Baseball Dad?!?!?!

Today one of my students said I looked like a baseball dad…I have no idea what that means or meant.   When I inquired as to the meaning, the students who were sitting there whispered amongst themselves then replied, “We don’t know…like a dad who likes baseball.”

I have no idea if the comment was complimentary or not.  It is dress down day, I have on jeans, my KTI Golf Shirt, tenna shoes (in my best Pittsburghese), and my $1.00 reading glasses on top of my head.  No full selfie to go with the description, I thoroughly dislike the angle needed to show the entire pic, but here is part of me…

 

Later I overheard the term “Soccer Mom” being used by these same students.  It was not directed at me, but knowing how many of these terms have both positive and negative connotations…I must expand my culturally aware vocabulary.

Until next time…

 

 

#Sal308 Volume I

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.

 

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.

 

The Dunwoody Crier – News: iPad for All

Using the iPad will also be cost-effective. At a price of $500, it compares favorably to a conventional portable, which can cost $2,000 or more. As more publishers put their textbooks online and teachers become more comfortable finding their own apps, the iPad will significantly reduce the need for costly textbooks.

Brandon Hall School in Atlanta, Georgia gets education. They are streamlining their technology funding away from obsolete in classroom only tools and giving their students mobile technology that they use anywhere. Take a look at the article and see what I am talking about. Their goal is to go paperless, no textbooks, differentiating learning to students needs.

Granted, the article does not say how the school is funding this initiative, but we as educators buy many things that are offered for free or we can make on our own. Maybe with spending our funds more efficiently and intelligently, more schools could do this.

Of course I am biased towards mobile technology, but why make kids learn in a fishbowl? Let them learn with the tools they are familiar AND can use outside the classroom in the real world.

Posterous: I think I got it

Last week at the KTI Summit, I was shown how to use Posterous.com to create a social media blog feed.  It is easy to use and allows you to post in multiple ways.

I think I figured out how to use the web-clipping tool to work straight from my FireFox browser.  I am still having trouble using the Posterous add on that I downloaded for the main FF toolbar.  I could not get it to load into the toolbar.

I decided on plan B.  I went to this link in Posterous, and just did a click and drag of the icon to my toolbar.  You can see the image below.

Click and drag the icon to your toolbar.

Click and drag the icon to your toolbar.

Once you place it in your toolbar, all you need to do is find something you would like to write about.  Once you find something, highlight it and click on the button in your toolbar.  The highlighted image will be clipped and imported into your Posterous blog.  You have the option of adding your own comments, which is highly recommended. See the image below to see the tab in my toolbar.

Posterous Bookmarklet in toolbar

As I mentioned in a previous post, you can set up your account to automatically push your post out to other social networking sites you have.

Setting up your account this way, with the toolbar tab, allows you post in seconds.  NICE!

KTI 2010: Some things I learned last week, Edmodo

I presented on Edmodo last week at the KTI Summit, but that is not why I am posting this.  I worked formally and informally with many people at the summit on how to incorporate Edmodo in their classrooms.  We worked in the small group sessions, open labs, and even in the dining hall discussing uses and “how to’s.”

I will be using Edmodo as my main classroom platform this year in school.  The main page looks much like a Facebook page, which makes it easy for my students to navigate.  The mobile app for iPods looks like a Twitter feed, it is streamlined and easy to use on mobile devices.

The one plus I brought up in my presentation was the ease of setting up an account and classes.  In a matter of a couple of minutes, you can create an account and classes.  You give your students the class code and they create accounts or log in with existing ones, then they just type in the code and are in your class.  Even if you only run one discussion board a year, Edmodo is the tool to use.  You do not waste time importing students and setting everything up.

Now, back to what I learned at the Summit.  We played with the “public” tab in Edmodo, this allows for any note, file, link, etc. to be pushed out to a public URL, which can then be viewed without logging in to your classroom.  This feature gives me another tool with which to keep parents updated on class events. I can push out my class calendar and any file I feel parents need access to, while keeping other information secure from strangers; all with the click of a mouse.

Another idea we came up with was to group students into general classes, then create sub-groups by period and as needed.  This allows for discussion and interaction between students in different periods, but also gives the teacher the option to push out information to specific groups without everyone else getting it.  This functionality happens by just giving the students your classroom code so they can enroll themselves into your course, then with a couple clicks of your mouse, you can group them as you wish.

I embedded my 30box calendar, that is on the front page of my class wiki, into my Edmodo classrooms, this will allow me to update in 30boxes and show up everywhere I have it embedded.  I can also do the same with a Google calendar or any calendar that embeds in a web page.

Edmodo just enabled the use of folders on the site.  This new development will allow me to better organize all of my links and files.  Instead of having to build a master class for organizing my curriculum, I can just upload everything into folders with detailed names.  This will allow me to open and close information to students as needed, without any hassle.

Last, but surely not least, I have communicate on Twitter with one of Edmodo’s co-founders, Jeff O’Hara on numerous occasions.  He has always been helpful with advice and quick to respond to any questions I have had.  Jeff has also asked for feedback from my students and others to make Edmodo user friendly.  This rates high in my opinion and is the main reason I talk up Edmodo as often as I can.

I have used Moodle, BlackBoard, and Web CT, they work great, but for overall ease of use and free cost, Edmodo is the way to expand your classroom beyond the traditional walls and times.