For those familiar with technology and blogging, you have been shaking your head at me for far too long -- and I don't blame you.
You know that (in addition to numerous other reasons), using something like WordPress to set up and run a blog is much more time efficient than running a website such as this one. With more things continually trying to make their way onto my job/time plate, I need -- no scratch that -- I have to do this.
RSS feeds are not supported on Calvin's personal websites. I have appreciated your patience in continually having to return/check-in here on this site, but it's time to move on to a better way of doing things.
I will keep this site up for reference sake -- as I've worked hard to obtain the information on the various topics located herein. Thankfully, some of this site has been helpful to other people.
Guided Homework Help Goes Online-- from edutopia.org by Jennifer Hillner The New York Public Library's homework program pioneers new ways to connect students with teachers after class is dismissed. Homework help is just a few clicks away, thanks to the New York Public Library's (NYPL) groundbreaking new interactive Dial-A-Teacher Whiteboard. Four nights a week, the online program connects students and teachers in real time through a secure digital whiteboard, where they can chat about assignments and draw their responses on the shared board. It's the first program of its kind in the United States, and here's how it works.
1. A student logs on to the free, online Dial-A-Teacher service by providing some basic background information and is connected with a certified teacher logged on to the Web site.
2. The student types her question and uses a mouse or a stylus to draw her math problem on the screen, or she imports documents, such as a scanned page of homework, to the whiteboard.
3. The teacher instantly sees the problem and provides feedback by typing a suggestion, adding to the drawing, or pointing the student to other Web sites where she can go for more practice. Students can also call Dial-A-Teacher's hotline and talk directly with the teacher.
How Online Learning Is Revolutionizing K-12 Education and Benefiting Students-- from heritage.org by Dan Lips; original resource from Ray Schroeder Abstract: Virtual or online learning is revolutionizing American education. It has the potential to dramatically expand the educational opportunities of American students, largely overcoming the geographic and demographic restrictions. Virtual learning also has the potential to improve the quality of instruction, while increasing productivity and lowering costs, ultimately reducing the burden on taxpayers. Local, state, and federal policymakers should reform education policies and funding to facilitate online learning, particularly by allowing funding to follow the students to their learning institutions of choice.
MIND Research Instituteis a neuroscience and education non-profit corporation dedicated to education program excellence and cutting edge scientific research. MIND Research Institute has successfully transferred more than 30 years of breakthrough brain and learning research into applied education programs for K-12 students. MIND Research continually improves its programs through data mining over 50 million student sessions and 9 years of standardized math test results, and publishes its scientific and educational research. Standardized test results have shown remarkable increases for participating students.
Establish technology in education as the backbone of school improvement. Education technology can serve as a primary driver of excellence in school leadership, student achievement, professional practice, and the culture of learning.
Leverage education technology as a gateway for college and career readiness. Teachers who effectively integrate technology demonstrate the relevance of 21st century education, and keep more students engaged to graduate.
Ensure technology expertise is infused throughout our schools and classrooms. We must substantially increase our support for the federal Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) Program.
Continuously upgrade educators' classroom technology skills. To be "highly effective," PK-12 teachers must be able to use the modern information tools, digital content, and assessment strategies that support student learning.
Invest in preservice education technology. By fully funding programs such as Preparing Teachers for Digital Age Learners (PTDAL), we can ensure that the U.S. produces the most tech-savvy educator workforce in the world.
Leverage technology to scale improvement. Education technology offers one of the best ways to ramp up school improvement, providing immediate productivity and decision-making tools as well as access to the latest instructional innovations.
Provide high speed broadband for all. We must provide high-speed bandwidth to our nation's classrooms through the E-Rate program. Home access to high-speed broadband is critical so that students and parents have access to school assignments, grades, announcements and resources.
Boost student learning through data and assessment efforts. Real-time data, assessment tools, and richer accountability measures help educators tailor teaching strategies to meet students' individual needs and bolster their opportunities to succeed in school and beyond.
Invest in ongoing research and development. Solid investment in education R&D, particularly if focused on innovation in teaching and learning, ensures that we remain a global leader in this strategic domain.
Promote global digital citizenship. Growing competition in a flat world means technology is a great equalizer. It breaks down artificial barriers to effective teaching and learning, and provides incredible opportunities for collaboration across borders.
Tools to Set Up an Engaging SMART Board Classroom As you may know, Tequipment trains teachers how to use the SMART Board and Notebook software. But did you know that, besides having courses for teachers, we offer courses for administrators, too. Administrator Track sessions helps identify and analyze not just the teachers’ lessons with the SMART Board, but the students’ engagement in those lessons.
Balance Your Screen Time with Green Time -- from Out on a Lim Over the Christmas and New Year’s Break, I read an interesting book, Last Child in the Woods, which advocates for more unstructured free play time in nature for children. Think dreaming, imagining, playing, building, collecting… all in the “woods” or backyard corners that are natural.
Collaborative Digital Storytelling with Storybird-- from The Whiteboard Blog Vicki from Shoofly demonstrated Storybird, a website she’d found, and I just had to share it here. Storybird provides a very user-friendly way of combining images and text to tell a story, and then share that story with other people. You choose images from a huge bank of ready-drawn pictures which also help to provide inspiration for story ideas.You can also have several users all working on the same Storybird story, which would be a great classroom activity.
Related item/idea -- create skit / short film using stop-motion animation:
BricksInMotion.com We are an online filmmaking community devoted to the art of stop-motion animation. Most of our films, sometimes called brickfilms or LEGO movies, are created using LEGO® and other plastic brick building toys. In addition to an active community forum for filmmakers, this site is home to an ever-growing directory of films submitted by our users.
Two Years of Michelle Rhee and More in 2010 -- from learningmatters.tv All this week the PBS NewsHour is broadcasting slightly-edited chapters of our coverage of the troubled public schools in Washington DC. Put another way, it’s a Michelle Rhee Film Festival.
We’ve been following the efforts of this dynamic young leader since she took office in June 2007. When I read about her appointment that spring, I called her up, introduced myself, and invited her out to dinner. Our senior producer, Murrey Jacobson, joined us, and I made a pitch: “We’d like to chronicle your efforts on the NewsHour. What do you say?”
Her immediate reaction was notable for its candor: “I have to figure out whether it will help me do what I have to do, which is make things better for kids,” is what she said in roughly those words. If it would help, she’d be on board. If not, forget it.
Related item: Heutagogy-- from Wikipedia In education, heutagogy, a concept coined by Stewart Hase of Southern Cross University, is the study of self-determined learning. The notion is an expansion and reinterpretation of andragogy, and it is possible to mistake it for the same. However, there are several differences between the two that mark the one from the other. Heutagogy places specific emphasis on learning how to learn, double loop learning, universal learning opportunities, a non-linear process, and true learner self-direction. So, for example, whereas andragogy focuses on the best ways for people to learn, heutagogy also requires that educational initiatives include the improvement of people's actual learning skills themselves, learning how to learn as well as just learning a given subject itself. Similarly, whereas andragogy focusses on structured education, in heutagogy all learning contexts, both formal and informal, are considered.
THIS is what we need our graduates to know how to do. THIS is what we need to integrate into our teaching and learning endeavors throughout all disciplines. Why? So that when a student graduates, she can not only hit the ground running, but can keep hitting the ground running throughout her lifetime. No matter what comes down the pike, she will know how to learn, where to get information, how to sort through it and synthesize it. She can be a self-directed learner, getting training/information on demand...when she needs it.
Elevating the Teaching Profession -- from Ed.gov blog “It’s time, once and for all, to make teaching the revered profession it should be,” Secretary Arne Duncan writes in the current issues of “NEA Today” and AFT’s “American Educator.”
I.N.K.: Interesting Nonfiction for Kids -- from inkrethink.blogspot.com Here we will meet the writers whose words are presenting nonfiction in a whole new way. Discover books that show how nonfiction writers are some of the best storytellers around. Learn how these writers practice their craft: research techniques, fact gathering and detective work. Check out how they find unusual tidbits, make the facts interesting and write something kids will love to read. Explore how photos and illustrations are integrated with the text to explain an artist's vision of the world. Consider what subjects are flooding the market and what still needs a voice. Rethink nonfiction for kids.
The iPod touch in the Classroom-- from Tony Vincent Kern Kelley from Newport, Maine shows some of the basic uses for iPod touch. Kern first takes you from unboxing the iPod to syncing with iTunes. After showing some basics, he shares a dozen of his favorite apps and they are listed here.
Video Games and Impacts on Performance-- from The Futurist Update The types of video games you play may affect your performance at school, work, or other activities, according to Wheaton College psychology professor Rolf Nelson. Playing an adrenaline-pumping action game for an hour before doing your homework or tackling a task at work could help you finish the assignment quickly--but with lots of mistakes. Playing a strategy game, on the other hand, will yield more-accurate work, but at the cost of speed, observes Nelson.
In his study, published with co-author Ian Strachan in the journal PERCEPTION, Nelson tested subjects playing either a fast-action video game (Unreal Tournament) or a puzzle-solving video game (Portal). “While there has been a great deal of [research] focused on performance differences between non-video-game players and avid video-game players, we were interested in looking at the effects of playing different types of video games," Nelson says. “Results convincingly demonstrate a priming effect for two different types of video games."
Blended Learning Provides New Models for Engaging Students-- from Blackboard
Listen to a Recorded Webinar or Download a Paper It is increasingly clear that district leaders need to increase student engagement in order to ultimately increase student achievement. Blended learning, the teaching practice that combines teaching methods from both face-to-face and online learning, offers a model of instruction to engage students in and out of the classroom. This practice has proven highly effective in helping schools and districts address the challenges of student achievement, limited resources, and meeting the expectations of 21st century learners.
Listen to a recorded webinar and hear North Kansas City School District (NKCSD) discuss how they use online learning in the classroom and beyond to provide a personalized and connected learning experience. With the aid of a 1-to-1 laptop program, every high school student is engaged in blended learning, where the teacher uses online learning during class and posts assignments and discussion questions for after the bell rings.
Elluminate: your grandkid's classroom - Matt Bowman, VatorNews-- quote below and resource from Ray Schroeder Wondering what school will be like for the next generation? Check out Elluminate. It gives an instructor the ability to hold a web conference with up to 300 participants, host interactive displays, video streaming, private-but-moderated chats between participants and just about every function a teacher could want in an online classroom. Last week, the company announced it’s social network, LearnCentral, which launched in June of this year, has reached 25,000 members worldwide.
Changing journalism classes in high school-- from the Thinking Stick by Jeff Utecht Two recent articles and other observations have me thinking about the need to restructure journalism programs or school newspaper programs in our high schools. Some interesting ideas and developments lately that if I was a journalist teacher I’d be sharing and discussing with my students.
It’s a great read for any student who is thinking of journalism as a career.
Then today on my iPhone I read about AOL braking away from Time Warner to become their own company once again and focus on creating content on the web via their web portals.
Doing What Works-- from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Educational Sciences "We make it easy to find research-based practices. Our mission is to translate research-based practices into practical tools to improve classroom instruction."
Special report on virtual schools-- by Tony Bates
Van Dusen, C. (2009) eSN Special Report: Beyond the Virtual School eSchool News, Nov 1. Because of the volume of stuff that comes through my portal, I don’t usually cover k-12 reports, but I’m including this one because it provides some excellent examples of what I like to call hybrid learning (reduced but not eliminated face-to-face time plus online learning) that could easily be adapted for post-secondary education use. It also looks at some ‘desperate’ schools that are using online learning materials in the classroom because they are short of qualified teachers.
Michigan's Online Teacher of the Year Selected LANSING, Mich., Dec 07, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire Online instructor Melanie Laber excels in the virtual classroom. Melanie Laber teaches trigonometry, geometry and pre-algebra to students in Detroit, Paw Paw, Traverse City and Houghton. She was recently named Michigan's Online Teacher of the Year. Laber is an online instructor for Michigan Virtual School(TM); she teaches in a virtual classroom for schools all across Michigan. The course content and instruction all happens over the Internet, with students logging in to follow lessons and complete assignments, and Laber interacting with students through e-mail and discussion rooms.
Instructional Strategies That Work with Videoconferencing. Links are shared in the order referred to in the presentation video. Videoconferencing can bring the world to your classroom. It allows educators to bridge the divide by bringing experiences to rural students; by engaging conversations and interactions between urban and rural students and by connecting students globally. Whether using desktop videoconferencing or room based videoconferencing, educators can bridge the divide between “dabbling” in videoconferencing to fully integrating with solid classroom instructional strategies.
When I was interacting with a group of 7-10th graders two summers ago, they all instantly loved this application! It is highly engaging.
A strategic vision for online learning-- from OrgeonLive.com by Denise Herrenbruck; original link from scherlund.blogspot.com As more students turn to Oregon virtual charter schools, there's a brewing conflict between educators and parents in the K-12 community.
Educators are worried about the redistribution of public school funding and how to monitor quality and compliance in schools operated with business sector services. Many parents are fuming over the Oregon Legislature's move to halt the growth of virtual schools. They want the freedom to chose a school option that they say works for their children. Both sides have important concerns, but there is something crucial missing from the debate. A strategic vision for online learning is the key to finding a solution that's best for kids.
Disrupting Class: Inspiring Change in Online Learning-- by Jamey Fitzpatrick, President & CEO, Michigan Virtual University and Michael Horn
Disrupting Class uses the theories of disruptive innovation to identify the root causes of schools’ struggles and suggests a path forward to customize an education for every child in the way he or she learns. In his keynote address, Horn will share the main ideas of his book to inspire change in today’s online learning field.
The New Way of Learning – Go Beyond the Classroom-- from Tandberg Video communications facilitates distance learning and helps students better grasp, understand and apply knowledge. This special report describes how schools can use video communication technology to create a climate of learning that inspires and motivates students - while at the same time supporting teachers. Learn how video communications can help reshape and transform education to keep pace with today's learning environment.
The digital revolution has hit education, with more and more classrooms plugged into the whole wired world. But are schools making the most of new technologies? Are they tapping into the learning potential of today s Firefox/Facebook/cell phone generation? Have schools fallen through the crack of the digital divide?
In Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology, Allan Collins and Richard Halverson argue that the knowledge revolution has transformed our jobs, our homes, our lives, and therefore must also transform our schools. Much like after the school-reform movement of the industrial revolution,our society is again poised at the edge of radical change [emphasis DSC]. To keep pace with a globalized technological culture, we must rethink how we educate the next generation or America will be left behind. This groundbreaking book offers a vision for the future of American education that goes well beyond the walls of the classroom to include online social networks, distance learning with anytime, anywhere access, digital home schooling models, video-game learning environments, and more.
12/2 7pm Pacific Time (US): Science Inquiry and Real World Data Sources, hosted by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh's EXCEL Center and the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium. A discussion of the integration of authentic data in science inquiry with Dr. Stephanie Slater (University of Wyoming).
12/5 9am Pacific Time (US): The weekly Classroom 2.0 LIVE show focuses on "Learning Games Network and Caduceus" with Alex Chisholm and Wade Munday. Alex and Wade share information on the Learning Games Network, a series of events using games in the classroom as learning tools and Caduceus, a learning game built as part of Children's Hospital Boston's "Generation Cures" initiative.
Coming Up Next Week: Interview with Director/Producer Rachel Dretzin of the PBS FRONTLINE Digital Nation project | Angela Maiers on "Classroom Habitudes" | Elizabeth Kanna on "Virtual Schooling"
Interesting Ways -- from Tom Barrett "They have been a great example of crowdsourcing good quality classroom ideas and it has been great fun connecting with all of the people who have taken time to add an idea. It is remarkable what can be achieved and created together if you give people the right way to do it. Thanks for all the help so far."
If we want the very best for our students, their teachers must be able to provide them with the very best education. The members of the next generation of Americans will need to graduate from high school ready to compete in a world of rapid globalization, burgeoning technological innovations, and changing labor markets. They will need to be informed citizens in a complex world [emphasis DSC]. Not only do our students need to be primed for this new world, our teachers must be prepared to guide them. Yet, just as our students do not always receive the preparation they need for twenty-first-century success, neither do all of their teachers. All too often, the two situations are interrelated.
#1. Save Office Documents to the Cloud
#2. Embed Web Videos in your Presentations
#3. Quick Steps in Outlook
#4. Built-in PDF Writer
#5. Document printing made simple!
#6. Broadcast Slideshows within PowerPoint
#7. Video Editing meets PowerPoint
#8. Distribute your slides as video
#9. Built-in Screen Capture
#10. Outlook gets social
Send the Kids Outside!-- from Edutopia.org by Mark Nichol The National Wildlife Federation takes up the cause to promote more outdoor time for children.
While current distance and online education uses chat technology for real time connection as an augmentation to asynchronous exchange, the future will have immediacy as central to every exchange. The future will also have actual realities being exchanged and developed as ideas are immediately applied and integrated into reality development. Therefore students will not be passive receptors of anything but will rather be fully engaged in all processes of exchange and will also be central to the development of their own learning--customized learning at its fullest.
As always, the bigger challenge will be to educators themselves and to accrediting bodies who will probably lag in their acceptance and understanding of the technology. Our challenge, as educators and co-learners with students, is to engage sooner rather than later and while there is still time to influence emerging technology uses for better instruction.
Big Picture: A Better School Model?-- from Big Picture Learning by Sarah Fine The Big Picture Learning Company structures high schools around the belief that kids learn best when they are doing what they love. In the world of American public education, this is nothing short of radical.
Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online ...OnGuard Online gives adults practical tips to help kids navigate the online world. Kids and parents have many ways of socializing and communicating online, but they come with certain risks. This guide encourages parents to reduce the risks by talking to kids about how they communicate – online and off – and helping kids engage in conduct they can be proud of. Net Cetera covers what parents need to know, where to go for more information, and issues to raise with kids about living their lives online.
