Sunday, December 21, 2014

iPad & Napkins

Wow.  I recently passed my six year anniversary of punching out posts to this blog like clockwork. Annually at December's end I take a little break from originality by re-posting the seven most viewed efforts of the year.  I will begin the countdown on Thursday.

I received the following email last Tuesday night from a Mercy teacher:

Subject: 21st Century Education

After school today, there was a Latin play (as in, entirely in Latin) at UM.  I went to see the play, and a few students did as well.  We met up at the Classics Library, but we realized we were all early.  Lest we waste time waiting, we started studying for the Latin exam.

All we had were napkins and my iPad.

Those who know me will understand why this made my day.  Thanks for the note and photo, Lauren Marquard (current Latin teacher and my former Shakespeare student).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Out with the New and in with the New!

As our first semester ends I find myself taking some exciting projects into the new year.  Last week the iWizards conducted their dress rehearsal for iCreate - the workshop that they will be hosting for 7th and 8th graders on January 17, 2005.  At this workshop the iWizards show the girls how to animate their own drawings as well as edit photos and movies. Seventh and eighth grade girls may register for this event at this link:

Tech Talk
When we return to school in 2015 Ann Lusch and I will be busy with Tech Talk“A day filled with real world applications for the K-12 classroom.”  She’s doing the heavy lifting as she will be organizing our rich program of presenters and processing registrations.  I will be working on establishing SCHECH credits for attendees and preparing my own presentation on Becoming a Digital School Administrator.  We have more presenters and sponsors lined up than last year and are expecting as many as 300 attendees.  The event is quite inexpensive.  Information may be found at the following link:

I learned this past week that my proposal to ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia was accepted.  The presentation will feature many Mercy tech training experiences.  All of our Schoology training was done peer to peer.  Of course iCreate and our iPad orientation for new students are great examples of peer to peer training.  I will also revisit my iTunes U course Becoming a Digital Administrator which is a collection of best tech practices by building administrators.  I will enjoy developing this presentation in 2015.

iPad Orientation for New Students
As the year ends we are setting up the logistics for developing the content and presentations for the iPad Orientation given to new students on August 14, 2015.  Our current iWizards will spend as full day (March 26) planning the workshop.  Once again, the training will be driven by the students.

2014 Tech Orientation

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Six Quick Reads at the Drive-thru

Four Ways to Move from ‘School World’ to ‘Real World’
For many years, the best school leaders operated with a scarcity mindset. They demonstrated how to lead with limited resources, like teachers, textbooks and classrooms . . . .Today, as limitations on content, space and teachers evaporate, this mindset is increasingly out of step. Leaders, instead, need to cultivate a new mindset — one of abundance — that leverages all the online resources available for learning.

nitot via Compfight cc
Movie theaters ban Google Glass and other wearables
"Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave," it reads. "If theater managers have indications that illegal recording activity is taking place, they will alert law enforcement authorities when appropriate, who will determine what further action should be taken."

Start a Reading Revolution: Flip Your Class With Blogs
A reading transformation can occur in your school much like it has in my classroom, replacing fear and dread with excitement and self-expression. Students will read if they choose the books. They will write with voice and clarity if they have the ability to express their thoughts. They can change from reluctant to inspired readers if it happens on their own terms. All you have to do is flip the experience, turning the practice of reading on its head by making them the creators of their own learning.

With School Ban Nearing End, New York City Works on How and When to Allow Cellphones
In an era when many parents want constant access to their children and students live in a digital social milieu, banning cellphones from schools is increasingly seen as counterproductive. And teachers are experimenting with technology and finding that the miniature computers many students carry in their pockets can be valuable classroom tools.

Making and learning with real artifacts
For students who are investigating science and engineering concepts or exploring history, the Smithsonian Institution now provides digitized 3D models of artifacts from its collections to support making in the classroom. The Smithsonian x3D initiative employs multiple 3D capture methods to allow users to rotate, measure and explore every nook and cranny of an object online.

