Saturday, November 27, 2010

RSA Animates Changing Education Paradigms

I wish I could animate my lessons like this. A great message from Sir Ken Robinson illustrated by RSA Animate.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cell Phones in the Classroom? The Classic 21st Century Debate

Photo: Dru Bloomfield, Flickr
How do you feel about the use of cellphones in the classroom? Should these devices be banned? How can they be effectively used in education? In the ever-evolving world of technology and its place in the classroom, this debate is still quite heated.

At my school, cellphones are turned in by our senior (Grade 6-8) students every morning to the office and picked up at the end of the day. This practice was put into place when students were caught texting inappropriate messages to each other and also phoning parents without the teacher's knowledge. This in turn caused a problem when a student was being picked up at recess by their parent (without informing the office or the teacher) and the student then being thought of as missing. This extreme case might make one question the need to collect all the phones on an on-going basis, but the measure was put into place to prevent future problems.

I would be interested in finding out more about how these devices are used "for good" in schools. Do educators use sites like Poll Everywhere and Wiffiti to gauge student interest or to get feedback on lessons? Do you let students phone into their online persona such as a Voki to leave feedback or leave thoughts. How can these powerful devices be used effectively in education?

I was busy marking and doing other report card related tasks Saturday morning, and missed the Classroom 2.0 live session. Thanks to my PLN on Twitter, Lisa Nielsen, the Innovative Educator's blog was shared with me. (Thanks @parentella for the link.) On her blog, I found an interesting article from November 3, 2010 about the use of cell phones in the classroom that was co-written using Google Docs by George Engel, Rob Griffith, Scott Newcomb, Lisa Nielsen, Jason Sutter and Willyn Webb. In their article "10 Proven Strategies to Break the Ban and Build Opportunities for Student Learning with Cell Phones", a comprehensive guide is shared outlining the steps to use cellular devices in the classroom. I also appreciate the number of research articles that this group has shared in their article and will be checking out their list. If you are interested in the use of these devices in your classroom, you should check it out.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

K-12 Online Conference 2010

This year, I was busy juggling too many projects at work and home to attend the wonderful K-12 Online conference live. As I received emails and tweets during the conference, I saved them for a time when I could spend time watching, learning from and thinking about the many ideas shared by the many presenters at this year's conference. If you use iTunes, you are able to look at the sessions as podcasts, which I find quite handy, given my new love for the iPad. There are far too many wonderful presentations to mention. Check out the speaker list and schedule here and discover for yourself the numerous learning opportunities this online conference has to offer.

Here are a few that I found interesting:

Presenter of interest #1: Pre-conference keynote: Dean Shareski, The Moral Imperative
Shareski questions and presents the need as educators to share. Isn't that the moral foundation of being a teacher? He questions: Is sharing an obligation? Does my institution see the value in sharing? How will it help my students? After watching this video, I would like to know what you think. Obviously, if you are a reader of my blog, you will see that I am a very open educator who likes to share what I know and learn with others and provide as many opportunities for my students to do the same. This opportunity to make learning real and connected has made learning authentic for my students. I would love to know the opinions of others on the importance of sharing in education.

Cool tools I learned about in Dean's video that I need to check out were how to use my iPad as a teleprompter using iPrompt Pro and the around the neck microphone.  

Presenter of interest #2: Tony Vincent, Project Based Learning in Hand
This video was very inspiring to me. As a user of the ipod touch in my classroom and a frequent creator of authentic project based learning opportunities for my students, I couldn't help but be inspired by Tony's presentation. He managed to bring two topics together that I'm passionate about and inspire me to pursue new ways to use these devices with my students this year. This is a must see:

Presenter of interest #3: Britt Gow, Teaching Science to 21st Century Learners
As a Science Teacher to students in Grades 6-8, I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. In her video, Britt showcases how she integrates Web 2.0 tools into her lessons and includes student perspectives on the use of these tools.

There are many other speakers and topics to explore in the K-12 Online Conference. Check it out! I know you won't be disappointed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Some Reading and Viewing to add to your To Do List

I have had these tabs open in my Firefox for awhile (actually since the summer - yikes!) and have been meaning to post them on my blog for others to check out. Here are some interesting blogs and videos to check out when you have a spare moment. If you have others to share, please do!! Post your links in my comments.

8 Must Read Ed Tech Posts from SimpleK12:
  • Elizabeth talks about Jing, PLN's, Classroom Blogs, Firefox, Evernote, Empowering Students, Learning Styles and Online Communities. What more could you want?? Take a minute to check out her list.
Top 10 TED Videos for Educators (via Parentella):

  • I love TED videos. I could watch them all day if I had the time. Here are a few any educator can appreciate. Maybe you will be inspired too. This list was generated by the blog Parentella. If you have other suggestions or ideas for a Top 10 TED video list for educators, please comment. Maybe we can make our own list!
7 Videos all Educators should watch (via Free Tech for Teachers):
  • Some of these videos I've posted about before but I had to include this in my list of things to watch when you have time. Richard Byrne has done a great job compiling videos that I've seen in different venues or on different blogs around the web. Here they all are in a handy collection. Do you have one you would like to add to the mix?