Tuesday, December 31, 2013

iPads in Schools

8 Frequent Mistakes Made with iPads in School

By Teachers With Apps

MISTAKE ONE – Underestimate the power of the iPad
Students do not need to be taught how to use the iPad, but rather how to get the most out of it. They need to be taught how they can use it to create and demonstrate incredible things, to share their learning and connect it with the real word, and to promote deeper thinking.

MISTAKE TWO – Neglect to make real world connections
Most students’ use social media, but not necessarily in a way to learn or to connect in meaningful ways. Blogs, Twitter, Instagram all of these programs work on the iPad and can be used to allow students to learn from each other and to share their learning with others. These tools allow them to take REAL action in the REAL world.

MISTAKE THREE –The iPad alone will not help kids think deeply

Click here to continue reading this article...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A 1 to 1 Laptop Program

American Schools Are NOT Failing

Standardization and testing is not going to make American schools strong. Innovation and creativity is what makes us strong and able to compete globally. Differentiation and individualized learning is what will help our kids best. I don't want my kids to be better test takers, I want them to be great learners and doers.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Another View on SAMR (& TPACK)

 Ed Tech Frameworks: Why I Don't Use TPACK or SAMR with my Teachers

I'm going to preface this post by saying that I think both TPACK and SAMR are incredibly useful frameworks- and I use them a lot in my work with education technology. While I don't want to completely discount either framework in this post, I do want to start a discussion- and explain why I am currently not finding them completely effective in my work with teachers.

Click here to read this blog post...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Eight C's of Learning

The following article may about BYOT or Bring Your Own Technology programs but is certainly valid for learning as well as any 1:1 initiative.

Advantages of the BYOT classroom

Implementing a BYOT initiative can yield surprising benefits

Students from all grade levels in Forsyth County Schools, Ga., are encouraged to bring their own technology tools to school to construct new learning opportunities. When the district first began its Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) initiative several years ago, the primary focus was to engage students with their devices in order to transform traditional instruction. Through consistent innovation and practice, we discovered some hidden advantages when students use their own technology for learning, and these are recognizable hallmarks of the BYOT classroom.

Creativity: Teachers can foster creativity as students design original products with their personal technology tools. These inventions are often constructed as solutions to problems or for students to illustrate what they have learned in imaginative new ways. In this manner, students aspire to become producers of relevant content rather than solely being consumers of static information.

Critical Thinking: As students conduct research with BYOT, they must distinguish between conflicting information and facts.

Click here to continue reading...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

School Visits

Preparing for a 1:1 school visit

by Nick Sauers

A good friend and col­league is cur­rently part of a com­mit­tee that is prepar­ing for her schools tran­si­tion to a 1:1 envi­ron­ment.  Part of that process includes vis­its to vet­eran 1:1 schools.  In prepa­ra­tion for those vis­its, she has asked how she can pre­pare for that visit.  Here are some of my thoughts and rec­om­men­da­tions for her vis­its.  I also want to men­tion that vet­eran 1:1 schools should also con­sider mak­ing vis­its to other schools to share and gather great ideas.

Who should go on the visit?

Of course, you should include all of the reg­u­lar stake­hold­ers in your visit. That should include stu­dents! 

Click here to continue reading...

Project-Based Learning Ideas

4 Ways to Ensure Students Learn While Creating

This post was originally published on Edudemic you can click here to view the original.

When was the last time your students said “Wow, that worksheet changed my life”?  Can you even remember a similar cookie cutter classroom activity or assignment from your days as a student? Yet they were a popular tool because they were structured and efficient in getting the class to a set finish point.

Click here to continue reading…

Other resources from the above mentioned blog:

Avoiding mistakes in digital device initiatives

Ed-tech leaders offer key advice to help schools avoid tech mistakes

There is no question that technology, when used the right way, can be a valuable tool to enhance teaching and learning. But each year, many schools and districts make mistakes when they implement digital deployments–and these mistakes use valuable school dollars and can cause student learning to stagnate.

Three school administrators and technology leaders who have led successful ed-tech initiatives and deployments gathered during an Alliance for Excellent Education and Project 24 webinar to review key factors to avoiding mistakes and ensuring a digital initiative’s success.

Patrick Larkin, the assistant superintendent for learning in Burlington Public Schools (Mass.), Lenny Schad, chief information technology officer for the Houston Independent School District, and Scott Smith, chief technology officer in the Mooresville Graded School District, offered advice to help other ed-tech leaders avoid mistakes and ensure the success of their digital initiatives.

Click here to continue reading...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Looking in our Own Backyard

This year we are going to look at the Kent School District to learn how they got their 1:1 initiative off the ground and how they are keeping it a success.

Here's the part of the KSD website on their Technology Plan.

Share any ideas or cool things you find on their website that we can use here in our district by leaving a comment.

More on BYOD

BYOD – How to Walk Before You Run

by Chris Kennedy

In some ways, this is a follow-up or companion piece to my post last week when teachers have mobile devices in the classroom, on our findings and efforts to ensure digital access for all of our teachers.
While this has proven to be very powerful for teachers, our next step is around finding access for all students.  In a previous post, I shared some thoughts around BYOD and Equity (an issue I think is crucial when looking at getting devices into students’ hands).

