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Monthly Archive for June, 2008

Today, I attended NECC virtually. I really wanted to be there, but I was glad to be able to connect from home.

Thanks to Alice Mercer’s CoveritLive , Bud Hunt’s Chatterous and Mogulus, Kelly Dumont and Vicki Davis, and Scott Merrick’s Ustream, Steve Dembo’s EduStream, I was able to listen in and interact with some of the events from today. Thanks to all of you who took the time and extra effort to invite us in virtually. It was appreciated. I hope I get to do the same for others sometime soon.

Although the sessions were great, my favorite part is when I saw Mark Wagner’s message somewhere about meeting up in the Blogger’s Cafe. Thanks to Bud Hunt, I joined the stream there and watched learning happening in the best way. Not only were they playing with Mogulus and CamTwist, it was great to see Darren Kuropatwa trying to join in virtually. I don’t think he succeeded, but the learning was great. Thanks to Jeff Utecht for his refections on the whole day and the event at the Blogger’s Cafe. I even gained new inspiration to jailbreak my iPhone.

Thanks to all who made my virtual attendance possible. I miss you all! Enjoy the conference.

I think Dean Shareski’s 4 minute film sums it up best!


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21st Century Learning seems to be a very popular educational buzzword these days. Some people have asked me to define 21st Century learning, and I have to supply a short and very inadequate definition about connected, collaborative, natural learning with passion. It doesn’t begin to address the broader definition of what my learning has become in the past few years. Maybe a good way to define it is to provide some examples coming out of NECC 2008 (the largest National Educational Technology Conference of all) this year. Unfortunately, I won’t be there in person. Even though I would love to be there, at least I can participate virtually. Here are some opportunities. I hope you’ll join me.

  1. The NECC Ning (A social network for conference attendees, including virtual attendees) Join the ning, and then join some groups. So far, I belong to Digital Storytellers, Moodle, Virtual NECCers, K12Online2008, LOTIMotion, EdubloggerCon, Google in Education, and NECC Unplugged. There are many other groups that may be of interest to you. Browse them and find some of interest to you. Join and begin the conversation and learning.
  2. The Edustream.tv Home Page - A place to watch some live broadcasts of various sessions at NECC. This is awesome! Come visit, chat, and learn together.
  3. Watch the conversation about NECC on Twitter on a tool called Summerize. Join Twitter and add some of the people you see tweeting about NECC on Summerize to engage in the conversation.
  4. Come (virtually) to the Blogger’s Cafe to attend some of the sessions at the “unconference”.
  5. Join with all the educators at Saturday’s EdubloggerCon - wish I could be there in person to meet people, but I won’t miss out on the learning. This was the best part of last year’s conference for me.
  6. Follow the blog conversations and the images (from Flickr) at the conference aggregator, Hitchhikr and Technorati’s blog, photo, and video search.
  7. Subscribe to what people are bookmarking about NECC08 on Delicious, a social bookmarking tool.
  8. From NECC’s official site, listen to podcasts and watch videos, and read the blogs from and about various keynotes and selected sessions.

This is just a small sample of how conferences and learning have changed in just a few short years. This is 21st century learning, connecting with people of similar passions to connect, collaborate, learn, and create. Please join me.

twitter id: janstearns

Skype id: janstearns


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What I Believe…

I was tagged several months ago by Jennifer Wagner on a meme started by Barry Bachenheime based on NPR’s This I Believe. I’ve probably broken all the rules by taking so long to respond, but time just slipped away. I thought it was such a good one that I decided to follow up on it, even though it’s long overdue. Thanks, Jen, for the push. Here goes…

I believe that students should have plenty of opportunities to learn in an environment that celebrates individuality, uniqueness, and respect.

I believe that caring for classroom animals, playing with blocks, exploring bubbles, singing, dancing, and watching plants grow are necessary components of a Kindergarten classroom. What has happened lately?

I believe that students should have multiple ways to demonstrate their learning, whether in text, mixed media, video, or audio.

I believe the BEST teachers are the ones that miss their kids on the last day of school and reflect on their practice.

I believe that every educator should build a personal learning network that helps them push their thinking and teaching and learning.

I believe that no matter how much you think you aren’t being heard, you keep pushing. Change begins to happen right before your eyes.

I believe we should never perceive ourselves as experts at anything. We’re all learners and there’s just so much to learn.

I believe that this is a very exciting time to be in education - I feel change for the better is in the air.

I’d like to hear from:

John Rivera

Antonio Hernandez

Jose Rodriguez

Mathew Needleman

Edie Walker


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