I learned about ISTE standards. These standards ask teachers 1) to use tools to inspire student learning and creativity 2) to design digital age assessments 3) to have students apply digital tools to gather information 4) to have students use critical thinking skills to make informed decisions using appropriate digital resources 5) to have students show understanding of technology systems and 6) to promote lifelong learning by promoting the effective use of technology.
I am interested in Standard 1: Creativity and Innovation, and I’m interested in finding ways to apply newly learned concepts to generate a product using the tools of digital media. I would like to help students design their own website using teamwork to come up with creative ideas to show and share learning. Using technology, they could collaborate in groups to synthesize the learned content into interesting images and creative writing. I like the idea that the digital revolution is allowing kids to refine and apply their knowledge and create a social media product.
Telly Stories with Funky Fresh Technology
I learned how to create a narrative using office mix. Two colleagues and I were assigned two vocabulary words: gusto and malleable. We wrote sentences attempting to give context clues to the unfamiliar words. Then we were assigned to write a zombie story using the two vocabulary words. We were assigned for a setting: the mall. Now for the funky fresh technology. Using Office Mix we combined our narratives with internet images to tell a visual spooky story. We recorded our voices and narrated the story along with the images to create a read aloud comic book! Fun! Different groups could share our audio-visual narratives using One Note.
Students would love Office Mix. I see so much potential with creative assessment. My students are working on vocabulary skills and could do this zombie vocabulary assignment to demonstrate an understanding of context clues. After reading a novel, students could pick their favorite chapter to summarize, narrate and then retell the story with found images off the internet. In Social Studies, we are studying a chapter on how Paleolithic hunters evolved into Neolithic farmers. Students could take different lessons within the chapter to teach to the whole group by combining their own words with newly found images. One group could office mix stable food supply. Another group could office mix building permanent shelters. One group could mix up a retelling of how Paleolithic people invented agricultural communities. Another group could narrate with images the diversification of Paleolithic jobs. And finally, the last group could show the class how trade evolved and humans began to network and share ideas. They could take it a step further and analyze how these movements in history still effect modern society today. Lastly, Office Mix has a feature where you can quiz the class on what was just communicated. At the end of the presentation, students could quiz each other to see if they learned what was just taught. So much would be happening with this lesson: student collaboration, creative use of technology, student demonstration of finding the main idea and details to support the main idea, and critical thinking showing how this ancient 10,000 year-old human advance affects us today.
Digital Citizenship Instruction Teaches Students the Rules of the Road for the Information Super Highway
Digital Citizenship Resources: I have been exploring LWSD’s KIT, the knowledgebase resource for integrating technology. I am getting many ideas from the Tech Framework folder on how to integrate digital citizenship into the classroom. One area I want to improve upon, this year, is proper citation when conducting research. I want my students to write more expository research based short essays using Encyclopedia Britannica. To do this, I need to use KIT to help me make sure I teach proper MLA citation and proper paraphrasing skills, along with how to use quotations in research. KIT provides many documents and ideas for note taking and research guidance.
Digital Etiquette Lesson: The “Digital Etiquette Lesson” was useful. It is so important students are aware of good manners when it comes to social media. Cyberbullying is a problem that needs to be addressed in the classroom. Students need to know that what they post has consequences. I need to teach proper social media behavior. The “Digital Etiquette Lesson” gives some good examples of how social media can harm and intimidate others. These lessons help model good social media behavior.
Copyright and Intellectual Property: The “Teaching Copyright” link is interesting. There is a misunderstanding among many digital media users that everything off the internet is free. These lessons would be a good opportunity for teachers to correct the misinformation. I like the curriculum section where students can take a copyright quiz. This would be a good way to verify that students understand the rules of the road.
In the Classroom: Using the lessons of digital citizenship, to teach the correct steps to take when conducting research, makes sense for me to align with my curriculum. I will use these lessons to integrate into my research unit on Chinese Philosophy and my research unit on Captive Orcas. I need to do a better job going deeper with proper citation rules.