In West Vancouver, student access is growing; in some elementary schools students have regular access mainly from devices they bring from home.  In other schools it is less consistent with pockets of classrooms having students on devices.  One key piece of learning we have realized over the last three years is if students don’t have purposeful reasons to use their device in class they will often stop bringing it.

So, before one announces that “everyone will bring a laptop on Monday” there are ways to work toward changing and improving that experience.  The challenges around the recent iPad rollout in Los Angeles schools are a good reminder of the complexity of these kinds of initiatives.

Click here to continue reading...

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD, Communities — and a 1-to-1 Webinar

by Pamela Livingston

When invited to visit 1-to-1 schools, I pose two over­ar­ch­ing ques­tions – How are stu­dents involved in 1-to-1 here? How is 1-to-1 grow­ing your learn­ing community?
These ques­tions become impor­tant with a pro­gram with school-supplied or school-recommended dig­i­tal devices – and even more so with BYOD pro­grams. Because if you are expect­ing every­one to sup­ply their own device for learn­ing, you need to:
  1. Make sure stu­dents are fully involved and onboard right away. Bring stu­dents into com­mit­tees and have them part of sur­veys and the plan­ning, ask their opin­ions as experts.  They reside in the dig­i­tal world and are your most impacted stake­hold­ers in terms of their cur­rent and future aca­d­e­mic, career, pro­fes­sional and per­sonal lives. And keep ask­ing them, many times – for­mally and infor­mally. Fol­low up on their ideas and sug­ges­tions. If BYOD is bought in as a strat­egy by the stu­dents who under­stand your respect and under­stand­ing of them and who real­ize the entire pro­gram was built with their buy-in and feed­back — you will have tee’ed up your pro­gram for success.

Click here to continue reading...

One-to-One Tips

Tips for launching a one-to-one initiative

By Kevin Schwartz on eSchool News

The Clear Creek Independent School District in Texas truly puts the public in public education. I cannot think of a more profound example of this statement than what is occurring today in our Houston-suburb school district of 40,000 students.

We are leading our teachers, students, parents, and community on a journey to refine teaching and learning in the 21st century as we deploy 30,000 Dell Latitude 10 tablets to students over the next three years. The Latitude to Learn initiative is unique to our community because it is deeply rooted in our district beliefs and mission, and perhaps most compelling, it is being designed by students, educators, technology specialists, and parents. Because it is our customized plan, I don’t have the magic formula for success—but I can offer some advice to school districts considering a one-to-one computing initiative.

First, go slow to go fast! For years, this school district knew that classrooms needed a boost and that our students deserved uninterrupted access to the world. However, funding and finding the right device always seemed to stump progress. In 2012, we stopped and took the time to capture the aspirations of teachers, technology specialists, parents, and students.

Click here to continue reading...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One-to-One Lessons Learned

iPads in the Classroom: How Did Lewisville Independent School District Get It So Right and Los Angeles Unified Get It So Wrong?

Recently, issues surrounding the rollout of iPads to students in LAUSD have lead to media reports of breaches in security, missing iPads and indecisiveness as to the iPads take-home policy. Rollouts of iPads in other school districts may bring clarity to a developing set of best practices for implementing initial phases of pilot programs. Pre-planning includes school and community collaboration and a careful analysis of expected outcomes, both educationally and financially.

Below are links to information publicly available on the LISD website which outline major aspects of their iPad program and a chart specifically created for this post contrasting LISD with LAUSD.

Click here to read the rest of this article...

Project-Based Learning

Response: The Best Advice On Doing Project-Based Learning

By Larry Ferlazzo on October 14, 2013 11:53 PM

Last week's question was:

What's your best advice on doing project-based learning?

This post is a Part Two to last year's popular one by Suzie Boss (and readers!) on Do's and Don'ts for Better Project-Based Learning. Suzie agreed to share additional ideas this year, as did many readers. 

You might also be interested in resources I've collected at The Best Sites For Cooperative Learning Ideas.

Response From Suzie Boss
Suzie Boss is an education writer and consultant who focuses on project-based learning (PBL) and social change. She is the author of four books about PBL and innovative learning strategies, including Bringing Innovation to School: Empowering Students to Thrive in a Changing World and Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry, co-authored by Jane Krauss. She is a regular contributor to Edutopia and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and is on the national faculty of the Buck Institute for Education:

(More) Do's and Don'ts for Better Project-Based Learning
The start of the new school year offers an opportunity to get off to a strong start with project-based learning. As we discussed in an earlier post, many schools are adopting PBL as a strategy to help students meet the higher expectations of the Common Core State Standards. Others are shifting to the project approach to get students more engaged. By connecting classroom activities with real-world problem solving, you bring relevance to the learning experience. Students will be less inclined to ask, "When will we need to know this?", and more apt to dig in to an inquiry experience that matters to them.

Here are six do's and don'ts to help you build a strong foundation for PBL in the coming academic year.

