Monthly Archives: April 2012

BigMarker Session 9:30pm Bangkok Time Tuesday!

Just a reminder that we’ll be having a BigMarker session Tuesday at 9:30pm Bangkok time.

If you haven’t signed up for a bigmarker account you’ll have to do that first and then click on the link below.

May 1st Conversation Link

Julie asked a great question about copyright and policies that belong to different countries. A good example. In the United States you are not allowed to collect data from children under the age of 13. Hence the reason why you can’t be 13 to sign up for a Facebook account. But does that rule apply to use overseas?

Kristi also wrote me with a great idea to discuss the user agreement behing the new Google product Google Drive. The user agreement has come under a lot of fire lately. How much power do we really want to give Google?

Come ready to discuss these and other issues on your mind. Hopefully with this new time we’ll get some more people to participate. ;)

TAS Final Projects!

This past weekend I was in Taipei finishing wrapping up the final course for the TAS Cohort. It was a great day of presenting and learning and reflecting . There were a a few projects I wanted to point out to you so that you have an idea of where this all ends in a years time.

You can watch all the recorded presentations here.

Nancy and Kathy put together this fantastic video. Your final project will be a video that you create similar to this. Breathe……we’re a long way from there…..but you’ll notice the aspects that we’ve already talked about integrated into this project.

Allison Nave has done a great job of sharing and reflecting as she flips her middle school math class….as well as sharing her thoughts on our bigmarker session last week.

Nyoli had her Algebra students create a Google Site for review purposes. Students don’t want the site public but she outlines the learning and the process.

Barb outlines making book trailers with elementary students in the library.

Scott and Laura reflects on using iPads with 1st graders.

Steve talks about using Google Docs with 2nd Graders.

Jennifer teaches music through creating a sound track for a movie trailer.

Just a couple of examples of how technology in playing a part in different classrooms. Exciting to see where you’ll end up in just about a years time! :)


Plagiarism, Compfight and Final Projects

I hope everyone is doing well as we head into the second half of course 2. Just a couple of things I want to share and point you to.


Some great blog posts on plagiarism, copyright, and creative commons that of course have all this in the front of my mind.

<beging rant>


A teacher comes in today and asks me to copy a copyright DVD for them. Can I? Sure. Should I? I have a hard time with this and get frustrated when teachers bust kids for coping from the Internet and then turn around and ask if we can copy a DVD.

“But it cost like $100!”

So if something is expensive we should be able to copy it? If it was $10 they wouldn’t ask me?

Where does this double standard come from? That if we steal written work it’s called plagiarism and if we steal media….well…they’ll never know.

I think my favorite thing about teaching students about copyright and creative commons is when students come to me and say “Yeah….but Mr. U teacher ????? takes photos all the time from the web and never cites them.” Now even under Fair Use you are still obligated to cite your sources….and then we yell at kids when they don’t.


</end rant>

Compfight WordPress Plugin:


It’s been great to see images popping up in your blog posts and adding that all so important visual element to the web. I’ve gotten a lot of e-mails asking if I would install the Compfight WordPress Plugin that keeps popping up on their site when you search for images.

My answer….no

Why? Because that takes the fun learning out of it. Part of adding images is learning how links work, how you can find the URL of anything on the web and how you can push and pull that in other places. It’s learning a little HTML that can go a long way. The same reason I want you to embed and not just link your Google Doc. Yeah that HTML code looks scary….but the more you look at it, read it, use it, the less scary it becomes….and that’s a good thing. What I love about code today is you can actually read it. Take some time to “read” some code and I bet in no time at all you’ll start to understand it like another language. p=paragraph div=divide img=image The new HTML language is pretty cool!

Final Projects:

Will Power - Winner!

Hopefully you’re all working on your Final Projects by now. It’s great to see some of you collaborating already and sharing your learning with us.

This is a great time to use the Group Forum built into the site. I’ve seen some of you tweeting out looking for a partner and yet others leaving comments on each others blogs. Keep at it, keep supporting each other and reflect on this process of finding a partner and that experience of collaborating online.

Bigmarker Session with Allison Nave – MS Math – Flipping Math Class

A great conversation tonight with Allison Nave a TAS COETAILer and Middle School Math Teacher at Jakarta International School. Allison is working on her final course 5 project by flipping her classroom. A pedagogical approach to using technology in the classroom. We’ll spend a lot of time in course 4 talking about flipped instruction along with other pedagogical approaches to using technology in the classroom.

Next Tuesday we’ll be on late to allow others to join us. Our conversation will start at 9:30pm Bangkok time. That’s 2:30pm GMT. Hoping we can get more people to join us.

Show Notes:

Allison’s Handouts:
Flipping a Math Class
Technology Use in Math

Wikipedia Volunteer Editor Reaches 1 Million Edits
(Have you edited Wikipedia? If not give it a try!)

Two New COETAIL Coaches in Training

As COETAIL continues to expand with at least three more cohorts next year, we are looking to add some COETAIL Coaches to help us meet the needs of the growing numer of COETAILers out there.

