The geniuses behind FableVision and FableVision Learning, Peter and Paul Reynolds have created a not-for-profit organization that will focus on creative teaching and assisting teachers in reaching ALL learners. The Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning, and Creativity will support innovative and creative research and solutions to solve problems associated with reaching and teaching diverse learners, and ensuring that ALL learners thrive. Rather than support practices that serve a dysfunctional system that leaves at least half of our learners behind, the Reynolds Center will focus on incubating creative and sustainable solutions. As a participant in the 2010 DEN Leadership Council Symposium, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit FableVision and meet the creative minds behind what I consider to be one of the greatest, and most innovative instructional media design companies in the world. They are the Google of instructional media design. Creative, supportive, innovative, and bold game changers. I wish them luck and success in this great venture. I look forward to being able to use the solutions that are destined to come from this endeavor in my classroom one day soon.
The launch fundraiser for the Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning and Creativity will be held on October 19, 2011 at 6:00 PM at MIT Endicott House in Dedham, MA. It will be hosted by Lisa Hughes. news anchor CBS4, Boston, MA.
*Image from the launch flyer for the Reynolds Center TLC
GlogsterEDU is a great Web 2.0 tool to use with students. Say good-bye to the science and social studies poster board presentations of the past and hello to the 21st Century with GlogsterEDU! Students can add artwork, videos, papers, and links to their Glogs to illustrate depth of understanding of the issues surrounding a topic.
The National Education Technology Plan has very lofty and admirable goals. As a STAR Discovery Educator, and the Blog Coordinator for the Georgia DEN Leadership Council, I advocate using technology as much as possible to engage students. As a special educator I am a fan of blended learning and one-to-one computing because I have seen first hand how the appropriate use of technology in the classroom can quickly improve student learning. Technology allows students to focus on individual as well as whole group instructional goals. It also helps with the many administrative tasks that teachers often have little time during the school day to accomplish, such as writing IEPs, creating lesson plans, collaborating with colleagues and parents, and grading assignments to name just a few. The problem that I face in the classroom with technology is that I am often one of only a few people that knows how, and is willing to use technology that is used in daily life in the classroom. Many people blame teachers that are uncomfortable with technology. However, I have found that access to technology is a huge headache in many cases. It may not be that teachers are unwilling to use appropriate technology with their students, but rather they are unwilling to endure the headaches that come with it. As a STAR Discovery Educator I assist people with learning how to use Web 2.0 tools and common technology tools, like Glogster, GoAnimate, etc. in the classroom to motivate learners. The teachers learn how to use these tools easily. The problem seems too often to come from district administrators that block the simplest of programs. This seems to be a widespread problem across the nation that teachers in other countries do not experience. While pursuing my M.S. in Education, Media Design, and Technology at Full Sail University, I and my colleagues learned about many wonderful technology tools to implement in the classroom, only to try and log on at work and get a message that the site is blocked. My question is this: If a teacher cannot be trusted to download Adobe Reader, why is that same teacher trusted with children daily?often say that you can just request that the site be unblocked, but this is often a time consuming and arduous task that teachers do not have time to implement in addition to their many other duties. This situation is leading to a new type of digital divide – those who have access to technology instruction at school, and those who do not. This situation is relegating America’s schools to a pre-Internet era at a time when technology is playing a greater role in our lives. Students in other countries are gaining access to collaboration tools and learning opportunities that are being denied America’s children. If we are truly going to meet the goals of the National Education Technology Plan, teachers are going to need access to training and the tools to teach students to be technologically literate members of a global economic society.
Wingclips provides a free user friendly license that makes showing popular movie clips to illustrate lessons and inspire your students easy! You can search by character education trait/concept and more! Popular movie titles include The Karate Kid, Avatar, and many more! Want to host a movie showing at your school? Use Wingcinema! They provide a license for group showings of popular films and also provide downloadable discussion guides and materials.
View my online course From Slavery to Citizenship: Understanding the Civil Rights Movement Create engaging and interactive online learning courses for your students with the free Udutu online course authoring tool! Udutu is a a SCORM compliant course authoring tool that allows course creators to deploy courses on various LMS and CMS systems, like Moodle. Create interactive Flash quizzes and diagrams, and add video and audio content and images to enhance your lessons. I have included a link to course that I created below which includes media from Discovery Education to enhance course content. Courses can be viewed in preview mode (like the one below – just click the watermark to remove it for easier viewing), hosted on the Udutu servers for a monthly fee, or hosted and deployed for free on Facebook, or exported to an LMS system.