Category Archives: Education Technology

General topics related to education technology

Interesting Technology Resources to Explore

It is important to explore new tools that can be integrated into the curriculum to enhance instruction and enrich learning for students.  The goal is always the purposeful use of technology!  At a recent tech committee meeting, members explored the following innovative tools/technology practices. We tried many of the tools and considered which might be appropriate for instruction in our content areas/subject matter.  As a bonus, members were awarded badges for all resources they explored!  Check out these great tools and determine which might work best in your classroom.

IGNITE – Present with Pizzazz!

IGNITE presentations provide an alternative to traditional presentations and really encourage students to become facile with their content rather than reading from a slide.  They are great for ANY content area.  Watch these videos and learn how IGNITE presentations can be used to share your stories and learning.

What is an IGNITE?
Edutopia IGNITE Article  

Watch this video about Ignite: What is an Ignite?

Bringing Content to Life with Multi-Media Presentations

Using Video in the Classroom

Digital Story-Telling 

Screencastomatic

Consider – How would you leverage multi-media tools to improve teaching and learning?

Skype in the Classroom – Exciting new ways to connect globally!

Explore the Skype Tools to learn how Skype can be used to enrich instruction.

Visit the Skype Home Page: Consider 3 literacy activities that are available at Education Skype

Visit Skype lessons

Read the introduction to Big Question Challenge

Visit Mystery Skype- How It Works

Click to on “See Mystery Skype in Action” to watch a brief video.  Scroll down and read about Mystery Skype.

Augmented Reality –  Learning with Virtual Environments

Augmented Reality is an exciting technology that allows kids to learn through exploration of virtual worlds.  Check out the resources below and consider how Augmented Reality might fit in your classroom!

Visit:  DAQRI

Teaching with Aurasma

Two Guys and an iPad

Worksheets for the Digital Age

Using Videos in Science

How could Augmented Reality be used to enrich content and engage students in learning?

APPetizers

Selecting appropriate Apps poses a significant challenge for educators.  Check out the resources below to learn more about App evaluation.

Content App Evaluation Form (Kathy Schrock)

Creation App Evaluation Form (Kathy Schrock)

Student APP Review Rubric (Kathy Schrock)

Still not satisfied?  Check out other IPad APP Evaluation Rubrics recommended by Kathy Schrock:

HAPPY LEARNING!!!

Productive Struggle – Embracing the Messiness of Learning!

I strongly believe in the notion of Productive Struggle as a catalyst for attaining higher levels of learning. This ideal challenges me to be brave in my lesson planning and steadfast in my belief that it is okay if projects are challenging and the work is messy. I have to be comfortable not knowing all the answers and accept that I may meet resistance when the work is particularly difficult. Sometimes it can be easier (and less intimidating) to work towards one ‘right answer’ than to explore the potential of many possible answers. However, that open-ended exploration is where each learner can bring his/her own strengths and talents to bear and apply creativity to develop unique answers and solutions; it is at the heart of innovation.

If my students and I are to benefit from having opportunities for productive struggle, then I must be relentless in my pursuit to create meaningful learning experiences that reach higher levels of SAMR. I must work to create an environment that nurtures creativity, perseverance, and opportunities for problem solving; a climate supportive of risk-taking, individual expression, and failure.

Productive struggle results when learning is messy, when there is more than one answer, and when students must solve challenging problems; it is the acceptance that failure is integral to learning. Lastly, it is a belief that challenge engages us in the learning process and can lead us to higher levels of thinking.

I continue to work towards my goal of building meaningful challenge into our activities. It is a work in progress, but I believe that opportunities for productive struggle will ultimately build grit and perseverance in myself and my students.

Digital Story-Telling

Recently I have been thinking a lot about Digital Story-telling.  The use of digital tools and multi-media to tell students’ stories offers many opportunities to extend learning and allow students to take ownership for their learning.  From the use of free tools such as movie-maker and audacity to using LittleStoryBird, iMovie, or iPads, this type of learning can be accessible to even very young children.

Consider the question: How can digital storytelling be a catalyst for the attainment of higher levels of knowledge/learning?

