Publishing Options for Creative Projects

This past month, teachers at SHS brought their classes to the Apollo Press Student Publishing Center in the library to have their students see what tools are available to assist them with creative projects. Both IB History SL and Astronomy students were creating projects to demonstrate their understanding of concepts learned in class.

I love that several students used a variety of tools for their history and astronomy projects:

  • The 3D printer was used to design and print game pieces and artifacts
  • The 3D doodler pen was used to design objects and artifacts
  • One group made an original BreakoutEdu game with puzzles, clues, and locks
  • The Cricut cutting machine was used for cutting out letters and images
  • The color printer was used for posters and signs
  • Several students created a stop-motion animation movie
  • A few students filmed against the green screen using the TouchCast studio app

I created this HyperDoc of Publishing Options so students would have some directions or links to inspire ideas.

My goal of creating the publishing center was to have a design lab where students could hang out and meet other creative students and to support the teachers with their curriculum projects.

Every Monday, the library hosts #MakerMonday as a way for students to learn how to use the tools of the publishing center and to have fun and explore! A regular group of students stop by and play with the Spheros, make original buttons, or experiment with the 3D Doodler pen.

I am hoping more and more students will feel free to drop by the publishing center and continue to create impressive projects for class.

Student-Centered Learning Experiences

Student-centered learning experience

I want my students to work collaboratively together on a project and get the benefits of common knowledge, process and critical thinking
  • Use collaborative Google Apps for Education tools (Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Drawings) where every group member can work on the project at the same time
  • Use collaborative technology tools where multiple students can access:  Prezi, ThingLink, Padlet, EduBlogs, Wikispaces, LMS Digital Portfolio, Shared albums in Google Photos
  • Use online discussion forums (Edmodo, Canvas) to extend discussions beyond the class period
  • Host a backchannel chat during Socratic Seminar using Today’s Meet
  • Brainstorm ideas and post to digital bulletin boards (Padlet, Linoit, Dotstorming)
  • Hold asynchronous debates by recording opening arguments & rebuttals using video webcam
  • Use polling software (Socrative, Poll Everywhere, Google Forms) for surveys, opinions, voting, or polls. Collectively analyze data in Google Sheets and graph results
  • Use commenting on Google docs during the peer review process.
  • Use project management software (flow charts, brainstorm maps, graphic organizers, etc)
I want my students to have an authentic audience for their learning or to “do the real work of the discipline”
  • Have students blog and/or podcast about what they are learning in class for a real audience using EduBlogs or AudioBoom.
  • Find online collaborative projects with another class, global partners or other IB schools.
  • Bring in, record or Skype with experts in your field or host webinar using Google+ Hangouts.
  • Research real issues, participate in community projects then present solutions or steps to solve problems.
  • Design newspapers, presentations, PSA’s, a marketing plan or creative displays for organizations, business or outside groups
  • Submit writing to teen websites, publish books, eBooks or websites
  • Build 3-D models or simulations that others will use; Apply math concepts to real world problems
  • Participate in online challenges (EconChallenge, Global Math Challenge, Google Science Fair, etc.)
  • Collect real data & create graphs; analyze statistics or polling data & make inferences; present research to panel
  • Access Library of Congress source material, statistical data from Gov’t or NASA, explore research in electronic databases
I want to give students more ownership or choice in their learning and create a performance task instead of a traditional written paper or test.
  • Provide options for how students can demonstrate their understanding by offering a variety of performance tasks:  Video project, newscast, online simulations, research & role play, design, build & create, digital art projects, interactive posters, Infographics, multimedia presentations, digitally record a written narration, place-based content embedded on map, build a class website, drama
  • Have students “teach” classmates by making “Khan Academy” style videos, Create online how-to guides using SnapGuide.com, start a YouTube channel
  • Create time for “Genius Hour” or passion-based research projects; showcase projects at Learning Fair.
  • Allow for self-selected print reading material, eBooks or Audiobooks

ISTE 2015

 Unleash the Power of Your iPad with “App Smashing”

Come play and learn the power of App Smashing, the process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a new and creative final task or project. We’ll put together fun combinations of apps to use with middle and high school formative assessments, presentations and student work.

