Archive for the 'School' Category

Good Apps vs Very Good Apps

Good mobile learning practice apps  facilitate and transform learning.

Mobile learning activities can  increase students’ time on task.  In a classroom, a teacher calls on one student  after another but no student is active all the time; only those who are called on are active. Students remain  off task for much of the time since students just wait to be called on.   In doing a mobile learning app, the students concentrate each second as they do the activity. There do not waste time.  They are  on task all the time.  Very good apps incorporate games or challenges into the program.  These games or challenges are content driven, they are not simply rewards of random non-content games.

Mobile learning can offer differentiation.  Often in a classroom, the teacher goes over the material until everyone has learned it. The smart students become bored very quickly while the middle level students become impatient once they do get it.  A good mobile learning app can differentiate.  As soon as students achieve a given percent correct such as 85%, the app moves  the students up in difficulty or sophistication within that learning goal.  Very good apps help the students to review and integrate previous learning concepts into the present learning.

Mlearning apps can provide immediate feedback.  In a classroom, a teacher may present five problems for the students to do, waits until the class is done, and then goes over each of the five problems.  As soon as the   students do the first  math exercise on a mobile app, the the app immediately tells the students if they are correct or not. Students do not wait between doing the problem and finding out if they correct.  Very good apps provide specific strategies for the students to learn how to overcome their learning gap in any problem. They go beyond “Try again” or  “No, the answer is …” to explain how to learn the correct answer.

A mobile learning practice app can provide realistic and contextual  learning. Instead of students doing math word problems written on paper, a mobile app can show students real situations such as shopping in a grocery store.  Here are cans of beets, one sells for eighty eight cents and three sell for two dollars and forty cents; which is the better deal  and why? Very good apps simulate the real experience.

When students use a multi-sensory learning app, they go beyond just reading words on a screen.  They see critical images.  They hear pertinent sounds. They move things around the screen to demonstrate their learning.  They are involved in a total experience instead of just  completing electronic drill pages.  Very good apps involve many senses.

Mlearning apps can have students go from working individually to working collaboratively. Often mobile devices isolate students since each student is doing his/ her own work on his/ her own mobile device.   Students can work collaboratively on the same device or they send information back and forth as in an electronic peer review.  Very good  apps extend the collaboration to the another class in the same school, a different school, a school in a different state, a school in a different country or even multiple countries.

A learning app can  move students from practice to use.  The app can go beyond the lower levels of memorization and comprehension to application, evaluation and synthesis.  Students do not just practice irregular past verbs; they use these words in meaningful ways in a conversation.  Students apply math formula to measuring a house.  Very good apps take students to higher levels of learning, to real world use.

What does your mobile app do? Does it reach the very good app level?

My ebook, 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities, is available at http://bit.ly/90mlact.

My three formative assessment books, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at   http://is.gd/tbook

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml.  I have developed 27  Spanish activities and 4 Modern Language Visual activities in which students  express themselves in the modern language and move toward spontaneous speaking Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

Compare Institutional MLearning to Your School’s Mlearning

Many institutions use QR codes. At the Cornell Plantations at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY),  they have put QR codes next to many wild flowers.  When a person uses his/her smartphone to scan  the wild flower QR code, the person hears a poem that mentions that wild flower.  Even though the person is outside in the “wild” area, he/she can appreciate both the flower and the poetry.   At the Etioje Museum in Indianapolis, they have a guitar exhibit; many of the musicians pictures or  actual guitars have a poster with a picture, words and a number next to them. The person borrows a smartphone from the museum and clicks on a specific  number to watch a video about a musician or hear a specific guitar being played.

