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Conrado Gonzalez

Are Standardized Tests for the Arts Even Possible? - 1 views

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    In November 2010, I visited Harrison District 2, a low-income, largely Latino school district in Colorado Springs. As part of a plan to evaluate and pay all teachers according to how well they "grow" student achievement, the district had just rolled out its first-ever testing program in the visual arts,...
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    Well Conrado I think it is something that is inevitable. Pretty soon they are going to want to test other areas. We know technology is going to be tested soon. Wow, I had not heard about art. Someone out there is pushing for accountability in those areas. I guess it is okay, but it will be more stress for the students. Electives is where they let their guard down, but they won't be able to do this anymore if they are tested for accountability.
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    I am not surprised to hear that now electives will be tested. Like Cora stated technology is going to be tested next. These kids are already under a lot of stress, especially our bilingual kids who have to take assessments in English and their vocabulary is very low. Good luck to the students and the teachers who have to teach them.
Georgina Salas

Teaching 2.0: Is Tech In The Classroom Worth The Cost? : NPR - 2 views

  • This type of teaching is a novel approach, but it can be an expensive one. That has some asking whether the billions being spent on educational technology is worth the cost
  • "We teleconferenced with [author] Dave Barry, which was a lot of fun," Mascia says. Senior Jayla Briscoe was there when the comedian and author Skyped in to talk to kids. Briscoe acknowledges she didn't know who Barry was at the time. "I didn't really know much about him at all," Briscoe says, "[but] he actually got me more interested in writing."
  • The digital divide between school districts with greater access to funds, and those with less, is still a major issue. Purcell, of Pew Research, points out that low-income schools are lagging behind.
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  • Teachers who were teaching the lowest-income students were more likely to tell us that they do not receive formal training in the use of digital tools in the classroom," she says. "They also express less satisfaction with the support and resources provided by schools. "And they're three times as likely to say their school is behind the curve when it comes to using the newest digital tools."
    • Georgina Salas
       
      Please listen to this story on how one school uses a Web 2.0 tool in thier school. Tell me your thoughts on what you heard.
    • Georgina Salas
       
      Refer to the second highlighted section of the article to answer the question. Doesn't this prove that Web 2.0 tools work in the classroom.The tool used here was successful in allowing a student to become more interested in a particular subject which was writing. What are your thoughts on this statement?
    • Georgina Salas
       
      This refers to the third highlighted section of the article. Do you believe this about the schools that have more funds than the schools that are considered low income? Do we see this here in the valley?
    • Georgina Salas
       
      Please refer back to article and view the last highlighted section and answer the question. What are your thoughts about this comment? Makes you think about what types of trainings we all get.
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    I believe technology integration is absolutely worth the cost. Technology enables teachers to bring real-world, meaningful learning into the classroom. In addition, technology promotes multisensory, engaging learning that is suitable for a variety of learning styles. The underlying issue is that teachers are often inadequately trained and/or unable to properly integrate the technology into the classroom due to stringent testing preparation. As a result, the overall benefit of technology integration is often not seen.
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    I think we should take advantage of using modern technology such as Skype. These students were engaged and really enjoyed listening to this History author. This 21st century learning will give students opportunities to learn from others who are from all over the world
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    It is very important to incorporate technology to enhance lessons, not just for using a technology. We are begin thought with technology to enhance our learning, so why not use it with our students. Money and training are very important factors that do contribute to the lack of teacher buy in, but ultimately we need to use technology as much as we can to enhance our lessons.
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    I don't think that education technology like the one at Westlake High School should have to cost tens of thousands of dollars either. I agree with the comment in the article about having a projector and smartphone could basically accomplish the same thing. I believe training and motivating teachers to incorporate technology is the biggest barrier to technology integration.
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    Getting the attention of students is the first step to any successful lesson. Technology can do that. Maintaining the attention of students throughout an assignment or activity is just as important. Technology can do that. Evaluate the students' performance is the final factor of any lesson. Technology can do that. Is it worth the investment, of course. However, like it was previously mentioned, some people create walls around what they don't understand and try to keep students away from it. The benefits of technology should be worth the risk, if any there should be.
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    You have to try to get their attention and sometimes that entails gadgets. But sometimes the lack of these gadgets become an excuse to not learn because the student claims that he or she is bored. When a student equates learning with entertainment with such fervor it's probably because the student wants an excuse to quit when things get tough.
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    Technology is the way of the future. We need to educate our children with the new technology that is available in order for them to be prepared for the world around them. I do agree that it is worth the cost. Districts have funds. They just need to know how to allocate them and how to spend them and get the most for their money. They also need to make sure and buy things that teachers and students are going to use because if technology just sits in the closet, it does no one any good.
Dara Cepeda

Have you heard of Minecraft? Could it be used in the classroom? - 11 views

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    Have you heard of Minecraft? I have heard students talk very enthusiastic about it, specially elementary and middle school students. Even some of my students have suggested to use minecraft as an educational tool. Minecraft is a sandbox game which allows players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world. Watch this video and tell me if you think this could also be the teacher's ultimate multi-tool? If so, how can you implement it in a lesson?
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    Powerful! It is created by educators, and gaming is the ultimate motivator for many of our students. I can see this working, but the teacher must have an end goal in mind, and truly understand this tool. Thank you for sharing!
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    I have heard of Minecraft but haven't had the chance to play it myself. I didn't realize how big it has become. It seems like it could be a useful tool for learning much like whyville is. Is the educational version free?
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    My son LOVES minecraft. I could definetly see ways of incorporating it into the classroom. I could see a group project on how to build something to overcome an obsticle. I had never thought of minecraft as an educational device before but now I think I am going to login with my son and see what can come up with.
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    I have heard of Minecraft but never new that teacher's were using it in the classroom for teaching purposes. I believe if there is a teacher who uses it in the class and has great results from it then that teacher should share her experiences with other teachers. I would definitely look into it if I knew it would help the students in their learning.
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    I had heard of it, but now you have peaked my curiosity. Let me play, I mean research it and see how I can use it in class.
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    Have I heard of it??? I can't get my son off of it! I do not have any personal experience using it as a teaching tool, but I have been reading up on the education version. The website http://minecraftedu.com/ contains sample lesson plans and activities guides, along with a forum and chat discussion group. I am excited about "Quiz Blocks", which is a feature that will be added soon. I have on the other hand utilized the program as an incentive for a student who is currently on a BIP. When he earns the required points, he is able to use the program for 15 minutes. He loves it (almost as much as my son) and I have already seen an improvement in his behavior.
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    I hadn't heard of Minecraft before, but it looks like a very interesting game. I watched the video and it seems to be a very powerful tool that could be used by teachers to foster students' creativity. The crafting system could also be used to impove students' basic math skills. Minecraft could definitively be used in geometry classes since everything is made up of cubes and students would understand and review the concepts of volume and area.
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    I had not heard about it until now. I can see how it can be engaging to children. I think middle school and high school children would probably find it very engaging. Since students will want to play it, it would be an excellent learning tool. I would like to learn more about it.
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    Dara, my two sons (11 and 7) love Minecraft!! Like Heather, I can barely get them away from it. I agree with Ana in that gaming is a fantastic motivator. What I've seen is what we call games aren't really what the students had in mind; however, Minecraft is definitely a game. I've not used it in a lesson, but the vocabulary (resourses, gravel, sand, distance mined, etc) my sons are using when they are playing has peaked my interest in using it in math and science lessons. Minecraft can most definitely be used as an incentive.
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    Dara, my son loves the game; my students love playing the game. Do they know the game is educational; I don't think so. Which is the beauty of it all. Learning should be transparent, it should be fun; students should enjoy learning and if using games like Minecraft be used in the classroom for education or for behavior incentives students would enjoy learning in a different way. Dara, great topic selection because it would be a great way to reach students in their own element or enviroment.
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    My son downloaded this app in his IPAD and I also purchased the game at Game Stop for $20.00 for the XBOX 360 online. He has already created our 3-dimensional home using Minecraft. He has built our entire square footage of our home, the garage, and the yard. It is so awesome, but I don't know how he does it because the 3-D makes me dizzy. I could not do it. He is so creative and I think someday he will become an engineer because he has always loved legos and loves to build things!
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    It is incredible how sometimes we as educators hide in our comfort zone without realizing all cool educational material out there in the world, I agreed this game can be helpful if it is used for educational purposes. Specially in this era of students where technology is no longer strange or difficult to use.
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    This game is very popular in the high school setting as well. Whenever students come together in an online community good and bad things will happen. This game is a good way to introduce collaboration and netiquette. Here is a link on how to use minecraft https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_uJDeTX9eEAPLBSgcWH0Iq5AG3VBWkDVnB7Ccs8je1s/edit Also here is a blog from a teacher who uses it in lessons: http://minecraftteacher.tumblr.com/ and an excerpt from one way to use it in class. "One lesson, for example, challenged his students to divide up into teams and build houses. As Levin explains the task: They were given a few raw materials and tools, but NOT enough to complete the job. Only enough to get started. They had to decide how to divide the work amongst themselves. Who would gather resources? Who would build? Would one team member be the architect and take a leadership role. Or would everyone take a turn doing each of these tasks?
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    I like Mindcraft.com, but my kids love Mindcraft.com. It's very useful for math. I heard of it from other teachers on campus and by the time I mentioned it to the students, many of them were familiar with it. It's a very useful tool.
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    Very interesting. I have heard tons of things about Minecraft but haven't had the time to look into it. Thanks for the share as it is a very comprehensive intro to educational Minecraft.
Adam Hovde

RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms - YouTube - 12 views

  • This RSA Animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA's Benjamin Franklin award.
    • Adam Hovde
       
      What did you "get" from this video?
    • Juan Betancourt
       
      I think that he hits on very good points. I think that we should encourage the students to collaborate instead of copying, do engaging fun stuff rather than boring, more hands on with a purpose rather than read and tell me what you go out of it. Some students complain that the work is boring, but when i ask them: what can we do to make it fun? They don't have any ideas. Is that a product of the industrial revolution or standardized testing?
    • Dara Cepeda
       
      Wow awesome video..very informative and eye opener. It's so true, education needs to evolve for we are still stuck in an old age. Teachers are forced to teach to the test and forget the real valuable meaning of education. Then we ask ourselves, why are these children acting like that? The public education is teaching them only to pass a test instead of create a great citizen with morals, dreams. We need to teach them to be creative and produce new tools, to become inventors for a brighter future.
    • Edna Orozco
       
