Holt Think: Ed, Creativity, Tech, Administration


Posts tagged with "web2.0"

Why Should I Share When No One Else is Sharing?

This past week, I keynoted at an event where I pushed the audience to “Share Everything.” I mean really, professionally, what is it that any educator has that is so secret it shouldn’t be shared?


Who has lesson plans that are so incredible that only one person should be allowed to use them? What coach has such amazing coaching strategies that others should not be allowed to learn from them? What marching band formation is so wonderful that no one else should be allowed to even glimpse at it’s wonderfulness?  I simply cannot imagine. Enlighten me…

Even if you are a coach with this years latest and greatest plays, why not share LAST year’s plays? Marching band dudes and dudettes, we have seen your formations last year..share them this year. Some newbie band director could use them!

When you really think about it, not too many of us share. Thus, that is why at the keynote,  I asked everyone to share their knowledge. I think, in the words of Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, that we literally have a moral obligation to embrace the technology and to share:


 When we are little kids, what do we learn almost immediately?

That we should share. 

Share our crayons.

Share our drawing paper.

Share your baby swimming pool.

Share your toys.

Let Billy ride your bike for goodness sake. 

Somewhere along the way, we start to pull more into ourselves, and as we get older, that lesson we learned in preschool goes away.  

Sure, we share some things in our lives..but there always is that little nagging idea in our heads about whether I get anything back:

Why should I share when no one else is sharing?

What is in it for me?


When I first started writing my blog, all those years ago, I really didnt think about what would happen. I simply decided to use the blog as an example to my employees of what blogging could be. 

Now, almost 8 years later, thousands of entries written or re-blogged, and three or four different reiterations of my site, (Byte Speed, Intended Consequences 1.0 and 2.0, and now Holtthink), I think that it no longer is even an issue of what I am sharing. I don’t post for others so much as I post to get the ideas out of my little brain and onto a semi permanent location where I can refer back to them.

I don’t do it for the good of the many, I do it for the good of the me.

So really, by sharing with everyone, I am doing myself the most selfish of acts: I am creating a repository of ides and thoughts and resources for my own use later on.

And if someone else comes along and like what I am saving, good for them.

And that is why I share when no one else is sharing. 

A bit more from my upcoming publication: 180 Questions

Question 132: What ways am I using to make myself a better educator?  

Today, with close to universal access to the Internet, it is easy to connect not only with other teachers, but with experts in education theory, education pedagogy, best practices in every sub-field of education, and even education technology. The question no longer is “Can I connect to make myself a better educator?” The question now is “Am I willing to connect to make myself a better educator?” There are many, many places to start to become connected to experts. One favorite is the thousands of free podcasts that are available on iTunes as well as even complete education courses in iTunes-U.    Many state education agencies in the US are now offering their K-12 professional development online in iTunes U, so a teacher in Texas that might need help with reading comprehension activities can log into the Arizona education site and watch that state’s professional development. 

Classroom 2.0 is another great site where literally tens of thousands of educators are connecting online and enriching their professional lives through ongoing social networking, building their professional learning networks, and sharing of ideas. 

If you are not participating in the world of self directed professional development, it is not because there is a lack of material out there for you to use, mostly for free. you need to ask yourself “WHY?” if you are not doing it.

Book Review: What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media Scott McLeod and Chris Lehmann Editors


What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media

Edited by

Scott McLeod and Chris Lehmann



Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney used to make movies in the late 1930’s and 40’s  where the whole purpose of the movie was to get a bunch of friends together and put on a show, with the show being the grand finale of the movie. The phrase “Hey kids, let’s put on a show” sprung from those old Garland/Rooney movies. Scott McLeod and Chris Lehmann pull a similar  digital technology feat in their book “What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media” a collection of seventeen essays covering a wide variety of current tools and concepts that education administrators may want to use at their campuses or in their districts. I can just imagine the tweets that went back and forth between the editors and the prospective authors when they were planing the book: “Hey kids, let’s put on a show, er, I mean book!” When the book was done, they had a big party, just like in the movies! McLeod and Lehmann rounded up an all star cast of ed tech illuminati, who would be easily recognizable to the ed tech crowd, and completely meaningless to the non-ed tech crowd who this tome is aimed at. But that is okay, because the authors give the book a gravitas that if both editors went it alone, would not have been able to achieve. Names like Sheryl Nussbaum Beach, Miguel Guhlin, Will Richardson, and Ewan McIntosh among others are recruited as writers, and for the most part, they write with a partner on each chapter. For instance, Will Richardson and Karl Fisch collaborate to create a chapter on RSS. The end effect is a quick read and for the most part, achieves the desired affect of teaching without lecturing but it does have some issues that at least, make it less of a strong book than it could have been. 

