Library of Congress Supporting Inquiry with Primary Sources online module

I just completed the the online module!  The module was very interesting and pointed out several methods to introduce and/or use “inquiry” based learning into your classroom.  I really liked how they demonstrated how to use primary sources in the classroom to entice students curiosity.


The great digital divide: where is the equity?

This video is a great introduction to the great digital divide that is going on right now in our classrooms across America.  The low income students do not have access to broad band.  30% of house-holds do not have access.  I have two sons and our house has limited internet access because we live in the country where high speed cable is not an option.  Our only option is satellite internet.  That means we always hope for clear weather on homework nights otherwise homework does not get done.  Of course it is faster than dial up but not much; and no where close to high speed.  We are not low income but still experience all the difficulties of completing the homework assignments especially when our boys have to down load pictures and videos.  Videos almost always crash our service because they required too much broad band.

We do the same things all low income students are doing: going to Starbucks, the library or Panera for free internet but they are usually timed.  We then talked with their teachers about staying after school to use the schools wi-fi which helped dramatically.  But our boys thought they were being punished for having to stay after school every day and got teased because we did not have high speed internet at our house.  Here is another video about this topic.

As a teacher, I am very cautious about assigning any homework that requires using the internet, especially any homework that requires downloading pictures and videos.  I make a concerted effort to allow my students to use class time to perform any heavy internet work.  I also follow the recommendations in the videos: allow the students to bring their own devices to my classroom for use in my lessons and utilize the SAMR model whenever I am able.  I don’t worry about coming up with how students have to complete a report anymore.  I allow students to develop their own method and strategy using technology to demonstrate they know my lesson/project.  Once I gave up the “how”, the students became more involved.  They loved creating their own projects using technology and their creativity is amazing! I still maintain control in my projects because they have to get the project approved by me which allows me to tweak their ideas and/or ensure their success.

Until every student has the same tools and access to technology, teachers have to level the playing field by doing most of (if not all) of the technology required work in your classroom.  Teachers must provide all of your students the same tools and access.  Otherwise we are only adding to the great digital divide.

It would be like telling half your football team to play football without a helmet.  You would be completely unfair and it has life long consequences.

Flipped Classroom for lines and angles: ED 554 Classroom exercise

The link above is to my example of a flipped classroom.  Use this code e5RDAq

I used Imovie from a Mac laptop to make my presentation from powerpoint slides that I created.  I then loaded the entire movie to Edpuzzle to incorporate questions to ensure the students could understand the concept before coming to class the next day.

I had a very difficult time talking by myself without any interaction from students.  I am very much an interactive teacher and have a difficult time when the students are very quiet.  Therefore it felt like I was teaching to a class where the students were not responsive!  It was very weird and felt like the lesson was very boring.  Plus I made many mistakes because it felt off.  It was definitely very weird experience.

I would try the showme app on the Ipad.  That technology looked more like me because it allows you to draw while on your slides while talking.  It felt more like that app could provide me more collaboration instead of just talking to slides.  I did not like my lesson because it felt like a lecture, which it was.  But with the showme app, I think it would come across more interactive and more fun.

Edmodo: a quick tutorial

Edmodo is a great tool for Educators to use in their classroom.  It is very easy to use and is a great tool for student collaboration.  Parents are able to log in and view what is going on in your class and get the homework assignments.  The neat thing is the ability to create a quiz using this tool and it will automatically calculate the grade.  Check out the quick slides Maddie, Tanya and I put together.

Project Tomorrow’s® 2014 Speak Up Research Project on 24/7 Digital Learning

The results are that students are very engaged when learning mirrors the following three areas:

“Learning that is socially-based and collaborative, learning that is untethered from the traditional constraints or limitations of education institutions, and learning that is digitally rich in context and relevancy.”

The article goes in-depth at different learning environments (mobile, blended, virtual, STEM, etc.) and does a great job of explaining how each are perceived by students.  One major theme I got was that students would love to have a wireless connection at their school so they could use their mobile device in every class.  The students want to be able to collaborate with other students on projects, perform research on their projects and connect with their teachers using their mobile device.  More so than any other device (chrome books, tablets, etc).

So how do I use this in planning my classroom?  I teach math and science.  I have to do a better job of incorporating classroom time for the students to collaborate, research the internet when they get stuck (watch a video was voted by students as a top choice what they do when they get stuck) and incorporate video lessons.  The students are going to use the internet for school work anyway, so I have to teach them how to best use it for my classroom.

It’s Official: Instagram Is Bigger Than Twitter

Instagram is hitting the social media market at the right time.  Everyone is all about posting pictures and video now.  Even the advertising wants to be able to post in video.  So Twitter and Facebook are changing to keep up with the need for video.  Is this a fad or here to stay?

As teachers, how do we use Instagram in our classroom?

Creating a Digital Story for your class

For my Technology class, I worked with three other women to create a digital story.  We chose to do a parody on a song from Little Mermaid.  We first familiarized ourselves with a Little Mermaid song and lyrics so that all of us knew the melody.  We then modified the words to have her longing to be in a world without technology.  We then grabbed a bunch of Little Mermaid pictures from the web that were labeled for reuse.  We also grabbed various technology pictures that were labeled for reuse.  We put them into a PowerPoint presentation.

We modified the Little Mermaid pictures by placing iphones, computers, blue tooth (technology) in accordance with our modified lyrics on each Little Mermaid picture/slide.  We also modified several pictures of our team so that we could place our faces into the ppt slides using PIXLR photo editor tool.  We strategically placed the pictures in order with they way our modified lyrics and practiced singing to each slide.

We used the Microsoft movie editor to record our voices singing the lyrics while syncing to the specific ppt slide.  We posted our video to YouTube to show to our classmates.

What an easy tool to use to voice over our ppt slides.  I think the video turned out great.  For four adults never using any of the technology, I believe our students can use this tool to create videos as a class project.  What a wonderful method to introduce technology to our students.