Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Google's Blogger API connects to Seamless Services?

Blog This - simple editor using the Blogger JavaScript API
I am trying to understand how to use the JSON feed from Diigo to support our assessment needs. Google provides several examples using such feeds and I am testing this one to understand how it works.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Skills- Linda Darling Hammond's List - Part 2

I wrote recently about New Skills- Linda Darling Hammond's List that will be needed in this new economy. Sally and I discussed how we can help our students and stakeholders to value and develop these skills. We will want to use some of these ideas to support the collaboration with students at Maris Stella HS in Singapore.

Then, over the weekend, I worked with Nils to explore the proposal that he and others at CTLT are developing for the New Media Competition. We struggled with an online submission interface that interfered with our work. I used the comment system that the competition organizers provided so that they would easily be able to see our public work without going elsewhere. But, I kept some of my own notes about the process in Diigo. I shared some of those with Nils in the form of a Diigo List.

Nils returned to work on Monday and consulted with Theron and produced a new way to organize feedback on proposals using a DML-Competition group with color-coded highlights in Diigo and then he tried Google Sidewiki. This morning, Theron commented that he wanted to be able to sort and filter for tags. I liked Theron's idea but I couldn't find any way to run the queries that Theron requested.

I looked at the tools in Diigo to learn which could potentially support the filtering and found that Diigo Groups have some of the right properties. Initially, I met some internal resistance because this seemed as if it were an unusual application of groups. But as I worked with the concept, it started to grow on me. So, I needed some relatively short names for one or more Diigo groups to prototype my interpretation. So, I searched for Darling Hammond's list and revised it for compact representation:

Design, evaluate & manage one's work
Frame, investigate & solve problems
Find, analyze & use information
Collaborate strategically
Communicate in many forms
Develop new products & ideas
(Darling Hammond, 2010)

As I worked on the list and the problem, I realized that it forms a reasonable representation of our (Sally, Nils, Theron, Steve, Lisa, ...) work, too. In this post alone, I describe how we "frame, investigate, & solve problems," "collaborate strategically," "communicate in many forms," and "develop new ideas." Perhaps one of the best ways for us to understand how to help our students and colleagues is to walk a mile in these shoes.

Linda Darling Hammond. 2010. The Flat World and Education, TC Press. 408 pgs.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Flocking simulation and school change

The Committed Sardines are trying to support transformation of schools. The name "Committed Sardines" requires some explanation that they provide on a page with their blog. They use analogies to contrast the turning radius of a whale with that of sardines swimming in schools to describe their strategy to promote change in schools.
But finally, when a critical mass of truly committed sardines is reached - not a huge number like 50 percent or 80 percent of the school, but 15 to 20 percent who are truly committed to a new direction - the rest of the school suddenly turns and goes with them - almost instantaneously!
I recalled Netlogo and Starlogo both provide samples of flocking simulations that they say are similar to schooling. In searching for and embeddable version of a flocking simulations, I discovered this one at OpenProcessing provides this simulation of flocking/schooling with a different goal. Move the mouse around the simulation window to see changes in the system behavior.

OpenProcessing represents interesting concepts that some of our ITeam members may grow to appreciate.