I love your site and all the valuable information you put out to help others. I wish I would of found it sooner. Thank You!
I have a question and would love your insight ... I teach lower school Computer Class to grades 1-4 at a private school in Columbus, Ohio. Our Technology Vision for 2015 is to get the students out of the computer lab, where they now learn computer skills based on classroom themes, and move me into the classroom where I would be the “technology integration teacher” alongside the classroom teacher. I would help with Smartboard, Ipad, laptop lessons integration, etc. I think this is a good idea and have been told that this is the trend in education but have not gotten real clarity on why and how this transition should take place.
Here are my questions: Do you see the benefit of technology integration into classrooms as I stated above? Is this the trend in education? If so why and how do you make this big transition? My feeling is that students need to learn computer skills such as formatting a document, searching the web, tools within PowerPoint, etc…This is much easier in a lab setting than classroom. Should we have both a lab and an itinerant technology integration teacher?
‘Web 2.0’ is a term familiar to all teachers. Stated in its simplest form, it’s the set of interactive internet-based tools used by students to enrich educational opportunities. ‘Web 1.0’ referred to the act of accessing websites—[caption id="attachment_2274" align="alignright" width="422"] Which of these do you use in your classroom[/caption]
nothing more. Students read websites, clicked a few links, and/or researched a topic.
Web 2.0—Web-based education basics–includes blogs, wikis, class internet homepages, class internet start pages, twitter, social bookmarks, podcasting, photo sharing, online docs, online calendars, even Second Life—all tools that require thoughtful interaction between the student and the site. For teachers, it’s a challenge to keep up with the plethora of options as the creative minds of our new adults stretch the boundaries of what we can do on the internet.
Students, adults, teachers who use this worldwide wealth of information and tools are referred to as ‘digital citizens’. They leave a vast digital footprint and it is incumbent upon them to make healthy and safe decisions, including:
- Treat others and their property with respect (for example, plagiarism—even undiscovered—is immoral and illegal)
- Act in a responsible manner
- Look after their own security
Here are some activities you can do in your classroom that will make your lessons and activities more student-centered and more relevant to this new generation of students:
Kathy Shrock has done a wonderful piece linking the multitude of Google Apps to the levels of Blooms Taxonomy. This is an invaluable resource for all teachers.
BTW, she’s updated the page since I posted this 18 months ago so the picture looks a bit different. Click the image; scroll down to the section on “Google Apps to Support Bloom’s”
Take a look:[caption id="attachment_5485" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Google Apps Meets Blooms Taxonomy[/caption]
If you didn’t make it to ISTE 2011, you missed a great time. There was more going on than any sane person could absorb in a month and all 30,000+ of us attendees tried to do it in four days. The seminars cover every topic from tech integration to how to use specific programs to general trends. I tried to attend a few of each to not only learn new material but to make sure what I’m teaching is as relevant this year as when I first taught it to my classes.
Here are some of my thoughts:
- Teachers are not lecturers. We are guides, even fellow-learners
- Students learn by doing more than being taught. Encourage this
- There are a lot of ‘right’ ways to learn
- Students are problem-solvers. Let this happen
- Technology is about offering options in learning styles
- Technology offers different ways to teach different learners. Use it that way.
- Work beyond the classroom because class is too short, kids aren’t engaged the entire five hours
- Paperless classroom is possible. Figure it out.
- Virtual presentations so kids hear from the experts in real time (more…)
Great article on Fox News about the success of homeschooling…
Anne Gebhardt’s kids are learning about geography — in her dining room in Bedford, Texas. It’s not your typical schoolhouse, but it’s one that Gebhardt says is serving her six children well. “We can teach our religious values to our children freely,” says Gebhardt. “We can teach anything that we want.”
Gebhardt is part of a growing trend. Across the county, an estimated 1.5 million children are home schooled and that number’s growing. In the span of eight years, home schooling has grown nationally by almost 75 percent. (more…)
Blogs do that. The students get to interact with their favorite toy–a computer–and go online for legitimate purposes. They get to see their thoughts in print. What could be more appealing. Blogs and online forums are a teachers dream.
The problem is how teachers use these tools. Like every good skill, blogging and online writing requires a bit of explanation. Start with these simple rules:
- Be concise in a blog. Readers don’t go to blogs to read a novel. They want something that will help them in, say, a minute (that seems to be the average time people spend on a post)
- Be pithy. Readers don’t want to waste even that sixty seconds. They may get tricked the first time by a snazzy title, but not again. So, students must put their thoughts together in a cogent and concise arrangement.
- Be knowledgeable. There are so many bloggers out there, students must come across as intelligent on their topic and smart enough to discuss it in that one minute the reader gives them. How do they do that?
- Watch grammar and spelling.
- Pick a topic they know about. If it’s an opinion, pick something they have ideas about.
- Don’t tear down the other guy’s opinion as a way to promote their own. This sort of mean-spiritedness turns people off.
For more great reasons why blogs are good for kids, visit Educational Blogging Wiki–including helping them find their voice and empower their maturing identities.
Today’s post is from the CEO and creator of Holler for Mastro Differentiation Help for Teachers, Kasha Mastrodomenico. Kasha has a Baccalaureate in secondary[caption id="attachment_786" align="alignright" width="320"] Multiple Intelligences and Teaching[/caption]
education and history and a Masters in Social Studies Secondary Education from the State University of NY (SUNY). She has taught middle school and high school, and is certified in Special Education. Along the way, she became a passionate advocate of multiple intelligences and differentiation in teaching and a presenter on both subjects in her county education network. Through these experiences, she came up with the idea to speed up the implementation of multiple intelligences for teachers so it can become an easy-to-use tool in all classroom units of inquiry. She is currently writing a book on differentiation and how to enable teachers to plan it quickly.
I know you’ll enjoy Kasha’s insights:
Is there really technology to help teachers plan?
My department and I were lucky enough to be asked to give a staff development presentation on how to differentiate in the classroom a few years back to Hall County School District in GA. I was a teacher there at the time. My section of the presentation was on how to differentiate activities. This is a brief overview of my presentation:
- Give four choices of activities to students the day before they are to do it that are focused on different multiple intelligences
- Give students the choice of how they want to work (self, partner, group)
- Create the groups so they are workable and make the copies
After they said it was really nice work and how great the activities and the idea of this type of differentiation was, they said it must take me forever and a day to plan and that it was not realistic. I was crushed. Then I started getting emails from the people that I had presented to asking for more activities and lessons. I even got chased down in the grocery store! I decided that I needed to create something that not only helped students but also helped teachers plan quickly.
A couple of years later I found myself with a web designer and created http://www.hollerformastro.com. My Grandma chose the name of my company so that my maiden name, Holler, was in it. The main part of the site is made up of two engines. One of the engines helps teachers do what I had presented about years ago and it helps them make those four choices of activities in less than 10 minutes! I even made sure that the rubrics were similar to each other for the consistency of grading but unique to each of the activities. The only thing that the teacher needs to do is choose four activities from the 50 project based learning activities provided based on multiple intelligences. They then type in the content they want the student to work with, giving as much information as they want. The last step is to click create. I couldn’t have made it any simpler. The other engine works similarly. It is an expository writing system that focuses on the small goal for students. The teacher chooses the levels of writing, from a topic sentence to a data based question essay, that they need for their class. They type in the question they want their students to write about and then press create.
I wrote a post on how Blogs and Wikis make students better writers–teachers too for that matter–and wanted to follow it up with how tweeting improves writing. Then I found Jennifer’s summary. It pretty well covers what I’d say:
- You learn to be concise
- You learn to be focused
- You have time to check for grammar and spelling