Friday, February 20, 2015

This week in technology integration - 2/20/2015

I spend too much time in my office, trying to solve the worlds problems. I am going to do my best to stick to my schedule of one day a week in each building visiting classrooms, then on Fridays reflect. Classroom stuff first then some resources down below.

Classrooms Around Town

Smartboards are great for organizing class during transitions. Many teachers have a list of names, especially in the morning and let students move themselves from absent to present or to hot or cold lunch. Even kindergartners can often do this activity.

Daily Agendas are also a great way to keep students informed and involved in the school day -

In one class I visited, a teacher asked a volunteer to read a book while she was getting the next lesson ready. I thought, students love to hear their teacher reading a book, why not record yourself reading a book and post if for your students? Copyrighted books should not be posted online, but anything written before 1930 is fair game. In the case of needing a few minutes of time you could record yourself reading and save it on your google drive for play in the classroom. This is fair use and perfectly legal. 

About 5 years ago I recorded a Dr.Seuss book for my kids. I had fun finding images for this book and recording myself reading.I wonder if the kids would like to do this too?

Dr. Seuss from Brendan Murphy on Vimeo.

That reading took me an afternoon of playing around with MovieMaker and finding images, but today I would just create a powerpoint or Google presentation and do a screen recording. I am checking with to see if Dr. Seuss books allow this type of recording. I think they might. 

A teacher took just a few seconds before turning off her document camera to pan around the room. Kids waved and danced as they showed up on camera.

Math fluency and speed in computation is not the same thing. However, competition can often be a way to practice math facts until they are automatic. Live mathletics and games on (free daily practice usually 15 questions), or can be fun.

Some of the hardest days teaching can be reviewing study guides, or walking the whole class through instructions to make sure everyone understands exactly what they are supposed to do. It always takes three times as long as it should and even then there are those one or two students who just don’t seem to get it. I wonder if we could flip these lessons. A ten minute video going through the review questions or a podcast? Could this be a job for a star student? Maybe, during the year students can earn the right to be the homework instruction star? They can record the instruction video or audio and post it to the class youtube channel or something.

I sometimes see teachers writing homework assignments on a word document projected on the wall and asking students to copy to their assignment notebooks. What if I did this on a Google Document then clicked File -> Publish to the Web? It becomes a webpage that automatically updates itself as I put the next day’s homework on top. I can send the link home to parents through skyward everyday (just resend the same message everyday) I can publish the link on my classroom or department web page. I can even embed the page into an existing webpage.

Things Found on the Web

Anytime we try to convey information to the entire class students have questions. Some are shy and don’t want to raise their hands, some don’t think of the question until too late, and other times the answer to the question is coming up if they just hold on.  That’s why I think it can be useful to have a backchannel up and running, especially during these review or instruction settings. Questions can be put on the backchannel and even sometimes answered by other students without slowing down the pace of the class.

The ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) is attempting to create child friendly translations to the NETS-S (national educational technology standards for students) standards. What do you think? 

Stuck trying to create a new lesson try this: Search for publicly shared Docs. Just type "Example Topic" into Google Search. See how it is done here.  (Quotes will force google to search for the exact words, but are not required. Try with or without for different results.)

Taking notes on paper and reviewing them, enhancing them and then sharing digitally. This is pretty advanced and might be best for high achieving high school students.

A different way to learn vocabulary

8 apps to turn your ipad into an interactive whiteboard. You may not have $2,000 for a Smartboard, but can you get $400 for an iPad? I wonder how well they work on the $300 Google Nexus?

Surveys for grade 2 using forms. Teaching questioning skills as well as math skills as they examine the results.

If you only read one thing, then read this post.
Tech Integration - "There is No App for Good Teaching"

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