      Educational system definetly needs to change, and we are the key to that, altough it is going to be hard specially if we are trying to figth against what we are used to, and what we were taught.
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    A discussion by Ken Robinson on what education is today and how it needs to change to meet the needs of students.
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    This video is why I decided to get my masters degree. It made me think about what kind of teacher I wanted to be. I decided that I wanted to be more technology based and want to learn how to help others be more engaging with students but others have gotten a different lesson from the video. What will you get from the video?
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    Very interesting video Adam! Thanks for sharing. There are so many flaws in the public education system that I personally think that we should start changing the way we are teaching our kids. Unfortunately it seems that administration only focuses on having students pass the standardized tests instead of focusing on getting students ready to success in life.
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    Great Video! He was all over the place, but made some very interesting points from the beginning of public education. I remember going to school and everyone telling us you need an education in order to have a job, which was very true. I think our educational system has changed and will continue to change. We have moved away from the textbook, which is the way we learned (paper & pencil). I remember writing definitions, memorizing speeches, and copying math problems onto our lined paper to solve equations. Now students are exposed to technology which enhances their learning in interesting ways.
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    The mindset of education has to change now! We are still teaching as he said, "in batches," where we condition children to one way of thinking and stifle divergent thinking. We have talked about "thinking outside the box" and "GT students", but those are the students who were not "conditioned" as we would have them be. The real world is not as we teach, we must allow our students to work collaboratively and think independently. By the same token, I believe that our teachers are victims of the very same mindset, trained to teach strategies, and deciphering questions in order to get those scores. The parent's mindset has changed as well, they no longer tell their children that education is important, and expect for teachers to do all the teaching, not realizing that a child has to have a strong foundation. We are no longer just getting clean slates, but unstructured children who are then labeled ADHD…or are they just divergent thinkers who do not conform to our way of teaching?
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    The video was very eye opening. Everyone can agree that their must be change to our current system of Education. What we can't seem to agree on is what those changes should be. I feel as if he spent most of the time talking about whats wrong with education and why than actually providing solutions.
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    I agree with all of you. this video opened my eyes to the way our rducational system is running. I guess I have always known it ran this way but I did not think that it bu us in the "batches" to be processed. I am hoping to use my Educational technology degree to change teh way I teach my students and hopefully I can get other teachers to do the same.
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    Good video Adam. It brings up many issues with today's education. I totally agree that it is okay to raise standards for learning, but our students were not brought up that way. We are told to teach to the rigor and wonder why the students perform so bad. It is because the higher level thinking and rigor that we are now expecting comes with time and not overnight. Our children were not taught that way and to all of a sudden raise the standards is too much at once. I am confident that it will happen, but it will take time. Another issue was ADHD. When I was in school, I never heard of such a thing. His words exactly, "it seem to be an epedemic ." There could be many factors contributing to hyper and inattentive students, but parents rarely look into alternative ways to help their children. More has to be done to provide these students with help, so they can be successful and not have to be on medicine. If we let our little ones work collaboratively, and if teachers were to have more leeway to teach in their classrooms; some great learning and discovering could take place.
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    Very interesting video. There was so much information about education and the economy. I agree that our students are bored in class and with school. Why are they bored??? The reason is because teachers teach the test. There is no time for fun or learing with fun things. I feel that if we teach in a fun and exciting way we will not lose the students as soon as they walk into the room. They will come to school wanting to learn and excited and wondering what they are going to be learning for that day.
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    Wow that was a great video. He had some very interesting points. I do feel that our students are bored in class. The teachers today are teaching to making sure that their students pass the test. As teachers I guess we need to find a way to make our lessons more interesting. That is why it is real important that we incorporate technology into our lessons. We all know that students take a greater interest when technology is involved. He had so many great points. It inspires me to be a better teacher.
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    I agree with Georgina and Jessica. Students do get bored, because of the "tunnel vision approach" we are often forced to implement in the classroom. The focus on state testing has kept many of us from teaching our students to truly think critically and problem solve. Technology is an excellent way to engage our students and promote higher-order thinking skills and collaboration. If students are motivated, with meaningful and engaging lessons, I believe they will strive to be life-long learners.
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    Yes, students are bored these days, however, I don't blame teachers necessarily -- it's the system we're all in. They are victims of circumstance here. It's all about accountability and the test. I think technology may be the light at the end of the tunnel, because it's engaging, fun, and besides being a way of bringing their outside world interests into the classroom, technology isn't going anywhere. So many excellent points to support what we all already know. Good job.
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    What a powerful presentation. It really hits close to home. I have a 5th grade son who I feel this was written for! Divergent thinking - YES! They're not all little products off an assembly line. I completely agree traditional education has conditioned students not to be creative and taught them there is one answer. Some of even the best kids are just totally turned off to school. I really appreciate the presenter's view point. Very often I express my concern with the so called epidemic and wonder why there are so many students who have been diagnosed with ADHD. To see the trend follows the trend of standardized testing is amazing, scary, and really disheartening. Thank you for sharing this great video.
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    This was a great video, the presenter make several good points. Times have changed and so has our students therefore we must change our way of teaching as well. However, I believe we must be trained how to teach our divers learners. How can we reach our students if we still have a traditional way of thinking. I totally agree with the video we must raise the bar in order for our students to be challenged. Remember we are competing with video games, music,texting and social networking. We must prepare ourselves in the same matter to reach them as well.
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    This is truly the best video I have seen in quite a long time. I already knew a bunch of these problems but the speaker has tremendous delivery power, has his insight well organized and overall organizes very effectively all these historical, economic, cultural, and political variables.
Cesar Mata

Texas Considers Reversing Tough Testing and Graduation Requirements - NYTimes.com - 3 views

  • Proponents say teachers will be able to be more creative in the classroom while students will have more flexibility to pursue vocational or technically oriented courses of study.
  • Legislators raised the number of high school exit exams to 15 from 4 in 2007, a year after they passed a law to automatically enroll all high school students in a curriculum that mandates four years of English, science, social studies and math, including an advanced algebra class.
  • Texas now requires more than double the number of end-of-course exams used in any of the eight states that currently mandate that students pass such exams, according to the Education Commission of the States.
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  • Here in Texas, the backlash has been fiercest among parents and educators who believe testing has become excessive, particularly after a period when the state cut its budget for education.
  • Test critics also argue that standardized tests stifle experimentation in the classroom. “It turns our schools into these cookie-cutter manufacturing plants,”
  • Some educators say the tests do not account for students who learn at different paces. “We expect every student to perform at certain levels with the same amount of time,”
  • Champions of more stringent graduation requirements say they also help push students — particularly those who do not come from families in which college attendance is assumed — to achieve at levels they might not have considered on their own.
  • Since the tougher recommended curriculum was signed into law, the proportion of Texas high school graduates taking at least one Advanced Placement exam who were from low income backgrounds rose to 45.3 percent in 2012, from 30.5 percent in 2007.
  • (The graduation rate in Texas actually rose from 63 percent in 2007 to 72 percent in 2011, the most recent year for which state education agency data is available.)
  • Defenders of the current curriculum come from “the elitist in our society who devalue blue-collar work and believe every student must get a four-year college degree,”
  • Even some students say, though, that standards help guide their choices. “If they are allowed the option to not take a harder math class, of course they’re not going to do that,” said Anthony Tomkins, 18, a senior at Akins who plans to attend Texas A&M. “So forcing it upon us in the long run is actually a good thing.”
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    Texas lawmakers consider legislation that would reduce both graduation requirements and standardized testing. Supporters on both sides weigh in on why this may or may not be a good thing for Texas students.
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    What do you all think as Texas educators about the proposal to reduce graduation requirements and standardized testing?
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    It is about time. It seems all we are doing is testing students or getting them ready to do testing. As a teacher i feel bombarded with test training and testing dates and as a parent I feel like what can I do to help my child be ready for all these testing days. Hopefully in the next few years we can backtrack and come up with other ways of assessing students (portfolios etc). My school was brought into a consortium that is opting out of some of the testing already (HB 1887). We are looking into other ways of assessing our students and hopefully this can become a standard for the state rather than just giving standardized tests.
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    I hope they move in that direction as well. It seems the teachers know what is best and they never really bother to ask them. When you think about it, 15 tests to graduate? Really? After all the other work they have to do in their school careers?
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    It is about time that someone is actually considering the student, meaningful learning, and long-term success. Testing and accountability have their place in education, but as it stands, testing is being used for all the wrong reasons. At the end of the day, educators are responsible for fostering and promoting life-long, successful learners. These changes may actually bring the passion back to teaching and learning!
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    I agree with the superintendent in this article, that all students learn at different paces, perform at certain levels with the same amount of time. ---"That's fundamentally flawed." because it does not leave room for differentiated instruction.
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    There is too much time being spent on testing. We should provide students with strong vocational programs that can provide a source or income for their future, whether they are college bound or not. Having a college education is great, but it they can't get that at lease they will have a skill that can help them earn a good living.
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    The 15 tests to graduate also doesn't include the tests that the students would need to take if they wish to go to a university or college. I'm thinking ACT, SAT, THEA or TASP as it was called when I was in high school. Oh and I think they have one called the accuplacer too. That gets closer to 20 tests!
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    This notion of accountability through standardized testing has back-fired on its creators. We're suppose to be producing college and career-ready products, not test ready products. And even at that we're failing.
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    Oh my such a hard topic. On the one hand the need to know where we stand. On the other, the excessive, myopic, pedagogical approach inherent in testing-based curricula. Yes, we have heard all the utopian assertiveness that the test doesn't determine the curriculum and yet we all have been victims of the mixed messaging that occurs and the unofficial mandates to "teach to the test" in the end.
Betsy Vela

3D Printing Pen Turns Doodles Into Objects - PSFK - 8 views

    • Betsy Vela
       
      3-D technology appeared many years ago in movie theaters and has reached out and touched our hands in the forms of televisions, projectors, printers and gaming systems. PSFK.com is one of the websites I most refer to when I want to know what's being explored throughout the world with new technology. I was floored when I came across both of these links months ago: The 3-D printing pen and the 3-D paper printouts. The possibilities are endless for education. How would you integrate these tools in an educational setting? Paper-Kit.com http://www.psfk.com/2013/01/3d-paper-head-shots.html 3D Pen http://www.psfk.com/2013/02/3d-printing-pen.html Be sure to watch the video. It is amazing! I see so much future in this tool being used in education. Ideas would come out in a tangible format.
    • Edna Orozco
       