Some things that happen during this institutional  mlearning:

– At both places, the visitor becomes involved in his/her personal mlearning.
– Each person decides what he/she wants to learn within the specific category. At the Plantations, the visitor selects which flowers he/she will scan.  The person may skip the QR code for any given flower.
– The visitor can listen/ watch any video as much as he/she wants.  A person may only view a few seconds of the video or the person may re-watch the video many times.
– Each person selects the order of his/her mlearning; at the guitar exhibit, a person may focus on the musicians in a specific time order or a person can randomly sample any musician.
– Each person does his/her own comparisons/contrasts with previous musicians or guitars; when couples or group of people travel together through the exhibit, they often share their comparisons/contrasts.
– Each new learning object broadens the learning or provides more in-depth details.  For example, the guitar exhibit covers many different types of guitar music while it also explains in-depth the development of the electric guitar.
– A visitor experiences variety and diversity such as the many different flowers at the Plantation Wildlife area while, at the same time, he/she encounters a  wholistic view of the category of wild flowers.
– Each place has a visual, print words and spoken words/videos  so the visitor employs different modalities of learning.
– Each person learns at his/ her own pace. A person may linger over a certain flower while his/ her partner goes ahead.
– Each person learns, not with a frown on his/her face, but with a smile.

How does this mlearning compare to mlearning in your school?

My ebook, 90 M0bile Learning Modern Language Activities, is available at http://bit.ly/90mlact.

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml.  I have developed 27  Spanish activities and 4 Modern Language Visual activities in which students begin to express themselves in the modern language and to  move toward spontaneous speaking Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at   http://is.gd/tbook

Smartphones over Tablets

I have numerous reasons why I prefer a smartphone over tablets for students.
1) Students always have their smartphone with them regardless of where they are.  Students do not always carry their tablets with them.  For example,  Mary may not take  her tablet to swim practice but she will have her smartphone with her.  Just before practice, she  goes to her history class’s website to get the link to a video.  Chris will not take his tablet to work but he will have his smartphone with him so, during break, he can learn or practice his Spanish words.   Learning can only be 24/7 if the students have their mobile device with them.

2) Smartphones allow students to text.   Students spend much time texting in their daily life; they texted on an average of 60 texts a day in 2011  Teachers can have students text to find out information from others outside the classroom, to collaborate on projects, and  to write.  When students text others, they usually get immediate responses.

3)  .  The show, “Who wants to be a Millionaire?”,  gave us the expression “Phone a friend” and illustrated that people can learn from others.  When students use a smartphone, they can  call a person to ask questions, do a follow-up or clarify  information.  Students can talk to an expert / user of the learning concept such as  a contractor, a  business person,  or an artist.  When students talk to people outside the classroom, they see their in-class learning as something real.  Students can “shadow” professionals through weekly phone calls.

4)  Smartphones are cheaper than tablets.  A parent can purchase a high quality smartphone for their child for  less than a hundred dollars, a high quality tablet costs much more. Schools can purchase good smartphones at lower prices.

What device has your school selected as its mobile learning device?  Why? What does that device do beyond apps?

My three formative assessment books, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students,  Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at   http://is.gd/tbook

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml

I have developed many  Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

Consistency in learning

Do we have consistency in learning in our classes?  Do we translate our ending goals into daily learning?    Do our tests, quizzes, and daily classroom activities reflect that same learning?  This backward planning follows the Understanding by Design model. For example, if a social studies curriculum wants students to  answer  the universal questions of Why is there war?,  How do people fight wars? and What are the consequences of wars?, then social studies book tests should  not have  students memorize the names and dates of battles for a particular war in a specific country.  That microscopic view does not help students answer the essential questions.

Likewise, if modern language teachers want their students to be able to converse in the target language, then do students spend most of their time in class conversing?  Do the language tests reflect conversations or do these tests focus on discrete grammar and vocabulary?

Do English teachers who want their students to be better writers  really focus on writing?   Do  these teachers spend more  class time on  doing punctuation exercises than on  developing good ideas?  Do they have their  students spend more time watching a movie than writing about the movie?

When teachers  want to improve subject area learning through Web 2.0 tools,  do the students spend more time on the technology or on the content learning?

