Technology Tools to Access Shared
Thinking and Strengthen Collaborations
Dr. Angela Housand & Dr. Brian Housand
NAGC 2010 – Atlanta
More than 500 million active users
50% of our active users log on to
Facebook in any given day
Average user has 130 friends
People spend over 700 billion minutes
per month on Facebook
Average user is connected to 80
community pages, groups and events.
Average user creates 90 pieces of
content each month.
More than 30 billion pieces of content
(web links, news stories, blog posts,
notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each
1. Don't be afraid to fall in love with
something and pursue it with intensity.
2. Know, understand, take pride in,
practice, develop, exploit and enjoy your
3. Learn to free yourself from the
expectations of others and to walk away
from the games they impose on you.
Free yourself to play your own game.
4. Find a great teacher or mentor who
will help you.
5. Don't waste energy trying to be well
6. Do what you love and can do well.
7. Learn the skills
New Skills For
A New Age
What students must
master to succeed.
Access, evaluate, and use
different forms of information.
Exercise critical thinking.
Exhibit fluency with tech tools.
Use various forms of media
when presenting ideas.
Employ problem solving skills.
Work successfully as a team.
Communicate complex ideas
Collaborate with Others
Demonstrate ability to work effectively and
respectfully with diverse teams
Exercise flexibility and willingness to be helpful in
making necessary compromises to accomplish a
Assume shared responsibility for collaborative
work, and value the individual contributions made
by each team member
Students use digital media and
environments to communicate and
work collaboratively, including at a
distance, to support individual
learning and contribute to the
learning of others.
A. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or
others employing a variety of digital environments and
B. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple
audiences using a variety of media and formats.
C. Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by
engaging with learners of other cultures.
D. Contribute to project teams to produce original works or
“Alone we can
do so little;
can do so
- Helen Keller
Americans who have
tried a video call.
Group Video Calling
More Than Just A Video Phone!
Ideas for Using Skype
•Skype an Expert
•Virtual Field Trips
•Social Network Building for G/T
•Face to Face Interactions
•Schedule a TEST RUN.
•Prepare questions ahead of time.
•Expect the unexpected.
•Have a Plan B, C, D, and possibly E.
Avoiding Potential Pitfalls
•Build a Personal Learning
•Create a Group Knowledge
•No software to purchase or install!
•LIVES in the CLOUD! Work is
•Allows access to files from any
computer that connects to the
•Collaborate on documents in REAL
TIME. Instantly see what your
collaborators are typing.
•FORM function allows you to create
and deploy web-based surveys with
results that are automatically
compiled in a spreadsheet.
•FOLDER function allows you to store
ANY file online. You can access from
anywhere and share with anyone.
Ideas for Using Google Docs
•Collaborative writing projects
•Group presentation creation
•Data gathering and analysis
Dropbox is software that syncs your
files online and across your computers.
How Much Space?
a friend or
Ideas for Calendar
•Group task monitoring
•Creating a class / group calendar
•Assignment Due Dates
Elementary – 5th Grade
Enrichment pull-out program
Environmental science focus
Nearby lake and stream
10 Fifth Grade Students
7 formal district
2 African American
Complete Autonomy to:
• Engage in high-level content and
real world learning focused on
local, regional, and global contexts
• Research and critically examine
the impacts of regional growth on
Complete Autonomy to:
• Apply skills of leadership,
responsibility, productivity, and
self-direction to achieve self-
• Communicate and collaborate via
the Internet with students from
PhD in Gifted Education
In depth knowledge of:
Dynamic learning communities
Curriculum for gifted and talented
Connection to Norway
Advanced contact and planning
Surrounded by similar water bodies
February through June 2009
Exploratory study looking for
Major Finding #1
Insufficient access to the internet
Too few computers in classroom
Inadequate computer hardware
iPhone used to circumvent
Difficulty accessing technology
Inadequate technology may have contributed to the failure of
effectively creating a dynamic learning community with
students’ in Norway.
Major Finding #2
Certain students emerged as
Led to distractions
Impacted access to technology
Impacted opportunities to
Impacted group assignment
Self-advocacy and Self-promotion
Major Finding #3
Instruction varied by learning
style, process, and product
Almost no whole group
Student groups were self-
Increased student engagement
when products and processes
Present students with real-
world challenges that require
them to apply their relevant
skills and knowledge.
Have students engage
problems in the same ways
that professionals in the
associated fields do.
If you have an apple and I have an
apple and we exchange these
apples then you and I will still each
have one apple.
-George Bernard Shaw
But if you have an idea and I have
an idea and we exchange these
ideas, then each of us will have two