Tuesday, October 30, 2007

3 months down....

Hey Global Learners!

As of next week, we will officially be 1/3 of the way the way through the school year. For those of us who are secondary teachers, we are preparing for a new term!

I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to reflect on the past three months and make goals for the next three (or six).

I know that each of us has picked at least one tool that we have crafted into our own and fit it into our classroom. I'm anxious to know what that is! How have you done this? What was the process like for you and the students?

I know that Dave and Joe sent out a survey to gain feedback...but I want the juicy details!

I think our group is fantastic because of our amazing collaboration, so I thought that this would be the best way for me to become better at something that I'm not yet trying.

Please comment or post on your blog and link back here on your experiences and plans for the future!

Thanks! Tonia

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

iPod as learning tool

I have used the iPod quite a bit this year. I have been experimenting a lot but not publishing much. However, I took the iPod with the microphone to our field trip the other day and published the resulting podcast on our blog. I used the field trip to reinforce a lesson on Lindamood-Bell's Visualizing and Verbalizing program. It uses structure words to prompt students to better visualize what they are reading. We have another field trip coming up. This time I think I will borrow a few more and hand them to kids to record as they go through the Colorado History Museum.

My reading group has been experimenting with recording the upcoming story and then burning it for our listening center. We have had problems staying focused long enough to have a good recording, but will keep trying.

Another thought is to use my class blog to have students reflect on what we learned this week in each subject. The iPod would be a great way for my lower students to post their reflections verbally.

Any suggestions for other uses?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Colorado Software and Internet Assoc. (CSIA)

So I took Dr. Miller up on the offer of attending the evening portion of the CSIA conference last week on Thursday. It was a good conference there were eductional sessions during the day (which I unfortunately missed) but I got to walk about the showcase were companies displayed their products. Here's a list of the companies I liked and what they did.

Acadium, Inc.
has a system that combines TV, video phones, and GPS to create a live classroom.

Developing Minds has software serving developmentally disabled children that uses how the student interacts to direct and and adapt the learning for the student.

Kerpoof is an animation company where anyone can create art, stories and animated movies using a kid friendly interface.

Lijit Network, Inc. is a blog search engine. You put it on your blog and tell it which blogs you subscribe to and you and your readers can use it like an advice column where you type in a question and it pulls up information from all the blogs you've chosen to susbcribe to. Kinda like asking a author you've never met for advice or an opinion.

OpenWorld Learning long for OWL is building a network of peer teaching through technology. Several metro elementary schools are using OWL as an after school enrichment/reteaching.

TinyEYE Technologies Corporation
enables Speech-Language Pathologists to use a head-set and webcam to connect to clients, caregivers, educators, and colleagues for consultations and therapy services.

With the exception of the last company all of them are Colorado Based. After the showcase was a speech from a Google VP (I didn't even know they had an office here), and he talked about the "9 Notions of Innovation."

1. Ideas come from everywhere
2. Share everything you can (I think the global learners are doing well at this)
3. A license to persue dreams (apparently google allows 20% of the employees day to persue their own interests which is where snowball and adsense came from)
4. Innovation, not instant perfection
5. Don't politic, use data
6. Creativity loves restraint
7. Worry about usage and users, not money
8. Don't kill projects - morph them into something else
9. Technology is no substitute for humanity

During the speech Tim Armstrong continued to re-emhasize that no matter the product you use, the main concern needs to be on the end user and how it affects them.

Friday, October 12, 2007

drop in the bucket

The work we do sometimes feels like a drop in the bucket....but it is noticed and does, eventually, make a difference...We are being noticed and we are changing the climate of our schools...one blog at a time

But our colleagues are doing it...they're taking the leap. I get emails daily from colleagues in my building asking for blog, wiki and technology help...

If you get a chance, please add the following blogs to your aggregator. They are ESL teachers at ACHS. If you take a few minutes to look over what Linda-Dale has to say I think that you will become a more reflective educator. I'm glad that she took the time to create a blog...we all could learn so much from her.

here are links to the latest


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I'm It

Thanks for tagging me Regina! I am attending the K12 online conference for these 3 reasons;
(1) I want to see how many connections I can get on the attendr map.
(2) The 3 F's mantra of the conference.
(3) I want to make sure I don't chop off the invisible tentacles of digital natives or Global Learners.

From viewing the keynote of David Warlick and looking at many of the "teasers" posted by the presenters I know investing some time in the K12 online conference will be well worth it.

I am tagging all the new Global Learners: Anna Mendez, Heidi Bornemann, Gregg Laino, Nick Tussing, Lucas Eagon.