  • Scheduled:
    • Wednesday, July 1, 1:15–2:15 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
    • Building/Room: PCC 126A

This sessions will showcase iPad apps but the concept of app smashing is open to any platform or device. Participants may choose ANY apps to smash. I recommend they install five different types of apps but are not limited to these suggestions: Photo Editing/Collage/Comic Strip apps (including one where you can add text, such as: Phonto, Pic Collage, Strip Designer, etc ) Screencasting / Presentation apps (Such as: Keynote, Haiku Deck, Prezi, EduCreations, Explain Everything, etc) Interactive / ePub creation apps (Such as: Thinglink, Book Creator, Snapguide, etc) Multimedia Apps (Such as iMovie, VoiceThread, Tellagami, etc)

Resources:

https://sites.google.com/site/colettecassinelli/appsmashing

 

LibGuides & the new tools guide

Joyce Valenza's New Tools LibGuide

I have always been a fan of Joyce Valenza’s new tool workshop wiki.  She does a great job of organizing resources in one place that I often send students to her site to find sites for “copy friendly” images and audio or spend some time browsing through her eBook pathfinder.

Today on Twitter, I saw an announcement that she is moving all of the information on her new tool workshop wiki to LibGuides  http://sdst.libguides.com/newtools. The new tool LibGuide looks great – my only suggestion is to have the tabs in alphabetical order – or group by theme somehow.

I have been previewing LibGuides this past month and trying to determine what additional values I would receive if I went with this site compared to the cost of the yearly service.  Our school currently does not have an effective repository of information literacy and technology resources for students or staff – except our old Library website – which I have been asked to either remove or integrate with our new school website.

My tech director and I have discussed several times about creating a school tech resources guide either through Moodle or Google Sites.  So, my dilemma now is to rely on others who do a wonderful job of cataloging resources on the web or do I create my own pathfinder.

For now I am happy to use the resources of a lot of smart people like Joyce or Richard Byrne … but I’m kinda itching to do my own … stay tuned!

AASL Best 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning

AASL’s 25 Best Sites for Teaching and Learning was posted last Fall but I never had a chance to blog about it.  It contains links to a huge variety of resources for both teachers and librarians.  Some of my favorite tools like Jing, Prezi, and the fabulous FREE webinar from Learn Central made the list and a few others that I have heard of before but haven’t had the chance to use with students – like MuseumBox and Storybird.

Here are three that I feel are important for teacher librarians:

Live Binders
Live Binders are a great way for Librarians to quickly share a series of website to share with students or teachers.  You make a binder with websites, images, documents, a PowerPoint and movies.   You can make binders private or public.  If you want to share a private binder you give people an access key.  A new feature is that you can now collaborate on LiveBinders.   I love the idea of a students  creating a PowerPoint or uploading an essay and  then including the sites of where they got their information.  Use the Present button to view your LiveBinder like a PowerPoint.    Here is the link to my sample project I made for a Religion teacher: http://livebinders.com/play/present?id=61731

Creative Commons
I think it is essential to teach students about Creative Commons licensing if we want our students to honor intellectual property.  Giving our students opportunities to be content-creators helps them value the works of artists, photographers, musicians, etc.  Explain to a student when they create something they immediately own the copyright to that creation.  They do not need to have a © to protect their creation.  Students can choose to apply a Creative Commons license to their work if they choose.  Students can choose whether to allow commercial use of their work, allow modifications and require attribution (credit).  Here is an example of a Creative Commons license:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.  Another aspect of CC is requiring students to find images that have a CC license so they do not violate copyright.  Joyce Valenza has a great wiki with all kinds of resources at:  http://copyrightfriendly.wikispaces.com/

National Science Digital Library
I had the opportunity to attend a workshop given by the NSDL.  What an incredible resource!  The NSDL is the National Science Foundation’s online library of resources and collections for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and research.  Think of it as a search engine for all things science.  The NSDL collects resources from various organizations and evaluates them before allowing them to be part of their collection.  Every Librarian and STEM teacher should know about it.  Plus, the NSDL offers workshops, seminars, and presentations to teach you how to use their digital resources.

How networked learning works in MS Science class

A 7th grade student gives a tour of her personal learning environment. This project was conducted as part of dissertation research implementing the use of networked learning and construction of personal learning environments in a 7th grade life science class.

Read more about this project from Wendy Drexler

Tech Tip Tuesday: Favorite Google Tools

For our last Tuesday Tech Tip of the year, MaryFran and I decided that we should share our Five Favorite Google Tools.

Mary Fran’s Favs

Five…how could we possibly narrow the number of favorite Google Tools to 5? It has been more challenging than I would have guessed In the end, I decided to chose the five tools I use most.

