Leadership – Education – Technology – Other Interesting Stuff

Archive for January, 2013

All about Technology in Education

Douglas Rushkoff ‘s column on CNN speaks to the transformation of the role of higher education with the growth of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Some of his comments echo those we’ve heard other places – Education is about more than acquiring skills…subjects tend to be conveyed best in what might be considered their native environments…Online learning needs to cater to human users…

Is It Really Hip to Flip? in the current issue of THE Journal, offers teachers five questions to consider if they are thinking about employing the flipped classroom model. One of the questions asks teachers to consider the appropriateness of the flipped classroom for their students. Another is about the resources one would use.

The 10 Most Popular Writing Resources Being Used By Students provides insight into sites being used by both secondary and higher ed students. They range from WIKIPEDIA to BIGNERDS.com.

If you like the concept of word clouds and haven’t seen Tagxedo, you will probably want to add it to your toolkit. Word clouds can be directly created from URLs, Twitter and other online sources. Thanks to Barb for sharing this tool and using this blog to make a sample (smile).

Cellphones in the classroom – this is one topic I have engaged in for a decade. Heather Wolpert-Gawron’s comment about the debate being “superfluous and antiquated” is true and her picture of “collateral” for borrowed pencils says a lot. Heather charges us educators to “start using real life resources.” What’s your stance?

After reading this blog by Terry Heick, visually capturing ideas on an iPad doesn’t seem too hard, just something you might need to practice. Not having one may make it easy for me to say that. For those of you have an iPad, what do you think?

Angela Maiers combined two other posts to make her blog post about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers Who Use Technology.


Infographics…Educators Online…Snow Globes

Jeff Clark has taken the concept of analyzing text in some vastly more refined directions than tag clouds and wordles. His recent post – Novel Views: Les Miserables – displays character mentions, word connections, word clouds and characteristic verbs (for primary characters).

Made me curious about how kids would respond to tasks like these – a DIY experiment of how graphs can be represented with paper – not on paper, but with paper. You might chuckle over the “pie chart already eaten” link. Or the origami pieces that represent the world internet usage statistics.

The 2013 Gallup Student Poll on student engagement takes place between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1. Participation is free and interested schools can find more information about the poll here. The 2012 results showed that student engagement lessens with each grade. What leads to disengagement for students in your setting? While many have written about student engagement, the use of formative assessment practices is one way to get the classroom learning team engaged – peers serving as instructional resources, student directing their own learning based on where they need and want to go and the feedback they receive along the way, teachers adjusting during instruction as they learn more about what students know and don’t know.

Renee Jain’s post on resilience connects to a couple of other topics for me – student engagement and coaching. Our cognitive style connects to both, as does self-awareness. Self-awareness is also a piece of formative assessment; students know where they are in their learning and being able to outline the course to get them where they want to be.

John Klugin recommends some free tech tools for educators – enhanced video production, more efficient storage, Slide Rocket – a presentation tool and Symbaloo for establishing a web presence.

Having recently started an online course through Powerful Learning Practice, I was surprised to find this FETC article – Bringing Passion and Collaboration to Professional Development. This quote from Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach in the article – “One of the things I tell [teachers] is that I don’t want you to change anything about your teaching. I want you to change everything about your learning, and do that first.”  Gives you something to consider…

This short report – 8 Helpful Tech Tools for the Common Core – has some useful sites for teachers implementing CCSS.

Are you an educator using Pinterest like me? If so you may want to check this out – The 25 Best Pinterest Boards in Educational Technology. It is clear I need to be updating my boards soon!

This descriptor – The Khan Academy videos made a stir when they arrived on the educational stage. But are they a paradigm shift or an old model in new clothes? – caught my attention in THE Journal. If you are interested, check out The Math of Khan in the latest issue. Peter Kelman’s comments about “amateur educators” are interesting. Both sides of the coin are shared in the article, along with how schools and districts are using Khan Academy.

See your house in a snow globe!?!?! This came from a friend (and you may have already seen it) with this note, “I’m sure they used Google Earth, or a similar program. But it is clever!” But how in the world could this be – from a front view???

Building student ownership…Tablets in the classroom…Measures of Effective Teaching…Teaching math…

Some of you may not have seen this infographic on teachers before. There are a couple of points in the Dr. Olivier’s article that caused me to stop and reflect. Let me know what you think about his comments.

One persistent question in education is how to build student ownership. Take a look at this article about a high school in Alabama who has found some ideas that are working for them.

Meet Jennie Magiera via her tech education blog. I discovered Jennie via an EdWeek chat focused on using iPads in the classroom where she shared some great ideas for all ages. Consider tablets as the “personal whiteboard” of today. While many have not yet discovered the benefit of using small whiteboards for formative assessment in their classroom, this is what is now happening with tablets. Jennie talks about getting student metacognition on the board. This is such a key formative assessment practice – being able to see the thinking, identify misunderstandings, provide (teacher or peer) or generate (student) the feedback and move to the next level of learning.

The latest studies produced by the MET have recently been released. The Measures of Effective Teaching study by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that “Student feedback, test-score growth calculations, and observations of practice appear to pick up different but complementary information that, combined, can provide a balanced and accurate picture of teacher performance…”

For those of you wondering about teachers and their choices in social networks, a new study by MMS Education provides insight into educators’ use of social networking, online communities, and Web 2.0 tools.

One of the nice aspects of Larry Ferlazzo’s blog is that he frequently brings in others. In response to last week’s question – What is the best advice you would give to help an educator become better at teaching math? – Larry posted 3 responses that really caught my attention. Jose Vilson shares his 3 Cs for mathematical answers, which I appreciate. Shawn Cornally’s statement,Math teachers must give up the love of scheduled quizzes and perfectly spaced exams in favor of an assessment scheme that allows students to show their learning when they actually achieve it.”, resonated with me as well. Larry also took the time to embed Dan Meyer’s TEDx Talk titled “Math Class Needs A Makeover.” Take 16 minutes to watch it – it is worth it. Dan’s comments about reassembling math problems to engage students in mathematical thinking actually have implications for other content areas.

Ideas, algebra and downloads

Want to take an insider’s look at creativity at IDEO? IDEO is an “award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow.” This short video shows the redesign of the shopping cart. At about 5:12 in the video, there is a statement about “enlightened trial and error.” How does that relate to our classrooms? Our lives? You might also want to check out this project learning article on Edutopia.

Even the title sounds great – Algebra Nation – a joint effort from the University of Florida and Study Edge to help Florida’s students prepare for the end-of-course Algebra 1 exam. From the sample videos I perused, it doesn’t seem like you have to be a student in Florida to benefit. This will be an app for students to use 24/7.

For those of you working with video, this link came this week and I wanted to make sure you could take advantage of the free downloads – 20 clips a day for 7 no 6 days – video clips, sound effects, looping backgrounds, music tracks, AE templates.

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