Jeff Utecht

Episode 10


Dave Navis, a 5th grade teacher from Hong Kong International School joined Jeff and David for tonight’s show.

Essential Question

When not to use technology?

David: See his post.

Jeff: See his recent post on his screen free week.

Dave Navis: See his post.

Blog Posts of the Week:

Jeff: Turn TV Off

David C: Jamie McKenzie’s FNO 500 Mile Project Leader Talk: Shift Happens- Now What?

Dave N: Alan November

Note: Don’t forget to register for the Learning 2.008 Conference. A new EdubloggerCon segment has been added to the program.

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* Next show is Thursday May 16th at 7:00 PM Shanghai time.
* Our guests will be Dennis Harter, Justin Medved & Kim Cofino of the International School Bangkok.
* Essential Question for the show: How do we connect technology and classroom instruction seamlessly?
* Don’t forget to post Web sites/blogs to the SOS bookmarking site that support our upcoming EQ.

Episode 9


Michael Lambert, a Middle School teacher from Concordia International School in Shanghai joined Jeff and David for tonight’s show.

Essential Question

How to go deeper in student learning? Why go deeper?

David: See his blog post.

Jeff: Engage student and allow them to be nodes of information.

Take away from the discussion-

Mike’s 5 Strategies for Deeper Learning:

  1. Go one to one with laptops so students have access to information to answer their questions. Let’s students “rewind”, go back to information when they need to further their understanding.
  2. Project-based Learning: cross discipline the learning in real world applications. Example: Mike’s class visited a bike shop which connected economics, science, math and community building. They also went to a landfill, about learned alternative fuels and made further connections to being better citizens of the Earth.
  3. Visuals- let the images tell the story. Strong connection to student brains. Evokes the emotion which brings attention which drives learning. Using graphs. How to filer the information, make meaning of it. Media Literacy.
  4. Build in multi-sensory experiences. Get the kids outside the classroom and engage in field trips, real world–new brain experiences. These are deeper. Sometimes means making mistakes, being uncomfortable which leads to learning.
  5. Teachers need to let go. Let the kids be more in control. We need to be the coach. We can be co-learners.

Inquiry. Everyone provides questions. Help students take their passions and questions to design question to research and then come up with more questions that they want to answer.

Make connections across the curriculum then lead to questions and further applications that combine subject areas. Cannot be narrow with our curriculum. Ready to go in different directions.

We need to really focus on teaching students to be learners. If they are truly going to be independent life long learners, they have to have the skills to be active learners.

What does a shifted school look like?

Jeff: What is a Shifted School? A school that understands that learning is a 24/7 activity and engages students in THEIR spaces to learn. A school that instead of forcing student to come to them to learn, they go to them and create learning opportunities where the students are. They use tools that are familiar to the students, that engage them in the learning process and allow them to not only connect nodes of information, but also always them and teaches them to be a node as well.

David: What shifted looks like see 21st Century Schools & his post on the topic. School 2.0 wiki by Steve Hargadon as a place to read opinions on what shifted schools look like and add your opinion. And listen to episode 8 where Brent Loken talks about Hsinchu International School.

Mike: If you are using strategies for deeper learning and helping kids make connections, you are really focusing on learning which is what shifted schools are all about. We need to look at our pre-service teacher programs to shift them where teachers learn teaching 2.0 strategies while taking part in mentoring programs to get them up to speed.

Blog Posts of the Week:

Jeff: Remote Access A Difference Mark’s EdTech Learning is Messy

David: See Margaret’s comment for SOS episode 3.

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* Next show is Wednesday April 30th at 8:00 PM Shanghai time. Note: This is a different day and time than our usual show.
* Our guest will be David Navis of Hong Kong International School.
* Essential Question for the show: When not to use technology?
* Don’t forget to post Web sites/blogs to the SOS bookmarking site that support our upcoming EQ.

Episode 8


Brent Loken, the Director of Curriculum and Innovation at Hsinchu International School (HIS) joined Jeff and David for tonight’s show.

Brent has a Web site and a blog where you can read more about his ideas.

