I was looking for a way to present top student work for parents and new students to view so they could get an understanding of how my class works. Not long ago, only the teacher and student saw students work. If you where lucky, parents also saw it and it ended up on the kitchen refrigerator for "the world to see". I saw a post about using Thinglink.com to do just that. Mike and I have always talked about the change in handing in vs. publishing your work.
By publishing student work on the web, it really is for the world to see. I hope this interactive image is a way I can present outstanding work to a wider audience in the classroom and presentations. Let me know your thoughts.
This is the first year in my entire professional career that I did not have to prepare a classroom. This is the first time in the past eight years that I did not have the first day jitters. The strange part is that I didn’t even think about it until someone asked me, “do you miss it?” “Miss what?”, I asked. They started talking about the excitement of the first day, meeting the new students and seeing all your old students in the halls.
Here’s my answer:
I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would. My life is teaching. To not do that this year should devastate me. It worried me a bit that it doesn’t bother me more. As I thought about it I realized why I’m okay with no teaching this year. See that’s just it; I am teaching this year. I get to work with nearly thirty school districts, in four counties around Ohio. That’s thousands of teachers and tens-of-thousands of students. I get to go spread my love of teaching & learning and how meaningful technology integration can inspire learning. I get to talk to teachers, principals, curriculum directors and superintendents. They ask for my opinion (and for the first time in my professional life) they listen to me and there is dialogue and collaboration. It is liberating and empowering. I set long-term goals and I believe in achieving every goal you set. I want to leave a legacy. I want to help change education in Ohio. I want kids to love learning. I get to do that more now than ever.
I am shocked....
...at all the amazing things happening in schools all over northeast Ohio. There are teachers and buildings and districts doing some amazing things. The things Garth and I have always tried to do for our students. I never realized how little we really know what is going on in our schools. This year, my goal is to try and bring those teachers and leaders to the world via technology. We have this amazing green screen studio at my office. My boss and I want to interview amazing teachers. We want to publicize their students and help them leave a legacy.
No To Rigor, Yes to Frustration....
If you have read previous posts on TFT, or if you have ever seen me present, you know that I enjoy poking fun at pedagogical cliches. So let’s tackle the idea of “rigor”. The dictionary definition basically says anything that takes work to do. That means that rigor can mean a million different things. Yet, teachers are expected to create “rigorous” learning experiences in their classroom. Does that mean we take our top students and then create lessons that are rigorous to them? Meaning that they will be really, really rigorous to our lowest students? Rigor is one of those words that no one ever defines for us, and maybe that’s the point. To create these lofty ideals that teachers must blindly aspire to achieve. I’ve decided to start a movement this year. I want to hear a new word in the conversations of teachers and administrators. We need to talk about “frustration”.
I like frustration. I think it is important to the learning process and I think that it can help foster empathy in our students. There has been this concept of “learned helplessness” in education for decades. It seems the more technology evolves, the more teachers give to students. If we want to make the transition to students as makers and producers of knowledge, then we will also be destroying learned helplessness in our students. This is going to cause frustration. Frustration for students as they began to see that failure and trying again are new concepts in the learning journey. Frustration as they begin to understand that teachers are not going to give them an answer or a mountain of resources when they (students) can’t find an answer. Frustration for teachers as students began to own their learning and direct instruction becomes less relevant in our classrooms. Frustration for teachers as students start to use the scientific method to find the answers to their essential questions and care more about learning than grades.
Think about your own life. Everyone has problems. Big problems, not just text book problems. Sometimes you get stuck in the middle. Sometimes you don't even know where to start. You get frustrated. You might throw things, or stare for hours at the wall. Eventually you walk away, think about something else or just try some different ideas. Usually, when you stop hyper-focusing on the problem, a solution presents itself. You get frustrated, your brain starts to scan for any previous knowledge that can help and eventually you solve the issue. But this is different than just solving a problem by asking someone for the answer. You feel pride, you overcame something and you didn't give up. I want students to feel that pride in thinking and conquering.
