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Professional Development VOD

VODEvery member of Ontario Teachers Federation is invited to access in-depth professional development workshops from leading educational producers. There are hundreds of hours of Professional Development streaming video content available here. The programs will be available from early November 2007 to November 30th,2008.

There is no registration to access the materials at this time, although the registration process will be simple enough for any educator to access the content.

One can only speculate why this information is not more widely known to educators in Ontario, or promoted by other organizations under its umbrella. So spread the word!

Viral Video 101 for Educators

I have done some cleanup work on the Teaching Hacks Wiki (my other brain dump area). In particular, I wanted to reorganize the workshops into a separate area.

Something that has peaked my interest over the last few days is how to integrate viral videos into lessons that relate to the Ontario – Language Arts- Media Literacy strand in the intermediate division. The videos would be a great attention grabber, it fits the curriculum really well, and the reflection process would be quite a bit of fun too.

I just started a collecting ideas that I have titled Viral Video 101 for Educators. What I would like to do is deconstruct these videos, analyze its components, and then have students reflect on other viral videos that they have seen before and are willing to share.

I am no viral video expert and most of the video deconstruction resources that I have found relate to advertising, which may not necessarily relate to viral videos, so any feedback would be much appreciated. I (heart) learning!

Digital Learners Video

I found this great little video on Rachel Boyd's blog. This video is prefaced with the following:

Since most of today's students can appropriately be labeled as "Digital Learners", why do so many teachers refuse to enter the digital age with their teaching practices?

This presentation was created in an effort to motivate teachers to more effectively use technology in their teaching.

Please see to learn how you can become a better teacher.

The 10 Keys to Effective Professional Development

From David Jakes Wiki of TechForum Orlando presentation on Professional Development.

The Ten Keys are:

Key 1: Understand the purpose of professional growth.

Key 2: Align professional development with school district goals.

Key 3: Know your usership.

Key 4: Use pilot programs.

Key 5: Invest in "peopleware."

Key 6: Develop space for professional learning.

Key 7: Get off site. Get new ideas.

Key 8: Encourage informal learning

Key 9: Use Learning teams and clubs

Key 10: Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate

Visit his session wiki:

VStream and The Imposter Syndrome

I attended the VStream Symposium a few weeks ago . To put it in the organizers words it “helped identify key issues facing educators using video in the classroom and provided useful instruction and example to illustrate current practices both technical and pedagogical in nature”.

I did record audio of the conference through my digital recorder, but the quality is not as good as I would like. The keynote by Marc Prensky and the breakout Sessions were all video recorded so I am anticipating that the sessions with be posted soon on

I got to meet Ben Hazzard whom I have known online in various incantations over the years. It seemed like we have known each other forever through networks, but never really met in person. His session “When Video Is Irrelevant?” described as:

Interesting lessons learned through practical application of video and audio in the classroom as well as professional development contexts. See when video is ignored, when audio is embraced, and how students react to video. Will the audience of a successful podcast grow when video is introduced? Will students write more effectively to script video? This session will share examples from the field, real podcast statistics, and encourage participants to think about the choosing the best tool for the job.

Ben led a great discussion and demonstrated some of the ways he used video in his classroom. Some of the common points came out with regard to copyright and distributing media.

Diane Zorn led the second breakout session that I attended. I have to be honest; I hadn’t heard of Diane, although she seems to be popular with the Media and has won awards for her online course at York. Her session “Designing Student-Centered, Highly Interactive, Rich Media Courses Using V-Streaming with Mediasite and Video and Audio Podcasting” described as:

Diane Zorn will share lessons learned and best practices of designing, implementing and managing a fully online, rich media, student-centered, critical thinking, skills-based course that uses Mediasite V-Streaming and Video and Audio Podcasting. From an analysis of the problems that were encountered and then sought to resolve, and of student experiences of the course, this presentation identifies ten principles for good practice in the development and delivery of innovative online education. The presentation includes a tour of the presenter’s course website and a Course Design Toolkit folder.

One idea that she brought up that has stuck with me is the “Imposter Syndrome.” I guess it might be categorized as a possible psychological reason why educators might be fearful of getting online with their students and publishing materials. She mentioned that educators, no matter their successes, had a fear that they were going to be “found out” as a fraud in the field that they claim expertise. This might also have a domino effect with regards to online professional development.

Commun-IT – Building a K12 Social Network in Ontario

From this collaborative article about this node network.