Essential Question

How to Shift?

David> See his blog post for his Top 10 list of steps to take to shift.

Jeff> We need to think about the effect of small, start up schools like HIS and how they might bypass the traditional schools to offer the 21st century learning that our international corporate parents are realizing their children need.

Take away from the discussion>

-It is usually an evolutionary approach in most schools for them to slowly make the shift to School 2.0.
-So much more difficult to shift schools with history and culture that won’t adapt. But we cannot stop our efforts!
-If you are fortunate to be at a small school or one just starting up, you have a much better chance of getting everyone of like minds and beliefs onboard to take a more radical approach.
-“Rethink everything”. “Needs to be a revolution”. “Be bold”.
-The curriculum is not fast enough to keep up with the learning community of a shifted school. Must be ready to adapt it as your school adapts to the learning needs of its students.
-Possibility of competition from start-up schools? Just like in the business world.
-Healthy competition in schools provides more choices for parents and to choose from.

Blog Posts of the Week

Jeff: New Literacy Leader Talk
The Learning 2.008 Conference in Shanghai!

Brent: Arts and Smarts article Whole Child article
A Mind at A Time by Mel Levine

David: Powerful Learning Practices
9 Principles for Implementation: The Big Shift
Leading the Shift in International Education

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* Next show is Thursday April 18th at 7 PM Shanghai time.
* Our guest will be Michael Lambert of Concordia International School in Shanghai.
* Essential Question for the show: How to go deep in learning? Why go deep?
* Don’t forget to post Web sites/blogs to the SOS bookmarking site that support our upcoming EQ.


Over two days I set up shop at a desk in the commons area at the EARCOS Teachers Conference and recorded conversations with anyone who walked by and looked at the crazy guy with headphones and microphones set up. Thank you to everyone who stopped by or who I grabbed to get your prespective on the conference!

Podcast Link:

Webcast Academy how to record a two way Skype call with Audacity

Episode 7


Jeff Nugent joined Jeff and David for tonight’s show.

|Essential Question|

How do adults learn?

David> See his blog post on which lists several factors we need to keep in mind when working with adult learners. And as with all learners, we must differentiate our instruction to meet their individual needs.

Jeff> We need to think about the following question:

What gets in the way of our veteran generation educators from going more public with their ideas and work?

Take away from the discussion>

-The forming of teacher cohorts focused around essential questions. Helps with feelings and fear of vulnerability. Building community, breaking down isolation. One might start with a book discussion then move into member offered topics and questions.
-How to support educators in taking risks?
-Form Professional Learning Networks (PLN) around different topics of interest to the members.
-Sustaining engagement and ongoing support is key.
-Creating a PLN and community in general is tougher in higher education. Having a physical and eventual digital space where folks can come together to form community is important.
-Adult learners wanting to be self directed and sometimes are overwhelmed by 2.0 learning tools.
-How do we support self-directed learning by minimizing some of the fear of leaving one’s comport zone? (Future EQ)
-Pre-service teacher education programs are so important. Build on these young adults’ natural inclination to socially connect and collaborate. There is a positive side to their sometimes very public nature of our youth and their social networking sites. 🙂
-What gets in the way of our older generation from going more public with their ideas and work? (Future EQ) Is this the nature of teachers?
-Backwards translation of our (IT/ET leaders) being way out there in blogging, Twitter, wikis, etc. to engage newcomers and overcome their pre-conceived notions of what these tools are about. Blogs are an example of folks thinking that you use them to tell your personal information only.
-Seeking to understand is central for the instructional/educational technologist. We are the “IT counselor” from time to time seeking to understand our teacher partners, their feelings about using technology and information tools and how they might take steps to find one or two that meet their needs. That human relation aspect of our job is huge.

|Blog Posts of the Week|

Jeff U: Webblogg-ed 2 Cents
Jeff N: Connectivism
David: Designed To Inspire

|Sign Off|

  • Next show is next week from the EARCOS conference in Kuala Lumpur. Refer back to this site and Jeff’s The Thinking Stick main page for the date and time.
  • Our guests will be teachers from around Asia.
  • Essential Question for the show: How are you shifting?
  • Don’t forget to post Web sites/blogs to the SOS bookmarking site that support our upcoming EQ.

