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.

Technology is Awesome…

When I did training on United Streaming earlier this year, I mentioned the DEN and recommended that folks check it out.  The DEN (Discovery Educator’s Network) is a community of educators who use digital media among other things as they integrate technology into their practice.  The DEN sponsors an annual national institute to provide additional professional development and networking opportunities for a limited number of DEN STAR members.  I am fortunate to be one of the 100 people selected this year.   I will be attending the institute this summer and hope to bring back lots of information for everyone!

Since I was notified of my acceptance, I have been reading the blogs and discussion boards at the DEN more often. (Surprised?) On my visit today, I stopped by Matt Monjan’s blog and found out about this commercial for Discovery. 

Ok.  So they are absolutely cute, and Matt’s post inspired me.  So I wrote this little ditty for you all:

It’s so obvious
For anyone to see
I’m a geeky girl
I love technology

I love Ms. Streeter (my boss); she’s very good to me
Boom de yada, Boom de yada, Boom de yada

I love my flip cam
I love Avatars
I love VoiceThreads
My blogging’s come real far

I love Web 2.0; something’s always new you know
Boom de yada, Boom de yada, Boom de yada

I love del.icio.us
And portaportal too
All my teachers should know
I love harassing you!

I really love my job even when it’s frustrating…
Boom de yada, Boom de yada, Boom de yada
Boom de yada, Boom de yada, Boom de yada
Boom de yada, Boom de yada, Boom de yada

I got to thinking that this might make a great meme about our jobs…and if I were going to tag some folks on my team I would choose Christine, Brian, and Deloris