      We use 3D printer for my design class, I like this idea of the pen, because before students actually print something, they need to sketch their drawings, and this would be a helpful way of using 3D drawing, because sometimes it is difficult for students to visualize 3D in a piece of paper. I will totally look forward this piece of technology for my Computer Aided Design Class
  • create 3D objects by just drawing them.
  • doesn’t require any software or computers,
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  • start drawing within minutes.
  • A pledge of $75 gets you a 3Doodler pen and two bags of mixed color plastic.
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    I really, really really want a classroom set of these. I can think of so many things I could do with my physics classes. I think I might have to write a grant this week to get these for my class.
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    This tool looks really cool. The model of the Eiffel Tower and the portrait really shows the possibilities. I would integrate this tool in math when teaching and practicing/reviewing geometry - 3 D figures, 2 D shapes, etc. The students could greate their own 3 D models instead of creating the traditional paper models. The students would love it! I wonder how much the plastic refill is.
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    I can think of several uses that I could give this device, like creating 3 d models of network installations, designing a computer, and other projects.
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    Architecture, Geometric shapes, anatomy of animals, characters for storytelling, parts of a plant, sketch of a historical figure...the possiblities are endless. I am glad you shared this tool, what an awesome invention. I, too, wonder what the cost for the refill plastic is, and whether it heats up at a high or low temp. Thank you for sharing.
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    I can see how some students may use their creativity using the 3-D writing pen. It would be amazing to see what some people could come up with. The 3-D printing paper is amazing how with just a few photos the computer can print out a paper that can be assembled into a 3-dimensional object. Thanks for posting this, this are very interesting and advanced technologies!
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    This is such a neat tool to incorporate in the classroom. I would like to use this tool in my math class to reinforce geometric vocabulary words and figures. Students will be able to create their own 3-d figures and get a feel for what a vertex, edge, and face look like instead of drawing flat on a paper. This would be a great tool for our early college which does a yearly math project of creating a scale model of a famous building or structure. Students will be able to create the whole model using this pen.
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    What a marvelous find Betsy. The possibilities do seem endless. Like Gayle and April said already, my first thought was 3D figures for math. This would make it extremely easy to teach vertices, faces, and edges in math. My favorite part of the pen was actually the ability to repair plastic things. How much does it cost?
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    Amazing!! As soon as I saw this I thought of so many things my 1st graders can do with this pen. The students would have so much fun with it. They would be able to see that learning can be fun and it will help remember so many things because they actually created it with this 3D pen. I could use this pen for all the subjects I teach.
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    I'm going to do my best to get one of these pens for my classroom. I was blown away; imagine what it would do for the students. Once again, the possibilities are endless and what a cool piece of technology.
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    Wow! These are very cool. I can see how these would enhance and enrich a geometry lesson on 3-dimensional figures and/or measurement (e.g. volume). I agree with Adam, a class set has endless potential.
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    This is a real cool pen, I can only wonder what the next generation will be like. If this is just the first version; it next will be even better. Students would go crazy using these tools. Like Heather and Adam stated the potential use is endless. Using the pen for science and math would be great. The electives classes would also benefit from using the pens. Now, getting a hold or purchasing them is a totally different thing. Our district is cutting back once more and our budget is already gone. Looking for a grant would be the next best thing.
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    Wow Betsy, these tools are very neat. I see how the 3d pen could be used in the classroom to show students 3d models like for 3 dimensional shapes. I agree with everyone else who says that a class set would be a great thing to have in the classroom. Thanks for sharing these tools Betsy.
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    I've seen it and honestly I think that even though it is really cool, that for the most part they are a gimmick. Sorry to be so pessimistic but I just don't what is so cool about them. Anyway, if my assessment is flawed and I am proven wrong, I'll be the first one to admit it.
April Canales-Perez

If Technology Motivates Students, Let's Use It! | Edutopia - 4 views

  • I believe many students are bored and unmotivated because of the way they are being taught, with heavy reliance on reading textbooks, memorizing facts and figures, and listening to lectures, over and over.
    • April Canales-Perez
       
      This is true for students who have teachers teaching to the test. Students are not motivated to learn because they are not engaged in meaningful learning. What do you think?
    • Cesar Mata
       
      As a STAAR testing teacher this year I sometimes feel ashamed to admit that I feel like we have no other choice than to "teach the test." With so much pressure on us to get the students to pass we often resort to what we know works, and that is drill and skill. So yes, I agree that students lack motivation and how can we blame them?
    • Janice Wilson Butler
       
      Good insight - I think it is what most of us resort to. It is a shame that the "powers that be" don't see that this is happening.
  • Technology in its many forms is showing how teaching and learning can paint with a much broader palette of colors, from images and music to games, simulations, wikis, and many others, any time, any place, on laptops, desktops, and smartphones.
  • Today's students find this new world of digital learning to be very motivating.
    • Dara Cepeda
       
      Sometimes as educators we don't understand administrators when they constantly remind us to motivate students and teach them with new tools, but at the same time they contradict themselves when they expect you to teach specifically from C-scope. Luckily, there is no C-scope for my teaching subject, Art, but I see the stress of my colleagues when they want to try something new, and then the administrators getting after them for not following C-scope. Students need to be taught in their language..which is technology and multimedia tools.
    • Cora Mendez
       
      I like that Dara:" to teach them in their language" because this is what they know technology.
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    • April Canales-Perez
       
      How are you motivating your students to learn using technology?
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    Teaching to the test can be BORING and un"motivating" for students. If we would teach the TEKS, using a variety of strategies and techniques, including PBL and technology, I believe students would be in even better prepared for lifelong learning. In many ways, I believe teaching to the test inhibits how far we take our students. I think the bottom line here is...planning is vital.
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    With all the new legislation in the state house and senate hopefully we can get away from so much testing. With many of the new bills the state is taking away the number of state tests the students will have to tak but they will still have to take some tests. Hopefully this will give teachers more "wiggle" room to teach more interactively and engaging. Most of our students know more about technology than we do. We should be using it to reach them.
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    As a second grade teacher, we still have a little "wiggle room" to incorporate fun reading graphic organizers and fun mini projects for science and social studies. It is getting to the point that our 3rd grade teachers want us to do what they are doing (paper & pencil), but I disagree because with 7 and 8 year olds, they still need the phonics, visuals, and hands on to learn and stay engaged. They have a short attention span and are still developing.
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    It seems that transitioning from no technology to technology really gets students motivated and excited, however, they also expect guidance if not they'll just play games. Incorporating technology inot what we already do does make a huge difference in student motivation and participation. I will add though that school can still be exciting even without technology, it's just a lot harder.
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    As a first grade teacher, I have the opportunity to introduce and implement technology. My students are not interested in using the textbooks, but prefer the online texbook and interactive avtivities. Students at this young age are eager to use technology and hands on activities.
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    All I can do is allow more opportunities in the library with the use of iPads so that the younger students are exposed to devices and apps. For older students, I made sure I covered digital citizenship, evaluating websites, and introduced credible research databases, to lay a foundation for our teachers. Our teachers are very strong, and they are always on task, but many time are limited for all the reasons we all know, lack of tools, time, etc.
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    I agree students are bored and unmotivated with textbooks and lectures. I think teachers are too. I really like the comment that technology can paint with a much broader palette of colors. That's a great way to look at it. Technology definitely brightens lessons I've tried to inegrate technology into as many lessons as possible; however, not nearly as much or in the way I'd like to. Right now my students are working on Prezis. They are creating a presentation on an ecosystem and they're loving it. The lesson actually called for a diorama - the shoebox version. The Prezis have been a huge hit. Also, technology is integrated in to Health lessons by teaching Internet safety - this is an on going lesson with several sections. Our District subscribes to several sites (Aha Math, Think Through Math, Aha Science, etc.) we use in centers or all together in a computer lab.
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    It is really hard to motivate certain students, but I'm doing my best to get them ready for college or a job. On a separate but related note, I make a point to tell them that not everything will be to their liking and they'd better be ready to produce.
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    I agree with all of your comments. It is extremely difficult to motivate students when as teachers we are limited to our teaching strategies and overwhelm with the pressure of having to pass the STAARS test. We are limited with resources. Yet, we must learn how to use technology and learn how to motivate both our students and teachers. Give them a new resource a new way of teaching..
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    I agree that we should use technology to motivate students. They look forward to a story, game, video, drawing tool etc. using technology verses pencil and paper.
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    I for one love technology but also love lectures and insight from experts. To me it is not always about hands-on and group work. I guess I am a bit of an introvert in that regard.
Cora Mendez

Technology and Young Children | National Association for the Education of Young Childre... - 6 views

    • Cora Mendez
       
      The video is at the bottom of the page. I know it is long, but you can skip ahead by clicking on the arrows. Very good information for early childhood teachers. Make sure to listen to slides 27and 28.
    • Cora Mendez
       
      There is a Pdf document if you wish to read instead of listening to webcast.
    • Isabel Cabrera
       
      I went ahead and viewed the whole web cast and it was so good to see Mr. Rogers. I remember watching him all the time as a young child and I was always so excited to see what he was going to teach us about next. He educated us about train stations, using videos. He did role playing with his puppets to engage us by asking and answering questions. He was one of the founding fathers of integrating technology for early childhood learning. The NAEYC is right about integrating technology in preschools but doing it in an effective way to educate children not just for passive entertainment purposes.
    • Cora Mendez
       
      Isabel you are right Mr. Rogers was one of the first to integrate technology in early childhood through his show. Children loved it. I remember watching it with my kids. Most of the programs they have in the computer labs for early childhood now a days don't challenge our prekinder and kinder students. We need to move away from that. My prek students use Twiddla in the classroom, and they will ask me to share the screen so they can collaborate with their partner on another computer. These little ones are like sponges, and they will learn just about anything especially technology.
  • When used intentionally and appropriately, technology and interactive media are effective tools to support learning and development.
  • Intentional use requires early childhood teachers and administrators to have information and resources regarding the nature of these tools and the implications of their use with children.
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    • Cora Mendez
       
      For years I have heard people go back and forth about whether using technology with youg children is good or bad. I was glad to finally learn the answer from NAEYC.
    • Isabel Cabrera
       
      Now I think technology is more kid friendly than before. I see children more often exposed and engaged to technology through the use of IPADS. The applications are easy for kids to download and play. Even with the use of these new smart phones, kids take them away from their parents and play games. I remember my son being 2 years old and learning how to work the vhs/dvd player to view his favorite Disney cartoon, "The Lion King." He learned so fast that he would turn it on so early in the morning by himself. I was so amazed.
    • Cora Mendez
       
      Isabel, you are right. Children learn how to use technology very quickly. Just like your son. If it is something that intrigues them, they are quick to learn it.
    • Edna Orozco
       
