Today I had the opportunity to share and learn with teachers who are interested in apps that can be used in the Math class. In Western Canada our math program of studies concentrates on the following: Numbers, Patterns and Relations, Shape and Space, Stats and Probability. Therefore together we explored apps that work within these categories. The overall discussion and sharing concentrated on apps that allow students to build on basic skills, that are interactive (individual to multi-player, that are allow demonstration of skill level and are engaging. Check http://bit.ly/iPadnumeracy to see which apps we reviewed.
Category Archives: Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
Monthly Theme: Change
As I look at my educational rooted surroundings, I am amazed at how much has changed since I went to school as a student. Yes, I could be dating myself in saying that when I attended K-12 school, the following educational learning conditions were present:
- All students did all the same work
- Videos were shown via 16mm film, VHS and Beta
- Individualized work, memorization and proper study skills were predominant
- I did have teachers who were passionate and engaged my classmates and I but that varied from year to year
- Lots of paper and pen work, reading from textbooks, writing notes from a chalkboard or projector
And now, as an educator myself and former Assistant Principal, attending a K-12 school in 2013 now showcases:
- Differentiation for a variety of student learning styles and student needs
- Opportunity for students to interact with their environment through various media, with other classrooms throughout the world
- Collaborative, cooperative learning environments
- Thinking about the thinking = metacognition and building criteria to set a target/make a judgement on the learning experience (ie. Critical thinking)
- Learning from online sources, developing own learning artefacts
- More opportunities for student exploring, creating, imagining and aspiring
Changes that have affected our educational norms have been divulged via Sir Ken Robinson’s infamous February 2006 TED Talk on Schools killing creativity. As well, other changes, due to the internet revolution have challenged us as well. See an updated version of the Social Media Video 2013 below as well as the Social Digital Media Revolution Statistics that will have your head spinning as to the vast expanse and reach social media has on each one of us.
Today I met with a group of teachers who were interested in seeking out resources to use on the iPad for Literacy tasks in the classroom. I grouped the resources I was sharing into:
Class Project – Flat Stanley
Challenge – Textropolis, 4 Pics 1 Word, Photo Quiz, Pics and Words, MixTwo, Word Wall, Bluster!
Create/Demonstrate – Creative Book Builder, Toontastic, PuppetPals HD, Sock Puppets, Word Foto, Comic Touch Lite, Fotobabble
Notetaking – Notability, Dragon Dictate, Paperport Notes
Reading – TeachMe, LAZ, Booksy, MyScript Memo, MeeGenius, iBook
Our purpose was to review what apps were available in the above groupings and see how they could be used in the K-12 classroom. The early years teachers loved the Flat Stanley app while the middle – high school teachers really liked Comic Touch lite, Fotobable and Paperport Notes. One of the second language teachers saw a great opportunity to use WordFoto in language acquisition. Check out the more in-depth information provided at http://bit.ly/ipadLiteracy.
Each spring, the New Media Consortium publishes a Horizon K-12 Report which examines the emerging technologies and their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning and creative inquiry in the learning environment.
An interim report was recently shared at the CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) Conference in San Diego. Below outlines the top 12 emerging technologies, top 10 trends and challenges.
Top 12 Emerging Technologies
The three categories of time-to-adoption indicates how long the Advisory Board of the project felt it would be until these technologies would be provided or used in a significant number of schools.
Near-Term Horizon: One Year or Less
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
Mid-Term Horizon: Two to Three Years
Adaptive Learning and Personal Learning Networks
Long-Term Horizon: Four to Five Years
Virtual and Remote Laboratories
Top 10 Trends (alphabetical order)
1. The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.
2. As the cost of technology drops and school districts revise and open up their access policies, it is becoming increasingly common for students to bring their own mobile devices.
3. Customized learning is increasingly a goal for schools.
4. Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models.
5. The focus of assessments is shifting from what you know (can memorize) to what you can do (portfolio).
6. Openness — concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information — is becoming a value.
7. People expect to be able to work, learn and study whenever and wherever they want.
8. Schools are beginning to move away from textbooks to web resources and open source books.
9. Social media is changing the way people interact, present ideas and information and communicate.
10. There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based, active learning.
Top 10 Challenges (alphabetical order)
1. The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices.
2. Divides persist.
3. Faculty training still does not acknowledge the fact that digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession.
4. Innovating pedagogy is a complex process that requires research into impacts, responsive state of mind to technology changes and understanding what pedagogical strategies can make innovation in pedagogy possible.
5. K-12 must address the increased blending of formal and informal learning.
6. Ongoing professional development needs to be valued and integrated into the culture of the schools.
7. Many activities related to learning and education take place outside the walls of theclassroom and thus are not part of traditional learning metrics.