Episode 6


Justin Hardman and Chris Betcher joined David and Jeff.

|Essential Question|

How to expand the learning community to the parents?

Jeff> Look at your technology vision and plan to include the development of a school portal that provides the tools to make the components of your plan a reality.

David> See his recent post that focused on two themes. One being that schools should use their portal to build on current practices that are already in place to connect parents and expand the learning community. Making information access and communication digital definitely enhances communication opportunities. A second theme is to invite our corporate parents working in 21st century information-rich jobs to our schools to share their experiences and expectations what skills they want their employees to have. Their real world experiences can help in the shifting process as teachers connect what they are teaching to the real world assessments their students will be experiencing.

Take Away from the Discussion:

-The recent breakout of a virus in HK reminds us of the importance of schools having the capability to go virtual with a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

-Sharing of the myDragonnet online learning platform with three components: classroom management tool, curriculum mapping tool and electronic portfolio. Justin has many insights to share.

-Wetpaint as a very useful wiki provider.

-Value of individualization in developing VLEs by having a programmer on school staff.

|Blog Posts of the Week|

Jeff: Planning for 21st Century Technologies

David: Jonathon’s Blog on VLEs

Chris: Clay’s Wedding Always Learning

Justin: E-Framework Electronic School

|Sign Off|

-Next show is Thursday March 20th. Catch it live at 7:00 PMShanghai time.

-Our guest will be Jeff Nugent from the Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy. Check out his Techne blog.

-Essential Question for the show: How do adults learn?

-Don’t forget to post Web sites/blogs to the SOS bookmarking site that support our upcoming EQ.


Episode 5


Chris Betcher and Clay Burell joined Jeff and David.

|Essential Question|

How do we connect?

Jeff> The Shanghai American School blogging system is set up so that whenever anyone logs in, he/she sees a RSS feed with the latest posts from the other student and teacher SAS bloggers. We often focus in the blogosphere on connecting outside of our schools for learning. We also need to find ways to build internal learning communities and this is one way to do it.

David> Three ideas come to mind when thinking about how to connect. One is the way Kim Confino and Julie Lindsey build telecollaborative opportunities for students to connect to other learners around the world. When it comes to connect to this learning network, what hardware are we using to make the connection? Are we at the point of having a handheld device designed for the education market that allows for ubiquitous connectivity? And what about the thinking and learning that goes with students learning by making connections? See David’s blog post for more reflection on these questions.

Take Away from the Discussion:

  • “Learning means risk taking.” How to apply this to the hiring process to look for new hires who take risks.
  • How to work within the school day to build in the opportunities for making connections. We need to structure time in the day where students can pursue their passions and collaborate for learning.
  • We need to demystify and translate the names and learning purposes for many of our Web 2.0 tools so that new users can understand and not see them as so daunting to try.

|Blog Posts of the Week|

Chris: Remote Access

Clay: Re(Musing)ings

David: Techne & The Far Side of Tech

Jeff: Drupaled & WordPress

|Sign Off|

  • Next show is Thursday March 13. Catch it live at 7:00 PM Shanghai time.
  • Our guest will be Justin Hardman from the Hong Kong International School. Check out his Blueprint: New World, New School blog.
  • Essential Question for the show: How to expand the learning community to the parents?
  • Don’t forget to post Web sites/blogs to the SOS bookmarking site that support our upcoming EQ.

Episode 4


Jeff and David go solo.

|Essential Question|

The SOS team paused tonight to celebrate the teachers in their schools who are making the shift. No philosophical discussion tonight, just concrete and practical instructional strategies.

David: See his Lessons Learned blog post where he shares information about teachers from Hsinchu International School and Hong Kong International School.

