I am currently working with pre-service students attending Sterling College as well as facilitating the “Technology in the Classroom” course online. In trying to explain what a 21st Century Classroom and Technology Integration should look like I wanted to show off the power of my PLN. Therefore, I ask that my PLN members and blog post readers respond to this Voicethread. Besides defining a classroom environment, this project allows me to introduce them to PLN, social media, and Web 2.0 tools.
In all, please take a minute or two and share your vision of what a 21st Century Classroom and Technology Integration looks like. Thanks to all that contribute!
On December 16th, 2011, ALTEC will be offering a Mini-Conference focusing on Mobile Learning in the Classroom. Educators will be participating in professional learning, networking and conversations courtesy of the University of Kansas School of Education. Participants will collaborate with the K-12 community in sharing “what works” for Mobile Learning in the Classroom.
For those attending or interesting in learning about each session offered checkout the program. Participants Tweeting throughout the day will be using the hashtag of #mlearningku. Those interested in learning of resources, conversations, and apps shared during the mini conference review the following Cover It Live session. Please feel free to ask questions via the live blog resource.
Why do folks feel that sites like Twitter, Plurk, and other social media tools that limit the number of characters improves writing? Well, it is a direct result of folks being required to select the most appropriate words to make their point understandable all while providing a picture of their mindset, resource being shared, or philosophical question at hand. This Vimeo video from Column Five took one minute forty-two seconds to accomplish this same goal by providing detailed insight into the benefits of visual infographics. I encourage everyone to watch this video and ponder the following question.
What benefits are provided by visualizing data to our students of today?
As an educator, I am always asking, “How can I improve myself?” as well as “What successful methods are out there and can be applied to education?” In searching for answers, I read Jim Collins’ book Good to Great as part of an administrator’s book share. I highly recommend this as an excellent resource for those looking to find methods used in the business world in taking the next step and being successful in the business world. Here is a quote from Amazon as part of their book description:
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:
Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.
The Hedgehog Concept: (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.
A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.
The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.
In reflecting upon this book I began thinking of two amazing ladies and their passion to succeed all while providing educators the opportunity to share, collaborate, and permit students to create. These two ladies are Tina Schneider and Barbara Tallent of LiveBinders. Tina and Barbara are always listening to their users and communicating with educators globally on what enhancements would best suite classroom needs. In using LiveBinders for the past two years I have seen it grow and improve by leaps and bounds. In this post I will provide some insight ito those improvements which exemplify the progress of Tina and Barabara’s path from “Good to Greatness”.
In the following screencast I will be walking you through three of the newest enhancements to LiveBinders. Those enhancements focus on the creation of a book shelf, subtab imagery, and an extremely powerful text editor.
As mentioned in the video, you can establish your own “Favorites shelf” to store those binders created by other great minds. However, I did not demonstrate the process in adding binders to your new shelf. The following two images will illustrate the process of adding binders. In this first illustration, you will look for the “Options” button located below the binder image and details. Now click on the red down arrow. Next locate the “Add to Shelf” option. Once this link is selected users will be asked to select the appropriate shelf for assignment.
As for the second illustration, this is the process for adding a binder to a shelf while it is open for viewing. With a binder open look in the lower left hand corner. Along the bottom, going left to right, find “Add to Shelf”. Click on it and select the appropriate shelf for the current binder within the new window. There you go, two methods of adding a different users LiveBinder to your own shelf for future reference.
In all, educators should always be looking to improve themselves regardless of receiving raises, being honored by other educators or organizations. After all are we not here for the students? I challenge each and everyone of you to set a goal of moving from “Good to Great!”
As many of you know I am a dedicated user of LiveBinders. Tina and Barbara have done an excellent job of listening to their users in making enhancements to this web 2.0 tool. Their most recent update allows for users to embed their entire bookshelf on their own site while maintaining interactivity. Here is the released information pertaining to this new enhancement.
Add Your Public Shelf to Your Blog
April 18, 2011
You can now add your public binder shelf to your blog or website. It will look something like this (but it actually be live if your blog is hosted on something other than WordPress):
Unfortunately WordPress hosted blogs (like this one) will not allow iframes, so you cannot use this feature. If you are running the WordPress software, you can implement this feature through a plug-in.
For Blogger, and other websites and wikis that accept iframes, go to your “My Binders” shelf and just cut and paste the embed code that you will find there on the right side:
Then select the embed code and copy and paste it into your blog or website:
For those of you who are a little more advanced, you can customize the embed code to have a different number of rows and columns. To do this, please see the Tips and Tricks binder under tab #4 “Embedding Binders” and the subtab “Customizing the Shelf Embed Code”.
Here is a collection of additional LiveBinder resources that may assist you in creating your very own 3-ring binder.