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Annie Murphy Paul on Salman Khan: The New Andrew Carnegie? | TIME Ideas | TIME.com

Do you agree? I know Will Richardson is having a fit right about now…

From the article:

Much attention has been paid to the use of Khan Academy videos in classrooms. Hundreds of schools across the U.S. have integrated his lessons into their curricula, often using them to “flip” the classroom: students watch the videos at home in the evening, then work on problem sets — what would once have been homework — in class, where there are teachers to help and peers to interact with. The approach is promising, and it may well change the way American students are taught.

Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2011/11/16/salman-kahn-the-new-andrew-carnegie/#ixzz1dw6EUilN

Project Share Smackdown Part 1

Project Share Texas SmackDown

Tim Holt


Recently, I apparently started a tempest in a teapot in Twitterville when I asked a few of my colleagues to share what their main objection to using the Texas-provided 21st century tool Project Share Texas, (aka Epsilen) what the major objections to not using the product were. (Project Share Texas (PST) is a service provided free of charge to all teachers and all students in the state of Texas, free being a relative term knowing that  tax dollars paid for it at the state level.) One teacher spoke about the Epsilen environment this way: 

Gena Worden wrote: My humble opinion is that Epsilen is a gift. It is an amazing set of web 2.0 tools in one centralized location that was designed for participants to use as a personal learning network, a content management system, and as a professional ePortfolio. It is a platform of learning, collection, and reflection. It is a platform of personal and professional development and student engagement. For those already using Moodle, Edmodo, Google, Eduphoria Workshop, Alfresco, Sharepoint, Wikispaces, Blogspot, Ning, Facebook, Twitter, etc…GREAT! YOU have the experience needed to make Epsilen/Project Share a SUCCESS for you and your students! Platforms change all the time. I’ve created eCourses in Moodle, Workshop, and now Epsilen. All of them have features I like as well as features I think can be improved. It isn’t about the platform, it’s about the message you are trying to convey—it’s the lesson you want to teach. Stepping off my soapbox now…. ;-) 


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Nov 9

Google SketchUp Newsletter Nov. 8, 2011

Make ideas real.Last week, we launched the Make Ideas Real project to highlight an aspect of SketchUp that makes us proud; people from all different disciplines use SketchUp to breathe life into their ideas. SketchUp models get made into physical buildings, interiors, furniture, and millions of other things. We want to gather up these stories to build a website spotlighting SketchUp users who are shaping the world around us.

Here’s how you can contribute: Use this form to tell us your SketchUp story. Include an image of a 3D model with an accompanying photograph that shows your completed project; check out this post for some examples. Anything goes for subject matter—as long as SketchUp helped you make it, we want to see it.  Professionals, semi-professionals, and weekend dabblers are all welcome. Over the next few months, we’ll curate the submissions we receive. In 2012, we’ll launch a special showcase and share it with the world. 

Happy sketching,


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Top 5 Education Technology Blogs | Certification Map

Another meaningless list, however , if you aren’t reading some blogs, here are a few good ones to start on.

Rocketr: Social Notetaking

This looks like an interesting app.

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

Will Richardson wowed the crowd at TEDxNYED  by saying a very simple thing:

He held up his iPhone and said that soon, every kid will have access to the sum total of human knowledge in their hands, with every person at the other end of the connection a potential teacher. 

One blogger wrote:

To me the central idea of the event, the one that wove through multiple talks was perfectly summarized by   

 Will Richardson who ended the day.  At one point in his talk, Will held out his smartphone and said that our students will have access to billions of teachers and the whole sum of human knowledge in one hand, a simple demonstration of an incredibly powerful fact.

This of course, is similar to what Marco Torres has been saying for years with the iPod and iPhone, that the device now changes the learning paradigm and that kids can take charge of their own learning.  Torres used to ask a question of his audiences: What makes you an expert when  students can Google up what you are about to tell them in 2 seconds on the internet and then get 10 alternative points of view along with it? What makes you so special?

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What Do We Keep, What Do We Throw Away?

Here is an interesting slideshare form Dean Shareski: What Do We Keep and what Do we Throw Away?

Although it is not narrated, the information is very good. You can tell Dean and Will Richardson are fans of each other!

What do we keep and what do we throw away?

View more presentations from Dean Shareski

Top 100+ Tools for Ed Tech in the Classroom


Here is the list for the Top 100 Tools for Learning , the annual list that looks at the tools educators can use. I have an issue of them lumping all of the iPad and Android APPs into a single group, as this is an emerging education tool, and putting them all into a single one does a disservice to the devices. Some of these I simply have never heard of..some I think are too old to be on the list anymore.

Anyway, how many do you use?


  1. 1.Twitter Microblogging tool

  2. 2.YouTube Video sharing site

  3. 3.Google Docs Office collaboration suite

  4. 4.Wikipedia Collaborative encyclopedia

  5. 5.Skype Instant messaging/VoIP

  6. 6.Glogster and Eduglogster Make an interactive poster

  7. 7.Wordpress Blogging tool

  8. 8.Facebook Social networking site

  9. 9.Moodle Course mgt system

  10. 10.Prezi Presentation software

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