Posts Tagged ‘classroom tool’

A Wonderful Visual Outlining The 7 Steps of Good Storytelling ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Digital Storytelling is a fantastic way to encourage students to develop products relating to the creative thought process while using problem-solving and language skills.  Storybird is a great platform for this type of creative expression, especially for the primary grades. It allows the student to choose a theme consisting of a set of images and embed them in the pages of the digital book.  The story is then saved on the website and can be shared with the class.

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More on digital storytelling:  A Wonderful Visual Outlining The 7 Steps of Good Storytelling ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Using Games for Learning: Practical Steps to Get Started | MindShift

By now, you’ve probably read enough to be convinced that it’s worth trying games in your classroom. You understand that games are not meant to be robot teachers, replacing the human-to-human relationship. Games are a tool that teachers can use to do their jobs more effectively and more efficiently. Games provide a different approach to developing metacognitive skills through persistent self-reflection and iteration of particular skill sets. Games offer experiential contextualized learning through virtual simulation. Games can also offer an especially engaging interdisciplinary learning space.

Read More: Using Games for Learning: Practical Steps to Get Started | MindShift.

Social Networks or Learning Networks?

Social Media

Written by Coby Enteen

Social networks are gradually becoming commonplace in the K-12 classrooms.  Teachers have awoken to the fact that 12-18 year old’s  spend much of their after-school hours socializing online, and they only started to realize the value of bringing this experience into the classroom.

I have personally had the opportunity to introduce a teacher controlled social learning platform in a recent 1-to-1 initiative in a large school district.  Teachers received hands-on training using the Edmodo online tool to introduce topics, assign schoolwork, create classroom discussions and encourage student learning and inquiry both during the school hours and at home in the form of homework.  The teacher training was voluntary and only 30% of the teachers attended the initial sessions.  Within a two months of the training the number of teachers using social networks in the classroom doubled and it became a source of discussion in the teachers lounges.

Although social networks are viewed by most as a leisure activity, we must not forget that it is the voice of the young generation.  It is the medium of speech and something that comes naturally to them.  Therefore, the ‘natural’ place is in the classroom, and maybe we should consider it to be a learning network instead?

More Educators Joining Online Social Networks -- THE Journal

More information about teachers and social networks:

More Educators Joining Online Social Networks — THE Journal.

Top 5 Reasons Tablets are the Best Solution for Education

by Coby Enteen

Tablets are quickly becoming the ideal solution for school 1-to-1 programs.  They provide a simple, lightweight, low-cost option for seamlessly incorporating technology into the classroom.  Here are reasons why:

1.  Simple, Lightweight Solution – The deployment of laptops into classrooms brought with it a great deal of physical constraints ranging from the weight of the device to the complications with charging and electricity.  The tablet weighs very little and provides virtually all of the same learning resources.

2.  Battery Capacity – Laptops used in the past would continuously need to be recharged, often during a lesson.  This was a cause of frustration for many teachers and students and severely inhibited learning.

3.  Low Maintenance  – Most schools and educational organizations are dependent on large IT departments with significant budgets to run  and maintain a server-client environment.  Most tablets rely on cloud-storage solutions.  Moreover, tablet operating systems are very solid, hardly ever get “stuck”, and are not as susceptible to computer viruses.  The tablets themselves require very little technical care and maintenance, thus freeing up funding spent on IT support for other educational initiatives.

4.  The Low Cost/Personal Device – The average cost of a tablet is much lower than a laptop or desktop offering schools with more flexibility and the ability to step closer to a true 1-to-1 learning solution.  Tablets also enable learning experiences outside of school when provided as a personal device.

5.  Apps, Apps and more Apps – Mobile device applications are slowly becoming the most popular form of software development.  Every day more and more applications are being released and many of them are suitable for education.

An additional article on the subject from Digital Trends:

How tablets are invading the classroom | Digital Trends.

Why Nearpod for iPad Works so Well

By Coby Enteen

I  recently attended an iPad event where Nearpod was showcased as a classroom collaboration tool, and more recently introduced it into middle school classrooms.  It provided the teachers with the much needed control and focus that they were lacking, and allowed them to plan their lessons more effectively and to create real student interaction.  Nearpod has helped bring them closer to the goal of delivering relevant student centered learning.

 

Read more about Nearpod in the following article:

How The Nearpod iPad App Changed An Entire School – Edudemic.

Top 25 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning

The American Association of School Librarians provides a great starting point for locating relevant, useful, free teacher resources.  They list the top 25 online tools for teachers in virtually all content areas.  I came across the site while preparing to deliver a training to teachers and curriculum experts from West Africa.   I would highly recommend trying these high-quality resources in any teaching and learning environment.

Best Websites for Teaching and Learning | American Association of School Librarians AASL.

Shared by Coby Enteen

Lesson Plan Search – Google in Education

Great Google lesson plan site.  All lessons incorporate Google tools/  You can search for lesson plans and curricula using the drop-down menus.

via Lesson Plan Search – Google in Education.

by Coby Enteen

Easily Create Self-Directed Online Lessons

Written by Coby Enteen

Edcanvas is a phenomenal web tool that allows teachers to create  multimedia rich  lessons  and share them with their students. These lessons can include YouTube videos, slides, files, text, and images which you can download either from the web or use the ones you have in your computer. I am really pretty amazed with the ease of use of this platform and the user friendly interface it has.  I have experimented with it in a high school setting and the results were amazing!  It can even be used for higher-education and distance learning.

 

More about Edcanvas:

via Edcanvas Easily Create Rich Multimedia Lessons for your Class.

Who moved my tablet? Teaching Teachers to Think Constructively

by Coby Enteen

Working with teacher and encouraging them to integrate technology  is not always a simple task.  Over the course of the past few months I have been leading an initiative integrating tablets into middle schools in an urban part of the country.  Many of the teachers had never really used technology as part of their teaching and it was somewhat of a shock to wake up one day to a classroom in which all of the students had a tablet and all of the books had gone digital.

Overcoming the initial shock was was not easy.  At first teachers  tried to bypass the use of the digital textbooks by photocopying materials from workbooks and blaming the disuse on technical problems that they were experiencing.  Through a great deal of coaching, guidance, ongoing hands-on training and lots of encouragement I was able to help them to change their ways.

The training sessions focus on new learning new applications and modeling effective teaching and learning with the tablet.  It is then the responsibility of the teacher to transfer the skills acquired during the professional development  into the classroom setting.  Most are hesitant at first, but are able to with the added support of the instructional coach.

An important dimension of the professional development is the ability to provide teachers with a clear and consistent method of instruction.  Once the method is in place, it is much easier for teachers to fit the content into a specific structure, at which point they begin to think more constructively and incorporate the ‘out of the box’ thinking mentality.

We have a long way to go before all of the teachers are utilizing the tablets to full capacity, but we have definitely gained some valuable ground.

 

The New 10 YouTube Educational Gurus

It was not long ago since we posted here about the contest launched by YouTube in partnership with Khan Academy. They both were looking for some bright and inspiring educational content creators who have ” what it takes to build a global classroom “. Two of my readers here have applied ( there might probably be more but these two have sent me their video contributions ) and one of them was initially accepted in the first selection that listed  1000 candidates but was eliminated  in the final selection.

via The New 10 YouTube Educational Gurus.