Innovative Teaching and Learning
In Teaching with Technology, we talked about Innovative Teaching and Learning research that asks teachers to demand more higher level thinking from their students. The 21st Century Learning Activity Rubrics asks teachers to have students show a greater understanding of collaboration skills, knowledge construction skills, self-regulation skills, problem-solving skills, and communication skills. We practiced ITL learning in a build your own chariot activity. It was very fun to collaborate on the chariot project. Hanna was a great partner who participated with great ideas, was competitive, and was a helpful problem solving. I like the give and take of brainstorming ideas. Our task was to build a chariot using maker space materials. We didn’t know where to start; slowly but surely, we formed a plan and put together the framework of a chariot. The chariots engine was a Spero ball that was controlled by a cell phone app. We attached our first creation to the Spero ball. The chariot moved okay but not great. We went back to the drawing board and made modifications to our harness. And then it was time to race our chariots with other people’s creations. We came in second place. The time felt like play.
I am inspired to redesign my lessons in a way that allows my students to think deeper and more creatively about newly learned concepts. I want to weave my lessons with more student collaboration and creative thinking activities. The ITL model also works when applied to teacher collaboration!
21st Century Research on Technology For the Classroom
I watched a best websites of 2015 webinar created by Heather Moorefield-Lang, past-chair, and Lucy Santos Green, current chair of the Best Websites committee for the ALA. The webinar provides a quick summary of 16 websites that are useful to teachers. Also, they offer ideas for how teachers can use these websites in the classroom.
A recommended site is Touchcast which allows users to add written questions and comments to video. This would be a great way for student to interact with assigned videos. Peardeck is a sharing tool. Students can write questions and slide interactive draggables using google docs. It is a great way to get all students to participate in a lesson. Soundtrap is a music collaboration website where students can create music and use sound samples to compose music. Storyboardthat is a website where students can create their own comics. Students can create comic book versions of whatever book they are reading! Booktrack Classroom helps students create soundtracks for narratives they are reading. Students can embellish a story they have written with sound effects just like the radio dramas of the 1930’s. Flipquiz is a jeopardy style quiz game where students can earn points answering trivia questions. This can be used for pre-assessments or for lesson review. Bookapolis is a kids social networking site for the books they are reading. It allows children to take ownership of the books they are reading by writing book reviews and they can track their reading progress. Answerables is a virtual space that has apps, simulators, tutoring, class portals, and social networking. Kids will like the video game feel of the website. DIY.org is social networking for makerspace. Kids can plan projects, build it, make it, and share it. It’s like Pinterest for kids. Goorulearning is designed for teacher collaboration. Teachers can collect, remix, mash-up, and share ideas with other teachers. You can pick lessons based subject, grade level, CCSS standards. Ms. Moorehead says this is a robust tool. Hstry is a site where students can discover, learn, and create audio and video timelines. This is great for biography reporting. Engineering is Elementary is site that gives teachers idea for integrating curricula into all academic fields. It promotes STEM literacy. Whatwasthere combines images with google maps. Students can look a what was there now and then find out what was there then. Code.org promotes coding in the classroom and gives teachers plans for helping students write computer code. Biodigitalhuman presents amazing visuals of the human body. Finally, Interactivesimulations helps students build science and math simulations. All of these websites would be useful tools to amplify the learning in my LA/SS classroom.
Also, the ALA lists the best education apps of 2015 along with tips on how to use them in your classroom. Notable apps include: Seesaw, Skitch, Spiderscribe, Amazing World Atlas, Digital Public Library of America, Adobe Voice, Glogster, Lego Movie Maker, and Pixel Press Floors.
I would use Seesaw to help students make digital portfolios of their classwork which would allow for more student reflection. Students could use Skitch to communicate visual with the classroom. We could create diagrams and fill them in together. Spiderscribe is a brainstorming tool. Before a big project students could organize their ideas by connecting their notes and images. Amazing World Atlas would be great for geography games and quizzes. Digital Public Library of America would be useful for project based learning. Students could access America’s libraries, archives, and museums. Adobe Voice is a tool for recording voice over images. This would be good for creative writing and reporting. Glogster is an interactive poster app which would be an innovative assessment tool for end of unit review. Students would love Lego Movie Maker for telling stories or summarizing learning. Finally, Pixel Press Floors would allow kids to draw and share video games. Kids could make video game narratives as a form of storytelling.
