Thursday, October 28, 2010

New iPhone app is designed to teach fractions through motion

A new iPhone app called Motion Math is aimed at helping elementary-school students better understand fractions through a game that uses the phone's motion sensors. Motion Math is based on the notion of embodied cognition, which the developers say will help students develop a visceral understanding of fractions. The Wall Street Journal/Digits blog

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Are you not maximizing your Interactive Whiteboard?

According to teacher Patrick Ledesma, many educators are not be using their interactive whiteboards to their full potential.  To make the most of the technology, he suggests writing important class notes on an interactive whiteboard and using its software to convert notes to a PDF that can be shared online and elsewhere. This system will allow teachers and students greater access to the material, and teachers can share the notes with peers. Finally, Ledesma suggests that teachers use their whiteboards to create videos of their lessons. Teacher Magazine/Leading from the Classroom blog

Blogging helps students transition to middle school

A New York school is helping sixth-graders transition to middle school and relieve anxiety by allowing them to blog and take photos of their experiences. The blogging is part of a new documentary class, which allows them to share their thoughts on the first day of school, tests and more. The class culminates with a video message from the students to the next group of sixth-graders. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (N.Y.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

7 social-media sites for teachers

Mashable is recommending seven free social-media tools for teachers, including EDU 2.0, which is similar to Blackboard and Moodle, and an organizational tool called SymbalooEDU that allows teachers to store their work and share it with others. Two recommended blogging sites are Edublogs, which allows students and teachers to create blogs, and Kidblog, which is a simple platform that is good for younger users. Mashable (10/16)

More Learning Resources from Mashable:

- The Case For Social Media in Schools
- HOW TO: Help Your Child Set Up a Blog
- 5 Fun and Safe Social Networks for Children
- Social Media Parenting: Raising the Digital Generation
- 10 Essential Tips for Building Your Small Biz Team

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Goals for EDU271

Reflective teaching means looking at what we do in the classroom (either f2f or online), thinking about why we do it, and thinking about whether it works and why or why not. It is a process of self-observation and self-evaluation. By collecting information about what goes on in the classroom and by analyzing and evaluating this information, we can identify and explore our own practices and underlying beliefs. This may then lead to changes and improvements in our teaching.  

I began teaching an online course in Educational Technology last week. One of the assignments is to maintain a reflective blog. My students are required to post a minimum of four times/week. Their first post is to include their goals for this course. Since this is the first time I have taught this course, I feel that the reflective practice will also help me as a teacher. Therefore, I intend to follow the blogging assignment I have given my students.

My goals for this course:
  • To provide the information my students need to develop an understanding of how technology fits into their teaching practice. 
  • To help my students develop the skills necessary to apply this information and knowledge when it is needed. 
  • To allow my students the freedom to find things out for themselves. 
  • To guide my students to gain a better understanding of themselves and the world they live in.
How I want my students to interact
I want my students to collaborate as often as possible. I want them to be able to ask each other questions and make demands on each others' thinking. I want my them to not only challenge but also support each other in their educational journey. I also want them to have an open mind when it comes to their peers' opinions and feedback. I want my students to question--to ask why? and how? I want my students not to be afraid to take risks--to understand that failure is not "bad". I want my students to persevere and not give up in the face of adversity. I want them to examine themselves and their assumptions about teaching and learning. I want them to enjoy this course.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Purdue Develops New App Syncs Students in Facebook

A team at Purdue University has developed a new application that lets its students create online study groups and participate in them within Facebook. The program also lets users sync and share documents via Dropbox. Mixable was created by some of the same people who released HotSeat last year, an application that lets students text during their class and have their messages viewed by other participants in that class.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How to Overcome Glitches When Teaching with Technology

Technical glitches such as frozen computers and unsaved or lost work are among the inevitable frustrations of integrating technology into the classroom, high-school technology-integration specialist Andrew Marcinek writes in this blog post. Some "technology fails" can be prevented with careful planning, but others must just be overcome by perseverance and a willingness to adapt, adjust and learn through trial and error, he writes.

Educators Learn About Benefits of Technology

Over 400 educators and administrators from schools across the country, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, attended a conference Saturday in New Jersey to help them learn hands-on skills for incorporating social media and other technology into classroom lessons and lesson planning. "I used to be the principal that banned everything, blocked everything, and the change for me was when I became educated on how different people were using technology effectively," one administrator said. The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) (10/3)