Friday, November 1, 2013

It's Fall Here in New England

That means I'm teaching Integrating Technology and Literacy, so head over to the blog for that course. Last taught Computers in the Classroom May-June 2013 for summer session. Still, there's lots of posts on this blog, dating back several semesters. Feel free to brows. Check the labels for quick access to posts by topics.

Our Fall Mum Garden

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bring the News Into Your Classroom

I just learned of this site DOGO News, from Richard Byrne's blog, Free Technology for Teachers. You can check out what Byrne had to write about the site at his post, DOGO News Create and Share Lessons about the News.

One thing that intrigued me about the site is that once a news story is accessed, a teacher can grab an embed code and post the story right within a blog post. I am trying it out now with one of the stories. Perhaps this specific story won't interest you, so I will try a second embed code and post another story. What captured my attention is that a teacher can easily embed one of the stories from the site and then post on a blog or website questions to ask students related to the story. The site also has a variety of other features for sharing as well as a link to CCSS and vocabulary terms. Be sure to check the options, and let us know what you think about how DOGO News can be used in the classroom.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Theory Into Practice: Learner-Centered Classrooms

Came across this presentation archived in HaikuDeck, and thought many of the points spoke to how the ideas of theorists translate into using technology in the classroom to create a learner-centered environment. You might recognize the names of such theorists as Alan November and Sr. Kenneth Robinson, who have long promoted that we turn the classroom into a learner-centered, social constructivist setting. If you view the presentation right within the HaikuDeck website by clicking which I recommend, you will also see the speaker's notes to accompany each slide. Here's a direct link to see it there. ED/Tech Brisbane.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Student's Rant Questions Instructional Practice and Goes Viral

By now, you have heard about Jeff Bliss video that has gone viral. If not, here's the video.

 I was wondering about posting the video on this blog that focuses on computers in the classroom but on second thought, it's relevant. The video speaks to the fact any student can pull out a cell phone and videotape what happens in the classroom or school building. The fact that the video has had well over one million views and has been discussed in all sorts of social media forums points to how classrooms quickly become public spaces. As one educator posted recently on Twitter:

Since the video went viral, it has had remixes, another phenomenon of living in a digital age, where anything online can be remixed to change the message. Here's one remix.

 Now that you've seen both videos, what's your take on teaching in an age where what we do in the classroom can instantly become public knowledge?

Much of the discussion about the original video has focused on the teacher's teaching style and Bliss's reaction to it. What is your impression of the classroom scenario that we see in the original video?

To give you a sense of the discussions online about the original video, this past week, one of the one-hour chats on Twitter addressed the Bliss video. A moderator for the chat afterwards archived the tweets using a tool called Storify. Here's a link to the Storify, which starts with people introducing themselves, but if you scroll down and use the Click to See More options, you can follow the chat as it unfolded. Storify: #IAedchat--Jeff Bliss Video: What Have We Learned

And for more on the Bliss video see this article and the comments from Edutopia: "The Digital Live of Teens: Revolutionary "Bliss"?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why You Need to Be Using Social Media as an Educator

Be sure to check Principal Eric Sheninger interview for Connected Educators. In the interview, he describes how as new principal, relatively young in age when he accepted the position, he discovered Twitter and other forms of social media for professional development. Since Eric became a principal a few years ago, he has gone on to win much acclaim as an administrative leader

After reading Eric's interview, be sure to return here to comment on what your own takeaway message is based on his advice. Also, consider following Eric on Twitter: 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Have You Checked the Teaching Channel Recently?

An excellent place to find videos to use in your teaching and for your own professional development is The Teaching Channel. 

Check the site now, but also bookmark it so you remember to go back to it. You will find videos characterized by discipline as well as by more global areas. You will also find a Teacher page with loads of resources.

Here is a quick glance of the table of contents for the video collection by subjects, grades, topics.

Explore the site to see what it offers, and let us know what you think of this educational resource.

Haiku Deck Learning Ideas

Haiku Deck started as an iPad app. Once you create a slide presentation with it, you can access your presentation on any computer with Internet access and then use the embed code to place your deck on a website, blog, or another online space. You can also search Haiku Deck to find presentations others have created and use those on your sites by getting the embed code. HaikuDeck has a Share option that allows you to share a deck on any number of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter or to email the presentation to someone.

