Teaching, Learning & Technology
Sharing best practices from faculty around the world who are using technology to transform teaching and learning.

HP MyRoom – Desktop Video Conferencing Just Got a Lot Better


chat with 5.JPG


Video calls change the way I work – so much so, that “phone only” conversations seem so much less productive, and more importantly, less human. So naturally I had to try the new HP MyRoom – and it my first impression is, “Wow – this takes “desktop video conferencing” to a whole new level...

How to Collaborate – 9 Great Tips from US/China Projects

In my recent blog posts I’ve been on the topic of “global literacy” and the importance of introducing our students to the “bigger world” out there. Thankfully, the International Society for Technology in Education recently hosted a free webinar for educators on “Collaborating with China” (~50 minutes). It was a great session, and it is archived if you’d like to view it in its entirety.

Changing the Education Equation (part 2) - Communities & Collaboration

Tweet this!

I've heard this time and time again from educators who
have received a grant from HP: "Our students are having a wonderful time using
the new HP technology. But you know what's REALLY exciting? Our team
collaborating in ways we never dreamed possible..." This "human side" of the
education equation has me particularly excited, especially since tomorrow
begins our seventh international gathering of grant recipients, when 120+
educators from 25 countries gather on Monday for the HP Innovations in Education Worldwide Summit...

I spoke to Mark Schlager
eight years ago when he was Director of the TappedIN education community project
at SRI's Center for Technology and Learning.
When I asked him to describe education "communities", he actually made a
distinction between different types of communities. Roughly paraphrased, he
described the difference between Knowledge Communities (sharing information),
Learning Communities (experiencing a course of study together), and Communities
of Practice (professional networks).

Here on the eve of our Innovations in Education Worldwide Summit, I guess the gathering can be
a bit of all three - though it's the ongoing Community of Practice that has me
most excited, because I believe that systemic, sustainable change, depends on

At a student level, we hear a lot of talk about "21st
Century Skills" and "Project Based Learning" - and they BOTH depend on shifting
the student learning experience from individual learning to "learning together".
But the real goal is lifelong learning, which depends on teaching students the
skills to create and participate in Communities of Practice, in whatever
discipline or career they find themselves in.

At an instructor level, sharing knowledge (lesson plans,
open educational resources, etc) is 
great, but the ongoing, creative, sustainable professional practice that
matters more than ever before is collaboration and community. Thriving
educators are creating and/or participating in one or more Communities of
Practice, both face-to-face and virtually. This is why we've been hearing over
the last few years about the concept of "Personal Learning Networks" (PLN). If
you don't have one, you're cutting yourself off professionally. Want to see an
example? Check out the Educator's PLN -
you'll meet wonderful, excited, creative, thriving educators.

At an institutional level, systemic breakthroughs are
only going to happen through communities and collaboration. Innovation is only
partly about content and technology - it's primarily about people. Connecting
educators, institutions even, to one another in new ways creates new
possibilities. Efforts to address systemic change as silos of practice will
never get us to where the 21st century is taking us.

This is why I'm excited about tomorrow's Edu Summit. It's
about innovative uses of technology, to be sure - but it's also about
connecting educators. The Summit will be a success if the attendees leave
wanting to stay in touch, yearning to continue developing their new
professional community of practice.

is the heart of Changing the Education Equation.

I'm very excited (can you tell?). You can join us
virtually over the next few days. Visit www.hpiie.org
and see how you can join us virtually for webcasts, the virtual poster session,
and via twitter (#hpiie).


I look forward to "seeing" you...


Jim Vanides, B.S.M.E, M.Ed.
Education Programs
HP Office of Global Social Innovation

Twitter @jgvanides

For information about the HP Office of Global Social Innovations, visit www.hp.com/hpinfo/grants



Labels: Collaboration

Math/Science Online Poster Session in Second Life - June 11th 6pm SLT

Back by popular demand, next Thursday, June 11, 6:00 pm-7:00
pm SLT
(6:00 pm-7:00 pm Pacific Time) is another virtual poster
session in Second Life, this time focused on science & math Education...

Just like the "Celebration
of Environmental Education
" poster session / social that was sponsored by
HP and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) last month,
this upcoming event will also be held on "ISTE Island" - a safe and
welcoming place for educators, with volunteer docents and a knowledgeable
staff. You are invited to join us this Thursday for another fun,
informal gathering of educators who will share innovative ways they are using
technology to design powerful mathematics learning experiences.

