I have recently hooked up my blog to Hootsuite so that it will post to my social media presence automatically. I got this information from this website. http://techblog.tv/auto-post-to-google-plus-from-wordpress/
This is a test post to see if it works as it is supposed to.
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To continue on with my discussion of tablet computers in the educational environment started in my last blog post Authentic use of the iPads I would like to talk a little more about
how some of the teachers have begun to use these tools in the classroom. We have been very lucky this year to have 10 iPads available in the ES Library for teachers to check out and make use of to enhance the instructional activities that occur in their classrooms. The use of these iPads began with a few Grade 2 teachers checking them out and using them to have the kids create digital puppet shows about one of the current learner profiles. As time progresses, it seems that the iPads, which we have made available to teachers in the library have been gaining popularity. A few teachers in the 3rd Grade and a Chinese teacher have used them in connection with various learning activities. In these activities, the iPad was used in the most authentic way as a tool to help in the learning process and was not used just because of the “Tech” aspect of it.
In 3L, Mrs. Livingston’s class, the students were studying about glaciers. To make the
study more authentic, they actually made miniature glaciers using water sand and pebbles mixed together in milk cartons and then frozen. The students placed these glaciers on miniature mountains made out of sand. As the glaciers melted and moved, depositing the rocks and sand, the students made use of the iPads as cameras to take pictures of these changes and recorded information in a journal. Later, the students used Skitch to annotate the images with words, boxes and arrows. They then used these annotated images in a scientific report about the experiment.
In 3G, Ms. Greer’s class, the students deepened their understanding of angles they have been studying by using the iPads to take pictures of angles they found in the real world.
The children then used Skitch to annotate these images with arrows highlighting the angle and words telling the degree of the angle.
In Ms. Lei’s 5th Grade non-background Chinese class, the students used the iPads to create digital stories using Puppet Pals. These stories made use of the various sentence structures, grammar rules and vocabulary they had just been studying. The Puppet Pal app gave the student’s a chance to create a digital environment with characters and backgrounds they had complete control over. This digital environment allowed them to take the various language aspects they had been studying and apply them to a fictional, but life like conversation. Not only was this use of the iPads an authentic way for them to show what they have learned it also created more motivation and spurred better results.
In Grade 1, the students have begun using Sonic Pics to record “How To” videos from books they had already created. These videos served as an introduction to the apps they will be using in their next unit about plants. The Grade 1 teachers want to make use of the iPads in their room just as they would any other tool. When the kids are doing plant-growing experiments, they will use the camera on the iPad to record the growth of the plant. These images, combined with their written notes, will be used later on as a part of their summative assessment, an informative digital brochure about what they have learned about plants and their needs.
Below, I have included more examples of student work. I hope you enjoy looking at them.
Thanks for reading
Shannon Doak, ICT Facilitator
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When you mention iPads in the classroom you will invariably get many differing opinions. Since there is very little research to back up the use of tablet computers in the classroom you will undoubtedly find many who are against their use at this time, saying that they are a fad. This, in my opinion, is far from the truth. Tablets hold a very important place in the
educational environment, especially in the Elementary school as the user interface is much more intuitive than that of the normal computer. In this case, students are naturally more able to use these devices and can, in my experience, learn how to use them without much assistance from the teacher. Of course, more research is needed in this area to back up my claims. However, I do see a future for tablets in schools and am interested in learning as much as I can.
Many people, when told that a classroom has iPads, immediately think that they are used as a skill and drill type of activity. While this may be the case in many instances, the iPads are much more capable of more authentic activities where the students use it to actually create.
Recently, the Grade 1 teachers have begun collaborating with Mr.Doak in a way, which will help teachers and students make use of the iPads in their room in more meaningful ways. It began when Mr. Doak discussed with the teachers that he would like to move away from bringing the Grade 1 students into the lab for “Tech” time and would like to focus on the fantastic tools they have in their room. They decided that it would be a good idea to have a team teaching “model” lesson, where the technology tool was used, just like any other tool, when it was needed, not because it was “Tech” time.