Here's a sample presentation high school teacher Vicki Davis created for her students when they asked how to get more followers on Twitter. What follows are Haiku Deck samples created by 4th graders in Joan Davis's class who used the platform to learn vocabulary words.

Vicki Davis is  known on Twitter as @coolcateacher.

Joan also added these tweets about the effectiveness of students learning vocabulary in this way.


Here's the example of a student using the app to express ideas that come to mind to capture her yearlong learning.

To learn more about Joan, see her Twitter profile:

Now that you've seen several examples of Haiku Deck, consider its potential for use in the classroom, and leave a comment. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Students as Self-Designers of Their Learning

Student creation of blogs, websites, and digital stories epitomizes self-directed learning. Take a look at how some students design their learning. Examples include blogs, websites, and digital stories.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Spree2010

I collected this list for a workshop for social studies and art teachers, and the student examples are from social studies, English, and art classes. Review a few of the student examples, and let us know what you think of integrating these kinds of projects in the classroom.

Blogs from Mike Gwaltney's Students (created with WordPress)
Digital Stories:
  • See digital story examples on Government Gabfest Blog--Paul Fitzpatrick's students
Student Projects from Mike Gwaltney's Class Inspired by 2013 National History Day Competition (collected on a joint Blogger account)
  • Turning Points in American History (students selected to create a video or website)--they posted links to their projects on a collaborative class Blogger account. You will find numerous examples of websites and digital stories. In most cases, students used Weebly for their websites.
Websites (created for high school English classes using Google Sites)
E-Portfolio (created with Wix)----shared by Vicki Davis
To follow Mike Gwaltney on Twitter: @MikeGwaltney
To follow Vicki Davis on Twitter: @coolteacher

Saturday, May 11, 2013

What is Social Media?

Listen and watch how these young children define social media. What do their responses suggest to you about how teachers can help young learners to create their digital foundation?

Technology in the Classroom

A couple years ago, a group of educations did a satire on technology in the classroom, using pencils to substitute for technology. Take a look, and enjoy, but also let us know what this skit says to you about technology in the classroom.

By the way, the skit was created with Xtranormal, a site worth exploring for thinking about how you might use it in the classroom to motivate and engage students, or as an introduction or capstone to a unit of study.

Learning in the Cloud

Here's a video created by English teacher Jen Roberts in which she highlights using cloud computing in the classroom. Which of the tools that she mentions have you tried? What are your thoughts about converting to a cloud-based environment in which student work is no longer kept on paper or stored on a computer or computer network, but rather accessible on the Internet from a variety of sources?

Jen Roberts' Classroom in the Cloud from Jen Roberts on Vimeo.

Jen placed this video on the University of San Diego Department of Learning and Teaching Facebook page. Recently, the University posted that Jen won the Classroom in the Clouds Video Challenge. Jen teaches at Point Loma High School in California. To contact Jen, find her on Twitter @JenRoberts1. In fact, follow her to see how one high school teacher uses Twitter.

The Power of Video to Document Student Learning

Imagine teacher-parent conferences where the child leads the session. Also, consider how a video of the child learning can inform the conference. This video exemplifies those concepts. We see the child reading, discussing her reading process, and self-critiquing her learning. We also hear the teacher discuss the child's progress.

Although some might argue this form of a parent-teacher conference is impractical, is it really?

As we think about how to document student learning, how can we move beyond traditional formats and standardized tests? Do you think a child should be present at the teacher-parent conference?

This video was shared by Jill Thompson on Twitter. Here is the tweet. Jill in another tweet acknowledged the child in the video is in the first grade.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Semester; Head Over to Integrating Technology and Literacy

Each spring, I teach a few sections of the course Integrating Technology and Literacy. Head over to my blog for that course.

This blog will be up and running when my Computers in the Classroom course resumes mid-May. In the meantime, though, feel free to browse around while you're here and to leave comments. I am still checking this blog regularly via email alerts for comment posting. As always, thanks for visiting.

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