RSS

Category Archives: technology for learning

Social Media and Students

Are you “one of those” with social media?  Do you LOVE it and use it as a tool in school with students?  Or do you LOVE it and still not use with students?

Well I must admit that I am quite a sporadic user of social media.  Partially because of the savings I experience by not having a smart phone and one of those “unlimited” plans.  However, I do sometimes miss very important things because of this cost savings.  (I must admit, I really don’t need to know where you are and who you are with so much; but I do like to know what some of your thoughts are!)

While perusing some educational sites today, I came upon a great post on an educational blog  named “Mind/Shift”.  It speaks to how students are very tech savvy and have great facility for using social media.  I know this too since I see many youth using it through out a day.  The post cautions all of us to remember that students need to also be helped to develop concentration and focus – something the constant use of social media does not develop in a young brain.  Maybe that is the skill the adults attending a recent production at the theater needed so they could skip looking at their social media on their phone during the presentation!

I found this interesting.  According to the research study noted in the blog post, students need to have times when the social media is not available.  Not because it is not good, but because they need to focus on something for a longer period of time.  You might want to check out this blog and the research mentioned.  Do you help students learn “focus” and concentration?  It would be a good idea to do so.  They might thank you later when their boss wants something major created and developed. 

Mr. Goldman, a psychologist, said “It’s about using the devices smartly but having the capacity to concentrate as you need to, when you want to”.

Advertisements
 

Tags: ,

Don’t Replace Teachers to Spend More on Technology

I recently read a quick read from CNNN regarding the importance of a good teacher on the success of a student. The premise did not surprise me at all. If you have been involved in the art of educating a child for long, you know that truth from experience.

The article I refer to was written by Wendy Kopp founder of Teach for America. In the article, Wendy emphasizes that technology needs to be of high quality and used for instruction.  She also encourages its use in blending learning in order to enhance the skill learning of students; but she contends that the personal experience with an effective teacher is necessary for success.  I like to think of it as the personal touch, the inspiration and push to greatness!

Enjoy the read and encourage yourself if you teach and give a pat on the back to all teachers you know.  Of course the key is effective teachers – be the best you are called to be!!!

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Let your students learn with a global focus

Let your students learn with a global focus by bringing the world into the classroom.  Any age student will benefit from visiting with and learning from experts around the world or students in a classroom far away or around the corner.  It doesn’t take a field trip to bring adventure and learning from a place away.

As a help to all teachers, SKYPE has provided a resource that you can use.  SKYPE in the classroom provides ideas and a place to learn from others.  Visit the website and see for yourself.  There is a great informational video describing the use of Skype and students visiting with an elephant care taker.  Quite enjoyable and a fun-filled 3 minutes.

Our students need to know about the world and function in a world that is much bigger than their neighborhood or city or country.  Many say the world is becoming “flat” because of our ability to interact with all parts of it through technology and travel.  Our challenge is to spur on their interest and creativity so their learning continues to help them be 21st century citizens and beyond.

Your students will be able to name questions they want to explore with their global partners if you give them a chance.  A few examples on the link include:  do other countries have the tooth fairy, how do potatoes grow, what season is it in your part of the world, etc.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Quadblogging anyone?

Have you considered Quadblogging?  It is a well developed system from an educator in England.  You and your class can request to be part of the quadblogging network and you will be added to a group of three other blogging classrooms.  It allows students to blog and receive comments from other students in schools around the world.  Students will work even harder to develop their class blog when they actually get hits from other students. 

Of course, the first step is to have a class blog.  Do you have a class blog for your class or course?  If you do, you are helping to develop the twenty-first century skills students in your class will need.  In order to help students learn these skills you need to be a 21st century learner as well.  Here are a few ways that teachers using a twitter educational feed have used a class blog.  Perhaps this summer you can hone your ideas and be ready to blog and Quadblog with your class.  Do your prep now and check out some great educational bloggers while you are at it.

Summer is a great time to form your own learning network – on-line, face-to-face, in class, or ????  Don’t let it slip by without doing something refreshing and learning a thing or two.  Explore the web and see what is available to you.  Develop your own blog and share your learning.  A great resource for a free or economical blog is WordPress.  It is a great way to get started.

You may even find a little time to comment and share your ideas here.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Do you have an idea worth sharing?

Do you have a classroom idea worth sharing?  It might just win a grant or prize.  The We are Teachers website offers just that for teachers.  If you let us all know and we like your classroom idea we can cast our vote for you and your project.

This site is great for hands-on teachers who want and need new ideas and the simple technology or supplies to accomplish it.  The grants are not huge, but they might help you get that flip video recorder or a set of e-readers or …..  You need to check often because new grants are always listed.

Do yourself a favor and visit and subscribe to We are Teachers.

 

Digital Curriculum – A Call for All by 2017

Are you creating your own Digital curriculum for your students are do you rely on a printed textbook?  Many teachers and or schools are beginning to develop a digital curriculum for students.  It is becoming a national movement with the Department of Education encouraging it with a deadline to be all digital by 2017. 

Are you aware of the movement?  What do you think about it?  Here is an article that describes a few district wide attempts.  This article also addresses the questions many have regarding how the curriculum is “tested” and seen as accurate and meeting requirements.

If you are creating some digital content for your students or if you have an opinion on this newest trend, add a comment.  Is this better for students, learning?  Can you make it by 2017, should you?

 

Tags: , ,

Did you ask a question today? Did your Students?

This can the beginning of a science project or a moment of real learning.  Asking questions is how we learn, just listen to a two or three-year old.  Why do we stop?  Or maybe we just stop saying them out loud.

Google is launching the second annual on-line science fair.  A student can submit from any country as long as the student has internet access.  Language is not a barrier.  Projects can be submitted in 80 different languages.  Read about this new concept in science fairs and perhaps you encourage students to participate. 

The key to any science fair is the question asked.  Help your students formulate a clear and BIG question and then determine their route to an answer.  We have budding scientists in our classrooms.  Let’s help them discover their question, their process, and their learning. 

Let us hear from you or your students if you are going to take this challenge!

 

Tags: , ,