This Virtual Poster Session will feature three science/math
related projects from the HP Technology
for Teaching
grant program. From 6:00-6:30 pm we will have some welcoming
remarks, and the 3 presenters will each give a brief overview of their project
from a central "stage." From 6:30-7:00 pm, the presenters will move
to their poster stations where attendees will be able to visit and chat with
the presenters and each other via text chat.

To attend, teleport to the ISTE Island Headquarters and follow the signs to the event (ask a docent if you get lost).

For those of you who have never been to Second Life, you have to first install Second Life before the "SLURL" above works. It does take a little
bit of setup - but believe me, the experience is well worth it! The friendly
volunteer docents on ISTE
Island will help you get
started. An ISTE Island orientation pathway can be found
at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/ISTE%20Island/130/123/30.
To get started:

  • Visit http://secondlife.com/join/ISTE
    to join Second Life directly through ISTE's registration system.

  • Information will be provided regarding how to
    download the Second Life application to your computer

  • You will be automatically transported to ISTE's
    Orientation space (http://slurl.com/secondlife/ISTE%20Island/130/123/30)--follow
    the pathway to learn how to navigate in Second Life and gain educator-specific

  • At the end of the orientation, you can talk with
    ISTE docents for additional help and tips

Feel free to forward this invitation to other educators or environmental
education advocates who you know may be interested!

I look forward to seeing you there!

(JamesG Sorbet)


Jim Vanides, B.S.M.E, M.Ed.
Worldwide Education Programs
HP Global Social Investment

Twitter @jgvanides

For information about the HP Global Social Investments, visit www.hp.com/hpinfo/grants



Twitter Made Easy - "The Twitter Book" by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein

Lately I've been skeptically musing over the academic and professional value
of Twitter. What exactly is the educational value of a 140 character message? The Twitter Book has me
convinced it's time to dive in...

It's deceptively simple, really: Send a short message (140
characters max), from your cell phone or web-connected computer. Anyone
"following" you will see your message. One way to imagine it, I suppose, is to
compare it to those annoying banners that go flying by at the bottom of your
television screen while you watch the news. But O'Reilly and Milstein point out
that the "news feed" analogy is short-sighted - it's really more about
conversation and collaboration.


So when is real-time information and sharing like this
valuable in a learning setting? Aside from the obvious "instructors sharing
tips with one another", I'm already uncovering some interesting example of
educational "tweeting":

  •  Opening
    a new "channel" for student participation. One example is The Twitter
    from Dr. Monica
    Rankin, Professor of History at the University
    of Texas in Dallas (her 5 minute video is embedded below):

  • Large classroom (or
    conference) Q&A. I've seen this at education conferences - it's very
    engaging and makes the post-keynote Q&A much more lively

  • Support real-time
    collaboration among a group of students (during field trips, on scavenger
    hunts, etc)


So, I've decided jump into the twitter-sphere (or whatever it's
being called!). I'm not sure what exactly will happen, but I'm sure it will be
an adventure. If you'd like to follow my adventure, feel free to set up your
own twitter account and then "follow" me (http://twitter.com/jgvanides).

I'm sure there are many more ideas out there for using
twitter to support teaching and learning. If you know of some, feel free to
send me a "tweet" @jgvanides...!


Jim Vanides, B.S.M.E, M.Ed.
Worldwide Education Programs
HP Global Social Investment

Twitter @jgvanides

For information about the HP Global Social Investments, visit www.hp.com/hpinfo/grants




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About the Author(s)
  • Jim Vanides is responsible for the vision, strategy, design, and implementation of education technology innovation initiatives. His focus is the effective use of technology to create powerful learning experiences that help students around the world succeed. He has been instrumental in launching over 1200 primary, secondary, and higher education projects in 41 countries, including the HP Catalyst Initiative - a 15-country network of 60+ education organizations exploring innovations in STEM(+) learning and teaching. In addition to his work at HP, Jim teaches an online course for Montana State University on the Science of Sound, a masters-level, conceptual physics course for teachers in grades 5 through 8. Jim’s past work at HP has included engineering design, engineering management, and program management in R&D, Manufacturing, and Business Development. He holds a BS in Engineering and a MA in Education, both from Stanford University.
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