Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Speaking at ISTE, Tuesday @ 3:45, Room 113

Hello everyone!

Speaking at ISTE

A few of you inquired, so I am posting the details about when I speak at ISTE:

Presentation Title: New Media, New Students, New Literacies, New Citizens - Transforming education through digital creativity (...they may have shortened the title on me; look for something close to this)

When: Tuesday, June 28th, afternoon- 3:45 - 4:45

Where: Room 113 B&C at the convention center

Where I am writing
Why I am writing
  • I can't stop myself.
New books?
Yes, I am co-authoring a book called Learning from Leonardo that will be out in late fall. It is all about what Leonardo da Vinci can teach us about how to thrive during our digital renaissance.

Where I might be writing - what do you think of theStreet.com?
I am mulling over an offer by theStreet.com to become a technology contributor, essentially a regular columnist. It's quite a commitment. Any feelings about the importance of theStreet.com in the greater world of ideas?

Where else am I speaking?
Great year coming up- Prague, Bangkok, Milan... check jasonOhler.com for more details.

See you at ISTE!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Ed Leadership article: Character Education for the Digital Age

Hello subTechst readers-

I continue to do most of my blog writing for the Committed Sardine Blog, but thought you would like to know about my article about digital citizenship and character education in the new issue of Educational Leadership. It echoes a number of points from my latest book, Digital Community, Digital Citizen.

You can read “Character Education for the Digital Age- Should We Teach Our Kids to Have Two Lives or One?” in Ed Leadership at: http://ow.ly/3On3S

Feel free to forward this to anyone you wish.

PS- Next book, due out hopefully by the holidays, is Learning from Leonardo: Creative Innovation in an Age of Global Digital Transformation. My co-author is Dr. Jean-Pierre Isbouts, award-winning documentarian and Leonardo Da Vinci historian.



Dr. Jason Ohler, digital humanist // www.jasonOhler.com
Professor Emeritus, Educational Technology, University of Alaska

Author, Digital Community, Digital Citizen

Friday, September 24, 2010

New book: Digital Community, Digital Citizen

Hello readers-

Even though I have shifted my blog writing to the Committed Sardine, I thought I would send out an announcement about my new book about digital citizenship, Digital Community, Digital Citizen (Corwin Press). The official announcement appears below. Feel free to pass it on.

A note about availability. My book has been going in and out of stock due to demand. If the Amazon posting shows "3-4 weeks for delivery," know that typically it ships within a week.

Excerpts available for blogs and newsletters. You can download and use the Preamble of the book, titled "Our Choice for Our Children: Two Lives or One?" I am happy to provide other excerpts as well.


Announcing Digital Community, Digital Citizen (Corwin Press, 2010)

Digital Community, Digital Community (Corwin Press) looks at the rise of digital communities, the evolution of citizenship (local, global and digital), the complications (and opportunities) arising from kids communicating in cyberspace and how education can help prepare students for a world that will need them to use technology effectively, creatively and wisely.

Topics addressed: character education for digital kids, how school boards need to respond to everything from sexting to cyberbullying, how to help teachers and students "see" the technology that has become invisible to them and make wise choices about its use.

It’s available on Amazon. I also maintain a wiki about digital citizenship. After visiting it, if you decide you would like to be a contributor, just send me an email (jasonOhler@gmail.com).

Excerpts are available for reprinting (in newsletters, blogs). You can download the book's Preamble, which addresses the question "Our Choice for Our Children: Two Lives or One?"

If you would like more to reprint than this please let me know.

Kind regards-


Dr. Jason Ohler, digital humanist // www.jasonOhler.com
Professor Emeritus, Educational Technology, University of Alaska

Author, Digital Community, Digital Citizen

Thursday, November 5, 2009

One-to-One Laptop Computing Works - But You Have to Use Authentic Assessment to See It

In my last posting I included a link to my Infosavvy blog article about my evaluation of a one-to-one laptop program. The posting was fine, but the link was wrong. Here is the posting in its entirety so you don't have to link anywhere to read it. Apologies.

Recently I completed an evaluation of a one-to-one laptop program involving over 12,000 students in over 100 schools. The results? Standardized test scores show mixed results, but student engagement is through the roof. In addition, student behavior issues are down, student interest in their communities is up, parental involvement increased and students extended their school day by continuing their work at home on their laptops. And because I used focused conversations with teachers and administrators involved in the project, rather than strict quantitative analysis of standardized test scores, I saw many things I would not have seen otherwise, like the following:

  • teachers could truly differentiate instruction for the first time
  • mainstreaming special needs students became more effective
  • students could actually show many more of the multiple intelligences we have heard so much about
  • students developed a more professional attitude toward using digital technology
  • teachers and parents enjoyed improved communication, largely because parents were more involved in what was going on at school

But darn, there are those pesky standardized test scores, trying to validate an NCLB approach to testing in an un-NCLB world. Clearly we are using the wrong measurements to see the changes in education - especially the ones that work - that could be all around us.

Bottom line:

  • Re-engage. Re-engagement is the first step toward reinvolving students in school. Laptops, wireless connectivity and teachers who understand what to do with these tools make that happen.
  • Assess in context. Testing outside of any meaningful applied context will give you results that don’t map to the real world. We need new forms of assessment that honor how kids learn.

Want to know more about the study? Email me (jasonohler@gmail.com), or the project coordinator, Steve Nelson (snelson@aasb.org) from Alaska Association of School Boards, who directed this project.

I will write more about this at a later date, but for now I thought you might like to hear some good news.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Have Moved to Infosavvy

Where have I been? Writing for the Infosavvy Group.

