Below are our two presentations:
21st Century Skills
|Implementing 21st Century Skills||
Welcome to our blog and our BLC15 presentations. Garth, Travis & I are very excited that you chose to listen to our thoughts concerning education. Feel free to explore this blog and our presentation slides. Ask lots of questions and take what will work for you. If there are any resources you would like, and you cannot find them here, don't hesitate to email us. Our goal is collaboration and professional growth.
Below are our two presentations:
For the past few months Garth, Mike and I have had a lot of conversations about our teaching practices. The conversations started up following the completion of our Middle Ages unit where students are truly able to explore their own learning. During this unit there is very little focus emphasis placed on due dates and making sure that the students know each specific detail. Rather we make sure that the students know certain information then give them the time and freedom to explore more specific details on what interests them.
While we were finishing up the Middle Ages we began to talk about our next unit the “Renaissance”. We knew that we wanted to do it differently from the Middle Ages but we struggled coming up with the structure for it. We struggled with the same questions that all teachers struggle with: How much information should we give to the students? How much freedom do we give the students? Do we do flipped lessons? Do we have more full class discussions? Should we put in more “traditional or structured” lessons into the unit? Well with all of those questions being thrown around like we were standing in the middle of an educational tornado we came up with the outline below. We are not naive enough to think we have it all figured out but thought once Garth gets through this lesson (he is a few weeks ahead of me due to the difference in our schedules) can get student feedback to help us improve the remaining units.
Once Garth was done with this unit he surveyed his students asking for their feedback on both the Middle Ages and Renaissance units. While we reviewed that feedback one thing that students mentioned was they wanted to have more group discussions. You see during these units most of the discussions come from Garth and myself walking around the room having one on one conversations with as many as the students as we possibly can. But a significant portion of students wanted to have more than the one on one conversations. So we made a change to the next unit by putting a step in where students need to have a conference with the teacher. Note this change is not shown in the unit outline above it will be included in the second part. Once students complete the step before the conference step they write their name on the board. After there are anywhere from 3-10 names on the board the teacher will call those students over to have a discussion about what they have learned so far. Once the discussion is complete they move back to the self paced directions and continue on.
After completing this unit we realized a few more things still need to be modified. But for the sake of not writing a novel on a single post I will stop this one here. Look for the second part of this post in the near future. All comments are welcomed and encouraged!
In the Second time frame we will be taking a look at Fun Formative Assessment. To join this session click the link below and put in the code that appears on the main classroom screen.
Other posts on Fun Formative Assessment:
Tutorial to build a PearDeck see this link: http://www.teachersfortomorrow.net/home/can-peardeck-change-teaching-and-learning-maybe
Click here to create an account. This link will provide you with a pro version for 60 days to text and will revert to the free account then.
This conference was one of the most informative and best conferences I have ever attended. I was exposed to a large number of Google Add-ons, extensions, apps, and so on. I will be providing very brief descriptions about a lot of the Add-ons and extensions and will go further in depth with a few more (Marker.to, Autocrat, and MyMaps) in a new post.
Google Draw- I've seen google draw but haven't spent a lot of time exploring all of what it can do. I can honestly say Google Draw will get more use from me in the near future it has some great capabilities.
Kainzena- is a google doc add-on that allows you to leave audio feedback on a google doc.
Highlight Tool- is a google doc add-on that allows you to create highlighting categories into a google doc (picture below)
Formlimiter- is a google form add-on that allows you to set a time and date to turn a google form off.
Choice eliminator- is a google form add-on that allows you to make choices disappear once they have been selected. This would be great to use when scheduling conferences.
SiteMaestro- is a google spreadsheet add-on that allows you to see more specific information regarding who made what edit and when.
Conceptboard- is a google extension that acts like a whiteboard program but has the ability to make the "whiteboard" much larger and wider than a regular doc or google draw product.
Picasa- Is an extension that enables facial recognition to rage photos from within your drive. This is a really cool extension if you are at all interested in making a collage or a slideshow. I highly suggest looking at some examples on youtube.
