Draft of email to participants - edits requested

Thank you for registering for Enhancing Active Learning with Technology, a BYOL session at ISTE 2010. We are so excited that you will be joining us to learn more about how the education concepts of Active Learning and Education Technology can be combined to create effective learning opportunities.

A Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) session by its very nature is an opportunity to engage with content in a hands-on manner. We want to emphasize this expectation to you. In addition to bringing your laptop to the session, please bring an attitude of inquiry and exploration. Be prepared to jump into the various web based technology tools to explore how they can be applied to Active Learning strategies.

Speaking of that laptop you're going to bring to the session, make sure it is enabled for wireless Internet access. We are comfortable with you working within any platform (Linux, Macintosh, Windows, etc.), and we are also anticipating a number of different browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.). However, because not all online tools respond in the same same to various browsers, we encourage you to be flexible. If a tool does not function in the same way in the various browsers, consider looking on with someone else or trying a different browser you may have installed on your computer. You may want to consider having more than one browser installed before you arrive to prepare for just that occurrence.

Browsers aren't the only thing that can impact an experience with online tools; bandwidth is equally important. We encourage you to minimize your non-essential Internet work during the session so that all 100+ participants can have the best chance at a successful experience. Ways to do this include avoiding streaming video/audio content such as videos, using another time to edit your blog/wiki/website, closing your blog and twitter feeds, and not downloading any content from the Internet to your laptop. We know it's asking a lot, but limiting yourself to one Internet enabled device for the duration of the session would also be greatly appreciated.

We have already begun the conversation about our session through Twitter and invite you to join us. Watch for posts from each of us using the hashtag #activelearning and of course the general ISTE Twitter posts are using the hashtag #ISTE10. Contribute your ideas and suggestions, read what others are saying, whatever.

If you'd like more information about our session, we are developing and presenting the content via a wiki at http://ehanceactivelearntechnology.wikispaces.com. You do not need to be a member of the wiki; simply follow along our journey as we prepare, present and follow up with all of the participants of the session.

In the meantime if you have questions or comments, be sure to contact us. We'd love to hear from you.

Carl Anderson
Cara Hagen
Vivian Johnson
Scott Schwister

TO DO List - June 15

1. Communication prior to the session?

Twitter Ideas

- thought provoking prior knowledge questions, generate session buzz

- ? from participants
- ask for post link to tools
- ideas for how to intergate
- disseminate information out beyond the sesssion
- what about ideas for people to follow on twitter who talk about active learning
- links to resources
- use more than one hashtag (#ehance, #activeLearning, NECC assginment hashtage?, use session ID, #ISTE10

Email Ideas - Cara will start the draft

1. Welcome p[rovide url to the wiki
2. do not have to be members of the wiki
3. Emphasize the nature of the BYOL - make explicit the norms/expectations of the participants? (Cara most important)
4. Talk about brower differences, can not control for them, different browers may impact the experience, may want to have 2/3 different browers loaded on to their laptops to switch between then if experiencing problems
5. Talk about bandwith, things to do, min impact of NOT watching videos and other streaming things
6. have line to clue them in about the Twitter conversation, can participate, lurk, whatever?
- something like this: here's a twitter search on #edchat: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23edchat

You are invited to join the conversation on Twitter prior to our session, as well as during, and after. Pose ?'s, add resources and suggestions? Our hashtag is #activeLearning #ISTE10

2. Clear up ? about videos embedded on the page

- KWL video at 1st HU meeting
- Make available at the end of the session? Hidden page that is revealed - like the rising!!!!
- Moved to a single video resource page,
- include video in the resource page and keep entire resource page hidden.
- make avaiable before the session, hide during the session

3. Appearance of Wiki page

- pick font & size
- or get it all done and then fix

Outcome - format later, just get the information in now.

4. References with typos - how to deal with
- all develop up to the time we present
-on all of us to get the formatting and remove typos
-clean up at the end,

5. Schedule a trail run
- talk throught
- Breafast Monday Morning Denver? - Yes time and place TBA, early
- June 15 11:00 am Law/Grad 4 or 5

6. Test Tools with Different browsers?


  • develop session goals page
  • develop backchannel page
  • getting started page

  • active learning page: create defintion

  • develop Q & A page

  • clean up KWL page
  • practice with TIES guinea pigs - Scheduled for Monday, June 21. Should be fun!

