Tag Archives: Collaboration

COETAIL Course Four - EDC 603

Vertical Technology Integration

The final project for the 4th COETAIL class called for students to create a unit that “demonstrates your use of applying an education theory that integrates technology.” After meeting with Dana though, Jason and I were able to work on a modified project together.

As technology increasingly becomes integrated into what we do as teachers and less a ‘technology class’, the need for vertical articulation becomes more important. So that is what we did. This project was surprisingly more difficult than originally thought, hence the reason is is more than a month late. We really wanted to make sure that we were not just including a list of apps (i.e. students will make powerpoints) but really thinking about 21st century learning skills. We took previously existing documents to help guide our work, but in the end, we decided to look at the vertical integration through the lens of P21, the Partnership for 21st century learning.

We do not believe this document to be complete, but it is a starting place for our school (middle school) to begin to look more closely at how we teach 21st century learning skills.

If you do take the time to look at our work, we would appreciate any feedback you have. Additionally, the same Creative Commons agreement on my website applies here. Please take what works and improve where needed, but share back so we can benefit as well.


COETAIL Course Three

It’s Pronounced Peh-cha Koo-Cha

Funny name. Serious presentation style. (schlotzskys)

I don’t know that I would ever use Pecha Kucha to present to students, but I would and already have asked students to do so. By doing one myself, I realized how valuable it is terms of selecting images with a purpose and preparing a talk.

Last week, I asked students to select one image that represented their thinking on the subject we had been studying (terrorism). The students put the image into a Google Presentation that I shared with all of them. Then, the slides were set to a 30 second timer. As soon as one kid finished, the next kid stood up, began speaking and walked to the front of the room. A cool thing to come out of this was getting kids to speak from different parts of the room and not talking to the screen. The kids were really proud of themselves and gave themselves a genuine round of applause at the end.

Fun and meaningful. Jason’s and my presentation for class on the NETS standards is below.

COETAIL Course Two -EDC 601

Collaboration: More Than a Buzz Word

I challenge anyone to read an article, or listen to a talk, or watch a video on 21st century learning without hearing how important collaboration is as a skill for students. It is so important, it even gets its own NETS standard! So do you really want to read another blog about why collaboration is so important? Lets both agree that it’s a biggie.

Technology can help our kids collaborate. We use it all the time, most often in the form of Google Apps, or Prezi, or Wallwisher or a number of other online tools. Technology though, shouldn’t become the sole method for collaboration. I get to see a class full students everyday and I would hate to have a class full of students collaborating together everyday without saying a word. There are, of course exceptions to this.

I Am Collaboration (And So Can You!)

Twitter might be the coolest tool for teachers since chalk. This past weekend, at the one-to-one technology conference, ASBUnplugged, I heard some version of, “If there is one thing you get from this conference, join Twitter” about ten times. If you are not on yet, I am guessing that you have been “resisting.” I heard that quite a few times too. I’ll let you in on a secret, you are going to join sooner or later, so you might as well get started.

Teachers on Twitter are always sharing. And asking for help. And giving help. I have seen Google Docs sent out where teachers could go in and add what they were doing regarding the topic. I have personally shared and used linked information that has directly help shape my understanding or instruction. It is a powerful tool.

The Web Is Brainy

Image: Flickr John & Mel Kots

Written text is like driving in America; you stay in your line. Web text is like driving in India; you can go in any direction at anytime. Everything is linked. Even the stuff that isn’t linked is now linked. On certain websites, or with the right browser app, any word you highlight is instantly searchable or defined or both.

One great tool that could really help kids to understand how concepts and words are interconnected is Tag Galaxy. Here, you can plug in a word (tag), or multiple words and it instantly connects other words. If you click on one of those, it takes you to a new level. And if you click on the center inside any of those levels, photos from flickr with that tag are displayed.

The non-linear nature of the web should be an easy conversation to have. In Humanities, I don’t let kids get away with linear thinking, because in my subject, that is simple thinking. As we use these web tools, the conversation needs to happen there. Teachers must take the time to make sure students are not just clicking links. They need to know why they are clicking them.