Monday, November 26, 2012

Why Recess is Important

Here is a Prezi created by SEDU 183 students who were tasked to research a 21st Century issue surrounding technology, teaching, or learning. This group jumped outside the box to discuss how we shouldn't loose sight of play and recess in the quest to digitize education. Enjoy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Spread the News: The Teaching Channel is Amazing!

I am very excited to feature a great web resource to you. My wife found out about this when she was looking for resources for a faculty meeting. The Teaching Channel is a compendium of comprehensive and growing videos that are easily organized, saved, shared, and soon to be downloadable. Moreover, the videos are focused on Common Core and Best Practices. 

Here are the categories delineated by subject, grades, and topic. Notice the 140 videos all relating to the Common Core integrations. 

Not to mention they have some really teacher friendly tools like the Workspace. Here teacher, administrators, and coaches can schedule videos, save links, and connect to other educators. 

Overall the site is very easy to manipulate and maneuver. Check it out: The Teaching Channel

Communication and Collaboration with Google Forms

I do not know why this took me so long to make this connection, but in time all things seem to come together. As a university supervisor with 19 field and student teachers spread across a wide variety of rural, suburban, and metropolitan placements, I am always looking for ways to facilitate communication and collaboration between all stakeholders. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

KidsBlog: A Great Place to Start

Kidblog is a creation for teachers by teachers. An Edinboro University student Chris LaFuria is integrating blogging into his student teaching experiences for his students. His cooperating teacher, Ms. Barbara Beebe and the Language Arts department showed an interest in blogging and Chris took the lead by discovering KidBlog and working into his practice. 

KidBlog is absolutely FREE! This is a great selling point, but FREE junk is still junk. KidBlog is not junk. It is a powerful blogging platform that features an intuitive student publishing interface, full privacy settings, IPad App publishing, secure SSL logins, and much more. An advanced feature, also free, is the ability to embed Web 2.0 tools like Prezi, Animoto, and Glogster. The downside is the 500 mb of upload space, but that can be easily overcame through outside file sharing programs like Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive

KidBlog is a great resource for teachers in districts which do not currently have classroom management systems that allow for student blogging and file sharing. KidBlog really sells the safety and control aspect that is so important to teachers especially teachers whose immersion into technology may just be above their ankles. The platform, I believe is Wordpress, and that makes it easy to navigate, publish, and manage student blogs. 

I like the "Blog" page. Here real teachers using the program in their classrooms share ideas and successes. It would be nicer if these were archived in a sidebar. It would make it easier for explorers to find quick associations with teacher of similar stories. The posts contain videos and pictures that really help to tell the story. Check out 1st grade teacher Karen Lirenman's post by clicking on the picture to the right.

"Over a million K-12 students have a voice at KidBlog. . . Set up your class for free in 20 seconds." Is a nice opening and selling point.  The banner at the bottom suggest well of 2 million blogging students. That is exciting to see and know. 

The support is strong within the website and on YouTube which has several tutorial videos to help teacher bridge the digital divide. Below is a great video created in 2010 which suggests KidBlog is making a lasting impression. This video features Katie, a KidBlog blogger sharing her own story with the program.  

After Chris has a chance to really get deep into his experience with his students, I will interview his, maybe his students, and link it to this post. 

Blogging in the Classroom

Today I am presenting at Corry Middle in Corry, Pennsylvania  to the Language Arts Departments on blogging in the classroom. They have already decided to blog inside their classrooms, but felt they needed a little guidance in creating a purpose and plan. I am using this Google presentation to guide our discussion, share some examples of teacher and student blogs, and invite them to a shared network folder on The Box where I have and they can share resources.

 I invite the teachers to visit this post and leave feedback on the presentation and information provided. I will follow up with this post after the presentation.

The Follow Up

What an excited group of educators. As a department, they are excited about bringing the publication aspect to their students. We discussed various strategies of managing student blogs vs. a classroom blog. I shared my own experiences using Blogger and a few the need to establish a concrete framework of routines and expectations. I also stressed that when they were ready to publish student work or have students generate their own blogs the importance of building an established audience of peers for each students. For more on this check out my post on How I Manage Blogger post.

SIde note: I was impressed with my two student teachers who were already deep in research and study on Blogger - good job Missy - and Kidsblog - good job Chris. At Chris' cajoling, I check out Kidsblog and think it is great. Check out my post on Kidsblog.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to come to your school and share ideas. Thanks for being risk takers and seeking discomfort for our students. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Do You Know Erie?

This is a video update to the original "Did you Know Erie?" created in 2008 by Jeff Hutchinson and supported by the GE Foundation. This update serves as a reminder of the continued need for awareness surrounding inequity in our schools, poverty in our community, disparity between races, and local funding of education. 

This video was created for the open panel discussion "The Effects of Educational Inequality on Our Community: It's Time to Stand Up for Our Children" which was sponsored by the Secondary Education Club, the Department of Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education, and the School of Education here at Edinboro University.

Feel free to comment, but keep in mind this was created with the intention of awareness and this is not a platform for vitriolic discussions. 

Thank you for your considerations - good people do good things. Be good.