3 Ways To Raise Money for Tech in the Classroom — THE Journal

April 23, 2014

#ifsherlockhadgoogleglass was off to an early lead with four correct answers at the one hour mark in the Tech Search Party. But when the clock had finally run its course two hours from the moment the scavenger hunt had begun, it was the Immersion Mamas who won the annual fundraising competition. The real winners, however, were the technology programs in three schools in San Francisco that would split the $15,000-plus raised.The Tech Search Party was one parent’s idea for generating the money his kids’ schools needed to get their hands on technology. But it’s not the only way that people are raising the funds they need to buy new gear and training to add technology into the classroom. A teacher in Oregon used crowdfunding site DonorsChoose to generate some of the funding she needed to bring Chromebooks into her fourth grade; and a seventh grade English teacher in Memphis used PledgeCents, a lesser known crowdfunding site, to raise the money to buy a new classroom projector.In each case the district couldn’t provide the technology budget needed for these acquisitions, so individuals took on the job of doing it themselves. The lesson they’ve all learned: If they can do it, the rest of us can too.

via 3 Ways To Raise Money for Tech in the Classroom — THE Journal.


The Innovative Educator – bplants@gmail.com – Gmail

April 21, 2014

“The only difference between smartphones and laptops is that cell phones are smaller, cheaper, and more coveted by students” (Richtel & Stone, 2009). Students, parents, teachers, principals, and elected officials know it is time to lift restrictions and embrace these tools for learning. Below is their wisdom and the research to support it.

via The Innovative Educator – bplants@gmail.com – Gmail.


10 Innovative EdTech Programs Happening In Schools – Edudemic

April 21, 2014

This year marked the third year of the $200,000 Follett Challenge, which encourages K-12 schools around the US to share their innovative programs that have been put in place to prepare our modern students for the demands of the 21st century.Recently, the 4 semifinalists plus the “People’s Choice” winners —were announced. We thought that their programs were pretty cool and worth sharing. The winners were based on the number of votes they received from the public.

via 10 Innovative EdTech Programs Happening In Schools – Edudemic.


Students Want More Alignment of Tech In and Out of School | MindShift

April 9, 2014

Project Tomorrow’s 2013 Speak Up survey of more than 325,000 students and 75,000 parents, teachers and administrators digs into how students and teachers are using technology in school and for learning outside of school, and comes up with some interesting insights about the pervasiveness of tech use.A quarter of students in grades 3-5 and a third of students in grades 6-12 report using a mobile device provided by their school in class. This trend is more pronounced in Title I schools. Still, as tech use proliferates, digital equity has risen to the top as a concern for district leaders. Forty-six percent of district technology leaders say student access to the internet outside of school is one of the most challenging issues they face.The report also highlighted the popularity of digital learning games among both teachers and students. A quarter of teachers surveyed said they’re integrating digital games into their teaching. Twenty-five percent of students report playing an online game outside of school specifically to learn something. And contrary to the stereotype, girls love video games too, with 37 percent of middle school girls reporting they play games regularly on tablets. The number of girls equals boys in mobile game play as well. The differences lie in the kinds of games each gender favors, with boys still dominating massively multi-player online games.

via Students Want More Alignment of Tech In and Out of School | MindShift.


Can Minecraft Foster a Growth Mindset?

April 2, 2014

Understanding motivation

Always a teacher, I am continuously thinking about how we can guide our students toward producing authentic examples of what they are learning through this game. Our state department of education, which provided the funding for our club, would like some data to show the level of effectiveness of our activities in terms of student learning.

It is also important that we assess the potential these activities have for integration within our general instruction. We have been assigning badges for certain types of accomplishments within Edmodo, such as “Star Performer” if they uploaded a video of themselves giving a book talk. Our thinking is that these types of motivators will encourage our students to produce more tangible, project-like results.

But some students just aren’t motivated by badges. Even though we have taken time each week to recognize our most active students within Edmodo, some students are very content with playing Minecraft with their friends. Is this okay too? When we try to insert “school” into our computer club, are we also potentially sucking the passion out of this experience in the process?

via Can Minecraft Foster a Growth Mindset?.


