Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Technology Integrators (#3)

Here we go... Week 3!

Who has time to read books these days?  Papers to grade, lessons to plan, a family to be with, a house to tend to, constant reading on the web about new technology, and the occasional Hanging With Friends, books take a back seat these days.  Turns out that Cool Cat Teacher has time to read a book once in a while, which amazes me.  From what I've read, she's one busy woman!  Anyhow, below is a link to her review of The End of Molasses by Ron Clark.  Sounds interesting.  I wonder if I had the energy to pull some of this stuff off.  One ding against me is that I'm too monotone in my presentation.  That's just me, folks. I'm not an animated kinda guy (unless I'm talking about my Eagles).  Anyhow, stand on a chair, wear your suit, and read this book.  (Hint: My birthday is coming up soon.)

So, apparently, there's a sixth grade kid out there who's developing iPad and iPhone apps.  Did I read that correctly?  This is a link to an article which is primarily a video.  Here is a one-of-a-kind kid.  In my 18 years of teaching elementary kids, I haven't seen too many of them with this kind of presence.  How cool would it be to see our students creating apps that could be used in real life?  Are your students at the place where they can do this?  Mine aren't.  I'm not.

Do you use Skype in your classroom?  How do you use it?  I like how this teacher fought to get Skype installed on his computer is using it frequently.  Notice that he has his children think of good questions to ask before the session so they don't just stare at the screen.  My only experience with Skype in the classroom was from the other side of the webcam.  My wife and I were in Seoul, South Korea, to adopt our daughter.  We Skyped both our classes when our daughter was in our arms.  What a cool way to bring the joy of adoption into the eyes and minds of the students.  However, I have yet to use Skype to align with the curriculum as this teacher has.  Tell me your experiences!

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here's a graphic that is best left looked at rather than explained... except to say that it proves that education as we know it is changing.  My two-year old daughter is going to learn totally differently than I did.  Am I ready for it? Is her school ready for it?

Ever heard of the Khan Academy? If not, you probably didn't click the link above.  While the previous link praised the Khan Academy and similar new tools in education, this article scoffs at it.  What?!? The premise of the article is that schools require kids to learn knowledge that does not connect to their real life with the only goal is extrinsic awards. With Khan, we're merely flipping when things get done, but the nature of school never changes.  What will constitute real change is getting kids learning about topics they want to learn about and get excited to learn about.

I'm on the fence with this one.  Yes, extrinsic awards to learn things that no one is interested in is a bummer of a way to learn.  Yes, it would be great if everyone was excitedly interested in everything we did in class.  There is a middle ground here where the educators know what the kids need to learn, even if they don't want to learn it.  Sometimes we learn through enduring the boring lessons of prepositions.

I just put this web site in my bookmarks.  It gives apps based on your teaching goal.  Simply find the goal that aligns with your objective, click it, and see what apps are available.  Splendid!

I just added this one to my bookmarks as well.  This breaks down the apps into themes, multiple intelligences (haven't heard that one since grad school), and Bloom.  With 1300 apps on there, you're sure to find something.

Here is an interesting blog entry.  Basically, they are pitting one app versus another in various categories.  I haven't explored these, but they must be good to make it to the blog.  With only one response, this guy would probably feel good getting a few comments.  Give it a whirl.

I sent this link to my science teaching partner.  He loved it and pointed out that they cover a multitude of subjects.  I'll have to bookmark it and look at it when I need a new app.

Here is a professional development course you can take to hone your iPad skills.

Well, that's all I have time for today.  I need to get my room ready for tomorrow and brave the elements for carpool duty.  Have a great day!

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