Click here to continue reading this article...

Managed a Techno Classroom

For Teachers, Wired Classrooms Pose New Management Concerns

In a growing number of K-12 schools, the use of 1-to-1 computing devices—including iPads, laptops, and Chromebooks—is becoming a central part of instruction. For teachers making the digital leap, one of the greatest hurdles can be figuring out how to manage the tech-infused classroom. How do you keep kids, who suddenly have the Internet at their fingertips, on task? How do you ensure the devices are safe and well-maintained? And how do you compete with your most tech-savvy students?

“I think this is the new frontier frankly with classroom management. We’ve never confronted this,” said Kyle Redford, a 5th grade teacher at Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera, Calif.
Redford’s school introduced iPads in the middle grades three years ago. “I think we were a little wide-eyed and na├»ve initially. We were letting students guide the exploration into technology,” she said.

Since then, she and her colleagues have had detailed discussions about expectations and appropriate use. “Everyone really does need to have these conversations because these tensions are real,” she said.
For many teachers, decisions about how to manage the 1-to-1 classroom stem from conversations they have with more experienced peers and, of course, from trial and error. And as more schools introduce personal devices into the classroom, some common solutions to the attendant management problems are emerging.

Continue Reading this article...


The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards posted the following on their website:

October is Connected Educator Month!

October is Connected Educator Month, sponsored by the Department of Education. A particular focus for this year is the integration of online, social learning into teacher's formal professional development. Check out this list of Connected Education Month webinars and sign up today!

Here are Chimacum staff staying connected using Twitter!

Monday, October 14, 2013

One-to-One Implementation Ideas

Don't Implement One-to-One Devices in the Classroom Unless...

Posted by Paul Barnwell on Sunday, 10/13/2013

Driving to work a few weeks ago, I listened to a completely unsurprising story on NPR. The story, titled “Students Find Ways To Hack School-Issues iPads Within A Week,” highlights the Los Angeles Unified School District’s early challenges in attempting to provide devices to 600,000 students.
Students quickly discovered ways to get around software meant to block Facebook and other sites, with some entrepreneurial students even charging classmates two dollars to hack the iPads. Think students were trying to hack their way into access for better educational apps, games, and websites?  Heck, no!
"Most students employ a deeply ingrained practice of using digital devices primarily for entertainment, and this is the paradigm we must chip away at."
The alluring qualities of social media interaction, on-demand YouTube music videos, and taking instagram photos will continue to attract students.  The entertainment factor isn’t going anywhere with mobile devices. In fact, it only seems to become more individualized by the minute.  
With that said, I’m still a proponent of thoughtfully integrating a healthy dose of digital devices and open internet access in as many classrooms as possible. But don’t implement one-to-one policies or open cell phone access unless…

1.  All teachers are trained and comfortable with resources, tools, and classroom strategies for using digital tools instructionally. I still have my own struggles in my classes--I have to deal with students seemingly addicted to instagram and Twitter--but I’m trying to encourage their use of cell phones to create reminders and lists, access our classroom Schoology site, and use Google Drive if computers are unavailable. The digitally connected world forces individuals to make constant choices about how to use devices, and I’m trying to provide students with an arsenal of tools.

Click here to read on...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Personalized or Individualized?

Awesome Chart on Personalized Learning Vs Individualized Learning

On the face of it personalized and individualized learning are two sides of the same coin, a game of semantics and this is why many teachers still use them interchangeably as if they mean the same thing while in fact there is a noticeable difference between the two particularly in how each trend views the role of teachers and students, knowledge, and standards. David Warlick delved more into the nuances between these two seemingly identical concepts and came up with this wonderful chart. I invite you to have a look and as always share with us what you think of it. Enjoy.

Click here to see the chart in the original post...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

1 to 1 Success

 5 Ideas Essential to #1to1Tech Learning Success

This article originally appeared at Partners in Learning - 1:1 Hot Topics. LIsa Nielsen
It’s no secret that successful 1:1 learning goes beyond simply getting devices into the hands of students  and teachers. Many schools have had 1:1 programs long enough that challenges have been identified. However, valuable solutions exist that can be put into place to help ensure such challenges don't get in the way of a successful 1:1 learning implementation. Here are five ideas essential to 1:1 learning success

1) Student, not device, driven

  • Start with students and learning, Put them front and center. Then determine what devices and resources will best meet the need. By doing this we alleviate challenges that teachers may encounter later on around not having the proper tools for learning goals. For example, a math teacher may find&nbsp it important to have a tablet and Geometer's Sketchpad for her class, while an English teacher who supports students in creating videos and PSAs might want a device and software that have heavy movie-making functionality.