To begin this process, Mr.Doak had to explain to the students why we were doing this. When asked if they went to a special room to use a pencil during math time, they all laughed. When asked if they were ready to write, but it wasn’t “paper” day, did they not write, they all giggled and said, “No!” It was easy for them to understand that the iPad was just like these other learning tools and should be used like the others, when they, the students, needed them, not because it was “iPad” time.
The students have planned a puppet show centered on a celebration they celebrate at home. They are made a detailed plan and created storyboards. They then used regular materials to create backgrounds and puppets. After all the materials were done they used the iPads to digitize their backgrounds and puppets. Once digitized, they used Puppet Pals to create digital puppet shows that were saved as a movie file. Everyone is excited about this authentic use of technology.
Some examples of these puppet shows can be seen below.
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Thanks for reading
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The Flat Classroom® Project is a global collaborative project that joins together students from around the globe. According to the Flat Classroom® Project “One of the
main goals of the project is to 'flatten' or lower the classroom walls so that instead of each class working isolated and alone, 2 or more classes are joined virtually to become one large classroom. The project is designed to develop cultural understanding, skills with Web 2.0 and other software, experience in global collaboration and online learning, awareness of what it means to live and work in a flat world, while researching and discussing the ideas developed in Friedman's book.”
At the end of September, the 4th Grade classes began their participation in the Flat Classroom® Project known as A Week in the Life. In this project the students will cover the following essential questions:
- What are the similarities and differences among children around the world?
- How can we connect with each other through our commonalities?
- How does your geography where you live impact your topic?
What is most noteworthy about this project is that the students will work in groups of kids from different schools to research on a week in the life of children in thier schools around the following topics:
- School time
- Languages & Clothing
- Housing & Transportation
- Leisure time
- Holidays & Celebrations
They will then make a collaborative project demonstrating their learning to others in the project. They will do this using various on and offline tools. One of these tools is the online collaborative tool and social networking platform known as Edmodo. Each class has begun the process by putting together a classroom “handshake” which was shared with other participants on Edmodo (see video below). What is great about this project is that it helps our students make more meaningful use of the technology already provided at AISG.
More information regarding this project can be found at the following URL http://aweekinthelife.flatclassroomproject.org/
The Flat Classroom idea has spread in the Elementary school and the Middle school, with
5th Grade and a Middle School class are entering the Eracism project. This project is on an online debate about the following debate topic "Global management of natural resources will cause conflict between cultures". Various tools are also used in this project but the main collaborative tool used is Voice Thread.
More information can be found about this program at the following URL http://eracism.flatclassroomproject.org/
It is great to see that our 1:1 laptop initiative is beginning to move towards deeper levels of integration. Way to go AISG!
The other Grade 4 classroom handshakes can be seen at the following URLs
Thanks for reading
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Google Earth is a fantastic application, which can be used to enhance the learning environment in any school. I am sure many of you have heard of Google Earth and have probably used it yourself, to do some exploring. In this post, I will go over a few of the tools in Google Earth that I have found useful in my own school.
This is a layer that can be turned on so that some buildings in certain areas are displayed in 3D. This feature is fantastic
when you want to visit a place you have never been to and want to get a better idea about the man-made landmarks of the area. I have included a picture of Waikiki Beach area to show just how good the 3D effect can be. Not all areas have this amount of detail but as time passes more and more places will get greater 3D capabilities. To turn on 3D buildings, go to Layers and check the box next to 3D Layers. If you are interested in learning about how to help create the 3D buildings for your area you can go to the following website. To learn more about 3D Buildings go to this site http://www.google.com/earth/learn/3dbuildings.html
The Weather Layer allows you to see the forecast for any area of the Earth your are visiting. This is very useful as it allows the students a chance to use Google Earth to visit a place to see what the
weather is like rather than just read about it on other websites. The use of the digital globe is a more real to life experience. Use it in tandem with 3D buildings and street view and you can actually visit the place and look around. This could be used as an authentic activity for students studying a foreign language.