Bethany Petty is an Edtech blogger for edutopia. In her article, “3 Classroom Tools to Measure Student Learning,” Ms. Petty recommends three tech tools that will help teachers quickly measure student learning. The 21st century tech tools are: Kahoot, Formative, and Padlet. Kahoot is a game based website where teachers can write questions and students can log in to play the game and compete to answer questions. Formative is another websites that allows teachers to see student results in real time. This would be a perfect tool to use as an exit slip. The last tech tool she recommends is Padlet. This is a collaboration website that allows students to post questions, or thoughts that the whole group can see. This would be a great interactive tool for students to use while reading a novel or to post thoughts or questions while watching a classroom video. And guess what–the websites are free!
Kahoot is a game based website where teachers can write questions and students can log in to play the game and compete to answer questions. Formative is another websites that allows teachers to see student results in real time. This would be a perfect tool to use as an exit slip. The last tech tool she recommends is Padlet. This is a collaboration website that allows students to post questions, or thoughts that the whole group can see. This would be a great interactive tool for students to use while reading a novel or to post thoughts or questions while watching a classroom video.
Kelly Walsh’s blog, emergingedtech.com, gives teachers ideas for how to integrate technology into the classroom. Recently he listed to hot tech tool trends emerging in the classroom right now. He writes about augmented reality apps like Augthat which allows students to create virtual reality learning experiences. Adaptive learning and competency based education. These websites allow students to learn at their own pace. Mobymax is a popular example of math and language skills that can be mastered at a student’s self-directed pace. The flipped classroom is huge in education. Teachers make videos of direct instruction which allows for more classroom time to apply the lessons from videos. Social learning in online courses is big right now. 3D printing is a great tech tool which amplifies a maker space. Interactive collaboration spaces like Wikispaces and twitter are becoming popular tools to harness learning. Video collaboration tools like Movenote help students and teacher add video and audio to their documents. Finally there are tools that help teachers embed questions in videos. Zaption is a site where teachers can write questions and embed them in videos so students must respond while watching the video.
I like the idea of students using wikispace to collaborate on a research project. Mobymax would be great for vocabulary and grammar enrichment. Movenote would be fun to try. I could record a direct instruction video, have students watch for homework, and have them apply the lessons the next day.
In SPU Edtech we learned about using technology to leverage both student and teacher learning through collaboration. After researching technology ideas, SPU cohorts collaborated on a group PowerPoint to share technology ideas. Fellow teachers had great research to share and much was learned. We also connected with a school in Australia using Skype to play 20 questions about where in the world you are skyping from. Skype has so much potential for collaborative learning. I want to Skype with authors!
In the classroom, collaboration is so important. Mainly because we are social animals who need to share and learn from others. The tech tool that I love in my classroom is Haiku. I love the social media connection students get with discussion posts. In the past, students would submit all writing to me, for me to grade, for my eyes only. Now students share their thoughts with their peers, This, I believe, increases a student’s desire to write well and express themselves well because all of their classmates will read it! Also, students who struggle are able to look at a model of other student’s work and can get a better picture of what is expected. In my class, students blog about the books they are reading. This improves literacy because they are choosing their own books, they are creating meaningful writing about their reading, they are discussing what they’re reading with their peers, and as result they are increasing their understanding of the reading through reflection. I would like to continue to explore collaboration through technology because I see how students love this kind of learning.
Edcamp Combines Collaboration and Professional Development with a Technology Focus
I attended Edcamp and learned a lot! There were various meeting opportunities and I chose Creating and Culture of Learning and Choice meeting. The first idea was the advice to stop giving test and focus more on project based learning. Instead of a test, a student could write an expository essay and create info graphics to go with the writing. Socrative was mentioned as a useful website. The main idea for creating a culture of learning is: you turn the kids into the teachers. Activities like seminar projects where students practice self-directed research skills and turn the learning into a presentation, would create this culture. Other ideas mentioned were: have students help create the rubrics, make sure students take ownership of the learning targets, personalizing learning creates purpose, give them a choice to increase their engagement with the standards. Have them create ads, newspapers, brochures. Powtoons was mentioned as a good website. Read Write Think was mentioned as a good web source. Google docs was brought up many times as a student centered forum. Someone talked about RSA time lapse videos that kids can post on youtube. Someone recommended an app called Stopmotion which helps students create flipbook animation. One teacher said that instructional strategies are paramount; without good strategies, tech tools may fail to do the job. Then the discussion shifted to: How do teachers meld technology with sound instruction. Some said its important to front load basic technology lessons, like how to use excel, before you dive into the content. A culture of learning is created when you establish a purpose, then let them have a choice, let them collaborate. Someone said to let them create their own podcasts. How do you create a culture of learning? Pull away the curtain, expose the targets and standards, let them choose to show you how they know it. Give them a choice; they can use Prezi or Sway, or Powerpoint or create their own website. Teachers need a learning management system, like Haiku, to leverage learning. Design small quick 50 minute projects. Let them explore. Someone said to look at Google classrooms. Have student write their own learning goals. Establish the learning target, find the right tool, and work backwards. Be open minded!