Search
Most people have their first encounter with Google through Search. They expect to be able to ask a question and get their answer in return. I am continually amazed at the quality of the results and the number of Search Features Google offers. Recently, the Google Search team put together a series of 15 Second Search Tips. The topics range from Unit Conversion to finding local Movie Times. It’s always good to go back and refresh your memory on all Search has to offer.

Search Options, added to the Search page in May, lets you filter your results by type, time, and even offers suggestions for related searches. If you haven’t yet looked at Wonder Wheel you ought to give it a try.

Custom Search
A feature of Search that I like that we haven’t covered is Google’s Custom Search Engine. Being a third grade teacher, setting my students loose in the World Wide Web can sometimes be a bit scary. When I assign third graders to do a research presentation on spiders in the Media Center, I don’t want to have to worry about what results they are going to get for [black widow] and since I want to incorporate teaching skimming and scanning skills, I want to make sure my primary students can read the results they get. So, I set up a Google Custom Search to limit the sites they have access to by simply dropping the URLs for the websites I’ve pre-screened into a form.

Docs
My favorite characteristic of Docs is its collaborative feature. It has helped Colette and me coordinate our schedule, my third grade team and I work together on the Educational Action Plan while I spent two weeks in Buffalo in September, my grade level team share grades for our rotation students, and my students to put together two presentations while working on it at the same time in the Media Center (thank you, Kelli Glass for putting up with the noise and confusion). And because it is all stored in “the Cloud,” I have access to my Docs wherever and whenever I have a device that can access the internet. This came in super handy when I went to give a presentation with my laptop and forgot to bring along the connector to hook my Mac up to the projector…I was able to turn on their Dell and access my slides!

Forms
Another favorite feature of Docs is Forms. I used it to collect phone numbers and e-mail addresses at back-to-school night, thus avoiding having to decipher a parent’s handwriting :-), to collect information from students on science observations, reactions to our field trips, to “vote” in the November elections, to gather “book report” information, and so much more. It is so easy to set up and the summary information provides instant graphs, and the kids love working online in the classroom or from home.

Gmail
While it took a bit getting used to, I love, love, love, Gmail’s threaded conversations. It is so nice to have all of the communication on a subject right there, in chronological order to refer to. But when that doesn’t work in finding that e-mail I want to refer back to, Search Mail always seems to come through for me.

It is very easy to filter messages to have them go to separate folders, and Google has done an amazing job at keeping SPAM out of my inbox. I also like getting a view of my Calendar and Tasks from the one screen I use most.
I am very excited to see how Google Wave will transform the “email” experience.


Colette’s Fab Five

My favorite Google tools are similar to MaryFran’s choices – but I guess that shows how valuable these products are.

Gmail
I’ve been using Gmail since it first was in Beta and love it.  It keeps getting better and better.  I first loved how the conversations were linked together and have learned how to “search” for mail instead of wasting time organizing my mail into folders.  The integrated tasksand calendar features are really nice.

Docs / Forms
Using Google Docs& Spreadsheets this year with my HS Computer students has been transformational.  Students are much more willing to collaborate on projects instead of relying on one student to do more of the writing.  We have found so many uses for Forms, like surveys, data collection, and quizzes.  I am even moving all my lesson planning documents online to keep them updated and accessible from anywhere.

Maps
Personally I use maps all the time.  How did I ever find any location before Google Maps?  But now I find that I first go to maps to choose restaurants, accommodations and parks by using the “search nearby” feature.

My students also enjoyed mashing up Google Maps with photos, text and video this year.  Having the ability to go between Google Maps and Google Earth is also pretty cool!

Calendar
I’ve convinced my whole family to start using Google Calendarthis year and now its easy to remind them of important dates and upcoming events.  I color-code different categories (family, school, PD, etc) to make it easier to glance at my calendar and see what’s happening or sort by category.

Search
Last but not least is Google Search.  I love the new Search Options that I wrote about last week.  I use search for everything — recipes, questions, health information, current events – you name it.  I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t use Google search for something.  I find the results relevant and accurate but always have the option to narrow down or broaden my search with advanced search or the new options.


MaryFran and I met nearly a year ago at the Google Teacher Academy. At the end of a jam-packed 12 hour day, we were challenged to stretch ourselves to learn more about all that Google has to offer and to make a plan to share what we learned with other teachers. As one of our three projects we were asked to commit to, we decided to take on the task of putting out a weekly tech tip for our staffs. It’s been great for the two of us and hopefully you learned something too.