Click here to continue reading...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Moving Away from Coverage to Learning

A simple move to avoid ‘coverage’ and make time for more learning

Posted by

This, despite the fact that we all know, at some level, that it is not the ‘teaching’ that causes learning but the attempts by the learner to learn that causes learning; and that the 1st attempt may not be successful. The importance of feedback and its use, the idea that a key concept or skill is rarely learned at the first go, the need to ferret out and address misconceptions – all of what we know about optimal learning is far too easily trumped by a syllabus, course framework, or unit plan that says: we have to move on to the next topic!
So, here’s a simple move in four parts that we have used in building units and courses for clients that ‘tricks’ you psychologically into giving students more needed opportunities to learn important things – without feeling stressed about it:
  1. Part 1: Build in and identify in your map/syllabus/unit/lesson plan what we call white space. White space is a placeholder for any results that are likely to occur that require slowing down or re-teaching or re-practicing. Practically speaking, each week has a half-period or a whole-period built into the week’s plan for such adjustment.

Click here to continue reading...

Project Based Learning

PBL: Managing the mushy middle

Posted on by  on Inquire Within
Everyone pretty much agrees that the most troubling and challenging aspect of PBL is the actual process of running a project. At our recent Project Learning Swap Meet in Sydney, Mike Wheadon made the insightful point that many teachers know what happens at the beginning (the project launch and the DQ) and the end (the celebration of learning) but many are still fuzzy about what happens in the middle. I nicknamed this the ‘mushy middle’ and it became a repeated metaphor that we returned to throughout the day. Before the Swap Meet, I put together a small booklet of my ‘go to’ resources for managing the mushy middle of project-learning. Even though these are resources that I have created and/or used for many projects, different resources work better with different students. Remember that it’s always about context – just try something with your students and if it doesn’t work, evaluate why and then try again or try something different. I wanted to share those resources with those of you who might similarly be struggling with the question, ‘How does PBL work day-to-day in the classroom?’. I sense that this concern is mostly to do with managing team-work (which is really bloody hard and I certainly don’t have the answer … just ask my students!) and the nature of assessment. There really isn’t one way to approach either of these issues – as I said above, it’s very much about trial and error, taking risks and being confident to discuss the problems with your students. I know this is very hard to do, but it is necessary to embrace the fact that PBL is essentially a messy process where the best thing a teacher can do is step out of the way and let kids work things out for themselves. Letting go can be very stressful for teachers, but nothing can replace the sense of liberation you will experience once you do, I promise.

NOTE: These resources are not in any particular order … just in case you read into how I upload them, lol.

Click here to see the resources!

Thinking About iPads

What the iPad Is and What it Isn’t

on the Langwitches Blog

As teachers are seeing more and more iPads in education and either using their own devices or being given a teacher iPad or a class set, it is important to realize what the iPad is and what it isn’t.
The first realization needs to be that the iPad is not (yet) intended to be a replacement for a laptop. It falls short in several areas when comparing it with a laptop, such as:
  • memory storage
  • ability to allow for easy use of multiple users
  • heavy typing tasks
  • traditional software programs such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, etc.

There's more! Click here to read it.

SAMR Pedegogy Wheel for Apps!

From Edudemic.

Click here to download the PDF.

The Padagogy Wheel by Allan Carrington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.  Based on a work at http://tinyurl.com/bloomsblog.

Cool Apps for Flipping Your Classroom

5 Less-Known iPad Apps For The Flipped Classroom

Flipped Classroom Summary Image
Nothing can replace the physical presence of a teacher. But with so much technology available these days, some teachers and professors are choosing a different way to structure their classes by flipping them.

A flipped classroom occurs when a teacher flips the traditional class method (lectures taught in class, homework done at home) to allow students to watch lectures at home and do homework and activities in class. This enables the teacher to assist in the application of the lessons instead of teaching the lesson in person. But this doesn’t mean the teacher abandons the student and says “you’re on your own from here.” Many teachers and professors are using a number of different apps to teach students the lesson material or enable them to learn it on their own.

Here are just five iPad apps you can use to flip your classroom.

Click here to continue reading and to see the apps!

Good List of Apps

The 70 Best Apps For Teachers And Students

Ready for school? Let’s examine some of the featured apps that you should be using this year. From time-saving tools to reading helpers, there are apps that do just about anything. Rather than have you sort through the endless parade of app icons, we’ve done the hard part for you. If you’re looking for some useful tools for the classroom, these apps are for you.

Most are available for both iOS and Android operating systems, so don’t sweat that part. Each app is useful in its own right, but definitely think about which app would work best for you in particular. For example, the productivity app ‘Clear’ lets you keep a list of things that you need to do. If that’s not your classroom’s style (perhaps you have a flipped classroom where the students run the day a bit more?) then you may not need Clear.

However, most of these  apps are free so they’re at least worth downloading and trying. Consider this the ‘best of’ list where we present some of the best apps being used in classrooms around the world. In any case, on with the apps!

Click here to see the list of apps!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Shift Happens for 1:1 Initiative

Here's a 1:1 initiative shift happens video from the Reeds Spring School District (click on the school district's name to see their 1:1 resources), just substitute Chimacum School District and Chimacum Schools every time it says Reeds Spring.

Monday, August 12, 2013

SAMR Model Resources

SAMR (click here) is one of the relevant learning models teachers can use to effectively integrate technology in education.

1- Redefinition
Technology allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable.

Technology allows for significant task design

3- Augmentation
Technology acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvements

4- Substitution
Technology acts as a direct tool substitute with no functional change.

