Ohio State Football has a tradition that goes back a number of years. Each time a player does something expectational for the team, they are awarded a buckeye leaf for their helmet. It is a way to visually show your contributions to the efforts of the whole team something much bigger then self.
As an Ohio State fan, I have always enjoyed this tradition I began to think about our "lollipops Leadership lessons
" (impact posts on this topic
) with students and how we could acknowledge students who are "doing the right think and leading others".
So, after talking to my team of teachers we came up with an idea: We will get lollipop stickers and find a way to put them on the school laptops without leaving a mark. This was harder then we thought. Finding lollipop sticker was difficult. They cost a lot and had to be ordered online, so we opted to use stickers we could by locally. We also had a hard time finding a product that could be put over Macbook's and not leave a residue. We did find Friskit paper that seemed to work well (Amazon 100 sheets for $38.00). We cut them in half to fit the computer better. Although they did come off as times passed and some kids had to put new ones on. By the way, they loved the super hero stickers when you pointed out the "Super" power they had displayed in their act of kindness.
Overall, it was a huge success. Kids loved to be acknowledged and it was a way to show that acknowledgment each time they opened their laptop. It was very visual. Students even nominated other students for kind deeds we did not know had happened.
As the year went on, our team felt this had a positive impact on our students and helped them to focus on being kind, caring and lollipop leaders.
Her Thinklink and GoAnimate
This last school year I had an average middle school class. Sports, friends, cell-phones, and clothing dominated the list of important things to worry about. School, well is just school. They come, do "most" of the work, but the focus is not always about school. Her blog entry.
Well, in steps one student. She really liked my class and seemed to work harder in social studies. She had her ups and downs, but always made me smile with her creative work. In fact, she came to class one day and said, "Mr. Holman, I was watching Law and Order last night and it was just like what we are talking about in class." This got me excited. A Student "SAW" class in modern TV. I said, "You should write a blog on that and explain what you mean." Now, for full disclosure no points were given, no rubric, no direction, just "write a blog". Here is what she wrote:
In this day in age, kids are watching more violent television shows everyday. Yet no one realizes that these television shows are not so different from the things you study in Social Studies. The middle ages were just as violent as these television shows you're watching. As an example, yesterday I was watching one of my favorite shows, Law & Order (special victims unit). As I was watching I realized that the things that were happening seemed oddly familiar. Like a family, sound asleep at home, when suddenly a group of burglars intrude their home, taking there stuff! When the family awoke in the morning there was almost nothing left. To me, that reminds me of the period of time that the vikings would come into villages and intrude their homes, just like it did in the show. Then of course the city in the show being New York, there were more intrusions around the part where the first family was intruded. In the middle ages, the vikings would go around to villages near each other exactly like in the show.
The show I was watching was actually a lot like real life. Things like that happen all the time! When you think about it, this happened when the fall of Rome was happening. If this is reoccurring process continues, then who knows if there will be a 'Fall of Ohio', or 'Fall of New York', maybe even 'Fall of the USA'. It's this kind of outside thinking that makes us think about things in a different way. Next time you're in your social studies class, stop and make connections. If you make connections to your life to the Middle Ages, or anything basically, you'll find that you can discover more then you know.
This is real learning. It's not about a grade, not about what Mr. Holman told her to do, but about seeing what you are learning in the world around you, student directed learning. She said it best: "...stop and make connections....you'll find that you can discover more then you know." Thanks for that:)
As an added bonus, check out this final project she did on What is a Legacy?
First off, Mike and I are back. We have taken a few months to get the school year ended and to spend time with family. It has been a great few months of travel, but now it is time to buckle down and get started blogging again.
Mike and I are presenting several times in the local area in the next few months, as well as traveling to Boston (BLC13) and Indiana for several full day workshops. So it is time to start typing. Sorry we have been away for so long!!!
Artwork by Josh
I got an email today. It was one of those you dream about getting. So here it is (with permission)...
Hey Garth, long time no talk!! Hope all is well your way!
Just a heads up: I have the 2nd round of my interview tomorrow for a High School Art position. They are requiring I teach for approx. 20-30 min. and I am using the lesson plan I developed in your class. It's a lesson that requires the students to collaborate on a drawing with another student overseas via Skype, email, and Google Docs... I created a new prezi for the lesson, uploaded it on my class Wiki, and will be able to "show it off" tomorrow...
I am really geeked out about it, because during the 1st interview they mentioned they are currently in a period of transitioning to a policy of "bring your mobile to class". They are all about integrating tech. into the classroom and I hope I impress them not only with my knowledge and ability as an art teacher, but my openness and familiarity with emerging tech. and its' application in the classroom.
Thank you for making the Technology class at the UofA the best education class I attended!!!
Wish me luck!