My wife used this tool in her classroom, (she teaches Chinese), to have the students compare the weather in our city to other places and then talk about it using the new words and sentence structures they have been learning about. It could also be used in a Math class where the students are collecting data about weather for graphing purposes. What is really interesting about this tool is that your students can see an overview of the weather quickly or they can click on the overview to get a more complete forecast. I have included some screenshots for your reference.
Other great layers that can be used to help students learn can be found in the Gallery section. Inside the Gallery section you
will find many useful layers to add. The ones I used in my classes were the Earthquakes and Volcanoes layers. When these layers are turned on they mark the earthquakes and volcanoes on the earth. I used this with some 3rd Grade students. What it allowed the students to do, was follow these markers around the Pacific Plate. This path of volcanoes took us from Japan, all
the way around the Pacific Plate and back to Japan. Doing this in a 3D type of map environment, allowed the student to discover the “Ring of Fire” without the teacher directly teaching it.
The students then used their mapping tools (discussed below) to mark the “Ring of Fire”. They then recorded a video tour following the line and discussing what the “Ring of Fire” is, why it occurs in this area and any other interesting or important information they wanted to include.
Remember that these are just a few of the layers that I have found useful. Explore a little and you might find even more. If you do, let me know I am always looking for ways to improve.
Mapping Tools (annotate an interactive 3D globe)
There are many tools available in Google Earth, which help to make it a learning application where explorations as well as creation are possible. Using these creation tools began for me when the Grade 4 teachers at my current school, wanted a tool that would make annotating a map showing personal migrations possible. In the past we had used another application, which allowed the students to annotate a map but the end product was hard to share and didn’t fit all of the requirements set by the teachers. After some research into using Google Maps for creating annotated maps I discovered that Google Earth also allowed this. I also discovered that Google Earth had other tools that made it better than Google Maps because a video tour could also be recorded and shared with others. Below I will outline these tools and what they can do.
So where are these fantastic tools? They can be found at the top of your Google Earth window.
These tools include, a marker tool that allows you to place a marker on your map, a polygon tool which allows you to draw a shape on your map, a path tool for connecting points or drawing lines on your map, an image overlay tools that allow you to overlay an image on top of your map and finally the video tour recording tool that allows you to record a tour that can be shared with others who have Google Earth. For the project mentioned above we only used the marker, path and video recording tools. If you are interested in learning more about how to use these fantastic tools, Google Earth Outreach has a fantastic tutorial, which can be found at the following URL.
Here is a quick video from Google Outreach to show just how simple it can be done.
I hope this is useful to you.
As always, thanks for reading.
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QR Codes are popping up all over the place. Even my blog has one! (sidebar under Creative Commons info). Many of you may already know what they are for and might even have a scanner on your smartphone. If you don't know what they are, there is great information available online.
What this post is really about, is how these cool little square things can be used in the educational environment. To find out more, have a look at this.
If you don't have a smartphone or a tablet, you won't be able to see what this is. If you do have a smartphone, but don't have a scanner here are a few I recommend listed below based on OS.
For those of you who don't have a handheld or portable device with QR Code scanning capabilities, here is a Pearltree to links pertaining to the use of these codes in an educational setting.
So what is the relative advantage to using these codes with your students? Well this one is mainly based on the motivational factor they bring to the lesson. A once boring lesson is now interesting and relevant. Integrating this technology into the learning environment probably won't increase test scores, but what does a test really measure? If the student is interested because of the tool and the tools is utilized properly making sure the focus remains on the content then the tool improves the lesson thus making it more authentic. This type of learning is far superior to memorizing facts for a test.
As always thanks for reading.
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I wanted to share a post I made for my AISG Elementary School Information Communication Technology blog. This blog post was created entirely with the iPad. I think it shows just how much the iPad has improved since it first was released to the world. I also maintain an iPad Pilot blog for our school as we are now in the process of piloting iPads with our youngest learners. I hope you enjoy reading the post and that it serves as an eye opener to the possibilities emerging technologies have in the learning environment.
The blog post is titled, AISG ES ICT, moving forward in the 21st century and can be found at the following URL.
Thanks for reading.
