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Showing posts from 2011

TIES 11: Keynote Gabe Zicherman Gamification

Gabe Zicherman , the author of the Gamification Blog and books like Gameification by Design was a last minute fill in for Keynote speaker, Jane McGonigal, who was ill and unable to attend TIES 2011. Zicherman got the audience hooked, with pics of Atari and Oregon trail (Jane has Dysentary!) In 1987, Carmen San Diego was the most important game. "Civilization took up about 8,000 hours of my life in grad school!" A game that teaches something without intending to. The dominant narative today is divided into "Games/Screens are Evil vs. Games can Fix the World!" Is it possible both are right? Who NEEDS the help games can provide? NYT article on kids being too hyper . Zicherman argues that maybe it's the adults! Doesn't teach kids to be patient and wait, de-habituated to how the real world works! "Do our kids have ADD or are our schools too slow?" Students do a lot of reading still, but the modality is different! Multitasking to the Max

TIES 11: Jennifer Magiera Defining the Digital Classroom

Chicago teacher, Jennifer Magiera wrote a grant for 1:1 iPads in her 4th and 5th grade classroom said that rather than Automating, you have to demolish what you've been doing in the classroom and start over. One transformative lesson far outweighs She focussed this talk on Differentiation and Assessment Assessment Who has to do state tests? District wide Common Core State Standards Bubble tests are now on the iPad Slate routines-RTI with time stamped images of student work Fluency Snapshots-She uses audio and picture along with Dibles with more evidence. Students can also do self checks. Google Tools for Formative and Summative Assessment! Her Website has much of her work. (It includes a "Mood Checkin" so she knows whether their ready to learn! She has her form set to automatically color code on assessments students complete w/ Google Forms. Differentiation How do we have accountability for the kids. She has been able to get the kids to connect with each o

TIES 11: Creating Student Centered Mobile Learning Networks using Facebook, Twitter and Cell Phones

Mike Slowinski , from West De Pere High School in Wisconsin shared how he is integrating social media collaboration in his session on " Creating Student-Centered Mobile Learning Networks Using Facebook, Twitter, and Cell Phones." He used the analogy of Frutios vs. Fruitloops to demonstrate that students prefer using certain tools, and while "walled garden" type products may look and taste like more popular sites, when push comes to shove, students want to use the tools they're comfortable with. He started in their district with Facebook Dual Identitiy (Social-Social vs. Professional-Social) Professional Account (WDP-FirstnameLastname) Symbolic Picture Limited to School Activities  Students were asking questions outside of class all the time. Facebook message/Inbox was used a lot. Students didn't have to put out perceived "dumb questions" in class, and allowed organic questions. Also posted on Wall. Twitter Integration Some students m

TIES 11: I-Imagine Waking Up A Generation To Their Own Greatness-Bernajean Porter

Bernajean Porter, an internationally known shared her work on Digital Storytelling , shared   i-Imagine , a project she has been working for the last few years to work on student engagement with telling their story. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a TRUE leader-John Adams 77% of students report being bored at school. Only 14% report having "Hope." She asked, what is the role of IQ in a persons success? 4-8% EQ-the Emotional Quota, of dreams and aspirations are much more important! This CAN be instilled in students, but it needs brains on fire and hearts alive! We need to go to "higher ground" to get at what kids really need. She gave an example of a kid who was given the assignment of "drawing a city." He chose to use MineCraft to design it instead, and narrated over it.  He gave a virtual tour of the emersive world that he had created for the assignment. What the student created is simil

TIES 11: Keynote-Joel Rose

Joel Rose Presenting at TIES11 Joel Rose , the co-founder of School of One . Started as a summer school program in 2009, moved to after-school and in school in 2010. Last year, 1500 students in 3 schools mostly for math. He says right now that it is 40% baked. School of One students showed an extra 1/2 to full year of growth. He taught for 3 years in Houston Horace Mann trip to Prussia Today 33% graduate and go on to college, 33% graduate but need remediation 33% drop out Teachers high turn over Satisfaction, 40% disheartened Why is the job so hard? Look at the plate! Who donates to public education? (Zuckerberg, Walton Family, Gates, ) All of the top donors don't add up to the unpaid hours a week that classroom teachers donate every year! And it's NOT tax deductable! The challenge of differentiation....Huge amount of time to personalize assessment. If we're serious about personalizing learning, we need multiple modalities to view instr

Looking Forward to TIES11!