Do you want to see motivated your students in class, we have ten reasons to say that video is the powerfully media to get a successful plan. Top 10 reasons to have your students create videos:
• Students will retain what they learn.
• Students will be engaged in their learning.
• Students will practice “real-life” skills like time management.
• Speaking, writing, reading and listening skills will be practiced.
• Forces students to think at a higher level.
• Students will improve their technology skills.
• Helps to develop problem-solving skills.
• It is fun!
• Affirmation from the community.
Focus: Liberty University Online Academy-- from Online High by Tom Nixon Today’s focus school is Liberty University Online Academy. Related to Liberty University, the largest Christian evangelical university with the largest Christian online programs in the world. If you are looking for a Christian online high school, this is a particularly good choice because fees paid to LUOA count toward Liberty University (should you elect to attend that college). Liberty University Online Academy is a nationally recognized, online education program for 3rd - 12th graders with an emphasis on individualized learning.
Liberty University Online Academy was created to provide students the support of a traditional, residential, Academy while enrolled in a technology-based home-school academic program. This dynamic educational experience combines the resources of Liberty University with the proven elementary and secondary multimedia curriculum structure provided by the Online Academy.
Videoconferencing -- from Digitally Speaking Videoconferencing---connecting students to content area experts and classrooms from different continents through the use of synchronous discussion tools like Skype (http://www.skype.com)---is becoming an increasingly common feature in the 21st Century classroom. To make the most of videoconferences, teachers must introduce students to a set of skills that are not always necessary in traditional classrooms. The tools and resources on this page can help teachers to structure meaningful learning experiences with videoconferences.
2009 ACT National and State Scores-- from ACT.org Each year, ACT releases both national and state-specific reports on the most recent graduating senior high school class. These reports assess the level of student college readiness based on aggregate score results of the ACT® college admission and placement exam.
The foundation of this annual report is empirical ACT data that specify what happens to high school graduates once they get to college or work based on how well they were prepared in middle or high school. ACT believes that, by understanding and utilizing this data, states and districts across the country can help advance and promote ACT's mission of college and career readiness for all students.
Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms-- from Free Technology for Teachers Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms, developed by The Newberry Library, offers resources for using historical maps to teach lessons on geographic and historic themes. In total there are eighteen lessons spanning six themes. Each historical map has a lesson plans designed for use at different grade levels. The grade levels are divided K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each lesson plan comes with links to additional resources and images for enhancing and modifying the lessons to suit your needs.
5 great resources to find out about Google Wave-- from Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day by Jane Hart Have you got your Google Wave invite yet? Even if you haven't, you can find out more about it in these articles and postings, and what it can do for education and training.
'We've Got Laptops- Now What?!' November 3- 12, 2009 |
4 one-hour sessions
This online course provides participants with essential frameworks to organize, manage and design the learning and teaching culture for 1-to-1 classes, reflecting many of the best practices of highly effective 1-to-1 classrooms. It will be led by Karen Ward, experienced laptop teacher and coach for AALF, Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute (CVELI) at California State University Fresno, and Springboard Schools, a California non-profit educational organization.
21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Online Institute- Implementation October 27- November 24, 2009 |
5 one-hour sessions
About to implement laptop learning in your school or district and aren't sure where to start or what options there are? Or, have you already implemented your program, but feel there are steps you may need to reconsider? The Implementation Institute provides you with a clear understanding of how to put your laptop plan into action. Topics covered include pedagogical capacity and change management, learning spaces, essential 1-to-1 policies, learning devices and software, preparing for parent questions and concerns, support and service, deployment, and more. These are the "nuts and bolts" to ensure your investment in 1-to-1 achieves the goals you set.
At-Risk Students Make Multimedia -- from Edutopia.org by Barbara Tannenbaum A team of college professors and K-12 teachers discovers how building video games can elevate student performance.
But an emerging, national trend has the potential to change the picture for Crenshaw and schools like it. Increasingly, institutes of higher education are collaborating with K-12 teachers to help them use digital tools to get at-risk students excited about learning.
Innovative Substitute Lesson Plan-- from The Innovative Educator by Dana Lawit When teachers are absent it can send students, classrooms, and sometimes even schools into a tailspin. Any change in routine can cause disruption. One innovative educator at my school, Darlene, has come up with a substitute lesson plan that uses technology to engage students and support the substitute teacher in an effort to avoid disruption. Using a video (see below), the teacher explain the learning objectives of the lesson, provides a model, and even then provides step by step instruction for the student's independent work.
Convert To PDF: Guide To The Best Free Online PDF Conversion Tools--
from Robin Good's Latest News by Daniele Bazzano Do you need to convert your files to PDF? Are you looking for a free online solution to produce PDF documents wherever you are? Struggle no more. In this MasterNewMedia guide you can find the best free PDF conversion tools on the web.
Google Apps for K-12 Education Webinar Video-- from Free Technology for Teachters Earlier this week Google offered a free webinar featuring the story of a school district that saved $35,000 by transitioning its email services to Google Apps for Education. The webinar was held at at a time that might have been inconvenient for a lot of people in education. If you were not able to attend the webinar, but you wanted to, you can now watch all of the webinar in this YouTube video.
Online Learning: It’s reality - high school classes are going virtual - Jennifer Fenn Lefferts, Boston Globe-- resource from Ray Schroeder Sean O’Brien attends Concord-Carlisle High School, but at least once a day he checks in with a teacher he’ll never meet face to face. He is one of 20 Concord-Carlisle students in the Virtual High School program, which offers online courses taught by teachers all over the world. O’Brien, a sophomore, is taking an Advanced Placement economics course taught by an instructor in Texas. “I thought it’d be a different way to take it and I could do it on my own time,’’ O’Brien said. “I like the freedom of it.’’
In the fall of 1997, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) awarded two Florida school districts, Orange and Alachua, a $200,000 “Break the Mold” grant to co-develop an online high school to serve students throughout Florida. The districts assembled a team, which adopted a new mindset and asked, “If we didn’t have to follow the rules that already exist [forschools], what would they be?”1 Through trial and error and a focus on building an education option for students whose needs were not being met, the team established what became the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), the nation’s first statewide, Internet-based public school. In the first year, there were only 77 students enrolled in online courses. FLVS enrolled more than 70,000 middle and high school students
during the 2008–09 school year.
The State Educational Technology Directors Association teamed up recently with state Title I administrators to create two quick guides for schools to make better use of technology and stretch their money more effectively.
A Resource Guide Identifying Technology Tools for Schools is a great primer for educators who want to become fluent in ed-tech-speak. The 18-page guide gives an alphabetical listing of common technology terms and definitions or explanations that put acronyms and confusing terms into plain English.
The web education-- from The Future of Education by Judy Jacob With some research, I have identified an good online collaborative learning platform . Here, you can see teachers and students learning together and fantastic use of Web2.0. FunnelBrain and flashcards in general has been gaining a lot of popularity in the recent past with experts contributing and active student participation in groups and social way. I have tested it for sometime now and it has proven to be very effective with my students. It creates an environment for students to have an interactive experience and also with its collaborative approach helps students memorize better with techniques such as quizzes and flash cards
With all the innovation in online education, it is a matter of time that the universities leverage it to create a platform for effective education. There are a few universities already adopting to this, like Virginia Tech and Ohio State which uses a hybrid model of online and traditional school approach. I hope this becomes a norm rather than an exception.
Classrooms are Awesome-- from Discovery Education Network Upload a 1-2 minute video, podcast, or other multimedia file that explains how you use Discovery Education resources to engage your students. Whether you take students on virtual field trips, or guide students as they produce their own multimedia projects, we’d like to share your ideas with the entire Discovery Education community. Each submitter will receive a limited edition Discovery Education sweatshirt “hoodie” just in time for the changing seasons. Upload your submission by 8pm EST on November 15th. For the details log in to your streaming account through discoveryeducation.com/awesome
The New Glogster Edu Is Live -- from Free Technology for Teachers Glogster, a great multimedia collage building platform that I've written about in the past, has officially launched the live version of Glogster Edu. The new Glogster Edu eliminates all of the problems that teachers previously encountered when trying to use Glogster in the their classrooms. The new Glogster Edu is hosted separately from the commerical version of Glogster thereby eliminating links to Glogs (multimedia collages) containing questionable content hosted the commercial version of Glogster. Glogster Edu provides teachers with a virtual classroom space in which they can manage the accounts of up to 200 students. Glogster Edu has also partnered with VoiceThread to allow users to include VoiceThread content in their Glogs.
These are the folks I'm working to get things prepared for! :)
From DSC and ISTE.org...some books that you might be interested in:
Student-Powered Podcasting: Teaching for 21st-Century Literacy-- by
Christopher Shamburg Podcasting—it's a great way to teach 21st-century literacies, it's a catalyst for engaging students as active participants in culture and society, and it's a tool for teaching powerful ideas. When students podcast, they connect the outside world with what they’re learning in the classroom and discover how to responsibly use content created by others, all while gaining technology skills that will last a lifetime.
Student-Powered Podcasting shows you why and how to incorporate student-generated podcasting into your curriculum. The book includes tutorials for GarageBand and Audacity, 17 adaptable units, assessment rubrics, and plenty of examples. In addition, author Christopher Shamburg discusses copyright issues and shows you how students can effectively and ethically use materials that others have produced. Get the resources and information you need to help students create useful, educational podcasts, and make sure your students have the 21st-century literacy skills they need to succeed—in school and beyond. Learn more about this book and topic: listen to an interview with author Christopher Shamburg on ISTE Casts. Also see: www.iste.org
Educator's Podcast Guide A complete introduction to great educational podcasts, including hardware and software needs, integrating podcasts into your curriculum, and managing podcasts in the classroom
The Arts Education Effect -- from Education Week by Sandra Ruppert Why Schools With Arts Programs Do Better At Narrowing Achievement Gaps
Game-Based Learning Site for Innovative Math Educators-- from The Innovative Educator Innovative math educators looking for engaging ideas to enhance teaching and learning should check out this newly launched, curriculum-based, online math game site for 11 – 16 year olds. UK-based www.mangahigh.com features math games that go beyond mental arithmetic and help kids to enjoy practicing quadratic equations and trigonometry. The site has developed engaging math games that students enjoy playing while they learn complex math concepts by solving authentic, real-world problems.
"Rapid Intelligence Pty Ltd is the brainchild of Luke Metcalfe, a web publisher and web mining expert based in Sydney, Australia. Our flagship site NationMaster was launched in January 2003. At that time, it was a collection of around two hundred statistics together with the tools to graph and compare them, compiled and built by Luke himself. By 2004 NationMaster had grown to become the world's largest online database of statistical comparisons between countries, and had attracted enthusiastic reviews from such sources as CNN, The New York Times, and the BBC."
NationMaster is "a massive central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations. NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD. Using forms on the site, you can generate maps and graphs on all kinds of statistics with ease."
StateMaster is "a unique statistical database which allows you to research and compare a multitude of different data on US states. We have compiled information from various primary sources such as the US Census Bureau, the FBI, and the National Center for Educational Statistics. More than just a mere collection of various data, StateMaster goes beyond the numbers to provide you with visualization technology like pie charts, maps, graphs and scatterplots. We also have thousands of map and flag images, state profiles, and correlations."
Math Apprentice (K-12)-- from iLearn Technology ...is an awesome flash site that shows kids how math is used in the real world, with real world jobs. Students can explore math through games that feature bicycle designers, biologists, artists, mechanics, inventors, doctors, engineers, astronomers, game designers, programmers, chefs, veterinarians, sportscasters, and meteorologists. Students can explore the math of these jobs as a math apprentice by selecting a character and cruising around a virtual world where they can visit places of business where math happens. The character describes how they use math and provides a fun interactive activity that gives students a chance to practice using the math.
The Changing Landscape of Teacher Learning -- from Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook An education-technology scholar discusses the current state and promise of online teacher PD.
Chris Dede, a professor of learning technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is a leading authority on online teacher professional development. For 16 years, beginning in the early 1990s, Dede taught a course at HGSE called “Learning Media That Bridge Distance and Time.” The rapid changes in interactive technology during that period brought the potential of online teacher learning into sharp focus for Dede. “I saw it as an important way of scaling up quality instructional practice, and an important lever for education reform, but also I saw that it wasn’t going far very fast,” he explains.
The Google Jockey--
from Free Technology for Teachers As I Tweeted last week, every time I read The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education I get an idea that I can apply to my classroom instruction. Today, while reading The World Is Open I came across the idea for having a "Google Jockey" in my classroom. The idea is that you have one student in the room who is responsible for looking up terms or phrases that come up during the course of classroom discussion. Like everyone else, I've had students Googling terms informally as they came up in the course of the class, but I had not thought of formally assigning one student to be the "head Googler" for the day. All of my students will have netbooks starting next month and the "Google Jockey" is a term that I plan to add to my students' vernacular. Combining the use of a back channel along with a Google Jockey could become a good avenue for drilling deeper into the content of the day's lesson.
Nice way of blending the online and face-to-face worlds!
Webinar Video - Teaching Search in the Classroom-- from freetech4teachers.com
Earlier this month Google hosted a webinar on teaching web search techniques. If you weren't able to participate in the webinar, you can now watch the whole webinar in this video of the event. The lesson plans and resources mentioned in the webinar can be found here. The video is embedded...
Tutor USA-- resource from Free Technology for Teachers ...is a site that offers a variety of useful links for mathematics teachers. In addition to free worksheets and lesson plans, Tutor USA has built a nice collection of video tutorials. The videos in the collection come from sources like YouTube, Blip.tv, and TeacherTube. Some of the videos are quick how-to videos while others are longer lecture-style explanations of mathematics concepts.
Quest to Learn Launches!-- from institute of play The Institute of Play is delighted to announce the opening of Quest to Learn, the new NYC public school that uses game-inspired methods to teach both traditional and critical 21st century skills and literacies.
Carnegie Learning, Inc. Announces Free Webinar Series on Math Improvement-- from B2E PITTSBURGH, PA, September 10, 2009 – Carnegie Learning, Inc., a leading publisher of innovative, research-based math solutions for middle school, high school, and post-secondary students, today announced a free Webinar series focused on improving math performance in the United States. This four-part program is open to the public and shares models and best practices for administrators, policy-makers, and teachers actively pursuing tangible student improvement in mathematics. Presenters include Robert Compton, creator and executive producer of Two Million Minutes, the 2008 documentary that sounded the alarm on the education crisis in America; Scott DeFreese, academic dean for New Technology High Arsenal Tech in Indianapolis; and Myra Snell, professor of mathematics for 17 years at Los Medanos College in California, among other education leaders.
Get Schooled Initiative Launches - Aimed at Broadening Americans' Engagement in Solving the Education Crisis -- from B2E Viacom Inc. — September 08, 2009 Viacom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with initiative partners AT&T, Capital One Financial Corporation and NYSE Euronext, today launched Get Schooled with a national broadcast and an education conference at the Paramount Pictures lot. The five-year initiative aims to generate greater awareness and engagement in addressing the nation's education crisis and to offer practical resources and support to students.
Maine Ingredients -- from The Journal by John K. Waters The nation's first-ever statewide 1-to-1 laptop program marks its seventh birthday by expanding into high schools, providing an occasion to celebrate-- and to examine the components of its success.
Global Education: Using Technology to Bring the World to Your Students-- from ISTE Books by
Laurence Peters As an educator, you can teach students the importance of communicating and empathizing with others around the world. How? Through global collaborations made possible with Web 2.0 and existing global networks. Global Education's examples, case studies, and hundreds of Web resources will give you ample ideas to get started. In addition, you’ll find an introduction to global educational networks including iEarn, Global Schoolhouse, and ePals, as well as an overview on using Web 2.0 for global education.
Learners driving. The new learner is transforming himself from a passive actor into an active, is becoming a conscious leader of his personal lifelong learning path.
Deep access to information, tools and experts in ways not possible before.
The ability to network and team up with other learners who have the same interests, independently of their age, location or experience.
The emergence of theprofessional independent (teacher) mentor / guide. Both outside and inside traditional educational institutions a new breed of guides, coaches, facilitators and advisers is already emerging and creating new classless learning ecosystems.
These new "teachers" think, act and perform their multiple roles of guides, facilitators and learning advisers with a spirit and attitude that is radically different from the one that is typical of the traditional, classic educator.
You have to listen to this!-- Thanks to my cousin, David Christian, for this one! From DSC: I bet many a teacher, office staff, or admin would like to put this on their school's answering machine!
We discovered that teachers worldwide are eager to find educational experiences that position their students as active agents who are capable of thinking independently to solve problems in unanticipated ways.
Click here to read “Why Should Educators Care About Games.”
Please visit our project website to learn more about this exciting work: http://QuestAtlantis.org. Quest Atlantis is an immersive online world designed to help teach science to junior high school students. Development and expansion have been supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
In the winter of the 2005–06 school year, Alpine School District (“Alpine”) decided to form an online K–8 school to support home-schooled students in the district. It adopted the idea from a neighboring Utah school district. Available funding from the state of $2,500 per student per year made the online school financially viable as that amount covered the cost of full-time teachers as well as certain online and shipped curriculum. The lead administrator on the project combined his drive with the expertise of K12™ Inc. (“K12™”) to set the school up within six months.
Breaking Through Reading Barriers -- from The Journal by Bridget McCrea Elementary school gets struggling readers and special education students interested in reading
After using a tech-based reading program with struggling readers and special education students at Homestead Elementary School in Crossville, TN, fourth-grade inclusion teacher Ashlee Ritzko witnessed a new phenomenon: Students that were reluctant or resistant readers were suddenly excited about reading the novels.
