Learning2 PreCon for Technology Leaders

Learning2 PreCon for Technology Leaders

Learning2 Europe 2018 – International School of Luxembourg

Technology Directors and coordinators work hard to strike a balance when articulating a school-wide vision for teaching and learning while also supporting the expanding, day-to-day needs of students, faculty, and their school community. As part of the Learning2 conference and experience we are excited to announce a new opportunity for technology leaders to collaborate.

Join Aaron Tyo-Dickerson and other members of the ECIS Special Interest Group for Technology, Innovation and Design (TID) for a full day of facilitated conversations around topics selected by and for technology directors and coordinators. Session participants will collect and share their ideas, questions and concerns in a circle of trust and will leave with a better understanding of what is possible and doable for their school today, tomorrow and in the future.

To make it even better, there is no cost for the Precon itself, just 55 US Dollars for the cost of food and transportation. However, we do require that participants attend the regular Learning2 Conference that follows – trust us, you want to! You will be able to continue your conversations all weekend including two other job alike sessions. The total cost of the regular conference, including this session, is 535 US Dollars.

A registration code is required for this pre-conference session. Please contact Aaron at atyodickerson@isstavanger.no or DM @atyodickerson or Stephen@learning2.org or DM @sreiach.

Google Step Up

Google Step Up

a free online course for international school educators

There are lots of great ways to use G Suite tools in your teaching and learning to help your students collaborate, create and share.

If you would like to grow your skills in a fun, interactive online environment with other international school educators please join us for a free, twelve-week course.

Course content will include G Suite services like Classroom, Mail, Drive, Calendar, Groups, YouTube and more.

Course participants will receive a course completion certificate and can even get certified by taking the optional Google Certified Educator Level 1 exam.

What: “Google Step Up”, a free Google Certified Educator prep course

Who: Aaron Tyo-Dickerson, Google Certified Trainer and course facilitator

Where: online in a private “training domain”

When: Course starts Monday, 15 January and takes place over twelve weeks

How: Click here to register!

How Plugged-In Families Can Have a Device-Free(ish) Holiday

“The trick is to downsize — not demolish — your family’s reliance on technology over the holidays. Advice from Common Sense Media editors.”

Just in time for the Winter Break, Common Sense media have created a succinct, useable resource for planning and enjoying the time off together with your family.

One of the things that I always appreciate about CSM is their balanced approach to media and technology and this guide is no exception. There are the predictable, #devicefreedinner-type of suggestions like putting phones in a basket or not checking emails obsessively, but also suggestions for enjoying tech time together in a responsible and fun way:

Have a download derby. Browse the app store together. Look for games and activities that the whole family can enjoy, such as the ones on our our best app lists.

Try some tech togetherness. Unplugging for its own sake isn’t the point. Family time is. Plan a night of video games, movies, or maybe preselected YouTube videos that you can all enjoy together.”

Read more of the suggestions on the Common Sense Media site below.

Source: How Plugged-In Families Can Have a Device-Free(ish) Holiday

Learning Creative Learning

Next week Mitch Resnick and the folks at the MIT Media Lab are kicking off another round of their terrific online course and community: Learning Creative Learning. I have already signed up and am excited to be joining other creative people around the world in this great learning and sharing community.

Read the summary below and click here to register.

“For many years, the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, led byMitch Resnick, has been developing new technologies, activities, and environments (such as Scratch and Computer Clubhouses) to engage all children, from all backgrounds, in creative learning experiences.

Learning Creative Learning (LCL) is our effort to connect and share ideas with people around the world with similar goals, visions, and values. It is an opportunity for like-minded educators and learners to meet one another and share ideas, strategies, and practical tips on how to support creative learning.

LCL is organized as a six-week online course (starting on October 18, 2017), but its real goal is to cultivate an ongoing learning community in support of creative learning around the world.

Each week we will offer online videos, readings, and hands-on activities. You’ll be able go through this material at your own pace. All of our materials will be freely available (including sections from Mitch Resnick’s new Lifelong Kindergarten book). You can spend as much or as little time you like — by watching, reading, making, sharing, reflecting, and discussing.”

