Builder tools in action

builder tools

I am just so excited!!  For the better part of two years I have been talking to my teachers about using the DE Streaming teacher tools.  I have explained – they are easy to set up, students will really be engaged, I promise you’ll like it – to no avail…until this week!

KUDOS to Mrs. Mitchell, Ms. Hammil, and Dr. Hunter-Lowe who all jumped in the deep end this week.  Mrs. Mitchell and Ms. Hammil have worked with me to create a DE Streaming assignment that requires research, note taking and videos to crete a Wordle on civil war leaders.  Dr. Hunter-Lowe used a DE Streaming writing prompt to help her students prepare for the writing test. 

The kids are all excited.  The teachers are pleased.  The level of technology implementation in  the building continues to rise.

Teaching Naked

What a title right?  I’ve seen about 3 references to this recently…I was slightly intrigued each time.  Today, trying to “get into” doing my homework for a PD class I am taking, I ran across Al Rowell aka locotech – a fellow learner in the class.  I decided that as a technology director who seemed interested in edtech training he might be a great source to add to my PLN. Looking at what Al’s been tweeting lately, I saw yet another mention of teaching naked and I had to bite.

 The Chronicle of Higher Ed published an article on teaching naked last month.  The article is about a Dean at a college who is removing computers from “smart” classrooms.  His premise – powerpointing students to death is not best practice.  Students come to class to interact with the teacher and each other and the crutch that PowerPoint has become is getting in the way.  Think about it – the most boring thing that you can have in a class is an instructor who reads to you from a PowerPoint presentation.  This Dean thinks a good professor will put the PowerPoint online along with a podcast to accompany it.  Students can take a short quiz online or in class that verifies that they have read the material.  Then they can take student knowledge to a higher level on Blooms taxonomy with the time they have in class through group work and discussion. 

 What if we did that for our elementary students?  We can’t make them read PowerPoint presentations and listen to podcasts at home, but we could at school. 

 What if we covered the recall and understanding portions of Bloom’s taxonomy using centers?  Students could watch video clips or listen to podcasts in centers.  We already have the equipment.  A teacher could use Discovery Education Streaming quizzes or lesson builders to deliver video and podcasts that would cover the basics.  RECALL could be tested, remediated, and the quiz could be scored automatically using a well constructed DE Streaming quiz.  Would you rather use a podcast?  You can create one yourself using a voice recorder or find a ready made one (there are tons out there).  Put together a quiz or worksheet for the student to fill in as s/he listens.  Moving up to UNDERSTANDING – ask your student to summarize.  Use a DE Streaming writing prompt, use a few questions on your blog: either can be easily done as a group in the school computer lab or on a COW or at the computer center in the back of your room. 

 When you are ready for whole group instruction you can break out the FUN!  Starting at APPLICATION now that the boring part is done – do that science experiment, practice as a whole group using your whiteboard/slate/wireless keyboard, work on an application assignment together at the document camera. Group discussion becomes ANALYSIS using your similarities and differences Marzano strategy – In what ways is this like or different from what we’ve studied before? Or make a connection – when I think about (insert your content here) I am reminded about…

 EVALUATING and CREATING can be a part of every class project.  Where your students can create a representation of your concept (create their own podcast, photostory, wiki page, animoto, voicethread, museum_box etc.) evaluating resources from DE Streaming or Freeplay music or some other source to decide what types of content is appropriate to add to their project.

Changing your style of teaching won’t be easy, but wouldn’t it be a great thing for our kids to operate at higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy?  We don’t have to throw out our technology, just use it in better, more powerful and more appropriate ways.

DEN Institute Day 3 – Steve Dembo’s Keynote

I’ve got bunus points because I’ve got Plurk open!!

Learning to Speak Native:

Reference to Prensky: Natives are multitaskers, they prefer graphics BEFORE text etc… they think differently because they grew up connected.  Our schools were not created to accomodate these kids.  If educators want to reach NATIVES we will have to “just do it”. 

