What I Learned From Fellow Bloggers!

This Semester in Ed Media Apps, every students created a blog. Throughout the semester I have checked out several of my peers blogs, and learned a lot about great resources out there for educators, as well as benefited from my peers perspective on different topics. Here are three of my favorite posts from this semester.

  1. Twiddla: My good friend Sara incorporated the very interesting, free tool to help with communication and collaboration with students, Twiddla. The website allows for you to write and draw on any websites, graphics or documents. You can also have students communicate with this tool using audio to brainstorm on a project when both students are in different locations.I think Twiddla is a great tool that I will explore more on in the future. I like that you can invite many people to join the project and interaction, and it is always a bonus to be free for teachers to use! To see more of what Sara has to say on other Education Topics visit her blog here!

2. Stephanie has gone above and beyond with her blog, it looks amazing and she shares a lot of great information on it. I would highly encourage you to check out her blog here. One post of Stephanie’s that I really enjoyed was Developing My Digital Footprint. In this post Stephanie talks about the importance of developing your digital foot print as an educator as well as your Personal Learning Network. I really liked the way Stephanie formatted her post with all of the links to resources on how to develop these two things, as well discussing her concerns and plans, it definitely got me thinking about what more I could be doing to use the internet to better prepare for my future career. I also appreciated the note that developing a PLN leads to more people to bounce ideas off of and share resources and lessons plan ideas with to collaborate in creating the best learning environment for our students, which in the end is the ultimate goal of education. 🙂

3. Each of the students were asked to have incorporate a guest blogger into their blog this semester. Paula had asked the Instructional Technology and Information Specialist, Kris McCoy, from Mineral Point to guest blog for her. I really enjoyed this post for two reasons. One I thought it was great to here someone of Kris’s position explain the importance of SAMR and digital learning to engage our students. It really validates what we have been learning all semester in Ed Media Apps. I also thought it was cool to read about the opportunities that Google and Google for Education Training has to offer. I definitely will be looking in to this training to boost my resume and become more prepared for my future in education. Check out the blog post for yourself here or Paula’s entire blog here!

I want to give a shout out to everyone in Ed Media Apps for your great work with the blogs, they all look fantastic! 🙂

Flipped Classroom

The flipped classroom is a new wave of instruction where homework and lecture components in the classroom are switched. The instructor makes video lectures for students to watch outside of the classroom and then when the class meets there is a group activity to work on the concepts presented in the videos and then homework work time. I first was exposed to this style of teaching in my Discrete Math course at UW Platteville, but have also worked with cooperating teaching in my service learning and pre student teaching courses that incorporated the ideas of a flipped classroom into their classes.

Benefits: 

  • Students are able to ask questions and work through material with their peers and the instructor.
  • Students are able to pause videos and re watch them to review for assessments or when the concepts re appear later in the school year.
  • There are opportunities to make instruction shorter and more engaging focusing on the issues that all students are struggling with during the actual classroom meeting.

Concerns: 

The only concern I have with a flipped classroom is using it in a district where technology is not provided to each student. Some students may not have a computer or the internet available in their home, and without watching the videos in a flipped classroom the students will fall behind quickly.

Flipped Classroom Tools: 

If you are interested in incorporating a flipped classroom into your instruction, there are a lot of great tools out there. In this post I will outline two of my favorites that I have found.

  • Explain Everything

    • This is a great app available on the App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, and Chrome Web Store. A quick disclaimer, this app does cost $2.99 to download, but the features and quality of video is worth the purchase. When you open the app you start with a board space and you can pick from 4 background colors. You can add text, video, pictures, or drawings that you add yourself. Something useful that I have found as a math teacher is writing equations and examples out on the slides using the different color pen methods to highlight certain steps throughout the process to keep organized. After you have made your slides, you can record your voice and audio for each individual slide. This is beneficial so that the audio does not have to be one continuous file like in other apps, allowing you to be able to eliminate unnecessary gaps in sound. This is also useful for rerecording audio because you can isolate specific sections.
      • To learn more or download the app visit here!

