Friday, December 18, 2009
Heading into our holiday season, I felt like sharing something slightly less academic. Of course there are clearly some educational uses for music in the classroom. Grooveshark makes finding specific songs and playlists simple and allows you build your own mixes from music you discover as well as music from your collection. They also make sharing playlists and songs easy with Twitter and Facebook integration.
Have a listen and happy holidays.
Direct link: http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/playlist/Link+Of+The+Week+Music+Playlist/21844851
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Enter the DLF - "The Data Liberation Front is an engineering team at Google whose singular goal is to make it easier for users to move their data in and out of Google products."
Hooray for data portability. After all it's mine.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
And here is a direct link to my ipadio page.
Good afternoon, this is link of the week no. 5 and I am testing out a phonecasting site called ipadio. I set up the account. It wasn't too difficult to do from a website and then set up 2 phones, my work phone and my home phone so that I could call from either of those phones and do an ipadio broadcast. Probably would be easier to use a cell phone if you have one which I don't but I have Dan couple little test, ipadio recordings and they turned out pretty well. I actually just did a recording using Audasity(?) which allowed me to do a little bit of editing unlike the phone call and then uploaded that Audasity(?) filed in an MP3 format to my ipadio account and.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I wanted to share tools for sharing and help build connections with educators in my county. I learned quickly that most of the tools for sharing are blocked even for staff (Twitter, Ning, YouTube). Unfortunately, my participants also share access to computers running Windows 98, staff computers running Deep Freeze to prevent "misuse", and a general lack of technology in the classrooms for students. So my presentation must have sounded like the "Wah Wah Wah" of the teacher from Peanuts to some.
But I still love sharing, and I heard and saw examples yesterday of great uses of blogging in the classroom, using interactive white boards, Moodle courses and using Google Docs. I could have focussed my session on any one of these tools and been the soul source of information, but instead small groups formed in the afternoon and I let my participants take charge. Some shared and some received and as a group we covered more. Hopefully, the sharing won't be completely broken by blocked access and frustration, and the process will continue. I also admired the willingness, in spite of frustration, to explore resources like Twitter and Ning while we had access together.
24 hours later I am responding to e-mails, tweets, and forum posts from some of my participants. I'm excited to start the real work behind my session, making meaningful connections, sharing commonalities, and looking for answers. And hopefully there are conversations related to our session happening beyond my network; even if it's grumbling about the fact that I talked about a lot ideas and tools that will never see the light of day in their school.
My thanks to all, and my apologies to those who were disappointed with my presentation style and content. I welcome your feedback and look forward to keeping the conversation going.
I'd also like to share the link to our etherpad document. It's messy and unrefined, but I love it's potential. It's also "read only" for purposes of this blog post, just in case ; )
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
How then do you keep the learning momentum of the class when half the class is on vacation? Homework? Free day? How about opening a Moodle chat room and allowing students in school and on vacation to participate in a synchronous collaborative lesson? Check! Ok, so there was an optional homework assignment for those who could not or chose not to participate, but roughly 11 students did participate in the chat.
In one case, the mother of a student called the ATA just prior to the scheduled chat and explained that their internet was down. After some discussion of options the student decided to walk to a friends house to get online and participate. This is big - these students came to class (virtually) on Vacation!
BTW. Students in Mrs. Manley's class regularly use Moodle chats in class to facilitate "silent" class discussions after completing assigned work. And the rules of the chat are always reiterated. Moodle chat rooms are only accessible to enrolled students with the option of being "turned off" when the teacher is unable to moderate. A log of the chat, along with each student entry and a tally of total entries is also available. This makes assessing participation possible and accountability easier to enforce.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Just remember that the weblink is really your only way back to the recording since there is no account to save it to. And every recording is more or less public once you share the link or embed the Vocaroo player. Just for fun you can try it out below.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Here is a video tutorial on using Google Docs Forms to build a quick collaborative bookmarking and research resource for your class.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Users can submit their BrainyPic or Flix after a simple sign up or by using Facebook Connect. Sign-up also gives users access to voting and comments.
BrainyPics asks users choose a word from a drop down menu "word bank", upload a picture, give credit to the photos source :), and then write a caption using the word correctly. Flix uses a similar word bank, but videos must be uploaded to a video host like YouTube and then embedded. Submissions receive votes for being either a "great sentence" or "questionable usage", or users can add comments.
This is a great example of students creating their own learning resources and combines basic social networking features that make the site engaging and collaborative. I only wish I could add the word "repertoire".
Friday, November 6, 2009
This week I am featuring drop.io a website that describes itself as "Simple real-time sharing, collaboration, and presentation". Here's how they put it:
Thursday, October 29, 2009
After showing her how to navigate the controls for zooming in and out and panning across the continents we toured the globe and identified each of the continents. She chose to look at images from Asia first and started zooming in until Panaramio's blue square icons came into view. Clicking on the icon opened a photograph of people or landmarks. She then had to decide if the image met the criteria for the assignment. Clicking on the image a second time opened the image in a web browser. We created a notebook for her photos in Zoho Notebook and then dragged the image into the notebook using the Zoho Notebook browser extension. (Side note: I prefer Google Notebook, but they have discontinued support for the browser extension). Update: a Google Notebook extension for FireFox v. 3.5 can be found here.
Soon she was exploring on her own, finding interesting photos and adding them to her notebook. She noticed that many areas didn't have photos available which led to a discussion about the natural features like deserts and mountains and why people live closer to water and coastlines. Afterwards, we looked at her notebook and picked out the photos that best fit the criteria before printing.