-- from Daniel Laninga
How to Keep Kids Engaged in Class-- from Edutopia.org When students let their minds drift off, they're losing valuable learning time. Here are ten smart ways to increase classroom participation.
AlgebraPrep App Now Available on App Store-- from Pearson New Series from Modality and Pearson Brings Algebra Learning to iPhone™ and iPod touch®
Boston, MA, August 12, 2009 — Pearson Education and Modality, Inc. today announced the AlgebraPrep: Factoring application is available on the App Store. This iPhone™ and iPod touch® app, comprised of practice tests and video tutorials by the award-winning instructor and bestselling author Elayn Martin-Gay, is designed to provide supplemental help for students in or out of class.
Note the almost celebrity status of this instructor. I think this is a very potential direction in the future. Team-based content creation, lifting up the best facutly members, instructors, and teachers in the world.
Computer games to teach youths about judiciary - Alex Dalenberg, Arizona Republic-- link/quote from Ray Schroeder Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and her judicial ilk seem unlikely candidates for video-game heroes. But beginning this month, kids can put themselves in the chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court in two online games endorsed by O'Connor and designed in part by Arizona educators. The games will debut on the Our Courts Web site, ourcourts.org, a civics-education project chaired by O'Connor.
Curriculum and Literacy in the Digital World-- from Education Innovation by Robert Jacobs “Instead of being the same way for all people, it can instantly rearrange itself for each person and each person’s current task.” It is not possible to differentiate instruction and learning to the level that is possible when a student does it for their particular individualized needs. The web makes it possible to match a student with his or her interest and ability far easier than one teacher alone could. Each click brings the student just what they need in the way they need it. Learning that is truly customized and differentiated on demand. The digital world will bend to your needs when you want it, where you want it, and how you want it. That is the future of learning.
This series, Promising Practices in Online Learning, explores some of the approaches being taken
by practitioners and policymakers in response to key issues in online learning in six papers being
released throughout 2008 and 2009:
Blended Learning: The Convergence of Online and Face-To-Face Education
Using Online Learning for Credit Recovery and At-Risk Students
Management and Operations of Online Programs: Ensuring Quality and Accountability
Socialization in Online Programs
Policy and Funding Frameworks for Online Learning
A Parents’ Guide to Choosing the Right Online Program
But in describing them as “highly educated useless people”, what he was also suggesting was that while many students in his country, particularly the brainy ones, had school smarts, they did not possess what is generally known as street smarts.
In this environment, mastery of content is valued over thinking critically about the content.
All the answers are prearranged, preformatted and ready for absorption by those who are willing and able to play the game called school. These are the academically successful. These are students are comfortable operating in a culture of dependency – dependent on the teacher, dependent on the textbook, dependent on the test.
Then after graduation from school, having spent 13 or more years in the system, the educational infrastructure that has held the students up for all their years in education is suddenly removed. When this happens, many of the students fall flat on their faces as they enter the real world. And we can’t understand why. Even though it is we, the educators, who are responsible for creating this culture of dependency on the teacher, the textbooks, and the test, we feel confused.
In the real world of today, school success clearly does not guarantee success in life.
The new and different paradigm of teaching and learning is that of progressive withdrawal. Our responsibility must be to ensure that our students no longer need us by the time they graduate from school.
The bottom line is that schools must change drastically if we are the reverse the growing disconnect between being school smart and being street smart.
Changing minds: We must address the shift in thinking patterns that are happening to digital students. They live and operate in a multimedia, online, multitask, random access, color graphics, video, audio, visual literacy world.
In other words, we cannot foster street smarts in our students who are school smart unless we ask the powerful and relevant questions around our assumptions of what schools currently are and what they need to be.
Forvo - Hear Words Pronounced by Native Speakers -- from Free Technology for Teachers Forvo can best be described as an audio wiki for word pronunciations. One of the problems with learning to speak a language that is not phonetic is trying to figure out how to pronounce the words. Forvo hosts hundreds of recordings of word pronunciations by native speakers. Currently there are nearly 200 languages supported on Forvo. Along with word pronunciations, Forvo provides some basic demographic information about each language. Forvo's content is user supported and user generated so new pronunciations are added every day.
21 Must-Read RSS Feeds -- from Free Technology for Teachers Last week after my post about the Free Technology for Teachers FriendFeed room, I received a couple of comments and emails asking me if I would post a list of some of my favorite websites. Here are my 21 must-read RSS feeds. These are the RSS feeds I check first whenever I've been away from my computer for more than twenty-four hours.
These lists are arranged alphabetically only because my RSS reader is also arranged alphabetically.
The Truth About Teaching and Learning-- from Edutopia.org by Ben Johnson The truths about teaching and learning are that one size never fits all, and surefire works only some of the time.
I believe this is a true statement. Thus, it seems to me that we will migrate more towards the use of customized learning solutions. These types of solutions will go by different names, such as Personalized Learning Environments (PLE's), Electronic Personal Tutors (EPT's), 1:1 Computing, Individualized Instruction,
Intelligent Tutoring Systems,
Intelligent Web Teacher, Individualized Learning Systems,
Learning Companion Systems,
Lifelong Learning Companions,
1:1 Technology Enhanced Learning, Adaptive (Educational) Hypermedia, Learning Design Technologies, Adaptive Hypermedia Generators, Adaptive Systems, Learning Agents, Learning Bots,
Intelligent Agents, Harvesting Bots,
Data Miners/ Data Mining,
Artificial Intelligence, and more. Whew! Also see:
Teaching Once, Engaging Many with Distance Learning at BVIU -- from The Journal by Denise Harrison Few counties can afford to hire full-time teachers at every school for every subject, and it is especially challenging in a region dependent on the declining steel industry. That is what Beaver County in Pennsylvania faced when trying to deliver consistent education across the 15 school districts serving 24,000 students. The Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit (BVIU) is the regional service agency charged with that challenge. Thus was born the Regional Choice Initiative.
169 free to use educational interactive resources for Primary Schools.
15 free to use fun games for children aged 4 - 11.
Over 100 links to other free interactive, image and software resources.
Suitable for use on an IWB or PC at school and for parents/children at home.
Free interactive resources and activities for Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Maths, English, Science, History, Geography, R.E., D.T., I.C.T, French and Spanish.
Enquiring Minds (UK) is...
a response to the challenges schools face in the task of preparing children for a future characterised by rapid social, technological and cultural change
a distinctive approach to teaching and learning that takes seriously the knowledge, ideas, interests and skills that students bring into schools
a set of principles to underpin relationships between adults and children in schools and classrooms, which see children taking increasing responsibility for determining the content and purpose of their learning
a set of print and digital tools to support teachers and school leaders to implement, adapt and explore Enquiring Minds approaches
a three-year programme of research testing these approaches, principles and resources in UK schools
Creative Web Tools For and By Kids ...is a project designed for students, ages 9 to 14, to use emerging technologies for engaging, thinking, learning, collaborating, creating, and innovating. The focus is on the use of free, open-source, or minimal cost tools, so the project can be replicated. An underlying goal is to demonstrate how advanced technological applications for enhancing learning can be implemented with only a computer and Internet access.
If your school has SMART Boards, this new podcast is worth twenty-five minutes of your time. If your school does not have SMART Boards the podcast may still be worth your time. I listened to the first episode and picked up an idea that I can adapt for use in the non-SMART Board environment where I teach.
One-to-one learning provides every student and teacher access to his or her own personal portable technology in a wireless environment allowing students to learn at their own pace and ability levels. The concept has rapidly gained momentum, worldwide, as a key to transforming education and better preparing students to succeed in a global marketplace. In the one-to-one classroom, students’ access to personal technology and the Internet enables them to be self-directed and receive highly personalized instruction. Teachers can create Individualized Education Plans for each child, addressing his or her unique needs. Students use their personal devices to do research, homework, problem-solve, team projects, email and academic coursework. At the same time, they gain valuable 21st century skills that will be beneficial throughout their lives and careers.
Taking Cues from K-12 -- from MPB Reflections (21st century teaching & learning) by Michelle Pacansky-Brock This is an example of a collaborative, active learning activity in which students created content using VoiceThread to learn about the experiences of Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in internment camps following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The video below introduces you to the process of learning as an active, collaborative and interdisciplinary process, engaging young minds with older generations of individuals who really lived through the experiences of a war torn country divided by feelings of racial segregation. In the end, students learn and the world is enriched through their own contribution -- a VoiceThread available online. My hope here is that colleges and universities will see the potential for integrating this model of pedagogy into learning in our own classrooms (virtual or not). These are our students of tomorrow.
DPS’s enrollment — which largely determines its allotment of state funding — is about half what it was in 2001, as suburban districts and charter schools have siphoned off tens of thousands of students. By this fall, DPS will have 172 schools open and more than 100 vacant. Meanwhile, the high-school-graduation rate is 58%; coupled with the enrollment losses, only about one-quarter of students who start high school in the district graduate from it in four years, according to outside estimates.
Related items: Discovery Launches Service To Embed Digital Media into Curriculum-- from The Journal by Scott Aronowitz
Digital media--streaming video, interactive presentations, photo slideshows, audio programs--are today a common component of many educational curricula. Now Discovery Education has launched a service it hopes will be the logical next step: working with school districts to integrate digital content directly into lesson plans and day-to-day instruction.
Videoconferencing Engages Students in Mobile County Public Schools-- from The Journal by Denise Harrison As with many school districts, the Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS) in Alabama had challenges delivering consistent education to many and varied schools across a large area. Mobile is one of the largest in the country, however, with more than 100 schools across 1,644 square miles, which made it difficult to find an efficient solution.
A blast from the (fairly-recent) past and a newer book:
There are clear echoes of Clayton Christensen’s work on disruptive technologies in this new book. But unlike Christensen, Moe and Chubb focus on the politics of public organizations rather than technology per se. In fact, if you are looking for detailed descriptions of how technology should be used in education or hard proof of its effectiveness, you won’t find it in Moe and Chubb’s new book. They are not trying to prove that these technologies are educationally effective or describe best practices, although it is clear that they have some ideas on these topics. They are trying to describe the political logic of the current stagnation in education and how it might be altered.
I wonder what Jesus is thinking, saying or doing about this situation...my guess is that it involves the Internet.
Upcoming Webinars in Online Learning--
from Online Educator by Lisa Dawley, Ph.D. For those of you interested in K-12 online education, I'll be participating in two back-to-back webinars next week, Thursday, July 23:
How to Go Global in Your Classroom-- from Edutopia.org by Bob Lenz Another example of how technology can be used to expand the classroom is at Stanford University's Institute of Design. There, Professor David Kelly invites industry experts to give presentations on YouTube that students must view before class. Experts are then invited into the classroom, where students can spend the entire class period asking questions and learning more.
But experts and student peers needn't be physically present for effective collaboration to take place. For instance, in one American high school, students collaborated with peers in Singapore to create a Web site promoting tolerance. Students divided up their assignment, shared documents via the Internet, and created a finished Web site that provided resources and lessons to teach tolerance and stop bullying.
100 Best Websites for Mathletes-- from Online Universities.com Includes: Organizations | Education and Lessons | Competitions and Events | Academic and Research | Blogs | Drills, Problems and Practice | Theory | Networks and Social Sites | For Kids | Misc
100 Best Curator and Museum Blogs-- from Online Universities.com Resources & Advice | Curators & Staff | Art | Children & Education | History & Culture | Science | Misc
TopTeachers-- from Videoconferencing Out on a Lim In May 2008, I surveyed twenty K-12 teachers in my area who had done 6 to 12 videoconferences with their students in the 2007-2008 school year. They were my top teachers using videoconferencing. The following posts report on the results of this little research study.
I was on a conference call this evening with some other educators and administrators in the state of Maine. The purpose of the call was to brainstorm ideas for a video about preparing for teaching in a 1:1 computing environment. In advance of the call we were asked to generate a list of things that teachers should know before teaching in a 1:1 environment.
This is the list that I generated with some help from my Twitter friends @ernieeaster @scmorgan and @edtech4me
1. Not all teenagers are digital natives.
2. The computer itself is not going to create student engagement.
3. Teaching with technology is a heterogeneous experience.
4. It takes longer than you think to get a room full of students on the same webpage.
5. You should keep a list of students' usernames and passwords.
6. Murphy's Law is strongest the first few times you try to teach 1:1
7. Close and Focus.
8. Project design is still about the content.
9. Better to stand behind students than in front.
10. Network administrators are not always up to date on Web 2.0 from the end-user perspective. (There's a difference between hardware people and software people).
Darcy Moore wrote a great series of posts on this topic back in May. I encourage you to read his posts on the topic as he reached out to hundreds of people to generate his lists.
"Annual online Speak Up surveys collected for the past six years as well as student and educator focus groups
conducted across the nation have consistently shown
that students, for the most part, more readily embrace
the use of technology than their parents, teachers or
principals. Students openly acknowledge that they have
to “power down” when they enter the schoolhouse,
and then “power back up” to resume their technoinfused
lives outside of school. The near ubiquitous
access to technology has empowered students to
become “free agent learners,” and as such, they are less
dependent upon traditional education institutions for
knowledge acquisition and are much more self-reliant,
exercising their Internet-based skills to aggregate data
and information. It has become increasingly clear that
students are functioning as a “Digital Advance Team”
for our nation illuminating the path for how to leverage
emerging technologies such as online learning effectively
for teaching and learning."
have taught online classes overwhelmingly agree
on the advantages: 76% believe that online learning
benefits students by putting them in control of their
own learning, compared to 10% of all teachers who
participated in the surveys."
among 6-8th graders has caught up with their older peers
with 42% choosing online learning as a component of the
ultimate school, a 40% increase from 2006."
For those of us in higher ed, this quote should make us stand up and take serious notice. We are coming upon the last few years of the type of students that we are used to having in our classrooms. Change is on the way. The status quo must go.
Traditional teaching and learning strategies are becoming increasingly ineffective with a generation of secondary students that have instant access to information, are accustomed to managing their own acquisition of knowledge, and embrace the roles of content producer and publisher.
Today’s high school curriculum presents students with assignments that lack a real-world context and activities that lead to uninspired projects and end in a letter grade. Many students either learn to do just enough to get by or they lose interest and drop out. In this interconnected world, with ubiquitous access to powerful technology and access to a worldwide community, new models of teaching and learning are possible.
Visual Math Learning -- from Free Technology for Teachers ...as the name implies, is a collection of visual lessons about mathematics concepts. The lessons cover all of the basics including fractions, division, decimals, and integers. After working through a lesson, students can practice using their newly acquired knowledge on various follow-up exercises and games. In all there are eighteen practice exercises and one dozen games.
An additional 7,000 MacBooks will be ordered in the coming weeks. Maine is the only state to provide laptops to every public school student.
"We have seen incredible success with our middle schools showing increased student engagement and achievement with MLTI in place and we want to bring this same opportunity to our high schools," state Education Commissioner Sue Gendron said in a statement. "This is not just about technology -- it's about using the technology to support education."
I will be a bit over-simplistic in my representation of what he presented; but basically Gladwell believes it comes down to an attitude that to achieve, it takes hard work and effort. This attitude is something that students in high-test-scoring nations have, but that US students comparatively do not. Students in many Asian countries, for instance, possess an attitude about learning that learning happens through effort.
These activities were undertaken to address four research questions:
How does the effectiveness of online learning compare with that of face-to-face instruction?
Does supplementing face-to-face instruction with online instruction enhance learning?
What practices are associated with more effective online learning?
What conditions influence the effectiveness of online learning?
Few rigorous research studies of the effectiveness of online learning for K–12 students have been published.
The meta-analysis of 51 study effects, 44 of which were drawn from research with older learners, found that:
Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.
Instruction combining online and face-to-face elements had a larger advantage relative to purely face-to-face instruction than did purely online instruction.
Studies in which learners in the online condition spent more time on task than students in the face-to-face condition found a greater benefit for online learning.
Most of the variations in the way in which different studies implemented online learning did not affect student learning outcomes significantly.
The effectiveness of online learning approaches appears quite broad across different content and learner types. Online learning appeared to be an effective option for both undergraduates (mean effect of +0.35, p < .001) and for graduate students and professionals (+0.17, p < .05) in a wide range of academic and professional studies
Come to school every day, unless you would rather just go on line.
Come to class on time, or log into your online class anytime day or night, whenever it is most convenient to you.
Leave your seat only when necessary, which should be often to go collaborate with others or demonstrate something to the class.
Bring required materials, including your laptop and cell phone every day.
Talk only when permitted, text at all other times.
Don't Talk to your neighbors, unless you are sharing your ideas, asking for help or giving help.
Use polite speech when speaking, blogging, texting, Twittering, instant messaging, etc.
Do not cheat, but remix, re-purpose, and sample other peoples’ work and ideas and give them credit.
Follow the teacher's directions immediately and your peers’ directions too.
Be polite, courteous, and respectful at all times in both physical and virtual space.
Complete all assignments neatly and on time and submit on line or post to your blog or wiki, and share it with your followers on Twitter.
Keep your hands to yourself, but share all your ideas and knowledge with others in your Personal Learning Network.
Be quiet in lines, hallways, and restrooms, unless you are at home and logged into your on line classroom, in which case you can dance and play music.
If you need help raise your hand, but don’t wait for the teacher get help from your neighbors and post your question to your online Personal Learning Network.
Know what you are supposed to be learning, why, and what you will do with the knowledge.
UniServity announces strategic partnership with Microsoft -- from elearnity The integration with Microsoft Live@edu, will provide c. 1.5 million learners and their teachers globally with a dynamic and integrated e-Learning solution to support their learning and collaboration within the learning environment of the UniServity cLc (connected Learning communities) Learning Platform.
