connecting educators & enhancing learning
That tool might have some nice implications for the StAIR project as well, being able to pull in live resources in what would otherwise be a static resource. Thanks for sharing!
I recently made a survey about technology use, using Google Forms. I distributed the survey to my classroom parents since I was unsure how my first graders would handle the content. I received a few responses, but not enough to initially analyze data and provide adequate feedback. I followed up the survey by sending it out again in a seperate email with the approximate time it would take to complete the survey. This approach received a higher number of responses! In the future I will be sure to give a few helpful survey tips to ensure the maximum number of responses. The approximate time to take the survey, the number of questions in the survey, the majority of survey question types (multiple choice vs. short answer), and finally the benefits to the classroom.
I am also looking into using ActiVotes to complete surveys in the classroom with my first graders. The question responses are graphed to give student feedback in a managable way. I am eager to know if others have tried this? It may also be fun to try with parents on Curriculum Night!
My SIG group is looking into interactive projection systems. SmartBoards and the like, but also next-generation systems. I have been looking into creating systems where a teacher can use an interactive device in the classroom, but is not tethered to the front of the room (like a SmartBoard), or the computer...
Using an iPad 2 (or New iPad), you can use AirPlay to project your mobile device screen to a projector. The Smartboard is now in your hands, and might take far less training.
Here is a video that demonstrates rigging your iPad to an LCD television, but it could just as easily be rigged to an existing projector using an AppleTV device. (I think the AppleTV boxes are ~$100 these days). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub8wTBXdveo
A lesson learned and shared with you...a faculty presented at the CTL yesterday with presentation slides he uses in his classroom. He uploaded the slides to the LMS (Learning Management System) for his online course and discovered students had difficulty accessing the presentation.
We discussed the number of slides (71), the file size and also chunking the information into manageable parts then contacted our IT department and spoke with a technician. The technician suggested we use Camtasia for Flash to create a movie out of the presentation for students then place the flashmovie on the college's youtube site for easy viewing.
Everyone was on board and the technician offered to complete the project with promises to share the process at our next staff meeting. The presentation-movie turned out great which led to discussing a voice over project!
Today the CTL director shared a very simple way to reduce a presentation file size. Using MS Office 2007/2010 -> open the presentation -> click on an image or text in a slide -> the Format Tab displays -> click on compress slides -> a dialog box displays - > uncheck the Apply only to this picture box -> check the Email (96 ppt) radio button -> click ok.
The presentation file size is compressed - save the file and upload as needed. Note the file size before and after compression to compare the difference.
I recently became aware of DropBox.... now this may not be new to you but it really solves some serious problems in my house. My wife is a teacher of 2nd / 3rd graders and like all teachers, brings her work home with her. Often she would create curriculum or materials for teaching the next day and went through a tedious process of converting to PDF and then emailing them to her school account. On occasion, her school email is down (tell me that never happens to you!) and she finds herself without the materials she worked so hard to create.
Now we use DropBox. you can find it at DropBox.com and can download for free... there is a quick tutorial video if you want to watch it. Basically it creates a folder on your computer... I keep mine on the desktop... that mirrors a Cloud Drive folder. You sign up and link the folder to your account. You can install your DropBox on every computer you own and we also put it on the wife's school computer. Now she saves all her work into the DropBox... not only is it backed up to the cloud, but is is available on her laptop, school desktop and even her Android tablet...
Very useful program.. try it out.
Hello! I would like to share my thoughts on Collaborize: www.collaborizeclassroom.com This is a great free blogging site for teachers! I am an English teacher and I teach high school. I have signed up all my classes to blog on this site. It is easy to use and you have full control over who can join and which groups you want students in. Collaborize also makes grading easy as well...
Why I use Collaborize:
1. You can put your classes into different groups or groups with in your classes.
2. A teacher can "start a discussion" and then students can vote on the best response. There are different ways to start discussions. There is the basic forum, a "yes" or "no" type question then students have to defend their position, and a multiple choice option and then defend their position. What I like is that no matter what type of discussion you start the students have to defend a position.
