Tuesday, April 27, 2010
There are a LOAD of educational implications for this:
- Here is a new way to add an enhanced component to digital storytelling.
- This would be a great discussion starter about a topic or even the specific words needed to get the specific visuals you intend to tell the specific story you intended to tell.
- Is another example of VISUAL searching, adding a layer of interactivity and ending up with an educational product of value. Think Robert Marzano's "Nonlinguistic Representations" or Jason Ohler's reasons for using Digital Storytelling in the Classroom as outlined in his book. The visual is VERY important to learning and engagement!
- This could be used to create "ADS" or "DIGITAL COMMERCIALS" for content.
- This gives students many options for interacting with content in several ways.
- It's FUN! It's MOTIVATING! It's ENGAGING! (I talk a lot in workshops about creating "Learning Events" rather than "Lesson Plans." This is an opportunity for just that!)
- It's simple to use and requires only the knowledge of being able to type and click a couple of choices. No Learning Curve!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Need an idea for a New Form, an authentic task, or just an upgrade to your current methodology?
- From the Today Show this morning, a resource was shared from the PEPSI company called THE PEPSI REFRESH PROJECT. They are funding ideas that will make a difference to our local or global communities.
- GRANT WRANGLER is a one stop resource for teachers writing grants. You can search by content area, or type a key word, such as TECHNOLOGY, into the search box for relevant results. I noticed there were several good technology grants available that have due dates in mid-May.
- Here's a resource from TEACHER TAP about the Grant Writing Process with resources and a getting started section.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
In the wake of all the craziness around our economic climate, many folks in education are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place. And without a job.
This is not the time to sit around and wait for something to happen. This is the time to MAKE something happen.
Here are some ideas:
- Planning and Preparation - This includes Lesson Plans you've created, evidence of assessments you've created that are aligned with state standards (both summative and formative!), statements and reflections about instructional design and your knowledge of content and resources.
- The Classroom Environment you create - Evidence may include your student management/procedures plan, photos of the layout of your classroom with a statement about why you set it up that way, statements about how you create respect and rapport with your students, and how you manage student behavior.
- Instruction and Assessment - You need to provide examples of student work (with names whited out) with feedback about what next steps should be, how you support questioning techniques in your classroom and how you help students arrive at connections or bring collective experiences together, how you provide opportunities for multiple groupings and collaborative/peer interactions, and statements about how you are flexible and adaptable to many different situations both with students and with those you work with.
- Professional Responsibilities - You should provide evidence that you have participated in professional development, with statements about how that PD informed or transformed your instructional practice. You should provide evidence of parent communication that is beyond report cards. You should provide evidence that you make contributions to your school and the district in which you work and that you are a reflective practitioner. (Meaning that you think about lessons, students, opportunities, your whole teaching experience, and make plans for transforming your practice on a regular basis.)
Make sure you are on the sub lists of all the schools in your area. A day of pay is better than a day of being a coach potato wallowing in wishes. Subbing also gives you an opportunity to network in other school systems, and get valuable experience about different school dynamics and diverse student populations.
Go back to school or add additional certificate areas. The more educational experience you have and the more certificates you have, the more valuable you are. If you can survive in several niches, versus being pigeonholed in one area/grade level, you make it easier for a district to keep you in the event of layoffs.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Heidi Hayes Jacobs’ new book, Curriculum 21, outlines the need to change education—not just for the sake of change, but for the sake of growth, meeting the needs of the 21st Century learner.
What she describes in the book is “New Forms,” meaning that “RE-forms” aren’t what we need. We can’t just slap a new coat of paint on an old model—we need a NEW MODEL.
This weekend, I had the privilege of seeing this in action at the New York State Destination Imagination tournament in Binghamton, New York. Destination Imagination is the world’s leading creative problem solving program. Students are given a task for which they must develop a creative solution for, using very little money. They also have months to develop, create, and ultimately perform their solutions with their peers.
There are no worksheets involved. There are no desks. There are no bounds.
Everything that is beyond tradition is what is valued, and the learning that takes place is unbelievable.
I talk often in workshops about the need to create lesson “EVENTS” versus lesson “PLANS.” The difference being what kids will remember after the lesson is over. When you ask students at the end of a school year what they remember the most about their learning, what do they say? They remember opportunities that were above and beyond the mundane: field trips, special projects, and special opportunities—anything that was different.
We are wired to pay attention to those differences, but we are also wired to appreciate “automatic pilot” where our need to develop habitual behaviors overrides the responsibility we have to be innovative and really shape a learning path for students who live and breath a world that is wholly different than the ones we learned in as children.
As an appraiser for Destination Imagination, and the improvisational challenge called “Do or D.I.” where students were given random scenarios to act out based on months of research about endangered things and particular character types, I got to see multiple iterations of how a group of students deconstructs a problem and constructs a solution.
During the course of the day, I was wowed and amazed, sometimes jaw-droppingly so, by creative visualizations of Octopi, Boats, a desk, a revolving door, a recliner, a motorboat—all using only human props. I was introduced to new things I didn’t know about Pitcher Plants, Giant Pandas, The Yiddish Language and more.
I was simultaneously ecstatic and depressed about what I saw. Ecstatic that there were schools and teachers that valued this “out of the box” learning method, and depressed that it was seen as an extracurricular activity, and not taken seriously as a classroom-level, research-based methodology for learning.
When I talked to the students after each performance, or heard students talking in the halls during the course of the day, there was a resounding theme. They were having FUN. They learned so much, and put so much of themselves into their creative solutions that the learning became a by-product of the experience.
This is what a NEW FORM looks like. This is what a NEW FORM means.
Out of the box.
Out of the classroom.
Out of the traditional mode.
NEW FORMS mean the creation of Learning EVENTS with built in intrinsic value.
Oh, and by the way, congratulations to the New York teams. The sense of camaraderie and the overwhelming display of hard work and creativity made every single student a winner in my book. What I saw yesterday was A.W.E.S.O.M.E!
P.S. I didn’t mention the computer at all in this post. 21st Century Learning isn’t necessarily about tech tools. It’s about thinking, connections, problem solving, and collaboration. Technology might assist in those objectives, but they are just tools to enhance a process.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Pictures used are from Flickr:
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
I’ve been using Twitter for around 3 years now and consider it my lifeline for resources. I use it as a shared resource repository where I can not only find relevant resources, but also network with educational professionals all over the world.
I’ve had the very good fortune to meet a lot of the “Twitterati” in my network in school systems and at conferences and I’m grateful for the valuable conversations we are able to have!
Here are a selection of some of my “favorited” tweets in the last few months:
Thanks to all who make my Twitter experience worthwhile and engaging!