We will not be doing Google Tech Tips Tuesday again next year but I am planning on continuing weekly Tech Tips but branch out to other technology resources.

Once again, thank you for all support and encouragement you’ve given us over the year.
~MaryFran Lynch and Colette Cassinelli

Top Ten Tools – My Update

I’ve participated in Jane Hart’s Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008 (http://janeknight.typepad.com/pick/2008/11/top-100-tools-for-learning-2008.html) but somehow missed the fall 2008 update.

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: tools learning)


Tools come and go but a few stand the test of time.  Here is my updated list from Fall of 2008.

  1. Google Apps for Education – New tool rises to the top:  I started using Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sites and custom Start Page) with my computer students this school year and it has made ALL the difference with collaboration and communication in my classroom.
  2. Gmail. I love this web based email system and the fact that I can access it from any computer. Not only do you get tons of storage but I like the way it keeps the threaded conversations together. Gmail chat is awesome and the new Video Chat is very cool.
  3. Google Docs. Google docs are great for collaborating and sharing information with others. You must invite friends to participate in your documents but it’s so easy to edit ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!.
  4. New to the list this year is Google Reader.  I used to use Bloglines but when it was bought out and then stopped updating some of my feeds, I switched to Google Reader.  I also love reading blog posts on my new G1 phone.
  5. iGoogle Ok, ok, so I love of all the of the Google products – but I do use them and find them easy to use. iGoogle is a personalized page (which I make as my own homepage) that you can customize with all kinds of widgets like: weather, calendar, CNN news, Google Reader (RSS), Gmail notifier, jokes, etc…
  6. Twitter – Another new tool this year is Twitter.  I have come to depend on it for sharing collaborative projects and keeping the pulse on what’s happening in the Blogosphere.
  7. del.icio.us. I can’t believe how much I depend on this social bookmarking tool to remember sites I have visited but also for sharing cool sites with my friends. Now I don’t need to be that annoying friend who always sends emails recommending websites (I can’t help myself) – if I find a site and know my friend’s del.icio.us name I can tag the site as: for:ccassinelli and then when that user goes to their del.icio.us account they can add my favorite to theirs. This is very helpful for group projects!
  8. flickr. This web-based photo sharing site is awesome for uploading photos to share with friends. I like how you can create different albums and tag photos for easy sorting. I also love snooping through my friend’s albums too!
  9. Google Sites – lets you create simple, secure group websites. Share information with a few people, a whole organization, or the entire world.
  10. Audacity. This easy to use FREE audio editing software is easy to use for podcasting and editing audio files. You will need the LAME Mp3 encoder if you want to export your audio files at MP3 instead of WAV – but it’s easy to download and install.

Off the list this year:  Bloglines

Still like:

  • Voicethread – A great tool for encouraging collaboration in your classroom. Upload photos and add text, audio or voice comments with a web cam. My new personal favorite way to get students to share comments with each other.
  • Wikispaces. I’ve already mentioned my love of wikis i for collaboration and easy editing – wikis are the way to go. – but with the addition of Sites to the Google suite – I don’t use Wikispaces as much as I used to.  I also love the fact that Wikispaces gives FREE wikis to teachers. Thanks for the support!
  • Moodle. I started using Moodle this last year with a few of my computer classes but will use this open-source course management system with all my classes this year. It’s easy to use, has built in blogging and modules (quizzes, journals, docs) that make it easy to keep all class documents in one area.

Focus on learning & use tools effectively

Jen at @injenuity shared her concerns in a post entitled, “Web 2.0 is Not the Future of Education”. She states that early tech adopters are focusing on integrating new tools in their teaching instead of focusing on LEARNING. She writes:

“Learning is the future of education. Students need to develop an awareness of how they learn. By student, I mean every human being with whom we come in contact… All people deserve the right to understand how learning happens and the power they have to control their own lifelong learning journey.

Why are we hording these technology tools like some kind of magic trick that can only be performed for those worthy enough to earn our approval? We must embrace a more holistic approach to teaching and learning…

I really just want people to start to build their foundational values as educators, without ‘Web 2.0? as part of those values. The tools can enable engagement, transfer of learning and collaboration and can open the world to the student. Please see the student before the tools and give them the power they need in order to be successful with them.”

As a technology teacher who has transformed her computer classes from skill-based to LEARNING based – I whole heartedly agree with Jen. Its easy to get caught up in the lastest gadget or software tool. I feel my goal is to teach students how to learn.

