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.

Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover

Wow!  I love this Tedtalk by Dan Meyer.  I am a math teacher and have had so many of the same thoughts.  I have kids that are forced to take my Math class so right away I have to “wow” them and get them interested in Math.  I also believe the books are horrible in presenting the material.  Dan did a great job of explaining why with his analogy of the TV show.

The issue for me was, I did not know how to combat all the things he mentioned and I tried several things to differentiate my class so that they can learn the concept and process vs memorizing the formulas (“plug and chug”).

His suggestions were wonderful and look forward to using them in my classroom.

Podcast on Four Must-Know Tips for Giving Effective Feedback

The host asks three panelists on tips for teachers to use in their classroom on the do’s and don’ts of feedback.  I thought the tips were spot on.  I have learned to use many of the tips they suggested throughout my career and also have found they work nicely in the classroom.  I also learned that some of the feedback I use in my classroom were not effective.  Overall I liked the podcast because I learned something new and it reinforced some of my teaching strategies.

Since this was my first podcast, I am now more inclined to watch/listen to them for my continued learning.  It was easy to do and I found the information very informative.  I also liked how it was a nice break from reading.