I then walked over to the Collaboration meeting. Someone said they wanted to discuss collaboration because it is highly regarded as an important 21st century skill. Before students collaborate, teachers need to give clear expectations. What tech tools support collaboration? Some of the tech tools mentioned were: Powerpoint 365, Sway, Google docs, Padlet, Moviemaker, Plikers, Kahoot and Myfavoritewronganswer.com. Someone said to checkout the author, Stephanie Harvey, who wrote Comprehension and Collaboration. She is the guru of collaboration. One of her ideas is to teach students how to disagree agreeably. Someone said it’s important to assign a facilitator, record keeper, and timekeeper when students are collaborating. Have students assess themselves and grade each other. When you give them a choice you get buy in. Someone said they like to let the students organically figure out individual roles within the group. Give them a choice what to research and what to create. The teacher needs to create a culture of trust where the high, middle, and low students can work together. The table group is a collaboration team that may change throughout the year. One teacher likes collaboration on the work process, but then each student creates their own product to turn in. They share ideas but then break off to create independently. Challenge based learning was mentioned as a good collaboration strategy. Give student real world challenges to brainstorm, research, find solutions for, and present. Depart form the five paragraph essay and have them make a video. Have them find images that connect to the writing. Jig Saw learning. Each group research a part of the chapter and teach to the class. Let them choose the top three topics they are interested in. Have students be the experts, search together, and share with the class. Think, pair, and share ideas. Share your partners idea with the class. Get them used to public speaking and teamwork. The teacher should model collaboration. What does it look like? Provide thinking prompts. Guide the sharing of ideas. Instill the value that each person’s thoughts matter. Have them defend their ideas, choices, opinions.
I am very excited to bring these thoughts, ideas, tech tools and learning strategies to my classroom. I really liked the energy and camaraderie of EDcamp. And I think EDcamp models what a 21st century classroom should look like. I want my classroom to be like EDcamp!
I need to cut back on paperwork and think of more creative ways to assess. The current amount of work drains a lot of time and prevents me from spending more time planning and lesson designing. Slowing down and freeing up time is the secret ingredient to creative thought.
Being in school requires that I reflect and rethink what I do. Graduate school is helping me change and grow. Moving forward, I want to worry less about the grade book and worry more about engaging learning in artful and rigorous thinking activities.
The way I can be a technology leader is to embrace new tools and ideas and model and share these new advances with teammates. I tend to stay in my Hobbit hole and focus on grading and planning for next week’s lessons. I need to get in the habit of trying new things and then taking the risk of sharing ideas with others. Trust is important when sharing with others. I want to help foster with my collaboration team a culture of risk taking and inquiry and experimentation.
It is exciting to be a part of the digital revolution. New technologies are disrupting every area of our society. Education is undergoing a revolution along with this seismic change in our culture. I like the motto: adapt or die. Technology helps stimulate progress, it leverages and amplifies communication with others, and it is fun! Everything is happening so quickly; it’s hard to keep up!
AASL Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2015″, American Library Association, August 26, 2015.http://www.ala.org/aasl/ecollab/2015-bestwebsites (Accessed November 1, 2015)
“Best Apps for Teaching & Learning 2015”, American Library Association, June 19, 2015.http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards-guidelines/best-apps/2015 (Accessed November 1, 2015)
Petty, Bethany. “Classroom Tools Measure Student Learning.” Edutopia. N.p., 7 Sept. 2015. Web.
Walsh, Kelly. “12 Emerging Educational Uses of Technology That Are the Most Exciting Right Now.” Emerging Edtech. N.p., 14 Sept. 2015. Web.