Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Some Great New Videos from my Web Site

I've stumbled across two really good videos describing the state of Technology in Education today.  Please visit my web site for more!

Here are some of my favorites for you:

Learning to Change, Changing to Learn, from Teacher Tube

Teaching and Learning in an Era of Disruptive Innovation.  Scott McLeod's (co-creator of the Did You Know (Shift Happens!) videos) video presentation to the NEA, also from Teacher Tube

Myths and Opportunities: Technology in the Classroom, by Alan November; from Brian Mull, from Vimeo

Myths and Opportunities: Technology in the Classroom by Alan November from Brian Mull on Vimeo.

Karl Fisch's famous "Did You Know," version 4.0



You'll find these and some of my other favorites, including several from The Common Craft show, on my Links and Videos page

Monday, January 18, 2010

Combating Hunger, and other sites for meaningful learning

Free Rice, Food Force, and Free Poverty are "games" that kids can play.  Successful gamers help furnish rice, food, and clean drinking water to needy persons throughout the world.  Posted at various points in time on Instructify and other blogs too numerous to mention.  Free Poverty tests students' Geography knowledge; Free Rice tests students' vocabulary skills; and Food Force is an exciting arcade-style game that reinforces cross-curricular concepts, strategic thinking, and problem-solving skills.  Found these through the Instructify blog.

Skype An Author Network - Skype is a free VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) application that allows you to conduct free voice and video chats with other Skype users.  Using Skype and a web cam, and by contacting like-minded authors participating in this network, you and your students can interact with authors to go in-depth into their stories, learn more about "the craft" of writing, and so on.  More authors will be added as the site grows.  It's like getting nationally known guest-speakers to visit your classrooms for free!

Stressed out over Studying? Here's a great article from the Counseling Services at Kansas State University.  I learned about from Tech & Learning magazine's online edition.

Resources for Teaching About the Haitian Earthquake

Recent events warrant a break from my usual posting schedule.  Here are some sites to help students in your classes process the recent Hatian Earthquake.

Larry Ferlazzo's Best Sites to Learn About the Earthquake in Haiti

Google Earth Layer About the Earthquake in Haiti - requires that you download & install Google Earth first.  Let me know if you have difficulty with this, or with working with KML files.

Free Lesson Plans from the Red Cross about Disaster Preparedness, from the Instructify blog

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

MLK, Sites & Sounds, Etc

Martin Luther King, Jr. Sites, from Larry Ferlazzo

Learn About the Winter Olympics, also posted by Larry Felazzo

What's it Like To Be A Student in Today's Classrooms?  Here's a nice bit of perspective trom Teaching & Learning Magazine's online edition

 Creating Podcasts: Enjoy this post from Free Tech For Teachers on resources for creating your own podcasts!

Cartoons for the Classrooms, from Free Tech for Teachers

Biology Animations, from Free Tech for Teachers

Math Snacks, from ILearnTechnology - Here's a great site for teaching some basic and not-so-basic Math concepts to kids, appropriate for elementary, middle school kids and high school kids. The site uses brief animations & video clilps to introduce and reinforce basic concepts, like Bad Date (ratio & proportion), Overruled (proportions & coordinate graphing), and Number Rights (equality, order, and number lines), etc.  Most have learner and teacher guides, and many are available for download to portable devices like iPods!

Carrot Sticks is a similar site, also posted at iLearn Technology

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Feeling Obsolete?

Here's the deal with Education Technology, or technology anywhere, for that matter: Once you get used to some new idea, activity, or gadget, something newer & supposedly better comes along.  It's like buying a new car; once you drive it off the lot, its value (to some, anyway) diminishes.  Does that make it "bad" or "worthless"? Absolutely not!  (I love to drive my parents old '94 Volvo, even though it has 225,000 miles on it!) But can we find ways to incorporate new technologies into our existing idea of "how school is done"?  ABSOLUTELY!

The reality: Kids today are being brought up differently than kids in the past. (Big news, huh?)  Kids today are being called "Digital Natives," because they have never known a world where they are not "plugged in," or "connected" in some way.  Many of us who teach these Digital Natives are known as "Digital Immigrants," because we've had to learn these new ways of thinking, learning, and behaving, and adapt accordingly. 

Each year, the folks at Beloit (WI) College publish their Mindset List, explaining what the world is like for college freshmen. (For example, "The Green Giant has always been Shrek, not the big guy picking vegetables," or "Chocolate chip cookie dough has always been an ice cream flavor choice," and so on.)  They are also a perfect example: during this past year, they published their list on paper, over the Internet, and as a video podcast!  (By the way, take a look at the guys who make the list each year - they've seen their share of education fads come and go, I'm guessing!)

Another more-global point-of-view is expressed by Karl FIsch and Scott McLeod in their world-famous Did You Know (Shift Happens) videos.  Its fourth iteration is below (other versions are available on their wiki site):


With that in mind, here are some thought-provoking posts:

Out With The Not-All-That-Old

21 Things That Became Obsolete This Decade, from the Business Insider

10 Learning Technologies That Became Obsolete This Decade, from BlogU

21 Things That Will Become Obsolete In Education By 2020, from TeachPaperless

In with the New:

iBoard is a site from the UK that would help young (pre-K through 2nd grade) students, students with disabilities, or ESL/ELL students develop basic skills.  These samples would work GREAT with a SMART Board!  Keep in mind, though, that these sites use "the King's English," so some of the prasing &  vocabulary could be a bit confusing.

Six  Resources for Learning about Fair Use & Copyright, from Free Tech for Teachers

Three Ways (Other Than Skype) To Bring Experts Into Class: Skype is a free voice-over-Internet protocol ("VOIP") service that allows you to use your Internet connection to stream voice and video images, much like the Dick Tracy Wrist Communicator.  Plus, ITS FREE!  Skype, plus these other three options, could open up your classroom to a whole new world of collaboration - and a whole lot less hassle with field trip forms, permission slips, etc...

Lexipedia, found in a link from Instructify.  This is a great way to show relationships among words in a visual & interactive format.  Yet another way to use that SMART Board!

Read the latest post!

"New" IAR Replaces PARCC in IL

Image from pixabay.com After several years and no small amount of controversy, PARCC in Illinois is being replaced by the IAR: The Illi...

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