Tag Archives: Steelcase

Pics and resources from “Speaking to Listen in the Age of Emoji” with @D_L_Potts @mritzius today:

Today, I co-led a full-day Speaking to Listen in the Age of Emoji workshop with Diana Potts and Mike Ritzius. Many thanks to Barbara Swanson, Associate Director for Professional Development at NYSAIS, for supporting us and Amy Brandt and Dennis Guidera of Steelcase Education for hosting us!

Here are our slides:

Here is the resource sheet we shared (with links to readings, resources, and handouts all in one space): 

Here is the original description from the NYSAIS page:

The skill of effective communication has powerful influence in shaping school culture. Teachers, students and leadership are surrounded by feedback on a daily basis from the classroom to meetings to the playing field.

Understanding how to communicate can be the difference between listening to react and listening to understand. How one hears, processes and delivers feedback can be powerful in shaping the tone of personal and professional relationships. In this workshop, theory, practice and your experiences will be used to examine what it takes to host effective and productive conversations with colleagues and students.

This seminar, for teachers and administrators of all grades,  will prepare participants to initiate better and more productive conversations with their colleagues, students, and parents. We will introduce a series of frameworks and skillsets which will enhance the way we speak and listen to each other.

This session includes:

  • Identifying types of feedback
  • Identifying perspective of knowings
  • Supporting different ways of knowing
  • Methods of hearing and giving feedback (even when you don’t want to)
  • Empathic Listening:an exercise is listening
  • Amygdala Hijack: identifying your triggers for grounded conversations
  • Four-fold Practice: a framework for mindful conversations
  • Levels of Speaking and Listening from Theory U: A framework for moving conversations to a co-generative space)
  • World Cafe: Creating a space for conversations leading to invested action

Here are some photos from the day:

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Notes from the Polyvision Education Technology Learning Symposium on 4/9/11

I attended the Polyvision Education Technology Learning Symposium on Saturday. It was held at Steelcase‘s offices at Columbus Circle with ridiculously posh seating options and gorgeous views of the southwest corner of Central Park. The two people I know best at Polyvision are Amy Brandt (of the Education Team) and Dennis Guidera (my Territory Sales Manager); They are Eno superstars, and I have had the priviledge of learning from them for the last couple of years (as my school has purchased more Eno boards) and having them support EdCampNYC and TEDxNYED.

On Saturday, the day began with a presentation by Bruce Friend (@SASeducator), the Director of Education Practice at SAS Curriculum Pathways. Bruce talked about their free curricular materials that include a lot of digital content for teachers that help integrate educational technology.

One of the more compelling moments of Bruce’s slideshow consisted of an image of a glass of milk. Bruce stated that he would argue that the milk has undergone more innovations than education.

Besides sharing that there are more honor students in China than total students in the US, Bruce quoted statistics from The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts. (This is a report for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation by John M.Bridgeland John J.DiIulio Jr., and Karen Burke Morison.) Of the HS droupouts surveyed: 88% had passing grades, 69% were not motivated to work hard, 66% would have worked harder if more had been demanded of them, 81% called for more real-world learning opportunities, and 70% were on track to graduate and still dropped out. Slides from the report are included below:

Download this file

After Bruce’s presentation, Buzz Wood took the stage. Buzz is a National Account Manager and Territory Manager at PolyVision, however I had a hard time appreciating anything but his name at first. Buzz presented about Eno and iPod/iPodTouch integration. I learned buzz words from Buzz Wood: He described the new Interactive White Board (IWB) as a “digital dashboard” that helps “mobilize conent” into “learning objects.”

Buzz shared that there are now user defined icons on the new Eno magnetic strip. Amy Brandt (bless her heart) piped in to say that if you click the Polyision driver, you can “show onscreen icon strip” and there are two available icons to program for Safari or Keynote or specific webpages (like your district’s Acceptable Use Policy…)

Buzz recommended the following iApps:

Air SharingThe easiest way to view your documents on the go. Buzz showed how one can share files from the presentation machine, select the “save in” path to be a folder or desktop that is then pushed to all shared devices.