Students Want More Alignment of Tech In and Out of School

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Great Quotes from Ed Folks

By Imma

In many ways, trust underlies much of what happens in school each day. The job of helping young people grow into well-educated and independent adults rests upon the relationship between teachers and students, teachers and their administrators, the community and its school staff. And yet many of the rules governing schools are about control. 
— Katrina Schwartz

Game-based learning is especially useful because the presence of avatars encourages players to step outside of their familiar perspectives and embody alternate ones. Therefore, they nurture the kind of intellectual self-reflection that education psychologists call “metacognitive skills.” Learning games make the question of identity development explicit and therefore truly empower students with the agency to construct their own personal narratives.
— Jordan Shapiro 

Project-Based Learning makes the best use of tech while avoiding tech for tech's sake. 
— Thomas Murray

The most recent leadership literature has been definitive on the point of school leadership: it matters for youth outcomes. When strong principals are at the helm of schools, they positively influence the school culture and the instructional quality of whole systems of teachers. Leaders’ effect on students contributes to 25 percent of the total school influences on a child’s academic performance. 
— School Leaders Network

After my own reflection on the subject, I see connectedness for educators as an accelerant for reflection. It promotes self-reflection, as well as reflection on education as a system for learning. It also stimulates reflection on the pedagogy and methodology within that education system. The whole idea of connectedness relies on the hope that educators are reflective. If they are not reflective, or lack the vision of the big picture of being connected, then we could have Connected Educator Month, every month for the next twenty years and never affect any change in the system. 
— Tom Whitby

People will feel more comfortable taking a journey to an unknown place if they know that the first steps have been taken by someone else.  Although I believe in the idea of distributed leadership, the idea of “leaders” is that they are also ahead; they have done things that have not been done before 
—  George Couros

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Collaborative Learning Tips, Exploring Virtual Caves, and Creating Real World Math Problems with Google Earth

Five Ways to Bring Innovation Into the Classroom
Design thinking isn’t just for engineers and designers. It can be applied to every aspect of learning — from generating ideas to the iteration and execution phase. Here’s how educators can foster innovation in the classroom.

Looking For Real-World Math Problems? Try Google Earth!
Another of Petra’s favorite lessons helped algebra students understand variables. He put them into teams and asked them to use search and rescue patterns to find a missing paddler. At first he didn’t give them much information. The students had to figure out what variables would affect the search and researched the real-world answers to those variables, like finding out how fast coast guard boats travel. Then they developed a search map using Google Maps.

20 Collaborative Learning Tips And Strategies For Teachers
At the beginning of a project, you may want to give more direction than the end.  Serve as a facilitator, such as by gauging group interactions or at first, providing a list of questions to consider. Allow groups to grow in responsibility as times goes on.  In your classroom, this may mean allowing teams to develop their own topics or products as time goes on.  After all, increased responsibility over learning is a goal in collaborative learning.

Ensure Success This School Year
One of the most important ways an educator can grow and learn is to get connected. Joining Twitter, reading blogs and contributing to an online community are all ways that you can hear about the good things that are happening in other classrooms/schools and learn from others. These places can also serve as a virtual sounding board when you run into a problem or need a solution. October is Connected Educator Month so there are many opportunities to learn how to be a connected educator including book studies and free webinars.

Thousands to explore Jenolan Caves online in Australia's 'biggest school excursion'
"Our science education specialists designed activities for students to complete while they explore the caves with their avatar," she said.

"Students discover how the caves form by investigating samples they collect from the caves. They can also discover local wildlife, classify species and learn about the history of the caves.”