I do not believe that we need to add more days to the school year to improve student learning.  I believe that we can increase learning  best when we are consistent in what we want students to learn and then following through in our daily activities, in our quizzes and in our tests.

How consistent are you in your students’ learning?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Importance of Education

I recently returned from Costa Rica.  The government  has believed that its people are its most valuable resource.  Therefore, this Central American country has eliminated the military and put that money toward the education of its people. They have mandatory education.  Costa Rica has a 97% literacy rate.   Many people will share that they have their present  job because of the government supported education.  Costa Rica has many universities; the public ones have a tuition program based on parents’ income. People ranging from senior citizens to young people can speak English.

One of the first news items I heard upon my return to the USA was that schools were letting go of teachers due to finances. I do wish our country felt that people were the most important resource and  therefore would fully fund quality education for all youth.

My  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book,  Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Talking to Babies Makes Them Successful in School

Christensen, Horn and Johnson in their Disruptive Class argue that one of the most disruptive ways to improve education is to have children 0-3 years hear more “language dancing” (Risley and Hart term) where the parents  engage in face to face conversation with the infant and talk in adult, sophisticated language.  The business talk  of  “Let’s get in the car”  or “Eat your peas” does not contribute much to language development. They quote research to show that a significant portion of a person’ intellectual capacity is determined in his/her first 36 months and the most critical is the first year. Risley and Hart affirm that some working class parents do talk to their children and some affluent parents do not. Race, age, or income are not factors, simply the amount of time that parents talk to their children.

I would like to propose a  serious change in education.  I advocate that the federal govt or state pay retired teachers to go to talk to young babies for two hours a day for five days a week. Even if the teachers are paid $10 an hour or twenty dollars a day or $100 a week for a total fifty two weeks or  $5,200 a year, that would be a tremendous Return on Investment (ROI).  Imagine students going into school having heard 48 million words as opposed to the 13 million words.   Hopefully, the children’s parents after hearing the sophisticated talk of the retired teachers will change their talk to their children. We could get rid of HeadStart and use that money.  Many of the reasons for universal Pre-K would be eliminated.  All students would start school at a high level of language.  All students could start off being successful and continue to be successful.

Let’s starting talking to babies now!

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

School Awards For Teachers

I recently  attended a college’s award ceremony for faculty and staff.  I was impressed with all the categories of awards.

I’ve made up some awards that I would like schools to give. These awards will not be given to just one teacher but to any teacher who does any of the following:

Focus their students’ learning on the standards

Spend more working with students than lecturing

Diagnose students’  learning problems instead of just giving grades

Give specific feedback that actually help the students to move forward in their learning

Keep cumulative records of students’ strengths and learning gaps in a specific learning goal

Celebrate their students’ standards-based learning successes

Transform academic learning  into real world learning

Invite parents and other experts in the classroom (physically or virtually)  to share their wisdom about a learning goal

Involve the students in meaningful community or global projects that truly make a difference in other students’ lives.

Empower students to feel that they are capable of being successful

Share the learning goal, assessments, and success strategies with other teachers

What other awards would you like to schools to give?

Improving How We Use Wikis for Better Student Learning

Here are some handout notes for the session:

Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D.
Instructor, writer, consultant
harry.g.tuttle   at   gmail.com

Blog: https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com

Purpose: To improve students’ learning through changing how we use wikis in our classroom.

Formative Assessment Focus

Improvements:

    1. Teach the mechanics

    2. Identify the learning goal/purpose

    3. Explain the quality of responses

    4. Use students’ notes

    5. Organize the class

    6. Provide in-class and out-of-class resources by learning style

    7. Avoid common web topics

    8. Make learning “collective wisdom” instead of  “collective stupidity”

    9. Have exemplary work and reactions to the exemplars

    10. Build in real and varied interaction

    11. Build on the past

    12. Make group work transparent

    13. Have a student-help-student section

    14. Carefully use outside experts and other classes

    15. Co-create with students

A wiki has been created for you to add to  http://wikiforbetterlearning.pbwiki.com/

A mini version of the presentation is available at slideshare

Reponding to Your Students

Two Observations, Two Different Approaches

I was talking to two teachers from the same school. Both teachers were going to be observed. One supervisor not only did a pre-conference a week before the observation but also gave the teacher the evaluation rubric. This supervisor asked about any special conditions in the class or if the classroom teacher wanted the supervisor to look for anything in particular. As soon as the class observation was over, the supervisor gave some positives and some suggestions for change. Then within a week, the supervisor sent out the formal evaluation.