      I totally agree that technology has change tremendously and is more user friendly nowadays, specially for kids, but I agree that sometimes certain hands on activities go better without the use of technology, for example, I have seen some applications for painting where the student has to select the colors and type of brush, I rather have my kid experiencing this activity with water painting than with an ipad for example. Therefore I believe that depending on the purpose of the lesson I would think about using or not technology.
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    If you have ever wondered what NAEYC stand on use of technology and early child hood education is, you must listen to this webcast. Have you wondered if using technology in early childhood was DAP(developmentally appropriate practice)? Listen to find out.
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    Lower grades are always the last ones to get new technology if they do get any at all. Why do districts or administrators think that the upper grades are priority? Is it because they are the testing grade levels? Don't you think that if we were to teach children how to use technology since they were in pre-kinder, then they could do so much more in depth projects when they were in the upper grades instead of learning how to use it in the upper grades. What is your take on this topic?
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    Cora, the bottom line is that the upper levels get tested, and the results dictate our very jobs. If there is anything I have understood is that "we" are all important components of a school, but when it comes to testing and results, step aside because the upper grades are priority. It is what it is, but as a teacher, I know that every grade level lays the foundation....and a strong foundation is important.
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    Cora, I think the lower grades should have access to technology, just as the upper grades. I recently read an article that concluded that children as young as two can utilize an iPad as an educational tool, much like they use blocks and play dough. Touch screen technology has eliminated the need for children to "have" to learn to manipulate a traditional keyboard and mouse. In addition, young children are "sponges" that can absorb and achieve much more than we give them credit for. I see how the focus tends to be on the upper elementary, and primarily because of testing, but I have learned that as educators, we have to learn to be more proactive as opposed to reactive.
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    Heather, I agree with you, and I include our early (PK and K) childhood in all iPad activities, and they all get to handle one by themselves with help if needed. They can at least get the manipulation and navigation under their belt, by the end of the year, they are savvy. Children cultivate 85 percent of their intellect, personality and skills by age five. This is what crosses my mind when I meet a child who has never been read to or even talked to. They have so much to learn. See the article below. http://www.wccf.org/pdf/brain_dev_and_early_learning.pdf
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    I like the point that Roberta Schomburg makes about how technology integration is everywhere today. It's not just confined to the computer labs anymore. The students should have access to technology in the classroom on a daily basis. I wish I could say that this is a reality in our campus but it is more of a rarity.
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    Heather, I totally agree with you that young children are like sponges because I get to see it everyday this year in my pre-kinder classroom. Unfortunately in my classroom we only have one teacher iPad, but I let my little ones use it every chance I get. When I first got the iPad, I was surprised that they knew more about it than I did. I teach them how to use something on it, and they pick it up write away. I am always looking out for my little ones and asking for more technology whenever I can. When I moved into pre-kinder this year I asked for a document camera and projector. Last years teacher did not have one, but I was going to make sure my kids had access to the use of those tools. My children enjoying using them. I have one little boy who says, "Mrs. Mendez I want the scream." He means to say he wants me to project something onto the screen like a game, movie, book etc. They enjoy using technology. It makes things more engaging and fun to learn.
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    Ana, that is so awesome that you allow PK and K to use ipads. In our school only 5th graders got one and one for every teacher. You are right if you teach them the basics when they are young, they will have that under their belt and can progress from there in another grade level. Thank you for sharing the article. It is a good reminder of how critical their first 5 years are for learning. This is why I don't understand why they make PK only available for low income people in so many places. How does this affect our middle income and high income children when in comes to them not receiving a whole one year foundation on the basics of learning. I would never have believed that Pk students are capable of so much learning if I had not seen it and experienced it for myself. They are amazing learners.
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    Mr. Rogers; I loved his show, although it was right on for that era, this newer generation requires a different approach which is the use of today's technology. They seem to on board and very knowledgeable with iPads, apps, and games out there. Although I have very little experience with Pre-K and Kinder, I am aware that they are an even better target to incorporate technology with. I think as teachers, we might want to set our standards a little higher with our students, especially the little ones and be ready to be surprised on what they know and can do.
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    I can understand the concern over age, but we witness the use of technology from our Pre-K and Kinder on a daily basis. I firmly believe, that technology enhances children's cognitive and social abilities, when used appropriately. Especially when we set the goals and introduce digitial citizenship early on.
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    From a technology standpoint, there are more apps available for students in the lower grades than for the higher grades. From a personal stand point, even my three year old can use the ipad and iphone for seeing videos and playing games. If I were an administrator, I would start deployment of an Ipad/Ipod program in the lower grades.
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    Juan I wish more administrators would think like you. I think that technology integration in the lower valley is still in its early stages, so in time I think lower grades will get more technology and more programs will be available to to cater to lower grades. I know the apps are there, but we the the hardware. My document camera and projector were borrowed because they needed it to tutor the upper grades for STAAR. I have had to manage without it. I have two desktops and my laptop and my ipad in my classroom as far as hardware goes.
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    I love Mr. Rogers. I have shown my son many of the episodes when he was younger. I can definetly see how technology could be used with the young in teaching. I can also so how, like many of us, technology is not always in teh classroom to help when it is needed. I would like ot see more uses for technology with smaller children and how they learn from it. We have years of data on teh old way of teaching children maybe someone can come up with research on how technology is enhancing or hindering education in children.
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    The video was long, but very informative. The word intentional kept coming up in the video and you used two quotes that included the word as well. Intentional use is so important. I've mention on other posts the use of sites the District subscribes to. The students enjoy these and they benfit from them; however, I feel there could be more intional uses that are much more benficial. The position statement clearly outlines the benefits of integrating technology not only in schools, but in every day life. The statement presents this in such a way that really shows the resposibilty (tremendous challenge) educators and care givers have to young children in order to empower them with this knowledge and skills and nuture the whole child. I agree more administrators and teachers - educators in general - don't emrabrace the importance of technology. Perhaps this position statement would help them.
April Canales-Perez

Free Online Resources Engage Elementary Kids (Tech2Learn Series) | Edutopia - 12 views

    • April Canales-Perez
       
      View this video to see how Nicole Dalesio motivates her students to learn through the use of technology and free online applications. 
    • Edna Orozco
       
      It is amazing to see these children so young and so interested in technology, and the way they talk about technology AMAZING!, I would love my daughter to be part of this new era of students. The advantage of this type of learning is that schools do not have to invest a lot of money on buying expensive software, like the teacher mentined using the cloud or Web tools for free are simply great for school districts that do not have the funding.
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    Teach2Learn Series offers engaging ideas!
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    I liked the video a lot. The way the teacher planned the lesson allows students not only to choose the project they like the most, but also to choose the tools they feel are the best to complete the project. The students seemed to be on task all the time and collaborating so they all finish their project. It is truly inspiring.
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    Great video, Heather. It is an eye opener to all educators to what little children are capable of doing with the technology that is offered to them and the variety of technologies they can choose from.
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    That was a great video. I was really impressed how advanced the students were with the use of technology. I am a high school teacher so it is great to see how elementary teachers are getting the students engaged through the use of technology in the early years.
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    Cristina, you are correct. These type of lessons require a lot of preperation, but the outcome is fantastic. The students are engaged and collaborating, furthering the depth of knowledge for all.
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    Isabel, I am always amazed by how quickly young students learn to manipulate technology. Many times, I go in with only the basics and allow the students to teach me the "good stuff". They are so excited and can't wait to show off their final product.
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    Jessica, I am glad you were able to see first hand what children can accomplish in their elementary years. In my opinion, elementary is the best time to integrate technology, because the students are like little sponges. They learn so quickly and more importantly, they are motivated and engaged! As a high-school teacher, what would you like to see in term of technology knowledge from your entering students - Web 2.0 tools; Word; PowerPoint; etc.?
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    Thank you for sharing such an interesting video. I like how the teacher gives the students a variety of options for assignments. The students have more freedom when deciding what projects they want to do and with what resources they like. It seems like the learners would be more motivated to succeed when they have these choices. I also like how the teacher is able to integrate multiple subjects within a single project. The students aren't just learning technology, they're learning how to work with each other and develop collaboration skills that will be needed throughout their lives.
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    The Roman philosopher Senneca said that "While we teach, we learn." When students are able to create presentations and even games to explain a lesson or information to others, the creator in turn learns as well. To be able to properly teach a subject, we must first fully understand it. Using technology for this purpose ensures that the students properly understand the concept being taught to them.
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    Isabel, the Edutopia video was evident that teachers have to find innovative resources when resources are scarce. The students were engaged and enjoing the activity. The students were able to work and explain the steps of the projects to their teacher. They had some great ideas to use for future projects.
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    Christine, This brings you and what you are doing in your classroom with your students. Although they are in first grade, you have introduced different apps and programs for them to use. I wish all this was available when I taught, but even then I made use of all the actual software we had. Kid Pix, iMovie, MacDraw.... it is much easier now, with all the free software and apps out there. Teachers need to get excited about teaching, and incorporate one program or app at a time.
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    Loved the video. It shows that learning can be fun and that students are not just using the computer for games. I loved watching the students collaborating and helping each other out. They were even using technology terms to explain themselves. I would have loved to see their final product.
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    Nice, I really enjoyed this video..it gave me so many ideas to use with my students. Very dynamic and creative teacher, she's a great example in motivating students to learn by using interactive technology tools! After I watched this video I had to explore her website and visit some of her students' final products. She is very organized and uses web tools to the max! Thanks for sharing this with us
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    This was a very nice video. You can tell the students were engaged, and they were familiar with what they were doing. It shows very good examples of how students can collaborate and integrate technology in learning.
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    The issue at hand is finding applications that you can correlate to the TEKS you are teaching and having the computers available for your use.
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    Wow! There is so much I'm not using! All year I've thought about integrating a movie projec, but haven't been able to. . This video is definitely a motivator. The students in the video were so knowledgable. Those skills will be so useful throughout their academic career. There are so many free tool and I agree with the teacher in the video - it's an answer to cut backs and actually much more motivating for students!
Christine Claudio