Professional Development

I Believe in “One Size Fits All” PD

Posted by John Norton on Aug 6, 2013 in Connected Leadership, The Moral Imperative, Voices
Guest post by Matt Renwick
bball-capWhen you hear professional development described as “one size fits all,” what do you imagine? Heads resting on hands? Glazed eyes? Sidebar conversations running rampant? I can relate – I have sat in too many of these types of meetings myself. However, I have come to think that this type of PD is really “one size fits none.”

Instead, when I consider one size fits all, I imagine a baseball cap with the elastic head band.

This may be a better metaphor for how we might want to approach effective teacher training. These hats can be worn by many users regardless of head size. They adapt to the wearer, but they’re still good hats that get the job done. That’s how I truly see “one size fits all” professional development. Stretchy and adaptable but fundamentally effective for every user.

Click here to continue reading this article...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Social Media

4 Reasons Why Social Media Should be Taught in Our School Systems

by Kim Garst on the Huff Post Tech

I saw a story recently about a school, named Ngee Ann, in Singapore where a math teacher gave problems to students and asked that the answers be "tweeted." These tweets were then projected on a screen at the front of the room, in real time! (1) Now this was not just some rogue, social media instructor who decided to try something new. Ngee Ann is what the Singapore government calls a "future school" and teaching using social media is encouraged.

Think of that, teaching using social media is encouraged. What about requiring the teaching of social media itself in schools across the world? In 10 years will it be as common as teaching computer skills in school has now become? Should it be? Those that disagree typically site privacy concerns, safety, inefficiency and economic costs in their case against it. I will address each of those concerns below.
Now I might be a little biased, okay A LOT biased, but I want to give you the 4 reasons why I think that teaching social media to our children in schools is not only necessary, but critical.

Reason #1 - It is now, and will continue to be a social world. The top 5 social media sites combined have nearly 2 BILLION users (2). Smartphone users, on average, check their Facebook status 14 times per day. 79% check their smartphone for social media updates within 15 minutes of waking up (3). Social media and smartphone growth are both expected to grow at strong double-digit rates for the next several years (4). 80% of college faculty members now use social media and a full 50% of college professors say they use it in their classrooms (5). Enough proof?

Bottom line, social media is here to stay.
While there are certainly lots of ways to waste time with social media, nobody is arguing that you cannot use social media to engage and learn in interesting new ways. So, the argument that teaching social media to our students is a waste of time because it is a fad and will soon be gone certainly does not hold water. I promise, even if Facebook disappears or if we no longer call it social media, the idea of using the Internet to connect the planet on digital networks will not go away anytime soon.

Click here to continue reading...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

On Teachers and Technology

Educator Fear & Discomfort

July 27, 2013 by Tom Whitby

A great read. Check out Tom's post here.

iPad 1:1 PD

How to have more meaningful iPad professional development

“Leading Change” column, July/August 2013 edition of eSchool NewsIn last month’s column, I argued that the power of the iPad in education lies in harnessing its creative and mobile abilities through the use of versatile, “evergreen” apps and the web. Yet, by and large, school leaders aren’t doing enough to put teachers in a position to excel in iPad classrooms. Often, the substantial investments schools make in purchasing iPads are woefully out of balance with the minimal investments they make in preparing teachers to use these new tools effectively.

Many school leaders simply give teachers iPads and expect them to integrate them in innovative ways. Yet, when new tools are introduced, they’re often used to extend existing instructional practices. Remember the interactive whiteboards that appeared en masse a decade ago? Years later, many are still be used as glorified projectors. As HarvardX researcher
Justin Reich points out in “The iPad as a Trojan Mouse,” introducing a shiny, enticing iPad is only an initial step. To create real change in education,
we must ultimately address pedagogy and best practices.

The real challenge for educators is not learning a particular device or app. It is learning how to create relevant and meaningful learning environments.

When I begin a workshop on iPads, teachers quickly learn how to take a screen shot and record a video—among other skills. However, when I ask teachers how they could use various iPad features to improve teaching and learning, I am often met with silence. It doesn’t occur to many that a student can take a screenshot of their work at any point as a means of formative or summative assessment. They don’t think to record exemplary student actions and behaviors and show them to other students, or ask students to demonstrate critical thinking skills by recording their problem-solving process on the iPad. Without guidance, meaningful applications of the iPad are a foreign concept to many otherwise experienced
and successful educators.

(Next page: What educators need instead)

Click here to continue reading...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

iPads in a 1:1 Class

How 1:1 iPads benefit a student's education

How to Use Technology?

9 Wrong And 8 Right Ways 

Students Should Use Technology

Added by on 2013-07-22 on Edudemic

Technology is a tool. It’s not a learning outcome. Too often do we get distracted by all the activities and action we can perform with an iPad or some other device. We can post to Edmodo! Make a Prezi! Post to Facebook! All exciting things, to be sure. But these are not actually learning outcomes. You could have a 1:1 iPad classroom where your students create a bazillion (it’s a word, I swear) presentations all about how much they’re learning.