8. New models of education are bringing unprecedented competition to the traditional models of education.
9. Too often it is education’s own processes and practices that limit broader uptake of new technologies.
10. We are not using digital media for formative assessment the way we could and should.
WOW, this morning was a blast working with teachers during the SWATCA convention in Southern Alberta. What was really great was that I could interact with participants even though I was 500km away!
My sessions included discussions and sharing on UDL and Digital Citizenship. The University of Lethbridge Tech department, ETCATA, PSD70 and SWATCA committee all allowed me this opportunity to connect, share and learn this morning. I want to thank them all for this experience.
My first session on Digging Deeper into Digital Citizenship showcased a draft document for K-12 teachers outlining various outcomes and strategies for teachers to use in their classrooms based on the following framework:
My second session focused on Supporting Diversity: Reaching Every Student via UDL in your Classroom. We took time to look at the three principles of UDL – multiple means of representation, action & expression, and engagement.
It’s always a great dar when I get to interact with Alberta teachers!
Here is a quick list of some online tools that teachers and students can use to engage those Non-readers:
o Voice – Vocaroo online voice recorder, AudioNote lite app, Dragon Dictate app
o Audiobooks – from your local library via audiobooks and ebooks, Tumblebooks, TextGrabber app
o Word analysis – Visual Thesaurus
o Publish – blogging with Kidblog or Edublogs, Tumblr, Videolicious app
If you would like more resources with the Non-reader in mind, check out my http://psdreaders.wikispaces.com/Non-reader.
Monthly Theme: Passion
My professional passion is tied to a core belief that ALL students have an opportunity to learn, to be engaged and to be challenged in the learning environment. I belong to many active educational listservs, read various blogs, follow Twitter feeds and chats, create and host workshops, provide professional learning opportunities for individual, small group and large groups of teachers and administrators and I network with various organizations and institutions. My email inbox, my twitter streams (#edchat, #edtech, #atchat to name a few) are resources that are continually challenging me. My actions and tasks change daily, yet my message needs to be clear with the people I work with – I attempt to help teachers, students and parents obtain the most effective learning environment, best tasks and relevant tools. There are a lot of discussions, some trial and error, some research, and finally, some successes!
My dream is to have accessible, achievable and attainable learning for ALL (staff, students, etc.) Although we live in a digitized environment, not all materials are accessible for students. For example, there is a grade 9 student with low vision who uses a Mac in his French Immersion studies. Do you know that even today, this boy cannot access a digital publisher’s copy of a course book that is used (in print) in class? So, for me, it’s really talking with teachers and finding out the student(s) in the class that would do well with access to technology for reading, writing, recording…(a S.E.T.T. framework discussion ensues which allows me to further target the resource(s)/tool(s)) Sometimes it’s forging ahead and making new connections with Alberta Education, or publishers or app developers to ask if they could locate a resource. Sometimes it’s using older technology (CDrom, mp3 player) personalized to the learner so they can participate in class with their peers.
In March, two colleagues and I will be presenting at a CASS/Alberta Education Learning Symposium in mid March regarding Accessibility: Milepost – where are we at now? See our presentation HERE with the participants input as well. Some interesting insights!
Over the past few weeks I have been gathering information from various sources around Alberta regarding teachers and school division relevant hashtags. As more and more educators and educational institutions use Twitter for discussions, sharing, networking and events, I believe it’s important for teachers to have access to some good Twitter resources. So….. I created this Twitter Cheat Sheet for Alberta teachers.
In this day of trying to infuse technology effectively in the learning environment, it is important that stakeholders in education set forth a bold vision.
This morning I had the opportunity to participate in an edWeb.net Webinar entitled “Connecting to Success in Canadian Classrooms: Ed Tech Challenges and Opportunities” where Robert Martellaci from MindShare Learning gave a Canadian Ed Tech context and Keewatin Patrician DSB in southwestern Ontario shared their 1:1 three year project. They had many great things to share about connecting technology to student learning.
* Canadian schools, staff and students are surrounded by technology. Using this technology effectively has become a priority.
* Keewatin Patrician DSB started with a 1:1 pilot three years ago in three classrooms which then went to three schools and is currently found in 23 schools. Lots of support for teacher development with tech teachers, aligning initiatives, seamless integration, school board owned devices (netbooks for students from grades 4-12, iPad pods for K-3 students and laptops for teachers).
* Questions we should be asking ourselves about technology integration in the learning environment:
1) What does an effective tech-enabled learning organization look like, feel like and sound like?
2) How are resources managed and sustained?
3) What are the most relevant and effective professional learning models for teachers?
4) How can student achievement be shown?
WHAT are you doing in your classroom, in your school and in your school division to align current initiatives with effective technology implementation?
This infographic just came across my desk (or in reality my screen) today. It got me thinking….are these the main habits of highly effective teachers who use technology or are there more habits (or a rewording of these current ones)? Professionally these fit with the work that I am doing in supporting our administrators and teachers, however I like to also refer to the SETT model (Student – Environment – Tasks – Tools) before I even talk tech.