What is It? is a community site for Ontario educators interested in sharing ideas, resources, and knowledge about technology and learning.

Who participates in this community?

Anyone with an interest in ICT and technology integration is welcome to join/take part. Current members come from all areas of the K-12 education technology realm, including classroom teachers, curriculum and ICT consultants, school administrators, and community partners such as representatives from government bodies and museums.

Where do you go to find it?

How does it work?

The social networking environment allows for the natural forming of groups around ideas. You are able to join groups within the community to focus on a particular topic or create your own group.

Why use

Teaching can at times be a rather isolating profession. offers those with an interest in how technology can help provide and improve learning opportunities for student a place to come and “meet” like-minded educators from around the province. Visitors can either join the community, which provides a wide range of online collaboration tools (blogs, wiki, shared bookmarking) or just browse the publicly available material.

Accessing Streamed Satellite Channels for PD

My computer has increasingly become my all-in-one media box for music, movies, interactive content and more recently live satellite television. I have enjoyed Jumptv and my new favourite Streamick , although the legality of these web sites seem dubious the easy access to streamed online satellite channels is great, until I get my own Slingbox these web sites will have to do.

Streamick states that their service will always be free and that the service is legal. Here is their explanation: will remain forever a totally FREE service. All this is perfectly legal. The TV channels which can be found on the website are free video streaming available to anyone on the internet. There are no paid channels, which we can’t show due to copyright issues. doesn’t broadcast or reply any video content (at the moment), all the video streams comes directly from the original broadcasters servers.

You have maybe noticed few “big names” in the channels list. Those TV stations are legal and legit. Most of them (such as ESPN or HBO movie channels for instance) are broadband mirrors of Asian (Chinese or Taiwanese) content providers which have obtained the rights to transmit those TV on the internet. For further information please refer to the original broadcasters websites.

Streamick has an educational section where I have been able to access the Annenberg channel. This has been great tool in helping me to access literacy professional development resources for some peers.

I don’t get any of these satellite channels at home, so if anyone out there is getting these channels, can you tell me if the streams are delayed or is it really a live stream – just curious?

PD for PD Delivery

I just finished reading the book "Sit and Get" Won't Grow Dendrites: 20 Professional Learning Strategies That Engage the Adult Brain" by Marcia Tate. I really enjoyed all the different strategies that she shared. I am often looking for different approaches to use in my ICT workshops in order to engage my attendees and learned quite a few through this short book. I am also going to try her Professional Learning Plan Template to prepare for my future workshops.

Here are a few of my notes, they of course make much more sense when you have read the book. Included are some other ideas when I was discussing the book with a peer. Some of these are more obvious than others, but I was looking at applications specifically for technology workshops.

These 20 Strategies approach multiple intelligences in adult learners.

  1. Brainstorming and Discussion
  2. Music, rhythm, rhyme and rap
  3. Drawing and Artwork
  4. Project and Problem Based Instruction
  5. Field Trips
  6. Reciprocal Teaching, Cooperative learning and Peer Coaching
  7. Games
  8. Role-Plays, drama, pantomimes and charades
  9. Graphic Organizers
  10. Storytelling
  11. Humor and Celebration
  12. Technology
  13. Manipulatives and Models
  14. Visualization
  15. Metaphors, analogies and similes
  16. Visuals
  17. Mnemonic Devices
  18. Work Study and action research
  19. Movement
  20. Writing and reflection
  • Always greeting educators with a handshake and exchange of names
  • use sound clips at the end of learning components (Music – Alleluia, Celebration)
  • cartoons with subject references
  • break up presentations with audio, video and/or images
  • use music clips to enhance PowerPoint slides within a theme
  • play calming music as participants enter the room
  • play i.e. "Welcome Back" from Welcome Back Kotter when coming back from breaks
  • For Answers to questions of group – Use thumbs up/thumbs down, use group hum – louder the more you agree
  • Use body parts to stimulate analogies or physical objects during presentations.

Ideas for Activities during Workshops:

  • Snowballs – educators put questions on paper at beginning of workshop, crunch them and throw them around the room, they answer the questions at the end of the workshop by writing on the papers.
  • Use of Beach Ball – share ideas of what was learned at the session by throwing a ball around the room, if it drops start again.
  • At beginning of a session brainstorm what educators expect to learn at the session and then cross them out as they are accomplished through the session or change presentation to suit.

Do you use any fun activities during professional development technology workshops that takes advantage of multiple intelligences in order to retain knowledge? I would love to hear from you.

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