Posts Tagged 'program'

Group Texting Programs: The Next Big Wave?

Group texting programs fall into two categories.  The first category consists of teacher- to-student text programs such as Reminder 101, . In these programs, the teacher sends out  text reminders, announcements, notes, etc. to the whole class with just a click of button. These programs are teacher -centered since the teacher pushes out information but the students cannot respond. Some program may allow for the teacher to send out  surveys or polls.

The other category for group texting progams is student centered. In programs such as Cel.ly,, any  student can respond.  Any student can create a new topic for discussion.  The class can have an online discussion, create a collaborative story, contribute their individual reactions, etc.  Students can interact with each other about a learning topic.

David Murphy wonders if  group texting is shaping up to be the next big battleground between the Web’s social (or search) superstars.

I would like to see the following in any new  educational group texting program that allow all users to participate:
– Students  can  easily join the texting group without the teacher having to put in each students’ number or name Teachers can just give out a code.
– The class texting is self-contained, private and secure.
– Teachers or students can create distinct  conversation topics.

-The teacher or students can go back and review the previous conversations.
– Each conversation topic has its own name.
– Each conversation is self-contained.
– Within each conversation, there can be threads so students can follow a particular topic.
– The teacher can choose from an open chat to a moderated chat.  Some teachers may want to start out with moderated chats  to help students learn how to better communicate.
– The texting will be free.  Students and teachers will not be charged texting units against their data plan since the class texting generates  so many texts. For example, if twenty five students make four comments each, that is 100 text messages.
– The program will allow students with a laptop or desktop  to text.
– Students and teachers can send pictures or images.
– The teacher can sort the participants  or see an alphabetical list of all participant within a conversation to see if all have participated.
– The teacher can privately text students to offer encouragement or to offer suggestions for improvement.
– The group texting program will be free to use.
– The texting program will connect to or allow easy transfer to other social media.

If you know of a group texting program that meets those characteristics, please let me know so I can share it with my readers.

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 begin to express themselves in the modern language and to  move toward spontaneous speaking Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

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What is the Role of Technology in the Teaching-Learning process?

A very creative elementary teacher will retire in June because she no longer feels she can teach due to her district’s technology push.  Her district purchased a math online program in which the computer program presents the math concept and  the program has students do stations for a designated amount of time each day. Her job is to make sure that the students rotate through the stations.

Another teacher no longer has time to relate his subject area to the real world because he has to push through his textbook so students can do the  designated  and scheduled online drill and practice for each unit. The district looks at the student data from the online activities as an assessment measure.

A science teacher has to have her students do a specified number of app activities for each unit.  Although this teacher used to do many student inquiry labs, she has had to eliminate those labs in order to provide students time to  complete all the apps.

Finally, students in Carpe Diem schools spend half to  two thirds  of their day doing computer work. These students score well on state tests. (http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2011/04/22/carpe-diem-charter-school-seizes-tomorrows-innovations-today)

What is your view of the role of technology in the  teaching learning process?  Do teachers or technology determine how students spend their learning time? Who/What  makes decisions about what learning gap  students have and supplies a new strategy to overcome the gap?

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.  My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (20+) includes Modified Speed Dating (Students ask  a question from a card-whole class), Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs),  Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawing from 2-4 people) and Speaking Mats (Can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas- pairs or small group),  Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs),  and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Guidelines for Technology-Based Learning Conference/ Workshop Presentations

During the past few months, I been to numerous conferences.  I have become very disappointed with the presentations. They have been “See the technology” presentations that did not focus on how the technology improves student learning.  I suggest the following guidelines for any technology-based learning presentations including professional development

1. (33.3 %) How does the technology help improve student learning?
Does the presenter identify the specific learning  topic and specific learning goals that this technology helps with?
Does the presenter show at least four real classroom examples from her/his school or district?
Does the presenter  use  examples from real classrooms and not the company’s website that  a professional artist may have spent hundreds of hours creating as a beautiful, but unrealistic, demo?
Does the presenter show  actual learning not just talk about  student learning?
Does the presenter focus on how this technology uniquely helps the students in their learning?  Why use this technology as opposed to some other technology for the same specific learning goal?
Does the presenter focus on the substance of the program, not its glitz?

2. (33.3 %)  Does the presenter show the critical steps that the students go through in using this learning tool from  start to  finish?
Does the presenter focuses on  the critical parts of the program,  not on the minor parts such as  showing every possible  background?
Does the presenter show the critical parts in the  logical order of  student use (from start to finish of the learning) instead of going through the program menu by menu?
Does the presenter only focus on what the  beginning / average  student user would do and not some advanced feature that students would not usually use?
Does the presenter show his/her final product that is the result of what he/she actually did during this workshop?