An Introduction to Project-Based Learning | Edutopia | Diigo - 4 views

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    This is Gayle using Christine's account.... We all have learned the benefits of PBLs and have seen how they inegrate technology wonderfully, but in our test driven public schools, are they realistic? One speaker in the video says we have to forget about curriculum and explains that means we don't teach a certain thing on a certain day. He says students learn as they need to. Can we realistically do that? If so, how? Does our current system support project based learning?
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    Gayle, I think that when a PBL is used in the classroom one must consider what content will be taught or integrated through it. I listened to the video,but as an educator I know better. I cannot forget about the curriculum, but I can figure out ways to imbed it into my PBLs. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for the testing grades to find time to implement PBLs. I think that the beginning of the year or after testing would be the best times to try PBLs in the grade levels where time to teach the content is so critical before the test. However, I think that PBLs help children make real life connections, and they learn things in a way that it will stay with them forever.
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    Cora, I agree we can't forget about the curriculum, but like you, I think PBLs really help make those connections and there is real learning going on. After testing seems to be a great place for PBLs.
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    Problem Based Learning is integrated using all subjects to learn about a specific topic. You are applying research which requires reading and writing, analyzing your data in order to interpret or communicate your results. The students were engaged. One comment that one of the girls said was that their first wing was not that great, but went back and made the second wing better. They learned from their mistakes, which was just trial and error. In conclusion, I really liked that the students had to present in front of a real panel of experts of engineers to communicate their findings. It really holds students responsible to learn their material before presenting their data and findings.
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    I have seen it implemented in a school year round, and once teachers understand it, they can successfully implement it with the core objectives embedded as scaffodling activities. It has so many benefits, but the training must be thorough as what I was fortunate enough to experience. We cannot send ambassadors, who bring back info without exposing all teachers to the actual settings in real classrooms. So much information and experience is lost unless teachers see it first hand.
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    PBL are an excellent way to get our student's learning and thinking at a deeper level. Unlike a traditional assignment or practice test, the impact of learning may not be seen immediately, but I believe the learning is what I would refer to as "TRUE learning". For example, I can teach a lesson on plant and animal adaptations and give an assignment, in which all students do well, but does that mean that they truly understand adaptations and can make connections beyond what was taught? Is the information temporary or permanently stored? PBLs promote critical thinking which will allow students to begin thinking beyond what is being taught. I agree that teachers need proper guidance and support to properly implement, but it can be done.
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    I have tried to incorporate more PBLs into my lessons. I find sometime the PBLs take a lot longer to do and some of teh students do all the work while others just "come along for teh ride". I think the PBL is a great way to teach concepts it just seems that I run out of time to truely do the PBL justice.
Jessica Burnias

BYOD - 5 views

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    What do you think is BYOD good or bad for the classroom?
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    Due to our lack of funds or low funds; it seems like a good concept. However, many things would have to be worked out before something like this could be implemented. Like taking into consideration that working with different devices will be a challenge because some may not be compatible with certain software. If implemented appropriately BYOD could work.
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    With the appropriate Internet bandwidth, policies, web 2.0 tools and software, it can be done. But like Cora mentioned it is going to be a challenge to address all of the issues associated with so many plataforms being available to students. To get started, a definite must is bandwidth. Then moving forward in setting up a wireless access point that is locked.
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    My school has had a BYOD policy for the last year and a half. Well, actually they have had the students bring their own device but we really do not have a policy to go with it...yet. Many of our students bring their laptops and tablets to school but our network is HORRIBLE. The teachers can barely access the internet let alone the students. Our district says we will be getting a new network this summer (we will see), and then hopefully we can use more content on the internet. I love using what others have come up with and posted on the internet I just want to be able to get to it easily.
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    I agree with what you all are saying. In my school district they implemented the BYOD for our high school and 9th grade campus. The teachers received no type of training and were basically told when school started that we would be implementing it. We are having issues with internet access and supposedly our network is up to par. The teachers on our campus have mixed feelings because they feel alot of the students are just using their phone for texting or to get on social websites. Since students with phones can get on the internet without accessing the school's internet. The most importantly alot of teachers are having issues on how to use all these different devices. Since there are so many devices it is almost impossible to know how to use them all.
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    I think BOYD can be a good thing. It's not quite a good thing just yet. The district I am in created new guidelines for BYOD policies mid year last year. The reason I say it can be good thing is it's not really being implemented like I think the district thought it would. Even though we are well into the first year of the policy, students don't take advantage of it like they could. I do have a few students who bring a device almost daily to read from, but my own daughter, for instance, doesn't want to take hers out of fear of losing it. I think other share her fear; however, the fear the district had of students abusing the new BYOD policy never matierialized. In fact, it's as if less students bring devices now that they are allowed to than when it was against the rules. Figures. :)
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    I can definitely see BYOD as a possibility in the middle and high school setting, but as an elementary teacher, there would be more barriers than just network speeds and compatibility issues. Most elementary students wouldn't really have access to laptops, smartphones, or tablet computers. While they might be able to use these things at home, I doubt most parents would let their 9 year old bring the family $500 iPad to class everyday. Additionally, as others have said before, there would have to be a really solid policy put in place for the use of these devices to avoid the whole plan backfiring on educators. The internet can be a dangerous and scary place for those who don't know what they're doing as well as the obvious scenario of students just browsing facebook or something similar instead of completing an assignment.
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    Like many of you have pointed out, I too believe that there are lots of kinks that must be worked off before BYOD can be truly successful, but I also believe that the open-minded, willingness of the districts to integrate technology is a step in the right direction. Our district will be implementing BYOD and I am excited to see how it unfolds. I realize that teacher monitoring is crucial and planning will be key, but I think it will benefits the children in the long run,
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    I did not even know what BOYD was till I saw this video. It sounds pretty interesting. I believe that any teacher who is interested in technology will "buy" in to it. My only concern is what happens to those students who don't own any tech devices they can bring to school. At the school where I am at the students are from very low income families but then again somehow, someway they find money to own these things. Yet, there are parents who refuse to buy the expensive devises. What happens to those students?
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    I think that BYOD is a good thing, because the student is familiar with his/her technology device. Sometimes when I have to use the school laptops, they have different features that I need to ask questions. If I had brought my own laptop, I would have completed more work and been more comfortable using my own technology. I do agree with Juan, we do need appropriate Internet bandwidth, policies, web 2.0 tools, hardware/software in order to incorporate BYOD in your school.
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    I think BYOD is a great thing, however, it's not that easy to get all parents on board, and I think it's even more difficult to get other teachers on board. Even one technology device is difficult for teachers who are not technologically inclined to prodide assistance in, and having many different devices can be overwhelming for those teachers. The concept is right on, however, there are some issues that need to be addressed first like teacher training and getting parent "buy in."
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    BYOD has been implemented at our campus with the upper grades. The students enjoyed bringing their own device and were eager to share their favorite applications. The teachers were surprised to see how many students owned their own devices.
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    BYOD is great idea in implementing technology in the curriculum..I think that will motivate students to learn more..at my district they'll be implementing BYOD this coming year and I'm very excited about it. I know the students will be taught to use their own device but the right way. They will be more involved with classroom discussions and participate more, since it'll be done with their own device.
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    Bring Your Own Data! Excellent, we all know that students from nowadays are in touch with all kinds of electronic devices, and why not taking advantage of it. The good think about technology is that there are lots of applications or ways to incorporate such electronic devices in the classroom. I have used a couple of times cellphones to use them as clickers, and students are amazed they can do that, if we introduced students to such things they will naturally seek for more ways to incorporate learning with their own cellphones, ipods, ipads etc.
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    I would certainly do the BYOD if i did not have enough technology in my classroom. Students are really proud when they contribute and share their "toys" or devices. The pros are that they know the devices well,and will be able to download the apps needed, and navigate. Devices are usually the latest model, so we would have compatible devices, and we can learn a thing or two from them and have the troubleshooting down as well. The cons might be that we need to make sure we have permission slips with waivers for lost items, but at the same time, be sure we have a place to lock them up and keep them safe. HCISD has form that needs to be signed by parents. I know a fifth grade teacher who has implemented BYOD, and technology has become an interwoven tool that is used seamlessly. Students are not at the novelty stage clamoring to get to the tools, but deciding for themselves when they need to use to to research, or for reviewing objectives taught in class. It was a successful implementation.
Cristina Pintor

Blowing up the gradebook - 4 views

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    Researchers have found three consistent effects of using and emphasizing the importance of grades: 1. Grades tend to reduce students' interest in the learning itself. 2. Grades tend to reduce students' preference for challenging tasks. 3. Grades tend to reduce the quality of students' thinking
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    Will you be willing to blow up the gradebook and try this innovative way of grading student's performance in your class?
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    I am willing to blow up the grade book. This will require to lay a foundation of work that students will find interesting and that covers the requirements for the course. A lot of preparation needs to be done by the teacher ahead of time. It will be up the students to select their work and what final grade they want.
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    Sounds like PBL again. If the methodologies of teaching must change to teach and prepare students for our ever changing world, perhaps that is another thing that needs to change. In PBL we are using a standard based rubric, and we use a point system1-4. Teachers were quick to ask how they can convert these numbers to grades, but do we really need to? On the other hand, Juan is right, we need to be very well prepared, and have daily progress checks and be sure that a student masters the skills necessary. Either way the accountability of the teacher/guide is immense. I prefer PBL with all the 21st century skills to prepare them for real life.
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    Sometimes, I can see these effects in my own classroom. As STAAR approaches, we tend to increases the number of mini-marks (practice tests) that students take. Struggling students usually have the attitude of, "I failed last week, and I will probably fail again", whereas, high achieving students think, "AGAIN...I am so bored!". By focusing on the learning, I think children will be more enthusiastic and motivated to learn. In addition, I have seen how grades promote competition between students, which is not always beneficial. I appreciate how Ana referenced PBLs. PBLs are an excellent way to refocus our attention on the heart of the manner, which is student achievement!
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    I've been saying this for a long time now, and I all I've gotten thus far are weird looks. How do you like me now! I'm going to use this as a reference to support what I've been saying all along. And yes, it does look like a PBL model in the sense that we'd measure student achievement more individually. The problem is that we don't have buy in from from administration and colleagues, YET, which makes it difficult to get student buy in when not everyone is aboard. I like it very much, and yes, I would be willing to blow up my grade book.
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    I would love to do this BUT if the students are being judged on scores to get into college then I will have to give them scores. I teach juniors and seniors and they are all worried about their grades so they can get into college. Until the system changes I am goingot have to give grades. What is funny is my higher level students want grades. They are always asking about their grades and how they can bring up their grades. They associate school with grades and that is what is important to them. We as educators need to be associating learning with school not just grades. I think this is a great idea but I can not get rid of the gradebook yet. Here is to wishful thinking.
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    I'm with some of the others who commented - I would love this but..... I completely agree grades lead to a reduction in everything from interest (student and teacher) to quality of learning and teaching. It seems all the research in the world doesn't change the way students and teachers are assessed. Remember portfolio assessments? Portfolios assessed the learner as a whole and looked at growth over the year. Much like PBLs, as other mentioned, it measures student achievement individually. Like Albert said, there isn't buy in yet. We are a grade driven system. Students, parents. administrators, etc. associate success or failure with grades. I would love to blow up my grade book and focus on student growth!
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    I would love to blow up the grade book. Every week I am picking up 15 grades per week because I am self-contained and teach all subjects. Sometimes it is so overwhelming and time consuming. Although, it does measure whether or not the students are mastering the objectives. With grades we are constantly re-teaching objectives that students did not get in conference tutorials and keep on teaching new objectives. It feels like the teachers, students, administrators are so worried and stressed over grades, numbers, benchmark scores, and percentages for data. Especially with STAAR, we are so consumed over numbers!
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    I really like the idea of removing homework from class..but not grades though at least not completely. Maybe reduce the amount of grades we have to submit but not blow them up, otherwise all students would be passing. I think that instead of giving 100 questions for homework, students could get a home project; such as "record a video explaining step by step how to solve this particular problem" and then they'll have to learn it so they can teach it in the video. I agree, students learn with informal learning and video games, schools need to start providing this kind of school to modern kids. We shouldn't be teaching and grading to the test.
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    Wow, I am impressed! It sounds wonderful, but scary at the same time, just imagine: No homework, no deadlines, It is difficult for me because It is totally opposite to what I learned in my life, but I have to think times are changing and so does people, I am not saying it is easy and difficult for me, but also it is not impossible to try, specially if it will help our new students generations, I will be willing to try this new system of education.
Cora Mendez

