Timeline Reflection: Progressive Era

So, my students added to their timelines in Honors US History I, overall they turned out well, I am extremely happy with how the project is progressing.

There are a number of things about the project that are in the running for my favorite aspect of the project, but I think I must say that having the students pick their own specific topics of research was my favorite aspect.  Their ownership of topics seemed to give them more interest in their work.  A close second was their presentations to the class, all of my students did well, and I see potential moving forward as they become more comfortable with speaking in front of everyone.

Some of the interesting facts that were shown by students were the fashions of the day.  Attire seemed much more formal, which still boggles my mind, even though I have taught this era for a number of years.  I wonder how I would have survived back in the day without Hawaiian shirts…

Looking back, I think we need to improve upon the turn in rate on Edmodo.  There are still students who turn in the wrong links to their projects or do not turn in their projects at all.  We are almost 3/4’s of the way through the school year, this should not be happening anymore.

Moving forward, I am implementing my students to reflect more on their projects.  It is a takeaway from what my review of all the PETE and C Tweets.  I used to have students reflect on their work, but it died out over time.  It is going to be reinstituted at all levels, including my own, starting with this project.  The reflections should help create better projects moving forward.

Storify from TRETC November 4 2015

TRETC, the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference was held at Bethel Park Senior High School this year.  TRETC is an excellent educational conference held in Western Pennsylvania every year, it has been growing regularly since I began attending them back in the early 2000’s.

Below is a Storify of the event, I collected Tweets and here they are:

 

Storify from EdCampPGH November 7 2015

EdCampPGH is a free “Unconference” where educational stakeholders gather to discuss how to improve education and share ideas.  Below is a Storify of Tweets from EdCampPGH.

 

PAECT Radio: Our Twitter Journey Begins

Last Spring, a friend of mine, Michael Micco, @mrmicco, thought it would be a good idea to start an Internet radio broadcast highlighting what PAECT members are doing in their classrooms.  We did some background research and a few trial and error exercises with different platforms looking into the logistics of creating a show.

This Fall we came up with PAECT Radio, hosted on BlogTalkRadio.  Our show page can be found here, along with archives of our past episodes.

Last night’s broadcast was our first excursion with using Twitter Hashtags to communicate with our listeners.  We use #paectradio, obviously, as the hashtag.  We did not have many responses for our first attempt, but we also gave short notice about the broadcast.

Here is the Storify from our first endeavor:

 

Student Blogs: Day One

Well, today I introduced the student blogs to all of my classes.  What a whirlwind of a day, fairly painless as I look back over it…

Students came into class and signed out their iPods and went to the Edmodo online classroom.  It is becoming a standard part of their classroom routine to go straight to Edmodo.   I placed a link to their Edublogs sign in page on all of the class pages in Edmodo, this way the students do not have to type any URLs into the Safari browser, just click and go.

I popped open a page in my Class Orientation Easiteach file with an example of how their Edublogs log in looks.  All of my students know their school network log-ins, their Edublogs log-ins mirrors this format with one minor exception, which is not important in this context.  The point is the students were already familiar with their log-in information, this removes one obstacle in the process.

The students went to the Edublogs sign in page and typed in their Username, ready to proceed.  I had all of their Usernames and Passwords on a Google Doc, so I just read the generic passwords off to the students and they logged in to their account.  I should have just given all of the students the same generic password, it would have been easier.  I commented on this in an earlier post.

We had the Edublogs dashboard up on the Polyvision interactive whiteboard to show the students the process of changing their password and updating their profile.  They were shown how to type in the body of the blog using the “HTML” tab, as was discussed in this previous post.  Students jumped on the left dashboard buttons and began exploring the site.

The students were given the Blog Expectation sheets and the explanation of the assignment.  I chose a brief post where they are to introduce themselves along with a statement of what they would like to learn in class.  They were to pick two objectives on subject matter and two technology objectives and explain why the topics were of interest.  They have already done pieces of the assignment in class through our Edmodo discussion board and a self-reflection Google Form.  My objective is to just get them writing in an appropriate voice and published out on the Internet; consider this a “shakedown cruise” before we get into the curriculum.

Most of the students started their drafts and saved them online.  They are to direct message me in Edmodo when they are prepared to have their work graded.  They have a rubric of what will be looked at in the assessment process, including the appropriateness of language and grammar.  They were encouraged to have someone else proofread their post before  they formally submit it.  Hopefully they will learn how to write beyond texting and Facebook posts even though they are writing on the Web.

Overall, most students caught on quickly with the writing process on the iPods.  A few of the glitches occurred because of human error, either on my part or the students.  The students are great with adapting on the fly and working through issues we encounter as we try these new lessons in class.

A few students asked if there was an easier way to get into the blog so I explained about the free WordPress App and Blog Booster app for iPods.  One of my students is trying out apps at home on his Droid so he can use that device instead of his home computer.  I am interested in see how the apps work on that platform versus the iPods.

I plan on another post once the students complete this initial assignment, hopefully things will continue to go smoothly.