GLOBAL COLLABORATION PROJECTS ARE UNVEILED!

 

(this post is a cross post from my ALCOA Eagle Eye to the World blog)

It has been sometime since I have last posted here on the blog. Things are going as fast as the development and growth of Rudy.

Ever since the beginning of the year we have had students from all over the world connected using tools like Edmodo, blogs, Google Hangouts, Voicethread, and other tools to help share the power in watching and observing the ALCOA Bald Eagle Nest.

The last few months students have been working to connect and make a global collaborative project. This is not as easy as it sounds. I know we read all the time about technology and how simple it is, but there are many factors that come into play.

When working with various classrooms we must consider

-timezone

-vacation days of school districts

-weather implications

-requirements of a regular school

-age differences

Despite these factors the teachers and students involved in this project (you can check them out here) made it happen. It has been a pleasure and honor to work with so many amazing educators and students.

This is only the second year of doing this project and once again I have learned so much. I will be sharing these thoughts soon, but today I want to unveil the projects created by the kids.

They used their research, their voices, and their artwork to showcase to the world what they have learned. We have students from kindergarten on up to 5th grade represented.

If you go to our project page  and on the menu locate Student Pages you will see several categories. Each category has Voicethreads created by the students. These are voices from all the classrooms.

I would love for you to take a listen and to provide any feedback you can. I am always striving to improve as a leader of this project, but more importantly it is vital that these students understand their voices are being heard by the world.

So, please leave a comment on this blog or email me at aarmau@gmail.com

I will share it all with the teachers so the students can gain feedback as well.

I have a few more things I will be sharing as we continue to watch Rudy grow and test the boundaries of the nest.

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With a heavy heart I report that…….

*I posted this on the Eagle Eye to the World blog for our global project, but felt it should be shared here as well

Liberty and Justice have lost an egg.

I am like many others that I don’t want to hear “Well, it is just nature taking its course.”

I know this is nature. I know these are eagles and we are watching reality television without a script or prompts. I know this is an animal. However, some of us have watched Liberty and Justice for years.

They are more than just “eagles”. They are animals that remind us of the joys of life. They struggled through the snow, wind, temperatures, and just plain survival. Through the camera we are able to watch, study, connect, and learn.

When I started this global project I knew the risk that things would not always turn out beautiful and perfect. You go into these things hoping for the best. You watch the beauty and majestic wonders of bald eagles.

We are able to connect with people from all over the world to share our concerns, our stresses, and joys when they hatch, develop,  and grow into adulthood. Along the way friendships are formed, recipes shared, and life stories begin to unfold.

When it comes to the global education project students connect from all over the world to study eagles, but more importantly learn 21st century skills as well as knock down the four cement walls of their classroom to learn from amazing students educators located hundred to thousands of miles away.

Today we are hit with hardship of one egg being lost.

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As we watched the parents work to hope that it was not true they still sat on the egg, rolled it, and in some ways were in denial of the truth. Finally, they have come to accept the fate of the egg.

What is weird is that I was crafting a completely different type of blog post when I heard the news. It has been a while since I posted due to a crazy schedule. I was tweaking a podcast as well to post today, but neither one really seems right to post. Today we are hit with the realities of life.

I look at this moment as a learning opportunity. Life is not perfect. Life is not fair. If everything was easy and perfect, then we would never realize what joy would really feel like. The upside is that we have one egg. We have two eagles that know how to survive through the rough conditions. They have had great success in the long-term. It reminds me that we must always work hard and not settle. We never know when our time is up nor do we know the outcomes. What we can control is how we deal with adversity. I am reading some books that really connect with this mindset as I write this that are clicking together right now. The Champion’s Mind and The Art of Learning. Reading these, dealing with the egg, and watching our high school basketball team fall short of a dream of theirs reminds me that through loss we can learn so much.

As we continue to watch the camera we will see two eagles stay the course, work hard to protect the other egg, and not give up. They won’t throw in the towel. They won’t fly away to warmer conditions. They won’t just call it quits. They will stay in the nest along with the cold, wind, and terrible conditions winter has brought. They will give all they have to ensure the egg has what it deserves to hatch. Will it hatch? There is no guarantee, but without hard work and determination all hope is lost.

Take this to reflect on your own life. Don’t give up. Stay strong when life throws you curveballs. Through it all there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. In a few short weeks I hope that light is an eaglet ready to enter this world!

As we have young students watching please let me know what questions or thoughts that you have. I am sure this won’t be easy for some of our young classrooms to understand or make sense of. The power of the community is what will help turn this into a great learning opportunity.

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A visit to Lock and Dam #14, Project Upate, Wiki Request, and more!