But they’re not really learning. They’re using a device.

That’s the idea behind the fabulous visual I saw on George Couros’ blog (great read!) who found it from Bill Ferriter on Twitter all about ways students should use technology. It asks a simple question: what do you want kids to do with technology? The answer(s) are divided into two columns and it’s pretty obvious what the goal of the visual is: to show you that technology is a tool in the classroom and not meant to be the focus of attention. It’s meant to enable, not overwhelm. It’s meant to enhance learning, not box it in.

Don’t get me wrong, you can do a lot of good with technology in the classroom. That’s the whole reason Edudemic and the other edtech sites exist. But technology is a tool that’s meant to be added to your toolbox just like anything else. It may be a powerful tool, but it’s a tool nonetheless. Are you sick of me saying the word ‘tool’ yet?

how to use technology

Saturday, July 20, 2013

More Paperless Ideas

30 Ways to Use Chromebooks in the Classroom

The presentation was created by Tom Gierke and Becky Evans.

Click here to view the presentation online.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

1 to 1 Paperless Options

Working in the cloud

July 17, 2013 Nick Sauers

[Note from Al: good ideas here for using Chromebooks in class instead of just iPads.]

I’m not sure if there is a more appro­pri­ate name for this post which I’m writ­ing at 11,652 meters some­where over south­east­ern Canada.  I’ve recently been con­tacted by mul­ti­ple schools that are mov­ing to 1:1 with Chrome­books and oth­ers who are con­sid­er­ing the move.  As I’ve noted before, I gen­er­ally hes­i­tate rec­om­mend­ing a device to schools.  I want schools to select the device that best aligns with the needs of their ini­tia­tive, and I do not believe there is one generic best device for all schools.  With that said, I’ve really become quite impressed with the pos­si­bil­i­ties of using a cloud based device such as the Chrome­book.  One obvi­ous change with a cloud based device is that edu­ca­tors will need to use cloud based soft­ware.  I believe this change can lead to real changes in the ways that edu­ca­tors use tech­nol­ogy and push them out of their com­fort zones.  The most excit­ing part of those changes for me is that most cloud based soft­ware is much more col­lab­o­ra­tive in nature.  Rather than using a com­puter as a fancy pen and paper or ency­clo­pe­dia set, edu­ca­tors will need to rethink how they can use the tech­nol­ogy to impact stu­dent learn­ing.  Col­lab­o­ra­tion is a major piece of most tools they will be using on a cloud based device.

I have recently been explor­ing much more with my Chrome­book with a recent pre­sen­ta­tion and trip to Europe.  Here are some exam­ples of how I’ve used cloud based software.

Click here to keep reading...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Want Kids to Learn? Then Stop Teaching.

Great Teachers Don't Teach

In a conversation on LinkedIn, one person asked, "What are the characteristics of an effective teacher?" I read quite a few excellent remarks that describe what such a teacher does to be effective. I couldn't help thinking about some of my best teachers.

I had an amazing psychology professor in college. He was on fire every class period and his enthusiasm was contagious. But the things I remember most are the psychological experiments in which we participated. I remember every detail and the supporting theories because I experienced it.

My psychology professor was an effective teacher because he provided experiences that created long-term memories. In response to the LinkedIn comments, I penned the following:
"I appreciate all of the comments that have been made so far. Yet I feel there is one thing still missing. One characteristic of an effective teacher is that they don't teach. You say that is outrageous. How can an effective teacher teach without teaching?

My experience is that good teachers care about students. Good teachers know the content and know how to explain it. Good teachers expect and demand high levels of performance of students. Good teachers are great performers and storytellers that rivet their students' attention.

All of this is good but great teachers engineer learning experiences that maneuver the students into the driver's seat and then the teachers get out of the way. Students learn best by personally experiencing learning that is physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. John Dewey had it right in 1935 when he espoused his theories on experiential learning. Today we call this constructivism.

In The Classroom

Long past are the times when we teach content just in case a student might need it. A great teacher will devise a way to give the students an urgent reason to learn skills or knowledge and then let them show they have learned it by what they can do. This is called project-based learning.

A great teacher will keep the students wanting to come to school just to see what interesting things they will explore and discover each day. We call this inquiry.

Click here to read the rest...

iPads Increase Student Engagement

Lakeville test shows iPads boosted education in many classrooms

A new report shows that a grant program to put iPads in classrooms in the Lakeville district has had positive effects.

A new report shows that the Lakeville district’s investment in technology is paying off in terms of student learning and motivation.

Of the 31 classrooms or programs that completed research on newly issued iPads last year, 23 reported increases in student engagement, 24 reported that student motivation went up and 20 observed gains in student learning, according to the iLearn Resarch report, discussed at Tuesday’s school board meeting.
“This is innovation at its best and I’m really excited about that,” said Roz Peterson, board chairwoman.
Superintendent Lisa Snyder said she was happy with the results, but not surprised.

Click here to read on...