The new partnership combines the educational expertise and learning vision of UniServity and its award-winning online social learning platform, the UniServity cLc, with the technical expertise and scale of Microsoft and its Live@edu service to create a powerful learning environment and toolkit for learners and teachers to co-construct, collaborate, communicate and develop their skills and improve educational outcomes.
Tackling Online Classroom Challenges-- from Digital Education Lujean Baab, the director of M.Ed. programs at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pa., discussed some of the challenges that arise in the online classroom and some strategies to help overcome those difficulties in a session called "Managing Mayhem" recently at NECC.
New Service from Discovery Education Helps Districts Embed Digital Content Directly into Curriculum-- from B2E; New Curriculum Alignment Service Highlights Digital Media's Shift From Supplemental Content To Comprehensive Instructional Solution Silver Spring, Md. (June 25, 2009) - Discovery Education, producers of digital content and services such as Discovery Education streaming, Discovery Education Science and Discovery Education Health, announces a new curriculum alignment service headed by Discovery Education Senior Vice President of Curriculum Development, Dale Fulton. Fulton will lead a group within Discovery Education dedicated to collaborating with school districts on their goals for the integration of digital content into day-to-day classroom instruction. Discovery Education's team of subject matter experts will comb their vast library of more than 250,000 digital content assets, including video clips, writing prompts, images, audio files, virtual labs, games, articles, assessment items, and more; and then align those resources to district pacing guides, scope and sequence documents, or instructional guides.
Kids cheating with tech but are schools cheating kids? - Larry Magid, CNet news.cnet.com-- from Ray Schroeder The results of a survey showing that 35 percent of middle school and high school students with cell phones have used them to cheat at school is indeed alarming. And perhaps more alarming is the finding that nearly a quarter of the students don't even think it's cheating. Cheating is cheating regardless of whether you use technology or old-fashioned paper notes. I'm appalled that kids may be using technology to cheat in school, but I'm just as appalled at how schools are cheating kids when it comes to technology. But in addition to admonishing kids about why it's wrong to cheat, perhaps it's also time to rethink what it means to evaluate students in the age of the Internet and omnipresent mobile devices.
Think Ahead: What a difference a day makes. -- from Apple How do we create a dynamic 21st-century learning environment where today’s students can achieve and thrive? The Think Ahead event provided a day to explore, experience, and reflect on effective tools for 21st-century learning. The Apple digital learning environment is optimized for 21st-century learning by enabling collaboration, as well as content creation, distribution, and access, to maximize learning for today’s mobile lifestyle. Use the following resources to further explore creating and supporting a 21st-century learning environment...
Read Only is how things used to be when it comes to learning, as education for the masses was formalised in the late 1800's education it was a method on transferring knowledge. Today, too often, this is still the case. I just used the word learning, however this type of education was really about teaching. Pupils had their eyes open to receive the knowledge presented to them by the teacher - it was essentially Read Only.
As technology has progressed at a speedy rate, today's learners don't think in Read Only terms. The internet, digital media and cheap, powerful computers have provided people with an option they never had - Read Write. Learners today do not want to sit passively as the 'teacher' provides them with knowledge. They want to interact with the knowledge and ideas to make them their own, to make it meaningful.
The concept of Instructional Design now goes by the wayside, replaced instead by the idea of Learning Design. A small but important shift that puts the learner at the centre of the design process.Learning design then is about building learning experiences that allow the learner to Read Write.
Learning Networks -- from Long Tail Learners PBS TeacherLine Peer Connection is a great example of the rise of social networks as professional learning communities. Social networking is not just about sharing your latest thoughts, it’s about developing a network of peers who help you learn faster and become better at what you do.
Best Online High Schools offers new service Best Online High Schools is pleased to offer this news service for those interested in online schools at the K-12 level. Virtual School News aims to be the one-stop source for everything happening in the virtual education world. Stay tuned as the news begins rolling in.
When every child in the classroom has a laptop, a world of possibilities opens up. Students have instant access to information, opportunities to increase their technology skills, and computers available to them at all times.
Do you want to make 1-to-1 learning a reality at your school? Are you trying to ensure that your laptop program is a success? If so, you will want to take advantage of the practical planning advice and implementation resources in 1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work, Second Edition. Learn about successful laptop programs through case studies. New to this edition are chapters on 1-to-1 leadership, tablet PCs, and the shift to learner-centric environments.
1-to-1 Learning will lead you through the development of a successful laptop program, from planning to implementation.
In this report, Cathy Davidson and David Theo Goldberg focus on the potential for shared and interactive learning made possible by the Internet. They argue that the single most important characteristic of the Internet is its capacity for world-wide community and the limitless exchange of ideas.
The Internet brings about a way of learning that is not new or revolutionary but is now the norm for today’s graduating high school and college classes. It is for this reason that Davidson and Goldberg call on us to examine potential new models of digital learning and rethink our virtually enabled and enhanced learning institutions.
"We contend that
the future of learning institutions demands a deep, epistemological
appreciation of the profundity of what the Internet offers
humanity as a model of a learning institution."
"We are at an early and fast-changing moment in the development
of online collaborative forms."
"Most fundamental to such a change is the understanding that
participatory learning is about a process and not always a final
product. We are concerned here not just with a prognostication
about future institutions for learning, but with considering,
even with projecting, how learning happens today—not in some
distant utopian or dystopian future."
Pillars of Institutional Pedagogy: Ten Principles for the
Future of Learning
2. Horizontal Structures
3. From Presumed Authority to Collective Credibility
4. A De-Centered Pedagogy
5. Networked Learning
6. Open Source Education
7. Learning as Connectivity and Interactivity
8. Lifelong Learning
9. Learning Institutions as Mobilizing Networks
10. Flexible Scalability and Simulation
A Solution to School District Budget Cuts-- from Harvard Business Review by Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn "Offering online courses to students in physical locations--from school buildings to even shopping malls--can allow districts to reduce adult-to-student ratios in the buildings and spread costs over multiple districts, which will save money. It is classic disruption as the online learning will be way better than the alternative for everyone--nothing at all. Not only that, but since online learning results in as good if not better learning outcomes, offering online courses will also allow the state to do more with less."
Engineering 21st Century Skills-- from The Journal by Scott Aronowitz
At Savannah Christian Preparatory School in Savannah, GA, high school students aren't staring out the window thinking about the future. Thanks to an elective course the school introduced last fall, they're learning the rudiments of a field that, for many, may well be the future. Taking the concept of 21st century skills to a new level, SCPS offers a course to students in its senior high school as a way of introducing them to the building blocks of the technological world. The official course title is "Computer Aided Design," and, strictly speaking, that's what it is. But in requiring of its students the creativity and innovation inherent in developing new products and improving existing ones, the course is more accurately described by the unofficial name used around the school: digital manufacturing.
Editors's Note Teaching Generation Tech
Digital Directions attempts to address the gap between the widespread use of digital tools in society and the workplace and the general lack of such use in classrooms.
Characteristics of 'Highly Qualified' Online Teachers
What specific skills do online teachers need? That is a question being asked more and more in light of the continued growth of e-learning in school districts across the country.
The New Classroom Look
For some schools, the future is now, at least when it comes to incorporating some of the features of 21st-century classrooms.
Simulated vs. Hands-On Lab Experiments
Can simulated labs in some science courses take the place of real-world experiments? The College Board has been trying to determine the answer.
E-Learning Dollar Debate
Is e-learning really more cost-effective than traditional, brick-and-mortar schooling?
Frontline's "Digital Nation" Project with Producer/Director Rachel Dretzin-- from FutureOfEducation.com Date: Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
Time: 8am Pacific / 11am Eastern / 3pm GMT (next day) Length: 1 hour Location: In Elluminate. Log in at http://tinyurl.com/futureofed.
Join us as we talk with producer/director Rachel Dretzin about PBS FRONTINE’s “Digital Nation” project, and specifically what the educational community can do to be a part of it. “Digital Nation” is a multiplatform documentary initiative that explores how the Web and digital media are impacting the way we think, learn and interact. The project will unfold through a series of online video reports and user-submitted stories that will springboard into a documentary to air winter 2010. Topics will include education and technology, human development, online privacy, virtual worlds and online games, technology in the military, digital media in the workplace and more.
Online classes becoming commonplace for Michigan students -- by Jessica Sipperley | Jackson Citizen Patriot Andre Mallett didn't have to wait for a teacher to hand out homework and schedule tests for his study-skills class. Mallett, a senior at T.A. Wilson Academy, logged into the online class on the first day and had instant access to assignments for the marking period. "It's easier to handle," Mallett said. "You're not rushed. You can do the work at your own pace."
20% of higher education students are taking at least
one online course;
therefore, taking an online course in
high school is becoming a necessary part
of a student’s
preparation for higher education.
Related item: Michigan LearnPort is a new and improved online professional
development portal that offers school employees access to high-quality online
courses, workshops and seminars. [As of January 2008] more than 25,000 Michigan K-12
educators [had] begun using this free online professional development service.
K12's Florida Virtual Academy Posts High Scores on 2009 State Tests-- from B2E K12 Inc. —Monday, June 01, 2009 FLVA Exceeds State Averages; Continues To Be Top Performing Public Virtual School in the State
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 1, 2009/via PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Students at the K12 Florida Virtual Academy (FLVA) - one of the state's two full-time K-8 online public school programs - posted strong scores on the 2009 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests (FCAT), according to results released last week by the Florida Department of Education.
For the sixth year in a row, the percent of K12 Florida Virtual Academy students scoring proficient or higher exceeded the state averages in most grades and subjects tested. The K12 FLVA program has consistently scored higher than the state averages since the school began in the 2003-2004 academic year. FLVA was given an "A" grade in 2007 and 2008.
The American Education Corporation-- from B2E ...is a leading provider of research-based core curriculum instructional software for kindergarten through adult learners. The Company’s courseware is currently in use in over 14,000 public and private K–12 schools, charter schools, colleges, correctional institutions, centers of adult literacy, military education programs, and after-school learning centers. For more information, visit www.amered.com. The Company’s Java-based technology, the A+nyWhere Learning System Versions 3.0 and 4.0 of educational software products, provides for an integrated offering of grade levels 1-12 software for Reading, Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, Writing, History, Government, Economics and Geography.
In addition, the Company provides assessment testing and instructional content for the General Educational Development (GED) test. All company products are designed to provide for LAN, WAN and Internet delivery options and support Windows, Linux and Macintosh platforms. Spanish-language versions are available for Mathematics and Language Arts for grade levels 1-8.
The Company provides scaled formative assessment testing tools in A+ LearningLink to support response to Intervention programs and provide educators with information to place students appropriately. A+ Classroom™ Student Response Software (A+ Classroom SRS) is a managed whole classroom assessment product aligned to state standards which covers a wide range of K-12 course offerings. A+dvancer™, the Company’s diagnostic, prescriptive test and online, postsecondary developmental curriculum offering, is aligned to ACCUPLACER On-Line and ACT’s CompassTM tests, which are the leading college admissions tests for students requiring developmental support to enroll in full credit secondary coursework in Mathematics, Reading, Algebra and Writing.
Contact: Jeffrey E. Butler, The American Education Corporation, 800-34APLUS or 800-222-2811
Related item: Intelligent Video: The Top Cultural & Educational Video Sites -- from Open Culture by Dan Colman Looking for great cultural and educational video? Then you’ve come to the right place. Below, we have compiled a list of 35 sites that feature intelligent videos. This list was produced with the help of our faithful readers, and it will grow over time.
Three quarters of the responding public school districts are offering online or blended courses:
75% had one or more students enrolled in a fully online or blended course.
70% had one or more students enrolled in a fully online course.
41% had one or more students enrolled in a blended course
These percentages represent an increase of approximately 10% since 2005-2006.
66% of school districts with students enrolled in online or blended courses anticipate their online enrollments will grow.
The overall number of K-12 students engaged in online courses in 2007-2008, is estimated at 1,030,000. This represents a 47% increase since 2005-2006.
Respondents report that online learning is meeting the specific needs of a range of students, from those who need extra help and credit recovery to those who want to take Advanced Placement and college-level courses.
School districts typically depend on multiple online learning providers, including postsecondary institutions, state virtual schools and independent providers as well as developing and providing their own online courses.
Perhaps the voices heard most clearly in this survey were those of respondents representing small rural school districts. For them, the availability of online learning is a lifeline and enables them to provide students with course choices and in some cases, the basic courses that should be part of every curriculum.
Join PBS Teachers and Classroom 2.0 Tuesday, June 2 at 8 p.m. ET for "Summertime and Your Personal Learning Network," with technology integration specialists Bob Sprankle, Alice Barr and Cheryl Oakes.
In this webinar, our guests will discuss the value of online collaboration and provide guidance for those interested in joining or creating a professional development community during the summer months. They will share their own experiences of expanding their knowledge and improving their practice through online conferences, social networks, and other collaborative technologies. In addition, they will demonstrate tools and best practices to promote technology integration in K-12 classrooms.
Peter Stewart, Senior Vice President at K12, and Curtis Johnson, co-author of Disrupting Class, discussed how technology and online learning are extending the power of public education.
The National Summit on 21st Century Skills |
Washington D.C., June 12, 2009
The National Summit on 21st Century Skills is a gathering of a select group of education leaders, policy makers and business people who are coming together to discuss where the movement is today and how to best forward it in the future. While in Washington, this group will focus on collaborating to engage the new administration and Congress with the goal of forwarding the 21st century skills movement. They will also promote the National Action Agenda for 21st century skills at the national, state and local levels.
Study: Virtual schools can help cut costs Rapidly-increasing online education eliminates need for transportation and facilities costs, researchers note; from eSchoolNews.com, by Laura Devaney, Senior Editor New research suggests that more K-12 public school students will take classes online and will have longer school days in the next decade--and academic improvement and cost savings are two big benefits.
Two new virtual academies are launching in California, both providing tuition-free online education for middle school and high school students. The new academies--Kaplan Academy of California, San Diego and Kaplan Academy of California, Central--will provide one to one instruction with state-certified teachers, according to California Virtual Education Partners, a non-profit organization that is partnering with Kaplan Virtual Education to launch the academies. The programs will, according to the companies, provide a full range of courses, including AP and honors courses. Computers can be supplied to students who need them for as long as they are enrolled, and the academies can will help cover the costs of Internet access for students who need it.
Peercasting: Students Produce Math Support at NC Middle School-- from The Journal, by Bridget McCrea If there's one thing that teachers know how to do, it's create engaging learning environments with limited resources. Take Nancy Trollinger, an eighth- and ninth-grade math teacher who recently came upon an excellent way for struggling learners to pick up complex algebraic concepts: peer tutoring ... with a little technological twist. By throwing technology into the mix, this teacher at West McDowell Junior High School in Marion, NC, has created a successful program that finds advanced students producing podcasts that explain those concepts for other students.
Online School Pilots Cloud Services-- from The Journal, by Dave Nagel The state-funded Minnesota Online High School is piloting a cloud computing initiative to provide its students and teachers with virtual desktops. For the pilot, MNOHS signed on to the SIMtone Education Thunder Program, which provides cloud-based access to personal computers from any place that has broadband access, without requiring the school to pay for the equipment up front or handle support. The PCs include a range of software tools, as well as resources like coursework, homework, personal files, and access to school services.
Even! But No Longer Odd -- from The Journal.com, by Rama Ramaswami Once regarded as an unconventional alternative for atypical students, virtual schools have achieved mainstream acceptance, and are now seen as providing an education equal to-- if not better than-- what their traditional counterpart offers.
I know some of you might not like to hear this, but a team of people will normally outperform 1 person. For-profit universities are already using teams of specialists to create their content. How do we want to respond to this?
25 of the Best Websites for Educational Institutions--
from Vandelay Website Design by Vandelay Design The need for schools, universities and other educational institutions to have a quality website is constantly increasing as online technologies become a bigger part of the educational process, and as students and prospective students turn to the internet for information. In this post we’ll feature 25 well-designed educational websites.
Using Web 2.0 to Counter the “Pedagogy of Poverty” --
from McREL Blog by Elizabeth Hubbell One of my favorite blogs to read is Brian Crosby’s Learning is Messy. Brian teaches in a school with a 90% free/reduced lunch rate. Over half of his students have parents who did not graduate from elementary school. Many of his students are English Language Learners. And yet, this class of 6th graders is well-versed in Skyping with learners around the world, blogging about their learning, and creating videos about their classroom. The rich learning experiences and critical thinking in which these students are engaged rival classrooms with exponentially more resources and funds.
Many researchers and educators, including Haberman, Waxman, Songer and others, have written about the “pedagogy of poverty;” that is, the tendency of classrooms in high-poverty areas to focus on teacher-directed instruction with drill-and-practice being the primary activity of the learners. This learner-passive environment all too often leads to student disinterest, high drop-out rates, and teacher burn-out.
Cyberchase-- from School Library Journal - Technology News Math isn’t just a bunch of numbers or boring problems kids have to do as homework. Math, in fact, isn’t just a school thing—it's everywhere, and it can actually be a whole bunch of fun! Don’t believe me? Just spend time exploring the Cyberchase Web site and you, along with kids in grades 3–7, will be amazed at how exciting and entertaining math can be.
iNACOL ...is an international association for K-12 online
learning. Formerly the North American Council for Online
Learning (NACOL), iNACOL works to increase access
to high-quality education and represents the interests
of educational stakeholders, providers and students
worldwide. iNACOL’s mission is to ensure all students have access
to a world-class education and quality online learning
opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success.
iNACOL is the host of the Virtual School Symposium (VSS),
(www.virtualschoolsymposium.org), which brings together
representatives from national, state, district, private and
other virtual school programs to attend the industry’s
leading event in K-12 online learning. The VSS conference
provides important analysis, interactive sessions and
thought-provoking workshops for leaders looking to help
shape the future of education.