This past weekend my parents were in town. After seeing so many pictures online of eagles that are just breathtaking I knew I had to get down to Lock and Dam #14. Keep in mind I only have an iPad so many of the pictures are not considered breathtaking by any means. My dad does have a nice camera so he tested out his lens and was able to capture some great shots. It was cold as it was only 9 degrees. I have some video to share and will work on a new video this week as well.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/coffeechug/sets/72157641112062015/

I hope these images provide some new images for you and maybe develops new questions and things to think about.Let me know if you have anything you want to know more about. We are currently drafting our next podcast episode to be released later this week and we will include your questions in the podcast.

Looking ahead towards our global education project……..

As we move forward in our global project students will begin to form teams on various topics based on bald eagles.

Here are the current topics for teams

Team 1A: Birds of Prey Team 1B: Habitat Team Team 1C: Symbolism and cultural influence of the bald eagle Team 1D: Protection and laws for bald eagle Team 1E: Lifespan of a bald eagle Team 1F: Anatomy of a bald eagle

As we move forward if you have a topic that you think might be better for students to investigate or explore please let me know. These are the topics we covered last year, but always looking to make things better.

Now, to go back to our visit to Lock and Dam we viewed easily over 50 eagles. One eagle in particular really struck us. Check out the images below. The beak of this eagle is not right. We were trying to figure out if the eagle was born that way or the beak was lost in battle or problem with survival. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Do you happen to know any more?

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Last, we wanted to show the talons of the eagles. They are nothing to mess around with. Seeing them in person makes you realize how lethal eagles are to their prey. I know it is not easy to see from the nest camera so we wanted to show an image for the students. So cool!

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As we wrap up, we are still waiting for an egg in the nest. We are expected to have another 4-6 inches of snow today with freezing rain mixed in. We must stay patient.

I added one more page to the wiki http://eagleeyeproject2.wikispaces.com/Eagle+Photographers+Page

To all of you who take high quality images of eagles I would love to have you share your work with the students from around the world.

A visit to Lock and Dam #14, Project Upate, Wiki Request, and more! http://wp.me/p2Fm3i-4K

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010: Eagle Eye To The World Episode 1: John Riches

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Here is the first podcast episode in a new series focused on bald eagles

This is the first episode in a new podcast series operated by Coffeechug where we will be interviewing and sharing out information related to bald eagles and in particular two eagles, Liberty and Justice.

Eagle Eye To The World – This is one of my favorite projects as it is my first big global project that I helped to create and operate. It is like my own little baby. We follow the journey of two bald eagles, Liberty and Justice, as they live life along the Mississippi River, lay eggs, and work to keep them alive. We have a lot going on and you can stay updated with the Eagle Blog.

This is the first episode using new audio equipment in the Coffeechug Cafe. In this first episode we chat with John Riches who is the man behind the cameras at ALCOA.

We welcome feedback and questions. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to check out the site – http://www.alcoa.com/locations/usa_davenport/en/info_page/eaglecam.asp

We would love to hear from you! Leave us any feedback, questions, or future topics

You can check out my podcast channel on iTunes or on Stitcher

Follow or contact me at any of my locations

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Eagle Eye to the World: Global Project is Underway….

I am not blogging all my eagle posts to this site, but wanted to write up a post letting everyone know that we are underway with the project.

We have a lot of new faces and classrooms in the project this year. There is still time to jump into the project if interested, but act fast as we begin to sort teams over the next few weeks.

We would really love some upper elementary, middle school classes to join to give us a wide range of students. We already have lower elementary and a few upper elementary, but we could always use more. The more kids, the better the project.

If you have not been following along with project, then what are doing? I am kidding, but here is the blog I am keeping on daily eagle activity: http://eagleeyecamera.wordpress.com/

We are expecting the first egg soon in the nest.

Check out our project wiki: http://eagleeyeproject2.wikispaces.com/Main+Hub+of+Goodies

We are getting ready to bring more content to the site soon.

Lastly….

Saturday morning when we were getting another nice batch of snow, I took two of my kids with me to go search for eagles. We headed down to the river and made a first stop at Credit Island where we have success time and time again. Our second stop was by the casino on our way to Lock and Dam 15. Finally, we stopped at the lock and dam.

We had great success. I tested out my Google Glass and also brought along my iPad. This trip made me wish I had a high power camera for greater shots, but in the end it all worked out.

We easily spotted well over 25 eagles despite not a lot of open water. I made a short video compiling images and video from the 3 hour journey. I hope you enjoy and we are heading out next weekend to some different spots. It will be any day now before we have an egg from Liberty and Justice. Still a lot of action around the nest so keep those computer running and share any great shots you capture.