Scratch and Friends


Scratch, the drag-and-drop visual programming language from MIT, continues to grow in popularity among teachers and students. The statistics tracker on the Scratch website shows:

  • 18,688,109 projects shared,
  • 15,314,275 users registered,
  • 97,400,962 comments posted,
  • 3,069,067 studios created

Students are creating, sharing, and remixing Scratch projects…and universities are remixing Scratch itself, building and sharing new flavors of Scratch to further expand the appeal and application of Scratch for programming.

Scratch | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

If you are looking for the original Scratch (now in v.2) this is the place for you. Create an account and begin coding games, simulations, musical instruments, and more!

Snap | University of California, Berkeley

Snap is for more advanced users who want to add their own blocks to Scratch. Built on Scratch v.1.4, Snap projects are also exportable as stand-alone apps for Windows and Mac.


Scribble | Monash University

Artists will appreciate this customization of Scratch (via Snap) that comes pre-loaded with cool red blocks for shapes, transparency and text.


No matter your students’ interests or experience levels, there is a Scratch flavor that is just right for them. Try them out and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Can You Tell Fake News From Real? : NPR

"Many assume that because young people are fluent in social media they are equally savvy about what they find there," the researchers wrote. "Our work shows the opposite."

Stanford researchers assessed students from middle school to college and found they struggled to distinguish ads from articles, neutral sources from biased ones and fake accounts from real ones.

This is truly dismaying news given the post-truth world we are apparently living in now. NPR News presents a concise and informative report on Stanford’s recently published “Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning” and paints a grim picture of so-called digital natives’ ability to critically assess news and fake news.

The participants in this study were middle and high school students who were asked to evaluate websites, tweets, and images in order to determine whether they were legitimate (from the cited source), factual (presented information that was true or which stood up to basic scrutiny) or unbiased. The Stanford researched used items from across the politial spectrum and discovered that students could not identify advertisements on webpages, could not determine if sources of sources were real or fake, or even if images were what they purported to be.

We in the IT and Library world clearly have our work cut out for ourselves and need to have some serious curricular discussions within our schools. I for one would be very curious to see how our own students would fare in a similar study. Anyone care to join me?

Listen on NPR.org: https://www.npr.org/player/embed/503129818/503141179

Read on NPR.org: Can You Tell Fake News From Real? Study Finds Students Have ‘Dismaying’ Inability : The Two-Way : NPR

Pencil-Pusher: A Satire


“I’d really like you to meet with the new hire. She comes highly recommended and we are lucky to have hired her..”


“Well, she really needs some help with pencil skills.”

“How can she be an excellent teacher if she can’t use a pencil?”

I already knew the usual responses to this question:

  • She is from a school that didn’t use pencils
  • “Seasoned” teachers like her didn’t learn to use a pencil in their teacher preparation courses at university.
  • She is so busy being an excellent teacher that she just hasn’t had time to learn to worry about “basic stuff” like pencils.

“She comes to us highly recommended by her previous school.”

“Her previous school praised her for her lack of skills?”

“Of course not. That school is not a 1:1 pencil school like ours, so we really cannot blame her for her low pencil skills. She is a seasoned professional who comes to us with lots of qualifications and experience.”

“Did you explain to her that we are a 1:1 pencil school? That every student and teacher on our campus is expected to use the pencils we provide them to improve teaching and learning?”

It felt weird saying that. I know that pencils alone don’t change behavior and attitudes, don’t suddenly provide us with knowledge and insights. It’s what we can learn to do with pencils, slowly and through consistent, deliberate application that will allow us to truly excel at what we do.

“She says that she saw that on our website when she applied for the position. We told her that she will be issued a Dixon-Ticonderoga pencil when she arrives here in August but she told us that all of previous pencil experience is with Faber-Castell pencils. We reassured her that these days pencils have many common features and that her skills should be transferable.”

“That’s true, but you cannot transfer skills that you do not have.”

“This is where you come in: We told her that we have excellent support here at our school. We told her that you provide hands-on training for individuals and small groups, that you are available for one-to-one help, that you can even visit her classes to see how she teaches and where she might be able to integrate pencils into her lessons.”

All of these things we true, of course, but something was bothering me.

“Didn’t her previous school also provide training and support for pencil integration?”

“Of course, why?”