My thanks to Mr. Jeff Nyhoff, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Calvin College, for this resource
Michael Horn on Disrupting Class -- from The Future of Education is Here, by Colleen Girten Steve Hargadon spoke with Michael Horn, co-author of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns with Clayton Christensen. Disrupting Class uses the theories of disruptive innovation to identify the root causes of schools’ struggles and suggests a path forward to customize an education for every child in the way she learns. Listen to the full recording of the interview.
Online Tools for Poetry in the Classroom[K-12] - from Technology Education Know-How A few weeks back I twittered out to my PLN to get ideas for online resources that 4th grade could use in their poetry lessons. I wanted to share some of those ideas I got back with you.
I tested this site out and had lots of fun with it. You can pick a background that goes with your poem and thin type your poem out on it. Or, you can accept the challenge to select a background and use a limited word bank to write a creative poem. I did both and it was a challenge but a good experience. I signed up for an account so I could imbed the picture and poem into my wiki page or blog. That’s probably the coolest part about it. It generates the code for me to imbed it. This is a cool way to share your poetry with the world, family or just your classroom.
I played around with Voice Thread a year or so ago and introduced it to a lot of people but I never thought of using it as a tool for poetry. Good Idea! Students can create their poem on a Voice Thread and other students in the class can leave “constructive” comments on it. The final product can then be imbedded into a class wiki or blog. Voice Thread provides all the necessary code for it. This is an awesome idea! If you pay for the upgrade version you can even do more cool stuff, but I like free! (This is also a good way to teach your students about appropriate responses and constructive input.)
I thought this was a good way to make every student want to do poetry. You can have all of your students create a personalized Voki Avatar that recites their poem. What kid wouldn’t want to create one of these? (This is also a good way to help your students with public speaking ability along with proper word annunciation.)
Poetry often includes rhyming words and this tool can help them when they are stuck. You simply type in the word you want to rhyme hold down the Ctrl key and click it. It then gives you a nice list of words to pick from. They simply pick the word they need and continue writing. It’s kinda like the happy place between a Dictionary and a Thesaurus.
This page has several good examples of poetry, ways to teach it and even a sample of a Voice Thread being used in a poetry lesson. It’s full of resources so check it out. It will take you to other great tools that can be used. It’s well worth a look.
New online community for virtual educators, community of practice resource
A new online community is now available to teachers and leaders in iNACOL’s community who may meet the defined criteria for educational use by students and teachers in high needs learning environments who presently lack access to supervised and educationally “safe” Web 2.0 resources. Offered by Online Teaching Associates.
New wiki about online teaching from OTA, teacher resources
A new wiki has been launched for online educators. OTAWiki is designed as a resource where 21st Century Teachers can visit to find ideas and information to support their work.
Gender Issues in Academics and Academia. Gender differences in learning and how it impacts the classroom experience is the focus of this class, as well as how gender issues affect those in academia. [MIT]
Thinking about how I work with other professionals. This course allows self-exploration as you examine the ways you work with other teachers and administrators. It also allows for self-reflection on how to improve your working relationships while maintaining your values and beliefs. [The Open University]
Introduction to Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science. This course takes the student through the experience of teaching and offers hands-on opportunities to learn about both teaching and the students’ learning in the classroom. This may be a good refresher course for teachers who have been out of school for a while. [MIT]
Teaching for good behaviour. This course explores the ways you can set up your lessons to engage students while minimizing problem behavior. Learn to adjust lesson format, delivery, and content for great results. [The Open University]
Evaluating school classroom discussion. Discussion is an important part of the classroom experience. Find out how to successfully implement discussion in your classroom to better facilitate the learning process for your students. [The Open University]
Enhancing pupil learning on museum visits. It’s no big news that students learn in different ways. This class helps you embrace these differing learning styles while on museum field trips. [The Open University]
Teach Global. Learn about the Teach Global program in this course where you can also find resources about the program and learn about other similar courses. [The Open University]
Exploring K-12 Classroom Teaching. This course takes a look at methods of teaching student-centered classrooms while examining various student needs within those classrooms. [MIT]
How to Learn (Almost) Anything. This class looks at learning as a process through hands-on activities. You will participate in a variety of learning situations as a part of the class. [MIT]
The Creative Spark. This course teaches about the creative process–what it is, how it’s valued, and how it grows. Students will create journal writings and study artists of various media to explore creativity. [MIT]
Where Learning Happens MacArthur grantee Brigid Barron sits down with Informal Science for a wide-ranging interview on looking for learning in unexpected places. Barron is completing a three-year study of how informal and formal learning intersect in an afterschool program for middle-school students. In this interview, she talks about how digital media allow youth to learn anywhere, anytime, and what that means for teachers, parents, museums, and kids themselves. She also discusses her work mapping the “social ecology” of learning in a child’s life—all the places, from home to school to afterschool to online games and virtual worlds, where they build on what they know. The map helps identify those sparks that ignite curiosity and set kids off on a quest to learn more.
Artopia-- from iLearn Technology ...is an interactive website that lets students learn more about and interact with different mediums of art virtually.
It's cheaper than enrolling to a university course or going to a private teacher.
You are not limited inside pre-packaged learning paths, but you can rather follow your interests and cultivate your passions.
You can learn at your own pace, wherever you want, and finding the time which is most comfortable for you.
You don't have to get through an exam or test to prove that you are learning something. You are self-responsible for your education.
You can sell your own instructional material and share your knowledge with other passionate peers.
You can teach from the comfort of your place, earning money and limiting the costs of teaching to your Internet connection fee.
You get in touch with a far larger audience than the students you could physically meet.
You are not subjected to any institutional rule or approach in the way you teach, and you're greatly facilitated to use live interaction and multimedia content with your students.
If you want to explore in greater detail these new emergent online teaching and learning marketplaces, I have prepared for you a list of the most interesting live teaching platforms out there, complemented with a comparative table which compares each service main features:
Live classes: live audio / video conferencing integration
Social evaluation: connection and mutual evaluation between learners and teachers
Content distribution: redistribution and sharing of lessons outside the learning platform
Advertising: ads displayed on free version
Premium price / features: first price level to access extended features
We are in a game-changing environment -- don't miss that fact. It WILL affect US/YOU.
Spring 2009 This issue of Threshold: Exploring the Future of Education features articles focused on learning in a participatory culture, produced in partnership with MIT Project New Media Literacies. Example article:What is Learning in a Participatory Culture?Cable’s Leaders in Learning Award winner Erin Reilly looks at how educators are learning how to engage today’s digital kids to share and distribute knowledge within learning communities.
Special Needs Center Serves as One-Stop Technology Shop-- from The Journal, by Bridget McCrea Palm Springs Unified School District in California took its use of technology to a new level last month by opening an Assistive Technology Diagnostic Center that will serve as a local resource for students with cognitive, academic, and physical challenges. The new facility provides free assessments for local students who in the past were forced to travel to Orange County or Riverside (both of which are two to three hours away) to receive such services.
Mathematics Site Offers Online Remediation Program for At-Risk Students-- from The Journal, by Bridget McCrea Not all students learn at the same pace, and this is certainly true in mathematics courses. In an effort to give struggling middle and high school students a real opportunity to get the most from their math education, Hotmath.com has launched Catchup Math, an online diagnostic and review service aimed at helping math students understand troubling concepts and attack their exercises with a comprehension and vigor equal to that of their classmates.
SMART Table in my Classroom - Two Introductory Videos -- from Tom Barrett We took delivery of our second SMART Table unit on Friday (the first was faulty) and had the afternoon to use it.
I wanted to share with you a few bits of video that I took of the children using the Table as well as a short introductory clip about the physical structure of the Table and its’ components.
DiscoverNursing.com is one of many excellent Web sites that encourage high school students to consider a career in nursing when they graduate. But it’s one of the very few sites that has a separate site, "The Nursing Gang," for middle schoolers who are beginning to think seriously about what they want to do.
Videoconferencing for K–12 Classrooms:
A Program Development Guide, Second Edition-- from ISTE, by Camille Cole, Kecia Ray, and Jan Zanetis 196 pp. 8½ x 11
Member price: $26.55
If you: • want to implement videoconferencing in your school or classroom, but are not sure where to start
• have a fledgling videoconferencing program that you would like to grow and enhance
• are simply interested in learning more about interactive videoconferencing (IVC)
then you will find ISTE’s second edition of Videoconferencing for K–12 Classrooms a must read.
Thanks to my wife, Leslie, for this resource/link.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), commonly referred to as the economic stimulus bill, provides approximately $100 billion for education across the United States, including early learning, K-12, and post-secondary education.
Nationally, the highlights include:
Approximately $17 billion in new funding for Pell Grants that will increase the average award for the 2009-10 academic year from $3400 to $3,850.
$13 billion to make higher education tax credits available to students from lower-income families that currently do not pay taxes.
An additional $200 million for work-study programs.
$100 million in teacher quality partnership grants.
$500 million for health professional training programs.
A portion of the $1.2 billion in educational technology funds.
A portion of the $53.6 billion available to states through the stabilization fund to "backfill" cuts that have been made to the 2008 or 2009 budgets for elementary, secondary or postsecondary education.
$16 billion to several federal agencies for research grants and facilities improvements, much of which will flow to academic institutions. These agencies include the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Energy Department.
If we could find ways to put this $$ into designing and creating engaging, interactive, multimedia-based, online content -- using 1:1 computing mechanisms -- we would have superb educational content for years to come.
Districts are at different stages of use and adoption of different Web 2.0 technologies. For example:
Online communication with parents and students and multimedia resources are used by many teachers, and most districts have plans/policies that promote their use.
Teacher-generated online content is used by a significant number of teachers. Almost half of the districts have plans/policies that promote the use of this technology, and more districts are considering their plans/policies related to it.
Online social networking as part of instruction is used by very few teachers, and many districts’ policies don’t allow use of this technology.
Many districts use or plan to use a variety of Web 2.0 applications for teacher professional development. Given this, we might expect teachers to get more comfortable with Web 2.0
technologies over the next few years, and overcome some of the barriers to their use as teaching and
Many stakeholder groups are involved in developing policies related to Web 2.0 technologies.
Teachers and students are among the most important groups driving Web 2.0 adoption.
Several patterns were identified with respect to results for districts of different enrollment size.
Noteworthy patterns related to the level of teacher use of different Web 2.0 technologies, the status of district plans and policies about the use of Web 2.0 technologies, and the most important groups driving Web 2.0 adoption.
Key Reasons for Districts Adopting Web 2.0
The three most frequently cited goals and priorities driving use of Web 2.0 technologies were:
Addressing students’ individual learning needs (e.g., different learning styles, reading levels,
language proficiency, prior academic proficiency) (54% of respondents)
Engaging student interest (41%)
Increasing students’ options for access to teaching and learning (33%)
Different Stages of Use and Adoption of Different Web 2.0 Technologies
A distinguishing feature of this survey is that Web 2.0 was broken down into seven categories
related to student instruction and learning environments:
− Student-generated online content
− Teacher-generated online content
− Online social networking used as part of instruction
− Online learning games and simulations
− Student use of virtual learning environments
− Multimedia resources
− Online communications tools for parents and students (outside of school hours)
The results with respect to four of the seven categories illustrate that teachers and districts do not
approach each of these technologies in the same way.
CITA Corporate Accreditation Granted to NNDS Back from Friday, February 10, 2009 Recognition timely as NNDS markets Lincoln Interactive online curriculum nationwide PITTSBURGH, Pa. (PR Newswire) – Corporate CITA accreditation for the National Network of Digital Schools (NNDS) is seen as a timely recognition of organizational excellence as it expands efforts to market dynamic Lincoln Interactive curriculum to schools nationwide. Western Pennsylvania-based NNDS announced today that the AdvancED Accreditation Commission (www.advanc-ed.org) has granted corporate accreditation through the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA), a global, non-governmental, voluntary association of schools, learning centers and corporations in 100 countries.
The primary activity of NNDS (www.nndsonline.org) is the design, development, and delivery of Lincoln Interactive (www.lincolninteractive.com), a premium online curriculum with more than 250 online courses for grades 5-12. Highly innovative K-4 “Little Lincoln” courses featuring video podcasts and original animated characters currently are under development.
We invite you to join us in exploring key forces of change that will shape the landscape of learning over the next decade. The 2020 Forecast highlights how we are moving toward a culture of creation and innovation. To be successful in tomorrow's new economy, today's students will have to be able to learn and adapt quickly and frequently. For this reason, we at KnowledgeWorks are working to transform education in the US from a world of schooling to a world of learning [emphasis DSC].
This world calls not for better schools, but for entirely new kinds of learning environments [emphasis DSC]. To be successful in it, tomorrow’s learners will not just need better teachers; they will need guides who take on fundamentally different roles. We hope that you will join us in using the 2020 Forecast to support your visioning and strategic planning and in spreading the word to others. To start exploring, visit www.futureofed.org.
Interactivity Pioneers -- from mimio.com Teachers are raving about mimio! These interactivity pioneers are utilizing advanced technologies to create truly exciting learning environments. mimio is proud to profile these exceptional teachers in our "Featured Educator" series.
set to soar-- from eSchoolNews.com, by Dennis Pierce,
Managing Editor; author reveals
to disrupt class
If Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen is right, half of all instruction
will take place online within the next 10
years—and schools had better get into the
online-learning market or risk losing their
students to other providers.
Christensen was at the American
Association of School Administrators
conference in San Francisco Feb. 19 to
discuss his book Disrupting Class, which
looks at why schools have struggle to...
Virtual schools are rising in popularity and presence. Unfortunately, there is a relative dearth of research related to teaching and learning in virtual schools. Although there are numerous handbooks addressing teaching online, there is little research on successful online teaching in the K-12 arena. Much of the existing research focused on teaching online is rooted in face-to-face content, not focused on content areas, built upon a post-secondary audience, or fails to use data from the teachers themselves to triangulate findings. This article reports on a study of 16 virtual school teachers from the Michigan Virtual School (MVS). It reports on best-practices from the interviews conducted with MVS teachers; and also provides research triangulation for those practices. The paper concludes with implications for policy, research, and practice.
Stimulus Guidance Spotlights Teacher Evaluations-- from Education Week, by Stephen Sawchuk and Erik W. Robelen [4/1/09] U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan just announced how states and school districts can begin receiving the first installment of education stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). “We have this magical opportunity to invest significantly in these best practices and scale up what works,” [U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan] said of aid under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Edweek.org is hosting an Open House through April 8, so you can get this type of breaking news and access to all of the vital coverage posted recently on the stimulus. Some highlights you won't want to miss while access is totally FREE:
StoryTop-- from iLearn Technology
What it is: Story Top is a simple comic strip creator. Students can create an account on Story Top where they can save, share with classmates, and print out comic strips that they create. Students can choose from a set selection of backgrounds, images, and text bubbles (they aren’t able to upload their own images). Using the Story Top clip art and backgrounds, students can create a fun comic strip about almost any topic with a simple drag-and-drop interface.
This is a quote from Dean Shareski's presentation on disruption.
This may be the way things turn out...or it may be we move towards using teams.
New Technology in Classrooms - Lanetra Bennett, WCTV-- original link from Ray Schroeder Collaboration with teachers and other students and the enthusiasm to learn are just a few of the in-classroom improvements at Taylor County High School. School officials say new technology is boosting student achievement. It's a whole new world for students at Taylor County High School.
Wikis for Teaching and Learning --
from e-Literate by Michael Feldstein I’m enjoying browsing around YouTube’s EDU pages. Lots of good stuff, from the profound to the practical. At the latter end of the spectrum, here’s a good primer for teachers who are curious about using a wiki in their classes but don’t know where to start. Related posts:
The Name of the Game Is Learning
-- from Edutopia.org, by David Markus, Editorial Director
A confession: In another time, I thought most digital technologies marketed to kids (and their parents) as being both educational and entertaining were, in fact, neither. Rather, they were the moral equivalent of bad children's television. My favorite objects of scorn were video games -- "mass-media toxins oozing into our children's psyches," I once wrote. Not only was my prose purple, I was just plain wrong. The great majority of digital games for children not only do no harm, many of them are also terrific learning vehicles that go a long way in helping students retain knowledge. The three links below introduce you to inspiring cases in point. See what you think. Games for Learning and Assessment
Computer simulations are natural learning tools for a generation of video game players. Computer GamesExplore Social Issues
The fluid, interactive nature of simulations makes them ideal for tackling complex subjects. How Online Simulations Work
in the Classroom
Computer programs that replicate real life can be excellent teaching and learning tools.
Breaking Away From Tradition-- from Education Week by Michelle R. Davis;
E-learning Opens New Doors to Raise Achievement As the world of online education continues to evolve, brick-and-mortar schools are incorporating digital curricula and virtual teachers into their classrooms in ways that have surprised even the advocates of the online education movement.
Research Shows Evolving Picture of E-Education-- from Education Week by Debra Viadero Online classes may be a relatively young instructional practice for K-12 schools, but experts already generally agree on one point: Research shows that virtual schooling can be as good as, or better than, classes taught in person in brick-and-mortar schools.
Is Anybody Listening?--
from Open Culture, by Dan Coleman It’s time to put a human face on the disheartening economic statistics that we’re hearing almost daily. This video features students from a Southern California high school talking candidly (and without scripts) about how the economic collapse has affected their day-to-day lives. Unemployment, parents leaving the family, homelessness, scarce food — it’s all part of the reality they’re now living. Fittingly, this video project grew out of an AP lit class (more on the backstory here) that happened to be reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. There’s nothing like a good tale of materialism and decadent morality to get struggling kids talking.