Sunday, June 30, 2013

More iPad Wisdom

iPads In The Classroom: Worth Doing Right

Educational 'Technology' Across the Ages
Educational 'Technology' Across the Ages
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

Simply purchasing slick devices like iPads for the classroom is hardly a recipe for educational success. The temptation to do so is a symptom of an exciting, and perhaps confusing, time in educational technology. Never have students at all grades been more tech savvy, and never have educators had such an astounding range of technical resources available to them for pedagogical use. Let's talk about why iPad programs don't always succeed.

I serve as a wireless network architect and administrator, as well as a part-time faculty member at a private university, and I am parent of three kids who are growing up immersed in technology. I also spent a number of years as an advisor on a technical committee of a local K-12 district, wrestling with how to leverage various technologies that all seemed fascinating, but not easily stitched into the general fabric of the school day. I certainly don't have all of the answers on the topic of iPad initiatives, but I do have broad perspective.

[ Looking beyond the iPad: Texas School District Picks Dell Windows 8 Tablets.]

Also, a bit on iPads themselves is in order. Other tablet devices have made their way into plenty of classrooms, but the iPad has the educational market locked up as measured in volume sold. At the same time, most of my thoughts about iPads apply to all tablets regardless of make, and the challenges facing those who aspire to build educational programs on mobile devices.
Loosely defined, an iPad program puts the devices in the hands of students and faculty, and is intended to bring about the realization of some set of education goals. I break down the challenges with iPad programs into four general areas: the purpose of the program, the students, the teachers (and the K-12 districts/colleges they work for), and the technology itself. Here's where each can make trouble for an iPad program.

1. What's the purpose of the iPad program?

Click here to read on... (and do read on!)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tech Alone Not Enough, Teaching Needs to Change

From the Principal's Office: Transforming Our Schools by Changing Mindsets Not by Buying More Technology

 May 19, 2013 By: J. Robinson 

“Teacher mind frames are the most important enhancer and barrier to students’ learning.” Alan Bain and Mark Weston, The Learning Edge: What Technology Can Do to Educate All Children
Our relentless pursuit for some magical formula that will suddenly transform our schools is a fruitless quest. There are no magical formulas or tools, and there are no heroes who will ride into our schools and school districts and suddenly save the day and turn our schools into magical places of learning and engagement. If transformation is to happen, we need to stop pursuing 1:1 initiatives, new standards, new tests, next generation tests, longer school days, and the other latest and greatest educational gimmicks and get down to the real reasons why we can’t change our schools. Authors Bain and Weston offer some good advice: look to the mindsets of the educators in our schools and districts. That's where the real obstacles lie.

According to Bain and Weston, “Technology will not force its way into classrooms; for decades, teachers and schools have shown remarkable kickback,” and if you walk into any district that has spent thousands or millions on technological toys,  you will see what they are talking about. We look at all out technological toys and we ask ourselves:
  • “Why are our teachers not using these interactive boards?” 
  • “Why are those iPads sitting idle in the corner of the room?” 
  • “Why is it when I visit the classrooms in our school district I see little engagement with technology by the students, and mostly the kinds of teaching and learning that has been going on for the last 100 years or so?” 
I think the answers to these questions are rather simple: we put all this technology in our classrooms and schools, but we forget that many of our teachers simply look for ways to use the technology to help them teach as they always have, rather than look for new ways of teaching with the technology. Their mindset is the obstacle. (Administrators have that mindset too.)

If you really want to know why all that technology sits idle, it's probably because it does not fit the way your teachers teach and the way they have been teaching for the past 100 years or so. Too much of that teaching is still teachers talking, students sitting and listening. In these classrooms, some teachers determine that if the technology won't help them do school like they have been doing it, then they don’t need it. They don’t see the need to change how they are teaching, even though half their class stares up at them in glazed-eye stupor.

If we really want to transform teaching and learning in our schools and classrooms, perhaps we need to pause from all the technology buying, installing, and training and focus on the “mindsets” that our teachers and administrators have. We need to stop “automating the 20th century ways of teaching and learning” and pursue whole new ways of teaching and learning.

This post was found here. 

Creating Portfolios using iPads

Monday, May 27, 2013

How to Change Education

Watch this video:

The young man tells us what's wrong with education today and gives us ways to fix what's wrong. A must watch.

Successful 1:1 Program?

5 ways to increase chances of a successful #1to1 implementation

As more and more schools hop on the 1:1 or BYOD bandwagon in one way or another it is important to deeply consider proper implementation.  While there is the promise for engaged and inspired learning, these large-scale implementations also present potential pitfalls for school districts that must watch the bottom line, provide adequate support for teachers new to the technology, and engage families in a dialogue about these powerful pieces of equipment that are going to be coming home in Johnny’s backpack each night.

There is no shortage of advice for effective use of technology in the classroom, but for the first time, Common Sense Media, a national non-profit that provides curriculum support for schools around safe technology use by kids, has created a soup-to-nuts planning program that includes resources for all phases of a 1:1 implementation. And since they’re experts in Digital Citizenship there are plenty of resources in the program geared towards on-boarding students for safe and responsible use of their new devices.

Click here to read the rest of this post...