I think part of this excitement depends on your basic personality. I am a learner. I love learning new things. It excites me and motivates me.

Other people are more cautious. They question the need for change. Change makes them uncomfortable and are slow to adopt.

Is there anything wrong with either one of these approaches? No. They each have their advantages and disadvantages.

But in the classroom our focus MUST be on engaging students as learners. Technology does provide opportunities for students to connect and be creative in ways that are unique and tranformative. But it takes a passionate and educated teacher to know the best way to do that.

I admit that I am guilty of rushing to incorporate a new tool into my classroom and found the experience to be lackluster. Usually it is because I haven’t taken the time to determine how using this piece of software will best meet my instructional goals and demonstrate student understanding.

When I first heard about VoiceThread I immediately saw it’s potential to engage students and give them a voice. But without careful planning, my student’s first attempts were more like narrated powerpoints with a few audio comments that said “Good Job”.

I didn’t give up, though. My frustration with the results made me dig deeper and ask myself what is the unique power of this tool that I can’t recreate in person.

My students love to discuss and debate – but it seems that the only ones who speak up are those with outgoing personalities.

VoiceThread gives each student an opportunity to plan and share their idea or point of view in the medium they are most comfortable in – text, audio or video. The collaborative nature of VoiceThread also allows students to respond back in a way that is appropriate and safe. Eric Brunsell commented, “VoiceThread, just like PowerPoint, is pointless if students are not crafting an argument, creating art (visual, aural or written), somehow communicating authentic thinking.”

Whenever I assign a project, I like to give my students a choice on how they will present the information (video, blog, PowerPoint, VoiceThread, etc..). Students can now choose a tool that fits their personality and learning style and the focus is on the message and not the tool.

Last year I blogged about this concept of focusing on student learning:

Student-centered learning means that the focus is on the learner – not the teacher and how the material is presented. The emphasis is on how the student is learning, the choices they have for expressing their learning, and how the teacher comes to understand that the student is learning.

But at the same time, I also teach these students HOW to use the tools effectively so the project doesn’t become about the flashiness of PowerPoint or the coolness of video.

We need to do both.

Michele Martin’s comment on Jen’s entry summed it up, “It’s about using technology along with the right thinking and collaborative processes.”

Top Ten Tools 2008

Colette’s (updated) Top 10 Tools

  1. tool.jpgGmail. I love this web based email system and the fact that I can access it from any computer. Not only do you get tons of storage but I like the way it keeps the threaded conversations together. Gmail chat is also nifty.
  2. Google Docs. Google docs are great for collaborating and sharing information with others. You must invite friends to participate in your documents but it’s so easy to edit ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!.
  3. iGoogle Ok, ok, so I love of all the of the Google products – but I do use them and find them easy to use. iGoogle is a personalized page (which I make as my own homepage) that you can customize with all kinds of widgets like: weather, calendar, CNN news, Google Reader (RSS), Gmail notifier, jokes, etc…
  4. del.icio.us. I can’t believe how much I depend on this social bookmarking tool to remember sites I have visited but also for sharing cool sites with my friends. Now I don’t need to be that annoying friend who always sends emails recommending websites (I can’t help myself) – if I find a site and know my friend’s del.icio.us name I can tag the site as: for:ccassinelli and then when that user goes to their del.icio.us account they can add my favorite to theirs. This is very helpful for group projects!
  5. flickr. This web-based photo sharing site is awesome for uploading photos to share with friends. I like how you can create different albums and tag photos for easy sorting. I also love snooping through my friend’s albums too!
  6. My first RSS aggregator was Bloglinesand I still use it today. I like how I can create folders for all of the ed tech blogs I read. Here are my folders: personal, ed tech bloggers, under consideration and last chance. When I stumble across a blog I might be interested in I add the feed in the under consideration folder. When I find that I enjoy the blog and read it often it moved up in rank to the ed tech bloggers folder while some of those are demoted to last chance before I decide to do away with the feed.
  7. Audacity. This easy to use FREE audio editing software is easy to use for podcasting and editing audio files. You will need the LAME Mp3 encoder if you want to export your audio files at MP3 instead of WAV – but it’s easy to download and install.
  8. Wikispaces. I’ve already mentioned my love of wikis in my blog but for collaboration and easy editing – wikis are the way to go. I also love the fact that Wikispaces gives FREE wikis to teachers. Thanks for the support!
  9. Voicethread – A great tool for encouraging collaboration in your classroom. Upload photos and add text, audio or voice comments with a web cam. My new personal favorite way to get students to share comments with each other.
  10. Moodle. I started using Moodle this last year with a few of my computer classes but will use this open-source course management system with all my classes this year. It’s easy to use, has built in blogging and modules (quizzes, journals, docs) that make it easy to keep all class documents in one area.