There’s something of a happy ending to this story. This video made its way to Washington, and it resulted in President Obama visiting the school last week during his trip to California. So, yes, someone is listening. But how much will it really change the lot of these kids? Lastly, you may want to check out this photo gallery called Scenes from Recession. It offers “some glimpses of the places and lives affected by what some are calling the Great Recession.” Stunning and depressing stuff, to be sure. But that’s our world.
My prayer is that we will be changed as a nation and as a world -- positively -- from the pains that we are going through. I know that pain has been the instigator of change in my own life, and I sense pain may be a necessary tool for us all to change once again. It is a reminder to me that we are all in this boat together.
From DSC: What great uses of technology!
(Audionces: K-12 and for those of us who need help learning how to cook!) -- original link from Jane Hart
I just found Ben Grey's blog this am, but after I saw his blog's banner, I instantly subscribed...he's right.
"Try this. This week as you engage in educating your students, gauge everything you do against this idea. Is the focus and goal of what you’re doing learning [emphasis DSC]? I think you’ll be surprised at how often (frequently as a result of something out of your control) you have to answer no."
Online Math Game Lets Kids Learn at Their Own Pace-- from
Take an e-Learning Break This program uses a "recommendation engine" to watch how a child plays math games and provide new content according to what's observed.The recommendation engine, patented as GuideRight technology, watches every motion the child makes while playing the game, and then adjusts on the fly to present kids with a math curriculum that is most appropriate for them. With more than 350 math activities to choose from, the game can present more than a million different paths.Check it out: http://www.dreambox.com.
Education Department to Distribute $44 Billion in Stimulus Funds in 30 to 45 Days-- from the The Heller Reports and the U.S. Dept. of Education U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that $44 billion in stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will be available to states in the next 30 to 45 days. The first round of funding will help avert hundreds of thousands of estimated teacher layoffs in schools and school districts while driving crucial education improvements, reforms, and results for students.
Education-related sites-- my thanks to Melissa Winegar in the T&L Digital Studio for these links
Education World ...is full of lesson plans, advise for administration, professional development ideas, and different activities for class. It is mostly geared toward younger classes but the activities could be used for 100 level classes or by Calvin students during their semester of student teaching.
The Master Teacher ...is a brochure that comes out monthly on a different topic regarding education. On the site one is able to access all the PDXperts of each brochure based on subject area.
Can you hear the sound of the roaring engines? Can you feel the pace of technological change? If not, then reflect for a moment on this K-12 related item:
Telecollaboration: Connecting Classroom Across the Globe-- by Dr. Leigh E. Zeitz I was just reading Scott McLeod's blog, Dangerously Irrelevant, where he is asking for resources in connecting classrooms around the globe. Telecollaboration is an important opportunity that enables students to talk and write with other students in other cultures. Sometimes it even involves monumental activities like when classrooms from around the world follow an explorer who is trekking to the north pole.
My favorite site for finding telecollaborative projects is the Global School Network. This organization in southern California has been sponsoring and connecting telecollaborative project around the world for over 2 decades. The originators, Yvonne Andres and Al Rogers were pioneers in the technologies that connected classrooms even in the 1980 (e.g., FrEdMail).
Just a couple of the valuable blogs/sites out there for K-12:
NMC Profiles Six "Key Emerging Technologies" for Elementary and Secondary Education
Austin, TX (March 11, 2009) – The New Media Consortium (NMC) today released the Horizon Report: 2009 K-12 Edition, marking the first time the renowned research project has turned its attention to emerging technology use in elementary and secondary education. The report, unveiled at the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) annual conference in Austin, TX, identifies and describes emerging technologies that will likely have a significant impact on K-12 education.
Time-to-Adoption: One Year or Less
Online Communication Tools
Time-to-Adoption: Two to Three Years
Time-to-Adoption: Four to Five Years
The Personal Web
Technology continues to profoundly affect the way we work, collaborate, communicate, and succeed.
Technology is increasingly a means for empowering students, a method for communication and socializing, and a ubiquitous, transparent part of their lives.
The web is an increasingly personal experience.
The way we think of learning environments is changing.
The perceived value of innovation and creativity is increasing.
From DSC: I'm reaching back into last fall for this posting, but it's very relevant to what I'm trying to do here at Calvin -- create global academic networks -- for faculty, staff and students.
Turn every (yes, every) classroom into a global communication center where teachers connect children to authentic audiences around the world, and as teachers we should be evaluating our students on their ability to introduce themselves and communicate in these collaborations. We have the tools and the power to do this!
Build Independence rather than Dependence. I have always said that students should leave more tired than their teachers. Alan suggests giving students important jobs-not busy work, but really important learning tasks. Make students contributors to the learning rather than recipients. We have underestimated what kids can do that contributes to rich content that can be shared with the whole class! He gave many examples of students creating tutorials, teaching one another, recording podcasts reviewing the weeks content...the possibilities are exciting!
Stop Blocking and Teach Digital Literacy-In an effort to keep our students secure, we are actually putting them in harms way by not teaching them to interact and engage in a digital, global world. Our students are on Facebook, they download YouTube, they use Wikipedia,and search Google, but who is teaching them how to do it well? In Alan's words: "If blocking is your only strategy for protecting children, you’re setting them up for failure in the real world. This is immoral. It’s a manipulative world out there. We have to teach kids how to navigate it."
Abstract The literature related to online learning programs for K-12 students dates to the mid-1990s and builds upon a century of research and practice from K-12 distance education. While K-12 online learning programs have evolved and grown over the past decade, the amount of published research on virtual schooling practice and policy is limited. The current literature includes practitioner reports and experimental and quasi-experimental studies, both published and unpublished. This paper reviews open access literature in K-12 online learning and reports on a structured content analysis of the documents. Themes in the literature include steady growth and a focus on the benefits, challenges, and broad effectiveness of K-12 online learning. In addition, newly developed standards for K-12 online learning are emerging in descriptions of effective practices.
Meridian ...is an electronic journal dedicated to research and practice of computer technology in middle school classrooms. It is published twice yearly by an interdisciplinary team of NC State graduate students representing a broad range of fields, from education to forestry. Located at http://www.ncsu.edu/meridian/ Meridian features research findings, practitioner articles, commentary, and book excerpts by educational researchers, technology designers, middle school teachers, and authors who wish to share and expand teaching and learning experiences with computer technologies in middle school classrooms and beyond.
Two new white papers on games in education-- from MIT; original link and quotes below from Generation Yes blog
Moving Learning Games Forward looks at games, learning and education with a long lens. It provides a detailed historical analysis of how computer games first were used in schools and proceeds through the heyday of educational software in the 1980s to the present move to web-based games.
The second paper, Using the Technology of Today in the Classroom Today, is slightly narrower in focus. It is written for classroom teachers interested in bringing games and simulations into the classroom, with practical suggestions and case studies to help with planning and implementation.
The item below is no laughing matter...our childrens' futures depend upon how well we prepare them for the ever-changing landscapes that they will be operating within. What do we need to do for K-12'ers? For those in higher ed?
Art in Schools Inspires Tomorrow's Creative Thinkers-- from Edutopia.org by Jeffrey T. Schnapp Without the arts, education's grade is Incomplete.
Education minus art? Such an equation equals schooling that fails to value ingenuity and innovation. The word art, derived from an ancient Indo-European root that means "to fit together," suggests as much. Art is about fitting things together: words, images, objects, processes, thoughts, historical epochs.
175 pages |
ISTE, 2008 |
Audience: Administrators, K•12 educators, technology coordinators, library media specialists
Break down the walls of your classroom! Build interdisciplinary collaborations by integrating interactive videoconferencing (IVC) into your standards-based lessons. This book focuses on a blend of interactive technologies that increase learning by building virtual classrooms. IVC allows for visual and voice interaction beyond the walls of the classroom, while the Internet connects students to current information and provides a shared location for data. Interactive Videoconferencing shows you how to use these two technologies to develop Web 2.0 lessons that are guaranteed to increase interaction and enthusiasm in your classroom.
The authors open with an introduction to IVC and its advantages and challenges. They outline how classrooms should be physically constructed to facilitate videoconferencing, and they provide classroom management strategies and suggestions for teaching IVC etiquette. The heart of the book is lessons for all levels that incorporate IVC technology and are organized by grade level and discipline. The book also includes evaluation tools, student work samples, and guiding templates to help you get started.
Recess Essential for Improving Attention-- from Eide Neurolearning Blog by Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide
From the New York Times.The best way to improve children’s performance in the classroom may be to take them out of it.
Personalizing Education for Teachers, Too--
from Weblogg-ed by Will Richardson I finally got around to finishing up Sir Ken Robinson’s new book “The Element” which, for the most part, was a great read. He lays out a pretty compelling case for the power of passion in learning, and the absolute need for schools to help students identify their own passions through which they can learn just about anything they need. I’ve said in the past that the one thing I want from my own kids’ teachers is for them to help them find what they love to do more than anything else and then support them in their learning endeavors around that topic. Unfortunately, that is not something the current public school system was build for.
Toward the end of the book, Sir Ken lays out the case for personalizing our kids’ educations in the context of transforming (not reforming) schools:
The key to this transformation is not to standardize education but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of the each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions (238). The curriculum should be personalized. Learning happens in the minds and souls of individuals–not in the databases of multiple-choice tests (248).
Number2.com is the only website that offers students access to comprehensive free online test preparation courses for the SAT, ACT, and GRE. How do we do it? Number2.com earns revenue from sponsorships and licensing.
7 Resources for Creating Cartoons and Comics -- from Free Technology for Teachers There is no shortage online of tools for creating cartoons and comic strips. Every week it seems that I find at least one new comic creation tool. I've tried many of them and written about a few of them in the past. Today, I compiled a list of seven good cartoon and comic strip creation tools that students can access.
Promethean’s free online community
...is designed to provide Activclassroom teachers around the world
with the ability to share new and innovative lessons, access a wide variety of professional development
and connect with fellow Activclassroom teachers from around the Planet.
Children Are Our Future -- from Angela Maiers Educational Services
Related quote fromRedefining College Prep-- from Antonio Viva by Antonio "The image we hold in secondary schools as college preparatory institutions is being challenged by the very colleges and universities we claim in our mission statments we are preparing students to attend. M.I.T has given this new approach its own acronym, TEAL, for Technology Enhanced Active Learning. Read that again. Technology Enhanced Active Learning. Say it out loud. Imagine for a moment what that might look like at your own school. Consider the possibility that our view of what it means to prepare our students for “college and beyond” no longer holds true. Will we be putting our 21st century students at a disadvantage by continuing to conduct business as usual? Are we willing to challenge our view that classes should be held for 47 minutes and follow each other throughout the school day only to be capped by several hours of homework every night?"
from Around the Corner by Migual Guhlin Online learning is critical to our future, both for adults and children in K-12. I'd like to see a series of courses that go beyond how to design online learning--although that is certainly essential--to how to best manage resources to facilitate and enable online learning. As an administrator growing his own program, what planning do I need to put in place to ensure success for learners in K-12 environment?
We also need a coordinated plan for sharing developed content, policies and procedures, and resources with each other to ensure that we're not reinventing the wheel a few thousand times in our respective school districts and learning environments.
Susan Patrick, president and CEO of the International Association of K-12 Online Learning, talks about technology innovations in the classroom and why it is important for every teacher to learn how to teach online. Hear Patrick discuss her upcoming ASCD Annual Conference presentation on "Why All Teachers Must Learn How to Teach Online." Session details are after the jump.
Resources for 21st-Century Classroom-- from the Journal.com These resources are provided to give you fresh perspectives on the meaning of 21st-century learning, the role of technology in in facilitating the teaching of 21st-century skills, and the relevance of these skills as students are prepared to enter the general workforce.
Reconnecting Online Students and teachers have spoken different languages for years…until now.
As Project Tomorrow prepares its latest Speak Up data to unveil to Congress later this spring, it’s clear that K-12 constituents (students and teachers alike) seem to be heading toward one area where they increasingly are seeing eye-to-eye: online learning. Consider the following statistics:
More than 41 percent of students believe that online classes will have the greatest positive impact on their learning, an increase of more than 20 percent from 2006 data.
More than 20 percent of teachers chose online classes as a key element for increasing student achievement in the 21st century school, an increase of almost 28 percent over findings from 2006.
More than 26 percent of responding teachers chose online learning as their first choice for training.
In short, according to those in K-12 classrooms every day, the best way to bridge the digital disconnect en route to the 21st Century Classroom might just be online.
Recent memo from a fine school teacher -- I am passing this along as encouragement and an AMEN! to the power and influence of teachers everywhere!
Thank you for your support of the _______ teachers in this difficult time with School Board contract negotiations. ___ and ___ spoke from their hearts tonight, saying what I wanted to say to our Board members. The appreciation I feel for the teachers my children have had was voiced tonight by these two devoted mothers. The value of quality education cannot be underestimated, and the teachers I have worked with are so dedicated, intelligent and well trained they deserve to be treated with respect.
The years of college education teachers have to pay for and grow through cannot be dismissed as trivial with a kindly smile. The profession of education often looks easy when done as well as our staff performs their duties. It is not easy. It is one of the most difficult and important jobs in the world. And the compromises we are continually asked to make reveal our tremendous love of community and the young people we seek to help.
Parents want their children to take advantage of all technology has to offer; however, they also want them to stay safe and act responsibly. How can they make sure their children are both safe and responsible? Discover the key with Raising a Digital Child—teach children how to appropriately use technology.
168 pp. 7" x 9¼"
Member price: $17.45
Not so long ago, Benno mused, students learned by consuming professionally developed media. Audio, video, written documents; things were developed, reviewed, approved by committee, and then, after all that, produced and distributed. But now students are producing their own media. From videos to podcasting to blogs, kids are creating the content themselves, or else interacting with media that is being produced by their friends and contemporaries. And that has a lot of educators struggling to keep up.
Part of the problem, he suggested, is the time it takes educators [and instructional technologists] to move from learning about a piece of technology to actually integrating and manipulating its specific uses for the classroom. "If you take the five stages from the evolution of thought and practice," he said, "starting with 'entry' and moving through 'adoption' to 'adaptation' to 'appropriation,' and finally 'innovation,' research shows it takes seven years on average to go from the top of that list to the bottom. That's a long time." Too long, according to Benno. Which is why, as educators [and instructional technologists], "we have to figure out how to close the gap."
For Benno, staff development is the key to making that happen. "With professional development that number drops from seven years to around two and a half years," he said. "That's a huge difference." And a big part of the value of professional development, he argued, is that it gets educators to start thinking about new ways to use technology; ways that seem foreign, but that may be quite common in the minds of 21st century learners.
Other tools Benno touched on during his talk included video, used for everything from recorded lectures and lesson plans to student-generated news broadcasts; audio, used for podcasting and commentary; and wikis, used for collaboration and information sharing across a range of stakeholder groups. The key to all of these, said Benno, is that they allow students to collaborate with one another in order to collect and share information. "This kind of activity," he said, "is not about 'can you manipulate a mouse.' It's about asking, 'If you've got a problem in front of you, do you know what technologies to use to solve it?'"
Every 29 seconds, another high school student in America gives up on school, resulting in more than 1 million high school dropouts every year. Nearly one-third of all public high school students—and nearly one-half of all African American, Hispanic, and Native American students—fail to graduate with their class. In nearly 2000 high schools in the United States, the typical freshman class loses 40 percent of its students by their senior year.*
The long-term impact of high school dropout rates on our society is catastrophic.
Not so long ago, when we would talk here about the role technology plays in global competition, the conversation tended to have an abstract, high-minded feeling.
Not anymore. The tenor of those conversations is now very concrete and in your face, evoking a sense of urgency I have never before witnessed in my adult life.
My point is that technology's role in global competition is now staring right in the face of a 5th grader, showing that the role of ed tech is more important than ever. That is why the cover story for this issue, "Tech Literacy Confusion: What Should You Measure?," is a must read for anyone who truly cares about the evolution of educational technology.
Tech Literacy Confusion: What Should You Measure?-- from EdWeek.org, by Andrew Trotter Teaching literacy—reading and writing—is a core mission for schools, but today's young people increasingly "read" 3-D computer simulations and "write" via social networks such as Facebook. A growing chorus of experts say schools should add these forms of communication to their literacy mission as "technology literacy."
Engaging the Digital Generation -- from Creating a New Vision for
Public Education in Texas In today’s digital world, most students come to
school computer and technology savvy. With
their iPods, iPhones, computer games, MySpace
pages, and text messaging, they routinely use
multimedia and internet resources in their daily
lives. Technology development has also resulted
in widespread change in the way students
learn. To keep students fully engaged, schools
must adapt to this new and rapidly changing
environment. They must embrace the potential
of new technologies and make optimum use
of the digital devices and connections that are
prevalent today to make learning vibrant and
stimulating for all (p. 2).
The Vision We envision schools where all children succeed, feel safe and their curiosity is cultivated. We see
schools that foster a sense of belonging and community and that inspire collaboration. We see
learning standards that challenge, and intentionally designed experiences that delight students,
develop their confidence and competence, and cause every child to value tasks that result in
learning. Ultimately, we see schools and related venues that prepare all children for many choices
and that give them the tools and attitudes to contribute to our democratic way of life and live
successfully in a rapidly changing world.
FromAll Classroom Examples Thirty classroom examples embed research-based practices within the teaching and learning process. The examples are grouped by grade levels and divided into Primary (K-2), Elementary (3-5), Middle School (6-8), and High School (9-12). Find examples at your grade level, adapt them to your teaching situation and materials, or use the examples as a point of departure for planning your own lessons.
