Thursday, September 26, 2013

Create a Student Tech Team at Your School!

I have just published a second public iTunes U course called, Create a Student Tech Team at Your School!

This course is designed to introduce you to an array of possibilities for establishing a student tech team at your school. Tech team faculty moderators from California, Colorado, Indiana, Colorado, Maine, Michigan have contributed to this collection. As you progress through this course you will find that teams of students are performing important functions such as . . . .

*Providing the school community with online tutorials.

*Troubleshooting at the IT service desk.

*Supplying tutoring for students and staff

*Conducting the technology orientation for incoming students.

Thus, this course is about possibilities rather than a step-by-step instructional manual.  I hope to continue to update and build this collection.  If your tech team has something to share, please contact me. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dialing up Microbes on the iPhone

Mr. Meloche hooks up his iPhone to the microscope
(photo by L. Schrimscher)
When I was at the ADE Institute in Austin this summer I attended an exhibit where I saw an iPhone Photoadapter that fit microscopes.  I emailed my biology teacher colleague, Gerry Meloche about this and he immediately purchased one.  Recently he used it as part of a lab for difficult viewing of bacteria and other microbes. He recorded the following iPhone video of Paramecium aurelia.  These are organisms that are found in most bodies of freshwater, which accounts for the squeals from the girls.

When I paid his class a visit last week, he was also using his iPad, switching effortlessly between live slide images, recorded images, and images accessed through his web browser.  He used his iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV to accomplish this.  His demonstration assisted students who were at their lab tables, viewing slides through microscopes.

Microscope projection through iPad and Apple TV

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Shakespeare Meets the iPad at Notre Dame University

Mercy High School alumna, Sarah Philo, is currently taking a Shakespeare course at Notre Dame University.  This course is unusual because it is a pilot course where the curriculum is designed specifically for iPad use.

Sarah is neither new to Shakespeare nor iPad pilot programs.  Sarah was an M-Hub leader at Mercy when I approached her about participating in an iPad pilot for Mercy.  The students' very positive reports from the trial were instrumental in persuading us to adopt the iPad as a 1:1 device at Mercy.

Specifically, Sarah discovered how effectively she could take notes and keep them organized with Noteshelf and Evernote. This discovery greatly influenced us to select both apps for all Mercy devices and to provide professional development on their use.

Below, Sarah describes her experience:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tech Talk at Mercy High School

Something big and new is coming to Mercy High School.  On February we will be hosting Tech Talk, a regional educational technology K-12 conference.  The keynote presenter will be Dr. Liz Kolb of the University of Michigan School of Education.  Her topic will be Passion-Based Learning With Everyday Technical Knowledge.

We hope to have some of the best presenters in the area, including some of the “stars” from the Mercy staff.  The Call for Presenters link is open.

Continuing education credit available through Madonna University.  The early registration cost will be $40 for the day.  Register at

Check this blog for updates on presenters, soon!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

M-Hub: One fo Mercy's Best Kept Secrets

M-Hub is one of the best kept secrets at Mercy High School.  It enables members of the Mercy community to share their knowledge with current students. For example, students can search for mentors based on various areas of expertise -- such as professional titles, hobbies, college alma mater, community service or location -- and then connect with them to gain information.

Many of our alumnae have registered their information at the site. However, most of our students don’t know this rich resource is available.

Fortunately, we have a nucleus of M-Hub members this year who are eager to promote its use with the student body.  I have prepared the following short screencast to show its ease of use.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Presentation as Assessment for Challenge Based Learning.

In June,  I will once again Made a presentation on a topic for which I have amassed a considerable amount of classroom experience.   At the Create! Conference, I presented "Individual Assessment  within Group Challenge and Multimedia Projects".

Last semester, I wrapped up a challenge/multimedia project with a group of American Government seniors. Here was the challenge:

Create a video on a policy about which you care, which has 
measurable impact.

Though the students completed rubrics and audio reflections, in this particular instance, the most powerful manner of self-evaluation came from the teams' presentations made for their peers. Instead of preparing a "show and tell", I urged the girls to tell their story, placing the project process into a narrative. Here were my instructions for presenters:

1)  Plan to present on the group process.  (Showing your video is not the focus)
2) All must participate in a 20 minute presentation.
3) You should not read.  (You may have one note card). Eye contact, please.
4) Explain why you chose your policy
5) The presentation should describe your group’s challenges.
6) Show a minute of your movie.
7) The presentation should indicate what you learned from your challenge.
8) Thoroughly describe your assessment process and what you concluded from it.
9) You must acknowledge contributing resources.
10) The presentation should indicate what you would have changed if you had a “do over”.

The other students attended very closely to the presentations because the information was authentic and personal.  Furthermore, as teacher I had  a window into the group process, and I found myself reassured that more thinking and effort went into the projects than I could glean from the meetings which occurred within class.  You'll note that only a minute clip of the movie each of the group produced was shown as part of the presentation.  Instead, the groups "unpacked" their experiences, discussing their interactions, challenges, resources and do-overs.

Cbl cyber bullying (1) (1) from Laurence Baker

I highly recommend this approach to student project presentations.

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