connecting educators & enhancing learning
One of my dyslexic students had really been having trouble keeping up in high school: taking notes, staying organized, studying, etc. He found that using a Smartpen was very helpful. I couldn't believe how cool these things were when he brought it in last year. They record the audio of a lecture or presentation in sync with the notes a student takes during class. When a student is studying at a later time, he can play back the audio of what was going on in class when a specific note was written. Users can digitize notes for searching, which is also very helpful for students like this. It also has a number of neat little options, like the ability to act as a calculator (it will do calculations that you write down) and a piano program, where you draw a piano keyboard on the special paper, and the pen plays music as you tap the keys. Pretty great technology that I've recommended to other students since.
I am taking CEP 810 and 811 and have come across many new useful site. Last year my favorite was Peter Power Point Station. It provides you with a wide variety of teaching Powerpoints. Like many of the resources I have been introduce to this semester it is teacher powered and updated regularly. Along with the many teaching tools it also provides interactive games to go along with the Powerpoint you select. I really loved this site because the resources are done by people who are actually teaching these skills. They are aware of how to match exact teaching strategies to meet objectives and standards. Many provided as resources that come with series purchased by the district seem as like they are created by robots. The personal touch is what attracted this site. I highly recommend it.
Upon searching on the web one day looking for teaching ideas, I ran across a web site "Tammy's Technology Tips for Teachers" If anyone out there is looking for good ideas, internet resources, or training handouts etc. I suggest looking into this site. It's easy to navigate around and you will find some great ideas. The address is www.tammyworcestor.com Check it out! You won't be disappointed!!
A great resource that is offered free through the school where I teach is TurnItIn.com. With students using the Internet for research along with productivity tools like Microsoft Word used for their writing assignments, TurnItIn.com allows the students to submit their work to ensure there is no accidental plagiarism in writing assignments. In addition, written assignments can be submitted to Writecheck on Turnitin.com to check for and eliminate spelling, grammar or mechanical errors.
I teach 5th and 6th grades (all subjects). Last year during PD on Daily 5, we were shown a really simple but great website where kids can use a list of words (we use our Spelling Lists) to create a mash up or "word cloud" of the list as a visualization tool. It's called Wordle and can be used with a variety of different list and for different subject matters. My students really seem to enjoy using it to brainstorm on topics and it offers a neat visual to post for assignments and get kids excited about "lists" again.
I would like to talk some more about the utility of online forms in class.
I have been teaching public speaking for several years. A good public speaker is always mindful of the various elements involved in public speaking, such as eye-contact, body movement and gestures, volume, and intonations. Early on, I realized that the better a student gets at observing these elements in other speakers, the better he himself incorporates these elements in his speaking.Which is why I began to ask my students to evaluate other speakers on a list of criteria on speech days.
These 'speech evaluations' were always done with pen and paper, and I noticed a marked improvement in my student's speaking skills once they began to evaluate other students. This summer though, I tried something I had never tried before. I decided to use online forms for speech evaluations. I was delighted by what I could do.
Students just had to enter their names at the beginning of their forms, but their subsequent scores and comments could appear anonymously. After every speech, I just asked students to enter their scores and comments for that speech. They would ALL gather on my account page. Thus, we could see an average score for each criteria (eye contact, body movement etc.) and see all comments (anonymously) at once. We would then discuss the scores (why each one of them was high or low) and comments.
I have always been a strong believer in response papers (they encourage active participation, without taking up too much time), and this summer I also had students do response papers with online forms. Some students did end up getting distracted, but students loved the novelty. If you allot points for response papers (I do) this also helps organize all of them in one place, so giving points becomes very easy. The only drawback is that you have to be prepared for some students to tell you that they don't have a laptop, or didn't bring one to class, in which case you ask them to write it on paper.
I would highly recommend all of you to try this. Have your students evaluate the presentations/speeches of others, and use online forms (such as Survey Monkey) for this purpose!
Hi Everyone. I wanted to share some example of how educators are using ScreenChomp, TechSmith’s new free app for the iPad. **Disclaimer** I work for TechSmith, but I’m also in the MAET program – and since it’s free I don’t haveto feel like a dirty sales guy! Anyway, ScreenChomp is an app that allows you to record a whiteboarding session with narration and instantly share with the world. You can also import images from your photo roll and draw on them. Jamey Boelhower uses ScreenChomp to break his lessons down into bite-sized chunks for his class. The students love it because the lessons are available when they’re writing and can call on a particular video in that moment of need. Check out an example and get your daily tautology lesson here: http://www.screenchomp.com/t/6kdZpjcPpE
I absolutely love this new application. I showed my CEP 810 class how to use it a couple of weeks ago over Adobe Connect. I think they thought it was pretty cool too.
I am going to do a workshop on how to use it for teachers who are in the Ingham ISD area soon. I was supposed to show it to the Superintdendents yesterday, but their meeting ran over so I will have to catch them at their next meeting.
Technology tip of Physical Education
I met Gary Grey few weeks ago. Gary is a well accomplished physical therapist. His website is http://www.grayinstitute.com/ On his site he has and online exercise video library. You can create workouts and students can share workouts with others. I think this program was designed for trainers, but I think it would work for students trying record and track their workouts.
I would like to think this would motivate me to find a workout and try it....but this sure looks like a great resource.
As part of CEP 811, we are explore the world of web 2.0 tools. One that I have found the most useful and versitile is Wikispaces. Wikispaces can be used to engage students in collaborative projects, share project information, or provide a space for online classroom discussions. Wikispaces can also play a role in organizing and providing professional development options for staff. It can be a collaborative forum for school staff as well as a shared space for discussion educational topics without the mess of sending 20 emails to 50 different people. Wikispaces provide the option for embedding video, calendars, and other widgets to create a multimedia rich resource.
I recently started a special education resource page for my school district. Basically, it is a list of web resources presented on the school's website. After exploring the wikispaces, I think that creating a special ed wiki may be a more effect route to explore. This will give me the versatility to add the multimedia components without having the users click to external links.
Please share your experiences with Wikispaces!