The other supervisor showed up two minutes before the class for the pre-conference. He looked over the lesson plan. After about two weeks after the class, the teacher received the formal evaluation.

I’m wondering which technique we use when we observe our students?

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Looking Ahead For Better Learning

I attended my every three year Defensive Driving Course to get a reduction in my insurance. The AAA instructor and the DVD said that we should always be looking 20-30 seconds ahead on the road or about a third of a mile forward so we can be prepared for what is ahead.

I wonder how often we take our eyes off of our current learning to remind ourselves and our students of what is ahead, the standard. It is too easy to get focused on the moment so that we forget where we are really headed. By being focused only on the present activity, we may not connect our present activity into the bigger picture. The present activity may not seem to serve any purpose except when seen in the bigger picture. When students know where they are headed, they are more likely to get there and to be able to assess their progress. As we check what is ahead, we can help modify our instruction to make sure our students get there.

How do you help your students to see the standard or the big concepts of the year?

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

New Windows, New Visions: Insights into Class Learning

Our church is having its stain glass windows cleaned. As the window company took out the stain glass windows for cleaning, they put in clear windows. The sanctuary is covered with light now. Things that we did not notice, we know notice.

I wonder how much light we have in our classrooms. Do we see which students are struggling? Do we see how they are struggling? Do we see which resources we can use to help these struggling students? Do we see how we can lecture less and spend more time helping students? Or do we teach our lessons so we only see darkness (our teaching) and not students’ responses?

Turn on your lights by noticing how students respond to your higher level questions through their hand signals or personal response systems. Brighten the classroom by observing students doing in class exercises to determine where their strengths and learning gaps are. Enlighten your classroom by having numerous formative feedback activities to help students who struggle.

Let student learning shine brightly in your classroom.

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Organic Learning With Technology or Inorganic Learning?

I drove past a farmer’s stand that proudly proclaimed itself as organic. I laughed. When I was growing up on a farm, everything was organic. Cows produced the fertilizer for the fields.

I wonder if we have made changes to make the learning process less organic. Have we gone to using technologies in which that might reduce learning? Do our PowerPoints truly energize the learners into deeper learning or do the PowerPoints put them to sleep? Does the time we have the students spend on creating a podcast really reflect in-depth learning about the course’s standard or does the time reflect surface only learning over multiple days? Do our students spend time in responding to others in a blog when the other people do not read their comments? Do our students spend time in creating fancy projects that include many visuals when the visuals do not add more meaning to the project? Do we have students create the same information on a wiki that is presently available in another location? Do we have students virtually visit a location (like a zoo) without having them learn critical standards information?

Have we used technology to interfere with students’ learning instead of helping them to grow in-depth and comprehensively in the standards? How organic is your classroom or have you covered it with harmful fertilizers?

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education

Escuela- Hispanic School Pictures from Flickr

Share these with your Spanish teachers so they can promote language use through talking and writing about hispanic schools through flickr images.

