Saturday, September 13, 2014

Today's reads, views, and links

Without a doubt, this is my all time favorite TED Talk.


Mr. Geiser sent me this.  What a brilliant idea for a fund raiser!


Now on to some serious links.

This was a lot of fun to read.  Of course, if you read this blog at all, you know that it's preaching to the choir.  Eight Effective Ways to use Social Media in the Classroom.

Here they are

  1. Teachers are sharing in-classroom tweets with parents.
  2. YouTube enables anyone to flip their classroom.
  3. Students share their life experiences with the class using Instagram
  4. Students react to homework and lessons by blogging
  5. Students manage their project-based learning using Pinterest
  6. Classrooms connect over Skype using projectors
  7. A classroom full of students can create the ultimate guide to just about anything using wikis.
  8. Use DonorsChoose and the other crowdfunding tools to help others in education.

At our elementary school especially there has been a gigantic shift recently when it comes to technology.  There were a few who were blogging and Tweeting and use social media to really create a brand for their classroom and their students.

This had never been done before.  As you can imagine, it didn't go over all that well with some more traditional (and more veteran) teachers.  It wasn't the veteran teachers' faults.  That just was not how they were trained.  They came up in a time in education where everyone taught in silos and kept what they did in class to themselves or shared them in their grade levels.  They weren't used to sharing what they did in their classrooms with parents and the world.

The times the are a changing.  That's for sure.

For my two cents, I'm don't use wikis and have never heard of DonorsChoose before, but the rest I have used.

I use Twitter, not necessarily to communicate with parents but to praise and support my students (past and present).  I'm always amazed at all of my former students who are still interested in what happens in my classes.

In the past two days on Twitter, a former student now at NDSU tweeted that she wants to come in and talk to my CC 2 class about the realities of college.  She has even begun preparing a speech!

Another student took a picture of the book I gave him for his Sticky-Note Book Report stating that he was only 35 pages in and already had 27 Sticky Notes!  He said I couldn't have picked a better book for him to read!

I use Youtube, not to flip my classroom, but to hook students for bell work or to supplement assignments.  I couldn't teach without Youtube.  It's also incredibly easy to embed Youtube clips in my class blogs, which does allow for some flipping of my classroom.

I use Instagram to promote and show off what we do in class.  Actually, my biggest use of Instagram right now is to push out Coach Mumm's motivation messages in the morning.  I get dozens of people liking these during the day.  I used to use Pinterest to do that, but Instagram is easier and makes it simple to also share them via Twitter and Facebook too.

I like the idea of students managing their product based learning via Pinterest.  I'm going to really look into that.  Right now I use it to store some of the cool things we do in class or I will encourage students to go there for some inspiration when they need it.

Finally, I don't use Skype, but I have used FaceTime.  My favorite example is when a student of mine was on vacation in Mexico and used FaceTime on his MacBook Air to connect with his group which was presenting in my class.  He still was able to perform his role in front of the class.  Loved it!


I knew it!  American teachers aren't the bane of the education world after all.  We spend more time in the classroom than any other teachers on the planet.  I'm sure the voucher folks and charter school supporters will still lament that this just shows how futile we really are as professionals.

This slideshow is interest.  The best states for education in America.  Minnesota is #9.


Here is an info graph one of my students created to illustrate her concept of career capital based on LHS.


As a Google school, we use Drive and Calendar and Gmail daily.  The one thing we haven't tackled yet - wisely, if you ask me - is Google Classroom.  However, it looks like it'll be a game changer when we finally do head down that road.


For those who loathe the common core, here is an info graph that looks at the difference between the "old way" and the common core way in how they approach analyzing literature.


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