Jeff: Take a look at his links below from Shanghai American School.

|Supporting Links|

HKIS Teacher Toolkit Best Practices
Hsinchu International School
Brent Loken of HIS: Using Geometry Sketchpad
Examples of “Exhibitions” by HIS students


SAS Humanities Wiki
SAS Humanities Culture Wiki
SAS Teacher Blog
SAS Math Teacher Blog
SAS 7th Humanities Class
Voki Avatar Creation and Voice

Episode4 chatroom notes

|Sign Off|

  • Next show is Thursday March 6th. Catch it live at 7:00 PM Shanghai time.
  • Our guest will be Kim Cofino from the International School of Bangkok. Check out her Always Learning blog.
  • Essential Question for the show: How to connect?
  • Don’t forget to post Web sites/blogs to the SOS bookmarking site that support our upcoming EQ.

Episode 3


Clay Burell joined David and Jeff all sharing their Chinese New Year experiences from Korea, Taiwan and China.

Intro for Clay: Clay has taught language arts in the U.S., Europe, China and now Korea. He works to take “schooliness” out of his students’ learning experiences. A big part of his effort is to help his students build personal learning networks (PLN). He is now running an elective PLN focused elective course so look to follow his students’ learning via Clay’s Beyond-School blog.

|Essential Question|

Passion for learning, how to nurture and grow it?


See his blog where he shares about his son’s passion for learning and what contributes to it.

  • Finding passion in our students
  • Learning needs to have meaning
  • Learning needs to be authentic
  • Learning needs to be deep

The SOS Team Discussion:

How to give credit for the engaging work that students want to do outside out of class? How to substitute the learning the kids are doing on their own for the prescribed classwork?
Student 2.0 writing blog that Clay initiated and continues to draw readers. Here is an excellent example of passionate learners working outside of the classroom.

Success for Clay in creating authentic learning where passionate learning takes place:

A student interviewed Clay as a minority person living in Korea. It was recorded for a podcast. It ended up being newsworthy and drew the community in to access the student’s blog and continue the discussion.

Barriers for Clay in helping his school make the shift:

Students in our high schools are often so trained in a ways that get in the way of thinking laterally and making connections that we have to “unteach” them. To create their own projects and follow their own ideas doesn’t come easy. “Give me something I can do quickly and get out of the way” is often the way our high school students operate. They often are not willing to take risks. Conclusion: We really need to start in the elementary to build a learning environment that doesn’t take the passion away.

Clay’s PLN class involves each student completing a project of personal interest that they research and then blog/podcast/vodcast about weekly. They connect to Twitter to build out their network finding people who can help them with their research. Clay finds this process to really support his hope that his students will become networked learners.

Take Away from the discussion:

One approach to shift a school is for your instructional technologist to start the year working with early adopters the first third of the year and to then move to the middle range adopters the next third of the year and to focus on the laggard group at end of the year.

It is imperative to have the instructional technologists work with groups of teachers during the school day to get buy in from the teachers. After school doesn’t work due to scheduling problems. Think about bringing in subs for a whole day. This really validates the process. Get the technical lessons (e.g., how to run a blog, use Skype, etc.) in first to remove those barriers. You can them focus on the curriculum and adapting the instruction and assessments to meet 21st century learning goals.

Teachers looking to start blogging should think about using them as their portfolios and as a way to communicate to parents and to share classroom content with students. This is a triple winner that gives teachers a real reason for using the tool. We want our students to be like trapeze artists following the flow of information moving from say Twitter to Skype then to IM then to producing one’s learning on a blog from where the conversation continues as readers comment.

Go to deeper level with our curriculum. The learning must be authentic and relevant. The kids demand it.

|Blog Posts of the Week|

Clay: Networked learning can be playful and fun at Ideas and Thoughts.
David: A home schooler shares her blueprint for passionate learning at Karen’s Blog.
Jeff: Look for rich visuals and brain-research supported posts as well as the “User Hierarchy of Needs” at Creating Passionate Users.

|Sign Off|

  • Next show is Thursday February 21st. Catch it live at 7:00 PM Shanghai time.
  • Our guest will be Justin Hardman from the Hong Kong International School. Check out his Blueprint: New World, New School blog.
  • Essential Question for the show: How to expand the learning community to the parents?
  • Don’t forget to post Web sites/blogs to the SOS bookmarking site that support our upcoming EQ.