TOP 100 TOOLS FOR LEARNING – SPRING 2008
as collected by Jane Hart

 

2007 Top Ten Tools: http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/colettecassinelli.html (my current list is pretty similar to the 2007 list. Hey – I like what I like!)

Photo Credit: http://flickr.com/photos/cayusa/2221656599/

ITSC notes – new tools/sites

Tumblr – easy blogging tool that does not require email authentication.

Nicenet – A simple tool for classroom teachers to set up their own threaded discussion boards. Functional – not fancy.

SmugMug – photo sharing website

Jajah – Low cost global phone-to-phone calls without a computer or Internet capable mobile phone

Kuler – color swatches that can be downloaded to Adobe products

EdTech 20/20 blog by Tim Chase

Ad Council – Cyberbullying – PSAs to show to students about cyberbullying

Instructional Technology Strategies Conference (ITSC) – February 17-19, 2008

Engaging Students with Authentic Technology Projects – Sun, 2/17/08, 7:30-8:30 pm

Handouts located at: http://edtechvision.wikispaces.com/ITSC

Embrace 21st century strategies to create an instructional learning environment that moves away from teaching isolated computer skills towards an integrated thematic approach. Come learn how you can combine everyday productivity tools with Web 2.0 to support curriculum integration and collaboration.


The National Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S) recommends that educators establish new learning environments that provide real world opportunities for students to utilize current information and technology resources (ISTE, 2000).

According to The American Youth Policy Forum (2000) instruction in today’s high schools must change. Disengagement from the learning process is a widespread problem in high schools as students do not perceive how lessons are relevant to their lives.

The American Youth Policy Forum reports that lecture style classes continue to dominate classroom instruction and content is divorced from the real world. Schools need to embrace new strategies for learning based on current research of how students learn, implement effective uses of technology in the classroom, and develop “21st Century Skills” while maintaining a rigorous academic curriculum (Burkhardt et al., 2003 http://www.ncrel.org/engauge).

It takes vision and planning to engage students in authentic learning experiences. Teachers must identify which instructional strategies are most effective and understand how to infuse technology into lessons with real world applications.


Instead of asking the question “What technology skills must students have to face the 21st century?” should we not be asking “What thinking and literacy skills must students have to face the 21st century?” These skills are not tied to any particular software or technology-type, but rather aim to provide students with the thinking skill and thus the opportunity to succeed no matter what their futures hold.” Justin Medved, Dennis Harter
Curriculum is designed from the best practice approaches to teaching and learning found in Understanding by Design

The Essential Questions for the 21st Century Learner are:

  • How do you know information is true?
  • How do you communicate effectively?
  • What does it mean to be a global citizen?
  • How do I learn best?
  • How can we be safe?

These questions speak to thinking, critically evaluating, analyzing, and communicating. They emphasize the value in responsible behavior and knowing yourself as a learner. http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/


Career Unit – Based on John Holland’s six personality traits

Goals: critically evaluating, analyzing, communication

Work Samples:

 

Make a PhotoShow Full Size

Career Resources:


Lunch Nutrition and Recycling Unit

Goals: analyzing, communication, evaluating

Work Samples

Nutrition / Waste Recycling Resources


Other Classroom Activities:

TOP 100 TOOLS FOR LEARNING 2007 – http://c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/toolbox2007.html

  • Valiant Pride: New student edition – a newspaper that my students designed for new incoming students (samples:
  • Search Engine Extravaganza – PowerPoint presentations to teach our school community about unique search engines
  • BE SAFE ONLINE! Projects made by students to discuss online safety (including chat rooms, cyber bullying, online profiles, photo sharing, etc)
    • Wiki to store document sources used in projects
    • Samples of projects made on blogs, Flickr, and Google presentations (work in progress)
  • Curriculum Review Quizzes – Note: action buttons and hyperlinks do not work on slideshare – you must download the PowerPoint first

Note: Some of the lessons in this session are based on activities that I designed for my Action Research Project for my MA in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University. Three complete thematic units are located at http://cadres.pepperdine.edu/ar/c9/Cassinelli/arp.htm

 


