Blogs

Break the Internet

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If you are on the Internet on Tuesday December 12th, you're likely to see images and videos like the ones below. In fact, you are likely to see quite a few images like the one below. December 12, 2017 is two days before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be voting on ending Net Neutrality. The vote on Net Neutrality is also why you might have seen protesters outside your local Verizon store on Thursday. On December 1, we were involved in a discussion (recording) over Hangout on Net Neutrality and what this means to us as online learning professionals, instructors and academics. Because we are educators, we couldn't ...
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The OpenSim Community Conference (OSCC) is this weekend and you can watch it live over their YouTube Channel https://gaming.youtube.com/c/AvaconOrg/live The conference runs Saturday December 9 and Sunday December 10. Saturday 7 am PT - 630 pm PT Sunday 7 am PT - 630 pm PT If you would like to attend in-world, you can register here http://conference.opensimulator.org/2017/register-now/ If you are wondering how to use OpenSim for game design and simulation, then we'd suggest watching Saturday - A Mind Palace for English in immersive worlds Sunday - An Educators Approach to Developing Usable Prototypes for Serious Games in Open Simulator ...
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Hour of Code 2017

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Hi ALL; I attended a webinar last night and it sounds like there are many awesome activities going on next week for Computer Science Education awareness. Here are some of the resources we discussed. ISTE - Computer Science Network encourages you to participate in this interactive list by clicking on the "Thumbs Up" icon for any resources you are using for the Hour of Code. If there is something you are using that is not listed...feel free to comment and I will add it to the list. We plan on updating these resources every year! What a great way to collaborate! Please share out this link via Twitter, Facebook, ETC... https://list.ly/l/1pya ...
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Where do you stand on the Loot Box debate? If you've never heard of loot boxes before check out the excerpt below from the ISTE Games and Sims Virtual Educator Week post on Nov 27th. In game design, loot boxes are an example of a randomized reinforcement. A player opens up an object, usually a chest or box and receives an in-game reward. The actual reward received usually is based on a randomization schedule. Psychologically, it creates anticipation in the player, followed by a release when the loot box is opened. Here’s why discussion of loot boxes is currently showing up in the mainstream news: LOOT BOXES Loot Boxes are currently becoming quite the ...
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This is our Virtual Connected Educator update for the week of November 27, 2017. VR Update We have been asked what VR educators could use to have their students start working in game design and simulations. We would recommend looking at CoSpaces https://cospaces.io/edu/ which now has a 2 month free trial. We walked the floor at the ISTE Exhibition hall and found it to be the most accessible form. For our game designers, it looks like a scaled down version of the game engine, Unity 3D. We’d also suggest that educators take a look at the reports that have come out on VR from Foundry10 VR in education: The Student ...
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The Digital Use Divide Challenges to Technology Implementation As schools continue to integrate technology into the teaching day, educators are talking about an emerging phenomena called “the digital use divide”. Many people talk about the digital divide with respect to access to technology, but the digital use divide is speaking more to what happens when schools and teachers have access but implement technology in different manners. Here is a good working definition of “the digital use divide” from the U.S. Dept. of Education: “Traditionally, the digital divide referred to the gap between students who had access to the Internet and devices ...
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Equity vs. Equality in the Digital Divide In most states, school funding formulas are fraught with politics and this has significant implications for technology infrastructure, devices, and opportunities.  The urban vs. rural digital divide surfaces in most states, especially as it relates to connectivity.  Many rural schools in my state (Oregon) struggle with getting enough bandwidth to do innovative and meaningful classroom learning.   When discussing home connectivity for students, some of my rural colleagues lament the cost of the middle and last miles and the struggle for reliable bandwidth and the lack of opportunities that this ...
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Flipped Classrooms and the Digital Divide: Challenges and Remedies As more technology is infused into schools, more teachers are experimenting with "flipped classrooms" where students do individual work at school (with help from the teacher) and view lectures/assignments at home.  The idea is that students can listen and study at their own pace at home and then get focused help from the teacher at school.  Here are some recent statistics concerning teachers and   flipped classrooms : - In 2012, 48% of teachers flipped at least one lesson, in 2014 it is up to 78%. - 96% of teachers who have flipped a lesson would ...
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Under Connectedness and Student Perceptions As school districts and teachers transition to e-classrooms, many teachers are aware that not all students have the same access at home.  Of course, not having broadband access at home can make life extremely difficult for students -- especially when teachers use LMS platforms like Google Classroom, Canvas, or Schoology (to name a few) to push out homework. It isn't easy, however, to gauge the connectivity of students as it can be seen as a sensitive socio-economic issue.  If you are in a classroom of 30 and it seems like most others are connected at home, it can be hard for students to come ...
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Hello, ISTE Digital Equity Network! Please see below the following blog post by Leadership Team member   Wes Kriesel , originally published at  https://medium.com/digital-equity/digging-in-on-digital-equity-part-3-b8f1b9bb3a9f on August 20, 2017. Last week, I visited the principal again to check in, get updates and to review the plan we’d crafted. His goal was to learn from of the other teachers what some obstacles or objections might be for the Kinder through 4th grade students taking their devices home. Here’s what he shared: Principal: “Well, I conferred with my first and second grade teachers and heard a few objections.” Me: ...
