Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Learning 2.0: Tools for 21st Century Learning

Diana Laufenberg is a young social studies teacher at Mount Elden Middle School in Flagstaff. I rarely miss one of her sessions at the Peak Performance conference. Diana is enthusiastic about using technology to further the cause of learning.

Diana arrived at this conference with over a dozen of her students. Their charge was to interview and photograph speakers and those in attendance and to create a conference wrap-up slide show to be shown at the closing of the conference.

Diana devoted a section of her wiki to her Learning 2.0 session. Here's her introduction to this page:

"It's all about the learning. Tech tools and gadgets are fun, no argument there, but they don't necessarily make for good teaching or learning without sound pedagogical footing. Asking compelling questions, focusing on process, pushing the envelope on critical thinking are all goals of the learning and we live in an age where there are tools to serve those educational endeavors. Do not confuse a fun gadget with something that is necessarily good for the learning. First define the learning and find the resources to support. In my humble opinion, this is the key to effective teaching in the 21st century. Work to carefully define what are the goals for learning and use the most appropriate tool for the task."

Diana always schedules hands-on presentations in a lab and gets her audience involved in creating or exploring something on a computer. This year we explored the wiki page and I went nuts when I found this link: Top 50 Web 2.0 Sites. What a treasure trove!

I'm not going to post my notes on Diana's session because her Peak Performance wiki page is almost an exact duplicate.

I will report on two items of interest:

1. Diana also is a fan of TEDTalks! I'm addicted to them and, in fact, recently purchased a new video Nano so I could watch the vodcast version. The TED (Technology Entertainment Design) conference is held annually in Monterey -- yes, in the same venue as Internet Librarian. They select a theme and gather the great minds of the world to present their ideas. Aforementioned Great Minds are given twenty minutes to share their passions with the world. Visit TED's site or the Podcast section of iTunes, search for TEDTalks, and wallow in free access to either audio or video podcasts! Diana showed a clip from Dr. Ken Robinson's talk, "Do Schools Kill Creativity?"

2. I asked Diana if she was familiar with any web-based audio editors since we still don't have Audacity installed on any computers in my library except for my laptop. She logged into her Twitter account, which is dlaufenberg, and asked her circle of contacts. No one had a solution, but it was inspiring to know that some of the big names in educational technology were being polled for help with my question. Professional collaboration on the fly!

Teacher librarians, Joyce Valenza has a Twitter account! You can sign up for a free account, too, and read what she and her circle of acquaintances are discussing. Or, better yet, ask her a question -- or answer one.

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