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Showing posts from 2010

Top Ten for Teching it Up

Disclaimer: This is not an all encompassing list, nor is it Rocket Science 302. It’s just Tracy’s list for her peeps based on where I see them right now. Furthermore, this list was developed because Lisa wanted to set “10 Tech Goals” for herself over break, and she asked that I email her 10 ideas for goals. So, below is my list and I thought it might benefit others to post here. This list might be out of date in one minute after I hit publish, but as of this exact moment in time, here is my top 10 list for where to set your goals for tech integration. (Note tongue in cheek, but hey, ‘tis the season, right?)
First steps:
10) Choose one platform to have kids go to as soon as they walk in the class. IE: Moodle (or Google Apps, GradeBook Wizard, or your Website – seeTracy's SchoolWorld Site as an example of one). Then start using that platform on a daily basis. IE- Lisa chose Moodle. She will have kids do a “Before you Read” Forum post, and a daily post to go with each chapter. The two …

Speak Up 2010

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The Speak Up survey collects authentic feedback from students, families, and educators across the country. Data from prior surveys show students are primarily interested in: 1) social based learning; 2) un-tethered learning (anytime, anywhere, any device); and 3) digitally-rich learning environments. When given the question, "What is the ultimate digital textbook?", they respond favorably for interactive, relevant, and collaborative textbooks. They want the ability to search for terms easily, take digital notes on it, and to download it to their mobile devices.  They want to check for their own comprehension (like a benchmark), have learning games, online tutors 24-7, and built in accountability. In conclusion, students want learning-centered classrooms rather than teacher-centered classrooms.

Our district is involved in the Speak Up 2010 survey. I had the privilege of helping in three different third grade classrooms today with t…

Tech & Innovation Awards

Do you know what I love about seeing education awards, especially in innovation and technology? It raises awareness of the standards of excellence, highlights innovation, and merits those who set the bar... Although to them, it's just a norm.


Click here to see ISTE awards.

Click here to see Edublog awards.
Want to know what also inspires me when I see technology and innovation awards? It reminds me of where we are as a district and the amount of growth AJUSD has made in a year. Last year, I had to force my way into a majority of the classrooms; whereas this year, there almost isn't enough time for me to work with all the teachers and students who want to collaborate and integrate technology.

We are starting to shift from the traditional teacher-centered classroom to the 21st century student-centered classroom. Engaging students has become a focus in our district and it's awesome! So when I read about awarding innovation and excellence in education, I envision our teachers rec…

I Can See Why He's One of the 20 to Watch

I'm still pondering all that I got out of the T & L Conference in Phoenix last month. One of the presentations was a combination of technology integration for STEM projects. The two presenters were Robert Miller, one of NSBA's "20 to Watch" for 2010, and BrainPOP's Kari Stubbs.

I loved the practical ways Miller used BrainPOP to engage students... and was entranced by his integrating the GPS into his curriculum. He created his own educational geocaching, but instead it was "educaching." Writing about it won't do it justice, so here's a little trailer from YouTube:



I typically take avid notes in conferences, but during this one, I was just astounded by Miller's innovation. However, there were two things I had written: rechargeable batteries and a charging station.

I also found the app for my iPhone "SCVNGR" and thought about giving it a whirl. Which got me thinking... How could I incorporate this idea into my current role? I thriv…

Vuvox

Fun little editor combined with appreciation for our AJUSD teachers... and voila, my first Vuvox collage:



P.S. For those of you wondering, I changed the music to something I made on GarageBand so that I wouldn't be breaking any copyright laws.

Site Visit & Shift Happens

I had the privilege of visiting two schools that infused technology in the classroom seamlessly. What I expected from the visit and what I got out of it were two different things. You see, all week long I indulged in PBL lessons such as STEM with GPS and students doing amazing projects, projects that I aspired to do when I was still in the classroom but hadn't quite gotten there. So, when I arrived at the sites, I was expecting those "Oh My Gosh I wanna FB this to the world" type of lessons. Instead of being wowed, I got consistent active student engagement with seamless technology integration in every classroom. I saw ordinary teachers in ordinary rooms utilizing their tech appropriately. I saw two schools that successfully created learning-centered classrooms throughout their campuses. The teachers were masters at differentiated instruction with technology.

As I walked the classrooms, I consistently saw the students in flexible learning groups. Often times, they would …

Insight from iTouch Initiative

I started with my 4 year old's experience with my iPhone and am moving on to general information. Later, I'll blog my 9 year old's favorites.  
The best site I learned about is I Education Apps Review. It breaks Apps into categories which makes it easy to check out!
What did Mansfield Independent School District have to work through to get their iTouch initiative started?
1) Why iTouch? State Tech Standards dictated that all Primary have touch screens, so it was the biggest bang for the buck. They also started it as an ESL initiative and then as a Special Ed initiative, in addition to their one-to-one initiative.
2) Purchasing considerations? They had to get quotes for iTouch devices (8G), skins, covers, 20 unit sync/charging stations, and apps. (They found out after-the-fact that you can purchase them with a built-in screen cover for $5 and they wished they had done that). They would use a PO to buy bulk purchases straight to Apple which would automatically qualify them for t…

Favorite Apps According to a 4 Year Old

Don't you just love the conferences that gives your brain food to digest? There is so much that I got from the NSBA 2010 Teaching & Learning Conference, but my brain always starts with it's heart which goes to my kiddos. My four year-old daughter is currently reaping the benefits from the iTouch Break Out session I went to on Tuesday (thanksMansfield Independent School District). I ended up downloading many apps for her and so far this is her list of favorites:
Doodle Kids  Doodle Buddy Kids Math AcePuppy JigsawMy First Words AnimalsThe Bee SeesVocal ZooThere were many more on the list. What do you recommend for your preschooler?