Do you write like Edgar Allen Poe? How about William Shakespeare or even Sojourner Truth? Have you ever wanted to have your writing analyzed to determine who you compare with among the greats? Honestly, I do not write like any of them. However, according to “I Write Like“, I do write like Cory Doctorow. This site is a very simple one to use. All you have to do is type in a couple of paragraphs or even copy and paste in your blog post, poem, thesis, or a chapter from a book. Upon placing the writing within the text box, go to the bottom of the page and click on the “Analyze” button. Wait, “”Analyze”? Is this not part of Bloom’s Taxonomy and higher-order thinking? Anyhow, after the site determines which writer you reflect, a page will appear with a badge displaying the famous author (as displayed below). Then, by clicking on the badge displaying the author, it will take you to a different site providing you background information on that author.
One of the greatest things about Discovery Education and the DEN is our family of STAR educators amongst several different PLNs. We all know the power of our PLNs when it comes to support, advice, and sharing. It was about a week ago I learned of an interactive search site that automatically creates a media presentation for you based on the topic being researched. This new Web 2.0 site is known as Qwiki. In trying to determine a great way to explain this site I read through their About Us and came across this quote as part of their description.
We’ve all seen science fiction films (or read novels) where computers are able to collect data on behalf of humans, and present the most important details. This is our goal at Qwiki – to advance information technology to the point it acts human.
Here is Qwiki’s introduction video from their Tech Crunch presentation posted on Vimeo.
In exploring the main page of their site you will see a search window at the top of the page. If you are not sure about a topic to search, consider exploring the “Featured Qwiki categories” consisting of Daily, Monuments, Natural Wonders, Animals and Historical Figures. Honestly, this may be a great first approach to learning how this site operates. Upon selecting a featured category you will have a variety of images to select from in performing a search. Once you click on an image it compiles and starts playing the informative presentation. An additional feature that makes this site stand out is how text appears just below the visual images that serves as closed captions for the audio stream of information included in the media presentation.
In all, I was quite pleased with the speed of the site to identify resources as well as creating a flash based media presentation that included audio descripton along with still photographs. The results page will provide you a variety of addtional resources as well as links to share your search via socialnetwork options along with links to YouTube, Wikipedia, Google, and Fotopedia (an awesome collaborative photo encyclopedia website in it’s own right).
In all, I am very impressed with Qwiki’s functionality, simplicity and speed from the time a term is provided in the search box to compiling resources to end result of flash based media presenation being displayed.
Knowing this month is Black History month and being a baseball fan I decided to provide a sample of Qwiki’s media search for Negro League Baseball. Here is what Qwiki immediately created for my viewing upon search completion.
Additional resources that can be incorporated into the classroom to accompany this short video presentation comes from the web as well. Educators can visit the Negro Leagues Baseball eMuseum and find teacher resources, library research, as well as other historical facts about those amazing men that competed daily in America’s sport.
In this world of social networking, educators are trying to find methods of engaging students while providing opportunities for creativity and collaboration. Welcome Edmodo to the realm of educational social networking. Many educators are currently using Edmodo (numbers increase each day) to provide opportunities to allow for collaboration that connects students at school with their peers or students globally as well as resource sharing all while learning how to be safe on the Internet, and write/speak clearly with.
Edmodo does provide numerous features along with resource sharing and collaboration. A few of those features include:
Assignments accessibility to download or turn-in
View certain grades
But the newest feature of all is exactly why Edmodo is putting their stamp on social networking in education. That feature is the ability for parents to participate in Edmodo too. Educators for years have been encouraging parents to be involved in their child’s education while taking an active role. Well, Edmodo is taking the opportunity to the parents by providing codes for the parents to use in creating accounts and participating in this world of social networking and digital citizenship. To learn more about sharing Edmodo’s registration process with your parents watch this tutorial video created by Joe Virant. He demonstrates where to find the code as well as creating a mail merge process for mass creation of parent letter.
If you are not familiar with Edmodo please visit their site by clicking on the name links or via url of www.edmodo.com. Be sure to watch the video of my great friend @MrsSmoke in Andover, Kansas via the sites front page. “Mrs. Smoke” will explain how it is used in her classroom along with other classes across the Andover School District.
In reviewing messages on TweetDeck I came across one that mentioned a blog review written on Jeff Thomas’ Tech the Plunge site. Jeff was providing screenshots along with explainations to create a montage using Google Images. It is a very simple process and one all will enjoy. The link for you to create your own montage is http://grant.robinson.name/projects/montage-a-google/default.htm
As many of you know one of my favorite Web 2.0 tools for collecting information, sharing resources, and collaborating is LiveBinders. Tina Schneider and Barbara Tallent are two of the best ladies anyone would want to work with and not just for communication and support on an educational friendly tool. These two have been hard at work listening to their users and resolving bugs while providing enhancements on a fairly regular basis. This is a quick posting of their most recent enhancement which enables users to move tabs to a sub-tab role or move a sub-tab to a tab role. This process will make it much for user friendly when you want to shift items around. To get a clearer understanding and see a screenshot of the enhancements please visit the link below. Enjoy!