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Hello, ISTE Digital Equity Network! Please see below the following blog post by   Dr. Josue Falaise .  Chime in with your thoughts in the comments.  Thank you! I remember at least a decade ago, there was a lot of buzz about computers taking over the jobs of teachers and we, educators, will need to find another profession because there won't be a need for us. Some educators really believed it. I remember hearing people say the time of "The Jetsons" is here. With each year, we are moving closer and closer to the "The Jetsons". There is no need for teachers and school administrators to panic about technology taking over.      From my point of view, ...
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Good morning, ISTE Digital Equity Network! Please see below the following blog post by Leadership Team member   Wes Kriesel , originally published at https://medium.com/digital-equity/digging-in-on-digital-equity-part-2-feb7edbabbe8on August 12, 2017. Let me catch you up on what happened at the principal meeting. Me:   “So since we are both new to the district, tell me more about your site so I can get a better sense of where we are and what you see ahead this year.” Principal:   “This is the oldest school site in the district, and it’s in an older part of the city, and there are higher rates of poverty here than other places. The school ...
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A few weeks ago I was listening to my Voxer messages on my ride home and an interesting conversation on equity took place. One of the coaches was so excited to see that faculty was addressing the issue of equity and thinking about how technology fits into that picture as well. As this coach jumped all in and felt so excited about having this dialogue --that enthusiasm quickly began to fade once the teachers decided that they wanted equity and consideration as it related to planning time, resources, and materials to get the job done? Is it wrong for them to think of themselves versus focusing on the needs of the students? We all understand that a teacher's impact ...
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Starting School and the Digital Divide in Classrooms In many classrooms, teachers don't start realizing internet home access challenges until October or November when online work for specific students is spotty or non-existent.   It is easy to assume (like I did) that students were not just academically inclined or had poor organizational skills and that was why they weren't able to complete projects/research/peer editing/blogging/presentations at home. An "Aha" Moment   Alex was a typical 9th grade World History student.  He was full of energy and excited about starting high school.   He wasn't a perfect student, but he participated ...
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Hello, ISTE Digital Equity Network! Please see below the following blog post by Matthew Hiefield , originally published at  http://digitaldivideinuseducation.blogspot.com/2017/07/school-scaffolding-and-digital-divide.html   on July 23, 2017. School Scaffolding and the Digital Divide As it turns out, buying devices for students is the easy part.  Educators enjoy spreading the news that their school is providing access to students and teaching digital skills that will be critical to their futures.  Delivering the devices, opening them up, and watching pleased faces is a feel good moment for most people in a district (granted, the people who ...
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Good morning, ISTE Digital Equity Network! Please see below the following blog post by Leadership Team member   Wes Kriesel , originally published at  https://medium.com/digital-equity/digging-in-on-digital-equity-42585e917f50  on August 11, 2017. Digging in on Digital Equity, Part 1 Our mission statement speaks about “challenging the status quo concerning the ‘haves and have nots’ of access” ( read the full mission statement here ) and today I get to have a conversation with a principal about that issue. Yesterday, I received an email from a principal who wants to take his entire site, K-6 to a one to one take-home implementation status. Status now: ...
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Hello, ISTE Digital Equity Network! Please see below the following blog post by Dr. Michael Harvey.  We would love to hear your thoughts!  Chime in with any comments at the bottom of the page. Ni Hao and greetings from my home for the next 12 months, China! I have negated the Chinese internet firewall at least for the time being so am able to follow my #ISTEglobalpln. One of the key aspects of major global trends in education is digitisation through innovation. I have been amazed here in China by the embracing of technology by the ordinary (though admittedly middle class) Chinese citizen. From a hip young teenager skateboarding along the streets to ...
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Hello Everyone, If there is something Games & Sims related that you would like us to get out into the wider world, VEJ would like to know.. If you can write something about the ISTE conference or NotatISTE even better! The Virtual Education Journal (VEJ) invites Games & Sims to contribute each issue. While the focus generally is on virtual worlds, video games, AR and VR they have always been very open to anything game related we have submitted. We have also put in articles about coding and hackathons.  This is a practitioner journal. It is not peer reviewed. It is also open to anything that your students may have written also. I have had undergrads submit ...
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Good morning, ISTE Digital Equity Network! Please see below the following blog post by Leadership Team member Wes Kriesel , originally published at  https://medium.com/digital-equity/first-of-all-whats-our-mission-8b67f94b5bf7 on August 11, 2017. We had a leadership meeting online the other night and discussed the mission statement of ISTE’s Digital Equity PLN. That’s when I decided that yes, indeed, I liked this group. I knew the cause was important and the caliber of the leadership team was high, but when I knew that I was going to enjoy working with the group was when I heard their reaction to “Should we change or update the mission statement ...
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Hello Everyone, We've been discussing starting up a Ed, Ed Tech, Ed Leadership group that meets occasionally online and also at the ISTE conference. We now have a date and time - Monday August 7 at 8 pm ET/6 pm MT for a first meetup or discussion. We'll do a Zoom meeting - Join URL:   https://ucdenver.zoom.us/j/227358111 . Yes, it will be short since I'm using my student account for it. The agenda is short also - What events or online networking do we want to do? Thanks, Kae Here's the full  information for Zoom Topic: Ed Doctoral Students Networking Time: Aug 7, 2017 8:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)  Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or ...
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