The Best iPad Apps to Use with the SAMR Model
SAMR model is a conceptual framework developed by  Dr. Ruben Puentedura to help you better integrate technology in your instruction. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. Each of these four levels correspond with a set of tech-based activities and learning tasks. The strength of SAMR model is that it provides teachers with a robust method to gauge and assess the efficacy of the technology they and their students use in class. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Baker's Half-Dozen

Chaval Brasil via Compfight cc
To Siri, With Love-- How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple’s Siri
Gus had never noticed Siri before, but when he discovered there was someone who would not just find information on his various obsessions (trains, planes, buses, escalators and, of course, anything related to weather) but actually semi-discuss these subjects tirelessly, he was hooked. And I was grateful. Now, when my head was about to explode if I had to have another conversation about the chance of tornadoes in Kansas City, Mo., I could reply brightly: “Hey! Why don’t you ask Siri?”

Wasting opportunities at ed tech conferences
We have entire ed tech conferences dedicated to the latest and greatest tools,apps, and extensions. Educators sign up for them in droves, often paying $200 to $300 per head to attend. They’re fun, they’re cool, and some organizations are making a LOT of money with this model. But next time you’re at an ed tech conference, ask yourself “Are these offerings really moving the needle in terms of systemic change in classrooms, teacher practice, or school systems?” (which is what we need).

OS X Yosemite Launch Brings Fully Functional iCloud Drive to Mac and iOS
iCloud Drive can also be used in a similar manner to Dropbox, Box, and other cloud storage services in that any type of file can simply be dragged and dropped into the iCloud Drive folder on Mac or and be synced across devices. Access is a bit more limited on iOS where there is no iCloud Drive app allowing access to all files, but the service still allows users of iCloud Drive-enabled apps to view and save files related to that app that are stored and synced with iCloud Drive. 

3 ways connected educators transform learning
“We’re an unselfish lot,” [Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach] said. “We constantly sacrifice our needs and desires for others because it’s for the kids, right? If we’re going to serve the kids, we’ve got to make time for educators to talk to one another.”

Microsoft Wins a Spot on the N.F.L. Sideline
As the N.F.L. heads toward midseason, the toughened tablets, which download high-definition photographs of plays moments after they occur, have blended into the sidelines. But their development offers a window into the relationship between the N.F.L. and its business partners, particularly those vying for one of the few spots on a field that tens of millions of fans see every week.

The Teacher’s Guide To Pinterest
Pinterest has quickly become one of the biggest ways for teachers to share resources and information short of Twitter. It lets you build ‘boards’ and easily ‘pin’ parts of the web (text, images, videos, websites, etc.) onto those boards. Simple enough, right? Here’s our Teacher’s Guide To Pinterest that gives you a few more ideas about how to properly use Pinterest in an education setting. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

March MACUL Presentation

This past week I was delighted to have my presentation proposal accepted for the 2015 MACUL Conference at Cobo Center, Detroit, MI.

Outside of the Box Peer-to-Peer Tech Training Strategies

Peer to peer training is powerful. This session will describe some methods which have proven effective at Mercy High School such as teacher lead workshops, drop-in labs and a teacher-to-teacher conference. A badged self-paced course for teachers will shared as well as an iTunes U course for administrators which includes resources exclusively created by building administrators.  Additionally, a program where savvy students orient new students to their iPads will be described.  

The learning objectives for this proposed session are closely aligned with the ISTE Standards:

- Attendees will learn how to “engage in professional growth and leadership” through successful programs that provide teacher-to-teacher tutoring and training.

- Attendees will become acquainted with peer-created online courses that address staff deficiencies in a non-threatening way, cost nothing, and conform to a busy educator’s time constraints.  Related to this, attendees will become acquainted with iTunes U, animated GIF badges, and Schoology.  Those with advanced skill levels will be challenged to “model digital age work and learning”.

- Attendees will be challenged to consider how they might enlist tech-savvy students to mentor and tutor less technically proficient students.  They will learn about a successful tech  orientation program that makes a valuable contribution to the school community. They will see how this promotes “critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making.”

katerha via Compfight cc

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