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What you see above is known as a Pearltree. Pearltrees are a way to organize online resources visually, in a graphic organizer type web. According to the Pearltree website, "Pearltrees is a place to organize, discover and share everything you like on the web." What is really interesting about this is that it also serves as a social network of sorts. You can share your pearltree (folder) with others and you can also create a team to build a pearltree together. This team pearltree is very versatile, according to the pearltree website, "It is a group of people that curates a common interest. Each member add, organize or delete pearls or pearltrees. All team members can also accept or invite other people to their team." Below is a pearltree about pearltrees. Have a look around and learn more.
Once you get using this great tool, you might also want to use the Pearltrees' extension to "pearl" while browsing the web. You can also connect your account to Facebook and Twitter to "pearl" the links you share. This is really a fantastic way to share the pages which interest you and find more information you are interested in.
So how can this be used in school?
Well, since this is a great way to build resources online, students could use it to build lists of resources for certain units of inquiry. They could then share them with others from other schools. Teachers can create a Pearltree and then embed it in Moodle or some other course management platform. This could then serve as a onestop spot for students to access the websites you want them to use. Collaborative groups could use a team Pearltree to gather and share information sources with other groups and the teacher.
This is a great tool for helping teachers and student make use of technology for organizing information. This would be very helpful in a 1:1 laptop environment but could also be used in a 2:1 or any type of ratio that exists in your school.
What a great free tool! To get started using this fantastic tool visit http://www.pearltrees.com/
Thanks for reading,
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As a PYP ICT Facilitator, I wanted to make the learner Profile and Attitudes more connected to the use of Information and Communication Technology in the classroom. To do this, I created posters, which are displayed in the computer lab at our Elementary campus.
As someone who likes to share, I wanted to put the wording for these posters out, so that others may use them. Please remember that these quotes are available under the following license.
PYP Profile and Attitudes & ICT by Shannon Doak is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
If you make use of these, and make them better, please share with me as I am always looking for ways to make things better.
I appreciate the opportunity to make use of ICT tools to deepen my understanding.
I make use of various ICT tools, in a variety of ways, to help me create, communicate, collaborate and inquire.
I am committed to using ICT tools to create, communicate, collaborate and inquire.
I am confident with my knowledge of various ICT tools and willing to learn new things.
I work cooperatively with others while using ICT tools to create, communicate, collaborate and inquire.
I use ICT tools to help me in the inquiry process, which helps me learn more about what I am interested in.
When using ICT tools to communicate and collaborate or create and inquire I treat others the same way I want to be treated.
I enthusiastically use ICT tools to create, communicate, collaborate and inquire.
I work hard and am able to use ICT tools available, on my own. When learning new tools, I understand, the more I practice,
the more I will be able to do independently.
I am a responsible user of ICT tools. I use them appropriately when I create, communicate, collaborate and inquire.
When using ICT tools to create, communicate, collaborate and inquire, I respect other people’s ideas thoughts and comments.
When using ICT tools to create, communicate, collaborate and inquire, I understand that sometimes things don’t always go as planned.
PYP Learner Profile
I use a variety of ICT tools to create, communicate, collaborate and inquire.
When creating using ICT tools, I care about my project and do my best to make right.
I use a variety of ICT tools such as, email, forums, blogs, podcasts, digital stories and videos to communicate with my teachers, parents, classmates and others outside my school community.
When using ICT tools I experiment with various options to learn more about how this tool can help me learn. I also ask questions when needed.
I know how to use certain ICT tools to create, communicate, collaborate and inquire.
I am open-minded when using ICT tools to create, communicate, collaborate and inquire. I respect other people’s ideas and keep an open mind to find the best solution.
I make use of ICT tools in a safe and responsible manner. I think about Netiquette while using these tools to communicate.
After I have used an ICT tool to create, communicate, collaborate or inquire, I think about how this tool helped me learn and how I might use it in future inquiries.
I am not afraid to learn how to use new ICT tools to help me create, communicate, collaborate and inquire
When using ICT tools to create, communicate, collaborate and inquire I think about what I am doing and ask questions when needed.
Most of the images I use for my own posters came from two great website.