Now, I remember Josh. He was a very engaged student who wanted to learn all he could. He was and is awesome--someone I would be very happy to have working in the building with me. However, what is really cool about this email is the fact he wants to high light his tech skills for an art position. Not just high light them, but use them in the interview process (google docs/skpye/prezi/email). That takes guts and it shows something to the people he is interviewing with: He is willing to take "risks" and find what works to engage kids in the world they are living in. I am proud of him and I hope the people watching his lesson today see the value and scoop him up. He will impact education for years to come.
Good Luck, Joshua and I hope tomorrow you have an art job!!!
Below you will find the PowerPoint Garth and I will use today. Please feel free to search the PowerPoint and the web while we talk. Ask questions, challenge our beliefs and take what you hear back to your buildings. Our contact information is in the PowerPoint, as well. Do not hesitate to Tweet, email or call us in the future.
A few weeks ago Garth and I talked with some people attending some PD through SiOtA. We were discussing the digital textbook the students have worked on for seven or so years. As is almost always the case during these things, a thought came to me. We have all heard of the $1,000 pencil problem, in fact I think that has become so cliche and outdated that it isn't even worth discussing further.
The way I see it, the new problem is the $1,000 textbook. I'm referring to the push of districts to create ebooks...of all sorts. Now it may not cost $1,000 up front, but when you factor in (1)device to create, (2) PD to train people to create, (3) time invested in creating, and so on, you very quickly see the cost of ebook. Just like digital pencils, the problem with ebooks is that they do not change teaching and learning. So WOW your kids get to their textbook via a device instead of physically flipping pages. What's that? You can push updates as curriculum and standards change, NEATO! You say this eliminates the excuse of "forgetting" your book, GOOD for you!
Okay, enough with the dry whit. What's the point of ebooks in your school? ....If you answered anything about 21st century skills, cost efficiency, or CCSS then you shouldn't be making an e-textbook. The creation of digital content was awesome in the hands of teachers up to about three years ago. The curve we are quickly falling behind is allowing students to crate digital content. Our students should:
1. Own their learning
2. Leave a legacy
3. Publish original content
4. Go back, possibly years later to edit and reflect on their work
5. Collaborate, write, draw, link, connect, correct
And so fourth.
Digital textbooks should be created by students, for students and with students on mind. They should not receive points, grades or any other tangible rewards for their efforts. They should be sold on the idea that there is an intrinct good to learning. Students née to be motivated to help others and leave digital footprints worth following.
If your district is considering considering ebooks please think about a few things:
1. Who owns the content?
Are you using an app or paid service. If you are then there is a good chance your intellectual property is no longer yours. 2. Who creates the content?
Should teachers be involved? Should students be involved? How much will be done by each?3. What is the purpose?
Are you creating a new culture of teaching and learning? Do you just want to save money? Are you giving students ownership of their learning?
A few weeks ago, Garth created a thinglink
of his classroom. I decided it would probably be cool to have my room up there too.
Welcome to NEOtech 2013. Garth and I had the honor of being the Keynote presenters in 2011. During our Keynote, we strived to change the idea of a keynote by empowering our students to create a digital diary of the day. See below to view the videos made by our students. They shot all the film in the morning and edited the final videos in the afternoon.
Empowering students is our goal as teachers. Today's presentation (Just under this post!!) is titled "Autonomous Mastery Learning". That's a lot of big words and a ton of big ideas, so let's break it down....The point of all of this is to put your head before your hands. The idea of changing teaching and learning at a philosophical level is imperative to everything done in the classroom through technology. What Garth and I are doing with the thoughtful integration of technology is empowering our students to own their learning.
The WebQuest presented today is constantly under re-development based on the constant feedback of our students using GoogleForms. This is the 3rd year using the WebQuest and each year we change and rearrange elements based on student surveys. We want to provide students with the digital resources necessary to dig deeper into our curriculum, learn at their own pace and create a digital footprint that shows mastery, passion and an intrinsic desire to learn. This presentation is not about a specific tool, or even a handful of tools. We have chosen the tools we use based on the philosophical principal that students that DO the most, LEARN the most.
What you will not see in this presentation is the months of culture building that goes into our world history class. Our students are the same as students all around this country, with one exception. Our students are making the transition away from grades and points. They are beginning to see that their learning legacies can influence how other kids around the world learn. They have developed a sense of themselves in the world. They have created videos with over 30,000 hits on YouTube, they have worked over seven years to create a digital textbook used regularly by schools in three countries and they continue to reflect/collaborate/re-imagine their work in our seventh grade class well into their high school careers. Please feel free to explore this site and any of the links in the presentation as we talk and thank you for attending!-Mike & Garth
Smore, is a free website that allows you to make free flyers. Now, I am not really interested in flyers, but Smore does much more that then. With a simple drop and drag feature, you can make attractive classroom notes with video, images and more.
I was able to make the one below in about 15 minutes with no prior knowledge of this software. You can as well. Let me know what you create.
Below is the PowerPoint we will use during the presentation. We will not cover every slide, so feel free to browse through it at your leisure. If there are specific elements of digital textbooks and/or technology integration you would like to explore, try using the search bar at the bottom of the window. Thank you for listening.