Using graphic advance organizers scaffold students' sense of community.
Young English language learners talk about the world using hand lenses.
Creating personal learning goals supports literacy.
Math students explain problem-solving out loud as they talk through their thinking.
Fifth-graders revisit the world of Lewis and Clark using global positioning systems.
Teacher turns to technology to guide cooperative learning in a blended fourth-fifth science class.
Images help set the stage for understanding abstract concepts.
Interactive Web tools support math learning, providing fourth-graders skill practice that matters.
Digital cameras increase student self-concept as high achievers.
Using a word processing feature teaches efficient summarizing skills to fifth-graders.
Integrating math, science, and tribal culture, fifth-graders use technology to document their learning.
Building understanding in an arts-infused middle school class.
Middle school students polish skills for writing, reflection, and collaboration.
Middle school science students commit to goals through learning contracts.
Improving reading skills in middle school using a popular Web site prompts effective feedback.
Clarifying parents' role in homework improves school-family relationships.
Sixth-graders reflect on and categorize traits of successful learners.
Online tools help teaching teams plan thematic projects across distance.
Planning for videoconferencing with scientists, middle school students learn to ask good questions.
High school students correct misperception by making predictions, testing, and observing results.
Using blogs to improve writing in a high school English class.
Charting the News
High school students use Web-based news services to view, explore, and chart current events.
Students exhibit learning at a high school science fair for the community.
Applying the scientific method high school students use technology to help frame science investigations.
Mapping software helps students visualize and analyze statistics around community issues.
Summarizing complex texts using cell phones increases understanding.
Music recording software allows students to 'podcast' their study of Shakespeare.
Using Internet relay chat to focus practice while studying the French Revolution.
A natural disaster provides a rare opportunity for modeling global systems.
Online note taking with primary sources improves research skills in high school students.
Today’s students, identified as the Gamer Generation (Beck & Wade, 2004) or as Digital Natives (Prensky, 2006), crave and expect engagement and interactivity. More and more, video games are becoming the popular medium with which these students engage. The increasing popularity of video games and the need for today’s students to be engaged with interactive instruction prompted the Federation of American Scientists (2006) to recently declare that video games can redefine education and call for additional research. In addition to video games for learning or “serious games”, the potential of immersive, digital, 3D environments for promoting engagement and collaboration is also being recognized. Multi-user virtual environment s(MUVEs) are becoming more and more mainstream as companies such as CNN, IBM, the NBA, as well as many colleges and universities, set up virtual representations of their organizations online. The MUVE Second Life is being used to hold conferences, meetings, job interviews and has over 9.6 million registered users, with Gartner Inc. estimating that by 2011, over 80 percent of active Internet users and major companies will have a virtual world presence online (Kitchen, 2007).
As anyone who reads this site knows, I am a change agent and I often stand for introducing change -- where it makes sense to do so. However, I want to say that none of my postings are ever meant to criticize, belittle, or take away from the amazing job that teachers and professors do every day. They make such a huge difference. My heart and intent is to help teachers and professors to be their best and to be the most effective mentors around -- as well as to keep the students engaged...finding and pursuing their passions!
The report represents the four organizations’ shared vision for the changes needed in today’s high schools and offers fresh ideas and new practices that show state leaders how to:
Restore Value to the High School Diploma by elevating academic standards and high school graduation requirements to a college- and career-ready level;
Redesign High Schools through alternative delivery mechanisms;
Ensure Excellent Teachers and Principals by connecting teacher preparation, hiring and evaluation to student outcomes and other factors;
Improve Accountability by aligning postsecondary expectations to high school expectations; and
Enhance Education Governance by bridging K-12 and postsecondary expectation gaps through P-16 councils.
Additionally, the report highlights emerging trends, such as greater appreciation for international benchmarking and an increased focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education that have the capacity to improve student success in the global economy.
2009 Interactive Calendars for Teachers (Grades K-12)- TeacherVision.com; link from Donna Murray "Click on the monthly calendars below to find fun and educationally relevant holidays, events, and celebrations. Use the notable occasions to spark new areas of research and tap into your students' interests. There's something worth celebrating every day!"
Wii Music Coming to a Classroom Near You-- link from Education Technology Services at PSU Nintendo is working with MENC: The National Association of Music Education to incorporate Wii Music into music curricula.
Asia Society | International Studies Schools Network Responding to the need for smaller, more effective schools that prepare students for a globalized workforce, Asia Society has created a network of innovative schools that serve as a model for school reform nationwide.
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame -- Model Programs Spark New Opportunity to Transform Children's Education
New York and Las Vegas, January 9, 2009 -- Mobile device use is exploding among children worldwide, cell phones and iPods are this generation's preferred form of social communication. More than half of the world's population now owns a cell phone and experts project that people will use cell phones as their primary means of accessing the Internet by the year 2020. However, most educators and parents have been skeptical, until now, about mobile devices' value in learning. The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop issued a new study today documenting the untapped potential of mobile learning. The report, drawing on market trends and model programs, outlines the first-ever national mobile learning strategy, urging the Obama administration to make new investments in digital learning technologies and teacher training. The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop is an independent, non-profit research center that examines the role of new technologies in learning and literacy development both in and out of school. The Center conducts and supports research, creates educational models and interactive media properties and builds cross-sector partnerships. The center is named for Sesame Workshop's visionary founder, who revolutionized television with the creation of Sesame Street. Core funding for the Center is provided by the generous support of Peter G. Peterson, Genius Products, Mattel, Inc. and Sesame Workshop.
Online education has soared in Michigan in the last decade, illustrated by growth in enrollment at Michigan Virtual University, one of the options students have to take online classes. MVU offers more than 200 high school courses and enrollment has spiraled upward from 100 students in the 1999-2000 school year to an expected 15,000 this school year.
The News Literacy Projectis an innovative national program to mobilize journalists to help middle and high school students sort fact from fiction in the digital age.
The project’s primary aim is to give students the tools to be smarter and more frequent consumers and creators of credible …
Educational PowerPoint Resources Galore!!!-- from Tech Ed Know-How by greg This week I was reminded of how powerful PowerPoint can be in the classroom if used correctly. So, I went back to one of my former blog posts to pull a resource for a teacher. Well, the link to my resource was dead. I spent a little time this morning reacquainting myself with some PowerPoint resources and found plenty to share. I love not having to re-invent the wheel. Below you will find links to a plethora of PowerPoint resources, templates, premade presentations and even tutorials. I hope you find the resources helpful.
Education leaders would be wise to listen to what students such as Sanchez had to say, and
consider ways they can build opportunities for self-paced learning and more freedom of
choice into their own school offerings--or else risk losing a growing number of
students to online schools that operate outside their domain.
Ready to Innovate: Are Educators and Executives Aligned on the Creative Readiness of the U.S. Workforce? -- link from Liz Kolb Authors: James Lichtenberg, Christopher Woock, Mary Wright
Publication Date: March 2008
Innovation is crucial to competition, and creativity is integral to innovation. In November 2007, The Conference Board and Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators, surveyed public school superintendents and American business executives (employers) to identify and compare their views surrounding creativity. Overwhelmingly, both the superintendents who educate future workers and the employers who hire them agree that creativity is increasingly important in U.S. workplaces, yet there is a gap between understanding this truth and putting it into meaningful practice. Among the key findings of this research:
85 percent of employers concerned with hiring creative people say they can't find the applicants they seek.
Employers concerned with hiring creative people rarely use profile tests to assess the creative skills of potential employees. Instead, they rely on face-to-face interviews.
While 97 percent of employers say creativity is of increasing importance, only 72 percent say that hiring creative people is a primary concern.
School Superintendents are emphasizing
1. Problem Solving
2. Integration of Knowledge Across Different Disciplines
3. Ability to Identify New Patterns of Behavior of New Combination of Actions
4. Originality and Inventiveness in Work
5. Ability to Communicate New Ideas to Others
6. The Ability to Originate New Ideas
7. Tolerance of Ambiguity
8. Ability to Take Risks
9. Problem Identification or Articulation
10. Fundamental Curiosity
11. Comfort with the Notion of No-Right Answer
While Business Leaders are looking for
1. Problem Identification or Articulation
2. Ability to Identify New Patterns of Behavior of New Combination of Actions
3. Integration of Knowledge Across Different Disciplines
4. The Ability to Originate New Ideas
5. Comfort with the Notion of No-Right Answer
6. Fundamental Curiosity
7. Originality and Inventiveness in Work
8. Problem Solving
9. Ability to Take Risks
10. Tolerance of Ambiguity
11. Ability to Communicate New Ideas to Others
Dearborn Public School's Web site earns high praise DEARBORN - According to Alexa.com, a service that tracks Internet hits worldwide, the Dearborn Public School District (DPS) Web site is the fourth-most popular Web site in the Michigan Education category. Alexa is generally considered the web authority in site traffic and ranking.
Schools Got Game-- from Learning Design and Performance Improvement
This Sunday's edition of the Washington Post had a very good article on the role of serious games in schools. It mostly had a very positive spin on the role games can play in education. I don't think the article will be particularly "enlightening" to anyone that has been tracking the emergence of serious games, but it is good to see the article made the front page (granted it was the front page of the "Metro" section which is the third section...but still, it's progress; two years ago the article probably would've been buried in "Lifestyles" section).
The TechMatrix is a powerful tool for finding educational and assistive technology products for students with special needs. See the Find Product menu for other search options. Create a customized matrix by subject and/or learning support. Send your customized matrix to a friend or colleague. Learn what questions to ask and how to make informed decisions in the Consumer Guide.
As an aficionado of great literature - I was an English major in college - I’m always on the look out for a great read. My current strategy for discovering novels and novelties is to park myself in a bookstore aisle and scour through classics I’ve always wanted to read. This particular methodology can be quite enjoyable, but it’s not an incredibly effective way of finding more than one book at a time. So where I do a turn for a more scintillating and satisfying book finding system?
Enter Reading Trails, a new social network that takes a fresh approach to finding books online. The site lets you piece your book breadcrumbs together to create a trail, for example, “Fairytales with a twist.” User trails are connected through intersections, which are just books that are shared across multiple trails.
During 2006-2008 when I worked for AT&T as a state education advocate and presented frequently on the topics of Internet safety and safe digital social networking, I was often amazed how conversations with students about Webkinz could tie directly into important lessons about password security and digital citizenship. In a large group of elementary students, typically there would be at least one student who had lost control of his/her Webkinz password and had all their Webkinz possessions sold as a result by a malicious Webkinz account thief. When I invited students to share their stories about Webkinz thefts, it was amazing to see how RIVETED other students were in listening to these tales. These were not “pretend” or “just virtual” experiences that had happened to the child’s Webkinz account: These were REAL experiences that were VERY traumatic and led to some important lessons learned. When I was growing up, I didn’t have opportunities to interact with others and amass virtual possessions in online worlds like Club Penguin or Webkinz. While kids as well as adults can certainly waste a lot of time online playing games as well as consuming media in various forms, I think there is much more comparative value to my children participating in interactive, online environments like these rather than simply watching television passively. The advent of more streaming video shared on websites means passive TV watching CAN and does happen frequently when kids are online, but I’d say they spend at least 90% of their time online interactively DOING things rather than just “watching.”
Children’s books go digital-- from columbian.com & The LA Times, by Alana Semuels; original link from PSU From Internet to electronic readers, publishers are going high-tech to expand the market for kids’ literature
Digital Youth Network ...gives students tools to be engaged, articulate, critical and collaborative. Facilitate the ability to become creators – designers, builders & innovators – who can envision new possibilities.
The International Children's Digital Library Foundation (ICDL Foundation)-- link from iLearn Technology The mission of the International Children's Digital Library Foundation (ICDL Foundation) is to support the world's children in becoming effective members of the global community - who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas -- by making the best in children's literature available online free of charge. The Foundation pursues its vision by building a digital library of outstanding children's books from around the world and supporting communities of children and adults in exploring and using this literature through innovative technology designed in close partnership with children for children.
a platform for people who want to study or tutor online.
Technology changing how kids learn - Wyoming Tribune-Eagle-- from Educational Technology When Chris Black wanted students to see the school their Christmas pen pals attend, she chose a mouse instead of a map to help her. Using a Web site and downloaded program called Google Earth, she quickly found Jacksonville, Fla., and zoomed in on an aerial view of the students' school there. She projected the image from her computer onto a SMART Board so her third-graders at Anderson Elementary could see the school whose students sent a Christmas letter. She also found an image of Anderson Elementary and displayed it on the SMART Board as well.
Studio4Learning -- from Miguel Guhlin "...www.studio4learning.tv is a library of free middle & high school plus freshman year college tutorial videos. Over 1600 video clips on all core curriculum topics."
The Higher Education Academy (UK) Our vision is for students in UK higher education to enjoy the highest quality learning experience in the world.
Our mission is to support the sector in providing the best possible learning experience for all students. Our strategic aims are to...
Ageing OECD Societies - Fewer children - birth rates well down since the 1960’s.
- we start parenthood later
- Living longer
- Changing age structures
- Our crowded planet
- International divides of affluence and poverty
- Populations on the move
- Global environmental challenges
Towards a New Economic Landscape
- The global economy
- Knowledge-intensive service economies
The Changing World of Work and Jobs - Lives less dominated by work?
- Less securely attached to the labour market?
- Women at work
The Learning Society
- Educational attainment
- Rising investments in education
- Global educational patterns – inequalities and student flows
ICT: The Next Generation
- The digital revolution
- The expanding World Wide Web
- Towards Web 2.0?
Citizenship and the State
- Changing forms of political participation
- The role of the welfare state – smaller government?
Studywiz (Europe) Studywiz is a dynamic Becta approved learning platform for schools. It is a key tool in transforming education to address 21st century needs. Studywiz allows schools to meet government initiatives with the capability to link seamlessly to other systems, environments and content. Its inherent flexibility makes customisation easy and it has the potential to extend future use with specialised modules.
It provides an online space where educational content of all types is collected, organised and managed to create an enriched learning environment and curriculum for students. Studywiz gives teachers a unique tool for elevating instruction through personalised, collaborative and interactive learning and real-time assessment and results, and it supports parental participation in learning.
Studywiz is the learning platform of choice for major local authorities and schools in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Our UK office is comprised of a dedicated team of project development, curriculum support and technical specialists. Worldwide, Studywiz is deployed in more than 22 countries including the USA, Australia and China.
Learning From Each Other, Just-in-Time, With No End (or Exam) in Sight
Learners' in the Driver Seat
21st Century Pedagogy -- from 21st Century Classrooms Definition:
Pedagogy - noun the profession, science, or theory of teaching.
How we teach must reflect how our students learn. It must also reflect the world our students will move into. This is a world which is rapidly changing, connected, adapting and evolving. Our style and approach to teaching must emphasise the learning in the 21st century.
The key features of 21st Century Pedagogy are:
Building technological, information and media fluencies [Ian Jukes]
Developing thinking skills
Making use of project based learning
Using problem solving as a teaching tool
Using 21st C assessments with timely, appropriate and detailed feedback and reflection
It is collaborative in nature and uses enabling and empowering technologies
It fosters Contextual learning bridging the disciplines and curriculum areas
Study Less. Remember More.-- from Apple Hot News; requires iTunes Deep in the heart of Texas, they’ve learned a thing or two about successful study habits. And you can, too. Just by listening to Wired Study Tips. Brought to us by the Continuing and Professional Studies Office at Texas A&M University, the tips are just a few minutes long but offer great advice that, thanks to iTunes U, we can all take advantage of.
Reading and Storytelling Resources -- from Creating Lifelong Learners by Mathew The librarian at one of my schools this year is published illustrator, Diane Greenseid, who has a great web site herself. She also recommended the following sites that were new to me:
Just One More Book
Audio interviews with authors and illustrators compiled. You’ll find almost any author on this site.
Guys Read, a site created by Stinky Cheese Man author, Jon Scieszka.
Trying to motivate boys to read, this site makes suggestions for books that appeal to boys and even adult males.
Planet Esme, from author Esmé Codell
Engaging format to expose you to Esmé’s books
Mrs. P, in a hilarious format, Mrs. P. shares stories with you
thanks to Angele Maiers for the link
Blobby Doodle Town is an engaging, creative immersive education world for students in grades 3-5. WiloStar3D is a revolutionary new way to homeschool for grades 6-12.
What exactly is 3D immersive education? WiloStar3D has been pioneering the use of 3D immersive education with homeschooling and classroom students for distance learning now for over a decade. WiloStar3D's use of immersive education involves the use of enabling media such as Web 2.0 technologies, streaming video and audio and then submerses these technologies inside richly immersive 3D virtual worlds for students. WiloStar3D's educational worlds "immerse" and engage students in the same way that today's best video games grab and keep the attention of players. The main difference is that our accredited educational curricula and worlds have been carefully crafted and developed around constructivist and active learning strategies designed to maximize student interactivity. WiloStar3D's immersive educational 3D worlds support both self-directed learning as well as collaborative group-based learning and have been developed with one key goal in mind: to allow and encourage students to manipulate, change, and create their worlds their way!
Top 12 Reasons Our Approach Works:
Goes from passive learning to active learning.
3D technology used as a means to enhance learning process
Incorporates stimulating 3D collaborative projects and virtual world development
Utilizes role play and character immersion:students become historical characters, scientists wolves..whatever they are learning about...they become
Adapts to different learning styles
Promotes higher order thinking skills
Helps retain materials learned
Enhances problem-solving abilities
Keeps students engaged
Results in higher achievement levels
Motivates students to excel and keeps them engaged
Certified teachers and fully accredited program
Blooms Digital Taxonomy v2.12-- by Andrew Churches The digital taxonomy account for the use of social media and a variety of digital tools that can be used in educational contexts. Not limited to a discussion of the cognitive domain, the text includes discussions and suggestions for methods and tooling.