3. (33.3 %) Does the presenter go over implementation issues,  tricky or non logical things that could prevent the learning from being successful?
Does the presenter know the program well enough to tell critical details such as this  app only records for one minute or a student  cannot erase if she  uses this part?
Does  the presenter  give a realistic time frame  about how much time it takes the students  to do / use this program? Is that time appropriate to the learning level?  For example,  in one program students create an animated mini-movie  of a conversation that takes twenty minutes  to produce when they could do the same conversation with an app camcorder in three minutes.
Does the presenter  mention other programs /apps  that build on this learning to take students to even  higher levels of learning?
Does the presenter talk about how students  collaborate while using this program/ app?
Does the presenter go over how he/she assesses the learning from this program/ app?

Let’s move from the technology whiz  factor  to  the student learning factor!

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.  My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (20+) includes Modified Speed Dating (Students ask  a question from a card-whole class), Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs),  Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawing from 2-4 people) and Speaking Mats (Can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas- pairs or small group),  Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs),  and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Meaningful Web 2.0 Tools Listings, Please

In searching for a good free web 2.0 program for making stories, I’ve found some common disturbing trends.  Often people simply list the tool’s name without even explaining what that program does.  Unfortunately, most Web 2.0 names do not reveal what type of program it is.  For example, Animoto is a presentation tool.  Some people even present an alphabetical listing of tools which does not help to find specific types of programs.

At least listers should include the category of the tool.  If people do categorize web 2.0 tools, then they usually do not tell what makes each unique.  For example, I recently opened a page that had  a listing of  15+storyboard programs. I had no way to tell how each program worked until I opened each.  Even a description such as ” create a story through selecting various characters and selecting scenes and typing the text”  tells me that students cannot record their own voices.

I would prefer that the educators list the “best” program in each category  and tell why it is the best.  I really do not care to see a  random list of 15+ programs of the same category.  Bigger is not better to a person searching for a specific type of program. Bigger is not better to someone who wants to know what a program really does.

Many times I wonder if the tool  listers have even used the program.  Rarely do I read anything practical about the program such as “The avatar voice of ….produces the  clearest  modern language voices.”  Why do listers  include programs that they have only heard about but not used?

Please, listers of Web 2.0 tools  be practical to really help other educators.  Do not try to overwhelm us!

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.

Open Source Free Educational Software

The following list of  free open source educational software comes from OpenDisc

Art and Graphics

GIMPEdit digital photos and create graphics
GIMP animationCreate animations
InkscapeMake professional looking vector graphics
Pencil – Animate your own cartoons
Blender3D graphic modeling, animation, rendering and playback
TuxpaintDrawing program for children ages 3 to 12

Multimedia

VLCPlay music, videos and DVDs
AudacityRecord, edit and mix music
TuxGuitar – Compose your own music
Piano Booster – Teach yourself the piano
AvidemuxEdit movies and add special effects
Infra RecorderBurn your own CDs and DVDs
CamStudioRecord your actions on a computer
Really Slick ScreensaversGreat looking screensavers

Science and Mathematics

Nasa Worldwind Discover the earth and other planets~
Greenfoot – Teach yourself how to program
GraphCalcA graphical calculator
Guido Van RobotLearn how computer programs work
CarMetalCool mathematical modelling tool
Maxima – University standard computer algebra system
CelestiaExplore the universe in three dimensions
StellariumA planetarium on your PC

Games

FreeCiv Control the world through diplomacy and conquest
FreeColDiscover the ‘New World’ and build an empire
Numpty Physics – Solve puzzles using physics
TuxTyping 2Learn to type like a pro
Tux of Math Command – Test your mathematical skills
Winboard ChessThe classic game of chess

My addition to the above list:
Openoffice
– word processing, spreadsheet, “PowerPoint like” presentation, drawing, database program

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.

Online Writing Programs- Not Formative Feedback

I’ve begun to look at online writing assessment programs. The one thing that I have noticed is that the feedback is very general such as “May have organization in parts, but lacks organization in other parts”. How helpful is that feedback to a struggling writer? Does it tell him/her what specific parts are organized or what parts are not organized? Does it tell the student what to do to organize the part? Does it provide scaffolding to help the student organize the part? The bottom line is “How likely is it that the student will improve based on the feedback?”

So far the online writing program that I have seen do not give formative  feedback. I’m afraid the students using these online writing programs now  somewhat know  something about what they did without being given the tools to move forward in their writing.

Handwritten Essay assessment by Computer!

The University of Buffalo (my alma mater) is taking a bold new step in writing assessment. They are attempting to computer score the eight grade English Language Arts assessments which students hand write. So far they are within one point of human evaluators and their program assesses the student’s writing in seconds. If this program can quickly score students’ writing, then the teacher can work with students to improve their writing. Students could take mini-ELA assessments during the year to assess their progress and work toward scoring a 5 or 6/6on the state assessment. At present, teachers can only assess so many writing assessments during a year due to the time it takes to assess each writing. Now they can focus on improving students’ writing instead of focusing on correcting their papers.


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 […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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 […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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 […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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 […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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. […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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 […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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 […]
    hgtuttle

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