Thursday, September 19, 2013

Flat Classroom, Diigo and the start of a new year

Just getting into the swing of a new year. Made my first trip to ISTE and the state of Texas this summer. Quite an experience. Felt like attending once was a practice run just to figure it all out. Looking forward to my next visit. Joined a group called Flat Classrooms this year. Our tech person sent it out to interested parties. Looks like a great way to collaborate with students from around the globe. Very small fee to do this.

Decided to use Diigo with my 7th and 8th grade classes this year. Very happy to see that there was not an age restriction. Students are in a group I created. Great way for them to understand tagging, filtering, and sharing resources. Parents seem to be very excited that I am showing this tool. This video helped people to understand what it is.


I am sure that new tools and experience are waiting just around the corner.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Mapping with Google

This was posted by Will Deyamort on Google + in a group that I follow. Looked very interesting. Thanks Will.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blogging and Commenting

It has been a full year with my 7/8 classes. We have quadblogged with schools in Virginia and Pennsylvania. It was a great interaction between students. I pushed my students to increase their engagement levels, and we concentrated on how to make powerful comments. Below are two examples that made me feel very good about where we are heading. The first is a parent reacting to their child's blog about a learning challenge:


The next was a comment from a student to another student. The highest level of commenting we do is to respectfully challenge other students. This student did that and included a link to an article. This is a new evolution in our commenting:


I have also been using badges to show students achieving the highest levels of work. It has been a fun experience. I am using classbadges.com to do this. Below is a picture of a badged awarded to a student:

Yet another great comment leading to more opportunities:


An example of a student motivated by making choices about her own learning:





Monday, May 20, 2013

Dynamic Landscapes Panel Discussion

I had the pleasure of attending one of Vermont's tech conferences this past Friday. I was asked by an old friend to be part of a panel discussion on the state of education, and where technology is taking us. Had a wonderful time meeting new people. I felt it was a very robust discussion. A number of clips were posted on Youtube.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Create Relationships In Your Classes

I remember a school I taught at over 10 years ago. It was a struggling school based on standardized tests. A large group of experts came in to figure out why we were so dysfunctional. Part of the work included a survey students were asked to fill out. Their number one issue was that their teachers did not know them as individuals. This Ted Talk video brought back this memory and got me to laugh a little.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lesterland Ted Talk

Picked this up off Twitter today from Will Richardson. Compelling video on our political system from the creator of Creative Commons

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Controversial Issues

An adult student, Frances, who sat in on a class of mine this summer sent me this link. It seems like an amazing resource. It is all about controversial issues. I found the format to be very useful. A little advanced for middle school, but there are parts that could be used. Here is the link to ProCon.org