Best content in EDTC6343 | Diigo - Groups - 5 views

    • Cora Mendez
       
      Ana you are right education needs to change. Teachers teach the way they were taught. That is so true.
    • Cora Mendez
       
      Hopefully everything we are learining helps us make small changes that help to change education.
    • Cora Mendez
       
      Very well put Ana. This is exactly how it is.
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    • Cora Mendez
       
      Good point Christine. When used appropriately, technology can enhance learning.
    • Cora Mendez
       
      If we set high expectations, they will meet them. They are very capable Albert.
    • Cora Mendez
       
      I know your are making a difference already Cesar. All we need is one person to get the ball rolling. You have already done that. Keep encouraging your coworkers.
Jessica Burnias

Reasons BYOD Technology in the Classroom Enhances Learning - 2 views

  •  
    Do you agree?
Christine Claudio

Why Teach with Project-Based Learning?: Providing Students With a Well-Rounded Classroo... - 7 views

  • Project learning is also an effective way to integrate technology into the curriculum. A typical project can easily accommodate computers and the Internet, as well as interactive whiteboards, global-positioning-system (GPS) devices, digital still cameras, video cameras, and associated editing equipment
    • Christine Claudio
       
      This is Gayle using Christine's account... Considering the above highlight from the article, have you successfully integrated PBLs into your classroom? If so, what technologies were used? What challenges, if any, did you or your students face?
    • Juan Betancourt
       
      Pbl can be incorporated at the end of the year to reinforce the items or lessons covered in the year, or short ones distributed on the year. The coverage of test teks take precedence during the year. This specially true in the core classes.
    • Edna Orozco
       
      I definitely agree that technology can be incorporated to the PBL, but not necessarily needed. Technology and PBL can be two independent things used to improve learning. I believe that using PBL at the beginning of the year would be more effective than at the end of the year because if you prepare your students throw out the whole year, they will get used to this technique, and why wouldn't you take advantage from the beginning instead of the end of the year.
    • Adam Hovde
       
      I really enjoy doing the few PBL units that I get to do. I find myself correcting misconceptions more often in PBL units. I like that the students get to come up with their own way of learning at times but it can frustrating at times correcting misconceptions. We have a school in the area that teaches solely with PBL. It is considered a magnet school and kids fight to get into the program. From the teachers I have talked to that have taught there they say the kids really enjoy PBL. They want a differnt kind of learning experience and PBL gives them what they are looking for.
    • April Canales-Perez
       
      Unfortunately I have yet to incorporate PBL lessons in my classroom. My campus uses C-scope as our curriculum. Some of the lessons do have students relating mathematical concepts in real world situations but I wouldn't necessarily call it PBL. Cscope has incorporated the use of laptops in a few lessons. Overall the experience was good except of course when the gremlins come out to play. The biggest problem my students ran into was repeatedly getting disconnected from the Internet. I don't think this problem will be solved until our district invests in better Internet connections. I can't show students videos in the classroom unless I look it up at home, let the whole video download, then I can play it at school. Just to give you an idea of how bad the Internet connection is, but we make the best of it :)
    • Lupita Sanchez
       
      Like April I too, have been unfortunately not able to incorporate PBL into my classroom. However, our campus network does not allow for all my 32 students to be online at the same time. I understand April's frustration. Yet, I would like to plan out how to implement PBL to my 7th graders; which will prepare them for 8th and high school
    • Dara Cepeda
       
      Yes I have incorporated 2 short PBL lessons. Students have used laptops to do their research and create a presentation, digital still cameras to record and document their findings and web 2.0 tool Glogster to present their project findings and possible solutions. I could see students were engaged collaborating by experimenting and creating new things. For example, one of the PBL was to find the formulas to create 9 colors out of three. They were eager surfing the internet, mixing paint, taking pictures of it and creating a Glogsters. That PBL took us about 2 weeks long (a bit longer than I expected) maybe because students had the opportunity to present their findings in front of the class by using Glogster. It was a fun experience, for the students and for me ofcourse. I can say they really enjoyed it and learned the formulas on their own.
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    Christine, I read the article I do believe that PBL engage learners and allow for students to be able to relate lessons to the real world. The other interesting point is that students will present their findings in different formats, which allows for more creativity. Unlike stating that everyone has to create a PowerPoint the students will find what suits their type of learning style. This is a very important fact that all students learn differently and this allows all types of learners to be engaged.
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    Hi Gayle, I am glad you where able to post. I know you have been having trouble. In regards to your response, I agree that PBL are an excellent way to build depth-of-knowledge. Thinking is a skill that I believe needs to be modeled and taught. Students do not come into my classroom knowing how to think. Often times, they want me to think for them. If I continue to do this, I am doing a disservice to my students. I have to step back, release control, and allow them to take charge of their learning and PBLs are a great way to do this!
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    I was fortunate to be able to visit the Metro School of Design, where they teach 100% PBL, and it was very impressive to walk into the classrooms to be met with an child "ambassador" who welcomed us, and asked us what we would like to know about PBL, and then took us to each group where the "project manager" explained all the protocols and what stage they were in, etc. What is impressive is that these children were so confident, and knew the process as well as the content of what they were working on. I have worked with PBL with my students, and it is frustrating when they stumble, or make mistakes as they are going through the research and establishing their "need to knows" and "workshops". Lots of progress monitoring comes into play, and although the misconception is that the teacher does nothing, the teacher has to have a solid plan to be able to have a successful PBL. We interviewed a panel of students, and one mentioned that they "once had a PBL that was not fun because we did not get to present to anyone, just us" so having them solve a real problem or present to a live audience is very important to them. I do believe PBLs are effective, but will take time to implement successfully. We should start with mini PBLs and work our way up.
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    In response to Gayle: I too, have stumbled when implementing PBLs. I gave students the option of using technology, and at least two groups in each class chose a video. Because our children do not have any foundation in technology, they had many "need to knows" which in turn called for "workshops". It is difficult to teach everything at once in a 45 minute session once a week. I know that in the classroom, it would be different. I suggest we limit the options to two manageable products, and if technology is involved, get another adult to help with "workshops", such as a technology teacher or the librarian. We used iPads, and created a simple video which we are going to share with Apple TV. I will bring this back and create the videos after the STAAR testing, and use them to present to students next year. Subject was "Bullying and Cyberbullying"
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    I agree with Juan on this one. It would be hard to try PBL during the school year with STAAR looming over our heads. As much fun as it could be, it would be hard to convince administrators that PBL can solve our problems. With that being said, I would like to try PBL once we get through with STAAR.
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    I believe in PBL, but I also strongly believe in buy in. It's hard to have students follow this model in a non-self contained classroom, because PBL requires giving students more independence and ownership of their learning. In most classrooms students have learned to be spoon fed, because we think it's more effective and PBL feels almost unorthodox to many teachers including the students.
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    PBL's is a good experience for kids to go through. At first when we started doing PBL's for our MTT classes I hated them and didn't understand them. Luckily I had a great partner,Heather Luna, to guide me through them and see how they would benifit the students in our classroom. PBL's help the students see what is really happening in the real world and that there is more to life than video games.
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    Problem-based learning takes a lot of teacher planning. I really enjoyed the PBL lessons we created in Dr. Butler's database. We were able to see other PBLs created by other students and take some ideas from there into the classroom. PBL is becoming more popular and more school districts are buying into it. Students can collaborate and learn from each other. Students can take responsibility for their own learning while researching and coming up with a final product/project.
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    Project based learning plays such a pivotal role in helping the students truly understand new concepts. When technology becomes integrated as well, even more becomes possible. I recently came across the Museum of Math in NYC and am hoping to visit it this summer. There they have all kinds of projects integrating technology to teach Mathematics in a concrete instead of just abstract manner.
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    Juan, unfortunately, the end of the year after testing seems like the more realistic place for PBLs. In Port Isabel we are required to use CScope and it leaves very, very little time for anything else. I do have students browse through the PBLs I created for another class even though they aren't actually doing the projects. I am looking forward to being able to actualy implement them. Edna, I think PBLs would be more effective at the beginning of the year. As you said, Students would become used to the technique; however, the problem I have is a curriculum that doesn't allow time for PBLs. Adam, I have had the same issues with misconceptions. It's a quite unnerving to let them lose, so to speak, and be in charge of their own learning when I know what I am responsible for them to know and have seen the misconceptions. I think PBLs are wonderful, but not when time is so limited and I must see to it that they learn a particular concept in a given amount of time. April, My PIISD uses CScope too and I completey understand the time constraints and limitations. I do like SCope, but it leaves NO extra time. Lupita, You're not alone. I sounds like most of us have had a hard time fitting PBLs in for one reason or another. Jessica, Presenting in different formats is one of the many positives of PBLs. I agree with you that this is an important point when considering learning styles. Isabel, I've not been able to implement the PBLs we created, but I've been able to share the content of them with my students. You're right in that they do take planning - as well as the ability to let go which I have not mastered yet! :) Brian, The Museum of Math sounds amazing. What a great opportunity. The ability to teach math concepts in a more concrete way instead of such an abstract manner is key.
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    Dara, That sounds awesome! You're one of the few who have been able to use PBLs. What a great use of technololgy. I am sure the students really learned from the experience and had fun in the process. What do you teach?
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    I have not had a chance to implement PBL lesson in my classroom. We are using the CSCOPE curriculum and we are asked to follow that sequence no matter what. I am waiting for after the end of course exams to have an opportunity to use a PBL lesson, although I personally think that PBL lesson will be more effective at the beginning of the year.
Edna Orozco