Ninos a la salida de la escuela Punta Cana. Republica Dominicana
http://www.flickr.com/photos/burtonez/273321085/

la Escuela de Lenguaje en Las Palmas
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hortensia/186009195/

Escuela de Flamenco, Cordoba, Espana
http://www.flickr.com/photos/barthelomaus/129380157/

escuela de uros, Lake Titicaca ,Peru
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28148072@N00/73302011/

Escuela Rural, Republica Dominicana
http://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/74820634/

Estudiantes en la calle, San fermines, Espana
http://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/888581808/

escuela lic. “francisco aranda” Avenida Cedeño. San Juan de los Morros. Estado Guárico. Venezuela.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xolkan/1294975980/

Escuela D190 12/2004, La Florida, Santiago, Chile
http://www.flickr.com/photos/monky/353105663/

Escuela D190 12/2004 La Florida, Santiago, Chile
http://www.flickr.com/photos/monky/353768937/

Educación autónoma y popular! Muro de la Escuela Autónoma Rebelde Zapatista en la comunidad de San Juan de la Libertad. Chiapas, Mexico
http://www.flickr.com/photos/joserevueltas/576088432/

Revista de Gimnasia Escuela N.o 3, Ovallito, Chile
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ovallito/45500626/

 

Not Really Web 2.0 Classroom Use

When is a Web 2.0 tool, not a Web 2.0 tool? The answer is when we use a Web 2.0 tool as a Web 1.0 tool. I hear of many schools that have blogs. Students post their ideas to the blog but they do not respond to each other. The blogs are closed to the class. They only blog during class time. I don’t see that as a Web 2.0 tool use.

Students use Google docs to share their documents for peer-review. Ok, they are sharing a document but how different is this than sharing a physical paper within the class? The sharing just allows the other person access to make comments. They could do it with email.

I see videoconferencing that is 85% lecture or demonstration. The students do a token activity. Is that an example of social sharing? Or is videoconferencing really a one-way tool to dispense information?

How do you use Web 2.0 tools in your classroom?

Students Hiding Lack of Learning From Us

Some students are very skillful in our classes. However, their skill is not based on how well they have learned the standard but their skill consists of  hiding their lack of learning or their misunderstandings. They love group work since they can hide behind other students’ comments and work. They enjoy our large group presentations and responses since they can get away with not saying or doing anything. And yet until they say or do something, we cannot help them.  Silence and a blank paper do not help us diagnose the students’ present learning status. We are like doctors whose patient will not talk about his symptoms so we cannot help the patient get better.

What do you do to not let any student hide his/her learning?

Twitter More Reaction

My reaction to my limited trial of twitter:

In education, Twitter communication would work great in a department or team situation where you have an established circle of people that want to be in touch but may not have time for face-to-face.  I can imagine a teacher writing “Science water lab from the kit  did not work. Who has had  success with it?” or “In writing, used a fishbone graphic organizer helped students to see cause and effect. Worked well” Short nuggets of success or concerns.

I see Twitter as disjointed as early email non-threaded conversations were. As times I feel like I standing in the middle of a busy intersection watching the cars go by. They are going in every direction (from serious to silly). So far, I have not find a car that is worth the time of following.

The aha moment in the third revision

I’ve mentioned that my students can revise their final. One student was on her third revision; I asked her how she would react to getting the letter she had just written and she responded that she would not do what the letter asked. I could see the light bulb finally go off. She said, “I changed my whole letter, I really had not followed the persuasion format. To get my manager’s attention, I mentioned how long-valued waiters were leaving due to our lack of a tipping policy..” She went on to describe how she had implemented each part of a persuasion letter; she gave her examples. She finally had gotten it; her letter was one of the best of the whole class. If I had just given her her final grade on her portfolio, she never would have reached her understanding of the outcomes required in the course. Once that light bulb went off, she tackled other letters she had not been proficient in. She finally understood using WIIFM (What’s in it for me- the reader) and the tone of her letters changed from demanding an action to showing the tangible benefits of the action for the reader. She easily modified the other letters and their reflections. Her final score went from a C to an A. More important, she is now proficient in those types of letters.

So how much revision do you permit on your final?