Yippe for the flat classroom with no gravity.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Three Things Meme (K12online)

Regina Stewart tagged me for the "Three Reasons to Attend K12 Online Conference". The K12Online Conference is for educators from across the world that share an interest in integrating technology in the classroom. The conference, in its second year, includes presentation on "New Tools", "Learning Networks", and "Classroom 2.0" to name just a few of the conference strands. I intend to enjoy many sessions from archive (the live conference events and my work life are contrasting this week). Here are my three reasons for attending:
(1) Hope to extend my professional network. With the rapid changes in teaching and learning (and technology) it is absolutely necessary to have a network to share the burden of discovery and trying new things. Increasingly effective educators are extending their networks globally and improving their effectiveness in the classroom. One of the goals of the Global Learners project is to create a network in Adams 14 that is local (28 teachers) and virtual (28 teachers connecting across the internet and with the world.
(2) Learn from some the cutting edge leaders in educational technology. I have been watching David Warlick's keynote presentation. He is among the world leaders in educational technology and 21st literacy. I am learning a lot from him.
(3) Inspiration! Nothing inspires me more that seeing the success of others. I thrive on knowing that success in teaching and learning is within our grasp.

I tag the Alsup Global Learners
Emily Taylor
Jeff Lewis
Kelly Schwichtenberg

Saturday, October 6, 2007

k12 conference

Anyone following Darrens "A Difference" Blog knows that the k12 online conference is right around the corner. One of the ways they are encouraging students blogging (if I understand it right) is to tag (you're it) others and ask them to then tag others. See the post http://adifference.blogspot.com/2007/10/k12-online-3-things-meme.html to read more.
So my three reasons for wanting to be involved in the conference is:
1. no travel required
2. Interested in hearing what good stuff can come from already respected participants
3. Find something useful to become a better teacher--(measured by students being more successful)

I tag:
Tonia J.
Joe M.
John P.
Dave T.
Izzy T. and
Tom D.

What's your reasons and who do you tag?
Any ideas about hitting the conference as a global learner team and sharing within our cohort?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Teaching paradox

I am using the smart board and recorder for a small project in my Accelerated Geometry class. I am having them work out word problems which I know they can do and they know they can do. However I am having them present it and digitally record it with the smartboard. Due to my lack of planning early enough, I have pairs of students doing each presentation, one to talk into the laptop mic and one to show the work on the smartboard. I have rubric that details what is expected in the areas of accuracy, presentation written and presentation narration. The students are comfortable with the math and the smart board and I am having them all score their peers and reflect on it each presentation. After complaining about working together, I thought this will also end up being a great lesson in working together.
They are a disaster. I am watching them totally miss the mark that I expected and outlined for them. And I saw it coming when they goofed-off during the "planning" day despite numerous prompts. We are droning through the presentations and each is getting flustered as they realized how hard it is once they are up there.
It's exciting. I realized, this is where I would have jerked the technology away and lectured them on taking this more serious, doing what I asked, etc.... But it is so clear that they get it now. We will agonize through each presentation so that the person who thinks they can do better gets flustered too. The most powerful fact is that they are producing something for a different audience than the teacher. They are also recording it so they can see/hear their work and realize how they can do it better next time. They are grading themselves and each other and they are identifying ways to get better. It is a slow process, but amazing. The students who are so smart that don't do well on tests because they go too fast and miss the details are now recording this and evaluating it.
This all directly links to the technology/design cycle piece of IB that we were conveniently just talking about. I am letting each group go through this, as painful as it is for a teacher to sit and watch awful work. It is interested to think if this cycle of iterations that has to come full circle for them to evaluate and revise. It doesn't all have to occur during one lesson or activity. I can use the same idea as their work in progress and have them continue to evaluate, revise, plan, etc. I will let them revise the rubric. I will get them more exemplars. I will keep encourage them to think bigger and more transparent. I hope to do this at least 5 more times this year and next year and then play back these first recording for them to show how much they will have improved.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Digital Divide 2.0

I grew up in the generation that first discussed and emulated the digital divide. Now reading an article about the Digital Divide 2.0 brings some thoughts to mind as my students remind me that having a webpage of information is useless to them as they have no access to the web or even, sometimes, a computer at home. The article describes the old divide between the have and the have nots, but that costs have gone down and most homes have a PC. The new divide is that between old and the new uses for the internet or Web 2.0 applications. They talk about how the divide is now about equity and the experiences that our students have. It goes back to a video shown in our trainings about how we're preparing our students for a generation of work that will be wireless, paperless, and officeless; however, it will have more information, more collaboration and more and different technologies. I guess can we say the experience we're providing in our classrooms truely prepare them for what we have no perception of, that will eventually be their everyday life? For instance most of our parents grew up with a typewriter in the home, now nearly every home has a PC with internet access, and that internet is now evolved in the Web 2.0. Where can it go next (anywhere, everywhere), and how do we prepare for the unknown?

But wait, let's throw a fear in there...a television show called Dark Angel started with the premise that a massive EMP went off destroying most of the computer networks (government, personal, etc) what would people do then? Are we also preparing our students for the possiblility they may not use technology in their chosen field?

New Blogger

Hi everyone,

This is my first post on the blog. I would like to introduce myself a little to everyone. I am a new teacher at ACHS and I am still in school myself. I am making my first lesson with the smart notebook right now so that might appear here shortly! I am excited to see how technology can take classroom learning further!