Thanks for reading,
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Back in 1918, Franklin Bobbitt in Chapter 6 of The Curriculum, made the following statements regarding the the changes needed in the educational system of the day.
“As the world presses eagerly forward toward the accomplishment of new things, education also must advance no less swiftly It must provide the intelligence and the aspirations necessary for the advance; and for stability and consistency in holding the gains. Education must take a pace set, not by itself, but by social progress.”
“Any inherited system, good for its time, when held to after its day, hampers social progress. It is not enough that the system, fundamentally unchanged in plan and purpose, be improved in details...And yet to do the nineteenth-century task better than it was then done is not necessarily to do the twentieth-century task.”
After reading these statements, I can see that they apply to the current situation in the educational system of the 21st Century. I would go as far as to change his last statement by changing the centuries. And yet to do the twentieth-century task better than it was then done is not necessarily to do the twenty first-century task. So what does this have to do with technology integration? If education must stay in pace with social paces, then it becomes imperative that something, which, plays such and integral part of the life of our students’ social life; must be included into the educational institutions charged with preparing them for the life they will enter. Using these tools in the proper methods will help to create learning communities which extend beyond the classroom, into the social lives of its participants.
It is important to remember that technology, and the integration of it, will only be successful if integrated properly. Using technology as a replacement for the teacher will not help the current situation. The problem as I see it is, society still doesn’t place enough importance on the education of its next generation. We still pay our teachers almost nothing when compared to other “professions” and do not budget enough for our educational institutions to truly make a difference. I am reminded of a statement made by John Dewey from “My Pedagogic Creed,”
“Education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform.”
Continuing he states
“When society once recognizes the possibilities in this direction, and the obligations which these possibilities impose, it is impossible to conceive of the resources of time, attention, and money which will be put at the disposal of the educator.”
It appears, that society still hasn’t recognized the possibilities that education can have in social reform. If they had, they wouldn’t be cutting educational budgets, even in difficult economic times. Maybe they would cut other areas, such as areas which end up in the needless loss of life. Maybe they wouldn’t pay “professionals”, which play games for a living, in an industry that promotes gambling and rioting behavior, millions of dollars a year. Maybe teachers would finally be paid what they are worth. I am reminded about a blog post I once read about paying teachers what they are worth. I have included this post below as I think it sheds light on the injustice educational professional are faced with everyday. http://unbweaveable.com/teachers-just-babysit-so-pay-them-the-same
Are you sick of high paid teachers?
Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – baby sit! We can get that for less than minimum wage.
That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan — that equals 6 1/2 hours).
Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children.
Now how many do they teach in day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.
LET’S SEE…. That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).
What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour.
That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.
Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!
The average teacher’s salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!)
This $280,800 would be a great increase in teacher salary, yet it doesn’t even come close to what the professional sports industry pays its players, or the movie industry pays it actors and actresses.
I am concerned, as the world continues to move forward, we as a society have lost our bearings. What really matters in life? What should be the focus in the preparation of the future generations?
It comes down to money in today's society. The professions which can bring in the most money, get paid the most. Have we forgotten, without teachers none of these people would be able to do what they do?
Society needs to understand that the way to social progress is through education. This progress will ultimately improve the quality of life for everyone. Society needs to begin placing education first, not last. When the teacher finally has the resources of time, attention, and money at his/her disposal, then humankind will be in a prime position to reach its full potential.
It is when this takes place that we will begin looking at technology as invaluable tools in the educational process and not as ways to replace teachers. The cost of these tools will no longer be an issue because society will hold education as the best investment of the future, not as a place to begin cuts because funds are short. Best practices will not be something we need to get permission for, fearing rejection because of lack of funding; it will be something educational institutions and educators will be free to experiment with, because they have the time, attention and the money.
I do not want to belittle anyone's choice of profession or place one profession above another in importance. I do, however, want to point out the disparities which are prevalent in our current society. It's time for education to take its rightful place in society.
I know this post isn't directly related to technology integration except for the fact that once we have more money, schools would be able to afford more technology. This would, in the long run, have a positive effect on the learning environments being made available to our digital natives.
Thanks for reading,