday October 9th and Wednesday October 23rd.

An example of a community that can form as a result of participation in a connectivist group very similar to this one it the OpenSpokes.  http://openspokes.com

During the month the members of OpenSpokes will upload videos telling us what being connected educators has done for them. Take some time to watch their vlogs and a comment or two would be nice. Perhaps a video or blog response.

Another similar community for exploring personal learning networks is starting on October 7th. Some participants may want to join them. http://mslocopen.wordpress.com/

If you are looking for even more resources:

ETMOOC definition of connected learning


Peace Game


Edutopia – Teacher Development and Leadership Research Review


flow theory


What Connectivism Is (Stephen Downes)


What Connectivism Is Not  (Stephen Downes)


Defining Connectivism (George Siemens)


Interview with George Siemens on Connectivism (Rick Schwier)


xMOOC vs cMOOC (Jonathan Haber)


Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past? (Kop & Hill)


Connectivism + MOOC Culture:

Potential impact in mainstream and non-traditional education (Hussin & Kim)

Slides – https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B65XgVipBfIFbVB3d0M4bDJFQmM/edit?usp=sharing

Paper – https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B65XgVipBfIFSUI2Q0dNSUtqbU0/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our synchronous meeting


Session 2 Learning Online in OOE13

Thank you everyone for coming to our second session. The recording did not work as planned, but can be found here. These are sometimes the things that happen as we live and learn online. For the next session we will make a few changes and do better. Luckily for us Greg McVerry live blogged the session here. Debbie’s slides can be found here.

Activities to try during the next two weeks are:

  • Connect with us during the twitter chat one Wednesday at 8PM Central.
  • Read a few blogs and leave a comment – try at least one per day
  • We have several badges. Please, sign up to get one here.
  • Comment on the G+ page – add people to circles – find new people
    • Orient – Get to know this blog everything should come through here. though it isn’t always the best place to get information.
    • Declare – Let everyone know you are here. Comment below and say hello in the G+ group. Forums don’t seem to work well here but you can use the ones on our wiki.
    • Network – Introduce yourself to someone with a similar situation. Start building a rapport. Find someone who is vastly different and get to know them.
    • Cluster – Two weeks isn’t a long time, but this will be an ongoing thing. Like the circles created in G+ get to know who in your network has what knowledge and utilize/share with those resources.
      • Focus – No one can be an expert in everything (though I try) pick your focus and go deep into that area. Side trips are necessary and often valuable, but never lose sight of the ultimate goal. Unless of course you decide to change your focus. (like changing your major in college)
        • This goes for tools also. Don’t try and master a dozen pick about three or four and use them a lot until it become second nature.
        • We suggest:

Some other resources you may useful -

Work Smarter and Stay Connected in a Learning Community by Sue Waters

Becoming a Connected Educator by Verena Roberts

Connected educator handbook https://dl.dropbox.com/u/38904447/starter-kit-final.pdf

How to learn in a mooc? by Dave Cormier

What to do next by Dave Cormier


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