April 29, 2015
It’s hard to believe that the Google Hangouts (GHOs) feature has only been around since May of 2013! For many innovative K-12 and higher education teachers, GHOs have become a tool that we can’t live without. They allow us to connect with others around the world for impromptu meetings, live podcasts, global edcamps, and school-wide professional development.
Google Hangouts are highly utilized in the edtech community, but Hangouts on Air have increased in popularity due to their ability to broadcast live discussions publicly on YouTube. Hangouts on Air can be recorded and automatically saved on the host’s YouTube channel for future access. Up to ten people can participate in a Hangout on Air, but the number of viewers who can watch the live Hangout is unlimited. With school budgets dwindling each day, Hangouts on Air have allowed educators to grow professionally by connecting to experts from anywhere in the world — with no travel costs required.
via Hangouts on Air: Connecting Teachers With Content Experts | Edutopia.
April 27, 2015
Lately, I have noticed a lot of talk about the SAMR model of technology integration. For those unfamiliar, SAMR is a framework for evaluating the level at which a given technology has had an impact on teaching and learning. The acronym stands for substitution, augmentation, modification, redefinition. It was designed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura to define the level of impact that a particular technology has on a learning activity. Each word in the acronym represents a higher level of impact.
via The problem with the SAMR model | eSchool News | eSchool News.
April 27, 2015
PDFs are one of the most popular document formats, mainly because you can view them easily on any device. Sometimes you need to modify them or convert them to other formats depending on your usage.
SmallPDF is a free, online service that gives you the ability to compress, convert, split, merge, modify, (and more) PDF files.
It’s very easy to use. Select the function you want to perform from the home page and then just drag and drop your files. It’s that easy. It supports converting images to PDF and PDF to Office and Office to PDF, along with much more.
via Educational Technology Guy: SmallPDF – free, online PDF Tools – compress, convert, split and more.
April 22, 2015
What is qualitative formative assessment? Some call it anecdotal or informal assessment. However, such designations imply passivity — as if certain things were captured accidentally. I believe the word “formative” should always be included with the word assessment because all feedback mechanisms should help shape and improve the person (or situation) being assessed. Wedging the word “qualitative” into my terminology differentiates it from the analytic or survey-based measures that some associate with the term formative assessment.
For my purposes, qualitative formative assessment is the ongoing awareness, understanding, and support of learning that is difficult or impossible to quantify. An informal observation or the look on a learner’s face can inform a teacher about a student’s progress, yet such signals are challenging to capture or convey to the relevant agents (i.e., the learner, the teacher, or the parent).
via The Qualitative Formative Assessment Toolkit: Document Learning with Mobile Technology | Edutopia.
April 1, 2015
Over the last month, basically since I published this post, I have received a bunch of emails from teachers asking about ways to publish their audio recordings/ podcasts. Here are the methods and platforms that I’ve been recommending.Publishing your podcast through iTunes will probably give it the best opportunity to reach a large audience. People are familiar with the process of subscribing to podcasts through iTunes which will help you help them subscribe to your podcast. The drawback to using iTunes to publish your podcast is that the set-up process is confusing the first time you do it. WordPress can make the process a little easier. But if you’re only publishing occasionally or only looking to share your audio recordings with a specific audience (let’s say students, their parents, and perhaps another classroom or two) then you might be better served by using a simpler method of publishing your audio recordings.
via Free Technology for Teachers: A Handful of Ways to Publish Audio Recordings.
March 30, 2015
Friday the #TechTakeout crew had the great opportunity of taking over 4th grade at Baker Elementary School! Math has been one of the focus areas of the school so we decided to bring the math in our activities. We had such a great day filled with fun hands on technology infused stations.
The instructional technology team just received a bunch of new tools called MaKeyMakeys. Over the summer we will be able to spend more time with them to develop some rich curriculum connections. However, we have been doing our best to bring them into schools as soon as we can to get some hands on experiences rolling. Mrs. Hughes brought the MaKeyMakeys to Baker today to have the kids work on measurement.
via #TechTakeout @ Baker Elementary | CovaisTech.
March 30, 2015
We all know that our digital natives are very at ease with technology. In fact, they’re in love with it, but does that automatically make them digital proficient?
via Alice in WonderTech: The 9 C’s of Digital Literacy.
March 30, 2015
Around a billion and a half people all play video games of some sort. That’s more than 20% of the world’s population. Video games have become a part of life. They are now more than just leisure and entertainment. They are mainstream media, an everyday method of storytelling and representation. Games have become a common form of rhetoric for the 21st century.
Therefore, it is not surprising that educators, policy makers, investors, and developers are trying to build games for schools. However, the real reason game-based learning is so popular is not only because video games are extremely effective teaching tools; they are also relatively inexpensive to build and to distribute. In other words, they’re scalable, and replicable, and extensible, and all those other buzzwords that philanthropists, and venture capitalists, and policy makers like to hear. Video games have a lot going for them in a world that loves digital technologies and worships the concept of innovation.
via How Video Games In The Classroom Will Make Students Smarter – Forbes.
March 26, 2015
Whenever a college student asks me, a veteran high-school English educator, about the prospects of becoming a public-school teacher, I never think it’s enough to say that the role is shifting from “content expert” to “curriculum facilitator.” Instead, I describe what I think the public-school classroom will look like in 20 years, with a large, fantastic computer screen at the front, streaming one of the nation’s most engaging, informative lessons available on a particular topic. The “virtual class” will be introduced, guided, and curated by one of the country’s best teachers (a.k.a. a “super-teacher”), and it will include professionally produced footage of current events, relevant excerpts from powerful TedTalks, interactive games students can play against other students nationwide, and a formal assessment that the computer will immediately score and record.
via When the Computer Takes Over for the Teacher — The Atlantic.
March 23, 2015
The other day I was working with a group of elementary school teachers on lesson planning with technology. They were introducing some new vocabulary words to their fourth grade students and were looking for some ideas. As we began, they said very little and it was clear were expecting me to introduce some new tools and apps that they might adopt in their classrooms.
via True tech integration starts with learning goals | eSchool News | eSchool News.