 

  • TEDed

    • TEDed is a very cool free resource available from any device that has internet access. Disclaimer, if you choose to make a TEDed lesson, your students need to have an account to view it. On TEDed you can build a lesson for your students based on any of the videos in the TEDed library. These videos are quick, fun, and engaging full of lots of color and examples. After the students watch the video there are options to add questions for them to answer and discussion boards for them to participate in. There are a variety of subjects and topics to choose from,  the options are endless. In my opinion, TEDed offers great extra resources for students to be exposed to material and ideas in an avenue that plays to their interest.
      • Check out TEDed for yourself here!

Guest Blog Post

My guest blogger is Adam DeWitt. He is currently the principal at Oconto Middle School and was previously my middle school principal at Marinette Middle School. In this post  that he has shared with me, he discusses some of the technology tools he learned about at the ISTE 2014 Conference.

10 ISTE 2014 Takeaways

When a conference the size of ISTE unfolds, it is hard to outline all of my learnings in a single post.  So, to help me solidify my learning from the collective cadre of educators I am providing my list of 10 takeaways.

10.  Vendors.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the vendors that supported the ISTE effort.  Obviously, they stand togain from their interest in ISTE, but without their investment in learning, the ISTE Conference would be drastically different and not for the better.

9.  Aurasma.  An augmented reality tool that allows you to see and interact with the world differently.  Augmented reality is just beginning to make an impact in education, but its potential looms large on the horizon.  Social media giant Facebook would agree.  Facebook purchased another augmented reality set of goggles for a cool $2 billion dollars.   Pretty cool that Aurasma is much cheaper!  One presenter, James Kapptie (@jpk38) provided an interactive session with ISTE attendees outside for an unconventional approach.  Great idea Mr. Kapptie.

8.  Diigo.  This isn’t a new tool, but when you realize how many experts use this tool to store their web searches to share with the world, why not use it too.  Allen November is willing to share his Diigo library with the world and I am better for it.  If Diigo is blocked in your school and district, be a change agent and ask for it to be unblocked.  Our students are social learners.  Let’s help them maximize their learning with this very affordable tool, free.

7.  Story Telling.  Telling stories has always been a great way to share information in an engaging way.  Steve Dembo (@teach42) shared an entire bag of tricks in relation to story telling using Youtube and other video tools.  Instead of listing all of his tricks, enjoy the Prezi.  If you ever get the chance to listen and interact with Steve be ready to learn and laugh.  Great presenter!

6.  Search Operators.  Google doesn’t think in English terms.  Allen November made a great case for us to provide our students with challenges that force them to think like the people on the other side of the argument.  He asked the audience to find “schools that teach The American Revolution in England”.  Searching the terms verbatim provide a much different set of results than:  site:sch.uk “American Revolution”.  We must prepare our students for solving problems and using search more accurately could be a first step.  Check out these resources provided by Google.

5.  Youtube.  Students learn better when they have choices.  There is a little known tool within Youtube called annotation.  The annotation tool will allow you to annotate the videos and could also lead to the creation of videos that allow students to choose the ending of the story.  Very engaging.

4.  Voxer.  This isn’t the newest tool out there, but it became a great way to coordinate while meeting others at ISTE 2014.  Voxer would also be a great tool for mass communication with students on field trips.  Essentially, it is a free walkie talkie app on steroids.

3.  Remind.  Some 7th grade teachers at Marinette Middle School experimented with this app during this past school year.  This could be another way to connect with families on the go in short memos about anything related to school.  Be careful to not over communicate!  Building relationships just got a bit easier.  However, don’t use this tool as the only form of communication.  Talking to people is still a valued skill.

2.  Kahoot.  Are you looking to engage your students more this year?  Kahoot describes themselves as an easy-to-use, game-based, blended learning & classroom engagement tool for schools, universities & businesses.  Steve Dembo and Adam Bellow demonstrated how to use Kahoot during one of the sessions at ISTE 2014 and we were all engaged.  Flip Kahoot and have the students create the Kahoot for whole class reviews based on different learner needs.  The tool is easy to use and highly engaging.

