Friday, March 13, 2015

My Week in Tech Integration 3/13/2015

Question of the day

Question of the day - What would you do for a student who consistently failed to do work in school or homework, yet always had a good excuse?
Please answer in the comments. 

 State Projects

Students in 4th grade had some fun projects last week, but they weren't finished in time to share.

I listened to a few classroom discussions over the last couple of weeks. It was interesting seeing how students and teachers naturally pulled information from outside of class to relate to the books. A few high school students even discussed with former students, which led me to wonder what would happen if online discussions were opened up to former students or across classes?

This leads me into this great article on 5 Highly Effective Teaching Practices, from edutopia. 

  1. Teacher Clarity
  2. Classroom Discussion
  3. Feedback
  4. Formative Assessment
  5. Metacognitive Strategies

When we talk about technology in the classroom, we aren’t talking about replacing the teacher or the content with a shiny electronic device. What we are talking about is taking these effective practices and making them possible. 

How Technology Helps with Effective Teaching Practices

1.    Teacher Clarity
Learning goals and explicit criteria for success are not just posted on the classroom whiteboard, but live on the classroom page where students and parents can refer back to it over the corse of the unit.
2.    Classroom Discussion
How can we extend the discussion beyond the classroom? Open the discussion across classrooms? Create smaller discussions, small groups can keep a record of what they discussed. Small groups can share with each other final points.
3.    Feedback
Teachers can leave voice or written feedback on google documents. Teachers can read and comment on online discussions. Self grading quizzes are very common across several platforms. It is even possible to create video quizzes. There are of course hundreds of computer learning programs that will tell students if they are right or wrong, but useful feedback is teacher driven and usually personal.
4.    Formative Assessment
Quick self graded quizzes, Kahoot, electronic check ins, anything that replaces the 30 half sheets of paper we used to grade. When reviewing answers for a test create a poll for each study guide question and submit live on the projector and discuss each question. Gauging understanding with Socrative or a quick poll.
5.    Meta Cognitive Strategies

When we find ways to put more of our content online on a learning management system what is to stop students from working ahead, especially if the learning goals and criteria for success are clear? If students continue to move beyond the class it becomes easy to allow them to create an individualized learning objectives. When they create this within the learning management system it becomes possible for teachers and parents to monitor progress. 

The Case Against Technology in the Classroom

I both agree and disagree with this article. I agree that teaching students to use technology is not the purpose of technology in schools. I disagree that technology is not a useful tool. It is all nice for wealthy tech leaders to fixate on social aspects of learning especially when the kids they are socializing with are the kids of other silicon valley tech leaders, but for the rest of us technology, used correctly, can eliminate barriers of distance and time. 

Resources from Teachers and Classrooms

Girls and code 

Google drawings graphic organizers

 socrative - A great way collect students thoughts. 

 URL shortner Shortens long URLs and makes a quick QR code. 

 Are you looking for EdTech stuff? A great resource is edshelf.

 Rubistar - for creating rubrics 



Can you imagine doing this in LA class to get the elements of a story. 
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