A few months ago I reached out to the art teachers at Davis Middle School and asked if they would be willing to do a flipped lesson on Renaissance art. I provided the three art teachers, 7 Hoerath, Lyndsey Beard, and Erin Gottren with a very brief outline of things that Garth and I wanted covered. They divided the topics up amongst themselves and gave me a good time and date to start the recording. Fast forward to a few days later Garth and I have our video chat pulled up and we talk through the final outline and begin filming. We used a smartboard to project the picture, an HD camera with a tripod to record the lesson, iMovie for minimal editing, and Zaption to add questions for students to answer during the lessons. You can watch the three lessons by clicking on the links below.
Sistine Chapel: http://zapt.io/t9eqkxmc
Mona Lisa: http://zapt.io/t5faq2q
Last Supper: http://zapt.io/tcakyy9p4
Thank you to 7, Lyndsey, and Erin for being great educators and helping us teach our students about Renaissance art. You all did a fantastic job!
In honor of teachers everywhere. Lets crowd-source a list of awesome people and share it with the world. Add people you know...add yourself!!! Teachers need recognition!!! Watch the list grow, below. Thanks to everyone in the education field that supports student owned learning!
CLICK HERE TO ADD NAMES
My first year teaching was 2007. This coming August I find myself transitioning to another new job. I will be Technology Director for Independence Local Schools. This position has remained vacant for several years in the district and I am tasked with creating momentum, growth and reshaping teaching and learning. It is a successful district with a fair amount of technology (already), the ambition to try innovative teaching with that technology and the desire to place a device in the hand of every student. I am excited. Very excited. This district is asking me to come and inspire change. To be a leader. To do all of the things myself, Garth and Travis have tried so hard to do for students.
I know there will be administrative duties and responsibilities. I also know that there will be failures and set backs and agnst. My career goal has never changed, even in the face of oppression and opposition. I have changed philosophies, updated my own beliefs and evolved as a human being over the last eight years.
One concept that has always elluded me is "The Lesson Plan". I have filled out 100s of lesson plan templates, toyed with the SAMR model and fudged in adjectives to sentencs to reach those different levels of Bloom (you know you have to). I was just reading an article by Trevor Shaw about problems with the SAMR model. I agree with his points, but I do not think he took it far enough. You see the problem with all these models is the "Big Word" dilema. Everyone wants to coin a phrase, create an accryonm, sound smarter than they need to sound. Why? I think most just want to be able to charge $10,000 a day to talk about their models and big words. Others might think by using a thesaurs to change some words that have been used for a century that they are somehow leaving their mark on education. Still others are just so damn smart they can't relate to teachers in the classroom.
So below is my "working model" of the future of lesson planning. This template isn't about cliches, catch words, technology, blended learning, flipped learning or any of that stuff. I want to create a simple template that puts learning first, kids second and teachers third. I want anyone to be able to understand how Garth, Travis and mysel think when we are creating lessons. It can be used for PD (just change some names) or just use it for Tuesday's lesson.
What I really want is to work in some crowd-sourced improvments. The only stipulation is that it has to say simple and generic. It must be approachable, free to use and easy to share. Oh yeah, don't try and make an acronym out of this. It isn't supose to be ironed onto shirts or made into flip cards.
*If this does become famous, this blog post is my copyright so I can become rich and famous and go around ranting on a national level about how I have solved education and no one will listen..or sell it to Pearson and buy a small island ;)
After reading some more on this software a few things to keep in mind:
1. They only house online recordings for a few months (so the recording below will not play in a month or two)
2. If you want to save your work, be sure to download as you make it or very soon afterwards.
3. No limit on time recording....that is good news.
And if that wasn't enough we realized that you could connect a computer or an iPad to the board and it worked seamlessly. A few weeks ago Garth and I had talked about doing a flipped classroom using ExplainEverything but I liked the idea of us being able to manipulate the board together. So I revisited BaiBoard to see if it could solve our problem which I am happy to report it did! The video below is a screen recording of us playing with BaiBoard. In the video you will hear what tools we used to make everything work and what things we discovered along the way. We plan to conduct our first flipped classroom with it in the next few weeks so check back in to see how it worked. As always if you have any questions or comments please let us know.