We’ve had an information explosion…161 Billion GB of information.  Another key trend flattening the world.  Open sourcing and tools on steroids (like cell phones).  Also Wikinomics – everyone helping to build something better than they can do on their own.  Look at the  project or the fact that some things like Gmail are in perpetual beta …not everything is a final draft.  The idea is finding innovative uses for things and not necessarily inventing everything. This is the intersection of tools, experts, and knowledge.  It’s the idea of a listserv vs. plurk.  It’s a conversation and it’s personal.  It’s impromptu professional development.  You get ideas and professional development that you didn’t even know you need.  People share discoveries, request info, social and personal connection, explore new things, professional development opportunities in real time.  We are all DEN STARs and we are supposed to share, so we should use these things.  VA has a guide on social networking in grades k-12?  I need to get my hands on it…Apparently it’s published by the DOE?

Networking allows us to learn how o do what we do and using WEB2.0 allows us to share what we are learning in bigger audiences.  So now teachers are becoming as connected as the students we teach.  Then we start doing the same things kids do to try to stay connected at work.  If you give a man a fish, if you teach a man to fish,  ic you connect a man to a fishing community he’ll have variety in his diet.

Natives attends conferences using Live blogs, podcasts, backchannel, skypecast, twitter, ustream even in second life.  During packed sessions folks who stream it out can help folks who want to attend.  Then you can sit is second life next to others who couldn’t physically be there. a virtual broadcasting studio in your computer? plays nicely with mogulus and you can do truly mobile recording. Can’t get parent’s to come to an assembly during the day?  broadcast it live and then they can attend while on break at work.  Create an on demand video library…

Find a way to share the info that fits you and stay connected.


DEN – Hall Davidson Keynote

Ok.  So I’m trying to blog live instead of taking notes that will never get transcribed.  So right now we are all taking out our phones and waving them at him.  We list the devices that we are holding in our hands:

  • Telephone
  • Clock
  • text messenger
  • still camera
  • video camera
  • video player
  • GPS device
  • Podcast (Gcast)
  • Music Player

These are tools that all of our kids have all the time in their pocket at school.  It’s a powerful device and the kids bring them to school VOLUNTARILY!!  We will not debate whether or not cell phones should be in school.  Even those in this audience will admit to taking them away.  We need to teach kids appropriate uses.  We don’t want to fight this – we will lose this debate.  We ought to just make this work.  Parents are not going to give up a device that allows them to track and monitor their kids.

There are twice as many texters as there are emailers.  16% of homes in US are exclusively wireless – they have no land line phones.  30 countries exceed 100% penetration in cellphones…US is behind because we had land lines before others did.   Lots of third world countires allow cell phones, businesses allow cell phones, but they are banned – by your local high schools.

Location based technologies can become location based teachable moments: Write a review after you watch the movie, take a picture of rectangles on the bus.  If our non-working hours have been ruined by cell phones, why can’t our students??

Uses for cell phone technology:

  • Live feeds from cell phones – use IP cameras for school security (Cisco gets it)
  • Pre/post lesson videos uploaded to a secure site for parents to watch (like youtube, but secure)
  • Teacher’s video lesson plans or other instructions for the sub
  • Report on the outcome of a meeting
  • Create a video challenge for your students
  • Video message sent to parents (like phonevite, but in video)
  • Use the phone to video student presentation and then send it to the kids parents
  •  – turns voice into text (Hall records to twitter from Jott)  You can use the same technology to post to Google Clendar -Administrator could use JOTT to document intervention- Jott will transfer voice to email, blogs, twitter etc.
  • GCAST for podacasting – Student can use it to interview subjects for a report – using their own cellphones – Have students call in to answer challenge questions, answer a prompt, students can recite times tables, or play the piece they were supposed to practice.
  • Langugae arts: Text a story in six words
  • Polleverywhere: Free app use cell phone to text and answer a poll

Text message 34381 and they’ll give the food chain and menu item, they will send you the nutrition breakdown.

Go to you can get the quizbuilder via cell phones.





    Wow – Talk about surprised…

    Ok.  So I’m at the Discovery Educator’s Network National Institute and this is the first day… So I thought this might be like the WHRO Tech Trek experience – I’ve done it before, so I thought I could do it.  It’s kind of a formula: professional development followed by project time and then presentations.  I’ve done it before…well not this way…

     After lunch and the welcome we got an assignment:  Find the members of your group and create your own Boom De Yada video in the next 2 ½ hours. I was with the Mid-Atlantic group and we were rather successful.

    Talk about a jump start to our week.  This is even faster then tech Trek the Next Generation…