  • decide tool for exit card

Why use [fill in the blank] tool?

online interactive whiteboard - KWL: identifying prior knowledge. KWL is recognized strategy with long history. using technology to extend use of KWL. collaborate over space and time, further student engagement beyond text. incorporate other media, other learning styles.

backchannel - social processing, metacognition, "attentive," teacher tool for formative assessment:

vocaroo, etc. - think-pair-share: another traditional strategy is TPS. seque from KWL by showing contrast from visual to auditory. relate it to small group reflection, construction of social norms. why TPS? wait time research says students need time to process. Mazur says students are better at teaching each other. differentiation, curriculum compacting, many things happening here. extending the reach beyond traditional space and time---everyone has access to every response.

formative assessment - ongoing, within context of instruction, can drive instructional decisions. allows collaboration across time and space. efficiency. can make assessment unobtrusive, invisible. allows more assessment options beyond text or verbal. use wallwisher: what have you learned about how technology can enhance active learning?

Session goals and expectations page

active engagement expected. BYOL is not a spectator sport.
life will not end if you can't do every single thing. jump back aboard at the next stage.
browser compatibility may be an issue.
session navigation will follow wiki pages. linger if you like, but catch up to us.
exit card at end. access it anytime during the session.

Notes form 6/4 planning

  • During intro mention differences of browsers.

  • THIS IS WHAT EACH OF OUR PAGE LAYOUTS WILL BE (with the exception of backchannel):
    • Active Learning Strategy
      • Define/Explain
      • What is the learning outcome
    • How we're using the tool that day
    • Why enhance this AL strategy with tech
    • Link to resources page
      • Additional/optional tool links moved to the resources page

  • If we have time, it would be nice to have links to multiple pages on the resources page instead of an endless mess of a resource page (ala Vivian's notes on the whiteboard).

Questions from Cara's work on Thursday, June 2:

  • I sadly don't work for Hamline any, so I would love a non-Hamline theme for the wiki in any color scheme or format people prefer.
  • We have a lot of captures of people's logos - are they all within copyright/trademark boundaries?
  • The only two I think will actually work for the session are dabbleboard and scriblink. I've linked samples to those on the KWL - Online Interactive Whiteboards page. I'm hoping you can help me test them Friday morning. I've made one with FlockDraw and linked to it, but I'm less sure of that one. Below are notes on the rest. Other than Scrbl, I think we should leave them as alternate tools - I'll write up notes in more professional language to describe each.
  • I'm going to remove the Scrbl Beta - There's a Feedback page on it that has been mega-spammed and no school is going to be able to use it with that content out there.
    • Twiddla - can't save one in advance without a paid version - 30 day trial available, but that's not ideal and $14 a month is pricey to really use it regularly
    • Show Document - has a white board feature but really a much more robust and complicated package that isn't easily accessible to an average teacher. I also had the most incredibly disgusting ads I have ever seen in my life on the one I started just to see it. In fact, they were so gross I didn't try with the tools. Who are these people?
    • Wallwisher - I love this and think we decided to use it for the exit card, but I don't think it's really an interactive white board or effective for a KWL. However, it might be better for the L part in the assessment section if Vivian doesn't want to use a concept mapping tool for that.
    • FlockDraw - It seems like it would be okay, especially in full screen where you don't see the ad at all (I had a Groupon Twin Cities ad so certainly appropriate). However, I had varying degrees of luck using the tools. Apparently you can't type in full screen, and it takes some figuring out to realize your words go where the cursor is but you don't get them to stay there until you click after you're done. No hard return either. Again, I made and linked, but am not very confident.

Planning for the session

How do we want to organize the wiki.

General assumption:
Cara - state our assumptions, in 5 min introduction

-Definition of active learning, philsophical and organization structure of the BYOL
-could be a graphic
-attempting to model active learning strategies, we do not want to be passive, BYOL are not a spectator sport
- built into structure: there is a knowledge constructcion piece, book ended with the KW and the L, middle part what about the technology
-placement of this information, perhaps Home page
-Expectation: participatory, how we are expecting them to participate
-Lock some pages that we do not want them to change.
-Managing expectations - does everybody have to be in every tool - way to manage helping people, moving forward to the next topic and/or tool
-How can we give people a breadcrumb trail to find their way back for people who get behind - clear menu on the wiki and tell them how to see where we are
-Add the closing page for next steps that organize for getting started, ready to go, etc. like we did on metaphor page - we could direct people to it.
-Hide links to video so that it does not bring down the network during the session

Discussion Summary
- Make explicit our assumptions on the philsophical and organization structure of the BYOL
& expectations for how BYOL participants will be participating.
-Acknowledge that we are in the same space.