Next week I'll be in downtown Minneapolis, for the 2011 TIES Conference . I'm really excited this year, because our district will have a large presence at the conference, both attending AND presenting! We were fortunate to have 14 staff get accepted this year, including many from our Teaching and Technology Cohort ! I'm proud to see how that group has stepped up and taken a leadership role within the district, as well as outside! It's great to share ! When I attend a conference, I try to strike a balance between: Attending sessions (Ones that "sound good" and Speakers I'm interested in learning from) Networking with colleagues face-to-face (As opposed to Virtually Here ) Visiting the vendor area to explore trends Here are some of the highlights and sessions that I'm looking forward to. This year's strands include: Personal learning and digital-age learning experiences Personal growth and leadership practice for educators Personal respons

The Power of a Hashtag! #EduWin

Last summer in Philadelphia I had the opportunity to attend Edubloggercon 2011 , an "un-conference" where participants can suggest topics for discussion, and then anyone interested can attend and participate in the sharing/learning. That's me in the middle! After the lunch break, the following session, proposed by Scott Meech, caught my eye: Why isn't education on the front page of the news? Posted By smeech With as much discussion taking place online about education, why isn't it on the front page? Let's talk about strategies to push this important discussion to the forefront in a positive and meaningful way. Just like Scott, I too had been frustrated by the education bashing that seemed to permeate the media landscape. I was glad to hear that I wasn't alone! During the session, he shared some of the work that he and other educators have been doing at , a site devoted to sharing what is working in education. As we were talking, Meech brought

Robert Stephens visits South View Middle School

On Thursday, November 17, Geek Squad Founder, and Best Buy Chief Technology Officer, Robert Stephens spoke to students and staff at South View Middle School. He was extremely engaging and listened to the students in our Smart Bar student support program as much as they listened to him. Here are some of the highlights of what he shared.

"Go Wireless" Bring Your Own Device Initiative

This year has seen an expansion of our "Go Wireless" Bring Your Own Device initiative. Currently 325 students, over 12% of the student population have gone through training and are certified to bring their devices at the middle level. This is the equivalent of over 10 computer labs coming to school each day! The training sessions cover: History of the program Frequently Asked Questions Expectations and Liability Purchasing Options What students CAN use the devices for Acceptable Use and Consequences for missuse How to connect to the wireless network A short survey A short Question and Answer session At the end of the training, parents and students sign an agreement, and the students receive a sticker indicating that they are "wireless certified." Students like the ability to access course content, take notes and stay organized on their own device, and report being able to get to work faster, than if they have to lo

Flipping Your Classroom Without Making Your Students Dizzy!

  Some rights reserved   by   JB London There has been a lot of press both locally and nationally ,and punditry pro and con lately around "flipping" instruction. "Flipping" is when you create video of your lecture or a demonstration that you would normally do in class, and then post the video for students to watch as homework at home. Proponents point out that this then allows the teacher to either complete activities that normally would be done as homework in class with the support of the teacher, or it allows for hands on activities to take place in the classroom with facilitation from the teacher.  Teachers may create their own videos, or rely on prepackaged video from publishing companies or others. Some believe that Sal Khan, creator of the " Khan Academy ," is their favorite teacher , and some question the accolades . This past summer, Scott McLeod convened an expert panel to debate the issue. For those thinking of flipping, or flipping well,

Guest Post:: Web Rant from an Old Geek

Today's offering is a guest post, by South View Middle School Art teacher, John Kraus. John and I have participated on a couple of Communities of Practice over the years, and today, when he sent out this as an e-mail to staff, I asked if he wouldn't mind if I shared it with a wider audience. John graciously agreed! You can learn more about his Web presence here , and/or view his blog here or follow him on Twitter . It has been a couple of weeks since I have wasted your time and filled school server space with an email rant.   What is the purpose of having a website for every class and teacher? Why do it, how does it work, who cares? Do I need to learn to do it myself – shouldn’t I be trained? I think if you are a professional in our society you need a good Web presence. To create an effective Web presence you must know your target audience for all the different Web tools – I think Webpages are not really just for students – we have Moodle for them.  And parents can alwa

What I like about Bring Your Own Device!

Today I was walking down the hall between our middle school and high school and came upon this scene: Here's what I like about this picture as it relates to our Bring Your Own Device initiative: The student in the middle is using her personal device on our network (You can tell by the bumper sticker on the front, and the fact that it's a Mac in a PC district!) This meets our goal of personalizing student learning .  They are working in the middle of the hall way ( Anytime/Anywhere learning outside the walls of the classroom ). They were all collaborating on the document she was working on ( Enhancing 21st Century Skills ).

Redefining "Awesome!"

On August 29, noted education author and speaker, Will Richardson spoke to our staff at the district kick-off event. His talk, " Learning In A Networked World: For Our Students and Ourselves ," is one I have seen a few times, but his message was new to staff here in Edina. Prior to his talk, our Superintendent, Dr. Ric Dressen, shared many of the positive things that have been happening in Edina. Our district has been recognized by many National and International organizations for excellence in education . Our district administers more AP exams than any district in a 5 state area, and graduates saved over $2 million in tuition costs through their success on those tests. The word of the day was: AWESOME ! After a brief story about how his children learned how to use a program via Skype from an 11 year old in Scotland, Richardson asked a question of the audience: How do we define learning? Richardson shared this definition from Seymour Sarason: The great thing is.." We