I was impressed by how quickly she adapted to the use of the mouse for navigating in Google Earth, her ability to work in multiple applications at once, and her critical thinking skills for selecting appropriate photographs.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Much of the conversation in last week's blogging discussion centered around the comments and discussions that exist after the blog is posted. I have not had any comments so far, or so I thought, until I checked a few minutes ago and found that two comments posted weeks ago by my colleague were waiting in my comment moderation queue. I've opened up my comment moderation settings and set my e-mail notification up so hopefully I won't miss any more.
Which brings me to the point of my post. I have also started using Twitter this year - twitter.com/kithard. Sure, many of my posts fall silently into the twitter stream, but some have generated responses or been retweeted. Because of Twitter I can say that I am being heard and that I am part of a Professional Learning Network. So far I cannot say the same of blogging.
So should I continue to blog? The value of a long form writing platform has its place and I have turned to blogging as public repository for what I've learned and what I feel I can teach. But the quick format of Twitter has made what I am doing visible to others in a very immediate way and helped connect me with other ed tech professionals.
What do you think?
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Google Docs includes a simple tool for checking the readability score and grade level readability of anything you write. Students can easily check their readability score and grade level readability and then use revision strategies to raise their readability scores.
This tool can also be used as a UDL strategy. Paste an article or shorter reading assignment into Google Docs and check the readability score. Edit difficult vocabulary, remove extraneous sentences or paragraphs, or rewrite sentences to lower the readability score.
I wonder what would happen if students were asked to use their cell phones to explain relationships in an ecosystem by taking pictures of examples from hockey practice, the skate park, or the mall. They could submit the photos to a shared photo site online, and the next day the teacher could project these images for a discussion. Finding examples of geometric shapes, literary devices, or genetic traits might also work. And while they are shooting photos that night we might also send a text message quiz question to reinforce a specific concept. The same assignment could be completed with a digital camera and a web posted quiz question (no cell phone), or with hand drawn examples and a sealed envelope quiz question for students with minimal technology (ok, I'm reaching here). But perhaps the incentive of using a cell phone or having your photos used the next day for discussion would entice our "homework loving" students to learn while they live.
I think learning what we teach while engaged in their personal activities might help to cement the connections and concepts we are trying to teach. And if that doesn't work, I'd try playing the didgeridoo while stiltwalking.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Several steps were involved in setting up this internet broadcast including the set up our free ustream account. Finding the right combination of Webcam and microphone was a challenge but worth the effort since sound and video were both quite nice for our students. It also required a coordinated effort from our teachers to prepare their rooms to project the broadcast and run audio through our phonic ear speaker system.
I was very impressed with the quality of the presentation and the student's attentiveness. My kudos to everyone involved.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
(updated) My blog has stagnated over the past months as I begin to utilize microblogging tools such as Twitter and FriendFeed. Will Richardson mentioned a similar phenomenon when he was keynoting @ the 21st Century Learning Symposium in Port Huron, MI. So is it fair to use a service like ping.fm to post status updates to my blog? The posts are short and lack the visual pizazz of a multimedia blog post. Is microblogging just noise or does it adequately break the silence?
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Sorry again for the unedited notes from MACUL
Working with a disruptive unmotivated population
Using moodle – computerized everything he has.
Choosing to teach in the most effective manor regardless of the failed state outcomes
Teaching inquiry based requires some level of intrinsic motivation. His experience is it only works with motivated students.
Today's teacher has to be incredible. Normal won't cut it. Teachers last less than five years
Using a split class environment – computers for half and inquiry for half.
Has 16 computers for his room using a 10,000 dollar grant.
- Every kid 100% engaged. They don't always finish, but they do work.
- Inquire, Innovation (split the classs – essentially teaching 2 courses at once), individualization
- Using 4 stations of 4 desktop computers
- Does a physics demo using a nail bed but it doesn't work to engage.
- Enrollement key moodle is course name small letters
- Online Moodle assessments
- Grade by assessment or portfolio – Demonstrate 70% satisfactory work
- Late work is overlooked if it is completed
- redifining community
- study what we use - with any tech or technique we should look at the impact, the value the cost
- articulate our fears
- write a new story
- we fail to see the disconnect and understand the critical effects of any tech
- What would the warning label be on the tech we adopt, how does it affect us socially, personally, physically. Shine a flashlight the tools and see the scope of their impact.
- It's ubiquitous
- it's invasive
- it's rapidly changing
- it's resocializing
- sovereignty - who controls whom
- technology is determining human endeavor - if you have the internet you will surf, if you have a car you will drive whether we need to or not.
- If you can have what we want we can have the school we want
- It's not about the gear the it's about the story, what is the story we want to tell about our schools. We have to engage proactively.
- Disocciated action (place) many activities independent of where we are physcially
- leveraged action (power) we can use a tool without seeing the effect
- generalized action (anyone) ownership rights, copy right, asking the open ended questions about our digital actions
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Most interesting question posed so far is when will your school transition from traditional closed book tests to open sourced tests using questions designed to apply information with no limitations on source of info (computers, cell phones, groups).
Now he's discussing how we can put students to work finding the assignments that will address our most difficult concepts. Shifting control to the students.
All children will become curriculum researchers. It's important to assign roles and tasks to students. The importance of researching other viewpoints. Google search "site: ac.uk "General Gage" to refine search results.
Custom Search in Google. Design a custom search engine for your class. This would be useful for our current renewable energy unit. Must have a Google account to customize. Student designed search engines are "more fun". Collaborative: the work of one students contributes to the benefit of all students.
Screencasting tools for student demonstration. The public context of web publishing makes student work important. A different voice explaining a concept may have a greater impact on learning amongst peer groups than the single voice of the teacher according to research.
Student Jobs: Research design team, search engine design team, tutorial design team.
Adding technology to schools is not enough. Real jobs are what make learning important.
Information and global communication planning versus technology planning. Assume we need equipment and move on to the bigger picture of what information and communication we going to generate.
Apologies for any typos.