Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Virtual Reality Videos

I've recently been exploring ideas on how to implement virtual reality videos into the classroom. There are actually plenty of 360 videos on Youtube right now (you can just search 360 videos to find them), but I was struggling to find how educators have put them to use until I discovered Monica Burns' blog post about virtual reality.

According to Monica Burns, here our some great places to start with virtual reality videos:

1) The New York Times Virtual Reality App -- they provide content and news resources through the app

2) Nearpod Virtual Reality Lessons --  My students love Nearpod! They have a large selection of interactive lessons

3) CNN Virtual Reality Videos

I find engagement to be high through these lessons. Students love the feeling of being in the action and these virtual reality videos (especially with the VR cardboard or other VR equipment) allow students to move within the world they are studying. It's truly a powerful tool.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

InnEdCO Conference

The great Paige Dersham and I are officially on the books for this summer's InnEdCO Conference from June 12-15 in Keystone, CO. Our session is on Tuesday, June 13 from 8-10 am.

During our workshop session, we'll present how our students use TinkerCAD to design 3D objects, how we print those objects using a 3D printer, and how other educators can fund this through Donor's Choose. We want educators leaving our workshop with the ability to create a 3D object using TinkerCAD and to create a project on Donor's Choose to start funding their own 3D printer.

Session Title: 3D Designing, Printing, and Making
Date: 06/13/2017
Start Time: 8:00
End Time: 10:00
Location: Crestone 3

Monday, February 13, 2017

SAMR -- integrating technology

Over the next few weeks, I'll be digging to find ways teachers are integrating technology into their classrooms. Specifically, I'm looking for activities and ideas teachers implement to move from "Subsituting" technology for paper to a "Re-definition" of their classroom. The SAMR model is a great way to see whether or not your activities or assignments either Substitute, Augment, Modify, or Re-Define the activity with the use of technology:

Image credit: Sylvia Duckworth, via @DavidGuerin

Alice  Keeler has some excellent ideas on how to re-define your classroom using technology. She suggests using a classroom website (I use http://stecktech.wikispaces.com/). According to Alice Keeler, this allows for:
  • students who are absent to access the work
  • differentiating directions and tasks
  • making information accessible anytime anywhere
  • helping parents to support their children in their learning
  • collaborating with other teachers
  • consistency between class sections
  • the near elimination of downtime in class
  • the teacher to work one on one with students or in small groups
  • the teacher to provide more high-quality feedback
I'll be continuing to gather ideas for the next couple of weeks to see how others have integrated technology and re-defined their classrooms with it.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

EdCamp Denver -- Session 3 -- Genius Hour

How do students have voice/choice in their learning? Have we set up time for students to choose what they learn?

Genius Hour: students have an hour each week to learn what they want to learn and present it in a way they choose.

How it's been implemented?
-"I Wonder" day: students create a higher level question, research it, share it at the end of class
-Bad Idea box -- share out all the bad ideas you can think of (gets students to be comfortable sharing their ideas
-Project Based Learning: create higher level questions to drive research, research their question, create a presentation to share through podcasts, videos, slide presentations, etc.

Bloxels: video game creation with an app
-build a map of the video game with actual blocks & take a picture of the blocks in the app
-set the rules of the game: how to jump, shoot, run, etc.
-similar to Minecraft
-students can create and share their game boards

20 Times: http://www.20time.org/ 
Launch Book: http://thelaunchcycle.com/ 
Project ideas: http://www.20timeineducation.com/20-time-ideas
Google expeditions: https://www.google.com/edu/expeditions/#about 

EdCamp -- Session 2 -- Audience for Kids

I'm attending my 2nd session of the day at EdCamp Denver:

How do students share their ideas and reach an authentic audience?

Sharing platforms:
-Kid Blog
-Seesaw -- this can be used as a digital portfolio as well

Ways students can use blogging:
-sharing essays beyond 4 walls (parents, community, etc)
-sharing their understanding of the daily goal and what they learned
-sharing resources they've discovered
-answering prompts
-sharing anything they've created (podcasts, 

Importance of students reaching an authentic audience:

Teaching how to blog:
-Citizenship -- how to share and respond appropriately
    -practice on paper --> write a post on paper; gallery walk w/ sticky notes
    -provide exemplars for responses
-Peer review & feedback -- have students use a rubric to guide their responses
-Writing in short, concise paragraphs

EdCamp -- Session 1 -- Project Based Learning

For the first session this morning (Feb 3), I'm attending a Project Based Learning group.

My overarching question or goal for the session:

How can you implement project based learning across curriculum with technology?

PBL ideas for Literacy
-Asking higher level questions -- power in having students drive their own learning
-Evaluating sources
-Discovering resources
-Primary Sources
-Note-taking skills

Can we move beyond the 5 paragraph essay to present learning (not that writing isn't a critical skill)? How does technology change the project? SAMR model can assist with this.
-Presentation of learning -- podcasts, website creation, movie making, blogging 
-Research -- finding primary sources online (databases), interviewing primary sources (skype, google hangouts, social media)

Project Ideas:
1) Man left a treasure in Rocky Mtns & wrote a poem with hidden clues
    ->analyze the poems for clues
    ->Google Earth to use their clues
    ->Present their theory

2) Mysteries of the world (crop circles, Galapagos Islands, etc)
    ->research, read articles
    ->presenting their argument

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mission 100%

I initially stumbled upon the Mission 100% blog in an attempt to find resources on "aggressively monitoring" students. It's a site housing short videos of exemplary teachers modeling a certain teaching strategy. According to the home page, Mission 100% "is an online video library and platform, with over 2,000 short, targeted observation clips from real classrooms that highlight best teaching practices." A user can subscribe to receive updates on videos, easily search for videos, or look through the categories for specific videos. 

Again, I viewed the video on Aggressive Monitoring. Right away, I noticed class size. I wish my classes were less than 20 (I'd take less than 30). But in all seriousness, I love the use of the clipboard to quickly evaluate what she sees. I need to be better at moving through the room with a clipboard (and not losing the clipboard as I go). I also appreciate how the video displays what we should include on our clipboard and what we should be monitoring. Overall, I found the video helpful and look forward to viewing more of the Mission 100% videos.