Critical and Common Educational Vocabulary

Computerized list

Does your district or school have a list of its critical educational vocabulary such as “authentic assessment” or “performance task”? Does the district define each and provide an example of each? Do all faculty understand the critical vocabulary and use the critical vocabulary in the same way? Do the same school have a common vocabulary so that the whole school talks the same talk and means the same thing each time they use a specific educational vocabulary? If not, then help your team or grade level to create a list of terms so that you all are on the same page each time a word is used. You want to avoid “Oh, I thought you meant …… when you used the word “assessment”. Each time you update the word processed list email it out to all the team or school or post it on the school’s blog (website).
See how much better you all communicate and how much better you focus on student’s standards learning through having a common educational vocabulary.

A Summer School Mentality: Focus on Essential Standards Learning

Summer school fascinates me since the teachers have much less time (six weeks) to cover a year’s worth of material (40 weeks)- about 15% of the total time. They have to decide what is critical content that will help the students to do well on the final or state exam. They reduce the over all content to get to the critical essential parts. They do not have time for students to do fun activities that do not promote the student learning. They do not have time for long projects that only peripherially add to the students learning. They do not have time for random web surfing but they do have time for specific web sites that serve a precise purpose. They may show a small three to five minute clip from a movie instead of showing the whole movie. The teachers realize that each class activity has to relate specifically to the course’s goal. Although many students are repeaters in the content, there are some students who are taking course for the first time since they want to get ahead in their schooling.

If summer school teachers can boil down the curriculum and the students can do well on the final or state exam, it means that much of what teachers do during the year may be non-essential.

Let’s all develop a summer school mentality so that we focus on essential learning.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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Popularity of Simulations: Why use Simulations in Schools?

SimCity4

In a previous post, I identified some online simulations around the Social Studies topic of nations. Simulations are an extremely hot-growing topic for many people outside of school. The phenomenal growth in Second Life is one example. “Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents.” When I checked the site at ten o’clock on a Saturday morning, there were over 17,000 people on line at that moment. Another very popular simulation is the Sims with all of its expansion packs. There are many thousands that play war simulations such as Gettysburg.

Why do I think that simulations are beneficial in K-12 or college education?

Simulations require a person to think about the complexities of a situation. The Civil War is much more than a list of battles and where these were fought. You have to analyze, synthesize and make decisions as you understand more and more about the situation. In-depth learning is not confined to neat little boxes.

Simulations require a person to think over time and to constantly make change. In Sim2, the situations happen and you have to respond to them. You interact with other people and live with the results of your actions.

Simulations present challenges. You constantly are presented with new challenges and situations that require you to act. You cannot rely on what you did in the past. Often simulations increase in difficulty and complexity.

Simulations are often action based. Talking does not get you very far in a situation although in most classrooms talking is the educational currency. You have to apply your ideas; you have to take action.

Simulations involve 21st century skills such as managing complexity, prioritizing, communicating, creative effective products

Some teachers have used a simulation such as SimCity to help students understand the complexity of creating and maintaining a city. I talked to a teacher who told me that she learned much about the complexity of a city through her students playing the game. Teachers can use a simulation like SimCity in Math, Social Studies, Science, or English classes.

So what simulations have you used in your classroom? What did you notice about students’ engagement and their learning? How did you assess the learning?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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Administrative Support for technology integration learning

Administrators can support learning with technology in many ways. The most obvious is money; however, without other forms of support, there will not be a technology culture in the school. Here’s a tool to rate your administrator!

Administrative Support for Technology

(Tuttle, Harry. Learning and Technology Assessments for Administrators, Ithaca, NY: Epilog, 2004)

So in what other ways do your administrator encourage a culture of technology-infused learning in your school?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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Skype Video Conferencing: Home Use to School Possibilities

Skype logo

I finally used Skype. I gave both my sons webcams and headphone mikes for the Christmas. One son is about 500 miles away so he does not get home much. We had no trouble connecting. He found out that he had to get the camera working first, restart Skype and then we could see each other. The joy of seeing him with all his facial expressions was heart warming. He got to show us the “computer room” by panning his webcam and to show us his new “toys” by holding them up to the camera.
The sound was quite good and the video quality of the camera was OK (a little grainy and quick movement became a slur on the screen). It reminded me of the early days of CUSeeme but with much better quality.