Passion-Based Learning, Week 4: How to Do One Thing Really Well

April 2, 2014

Since our kickoff, my teaching partner and I have liked what the kids were doing. But we also felt the need to push the envelope a little bit more. Now that they have had time to explore several of the digital tools available, was there a particular one that could have a profound impact on many other areas?

They liked Minecraft (of course). They also liked exploring YouTube for tutorials and music videos. What if we taught them how to create a screencast? This tool, used to record visuals and audio for the purpose of teaching someone something, is very easy to grasp. It can apply to just about any area of interest, and it’s great for quick sharing.

While the two of us were becoming more learners than teachers, we also wanted to move our students to become teachers for each other. Our learning environment needed more balance. We kicked off our new week by showing students how to create tutorials using Screencast-o-matic, a free web-based tool.

via Passion-Based Learning, Week 4: How to Do One Thing Really Well.


Passion-Based Learning Week 3: Creativity Loves Constraints

April 2, 2014

Can you pick out the principal in this back-and-forth digital conversation?

Message 1: “So, do you think we should purchase the Minecraft EDU package for the iMacs? With the Pocket Edition on the 20 iPads, students are only getting to play it once per week.”

Message 2: “I agree, in that it would be nice to have more access. But I also like that they have to consider other digital tools to explore and create with. Maybe we could provide some quick mini-lessons on how to use these different tools? I don’t know, it’s up to you.”

Message 3: “You know, maybe you’re right. Let’s hold off on purchasing anything.”

Typically, in an email exchange between teacher and principal, it is the teacher asking the principal for more resources. But this isn’t your typical learning experience. With almost 50 students participating in an after school computer club twice a week, my teaching partner and I were seeing some shifting roles, both among our 3rd-5th graders and with ourselves.

via Passion-Based Learning Week 3: Creativity Loves Constraints.


Passion-Based Learning, Day 2: Passion Meets Frustration

April 2, 2014

After our first day, it was apparent that Minecraft was the main draw to our after-school enrichment club. But this digital tool wasn’t the only game in town. Several students expressed interest in drawing; others wanted to know how to share their writing online.

With these interests in mind, we ordered copies of Minecraft Pocket Edition for our 20 iPads. For the other 30 iMacs, several activities were suggested, such as learning sign language via YouTube and trying out Build with Chrome, a possible Minecraft alternative.

One thing I’m learning quickly: access alone is not enough. When handed technology with little guidance or supervision, students tend to use it at the lowest common denominator, cognitively speaking. Maybe this tendency was related to the fact that my observations took place in school, where expected outcomes are, well, expected. Would posting goals that connected their interests and relevant projects to specific digital tools be the answer to unleashing the students’ passions?

via Passion-Based Learning, Day 2: Passion Meets Frustration.


Passion-Based Learning, Day 1: Probing Minecraft’s Appeal

April 2, 2014

This is the first of several reflections from Wisconsin elementary principal Matt Renwick on digital and passion-based learning in a new afterschool program.Seventy students signed up to attend an afterschool computer club that a teacher and I are facilitating. Given that only 2nd through 5th graders could join, it means 30% of our school’s eligible students elected for this program.We had so many kids, we ended up moving the 2nd graders in with the K-1 students for the Get Active club in the gymnasium. A few may not have been happy with this move, but we literally did not have enough devices!

via Passion-Based Learning, Day 1: Probing Minecraft’s Appeal.


7 Ways Teaching Has Changed

March 26, 2014

This Is The World Teachers Must Adapt To: 7 Ways Teaching Has Changed

by Terry Heick

Teachers are the arbitrators of knowledge and culture.

Knowledge and culture are each dynamic, endlessly crashing and churning.

This makes teaching significantly important and difficult work, and can leave teaching—as a craft—wide-eyed and nonplussed in response.

Worse, those outside the bubble of education can understandably struggle to understand the problem.

What are the teaching in those schools anyway? How is it any different from when I was in school?

Well, as it turns out, much of it is different from even five years ago.

Starting with literacy.

This Is The World Teachers Must Adapt To: 7 Ways Teaching Has Changed

via 7 Ways Teaching Has Changed.