1.  My biggest takeaway from ISTE 2014 yielded little in terms of technology.  Each keynote, session host, and exhibitor that I chatted with talked about students first and technology second, third, or further away from the instruction.  Our closing keynote was the 2013 Teacher of the Year, Jeff Charbonneau.  He said it best when he summed up the conference in one four letter word, KIDS.  Keep our kids at the center of what we do and the achievement scores will take care of themselves.  Good teaching hasn’t changed, just the tools.  Education will always be a people first service.  Thanks ISTE for a great conference!!!

 

Kahoot!

Kahoot! is a tool for formative assessment that I was introduced to this semester during my pre-student teaching experience at Platteville Middle School. A Kahoot! is a collection of questions on any specific subject, lesson, or topic.There are thousands of premade Kahoot’s by teachers, students, business professionals, community members and more. During a Kahoot! questions are asked in real-time, allotting a pre determined amount of time for each question. Each Kahoot! has a personalized pin number that can be entered on any smart phone or tablet device for an unlimited number of  students to participate. This type of assessment allows the students to socialize and have fun and be competitive in a game like setting while also actively engaging with the content. During the Kahoot! points are given for a correct answer as well as speed and at the end of each question the top 5 players names are shown on the screen, or SMART board. My students always looked forward to the days when we did a Kahoot! in class!

 In my experience, Kahoot! is a great review activity before an exam, as well as a great pre and post assessments to gauge the effectiveness and success of a lesson. Kahoot’s are free and easy to use. You can create an account and use any of the many available pre made Kahoots or even create and edit your own. I would highly reccommend incorporating Kahoot into your classroom, your won’t regret it and your students will love it!

To learn more  and try Kahoot! on your own visit: Kahoot! or check out this tutorial here: How to Use Kahoot!

Enjoy! 🙂

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SAMR Model

SAMR

The SAMR model is an education technology integration model that stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. To learn more about SAMR check out the following resources for incorporating SAMR in any content area: SAMR Model: Technology is Learning and 8 Examples of SAMR Lessons

Here is a link to a video I made explaining SAMR use in a mathematics classroom as well: MISSION EDUCATION: The SAMR Model

After exploring the SAMR model and the benefits of technology integration in the classroom, I am going to strive to reach the Modification and Redefinition levels of the model as often as I can to give my students the best learning opportunities. However, I know that being realistic, some days and lessons that level of integration will not be possible due to available resources and time for instruction. I will make the most of the resources offered to me in my school district and continue to research and learn throughout my career as a teacher to help my students become even more engaged and invested in their learning of mathematics.

Things That Make me go”Hmmm…”: Google Drive

This semester I am learning a lot about what a powerful tool Goggle Drive is in my Educational Media Applications class. Google Drive is allowing for students to work collaboratively with students in other sections of the same class, whether in the same school or across the country, have access to materials they have created or that are created by their teacher from any computer, and so much more. Google drive is changing how teachers can structure and assign projects. Group work is made easier and hands on learning is more accessible. Teachers and school districts should care and explore this tool to take advantage of the opportunity to actively engage students in their learning, by allowing students to create something that they can feel proud of and invest in. As a future math teacher, I am still exploring all that Google has to offer me in resources. One avenue off of Google Drive that I have enjoyed exploring is Google +, a website in the spirit of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, where people share articles, resources, projects and tools, among other things, that can be extremely beneficial in your classroom. I would love to know more about what specifically how other Math teachers at the Middle and High School level are incorporating Google Drive into their classroom. I would also like to know student’s perspectives on using Google Drive in their classrooms, is it something they enjoy, or do they enjoy Microsoft software better? I have a lot more research to do before I am an expert on all Google Drive has to offer. If you are also curious on how to use and incorporate Google Drive into your classroom explore these two sites: 31 Tips for Using Google Drive and 100 Ways to Use Google Drive in the Classroom

🙂

google drive