Whiteboard – I’ve had this app on my iPhone for years just so my niece could draw pictures. I had no idea Whiteboard also allows iPad to iPad or iPad to computer collaborative drawings. I have so many ideas for how to use this with the little kids. As you can insert an image, imagine having a number chart on the screen and using red to circle the even numbers or green to circle all the multiples of 5.

Air DisplayEver wish you had an extra display for your Mac or Windows computer? There’s an app for that! With Air Display, you can use your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch as a wireless display, to extend your computer desktop.

After Buzz, Matt Finucane of Carteret, New Jersey spoke of a project he worked on with his special educaiton students, two other teacher colleagues, and Amy Brandt. They partnered with a school on the Isle of Eigg in Scotland to participate in an extended relationship to learn about each other’s cultures. Using Skype, they shared lessons during a common time (New Jersey mornings and Scotland afternoons). The kids also made informative videos about their home town’s to share with their new friends overseas. The awesome combined efforts of their collaboration can be seen here:



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Getting to know Eno

We installed an ēno Classic Interactive Whiteboard in one of our science labs (manufactured by Polyvision, a Steelcase company). We had to remove an existing SmartBoard, install some brackets, and attach our new Eno to the wall. They sell an ēno Click Interactive Whiteboard that sticks like a magnet to any existing white board, but we couldn’t take advantage of that model.

The Eno Classic is a wireless board that is a layer of porcelain over a layer of steel. The porcelain is silkcreened with some crazy intricate dot-pattern. (There are 3 patterns to choose from, so you can install them next to each other and have a ginormous interactive drawing board.) Using the Eno Classic, one has to be totally dependent on a Bluetooth Stylus pen with a camera at the tip – I think I remember that the camera is sensitive to one megapixel. The whole board/pen experience totally reminds me of Picture Pages with Bill Cosby.

It would have only taken two people to install the Eno, though as the third person, I marked the holes for the drill, hammered the wall anchors, leveled the board (with my iPhone), and took pictures…


This particular room is shared by two science teachers. Greg Benedis-Grab, (@gbenedisgrab on Twitter), gave me some feedback after using the Eno board for a full week with his 5th graders. In his words:

  • It has a similar enough feel to a SmartBoard, so it was no big leap to use an Eno Board
  • The Eno board is wireless, so worrying about power or syncing is a non-issue.
  • The pen is super precise and fast.
  • The ink size/color is easy to customize.
  • We’re going to need to invest in more pens, as it’s a matter of time until someone takes one with them.
  • The board is magnetized (it’s a layer of porcelain over steel), so even when not in use, it’s a functional part of the room.
  • Greg stores his notes/lessons on Google Apps (specifically Docs, Presentations, and Spreadsheets), so he never had to face the issue of trying to write in a SmartNotebook file (side note: Lots of teachers here have extensive Smart Notebook libraries of their lessons. I don’t think this is possible to use the pen to edit these files. The best you can do is take a screen snapshot of anythink written on the Eno with the stylus and upload it to a Notebook file. Maybe.)
  • He places the moveable magnetic toolbar lower down for his shorter 5th graders and raises it for his own use and for the larger 7th graders.

I installed RM Easiteach on the desktop in the Science Room and on Greg’s MacBook so he can explore the software on his own time. So far, he really likes the “glass” feature which is like having an ink layer that you can choose to merge or not. Based on the brief demo I saw last year, RM Easiteach has loads of features, subject-specific menus, and customizable toolbars for Math, Science, Grammar, Art, etc. I’m still tip-toeing through the software, and I’m grateful that we have some tech savvy and curious people on staff willing to be beta testers. We are offering teachers the option of having an Eno installed in their classrooms for next year. One week in, and we already have another two takers.

Here’s a shot of my after school robotics kids using the Eno minutes after it was installed:


Finally, here’s a link for the Eno Classic FAQs page.

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