Works Cited

  1. American Youth Policy Forum http://www.aypf.org/
  2. Best Jobs for the 21st Century, 4th Edition by Michael Farr. ©2006 JIST Publishing, Inc.
  3. Curriculum 2.0 http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/
  4. enGauge 21st Century Skills: Literacy in the Digital Age (Burkhardt, G., Monsour M., Valdez, G., Gunn, C., Dawson, M., Lemke, C., et al., 2003) North Central Regional Educational Laboratory and the Metiri Group, http://www.ncrel.org/engauge
  5. National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S) http://cnets.iste.org/students/s_stands.htmlhttp://cnets.iste.org/students/s_stands.htmlhttp://cnets.iste.org/students/s_stands.html

OETC professional development cadre

Today I participated in the OETC professional development cadre. We spent the afternoon discovering some Web 2.0 technologies. Yes, most of these tools are online, free and can be embedded in websites – but only a handful would actually be useful in the classroom. The others are just for fun – or another scheme to get you to register and capture your email address. Here is a list of some of them that were shared:

Voki – create your own talking avatar. I’m not quite sure how to use this in education or how it qualifies as a Web 2.0 tool – but it’s fun thing to have on your blog or website.

PhotoShowonline free version of Photoshow5 software. Upload photos from your computer, any MySpace account, or photo URL. After uploading photos, you can customize your music, captions and transition styles.

VoicethreadUpload photos and record narration for a photo story. Allows viewers to record their comment to show. Very easy to use and allows multiple user to comment on each account. Of the list here, probably the most useful in the classroom. Updated version coming October 10th.

PollDaddyCreate free polls for your website. Easy to make and easy to embed.

Toondoo – Cartoon strip creator. Fun and easy to make. Better for younger kids.

Slide.com – Slide widgets — including Slideshows, Guestbooks, SkinFlix and FunPix — are popular on top social networking and blog platforms.

Sitekreator You can build your own professional site with page and navigation management, add an unlimited number of pages, and maintain a unified appearance and consistent navigation structure. The folks that evaluated it were not that impressed.

OurStory Save stories, photos, and videos on a collaborative timeline. Has potential – need to check it out more.

Bubbl.usBubbl.us is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online. you can create mind maps online, share and work with friends, and embed your mind map in your blog or website.

kSolo – Online karaoke!

I loved the networking and sharing of the professional development cadre and they modeled some great techniques for presenting professional devleopment with technology, but I was concerned about their choice of Web 2.0 tools. Since over 1/2 of the members of the cadre were new – why weren’t tools like del.icio.us, blogs, wikis, podcasting, Google docs, Moodle, flickr, etc reviewed (or at least introduced to the newbies!). I’m concerned about the explosion of “free” online tools that can be embedded on websites tooted as the latest Web 2.0 tools. Most of them are geared towards the Myspace crowd and don’t have a place in the classroom.

I am glad we watched the new Did you know? video and visited the ShiftHappens wiki at: http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com/Suggestions+for+Using+the+Presentation

Other tools that were shared that I didn’t get a chance to check out yet:

Instructional scaffolding

In his article about Instructional scaffolding, Konrad Glogowski describes a educational scenario how Web 2.0 tools support learning:

Let’s say that the student has chosen a specific aspect of the broader topic of social justice and is in the process of collecting information and resources. In today’s world of the world wide web and information overload, the student can begin to feel lost amid all the information. This presents the teacher with a perfect opportunity to introduce RSS, for example, or a tool that can be used to aggregate video clips, such as VodPod or a YouTube account. It also presents a perfect opportunity to work with the student on specific curriculum related skills, such as summarizing. This can also be a fantastic opportunity to help the student start a research journal (on her blog, using a del.icio.us account, or a tumble log) or use mindmapping to develop a plan for further research. The point here is that once the student feels stuck, overwhelmed, or discouraged, a perfect opportunity presents itself for the teacher (or a more knowledgeable peer) to step in and offer support.

Glogowski quotes Judith A. Langer who argues “that in order to use instructional scaffolding teachers need to ensure that the students have ownership of the learning event”. Glogowski goes on to say that “once the student is engaged as a researcher/writer/thinker, the teacher can focus on conversing with the student.”

Researcher/writer/thinker. Do we view our students like that? Do we give our students the respect to initiate, plan and developing their own learning and thinking? Do we see our ourselves as “co-participants” in our student’s research or are we waiting for the final product to be finished so we can “evaluate” it.