Frustration is a necessity in the creativity process too! Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you, I’m just learning to understand frustration myself! You can watch this video, though.
As many of you may, or may not know, last October I left the classroom and took a job for NORT2H and the Lorain County Educational Service Center as a Technology Integration Trainer. My new position means that I get to work with districts across northeastern Ohio as they implement technology and change teaching & learning.
Although school hasn't officially started, many districts have decided to add extra professional development days this week to help prepare teachers for the technological changes coming to their districts. I am lucky enough to be out at Perry Local Schools today (and yesterday) as they welcome teachers back from summer break. Perry is implementing a #1:worldlearning initiative in the Middle and High schools. Perry invited me to give the keynote at their convocation and lead several breakout sessions with their staff. Making my job easier is the amazing administrative and technology support staff in the district.
The first three words in Perry schools mission statement are "Inspire all students...". When I met with the administrative team at their leadership retreat several weeks ago, I really began to see how important it was to everyone to not just implement devices, but to change the experience of students and staff.
The enthusiasm of the administrators was not an isolated incident. During the convocation I was able to talk with several teachers that were energized and excited to change the way they teach. My keynote followed the theme that Garth and I have always kept at the core of our work: Inspire student-owned learning. I spoke about moving away from grades, changing motivation to inspiration and shared the amazing work of our (Garth & my) students over the last seven years.
Many teachers thanked me for inspiring them and giving them new ideas to implement as the school year begins, but it was I who owe them thank you. Working with so many districts and often leading the same type of PD sessions, it is easy to fall into a rut; much like teaching! Working with such an inviting and enthusiastic group helped give me a renewed excitement about my job.
Happy to be back at SPARCC with Garth. We enjoyed doing the Keynote last year--see that presentation.
Below are our two presentations. The first presentation is about using Peardeck to make presentations more interactive. Peardeck attaches to your Google Drive and helps create more interactive learning experiences. We will end this presentation with a quick example Kahoot (a fun interactive review game.) The second presentation deals with Autonomous Mastery Learning and how to allow students to follow their passions, use their creativity and own their learning.
Hillard, Ohio. Welcome to #ILEohio. This four day conference, hosted by Hillard City Schools focuses on Innovative teaching in Ohio.
Travis Armstong (follow us on twitter: Travis @DMSArmstrong and Garth @garthholman) and I are pleased to be presenting here about Authentic Student Audience. Our presentation is below in google doc form, but we will run the presentation in a more interactive way using PearDeck. If you use the google docs form, please be aware that many slides are interactive in PearDeck and may seem odd.
Hope you enjoy this presentation.
While you wait for the presentation to begin you might want to check out these links:
For teaching Self-Differentiation to students: http://www.instagrok.com/
PearDeck: we will be using this for our presentation: https://peardeck.com/
Also, explore the search box at the top of this page to see other posts of topics you are interested in.
Explore the links in the GREAT JOB image below: Each word is linked to a student example:
The following post is written by Travis Armstrong, 7th Social Studies Teacher at Dublin Middle School. Travis can be reached on twitter at: @DMSArmstrong
I first heard about Mr. Holman and his digital textbook towards the end of the 2012-13 school year. A mutual friend had told me about this teacher in Cleveland who is having his students create a digital textbook, and I thought I would really like to have my students create something similar. However, I had one major setback, I only have four iPads in my room, courtesy of our new textbook company. With my average class size being nearly 27 students, I then decided to write a grant in an attempt to get eight iPads for my classroom. I started the long process of writing a grant. I decided to reach out to Mr. Holman who was more than willing to offer encouragement and advice. My first grant attempt was partially funded and I was fortunate to receive enough money for two iPads. After receiving those two iPads, I decided to try my luck again for two more through Donorschoose.org. I was able to get enough support from friends and family to raise enough money for two more iPads in less than a weeks time.