Episode 2

Show Notes


Justin Medved and Kim Cofino joined David and Jeff in welcoming our featured guest Julie Lindsay. Kim could only stay a short moment but will join us again in future shows.

Intro for Julie: Co-creator of Flat Classroom and Horizon telecollaborative learning projects. Julie and Vicki Davis wrote a Learning and Leading with Technology article on the topic. Access at ISTE but you will need membership to download the article.

|Essential Question|

How does making connections affect learning?


  • Learn from anyone anywhere
    • MIT opencourseware
    • Yale opencourseware
    • iTunes unverisity
  • Authentic audiences are created
  • Students understand the power of connections in their social lives we need to teach them how to use those same connections for learning.
  • George Siemen’s Didactics of Microlearning
    • I find informal publishing in blogs and online articles more rewarding than traditional publishing processes. The feedback on what I write informally is more immediate and, as a result, plays a greater role in the subsequent formation of ideas. Writing a journal article, book, or book chapter, is concerned with presenting what one knows. Writing in informal spaces (such as a blog) is concerned with inviting others to join in an exploration of understanding a phenomenon not yet fully known.
  • Learning is about connections. Connecting new ideas to what is already known or thought to be known. In a connected world we take that one step further and connect those new ideas to what other know and create new knowledge from it.

David: See his blog post

The SOS Team Discussion:

Julie shared explained how the Flat Classroom Project is based upon Thomas Friedman’s book The World is Flat. You can access the wiki classroom for more information. She also spoke about the Horizon project from this past year and how it will continue next year. For more information, access the Horizon Project wiki.

We then spoke about the type of learning skills that come from students networking using digital learning collaboration tools. Check out Julie’s excellent post on global digital citizenship.

Justin shared 3 guiding questions developed at ISB based on the new literacy skills our students need. They are working at integrating these guiding questions across their curriculum. Our students will not just be citizens of their localities but will be participants in broader communities connected digitally.

The questions are:

  • How do I find and use information to construct meaning and solve problems?
  • How do I effectively communicate?
  • How do I responsibly use information and communication to positively contribute to my world?

For more information on this new literacy and curriculum integration, check out their Google Doc and wiki.

The question was raised about how we can deal with the ever changing world of new technologies and improvements to current tools that might lead our schools to switch from current online providers (i.e., blogs, wikis, etc.) to new ones. This will further be discussed in a later show when we focus on school portals and connecting to the community.

Take Away from the discussion: Part of shifting our instruction is realizing that teachers can be supported to learn how to use the the tools yet the real work is learning how to use the tools to create learning moments.

The 21st century skills that students need for communication, constant learning and creativity in our networked world obviously can only be developed if we design and implement learning opportunities where we use the technology that is becoming an increasing part of the business and everyday aspects of our world. These collaborative learning projects need to be scaffolded with clear communication of responsibilities along with rubrics to outline what is expected when students generate learning objects.

It is very important to have someone on staff in our schools who is staying on top of emerging technologies.

While some schools are looking to what 21st century skills their students will need and have revamped their mission and student learning outcomes, our school stakeholders need to review their mission statements to see if they are looking forward to prepare students properly. By using the UbD curriculum review process, we can then work to shift our instruction, learning content, and assessments to help our students reach the learning outcomes documented by our updated and relevant mission statements.

|Blog Posts of the Week|

Jeff: George Siemen’s post on Shifting Knowledge
David: George Siemen’s post on Connectivism vs Constructivism
Julie: Jabiz Raisdana’s post on Blogging & Connections
Justin: Kim Cofino’s post on Telecollaborative Tools

|Sign Off|

  • Next show is Thursday February 7th. Catch it live at 7:00 PM Shanghai time.
  • Our guest will be Clay Burell from the Korea International School. Check out his Beyond School blog.
  • Essential Question for the show: Passion for learning, how to nurture and grow it?
  • Don’t forget to post Web sites/blogs to the SOS bookmarking site that support our upcoming EQ.