Early Emails
- Create wiki spaces, join our wiki,
-Can we get a second projector,
-Email out links to videos ask them to preview before the session

Interactive White Boards
-prefer Dabble Board, do more with Dabble Board model with no accounts

- Videos for each of the tools used in the BYOL
-At some point back channel has to be made explicit why we're doing it for active learning.
-Include in text the point at the top of the wiki page.
-use some of what was created for community building presentation at TIES
-go to backchannel after each section for contributionats to summarize
-need a presence in teh backchannel but we'll probably be crazy busy.
-On backchannel page or on resources page we have to set up really good help and stay away from acct creation as much as possible, and encourage people to look on with someone else if necessary -
-As we're moving through the session and you recognize you're doing active learning - post it to the backchannel

Another suggestion - use the tabs - one for backchannel, one for wiki presentation pages, etc.

Running videos while people are coming in.
We could teach some of the explicit stuff about backchannel at that point. - engage people as they're coming in.

-do KW in rows or do wholistically like the L will be?
-online white boards aren't necessarily the best tool for collaboration
-the process is the outcome, not the document you create
-purpose of doing the K collaboratively is to activate prior knowledge - the value of the "we" not the "I"
-the W becomes a form of curriculum compacting - teacher could take this after the first day to restructure the unit's activities around the feedback created

-Take a few minutes to discuss with a partner "where in your own practice you could use one of these strategies" - share using an audio tool
- Pairings - pair the active learning strategy with a tool you know
-What are some scenarios in your practice that could be enhanced by active learning.
-Create a table on the wiki with a number of questions, under each question is a link to a different recording tool, they record it, receive a link, embed google form to share the link, then a link to the google doc that displays all the outcome from the sharing.

  • variety of question choices
  • variety of audio tools
  • don't share the link to the google doc until after so they're not all playing them and screwing our bandwidth
  • NOT all computers have mics - pairing solves it, also offer a couple that are non audio to model technology meeting computer needs and differentiating, text to speech**
  • Carl - tell your story about not knowing the kid was blind
  • Some can be cell phone tools
  • Can't trouble shoot all these tools so if it's not working, try another one
  • Vivian thinks keep it to 3-4 tools; Cara's not sure that's needed.
  • The questions need to be about exploring the potential of different technologies to increase active learning -
  • Have time to think alone, then record, and then make sure we can demonstrate a few - again the google doc links will be added to the table later.
  • Get through the thinking and pairing part and then the table to find the links. Otherwise they'll skip the thinking and pairing and focus on the tool.
Scott's questions - need time for them to create, share online and then demo a couple so could well take more than 15 minutes.


-Follow the think-pair-share with how the audio recording (the artifact) can be used as formative assessment
-Come back to the L of the KWL - are we going to give them time to go back to actually write the L or not?
-So now they complete the L idea of the KWL in a concept map OR do it in the whiteboard where we started the KWL
-What's the value of the L - seeing the group learning can help kids see others did the same, others learned different,
-Google form where the L is populated
-Use the concept map for analyzing the L - what are bigger categories
-Vivian' is unhappy with webspiration
-Key focus of this part of the formative assessment part: finish the L, pointing out the assessment aspect as an active learning strategy (metacognition),
-have multip interacive white boards created online - send them to different ones based on their row - given the handout they get - complete collaboratively online and we project to show a couple
-don't get a true room concensus but how often do you teach 108 people?
-find a few trends and get some feedback to how much it represents them - "get the temperature of the room to determine what's next"
-Identifying themes on the concept maps is a valuable form of assessment
-do one concept map for the group, get some bubbles up there, what big themes are we seeing, reorganize, and have an artifact to share (logistically simple and can be done in a short amount of time if needed ) - fits proposal because it's flexible and allows them to share back simply and easily with participants.
-www.text2mindmap.com - can't collaborative live, limited to text, but can save as an image and share that.

-mentionmap is a visualization that's ready to go
-spicynodes.org - looks a lot like that and does the animation
-Copy and paste the backchannel and paste them into Wordle

Chinese Movie Creator

-interruptions from the backchannel
-who is following the backchannel at each stage?
-how we'll moderate the Q & A
-how much time/detail for each of us to introduce ourselves
-who/how is the exit card being managed

Introductions & Backchannel
Get as many people as possible on the backchannel before the session starts
  • Online whiteboard - This would be my first choice, and for it I would use Dabbleboard. I can create it and embed it directly into the wiki, using the free account (I'd prefer not to demonstrate tools that have a fee).
  • Wiki - It could also be done in our wiki just using a table.
  • Online Word Processor - Google docs would work but be limited to those with accounts and 10 editors at a time.
Plan says 5 separate minutes to view KWL on screen and ID common and Overview - I combined them here.
Think Pair Share

Assessment - L of KWL or other


Q & A - return to back channel

Scott and All

Closing & Exit Card