I was asked to be a contributing editor for Infosavvy's blog, the Committed Sardine, and I was happy to oblige. Our blog receives about 10,000 hits per week, and we have a click through rate of about 5 times the average.

I will be posting here now and again to direct you to the two main sources of my writings: my TechWit column, and my Committed Sardine blog postings.

Who is Infosavvy?
Infosavvy members are speakers, writers, teachers, trainers, researchers and consultants in the field of the effective, creative and wise use of technology. Although our focus tends to be on education, we also work with business, government, community organizations - anyone who wants to bring perspective and results to the use of technology.

Please come to the Infosavvy site and look around. You can read more about us and what we do, and also visit the Committed Sardine blog.

Here is a list of places to go to read recent work:


From Reading Books to Veading Vooks - October 2009


Committe Sardine Blog

Links provided below are for the last two weeks only. Feel free to go directly to the blog site to read all postings.

My Favorite: One to One Laptop Computing Works - But You Have to Use Authentic Assessment to Understand That - October 16, 2009. This is based on my assessment of the impacts of one to one programs on classroom culture, engagement and literacy.

Other postings....

The Rise of the International Student - October 30, 2009

The Bad Schools Syndrome - October 25, 2009

Using Cell Phones in History Class - October 24, 2009

Pew, the Internet and You - October 21, 2009

Blabberize - It's a Good Way to Decompress - October 20, 2009

Florida School Allows Cell Phones in Class - October 20, 2009

Capscreen - Text and Video Mixing It Up Again - October 16, 2009

One to One Laptop Computing Works - But You Have to Use Authentic Assessment to Understand That - October 16, 2009

I Screen, You Screen, We All Screen - October 15, 2009

See you at Infosavvy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Iran becomes iRan - censorship meets connectivity

Revolutions are so much about connectivity. We can see an army advancing from miles away and prepare to meet them at the gate. But electronic messages quietly ooze through leaky political borders no matter how hard the status quo tries to stop them.

The 1979 Iran revolution is often called the cassette revolution because it was the mass production of cassettes illegally smuggled into Iran that brought about the Shah’s downfall and put the current regime in power. From Bretton’s International Relations in the Nuclear Age (1986):
In 1979 the Shah of Iran with the aid of a highly efficient brutal secret police, seemed firmly in control of all means of internal and external communications in Iran. Yet highly inflammatory revolutionary messages demanding his overthrow, taped in exile by his principal opponent the Muslim leader Ayatollah Khomenei, reached the masses. Smuggled by cassette into Iran, there reproduced and distributed en masse, the Ayatollah’s the word eventually triggered a popular uprising, forcing the Shah’s departing.
Fast forward to now, when bulky cassette players are replaced with sleek cell phones. Although the government tried to stop the bloggers, tweeters and everyone else plugged into the great international data cloud, the world learned once again that there is simply no stopping connectivity. With so many ways to connect, and so many info savvy, motivated people willing to speak, radio free Internet filled the ether waves. All that was required to change world perception was for a few bloggers to let us all know that the official word and the word on the street were very different. In the iPod age, Iran became iRan.

What’s our take away? That if an all out, government sponsored assault on the Internet could not bring it to its knees, then certainly it will never leave our shores, our schools, or our childrens' lives. That while internet lock down in K-12 schools is enticing and plays well in the press, it is rarely effective. This leaves us with a clear choice: no matter what kind of filtering we may wish to impose in schools, we need to couple digital skill training with wisdom building if we are going to teach students how to manage their lives in the infosphere. If we don’t like what is on YouTube, let’s teach them how to create stuff we would like to see there. If we think blogging is dangerous and superfluous, then let’s teach them how to make it safe and relevant. Like water that crosses borders, information flows around any rocks in its path. Let’s teach our students how to navigate that water critically, creatively and with a sense of humanity that will serve us all well.

For more information about the role electronic media played in recent events in Iran, see Jon Bernstein’s report: Iran - the Backstory

Image from a paid Clipart subscription.

Cross-posted with InfoSavvy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Blogfolios for teachers

Blog + portfolio = blogfolio
I have had the pleasure of teaching technology infusion in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program for a number of years. During this fifteen-month intensive program, students complete coursework as well as spend a year working with a mentor teacher in a classroom. At the end of the program, students receive both a teaching credential and a Master's degree.

As part of the technology infusion coursework, each student creates a "blogfolio" that serves as both a work repository and reflection venue throughout the year. The work they create includes digital stories, documentaries, slide presentations, diagrams and artwork, podcasts, screen casts, lesson plans, units of instruction and essays. A typical blogfolio entry consists of a reflective text piece, which includes links to media that students have posted on the web using services such as YouTube, SlideShare and Google Docs.

Recently Academe published an article about my use of blogfolios in teacher education. What follows is an excerpt. Below the excerpt you will find links to the entire article as well as to this year's class blogfolio website, which provides links to all student blogfolios.

"Blogging has deservedly gained a reputation as the Web 2.0 tool with a thousand and one uses. My experience as a technology instructor in the master’s program for secondary school teachers at the University of Alaska Southeast bears this out. My students, who are preparing to teach subjects from art to physics in public schools, use blogging to develop their portfolios and coordinate the teaching resources they find. In addition, many use it with their own students in their work as teachers."

"All the work that students produce during the year is either posted to or cited on their blogfolios. Links typically lead to projects they have posted through free media hosting services. Students are encouraged to visit one another’s blogfolios throughout the year for ideas, inspiration, and conversation."


Or if you are on a limited time budget and would like to visit just one student blogfolio, I recommend that you visit the blogfolio created by art student Bethany Waggoner.