The Technology Integration Matrix ( for Florida's K-12 Schools)-- link from Teaching and learning design, by Dean Groom The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed (i.e., reflective), authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003).
Tools for Educators-- link from iLearn Technology blog FREE worksheets, worksheet creators, printables wizard and on-line teaching materials makers with images from Tools for Educators.com. Use these printout generators, game makers, and programs for teachersto make and print teaching resources with pictures or text. They are simple, but beautiful, versatile and powerful. I hope your students (and you) enjoy the resources.
(For K-12) Effective pedagogy -- from The New Zealand Currriculum While there is no formula that will guarantee learning for every student in every context, there is extensive, well-documented evidence about the kinds of teaching approaches that consistently have a positive impact on student learning. This evidence tells us that students learn best when teachers:
create a supportive learning environment
encourage reflective thought and action
enhance the relevance of new learning
facilitate shared learning
make connections to prior learning and experience
provide sufficient opportunities to learn
inquire into the teaching–learning relationship
TeachScape.com "Teachscape provides a range of solutions that drive increasing levels of student achievement by building the knowledge and skills of instructional leaders and teachers. Our unique combination of expert consultants, technology tools, observation protocols, and online learning modules comprise a research-based methodology that consistently delivers outcomes that districts need to ensure ever-increasing levels of student success."
Write or Die : Dr Wicked's Writing Lab
Interesting tool… Set your goal and time period and start writing. If you stop writing for a length of time, you will "pay the consequences"! Might be a good motivational tool to get something written in a timely manner. Or it might encourage your students to get some thoughts written down in a timely manner.
one word. so little time. See one word. You have 60 seconds to write about it.
Don't think. Just write.
You can also check out what others have written as well as the archives.
World History for Us All
“the website is organized into nine eras that address three essential questions and seven key themes in addition to the History, Geography, and Time, and the Past and Future sections.” Includes essential questions.
Creative Educator-- link originally from Sylvia Martinez Creative Educator focuses on using technology tools to foster creativity and engage students in the curriculum. Published by Tech4Learning, Creative Educator features articles on project-based learning, creativity, classroom management, and more from authors with a range of experience in educational technology. Creative Educator also features stories from educators about how they are using creativity tools in their classrooms. These connections are designed to inspire and to celebrate effective technology integration. The end of each issue also includes lesson plans that provide ideas, resources, and directions that make implementing technology even easier.
The Class of 2020: Action Plan for Education Initiative includes the development of five comprehensive publications with models, research, and specific recommendations for policies addressing the following topics:
· High-Speed Broadband Access for All Kids: Breaking Through the Barriers
· Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
· Technology-Based Assessments Improve Teaching and Learning
· Learning Virtually – Expanding Opportunities
· Empowering Teachers: A Professional and Collaborative Approach
K12: Art Lessons and Courses by K12-- link from Academic Info "Following the timelines in the History lessons, K¹² Art lessons introduce students to great works of art from different cultures and eras, while engaging them in creative activity—painting, drawing, molding with clay, etc. Students are introduced to the elements of art—line, shape, color—and identify different types of artworks as they learn about important paintings, sculpture, and architecture. They study the works of famous artists, from Rembrandt to Warhol, and learn about different artistic movements such as Impressionism and Cubism. Students also create their own works of art similar to those they have learned about, such as mobiles, collages, and stained glass."
What is Brightstorm?
Brightstorm is an online learning network for teens that features Web-based video courses taught by handpicked teachers from across the country. Brightstorm courses cover core topics including math, writing, history, as well as AP/SAT prep. Courses are supplemented by interactive quizzes and bonus materials such as practice problems and study guides, allowing teens to reach their full learning potential. To access the courses, teens and their parents can visit our Web site (www.brightstorm.com), preview courses and teachers and then purchase yearlong subscriptions for $49/course.
New Report Profiles Role of 'Visionary Administrators' in Bridging the Digital Disconnect in Schools -- from Blackboard Inc. Blackboard Inc. and Project Tomorrow released a report highlighting the emergence of "visionary administrators," a new breed of school superintendents and principals who are leveraging new technologies to meet the learning goals and preferences of increasingly tech-savvy students. Like the students they serve, visionary administrators championed the use of technology, including Web 2.0 tools, blogs and wiki entries, to expand the reach of the classroom and more effectively engage students. Read more.
Welcome to Adora's World -- encourage your daughters and sons to write/contribute like this! :)
Inspiring Literacy with Adora Svitak | Nov 14 @ 1pm EST "Join Tandberg’s Jan Zanetis as she chats with Adora Svitak, renowned author, teacher, literacy mentor, and prodigy. Eleven year old Adora has been working with students in person and over video for years to share her writing while inspiring them to create their own stories and poems. Participants will learn tips on how to motivate their own students, whether they be young children or full grown teachers. Learn how she makes the most of technology tools to engage students and get her lessons to come across at a distance. Most of all, participants will be amazed at the confidence and perception of Adora, a young lady that is quite at home on CNN, Oprah, or in your classroom. Join us and be inspired!" Her site is at: http://www.adorasvitak.com; recent news at http://www.wnem.com/video/17719161/index.html
Designing a Working Space for Chat-- from The Journal In the first installment this two-part series, we looked at chat as an instructional tool in general terms. Now we take a look at some of the major concepts in using chat effectively in the process of moving the thinking process forward: building ideas, constructing media, and establishing which elements are critical to making the environment dynamic and relevant to the student.
We All Stream For Video - T&L Editors -- from Liberal Education Today, by Bryan Alexander More than ever, teachers are using digital video to enhance their lessons. In fact, the number of schools using video streaming increased from 30 percent to 45 percent between 2004 and 2006, according to Market Data Retrieval. Why the popularity? For starters, video-streaming products are easy to use. They allow teachers to punctuate lessons with a visual and aural punch, both of which help students retain what they've learned. And students love watching videos. If your district hasn't yet jumped on the digital bandwagon, the following chart can help you find the best method.
Free Reading - -- link from iLearn Technology blog What it is: Not all technology resources require students on a computer, some technology resources are specifically for you, the teacher, to enhance curriculum or for professional development. Free Reading is one such site. This incredible open source instructional program helps you teach early literacy. Free Reading provides a 40 week scope and sequence of phonemic awareness and phonics activities. The goals of Free Reading are to help you teach kids to read, to make quality research-based instruction for reading free, and to provide a community of educators with a common goal of reading intervention. Free Reading is really, truly free… downloads, prints, teaching materials are all completely free!
Science in Focus-- from Educational Technology blog Sumanas Inc.'s website offers a wide range of material, such as animations of scientific processes, for a range of scientific disciplines, but here visitors will find their "Science in Focus" section of the website. Some of the topics that are brought to life with animating technology are antibiotic resistance, stem cell research, malaria, anthrax, gene therapy, and peptic ulcers.
Face-to-Face blog - Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery-- from Educational Technology Online for less than a year, Face-to-Face is written by a team of National Portrait Gallery staff members with diverse responsibilities, from webdesign to curatorial. The blog is "dedicated to art, history, and the telling of American lives." There are four categories on Face-to-Face:Biography, Events, Exhibitions and News. "Biography" currently features an article series on presidential trivia...
Tomorrow's Students, Today's K-12 Digital Learners: Are You Ready for Them?-- from Educause Since 2003, the Speak Up National Research Project has collected authentic feedback about technology and education from over 1.1 million K–12 students. Learn about the expectations of today's digital learners for 21st-century learning environments, and how you can be prepared to address the technology needs of your future students.
Leading the Change-- Keynote at K-12 Online Conference 2008 Current leadership models are inadequate for disruptive innovations
Born Digital-- a book by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser The first generation of “Digital Natives” – children who were born into and raised in the digital world – are coming of age, and soon our world will be reshaped in their image. Our economy, our politics, our culture and even the shape of our family life will be forever transformed. But who are these Digital Natives? More
Annenberg Media-- from Daniel Laninga from the T&L Digital Studio Free educational resources.
edHelper.com Math, Reading Comprehension, Themes, Lesson Plans, and Worksheets.
Integrating Video Production into Curriculum and Classroom Activities -- from the Journal Webinar Series November 6, 2008
Students of all ages benefit from the use of camcorders and video production in the classroom. Utilizing a variety of projects ideas teachers can easily integrate video in to any school subject curriculum. Children can learn to communicate verbally as well as visually, learn a technical skill, and be truly engaged in learning.
Learn how to integrate video production into your k-12 curriculum. From art to science, real-world educators show how they are using video to increase visual literacy, critical thinking and problem solving, in this free, one-hour webcast moderated by T.H.E. Journal's Matt Villano.
Safarimontage.com Library Video Company is the leading distributor of educational video, DVD and audiobook to schools and public libraries nationwide. The company stocks over 18,000 titles covering a diverse range of topics for all ages and grade levels. Each program has been carefully reviewed and selected for content that is appropriate for the classroom and public library setting.
We All Stream For Video -- from techLearning.com More than ever, teachers are using digital video to enhance their lessons. In fact, the number of schools using video streaming increased from 30 percent to 45 percent between 2004 and 2006, according to Market Data Retrieval. Why the popularity? For starters, video-streaming products are easy to use. They allow teachers to punctuate lessons with a visual and aural punch, both of which help students retain what they've learned. And students love watching videos. If your district hasn't yet jumped on the digital bandwagon, the following chart can help you find the best method.
Leading the Change Keynote -- by Chris Lehmann The Voices of School 2.0: School Reform as described by the words and images of the people of the Science Leadership Academy
Helpful Documents for Innovative Educators-- from the Innovative Educator blog Includes The School 2.0 Transformation Toolkit | School 2.0 Learning Ecosystem Map | The Bandwidth Planner | School 2.0 Reflection Tool | Description of Technology Literate Students | National Educational Technology Standards | National Standards for Technology in Teacher Preparation | Information Communication Technology Literacy Maps | as well as other items
North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL)-- from Educational Technology blog; actual article by Kathee Austin from Phoenix News NACOL is bringing leaders and experts in K-12 online learning from around the world to Arizona for their annual conference, the Virtual School Symposium, held this year at the Renaissance in Glendale. Michael Horn, co-author of Disrupting Class, will keynote on Tuesday and Fabrizio Cardinalli, co-chair of European Union E-Learning Industry Group, will keynote on Monday. There are more than 100 sessions all focused on e-learning in K-12 education.
Have the capacity to do quality research on the web
Have good global communication skills
Be self-directed (Corporations need people who don’t need a boss to tell them what to do!)
There is no questions that a large gap exists between what we teach children and what is highly valued in the workplace; and the problem is bigger than technology. November suggested the following:
Turn every (yes, every) classroom into a global communication center where teachers connect children to authentic audiences around the world, and as teachers we should be evaluating our students on their ability to introduce themselves and communicate in these collaborations. We have the tools and the power to do this!
Build Independence rather than Dependence. I have always said that students should leave more tired than their teachers. Alan suggests giving students important jobs-not busy work, but really important learning tasks. Make students contributors to the learning rather than recipients. We have underestimated what kids can do that contributes to rich content that can be shared with the whole class! He gave many examples of students creating tutorials, teaching one another, recording podcasts reviewing the weeks content...the possibilities are exciting!
Stop Blocking and Teach Digital Literacy-In an effort to keep our students secure, we are actually putting them in harms way by not teaching them to interact and engage in a digital, global world. Our students are on Facebook, they download YouTube, they use Wikipedia,and search Google, but who is teaching them how to do it well? In Alan's words: "If blocking is your only strategy for protecting children, you’re setting them up for failure in the real world. This is immoral. It’s a manipulative world out there. We have to teach kids how to navigate it.
Training-Related Videos (Desktop Screen Recordings) -- from Russell Stannard
(K-12) Integrating Video Production into Curriculum and Classroom Activities-- from the Journal; November 6, 2008 |
Time: 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern Students of all ages benefit from the use of camcorders and video production in the classroom. Utilizing a variety of projects ideas teachers can easily integrate video in to any school subject curriculum. Children can learn to communicate verbally as well as visually, learn a technical skill, and be truly engaged in learning. Learn how to integrate video production into your k-12 curriculum. From art to science see and hear how teachers across the country are using video to increase visual literacy, critical thinking and problem solving, in this free, one-hour webcast moderated by T.H.E. Journal's Matt Villano. Register today!
Michael Wesch / Post: “A Vision of Students Today (& What Teachers Must Do)”
Mark Bauerlein / Post: “Turned On, Plugged In, Online, & Dumb: Student Failure Despite the Techno Revolution”
Steve Hargadon / Post: “Moving Toward Web 2.0 in K-12 Education“
Dan Willingham / Post: “Why Web 2.0 Will Not be an Integral Part of K-12 Education”
David Cole / Post: “Why I Ban Laptops in My Classroom”
Michael B. Horn / Post: (title to come)
Respondents and Commentators
John Seely Brown, “Chief of Confusion”: Writer and scholar on innovation in education and other fields, co-author of The Social Life of Information, The Only Sustainable Edge, and other books. Visiting scholar at the University of Southern California, independent co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation. Formerly Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).
Karin Chenoweth, author of It’s Being Done: Academic Success in Unexpected Schools, is currently with The Education Trust, a national education advocacy organization. Chenoweth previously wrote the Homeroom column for the Montgomery and Prince George’s Extras of The Washington Post, which gained a national readership for its focus on schools and education.
Tim O’Brien, Online Editor and Author with O’Reilly Media, covers technology, science, and politics for O’Reilly News. Tim supported pedagogical virtual reality efforts at the University of Virginia in the middle 1990s, and now supports the development of a globally distributed K-12 learning system.
Joyce Kasman Valenza, Library Information Specialist, Springfield Township High School in Erdenheim, Penn.; writer of School Library Journal’s Never Ending Search blog; and a former columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Valenza is prolific speaker and writer on issues relating to libraries, technology and education has won many professional awards.
Five Essential Tech Tools for Campus Administrators -- by Miguel Guhlin Although there are many administrative tasks that could be made easier with the use of technology, these are the five I believe have the most potential to be enhanced by technology-related tools:
Assessing Technology Implementation in Campus Classrooms
Building Interactivity into SlideShow Presentations
Surveys, Forms, and Spreadsheets -- Data Collection Made Easy,
Putting Your Best Foot Forward Online -- Blogging and Podcasting
Facilitating Online Learning Conversations with Moodle
Web Site Lets Kids Report School Bullies Incognito-- from Edutopia.org and the Boston Globe Hoping to combat the "snitch" label that often leads to silent suffering, schools are introducing a Web site that allows students to anonymously report bullies.
3,000 hours of history go online-- from Broadcast.com, by Will Strauss; link from edu.blogs.com Schools and colleges are to get free online access to more than 3,000 hours of film and TV news from the past 100 years following a collaboration between academia and the broadcast industry
Help keep your kids safe out there! ...and help
your family members out. Here are some sites I put together and posted to BrooksideCRC.org. They are meant to help your family members benefit from using the various technologies out on the Internet, while aiming to keep our kids as safe as possible out there in the Wild Wild West!
MAA Minute Math-- from Educational Technology The good folks at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) keep onturning out engaging and interactive mathematics resources, and this latestrelease follows in that admirable path. The MinuteMath feature bringstogether a host of problems from the MAA's American Mathematics Competitions, and these playful problems can be used in a variety ofsettings, including the classroom or a good-spirited mathematics get-together outside the classroom walls. The site was launched in September2008, and so far the offerings here are quite nice and they includequestions that deal with sums, geometry, and positive integers. Eachquestion is also rounded out with an interactive version of both the problemand the solution.
From Multimedia & Internet @ Schools website Discovery Education recently launched New Teacher Survival Central, a new Web site and partnership with Walden University, mimio, Adobe Systems, Inc., Elmer’s Products, Inc., and CDW-G.
The site contains classroom tools designed to support educators new to the teaching profession. The online tips, tricks, and suggestions include classroom management techniques, ideas for connecting classroom activities to the curriculum, lesson plans, peer-networking resources, tools to create engaging learning centers, and more. The Technology 101 area of the site provides information on how educational technologies promote student engagement in learning and what tools are available for use in the classroom. The Tech Tools For Students section highlights free K-12 student resources. Also offered are a variety of interactive games, virtual labs, and lessons. The Homeroom Headquarters section links to classroom management resources. The Survival Took Kit: Best of the Web area links to online tools including blogs, tutorials, curricular resources, and educational media outlets.
K-12 Online Conference -- http://k12onlineconference.org/ The K-12 Online Conference invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference is run by volunteers and open to everyone. The 2008 conference theme is “Amplifying Possibilities”. This year’s conference begins with a pre-conference keynote the week of October 13, 2008. The following two weeks, October 20-24 and October 27-31, forty presentations will be posted online to the conference blog (this website) for participants to download and view. Live Events in the form of three “Fireside Chats” and a culminating “When Night Falls” event will be announced. Everyone is encouraged to participate in both live events during the conference as well as asynchronous conversations.
Welcome to iLearn Technology-- from ilearntechnology.com iLearn technology is an edublog dedicated to giving teachers practical tips for integrating technology into the classroom. All of the resources are free to use and simple to implement. If you know of a great classroom technology resource, please let me know about it on my contact page! Written by: k-5 technology teacher Kelly Tenkely.
(From DSC: This edublog mentioned the following sites/items that I found interesting...)
U.K. classrooms test 'smart desks'-- from eSchoolNews.com Interactive desktops could become a critical learning tool in classrooms worldwide; picture/link below takes you to a related article from ZDNet