Games rewards and educational applications - 6 views

  • The popularity of video games is not the enemy of education, but rather a model for best teaching strategies. Games insert players at their achievable challenge level and reward player effort and practice with acknowledgement of incremental goal progress, not just final product
    • Lupita Sanchez
       
      Juan I agree with your statement on how video games is not the enemy of education. Video games IF used properly can assist students in an educational way. Video games as well as other techniques have been used to help students learn. However, as students use methods they are familiar with. As teachers we must challenge ourselves to learn in the same method to provides students real and authentic experiences. Very good statement.
    • Juan Betancourt
       
      Another point to make is that there are similarities between pbl and educational gaming, in both the students take ownership of their own learning. The difference is probably that the game would have to be more involving for both the teacher and the student. The concept of points or levels would be also more acceptable to students rather than a rubric (clam total in Whyville).
    • Dara Cepeda
       
      True, video games are not the enemies, they actually help the student to learn in an engaged and fun way. Students are used to video games. Their world is almost virtual and they know every little move when it comes to video games. Why not let them learn in their language? We, the teachers, should learn and explore this "new" methods of learning through video games. In fact we should create a video game at the end of a unit so students can review for the test. They would be more engaged in the learning.
    • Edna Orozco
       
      I've read about some games that I can use in math, 1) LURE OF THE LABYRINTH: LABYRINTH is funded by the U.S. Department of Education with a primary goal of enhancing pre-algebra mathematics learning, and a secondary goal of improving literacy. 2) MOLECULAR WORKBENCH provides interactive, visual simulations to aide in teaching simple and complex science concepts, such as dynamic molecular structures. 3) SIMCITY: the objective is to design and create a thriving, sustainable city. 4) STARLOGO: The programming possibilities are seemingly endless, and numerous teachers in math and science have created an array of applications with it.
    • Cristina Pintor
       
      When used properly, games are not enemies of education, on the other hand, they may enhance the lesson and provide opportunity to participate in challenges that at the end will improve students' mastery of the objectives.
  • n humans, the dopamine reward response that promotes pleasure and motivation also requires that they are aware that they solved a problem, figured out a puzzle, correctly answered a challenging question, or achieved the sequence of movements needed to play a song on the piano or swing a baseball bat to hit a home run. This is why students need to use what they learn in authentic ways that allow them to recognize their progress as clearly as they see it when playing video games.
  • The motivation to persevere is the brain seeking another surge of dopamine -- the fuel of intrinsic reinforcement.
  • ...7 more annotations...
  • When learners have opportunities to participate in learning challenges at their individualized achievable challenge level, their brains invest more effort to the task and are more responsive to feedback. Students working toward clear, desirable goals within their range of perceived achievable challenge, reach levels of engagement much like the focus and perseverance we see when they play their video games.
  • Gamers reportedly make errors 80% of the time, but the most compelling games give hints, cues, and other feedback so players' brains have enough expectation of dopamine reward to persevere.
  • The games require practice for the specific skills the player needs to master, without the off-putting requirement to repeat tasks already mastered.
  • One way to help each student sustain motivation and effort is to shift progress recognition to students themselves. This can be done by having students use a variety of methods of recording their own progress toward individualized goals. Through brief conferences, goals can be mutually agreed upon, such as number of pages read a week (with comprehension accountability), progression to the next level of the multiplication tables, or achievement of a higher level on a rubric for writing an essay.
  • I've found that for students who have lost confidence to the point of not wanting to risk more failure, it is helpful to start the effort-to-progress record keeping and graphing with something they enjoy, such as shooting foul shots or computer keyboarding speed and accuracy.
  • Compared to an adult brain, a young brain needs more frequent dopamine boosts to sustain effort, persevere through challenges and setbacks, and build the trait of resilience.
  • As students use visible models to recognize their incremental goal progress, they build the executive function of goal-directed behavior.
    • Isabel Cabrera
       
      How I incorporate games into my curriculum? Well for my 2nd graders I use Brain pop and Brain Pop Jr. to elaborate on my lessons and have them take turns (popsicle sticks) answering the questions on the online quizzes. They love it because they are engaged with the cartoon animated videos and at the same time reinforcing the objective that was just taught.
  •  
    How can you incorporate games to your curriculum? What are the rewards you could use? What are the results of lesson mastery and engagement when using games?
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    Definitely video games aren't the enemy, if anything, I think it's one of the greatest educational models that allows application, analyzing, and even synthesizing of skills. It makes peer tutoring possible, it allows participant take control of their learning, and is one of the greatest intrinsic motivators around. If anything, we should be jealous.
  •  
    Great article, and with the fact that "Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that, when released in higher than usual amounts, goes beyond the synapse and flows to other regions of the brain producing a powerful pleasure response" that alone is the motivator for our young children. I concur that a student is highly motivated with any and all video games, but as with everything else there are cons. An educator must progress monitor and individualize instruction, eventually teaching our students to monitor their own progress with their assignments and get that dopamine feeling for achieving those goals, as they do when they reaching certain stages in a game. I believe that video games are very popular, and definitely a motivator for any lesson. I incorporate the use of iPads to stimulate their learning by assigning research or having students listen to a video (in lieu of direct instruction) then follow directions to complete an assignment. The mere fact that they are taking the iPads and gravitating to their favorite place in the library on their own, is a strong motivator in itself. The results are that they are excited, and that assignments are completed fairly quickly. They are not "bored"
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    I myself am a life long gamer. I try and incorporate games into my lessons when I can. The hard part for students sometimes is when to put the game down and get on with the lesson at hand. Some students get fixated on a game and can not put it down and then their studies suffer. I would like ot learn more on how to insert more games into my lesson.
  •  
    I've read about some games that I can use in math, 1) LURE OF THE LABYRINTH: LABYRINTH is funded by the U.S. Department of Education with a primary goal of enhancing pre-algebra mathematics learning, and a secondary goal of improving literacy. 2) MOLECULAR WORKBENCH provides interactive, visual simulations to aide in teaching simple and complex science concepts, such as dynamic molecular structures. 3) SIMCITY: the objective is to design and create a thriving, sustainable city. 4) STARLOGO: The programming possibilities are seemingly endless, and numerous teachers in math and science have created an array of applications with it
  •  
    I have used some of the following games to enhance the lessons: 1. The Cisco Binary Game for them to practice in computer the translation between decimal numbers and binary. I'm currently holding a contest on who can get the top score to get some extra credit points. 2. The Cisco Packet Tracers is an interactive game in which they guide their character as he battles in cyberspace to get from destination a to b. 3. Whyville will be used the way we used it in class. Experiment with different games to earn clams. Ultimately the clam total will be the basis for their grade. 4. City One is game that shows how to sustain a city that faces different problems. 5. http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/games/ Site for elementary games. 6. Timez Attack a program for using addition, subtraction and division. 7. http://tux4kids.alioth.debian.org/index.php Typing, Math and Paint free programs for elementary and Jr. High kids. 8. Webonauts is a game that can be used for elementary and Jr. High students to introduce them to media literacy and citizenship
  •  
    One way I use gaming in my classroom is by using the program Study Island. This program incorporates games online with concepts my students are learning in the classroom.
  •  
    Juan, I would have to begin by saying that I am a firm believer in "playing to learning" and "learning by playing". Whether I incoporate a technology game or a traditional game, I am always "playing" in my classroom. I love to see my students get excited about learning and that is exactly what games do, they build excitement! The online games I utilize are endless, but here is a brief list: *internet4classrooms.com: a variety of games, lessons, and interactive white board activites for all grades levels. I usually allow the students to select a game of their choice that is related to the content being taught. *iknowthat.com: a variety of games. I assign a particular game and allow the students to play individually or in pairs. *mathplayground.com: great games and videos to reinforce math concepts *neok12.com: great list of science videos and games. I usually project the videos and then allow the students to participate in a corresponding game using the whiteboard. *mangahigh.com: great math site. The games are very engaing and provide the students with a challenge. *reflexmath.com: excellent way to build math fact fluency *spellingcity.com: an excellent source for practicing spelling words In closing, I would have to say, that my students really love the "Fling the Teacher Games", so I frequently search for them online and use the whiteboard to play them in the classroom.
  •  
    On the subject of traditional games, this past semester I created some bingo (chalupa, loteria) playing cards to introduce computer parts to the students. They loved it and were really entertained by it.
  •  
    Games can be a great resource to education. What is the best though is when AAA publishers get involved. The Valve game company recently put out an educational version of its popular Portal game. Making the game itself free to teachers and students along with tool to create new puzzles to teach math and physics concepts. www.teachwithportals.com
  •  
    Think Through Math is one site I use for indivual games. My students really enjoy Hooda Math and I use Brainpop's game for the whole class. I can definitely see the instrinsic reward system going on. They want to do well to "win", they're having fun and learning in the process. Some of the sites the District subscribes to (Stemscopes, ICORE, Think Through Math) track student mastery. I am able to set up lessons that include instruction as well as games and set a mastery level that must be met before going on to the next level. This is a great help. Regarding traditional games - bingo is still a big hit and a great way to reinforce multiplication, division, vocabulary, etc.
  •  
    How can you apply the gaming concepts to your curriculum? Can you reinforce or make the lesson completely a game? What about grading the results of playing an educational game? What options are there out there for you that you can apply today? What have been the results in student involvement and engagement?
  •  
    Thanks everybody for sharing such great websites. I will start using some of them with my students.
albert rodriguez

