Thursday, April 30, 2015

Screencasts, Periscope, #MakeSchoolDifferent and More!

Flip your classroom with instructional screencasts
If your class is reviewing key concepts about the Civil War, for example, you could use a screencast to reference historical photos on the Library of Congress website while correlating the key concepts students need to master for their final assessments. In math, you could use programs such as SMART Notebook to provide virtual paper and pen to work through complex algorithms, explaining each step of the process.

Photo from Wikicommons--awesome for Civil War screencast!
What You Need To Know (So Far) About Periscope
The ability to reuse and repurpose the broadcasts may ultimately make this my iPhone video cam of choice for our studio and brings another layer to the potential of Periscope.  This will be more effective when landscape mode is available which is coming soon . . . . But in the meantime it’s nice that you can easily download your broadcast as a video to your device with the touch of a button in the app.  

How Leadership Can Make or Break Classroom Innovation
In addition to setting the tone for nimble and progressive teaching that’s geared towards what students need most, school leaders can also find ways to integrate technology in smart ways that work on the same goals. And they can help to remove roadblocks when necessary.

New Research Shows Free Online Courses Didn't Grow As Expected
One of the biggest MOOC platforms, edX, is run jointly as a nonprofit by Harvard and MIT. And researchers at both schools have been poring over the data from everyone who participated in 68 courses over more than two years. That's 10 million participant-hours. Here's what they found. . . . 

Filmmaking for Kids: Rough, Raw, and Real
There’s a big difference between being tech savvy and knowing how to leverage that technology. . . .Realizing that you can use this technology to have fun and share personal moments, and be socially engaged with your friends, is one thing—but to use this technology at a more powerful level, to communicate with people who perhaps don’t know you. . . .It can change opinions, educate, and inform.

We Have To Stop Pretending… #MakeSchoolDifferent
We have to stop pretending….That teachers have a choice in using technology as a tool for teaching and learning. . . .
That content which is being taught is more important than teaching students how to curate, critically think, communicate, collaborate, and create as life long skills.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Updating iMercy

Less than two years ago as part of our application process to become an Apple Distinguished School, we published iMercy to iTunes. iMercy is a 27 page multi-touch book which describes our school's technology program.

Unsurprisingly, a number of significant changes have occurred over the past two school years, so we would like to reflect these in an updated edition of the book.

A committee of a dozen enthusiastic volunteers recently convened for this project. We have two immediate tasks:

Some of us are going to collect new data with and ISTE Standards based survey on how our students use their iPads for school after three years of experience. Others will review the five chapters of the the book to consider what to weed out and what to update.
Page 11 of the iMercy first edition
Besides bringing fresh data analysis into iMercy there will obviously be some new content in the following areas:

*Paperless Grading with Schoology

*Paperless assignment workflow with Schoology

*New technology focused courses like Photo, Film and Animation

We hope to have the new edition updated by mid-July. Of course I will keep you posted!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Student Resumes Re-imagined, When Tech Makes Things Worse, and other Cool Stuff

7 Things I Would Like to Say to Professors in Teacher Prep Programs
#5. If you really want to stay abreast of the latest breakthroughs in pedagogy, read fewer journals and visit more classrooms.

The 5 Best Sources For Animated GIF Images

I’m convinced that the animated GIF reveals something about humanity. Present your average person with a repetitive moving picture and they’ll become absolutely entranced. I’ve lost many hours of my life to dancing bears and dogs doing barrel rolls.
The Student Resume Re-imagined
In essence Sarah’s site is a digital portfolio that showcases her creative student work.  The home page identifies three main categories describing the type of work she is showcasing – Media Gallery, Graphic Design Portfolio, Art-Stagram.  The best part is that she developed the site on her own free will.

OSAMR Model – When Tech Makes it Worse
I have seen some administrators include a teachers use of the SmartBoard (or fill in the blank technology) in the lesson evaluation. This does not take into account if the SmartBoard was the right tool for that lesson. The thinking is that a lot of money was spent on the technology so it should be used. Financial expenditures should not outrank student needs, engagement and learning.

The Death of Textbooks?
Artificially intelligent software is reshaping traditional teaching materials—but it's unclear what the new technology will take away from the learning experience.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

iWizards = Leadership

Katie, center; Principal Carolyn Witte, right
It was my pleasure introduce Katie Birecki for her 2015 Optimist Leadership Award in Farmington, MI. Each of the four local high schools had one 11th grade recipient. Katie is a charter member of the Mercy iWizards, a group which was formed when Mercy adopted the iPad for all freshmen in 2012.  Consequently I had the benefit of  observing Katie in authentic leadership roles her entire time at Mercy High School. Here is a shortened version of what I said about her:

During her ninth grade she helped plan and execute a three hour iPad orientation for our new students.  She was vitally involved in this project and took and even higher profile last year when, again, we planned the new student orientation.  Last year, after we were named an Apple Distinguished School, we were visited by many school leaders and members of the media.  Invariably I asked Katie to participate in these sessions as an iWizard representative. . . . She was a team leader for our iCreate workshop for Middle School students. 

Recently she and I were among five co-editors who published a collection to iTunes called iPad Tips and Tricks by MHS iWizards. If you visit you will see her picture gracing the cover.  Furthermore, she was one of three iWizards who accompanied me to Cobo Center to deliver a break-out session about iWizards at MACUL, the state’s largest educational technology conference. 

