This was originally created as a script for my History Class Vlog. I plan to use the Vlog as a resource for my classes. I will link to the Vlog later.
Welcome to the 1960’s.
We will be trying something new for this unit, information will be presented several different ways, you get to choose how you process it. More details will be forthcoming in the days ahead.
As was stated at the beginning, welcome to the 1960’s.
The decade Starts as a continuation of the 1950’s
We know there was the 1950’s we remember nostalgically and then there was the 1950’s for those not so fortunate.
We start with Camelot in DC and end with violence and protests throughout the US.
For those who loved the nostalgia, their country did not look the same. For those who wanted change so much hope was lost in the struggle.
We had three presidents, a slew of assassinations, a Cold War, a conflict, a War on Poverty, the splintering of music, including an English Invasion, along with many misc topics we will mention, not here, but in the course.
Hold on to your hats kiddies, the 1960’s were a chaotic time for many.
I have owned a Livescribe Pen for a number of years. I earned, or was rewarded with my first Livescribe Pen for attending the Keystone Technology Integrator’s Summit at Bucknell University. I cannot remember if it was as an attendee or a staff member that I received the pen.
My students use the Livescribe Pen to take notes in class, the Livescribe is referred to as “The Magic Pen.” The notes are pushed over to an iPad and then uploaded to Evernote. Once in Evernote, the .pdfs are embedded in the class wiki so other students can access the notes if need be. A written copy is printed for the students who take the notes for the class.
In my quest to take existing skills and tools and apply them to more situations, I decided it was time to learn how to create pencasts with the Livescribe pen. Needless to say, there was a learning curve for me. The first couple attempts…or so did not work our so well. I ended up with an audio file, but no corresponding video to see what was being discussed.
Long story short, I was “pushing” the wrong virtual button with the Livescribe Pen. I was “pushing” the record button in the notebook, I was supposed to just “push” the little square button on the iPad.
I rolled out the students’ blogs last week in three of my classes while my other three classes logged in today. Overall the students were very productive, they began personalizing their blogs and writing their class expectation blog posts. The three classes that started last week are almost done with the assignments and ready to move on.
I broke the assignment up for my classes up to keep me from dealing with the potential of six periods of chaos in one day. Today, all six of my classes were in the computer lab, we all managed to survive the day. Having half of the classes wrapping up the assignment while the others were starting allowed me to troubleshoot issues so much more effectively.
Speaking of troubleshooting, I did discover that for the most part, the students who had blogs from my class last year had a harder time remembering their log in information…which I anticipated. Most could log in to Edublogs, a few needed their passwords reset via their Gaggle student email accounts. A select few needed assistance to log in to both accounts, but this happens on occasion and the students were eager to help each other out while I helped with the administrative tasks.
The students who were new had an easier time, they were given their usernames and they all had a generic password to use. There were a couple of hiccups with students who were added to my class in the last couple of days, and one or two that I missed when creating the blogs. I am not sure of it was out school filter or an Edublogs issue, but several student accounts were rough to set up and once they were logged in, they had multiple blogs created from my various attempts to create accounts for them.
Their first task was to change their password to something they would remember. The students then had to make their blog the primary blog. This defaults the students to their personal blog instead of the class blog at sign in. From there they began writing their expectation post and personalizing the space. The processes were modeled the previous day in class, using the Interactive Whiteboard. In a couple of classes I had the students gather around a computer while a student modeled how to turn in the assignments or complete a task that was confounding several students.
The assignments were posted in Edmodo along with my classroom expectation post. I also created a couple of screencasts with Camtasia for Mac for students who may need reminded how to “Turn In” their blog posts and/or personalize their blogs. The videos are posted on YouTube and SchoolTube for general access, they were also embedded in a folder within my Edmodo classes for easy access by my students. I could not resist name dropping tools so I can add the tags below…
All in all it was a very productive day, with many lessons learned and everyone playing different roles; students as teachers, teachers as learners. It was what school and learning is supposed to be about. And the chaos…it was nothing like I had feared.