While attending OETC (Ohio Educational Technology Conference), in January, I finally got the privilege to meet Mr. Holman and Mr. Pennington. It was at this time Mr. Holman and I decided that we would test run having blog pals for the remaining portion of the school year. We knew there were going to be some major obstacles for us to overcome. The first and most challenging was going to be the differences in our schedules. Our classes don’t match up and I have my students for half of the year rather than a full year. Therefore, I will be teaching my students content that his class learned months ago. Even with the obstacles we decided to give a trial run a chance. It was during one of our conversations about this that I remember Mr. Holman saying to me, “all great things have a rocky start”. I knew right then that we were going to make it work no matter what unexpected challenges we might face along the way.
Throughout the blog pal process, our students have viewed one anothers posts either as a front loading tool, teaching tool, and as a peer editing tool.
There has even been an instance where Garth has taught one of my students how to create a Voki.
I have seen a lot of really positive changes. I have seen my students faces light up when they see another student who they have barely met (via Skype) comment on the creations on their blogs.
I have seen the quality of work from my students go up because they know someone else other than their teacher is going to be viewing their work. I have seen more students step up to work towards their full potential. I am really excited to give this opportunity to my students this year and look forward to getting more students involved next year.
When Mike made his move, I was concerned how I would carry on the work we have started. Mike and I still work together and are making plans for new and exciting things this school year, but I am glad Travis found me on Twitter and was willing to give distance virtual learning a try. I look forward to working with him and his class more this year. Below is a photo gallery of images from out work this year.
Ok, I have wanted to build an interactive map for my course for two years. Yesterday a student and I were talking about a project he wanted to do to finish off the school year. Together we found the site, ZEEMAPS.com. I spend about five minutes with him figuring out how it works and then thought, I have wanted to do this for a long time, lets give it a shot.
So what is published below is my one day effort at building my course on a map. I plan to add somewhere between 20-30 more items. If I do they will update to this post without any effort from me--so check back!
So, I literally have mapped out my course for next year. Thoughts? How could you use this software with your students? Have a good weekend, Cheers, Garth
Thomas Merrill, @tjm131, was a graduate student in my integration of technology class this last term. Thomas is also a Professor at the University of Akron teaching creative writing. He asked me to be involved in an original project that discusses the new idea of TEXT paring. Below, Thomas gives a brief overview of the idea. Contact him for more information and resources to try text paring in your classroom.
Construct New Meaning From History
Seven score and ten years ago, a cabin-born forefather set forth a new inspiration for our nation called The Gettysburg Address. We’ve learned it since we were kids, you and I. Many among us know it by heart even now. For it gives us a renewed sense of purpose today. Just as it did on the chilly morning of November 19th, 1863, when Abraham Lincoln used the words to change the tide and meaning of the Civil War.
272 words. Not many of them were flashy words on their own. But together, The Address is perhaps the most profound and meaningful text in our nation’s history. Every score and each year since, scholars have debated the independent and interconnected meanings of the words and phrases Abraham Lincoln spoke that day.
Now, there’s a new way to look at The Address: in 3-D.
You see, if you write out Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address like you would a poem, there’s a quirky anomaly about it that you can explore for yourself. The words and phrases “pair up” quite curiously with other passages Lincoln also wrote.
I only had 20 minutes to change the plan for the day. Time is running out, only 16 days left for school. I needed a quick way to present material to several classes that were going to miss class for a placement test. So, I pulled out the ipad, found one image online and got to work. In 15 minutes, presentation done (not my best work, but better then no explantation), posted to web and link provided to all 100 students. Check out the quick presentation shown below.
If you have not used educreations yet, give it a shot. Let me know how you are using it in your classes and what the kids think!
Mike and I have talked a great deal in this blog about student's constructing their own knowledge.
This blog post is just the latest examples of students creating, building and sharing with the world. These interactive "add-ons" are put into student created blogs. They get no "POINTS" for this, but are encourage to take risks and try new things with each post. I think they speak for themselves.