I thought of some possibilities for Skype in school:

-Shadowing a professional as she/he works

-Talking with people in labs, research centers, art studios, museums, “on location”

-Watching an expert do something or explain something (Your neighbor who does composting can explain it to the class and show her compost to them.)

-Class to class collaborative videoconferencing (not having to bring a big videoconferencing unit in the class and not having to go to the videoconferencing room is a big plus.) in all subject aeas.

-Conversing in the second language to people from that language area

– Watching an event such as a school play, a poetry jam, science demonstration (egg drop), etc.

– Another teacher from another district can help you co-teach your class since that teacher is an expert in the topic your students are doing.
-Mentor (A master teacher can watch your class and then give suggestions)

Skype presents a great example of bringing the world into our classroom and going into the world with our classroom. Did I mention it was free!!!!

So how have you used Skype in your school or what things would you like to do in your school with Skype?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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Assessing 21st Century Skills in Classroom Technology Integration Projects

Time (Dec. 18, 2006) just did a major piece on Schooling “How to Build a Student for the 21st Century by Claudia Wallis and Sonja Steptoe, pgs 50-56. It basically reports that schools are not preparing students for the 21st Century skills. It argues that schools spend their time on minimal tests (NCLB) that do not measure needed skills needed for the 21st Century.

NCREL 21st century skills from Tuttle’s Learning and Technology Assessments

(From Harry Tuttle’s Learning and Technology Assessments for Administrations: Ithaca, NY: Epilog Visions, 1994)

Use the above chart to pre-analyze any project you are thinking of doing in your classroom. How high is the technology-infused learning activity score out of 48? That’s your 21st Century Skill score for the selected activity.

How can you modify the activity so that the students do more 21st Century skills in the project? Then you will be preparing the students for the 21st Century, for their future.

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How does technology use help your students meet the school’s academic goals?: Visual Literacy

1) The visual literacy score for a recent project

2) How this activity help you in understanding “How Does Technology Use Help Your Students Meet the School’s Academic Goals?”

Technology as Ecosystem

Recently I heard Alan November and Will Richardson talk about new technology tools such as flickr, fliction, skype, furl, etc. Yes, they were enthusiastic about them. Yes, they gave an example of how each could be used in education. However, I wonder how widely accepted and used these technologies will be.

 

I thought of a speech I had heard about technology as part of the ecosystem of schools at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education 16th Annual Conference. (Can’t remember the speaker’s name but here is an article on it) The speaker argued that technologies would be accepted by educators if they easily fit into the existing ecosytem of the classroom. Those technologies that do not seem like a natural fit or the usual way of doing things will not be accepted. If a technology disrupts the usual way of doing things, then that technology will probably not be accepted.

 

I think of all the technologies that we have introduced into the ecosystem of schools in the last ten years. Two technologies stand out, to me, as being the most easily accepted and commonly used in the classroom. Teachers find that PowerPoint is just like writing notes on the chalkboard except that it is electronic. It is easy for them to accept the idea of PowerPoint and to use it in the classroom (except for needing a projection device!).Using PowerPoint was an easy adoption. They simply put words on a screen and show it to the students.

 

The other technology that has caught on the most, in my opinion, is the use of United Streaming, a wonderful service of the PBS stations. As soon as teachers see this technology, they instantly “get it,” understand how to use it in the classroom, and begin to use it almost immediately. For teachers this is an online version of the movies or TV shows that they used to show in class. I did hear a Social Studies teacher say that he was glad that they had the whole movie instead of having to show the smaller instructional blocks of the same movie.

 

Just because the technology is easily accepted and is used in the classroom does not mean that it is transforming learning in the classroom. Those easily accepted technologies continue old ways of learning. We need disruptive technologies that shake up the education ecosystem.


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
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  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
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  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
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  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
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  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
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  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
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  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
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