21st Century Tools for Teachers

9 Learning Tools Every 21st Century Teacher Should Be Able To Use

9-learning-tools-every-21st-century-teacher-should-be-able-to-use The 21st century is a time of rapid change, and while the brain may not be changing (much), the tools we use to feed it are.

This puts the 21st century teacher in a critical spot–of mastering constantly evolving technology and digital learning tools–the same tools their students use every day.

So below, we’ve started with 9 such tools, but this is obviously just scratching the surface. This list is not meant to be exhaustive (obviously), or even authoritative (but rather, subjective). This is the 21st century, after all. Months after this post is published 2-3 of these tools could be outdated, and if this turns up in the Google search results of a query in 2018, they may seem downright laughable, but here and now, this is a fairly accurate litmus test of what the kinds of tools the average 21st century teacher can be expected to use and master.

And incidentally, it pairs nicely with a related post, 36 Things Every 21st Century Teacher Should Be Able To Do.

Let us know what we missed on twitter or facebook.
1. RSS or Social Readers
While Google Reader is going the way of the dodo, social readers like Pulse and Flipboard continue to surge in popularity because they’re attractive, accessible across devices, and make it easy to skim large amounts of information at once.

Why Every 21st Century Teacher Should Be Able To Use It

Extracting data from the internet is like trying to listen to the subtle melody of a Korn song. Tools like twitter, facebook, and Flipboard can act as a kind of volume control (if you’ll allow a mixed metaphor) so that you can hear what you want, when you want.

Click here to read the rest...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Are iPads a Problem?

iPads are the problem, not the solution

Starting a 1:1 Program

An Educators Guide to Successfully Starting a 1:1 Program by @JeffBradbury

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Classroom iPad Use

The Smart Way to Use iPads in the Classroom

It’s not about the games or educational apps.

Successful iPad Program

Ten keys to a successful school iPad program

By Sam Gliksman

“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. If we are to develop our students’ sense of curiosity, we must be mindful to carve out time to allow our students to inquire and explore.”—Albert Einstein

It seems that every school is considering purchasing iPads these days, and Apple has reported that iPad sales to schools are currently outpacing MacBook sales by a very large margin. However, the rush to purchase iPads often precedes the careful planning and preparation that are so crucial to their success as educational tools.

It’s important for educators to understand that technology alone—no matter how full of potential it may be—is not the answer. Instead, iPads need to be integrated into the 21st-century classroom using a holistic approach. Teachers and administrators should identify the skills and abilities young people will need to succeed in our rapidly changing world and use technology to help students acquire them.

You’ve seen what kids look like when they handle an iPad—that’s what makes these devices ideal teaching aids. With little hesitation, young people jump right in, and within minutes they start drawing, reading, or finding some other activity that motivates, engages, and educates them.

Yes, it’s wonderful that kids love iPads, and educators will, too—if they know how to incorporate them into teaching. Having iPads in the classroom won’t make much of a long-term impact unless teachers know how to roll them out. Here, I list ten vital components of a successful iPad implementation:

First, determine whether or not you’re ready. There’s no point in purchasing iPads if you don’t have the technical infrastructure to manage and deploy them. I urge educators to consider the following questions:

Click here to continue reading...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Three Tips for Building Teacher Buy-In

by Bill Ferriter

A close friend who works in a leadership role in a local school asked me an interesting question this week.  "I just want to build something that teachers can buy-in to that will help kids," she said.  "How do you do that?"

Chances are that if you've worked in schools for any length of time, that question resonates with you, right?  

We've ALL had moments where we were completely frustrated by a group of teachers who just weren't interested in moving forward with a new project and/or program.
The good news is that getting teachers to buy-in to change initiatives isn't NEARLY as hard as it seems.  You just need to remember that:

Teachers buy into change efforts that they believe are important.

The change initiative that I've spent the MOST professional energy on in my 20 year teaching career was an effort to convert my traditional middle school into a professional learning community that started a little over  8 years ago. 

Since then, I've literally spent thousands of unpaid hours trying to polish the collaborative work of my learning teams.

Education in the 21st Century

Has Education arrived in the 21st Century yet?

by Mr. Gleeson

This interesting table, comparing 20th and 21st Century learning, was conceived by William Rankin, a well credentialed doctor of Education from ACU, Texas. This graphic, which I found on Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, was originally published on iThinkEd in 2007, where you can read Rankin’s full thoughts that led to his creation of this table.

What’s fascinating for me is the fact this was written 7 years ago. It doesn’t date the message. It challenges us as educators to reflect on how far we have actually progressed. I started hearing the talk about 21st Century Learning back in the 90s and here we are in 2013 and, looking at this chart from Rankin, we have to ask ourselves; for all the talk and planning, have we really moved out of the 20th Century and embraced what this nebulous concept of 21st Century is really about? We marvel at the innovators we love watching on TEDTalk videos. We build our great contemporary learning spaces. We create our visionary policies and curriculum documents. And yet, if we take the comparisons Rankin presents here at face value and accept his point of view, we probably have to admit we are still struggling with the ‘Education Revolution’.

Of course, revolutions aren’t meant to be easy.

Click here to read the rest of this post...