This year’s PETE & C was very rejuvenating and a great learning experience. I picked up a solid mix of new tools and new pedagogy. Many of the tools I was exposed to I have heard of or seen before, but I picked up new ideas on their usefulness. This is always enlightening, it also precludes the need to learn and/or pay for new tools and apps. I believe these experiences out and about, immersed in these conferences improves my overall concept of education.
My previous thoughts on some “Old School” practices, such as handwriting, which I am biased against due to my messy handwriting, and a few other ideas were challenged. I was forced to look at those notions and adjust accordingly. I see where some concepts, such as reading cursive is necessary for looking over primary documents and still a basic skill set that is necessary, albeit not often used.
I continue to push for student creation of content and challenge the students to think outside of the box, but I need to break projects and lessons down into smaller, more manageable or basic parts. This allows for students who may not be comfortable with these concepts to hopefully have a higher rate of success. (Author’s Note: since returning from the conference, I have experienced my theory in a real world learning situation. That will be a separate blog post.)
I am very interested in Mindfulness and creating a more effective learning environment in my traditional classroom and online class setting. The changes have been instituted on my part immediately, although in small pieces. I find that my students adapt better to incremental changes rather than one major paradigm shift. This is especially true with my Honors US II class.
As stated earlier, I am working incorporating these strategies and tools into my classes by modelling tasks repeatedly, and creating more and more video tutorials. My students have also stepped up and have been mentoring each other more, especially on the current project utilizing my class Padcaster.
As more specific ideas and tools are rolled out, I will add to the story at MrSal.edublogs org.
I am also breaking assignments into smaller assignments to try and monitor and reward students more often. I will follow up on the results via my blog.
dun_deagh via Compfight
A new and FREE podcasting app came across one of my networks and caught my attention, Anchor. This FREE podcasting app is available for both Apple and Android devices. I downloaded it right away, but had not tested it out until yesterday, when my daughter and I relaxed at National Grind, a coffee shop in Ellwood City, PA after school.
I was grading student work, essay tests and projects, while she played Cool Math Games, Snail Bob was the specific game. After awhile we both needed a break and decided to enjoy our beverages, I had a mocha latte, she had a Smore Hot Chocolate. During our respite from work, she jumoed back into her Edublogs account; she is participating in the Edublogs Student Challenge again this year. She updated her About Me page, and created an avatar to place on her blog.
I thought this would be the perfect time to try out Anchor, it took seconds to set up the account on my phone, link it to my Twitter account and start recording. After a couple of miscues with releasing the record button, we recorded the following podcast.
You can even invite others to join your podcast from remote locations, we will try that soon. I will follow up with another post once we officially try that out. We ran a quick test later last evening, it is super simple to do.
Want to Podcast, give Anchor a try. This is an unpaid discussion of the app and in no way endorses the product…all said for legal reasons…
I learned a new game today, well I heard of it Saturday at EdCampPGH, but I tried it out with my students in class today. The game is QuizletLive. Students are broken into random teams and must communicate and collaborate to answer questions correctly. My students loved it and I was able to use my existing Quizlet flashcards as the basis of the game. There was no need to build new material, which a a HUGE time saver. QuizletLive motivated my students, the vocabulary review grew into a repeated competition for class supremacy.
There is a brief tutorial video embedded in the site so there is no need to repeat instructions here. You see live tracking of student progress while the students are playing.
In my not so humble opinion, the random grouping of students is probably one of the biggest benefits of this tool, along with using pre-existing resources. Having students step out of their comfort zone to work with new group members is important. They can no longer become complacent and work with their usual band of cohorts.
If you get the chance check it out…SOON.
It has been a long time since I participated in a Saturday morning educational Twitter chat, called #satchat. I thoroughly enjoyed today’s on Digital Citizenship, I archived most of it via Storify.com. The hashtag #satchat was either continued or highjacked after our conversation, so I had to manually create the Storify today. It took almost 2 hours of work on my part…from now on, I will create my Storifys as the #satchat ends.
I am still sifting through information from PETE & C 2016 and implementing ideas into my professional self. One idea that I especially liked was from George Couros, whom I follow on Twitter and via his blog, Connected Principals.
The idea was to daily Tweet something you or your students do in your classroom, adding a hashtag so you can easily track your Tweets. I have started that process, which is not very difficult to accomplish; there should be tons of ideas that can be promoted in your day if you just pay attention to what is going on…I am using the hashtag #Sal308.
This is my first weeks’ effort archived via Storify.com.
Here is the Storify from the #PAEdChat from Thursday, March 2, 2016. It is also cross-posted on Blogger at the Southwest Regional Directors blog.
My students participated in another Hour of Code today after school. I had to cover Senior Interviews so I let my students in the volunteer Hour of Code group work independently with another teacher as a monitor. The started using the Ozobots while I covered the interviews. One of my students had worked with the Ozobots in our last session, so he was given the role of chief facilitator for the session; he seemed to enjoy the role.
After Interviews were over I crossed the hall to the library and saw four intrepid students working intently on creating their ow pathways for the Ozobots to follow.
We moved back to my room and continued working on various endeavors. One of our computer teachers came in while the students were working. They explained to her in detail and with a lot of enthusiasm as to how the Ozobots worked.
Our Hour of Code evolved into setting up our Class Internet Radio Station on BlogTalkRadio.com. One of my students created a music file on JamStudio for the show’s intro, other students looked over the BlogTalkRadio dashboard and our class site. We ran out of time before we could run a broadcast. I am hoping next Monday will be our first broadcast.
Here is the Storify.com review of our #KTIchat from March 2, 2013. We discussed last week’s PETE & C event. This story is also cross-posted at our Southwest PAECT Blog.