This mind shift is critical if we are to embrace a learner-centered environment. But Glogowski also makes a second point:

The sense of partnership that developed through the initial set of instructional conversations needs to evolve in order to be of benefit to the student. Since I now know (I have seen) that my student has made progress, I need to use different tools and engage in different conversations in order to ensure that the student does not see my involvement as patronizing or intrusive. The set of competencies that developed as a result of our instructional conversations now demands that our conversations increase in sophistication.

Our responsibilites and the tools we use change as our students grow and learn. As educators we cannot sit by passively and wait for our students “to get it”. We need to constantly adapt, challenge and find new ways to engage them in the conversation so they are involved in the process. Glogowski states that “blogging in a supportive community of peers …allows for the development of higher-order cognitive operations”. He concluded with two pieces of advice:

 

  • Create “activity settings” where writing is a tool for learning and not a way of presenting acquired information.
  • Ensure that writing is motivated by the student’s need to communicate ideas that are important – things that he or she wants to say.
  • Top Ten Tools

    Top Ten ToolsThanks to a comment by Larry Ferlazzo I have been checking out the various lists of top ten favorite tools that are listed on Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day.

    You can submit your top ten list of favorite tools (only 10???) and then Jane is compiling all the tools mentioned into one master list – the Top 100.

    I especially enjoyed looking at the list by guest submitter Jay Cross. Hearing how and why different folks liked their chosen tools intrigued me enough to spend way too much time checking them all out.

    Here are my favorite tools (in no particular order).

    1. Google Products:
      • Gmail. I love this web based email system and the fact that I can access it from any computer. Not only do you get tons of storage but I like the way it keeps the threaded conversations together. Gmail chat is also nifty.
      • Google Docs. Google docs are great for collaborating and sharing information with others. You must invite friends to participate in your documents but it’s so easy to edit ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!.
      • iGoogle and Google reader. Ok, ok, so I love of all the of the Google products – but I do use them and find them easy to use. iGoogle is a personalized page (which I make as my own homepage) that you can customize with all kinds of widgets like: weather, calendar, CNN news, Google Reader (RSS), Gmail notifier, jokes, etc…
      • Googlemaps, Google Earth, SketchUp …. I love ’em all!
    2. Del.icio.us. I can’t believe how much I depend on this social bookmarking tool to remember sites I have visited but also for sharing cool sites with my friends. Now I don’t need to be that annoying friend who always sends emails recommending websites (I can’t help myself) – if I find a site and know my friend’s del.icio.us name I can tag the site as: for:ccassinelli and then when that user goes to their del.icio.us account they can add my favorite to theirs. This is very helpful for group projects!
    3. Flickr. This web-based photo sharing site is awesome for uploading photos to share with friends. I like how you can create different albums and tag photos for easy sorting. I also love snooping through my friend’s albums too!
    4. My first RSS aggregator was Bloglines and I still use it today. I like how I can create folders for all of the ed tech blogs I read. Here are my folders: personal, ed tech bloggers, under consideration and last chance. When I stumble across a blog I might be interested in I add the feed in the under consideration folder. When I find that I enjoy the blog and read it often it moved up in rank to the ed tech bloggers folder while some of those are demoted to last chance before I decide to do away with the feed.
    5. Audacity. This easy to use FREE audio editing software is easy to use for podcasting and editing audio files. You will need the LAME Mp3 encoder if you want to export your audio files at MP3 instead of WAV – but it’s easy to download and install.
    6. Wikispaces. I’ve already mentioned my love of wikis earlier in my blog but for collaboration and easy editing – wikis are the way to go. I also love the fact that wikispaces gives FREE wikis to teachers. Thanks for the support!
    7. Skype. I use skype more for IM and group chatting than Internet phone calling but it’s easy to use and really catching on.
    8. Flock and Firefox. Both of these browsers are excellent and have cool extensions. Most browsers have built in RSS but you can also access your Flickr pics right from the Flock toolbar – kewl!
    9. Moodle. I started using Moodle this last year with a few of my computer classes but will use this open-source course management system with all my classes this year. It’s easy to use, has built in blogging and modules (quizzes, journals, docs) that make it easy to keep all class documents in one area.
    10. YouTube. YouTube is great when you need a few laughs or want to share short family video with loved ones across the country. I also love the idea of TeacherTube. Educators need a safe and secure place where our students can particpate in the social aspect of video sharing and engaging students with video responses.

    So, there’s my list. I didn’t include software tools like MS Office, Dreamweaver, Inspiration, InDesign and all of those productivity tools that I use everyday.

    What is your top 10?