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.

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