Saturday, November 24, 2012

IN - te - Gr8?


We Must.

....great opportunities to collaborate, teachers as facilitators, students as teachers, teachers as learners, colleagues as teachers, colleagues as students, administrators as facilitators, learning together, occasionally failing together, media specialists as angels, tech integration specialists in demand, IT coordinators as overburdened mechanics. All of these are possible 'who's who' in the world of technology integration in public education.

....taking small steps, trying one tool at a time, collaborate and investigate what colleagues are doing...join in.

.......NOW, or sooner. Just one step, at the least - educating ourselves, reading, working, use tutorials.

...pick a class to start in, reflect, tweak, reapply, look for other opportunities. Just don't get stuck on one tool, and use it to gets boring for kids, and limits learning and possibilities. If we work in a team teaching approach and expose our students to a variety of tools and give them some latitude of which to apply to what, AND WHY...then we are facilitating some higher order thinking skills.

....with an open mind, acceptance of some failures, trial and error...reflection.

The biggest shift for me has been from thinking
 I had to be the expert, 
to learning alongside my students, 
trading knowledge with them, 
expanding both our bases. 

Still haven't met the perfect PLN...haven't given up...just...TIME

This picture is kind of why I haven't gotten my PLN going....

I feel like I am going to be hit by that wagon, and that little bluebird is taunting me......

I can barely keep up with the Diigo, it's a great idea....I have added lots of content, I like the tagging so I can find stuff....I do still want to know if there is a way to move my mass of bookmarks over to it?....and now, imagining the time it would take to tags a hundred or so bookmarks.....back under that wagon.

Blogger is great....and I have become much more proficient, although not typical, I guess. I use it more in my classes. One measurement of how far I've come with this is that previously, when I searched, I would skips past all the blogs....bad attitude, I guess. Now, many of them are in my Diigo.

Twitter is my roadblock now. I just can't imagine figuring that into my life. I don't want to spend any more time on keypads, reading screens, swimming through the vast amount of content. Twitter is one of the three pillars of PLN as described by Miguel Guhlin.  

Now, I know....he mentioned the panic attack, the overwhelming amount of content, and all these similar fears.  I understand the notion of 'grab the wheel', direct how you interact with all this content, I do.  I guess I am just at a slower pace. Some days, I just dread having to come in and blog, or write a paper etc....I tend to compartmentalize my life...priorities are fluid but my children, home, getting outside, happiness, friends, pets, work, students, grad work, 2nd job, projects.....I want to keep up on things, but in perspective, in balance. I guess I am working to get there. 

Work is a bit out of balance right now, more of a looming mountain...Student Council has a lot going on, my GSA is back up and running and needs a lot of front loading, NEASC accreditation committees, who knows.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's NOT About the Tool.....

We can't help it....
       it's NEW....
               it's FUN...
                     the students are PSYCHED
                                                                 ...Let's Do It!!! 

Then it happens, you pour too much time on the tool...the objective gets a little lost..and you are not sure about the product.

Front loading can not be underestimated in my mind... no matter what you call it:

"Let the Essential Question drive the project"
"Don't loose focus...Stick to the Standard you are addressing"

Take one lesson, or one project...keep it all except, in one step add the blog, the wiki, whatever. Maybe it's the brainstorming session, instead of using class time, ask students to do a quick blog about ideas as homework. then move to the next step as you usually would. Maybe it's the collaborative rubric...this is where I started...usually we do on the SmartBoard, or even the whiteboard, what would the ideal finished product look like? Then move the descriptors into categories (criteria), weight the criteria, polish and print. Perfect job for a wiki!! 

The point being, we are just switching mediums to start. As we do, we see the abilities of the students to collaborate, and the potential of that. BOOM, we are on our way to facilitating, leading students to uncover, discover, and question....and away from being the limiting factor in the front of the room dishing out content.

Assessing...I believe that infusing the technology pieces in, is a great place to get into formative assessment. I like a skills checklist for these sections...I want to know if they were able to get through the process of infusing it which isn't usually a problem for students. I am hoping to develop a rubric, that has a large part that is consistent no matter the assignment because it will assess the 21st Century Learning Objectives. Once we have educated the students fully about what they mean, they can be written in a global format that may require all of us to critically analyze, and apply the content to it???? IDK....that's where I am at right now.

Objectives guide the lesson.
Technology is a tool to bring out student potential.
Formative assessment can be useful for measuring skills application.
Summative assessment focuses on meeting the objectives.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

About Podcasting...

As for my foray into podcasting....hmmmm...searching for a topic.
Here's what I came up with after watching the two Project Based Learning in Hand videos.

Maybe it is because I am so very visual, but I have had a difficult time joining in on the Podcast arena. I do listen to some, they are mostly missed segments from NPR. I have even used a few in my upper level classes. 
I like it when I can find a series of podcasts on a particular Health topic. then I can have students listen to individual ones, and bring them together to report out on the varying aspects they heard, to the larger group. 
Sometimes though...I find students have difficulty

 ....just listening. Since the mode of delivery is the computers at school with headphones, they end up having several windows open, multi-tasking, and only partially listening. I can relate to this, it's hard sometimes. 
My love affair with all things NPR is because I am in the car, driving, and require another outlet or I will daydream five miles past my exit!!!

Here is a link to my favorite one-time podcast. It is my older son Jake's. 
A little background. 
First: He and his friend Hannah are trying to impersonate an NPR 'tone'. They are both very knowledgeable about NPR.

Second: It is not meant to demean religion, it is just their quirky sense of humor.

Third: It began one night when they were walking to town, found a stick, held on to it, and got silly. They were broke and hungry (for food other than the college car which they both had access to!!!). Outside the local place, the aroma's were intoxicating, they asked their stick, as if a magic wand, for some delicious pizza, ...out came this large biker dude and girlfriend, arguing over how they were going to ride with a pizza box of leftovers...they saw the kids, gave them their pizza and ....these two decided then and there, to begin a faux philosophy called 'stickism', complete with quasi-comandments, and the embedded podcast from their Tumblr page

Listen at Your Own Risk!!!

As for my foray into podcasting....hmmmm...searching for a topic.
Here's what I came up with after watching the two Project Based Learning in Hand videos.

Project Based Learning in Hand

listen to ‘Project Based Learning in Hand’ on Audioboo

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Aidan In Motion

My Aidan In Motion

Here's my Animoto video about my younger son Aidan. I have used Animoto in the classroom before, mostly with my middle school students making Wellness Models a few years ago. It has changed a bit but still super easy to work with.

I can't wait to show Aidan this video tomorrow!!