Friday, August 30, 2013

Who Will Be My Hero?

This video was produced by students from Waxahachie Independent School District, TX, and the questions it asks are ones for teachers to consider. Thought I would share it with you for reactions.

The video was released just 4 days ago on YouTube and has had over 4,700 views as of today.

Your Digital Footprint Walks with You

This video, Digital Dossier, has circulated for a while, and I often show it in class, encouraging the teachers in my graduate classes to use it with students, if appropriate, and to consider their own digital footprint.

What's your reaction to the video? Would you share it with students? Does the video make you reconsider what you share online?

The Ten Most Popular Teaching Tools Being Used this Year

Edudemic, a popular media outlet for news about tech in the classroom, just published a post "The 10 Most Popular Teaching Tools Being Used This Year." As you reflect on the year ahead and read the description of each, which do you plan to use and which might you consider? What are your reasons? This post might be worth bookmarking for reference to discuss with other educators as you engage in conversations with them about what tech tools they find the most helpful for their professional work and teaching.

Note the caption under the story's feature picture reminds us of how much the educational professional has changed over time. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Art of Storytelling

I just found this great site sponsored by the Delaware Art Museum that connects storytelling with art. There are a variety of ways to use the site, so check it out for yourself and explore around. Tell us what you find that looks of interest. Don't want to spoil it by telling you too much in advance. I have screen captured the page with a link to the site, acknowledging the image source that way. Click on the picture to visit the site.

Watch Your 2-D Drawing Come to Life

This is a fun activity for anyone of any age. Draw a picture using colored pencils, crayons, or any writing tool. Download the colAR app (free from Apple for the iPad). Then open the App on your iPad, and hold the iPad above the drawing as you would when taking a picture. Watch this demo to see how the App makes the picture come to life in 3-D. Can you see how you might use the ColAR app in the classroom to excite students, motivate discussion, andstimulate story telling?

Check this post below to see one way the App was used in a literacy unit of study.

Dot Day Fun! Watch Your Dot Come to Life in Amazing 3D in the colAR App

Been hearing lots of good things from teachers who have tried the App with their students. What are your thoughts about possible uses?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Every Teacher Needs a Sense of Humor

Some years ago, the saying, "Said No Teacher Ever Said," got popularized. Recently, another video using this phrase was made, with lots of irony and satire. I discussed the video (online via Twitter) with another teacher, and we wondered together if it was worth showing to teachers in my class this semester. Well, here it is, and you can decide for yourself. Perhaps you've already seen it. Let me know what you think, and I can send feedback to my colleague who was curious about how teachers in a graduate course would react. There's also the possibility you have already seen it; the video had over 360,000 hits on YouTube as of today, August 27, 2013.

Never Underestimate the Power of Social Media

I was taking a break from my usual fall prep for classes, and shifted over to Facebook. It was when I came across this story which went viral that I decided to take a look. This is one story I will never forget, and the response to it demonstrates once again the power and value of social media to share life stories.

To see the video of "Photo of Wife Carrying Marine Husband--Goes Viral, "click on the image below or the play button in the first embedded video. I have also embedded a version from YouTube in the event that you have trouble accessing the story from the WFSB site.

WFSB 3 Connecticut

If the video does not load for you from WFSB 3, here's an embedded version found on YouTube.

What's your reaction to the video and the voice of social media?

Friday, August 23, 2013

First Weeks of School
Lots of teachers and educators have been sharing ideas for the first days and weeks back to school. Here are some.
  1. Beginning the School Year, "It's About Connections, Not Content," written by Jackie Gerstein, offers lots of neat creative ideas to point the focus on the students and them connecting with one another. I love her suggestions. Do you?
  2. Live Binder is an online tool for collecting resources in folders for easy accessibility. In this Live Binder, "First Five Days," assembled by talented teacher Joy Kirr, you'll find a bundle of ideas. To use the Binder, note tabs across the top; each opens a binder with resources. 
  3. "You Only Get One First Day of School" despite its title offers tips for the first few days. 
  4. Erin Olson's blog post "First Day, First Week" offers several ways to greet students the first few days. 
  5. Katrina Schwartz's "10 Ideas to Get those Back-to-School Juices Flowing" is not just for the first dew days but for any time of the year.  Each heading is a hyperlink to access additional ideas. For instance, the heading "Why Read Reading Aloud"  leads to details about this strategy.
  6. "How to Tackle Digital Citizenship During the First Five Days" helps with developing school climate and classroom atmosphere for tech use and in general. 
  7. The "Brave" video is an excellent discussion starter, especially for students in upper grades. 
  8. First Five Days video produced at Alan November's Building Learning Communities is embedded here.
  9. "
  10. School Year Hopes" is another post about setting a positive classroom climate. 
  11. "A Must Watch Back to School Video Guide" showcases eight videos, both for teachers and students.
  12. One of my favorite teacher blogs for finding ideas to implement in the classroom, especially at the elementary school level, is Pernille Ripp's Blogging in the Fourth Dimension. Just recently, she posted: "Small Reading Ideas," with lots of small ideas but really they are big ideas with lots of potential to add to your classroom and students' interest in reading.
Looking for more places to find additional ideas, use this hashtag to search on Twitter, and check the feed over the next few weeks for ideas. #1st5days Twitter remains an excellent way to keep current and spread your wings for professional development and forming a personal learning network (PLN). Here is a screen capture of some tweets found on #1st5 days.

Don't forget to share your own ideas for the opening of school and getting to know students and parents, and to let us know which ones of the ideas explored above appeal to you.