3. I have posted discussions and even uploaded video for students to view and then comment on. They loved the video one as it was just a different way for them to look at something and then respond. It is interesting to see what students comment on each others posts. For each discussion I have my students post the initial question and then comment on three of their classmates posts. I find that manageable to grade and not overwhelming for them.
4. What I really love about Collaborize is that it makes grading VERY easy. You can see each individual student's posts and comments all in one place...that way you do not have to go through all the different posts and try and figure out who posted when. Everything is all by date and it also tells you how many times the students log in.
I have had some amazing posts by students while we were blogging about the bookA River Runs Through It. I was surprised at the insight and the thoughtfulness of the students and how they really got into the book to come up with original posts. You have to come up with thought provoking questions that require textual evidence...that way they can't just look on Spark Notes to get answers.
Let me know if you use Collaborize or if you have further questions about this blogging site.
SurveyMonkey was very easy to use and pretty self-explanatory even for me, a first-time user creating a quick and easy survey. The results are also easy to evaluate. I have a feeling I would like the options that Google Forms has to offer and plan to use it for future survey creation.
When creating a survey, consider making the survey truly anonymous for truer responses. I had a few people ask me if they had to include their names. I explained that they could skip the question requesting a name or student ID. I was glad that the survey was designed to not make that question a requirement. I personally feel the same way. If my identity is going to be revealed, I tend to answer what I know the surveyor is looking for, not what I necessarily truly think.
While this is all new to me, many of the technologies I have been learning about have many wonderful uses in the classroom and entire school. Voice thread has many practical uses for students with difficulty writing, digital syorytelling adds a new element to the mundane writing projects. Social Networking pages set up to share information between students and teacher, teacher and parents, and teacher to teacher are very new and exciting ways to sharing techology.
One place that I've gotten a lot of teaching ideas from is Pinterest. I look at people who repin one of my pins because I figure they have similar interests as me. I often find they have great resources. I can also find other pins they repinned and go to that user's board. It's a never-ending process of finding new ideas by linking to a network of other educators. I have also gotten ideas from friends because when they pin something on their boards, it will often show up on Facebook (I'm looking at you Lauren W.)
We are in the process of designing a new high school for our community with an architectural firm based all over the United States and the world. We have had mulitiple face-to-face meetings, but there has also been the need to get the team to together to video conference. One such application that has been effective for us is GoToMeeting. I could see it as an effective conferencing tool within the classroom as well. You are able to share your desktop and collaborate as well as present information to everyone in real time. The link to the site follows: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/t/gg/try_gotomeeting_today_for_free-Si...
I know this is not a new technology, but I still love it! In CEP 810, my Special Interest Group(SIG) has been using Adobe Connect in order to communicate for our project, which has proved extremely valuable. BUT, today, I just loaded it onto my iPad. I had a meeting with a co-worker via my iPad and it worked so well. The iPad 2 has a camera and I just inserted my ear buds, which have a built in mic, and away we went. I would love to use this technology with students in online classes because I've been wanting to start a World Religion group, as that is my field, wherein I can gather with students to discuss elements of the academic study of religion, that fall outside our coursework, as there is interest in some students. Those that are local could meet me at a coffee shop more centrally located than campus, while those that are not local, could connect via Adobe Connect. I would have all the websites up and ready for the meeting and, our session could be recorded for the entire class to check out later if need be. At the coffee shop, we would be free to pass the iPad around so that all can get a good look at the screen instead of dealing with the laptop that isn't as easy to maneuver. I can't wait to try it.
I agree, using Adobe Connect for our special interest group in CEP 810 has been great. It make collaboration from multiple locations surprisingly easy. I love all the features, the ability to take collaborative notes, use voice, and chat and also to share screens. I had not used Adobe Connect prior to this course but it is a great tool!