Alan Kay said, "Technology is anything that wasn't around when your where born." What most teachers consider technology, students consider life. Those of us born before the year 1990 are light years behind the "Technology Natives" who inhabit our classrooms on a daily basis. If we are to earn our citizenship (read remain relevant to our students) in this world of QR codes and URLs, our outlook has to change. How often we see technology as a hindrance to our teaching style and more of an inconvenience than anything else? While we fully expected the lecture, worksheet, repeat method and accepted this as effective teaching, our students DO NOT, and are expecting YOU to speak their technology language. Digital Natives are active learners, and it's our responsibility to keep up with them, not the other way around. So, how do we get there from here? Take a moment to watch this video and see education from a Digital Native's Perspective.
BlockPosters.com is a simple online tool that creates big results. This tool allows users to upload a picture, choose a size, and download the finished product. Using "tile" printing techniques, this program can increase the size of any photo to an incredible 10 page wide image. This is a great way to draw attention in a BIG way! Get creative with whatever subject you teach with blockposters.com
When trying to use technology into the classroom, many feel that if teachers create a Power Point, then they are using technology. However, even though this is a great starting point, the goal is to have the students need the technology in order to take learning to a higher level. Now people always say that the technology cannot replace what the teacher does in the classroom and that is true. However, technology can take a lesson and go in an entire new level by reaching through communication with experts, videos, collaborating with others, and many other ways. What if you give the students a problem and they need to find creative ways in order to solve that problem. Students will now need to look for ways to gain information so that they can effectively solve the problem. You as the teacher are now guiding the students towards the end result and letting them determine their own learning. Students are in an age now that if they need to know how to do something, they can go to Google and find multiple ways to solve it or go on YouTube and watch a video to solve the issue. As a teacher, if students can take control of their learning, you as the teacher can now take that foundation and go to the next level. With technology, the classroom does not have to be restricted by the four walls in your room.
Attempting to start something new can always be scary and being afraid that it won’t work can hamper the process. Technology is a great tool that when used correctly can take a basic concept and expand into a deep thinking conversation or search for curiosity that you do not have to have an answer for. You know what, that’s ok. I challenge you to do this if you are nervous about integrating technology in the classroom. Think of something you do in a normal class period and see if there is a way to modify that routine using technology. Do you have students take notes with paper and pencil? Maybe have them use an app like Show Me to record and add audio for student playback. Do you have students write an exit ticket before or at the end of class? Try Kahoot! or Socrative to generate instant feedback that allows students to discuss the results in real time. Do you want students to write summaries about their findings? Use Kidblog or My Big Campus to let students write summaries and comment on what other findings students came to. All of these address the reason you are using that technique in class but now taking it to a higher level of learning. The best part is, you were already doing these things, just revamping to what is now available.
Some of our own Crowley ISD students, teachers, and librarians are finalists in the Edublogs Awards #eddies14. Go online right now and vote for our hometown team before voting closes Monday, December 15th.
How to Vote:
1. Go to the Awards Category you want to vote on using the links below.
2. Search for the blog, website or person you want to vote for and click on the Thumbs Up icon next to it.
That’s it! If you aren't already logged in to list.ly, you can do so using a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+ account.
Crowley ISD Finalists:
Best Student Blog: Steven’s Blog – from Mrs. Morgan’s Class – 2nd Grade @Sycamore Elementary
Best Teacher Blog: The Frugal Teacher – Louise Morgan - 2nd Grade Teacher @Sycamore Elementary
Best New Blog: 2TechSavvyLibrarians – Jan Hodge & Carol Hafer - District Library Media Specialists
Best Twitter Chat Hashtags - #txlchat and #2ndChat Jan Hodge & Louise Morgan
Education is rapidly evolving to the surroundings of our kids daily. One of the evolutions that is happening right now is Game-Based learning. Learning with games is not just about playing games while a student is learning. Game-based learning is about being able to develop multiple skills with a student at one time. The game is not the reward for the learning but the learning happens through the game. Just because it is fun doesn't mean is shouldn't be hard. In this article the author tells us that there are 4 essential questions when planning to implement games into their classroom. Please take the time to read this article to effectively implement game-based learning in your classroom!
I have always liked the idea of a flipped classroom, especially as a former high school math teacher. I ran with the flipped classroom my final 2 years in the classroom, but when students watched their lessons I had no way of knowing who was prepared coming into class. EdPuzzle can help with this. EdPuzzle takes videos from sites such as YouTube, National Geographic, TedTalks, and many others or you can upload your own video. This last feature is really cool as YouTube is blocked for most student access. EdPuzzle allows you to break up a video and ask questions through key parts of the lesson to check for understanding. It also allows you to crop the video so that you are only showing the part of the video you need. Students are also given the option to re-watch that section of the video if they need to. The teacher can then check on their understanding of the topic by viewing the results and see how many times the student re-watched it or if they saw the whole video. Below is an example. Oh, did I also mention that this is free!
We have iPads in our classrooms, we know that there are a lot of cool apps, and we know that we are being told technology is a good thing in the classroom because it is supposed to be engaging and create endless possibilities unique to each student but it is not really coming together. Well don't feel alone in this; the beginnings (2-3 years) of technology integration is learning process for all of those involved. Please take a few moments to read this short article about 5 good tips to create a song learning environment with iPads. Remember it can be the little things that sometimes pull it all together for you!!
Flipping your classroom means many different things to many different teachers. Flipping your classroom is more about the idea that you spend less time with the information part of the lesson and more time on the "DO" part. Utilizing technology is one way to help you accomplish the flipped classroom idea. In this link here are seven different FREE apps that you might not have heard of before. Take some time and see how they might be useful to you in your classroom; even if you are not flipping your classroom you could use them in other ways.