Katie is intelligent, sincere and utterly responsible.  She is incredibly generous with her time and sets the very best example for other students when she serves as an iWizard leader. She is entirely deserving of this award from the Optimists.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Baker's Half-Dozen Quotes at the Drive-thru

mag3737 via Compfight cc

“Classrooms and educations need to be places of infectious passion”.  —Adam Bellow 

“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow”. —John Dewey

“Technology will never replace great teachers, but tech in the hands of great teachers is transformative” —Erin Klein

“Social media doesn't cause ignorance, but it is very effective at documenting it.” —Curt Rees

“We have to examine our practices in a public way to change our pedagogy and our approach.” —Jason Flom

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Break!

I’ve had some fun with educational technology over spring break.  No heavy lifting . . . . straight fun!

For instance, some of the students and staff at Mercy have been exploring the iWizards’ iPad Tips and Tricks on Schoology. Consequently they have been earning our animated GIF badges which I have been more than happy to award.  Some like Mrs. Kline-Kator have earned all thirteen so they have home pages that light up like Christmas trees:

Over the past couple of months I have been scouting talent for 2016 Tech Talk. I keep a stockpile of interesting potential presenters in Evernote.  Over the break, I have been rating them on a set of criteria such as interest to Mercy staff, topic variety, expertise, proximity.  I have LAO been looking up contact info and following on Twitter when possible.  Folks like Jillian Johnson who rated an A+, don't know yet I'm "stalking" them.  But I hope that they will come to Tech Talk when I contact them next school year!

For Wednesday's webcast of Preview ISTE 2015 I had the good fortune of being teamed up with Kristen Swanson for the hour segment on professional development. She was a hard act to follow. Kristen is edcamp co-founder and delivered a terrific 20 minute presentation on the movement.  For those who don't know, here are the general features of these "unconferences":


*non-commercial and conducted with a vendor-free presence

*made up of sessions that are determined on the day of the event by the participants

*events where anyone who attends can facilitate a session

*reliant on the “law of two feet” that encourages participants to find a session that meets their needs

Typical of ISTE events, I took away more than I contributed.

Oh yes, there was one other ed techie thing that I did over break.  As you can see, I blogged!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"Preview ISTE 2015" Today

One of my slides from "Preview ISTE 2015"

Today at 7:00PM ET, I will be participating in "Preview ISTE 2015". Kristen Swanson and I are featured in the Professional Development segment. Kristen Swanson will present on "Reimagining Professional Development with the EdCamp Model.  I have a twenty minute segment on "Outside of the Box Peer-to-Peer Tech Training Strategies".  Steve Hargadon and Kristin Hokanson will be moderating our one hour segment.

ISTE's description of the webinar:

The slides I will use:

I will include the following media and references . . . 

Mercy 2.0 Labs (The first 25 seconds).

Alison Kline-Kator's interview 

Taylor's iWizard Interview

Becoming a Digital School Administrator

The iWizard's New Student iPad Orientation


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Educational Uses for Facebook, Twitter, iPad Features and Much More

Is Facebook the New School Web Page?
Colleen Dickmann, superintendent for Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools, sees clear advantages to using Facebook for school-to-home communication. “Using social media allows us, as a school district, to tell our story in the manner we want it told. We can publish stories that otherwise might not make it into the local media’s hands.”

Ten Ways Teachers Can Make the Best of Twitter
For us in education, the potential of Twitter exceeds all expectations. In a relatively short span of time, Twitter evolved into one of the best educational social networking platform of choice for educators and teachers. It has also become an essential element in teachers life-long learning and a key driver of professional development. As such, I deemed it necessary that I create this short introductory guide to help those of you who are new to Twitter make the best of this tool. There are also tips and resources for advanced users as well. Enjoy
The Top 10 iPad Features That Schools Forget
9. AirDrop – . . .if you have a newer iPad you can take advantage of a great feature called AirDrop. With AirDrop enabled, you can send photos, videos and other files to another iPad or Mac wirelessly and without email. Students could use this to share photos or video clips with each other while working on a group iMovie project, or to turn in assignments to a teacher’s Macbook.

A Comprehensive Guide to The Use of Edmodo with Students
Edmodo is a powerful web-based platform that has a huge potential for us in education.  The features and functionalities  provided by Edmodo for teachers and students are invaluable and hence the importance of having access to a handy guide.

New [University of Michigan] program seeks to promote use of technology in classroom
“The purpose of the Digital Innovation Greenhouse is to take things from innovators and grow them up to maturity, to provide the support that’s needed to do that, to have the right kind of interaction between developers and users to make sure that as they develop it, it gets better,” he said. . . . “Will students be involved?” he said. “Yes, as developers, as interns, as personalization fellows to support the kinds of projects the greenhouse is focusing on initially.”

28 Apps for Challenge Based Learning Projects
From Challenge to Solution
Research: InstaPaper ($3.99) saves webpages for offline viewing; Wikipedia Mobile can be invaluable on-the-go.
Polling/SurveyingPolls Online, PollDaddy, and Socrative might help gather responses.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Short & Sweet-- Six Quotes from Ed Tech Rock Stars

Photo by abstractxpressio

“Does your school work top down or side-by-side in partnership? One will drop you on your head, right?”— Stacy Hawthorne

“Pedagogy is the driver; technology is the accelerator.” — Michael Fullan 

“Education is about using skills and information to create knowledge. The tools required to do that are not stagnant. They are continuously evolving and they are the very tools that teachers need to use to provide a relevant education to their students.” — Tom Whitby

“What if we embraced the notion we see a group of kids every single day who make our classroom the most powerful think tank in the world?” —Dr. Justin Tarte

“The questions a student asks reveal their understanding of a text more than the questions they answer.” — Sean Ziebarth

“If you are building a presentation, start by planning with questions, not focusing on giving answers.” — George Couros

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