Kim Cofino and I have talked about this at great length and want to make sure that new COETAIL Coaches understand the philosophy behind COETAIL, are leaders in the Educational Technology Field, are international teachers themselves, as well as being good presenters. The final requirement is that they must complete the COETAIL program themselves.

So with that we’ll have two COETAIL Coaches In Training for the remainder of this cohort. I’m excited to announce that Clint Hamada and Brandon Hoover will both be joining me in the journey of this cohort as coaches.

Clint is in his 14th year of teaching, working in schools in California, Japan, Tanzania and Vietnam. As the Technology Facilitator at UNIS Hanoi, Clint works with students and teachers to leverage technology to create innovative learning experiences. He has facilitated workshops at conferences across Asia, including the IB Asia Pacific Regional Conference, Learning 2.0 and ASB Unplugged. Clint is an IB MYP workshop leader and experienced MYP/DP Mathematics practitioner.

Professional Blog | COETAIL Blog | Twitter

Brandon is an American expat living in Manila, Philippines after 7 amazing years in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has been living in Asia since 2002.

Brandon is an IT Curriculum Director at International School Manila, an  ADE, with a degree in Engineering and Industrial Design with a Fine Arts major. One of his strongest passions (as you may have guessed) is photography.

Keep up with him via:

twitter | flickr | 500px | COETAIL Blog

I do hope you do your own “Google Resume” search for these two so you can see for yourself just how qualified they are.

On a personal note…I’ve known both of these guys via the network for….it seems like forever. They have taught me a lot over the years and I’m excited that they’ve decided to join COETAIL as instructors. Clint actually did a presentation for the YIS COETAIL Cohort earlier this school year and is now part of the Learning 2.012 Conference Team.

Brandon is an amazing photographer. Do check out his flickr and 500px account above….I’m personally very excited to have him help us teach the third course that focuses on visual literacy.

Both of these gentlemen will have access to your Google Grade Sheet and you’ll see posts from them here from time to time as they learn the COETAIL Coaching system as well as take the COETAIL program at the same time. So they will be busy!

Also know if you have questions, need help with something they are here to support you!


Back Among the Connected

Swimming with a Manta RayI’m back! Though I really don’t want to be. Diving with Manta Rays and relaxing on the beaches of Thailand for a couple days was fantastic. But even more than that was the ability to be disconnected….and why is it so hard to disconnect and then when we do we don’t want to reconnect again? Or is this just me?

It’s hard to drag myself back among the connected and yet this is the world I love and talk about all the time. The more I’m connected the more I want to be disconnected…or at least cherrish the time I am disconnected and see it as the most valuable time I have.

That’s why at least once a year I do this where I disconnect for a long period of time. It’s easy to go a day or two…but a week or longer is more difficult. Of course what it means to “disconnect” has changed as well. I still had my iPad and used TripAdvisor to find places to eat, to check-in online for flights. I read on my Kindle and had my phone with me to talk with my wife when we were at opposite ends of the city doing things with our family.

But I was “disconnected” I didn’t use Facebook, I didn’t Tweet….I didn’t check e-mail…which is the big one. I refused to do anything work related or social-network related until a couple days ago when we got back.

So how do you define “disconnected”?

But….I’m back…you’re still blogging, learning, and making connections and the world goes on.

BigMarker Tuesday Night with Allison Nave

5pm Bangkok Time Allison Nave will be with us. Allison is a Middle School Math Teacher and COETAILer who will join us to talk about how she’s been using technology in the middle school classroom. If you can’t make it we’ll record it for you to listen to later.

On Spring Break!

You are here in my Heart...Just a quick note to let you know that I’m taking this week as my Spring Break. Family is flying in and we’ll be doing some diving in south Thailand. So I’ll be a good 3 days without Internet and hopefully loger if things go as planned. It’s time to disconnect and find balance.

Nothing new will be posted here so take this week to get caught up, work on your AUPs and find someone to collaborate with… don’t need me anyway… have each other.


April 10 Conversation Podcast

(Apologies for the sound quality…I’m having issues with my computer but will get them figured out soon.)

Another great conversation…..or I thought so anyway with a couple of COETAILers that could make it. Emily wins the award for overcoming the most obstacles while still at school and having a fire alarm. I promise those of you in the Middle East region we’ll schedule some later conversations that you can have an opportunity to make.


Show Notes:
From Clint:
Andrew Church’s AUA Example
EU Kids Online

From Jeff:
Laptops Not Increasing Test Scores
Parent Certificate Program at ISB

Big Questions:
How do you get more “Google Juice”?
If you aren’t searchable do you even exist?

Sanne and I had a conversation before the rest of the group arrived about her AUP project and her school going 1:1 with Macs. If you’re interested in that conversation I’ve put it at the end of the podcast. There’s about 3 seconds or so of dead space and then that conversation will start. Just an added bounce…..kind of like the bloopers if you stay for the credits. :)