Please don’t forget…..

A little announcement, I will be bringing some podcast episodes to the project next week. Let me know what you would like covered. I have John Riches coming in next Thursday to record an episode. John Riches is the Community Relations Manager for ALCOA and none of this would be happening without his help and support to helping me write the grant and offer guidance as needed. He is awesome.

If you have a question(s) that you would like to me to ask him fill out the form below.

Eagle Question https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1IwK6acuE70uGDEppp8V3meZakAxNyMHlC5Dnt3rtJDg/viewform

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ALCOA: Eagle Eye to the World Final Celebration

Last Friday, after some technical difficulties of getting connected several classroom joined online to celebrate and bring to a close the first year of the Alcoa: Eagle Eye to the World Celebration project.

Students worked hard to create something to be remembered by. It was great seeing Matt, Donna, and Lisa join us online along with their classrooms.

Matt had his students perform their song live for us. It was a very touching song and I felt so moved by what they accomplished and created. It just goes to show the power of students and what can be done when you can ignite their interest.

For the first year of running and operating this project I honestly could not be more pleased. Things were not perfect, but when is anything perfect. This project turned out great due to the classes and teachers involved.

We were not able to record our meeting, but I wish we could have showed you the kids. They were awesome. Here are some videos of the celebration products.

Here is a link for the actual project – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/

Through the Eyes of an Eagle: http://buff.ly/13nGUG1  

My students created two videos – one for each class.

4th grade

5th grade

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Liberty and Justice Updates, Identification, and Facts

I write this blog post after not having time to create some more learning videos. I have crafted a few learning videos over on our ALCOA Eagle Eye to the World project page – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/Eagle+Learning+Videos
Instead I would like to bring everyone up to speed with the eaglets in case you have not been watching the camera on a daily basis. The eaglets are now a little over two weeks old. They are getting big. If you have not checked the camera please do so so you can see how big they have grown.
By this point they have gained a couple pounds and should be able to thermoregulate their bodies. They are growing everyday. They are eating quite well. The massive piles of food in the nest just blows my mind. We have continued to chart the food brought into the nest each day. As always, feel free to help us keep track of things happening in the nest. We have two pages on our wiki page where we are trying to document all events in the nest.
1. http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/2013+Eaglet+Food+Chart – This page we are tracking all food brought into the nest. Really impressive when you look at the daily events of the nest.
2. http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/2013+Eaglets – This page we are tracking daily events of the nest as well as pictures. 
Please feel free to help us out. I know we can do more, but with with teaching, jobs, and kids it is all about crowdsourcing at this point.
Some of you have asked over and over how to better identify the eagles. Liberty is pictured below

Rare shot today of Liberty sporting both identifying marks, above the eye and on the tail.

Next, many have contacted me about how high the nest is in the tree and perspective of the area. Here are some photos to help give you a better sense. The nest is about 80 feet in the tree. It is about 7 feet wide and 5 feet deep. It is massive. I hope these images courtesy of the amazing John Riches help give you a better sense.

As always, thank you to everyone students and adults who continue to find interest in the eagles as well as continue asking questions. Every single day there is something to learn. Keep the dialogue and questions coming. Until next time…….


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Liberty and Justice Bald Eagles: Learning Episode #3

Please check out our project page – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/

You can view the other learning videos – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/Eagle+Learning+Videos

We still need people to help document the journey of the eaglets, food, and day to day activities here http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/2013+Eaglets and here http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/2013+Eaglet+Food+Chart

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Eaglets Day 6: Sunshine and Feeding(well, for some)

I have not had much time to watch the eagles today being the last day before spring break here at my school. However, this afternoon I was able to check in and see the eaglets enjoying the sunshine.

Some feeding was going on, but #2 did not get any food. This bothers some people, but I think he/she will be just fine. I will be creating a new learning episode this weekend to discuss this topic and more. I hope you have enjoyed the first two. If you missed them you can check them out here – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/home

The above link takes you to our project page for school. You can see in the sidebar a link to Eagle Learning Videos as well as other things we are charting. Please help us out if you want. We are trying to crowd source the documentation of eating and what food is brought into nest. Feel free to join us and help us out.

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Bald Eagle Student Showcase: Video of Presentations and Link to Visuals

Here is a video link to some of the student projects from our ALCOA Eagle Eye to the World Showcase. 30 students from the Bettendorf ELP program in grades 4 and 5 presented an independent study project on one aspect of bald eagles.

Here is a link to the video – http://youtu.be/3PxDIW19g0I

This is the link to our bald eagle global project page as well as all things we have done with the eagles – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/Final+Showcase

Feel free to check out all the things on the site above.

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