Here are some resources for Digital Story-Telling!

EdTech Teacher: http://edtechteacher.org/tools/multimedia/digital-storytelling/

Telling Stories Digitally: http://creativeeducator.tech4learning.com/v05/ articles/Digital_Storytelling_Across_the_Curriculum

Digital Storytelling: http://creativeeducator.tech4learning.com/v04/articles/The_Art_of_Digital_Storytelling

Kathy Schrock: http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/blog/2013/01/01/digitalstorytelling/

StoryBird: https://storybird.com/

Little Bird Tales: https://littlebirdtales.com/

Skype as a Tool for Promoting 21st Century Thinking

As teachers, we strive to provide experiences that foster Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Creativity for our students.  Mystery Skype provides an opportunity for students to engage in authentic learning experiences.  Students can explore many different roles as they work with others to locate, understand, and communicate information.  To learn more about Mystery Skype, visit the resources below or go to:
https://education.skype.com/mysteryskype

Scholastic: Excellent overview of Mystery Skype (Must paste link into browser)
 http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2014/04/geography-skills-soar-mystery-skype

How to Set Up a Mystery Skype
http://psolarz.weebly.com/how-to-set-up-and-run-a-mystery-skype-session.html

Mrs. Morgan’s Skype Etiquette:
http://mrsmorgansstars.edublogs.org/skype-etiquette/

Skype Roles
http://pernillesripp.com/2013/08/08/mystery-skype-jobs-created-by-my-students/

So You Want to do Mystery Skype?
http://pernillesripp.com/2011/10/25/so-you-want-to-do-mystery-skype/

Skype Lessons
https://education.skype.com/lessons

Happy Learning!

Digital Citizenship Week

Last week was Digital Citizenship week.  In an age where children have nearly ubiquitous access to technology, understanding and practicing good digital citizenship is more important than ever!  Here are some resources that were posted last week.

Three Ways to Weave Digital Citizenship Into Your Curriculum
http://www.iste.org/explore/ArticleDetail?articleid=50

A New Twist on Cyberbullying- Digital Citizenship
http://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=193

Digital Citizenship Survival Kit
http://comfortably20.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-digital-citizenship-survival-kit.html?m=1

Edutopia – Six resources for Digital Citizenship
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-citizenship-resources-matt-davis

Inforgraphic – Citizenship in the Digital Age
http://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=192

I recently attended the Boston Tech Forum- a truly excellent conference!  It was a day that left me very inspired and excited about all that technology has to offer, but also extremely humbled and motivated to do more! Being in the presence of so many intelligent and innovative thinkers, I kept wondering how these people had  been able to transcend what is ‘typical’ tech use and move their districts  to ‘the next level’. 

What does it take to be a transformational leader?  Is it having the creativity, insight, and knowledge to develop an innovative vision and the force of personality to bring people along with you or is it more?  Where do money, resources, and time figure into the equation?  And what about culture…is a program or practice that is innovative and effective for one school going to be meaningful for another?

All in all, the conference has stirred a certain restlessness in me and a heightened desire to learn more, do more, and improve my leadership skills. 

The Role of Twitter in Education….

I am very curious about the ways in which educators are using Twitter as a communication tool… How ARE you using it? What types of messages are tweeted? And are followers able to respond or just follow and retweet? It is a little easier to grasp how I can make Twitter a valuable part of my PLN and bring information TO me than to think about the best way I can harness its features for the benefit of those in our learning community. I would love to hear how others are using it!!!

Hello!

I have initiated this blog as a way to engage in conversations with others with an interest in Education Technology.  It is a very exciting time to be deeply involved with technology, but  it can also feel a bit like the Wild West!  Flipped learning, BYOD, Personal Learning Networks, mobile devices, e-books, and digital citizenship are just some of the things that occupy my thoughts. 

What should be our priorities? 

How do we engage busy teachers and administrators in the use of technology that will have meaning for them? 

How do ensure that students have access to appropriate technology and use it in challenging ways to move forward with their learning?

How do we ensure that the focus is on instruction and HOW children learn?

I look forward to talking with others about these issues!