Cadre 1 The Digital Classroom - 10 views

  •  
    HCISD moved into the 21st century and created 20 digital classroom throughout the Harlingen School District and is looking at adding 65 more in 2013-2014. Question: Is this the answer for classrooms in the 21st century?
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    Yes! HCISD is setting the expections and following through with supporting and implementing Cadre 1 with 21 Century equipment. They are providing the resources and setting guidelines for a successful program.
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    This is a great help to other districts to see how Harlingen is using technology. Hopefully it can inspire others by your success. Do you think you could add links to the apps you are using into the description of the video?
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    Brian, in my class the students were using a Camtasia edited youtube video from School House Rock linked on Edmodo with a quiz, but aside from that, I'm not sure what the other teachers were using. I know another group of students were using Edmodo as well, but the math app where they were working on triangles of some sort, I really don't know. I'll ask the district's instructional technologist, she would probably know and I'll get back to you.
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    The goal of the 21st Century classroom should be to seamless integrate technology in the classroom to enhance and promote learning. You are certainly in the right path. Support ant training would be the next items to get in line to keep the technology working properly, and continue enhancing you lessons.
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    I wish my district would do something like this. We are on an IPAD for every student push right now but we are not producing lessons to go with the IPADs. I really like what you guys are doing in HCISD. Good Job!
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    Albert, Wow!!! That was an awesome video showcasing how technology can be used in the classroom. In regards, to your questions! I truly believe that Harlingen has taken the right path to prepare students for the real world.
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    Albert that is fantastic! I am sure that most teachers and students are very excited. In regards to your question, I would have to say yes and no. The creation of digital classrooms is definatley a step in the right directions, but it goes deeper. Teachers need to receive the proper training and then there needs to be some accountability (PDAS, etc.) to ensure that technology is being used to enhance instruction. I was recently in a meeting, where a veteran teacher continually pointed out the negatives in regards to technology: students are off task, distracted, not listening, not producing, etc. With this attitude, I believe that no matter how "digital" his classroom is, he will probably never take full advantage. I guess what I am trying to say is, the equipment is a huge step, but teacher "buy-in" can make or break the long-term success of the initiative.
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    Absolutely, Heather. There are so many teachers that are resistant to technology, just like there are many who aren't but are in need of the know how. That's why it's very important for us to model, support, and encourage those who can't to do, and those who don't to want.
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    Albert, I totaly agree. We have a big job ahead of us, but I am EXCITED to be part of it! Together we can all make a difference.
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    This is really great, HCISD is on their way to incorporating technology in the classroom. The students were really engaged and excited about learning using their IPADS. At my daughter's school they use the Edmoto to communicate with the teacher and parents and she is only in 3rd grade. The teachers are also creating tutorial videos on objectives using You Tube and the students can go into the district website to view them. I think schools are taking a leap into the technology and having the students use it more for their learning.
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    I really like the way HCISD is implementing technology tools and the "Layers of Learning" training, where administrators, principals, then librarians, and then teachers who were selected as the Digital Classrooms, are being trained, and will continue the layering until everyone is trained. Having administration understand the plan well is important. There is less of a chance that someone will have a gap of learning, and not implement the Technology initiative well. HCISD has thought this out well. In addition an elementary, middle school, and high school PBL Executive team was selected and trained through the summer. Now anyone who is a digital classroom teacher will go through that training. The tools, including mounted projectors with audio microphones, are not just placed in a classroom without the proper training. It is very exciting.
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    I agree with Ana regarding training and adminstrative support. I believe this IS the answer for the 21 century classroom.This is the direction we need to be moving or we and our students will be left behind, but with so many teachers apprehensive about using technology in their lessons, success of the digital classroom will require and abundance of on going training and support. Reading the description of Isable's daughter's classroom is wonderful!
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    Wow!!! Yes definitely, digital classrooms are the answer to the 21st century. We live in a digital world, kids are learning in a more interactive way. It's awesome to see when educators and administrators are open minded and are not afraid of using technology for the 21st century. It is true, allowing the students to use their own technology it teaches them to be responsible, to have a digital citizenship. Ofcourse all teachers have to be trained in order to implement these tools, a school doesn't transform into a digital school from one day to the other, it takes time and it's awesome to see Harlingen ISD is doing that. Adding more digital classrooms every year. Thanks for sharing video with us Albert!
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    I agree with Dara that teachers must be trained properly on the use the technology and how to implement Web 2.0 tools. Sometimes the trainings provided are to vague and are not enough to get the teachers comfortable in using the technology or software. Teachers need to be provided with the proper training in order to be able to teach the students how to use the technology.
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    I agree with technology in the classroom, I studied engineering, and it really makes a difference when you have hands on activities, and when you do research, or when you are working with a software that is relevant to what you are learning. The only question that I have is, why do they only offer these types of technologies to academies ? or to a few students at schools, why not having offer this learning in all classrooms at the school. I also believe that technology or this type of classrooms by themselves are nothing, there has to be a well trained teacher that is willing to work this way, instead of the traditional way teaching.
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    Great stuff Albert! Seems like HCISD is doing great things with technology in the classroom. I was wondering how much technology does the district provide and how much do the students bring into the class? How do you all monitor what the students can see when they bring their own device?
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    Albert sounds like Harlingen is doing some great things with technology. I would have to say that technology is a big part of the 21st century. If teachers and students are trained and educated properly, technology will motivate, inspire, and create critical thinkers.
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    Cesar you have some great questions that I would like to know the answers to myself.
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    Edna, in regards to your question. HCISD began a program called Cadre 1 where they would convert 20 classrooms throughout the district to digital classroom by giving those classroom teachers a cart with 11 IPads and headphones, 1 MacBook, an Apple TV, $50 worth of apps, and all the support necessary from a team of collaborating teachers, administrators, and even an instructional technologist. A few months in, they upgraded us to 22 ipads for those digital classrooms. Last Friday was the deadline for teachers to submit their applications for Cadre 2 next year where HCISD will be adding 64 more digital classrooms, and if I'm not mistaking, there will be 120 classrooms added in the 2014-2015 school year. This is where we are headed, and the success of the digital classrooms depends on consistently incorporating technology in our everyday routine. It's a new step, but it has made a world of difference in our classrooms with our students. Besides, it goes hand-in-hand with what we've been learning the last year and a half in the program.
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    In addition to all that HCISD is doing, all the Library Media Specialists were sent to Project Based Learning as well as technology training which we have as part of our annual training. This year we attended TCEA and brought back many new apps and ideas to implement in our classrooms. We are part of the layers of learning to help support our campus teachers. The Cadre I and II digital classrooms are well supported on their campus and by the district Technology department and technicians on campus, instructional technologist, Library Director and Library Media Specialists. I know a 5th grade teacher who teaches Math and Science at Stuart Elementary who has implemented the B.Y.O.D. initiative in her classroom. She used the district form ( found on our website) to send to her parents, and students are bringing in tablets, smart phones, and any other device that accesses the internet. The devices supplement the lesson which is standard based or driven, and the teacher facilitates the learning, and monitors their use. Many times students decide when they need the devices during the lesson, or how they will use them to share with the classroom. This teacher is now ready to apply for the digital classroom, and understands that the devices still supplement a well planned Standard based lesson, and that she must facilitate and progress monitoring daily. Cesar, the district has a strong firewall, and certain websites are blocked, but the teacher uses her username and password to get through the firewall if he or she deems the website appropriate. Teachers get 30 minute time increments. Most everything that students need is available to them. Anytime an inappropriate breach happens, the technician is alerted and will come to the classroom to let the teacher know. In this particular classroom, Edmodo is used as well as other district software for Math and Science. Another idea on the use of iPads: For poetry, I used my iPads to introduce Poems, and gave studen
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    Very interesting that your district has the ipads. The students are very engaged. They seem to enjoy all the technology being used in the classroom. I feel BISD needs to take a lesson from your district and start implementing ipads and more technology in the classroom.
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    I am very impressed Albert! It is nice to see that you are getting the technology and training from your district. Students are enjoying this new way of learning and I have no doubt that the use of technology will improve the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century. I personally think that we should be teaching students to use technological tools in order for them to be productive and to accomplish their future goals.
Heather Luna

From Distraction to Engagement: Wireless Devices in the Classroom (EDUCAUSE Quarterly) ... - 6 views

    • Heather Luna
       
      As a teacher, I see first hand how technology has offered endless opportunities for engagement. I think the issue may stem from the actual method of integration as opposed to the use of technology itself. 
    • Isabel Cabrera
       
      I see technology as an engagement when it is used properly and the students have a task at hand. It becomes a distraction when the student is not engaged or just trying to test you. As a teacher, you must have frequent monitoring and walking around the room. I've seen it at the high school level, you must first lay down the rules and consequences to the proper use of technology. The students need to understand that it is a privilege to use this technology to enhance their learning and if they choose to abuse it, then there will be consequences to their actions. I believe there is a time and place to incorporate technology into your lessons.
    • Edna Orozco
       
      It is true that having electronic devices can tend to distract students, but we as educators need to be responsible and take over our class, It will take more energy and effort but the outcome can be positive. It is the same with the PBL, it takes more planning and time to prepare for such lesson, but research has proven that it works, therefore we need to put more effort in using such electronic devices, but keeping in mind that we will have to be in control of our students and class.
    • Heather Luna
       
      I think Mazur said it best, technology doesn't provide any more distractions than a classroom window! 
    • April Canales-Perez
       
      This is so true. Technology will become a distraction if a teacher allows it to become one. Meaning using technology comes with a lot of planning. If you decide to use technology from one day to the next without really thinking or brainstorming about it then the lesson and the integration of technology will not go well. This will lead to technology becoming a distraction. You must have a very detailed plan of how you will integrate technology into the lesson and what expectations you will have for your students. With expectations students will know exactly what is being asked from them in order to get the assignment done.
    • Heather Luna
       
      As educators, we are responsible for taking advantage of every opportunity present, including those we may not necessarily be comfortable with.
    • Edna Orozco
       
      I agree with you, and I belive that the first step we need to take is to change our attitude towards technology. We need to understand that new generations are evolving towards the use of electronic devices such as tablets, touch phones, computers, ipads, etc etc. we need to evolve with them. The second step we need to do is to educate ourselves in effective applications towards technology
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    The technology "buy-in" has been difficult, because not everyone can see the long-term benefits, some educators view technology as engagement, while others view it as a distraction.
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    Distraction? I hope that by that they don't mean that technology is taking away the attention from the teacher-centered-classroom teacher while focusing on student interaction, and there being confusion about that. I think boring teachers are a distraction -- to education.
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    I think alot of the "distraction" mentality comes from the traditional teaching where the teacher was the guru and taught direct instruction. The 21st century learner and the innovative tools that they have at their disposal has changed our world, and consequently how we all learn and teach. It is definitely a tool which places a massive amount of information at our student's fingertips. We just need to remember that they still need the foundation of how and what to select as appropriate information. I am so "for" technology devices, but am concerned with the responsiblity that has been dropped on our laps, that of teaching digital etiquette, safety on the internet, etc.
Christine Claudio

An Introduction to Project-Based Learning | Edutopia | Diigo - 0 views

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