- Emergency Preparedness Distance Learning - October 18, 2016
- Educational Renaissance: Veteran Teachers Vest in Change - October 10, 2016
- Breaking out of the Norm with Breakout Edu - April 29, 2016
- Mini Thought Bubble on Performance Assessments - April 12, 2016
- The Sensibilities of Mind Mapping - March 15, 2016
- Pioneering Nearpod - January 28, 2016
- Classroom Work Flow Before the Holidays - December 15, 2015
- Surviving the Doldrums of Education - December 1, 2015
- E-Sub Plans for Educators - November 17, 2015
- Presenting Missing Histories - November 2, 2015
Year 2 of 1:1 iPad classroom is in full swing. Students have their Apple I.D.s, their workhorse apps and access to the Haiku Learning Management Platform for online class resources. It has been a slow to transition back into work flow even though they are excited to game or text chat any moment a teacher leaves them with out direction. I decided to manage a balance of incentives with a high bar for product and performance. I want students to want to explore learning with as much interest in the text about as they are have in who is dating who. While this might be an impossible relative goal, denying students access to new applications as a measure for work completion piques the interest level of just enough students. The few who reach each work completion level are rewarded with opportunities to try something new and the rest battle to keep up. How do I balance work tasks in school with opportunity for play and experimentation?
Rely on the power of zero. Our school wide policy acknowledges repeat opportunities for students to hand in late work or edits as well as retake quizzes or tests. But some students will put off or misguide those who seek to monitor them with flippant responses, "it isn't due yet" and "I can do it at the end of the quarter." Entering zeroes coded as missing work exposes the impact on the overall grade and as long as a zero isn't permanent, it has a useful function. I require students who have a zero to complete assignments properly or receive 1:1 mentoring before moving onward to choice games. Recently during a study of Canada and parliamentary democracy I began the unit with a series of formative quizzes that resulted in low scores on the first attempt. Canada's parliamentary page offers several means of gaining an understanding about government through interactive readings, videos and games. I required students to play accompanying games, read and site interactives prior to a quiz retake. A quick discussion with me comparing the resources of Canada's government site to our classroom study gains the release of the retake opportunity or the guided writing edits. Games are akin to earned badges. Students will earn the right to play them and the right to improve their overall grade.
Try something untested. I have been dying to use our school's newly painted Green Room. It is literally a room painted green for the purpose of projecting background for video. I do not really understand quite how it works but I'm always willing to pilot new tools. Watching the videos that my husband, the tech integrationist makes for the faculty introduced me to idea that this tool is more than a gimmick. Students acting as a tv weatherman can interact with the virtual artifact as they present their analysis. Co teaching with the Latin teacher and the tech integrator a lesson on Classical art and imperial histories of the world gave us the opportunity to pioneer this Green Room experience. We supplied students with a bank of images, paintings, sculptures and developed our own models of video analysis using Explain Everything. Students would choose from our collection their own pieces for critical review and the workflow would conclude with a video presentation selecting from a variety of apps. Explain Everything has a Green Screen feature which we successfully test out. Some students were excited to experiment under the guidance of the tech integrationist while others chose to stay with video applications they already understood. The maker space environment was slightly different from the usual classroom pace and I liked moving from group to group assisting or observing their individualized approach to productivity. Students had the option to share their work publicly or privately for grading purposes and yet most were quite pleased to seek the wider audience.
Never ceases to be amazed. I am a fan of several google tools that have stood the test of time. I utilize google maps, I depend on google docs and calendars but I am currently in love with Open Gallery. It took an evening of watching the How To videos and then perusing all the world's museums and collections that collaborate with Open Gallery. I had to wander the virtual halls of the Museum of Fine Art in Budapest. I had been there when I was 19 and I was there once more standing, turning in front of art pieces. Open Gallery also allows you to build your own collections and set compared pieces side by side. We used my collection in the Classical art lesson with great success. The imagery of each piece was so clear, presented so vividly that audible gasps filled the library during our art exploration. Students were asking if they could curate their own galleries for our next lesson instead of my own. How could I resist?