- Week 1: Relative Advantage Chart
- Week 2: Network Project
- Week 3: Instructional Software Lesson
- Week 3 Spreadsheet or Database Project
- Week 4: Video Integration Lesson Plan & Video Library
- Week 5: Community Building & Social Networking Project
- Week 6: Using the Internet for Instruction Project
- Week 7: Content Area Presentations
- Week 8: Adaptive/Assistive Technology Presentation
Good science methodology involves conducting tests and making observations. In the screencasts below I explore how simulations, virtual manipulative, and a virtual world can be used as learning activities.
Virtual World–Second Life
I’ve long been interested in virtual worlds, who wouldn’t want to explore without paying for gas, hotels, flights, etc., so I took this opportunity to spend a little more time getting my feet wet in Second Life. I was impressed with resources and activities found on Genome Island; I found scavenger hunts, interactive experiments like the mixallamas gene game, links to outside resources, and really cool virtual simulations like the 3D cell.
I found Second Life exciting and genuinely had the sense of being an explorer, however I did spend as much time experimenting with my avatar’s moves as I did exploring. Second Life seems like a neat tool for a teacher who is experienced with the Second Life landscape. Click on the photos to come on a tour with my avatar or click here.
Interactive Science Simulations
National Library of Virtual Manipulative
The National Library of Virtual Manipulative (NLVM) contains around 100 virtual manipulative that address concepts in numbers & operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data & probability. These manipulative virtually mimic many classroom manipulative like geoblocks, cuisnes rods, beakers, and rules. A teacher/parent section describes how each tool supports national math standards. These tools can be used to practice concepts, explore prior learned with new variables. I recommend that students use of these tools are guided by critical thinking questions.
The NLVM states, “Learning and understanding mathematics, at every level, requires student engagement. Mathematics is not, as has been said, a spectator sport. Too much of current instruction fails to actively involve students. One way to address the problem is through the use of manipulatives, physical objects that help students visualize relationships and applications.”
Click the photo above to take a quick virtual tour, or click here.
Hello from your new instructional technology coach. I’m looking forward to working with the teachers of Chatham County. As I see it, my responsibility is to collaborate with you to plan, locate resources, and meet professional and student learning goals. My favorite technology tools make teaching more organized, engaging, and enjoyable. To kick things off this year, I’ve prepared a couple of activities for us to get to know each other and explore some of the resources you may want to include in your teaching.
Sometimes the best way to learn how to help people just comes down to asking them. So to get an idea of what we can do to help you best, please take the Technology Use Survey. This survey was created using Google Docs (soon to be Google Drive), a powerful free tool that can change the way you run your classroom. These tools can allow students access their documents on any computer, collaborate, schedule events, create presentations and more. If you’re not familiar with Google docs, let us know in the survey.
If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, today is your day. Pinterest is a digital bulletin board where people collect and share ideas from hair styles to history. To get familiar with Pinterest, explore the resources I’ve gathered for you. Once you see how Pinterest can be used, you’ll create an account and start your own board. To wrap up, share the link to your board in the comment section and let me know what you thought of this first adventure together.
If you would like a more in-depth preview on how to use Pinterest, check out this video.
- Get to know me on my Nice to Meet You! board.
- Scan the article “37 Ways Teachers Should Use Pinterest.”
- Create a Pinterest account.
- Read Erin Paynter’s blog Pinterest In Education and choose three boards to follow from her recommendations.
- Create your own board to help you in the classroom.
- Copy the link to your board and paste it in the comment section here.
Technology is evolving at the speed of light and no matter what your experience levels is it can feel impossible to keep up with all the latest gadgets and tool. But sometimes, especially when it comes to technology, being the jack-of-all-trades won’t give you or your students the best pay off. So this semester, lets get off the cyber super highway and zero in on one tool that will make some serious gains in the classroom. Choose either Learing Adventure one or two and then complete the Final Mission.
Create a Professional Learning Network: Twitter PLN
Regular positive encounters with other educators can make the difference between feeling like an isolated island or that you have an army of support behind you. So how do you develop you Professional Learning Network, or PLN? Believe it or not, Twitter has become amazing tools for connecting people quickly. Today, if you’re not already a member, you get to see what all the hype is about.
Learner’s Adventure #1
- Browse the Twitter Resources below
- Sign up for a Twitter account & record your login info.
- Find me and follow me @ FrankEducator.
- Post your first tweet.
What’s a PLN? Sketchy Explaination: Starting a PLN
Edutopia “How to use Twitter to Grow Ur PLN.”
Claim Your Space in The Cloud: Diigo Social Bookmark
Diigo is a bookmarking tool that allows you to flag items of interest and then later access them from any computer or phone when you log on to your Diigo account. You can see what other people are bookmarking and have access to all webpages of interest from anywhere. If you don’t have a Diigo account, today is the day you will join the cloud.
Learner’s Adventure #2
- Browse the Diigo Resources below
- Sign up for a Diigo account and record your login info.
- Start bookmarking your favorite education sites.
- Share your bookmark with your teaching team and invite them join.
Using Diigo: Adding Bookmarks to Your Library
Final Mission-Wall Wisher
Either or the tools you explored today have a lot of components and many options you can use for bringing them into the classroom. To wrap up the day, we’ll share our ah-ha’s, road blocks, and outstanding questions on Wallwisher. This site works just like Post-It’s.
- Follow this link to our Wallwishers wrapup.
- Create and account and record your login info
- Post an ah-ha, a roadblock you faced, and a question you still have (they can all be on the same post)
- Review the resources below to see if Wallwisher has a place in your classroom.
Thanks for participating!
Here are some great resources to find videos to use in the classroom.
- YouTube Education
- Teacher’s Domain
- Watch Know
- Teacher Tube
- 100 Best YouTube Videos for Teachers
- Teaching Videos
- Discovery Education
- NEO K12: Educational Videos, Lessons & Games for K12 School Kids
- Video Resources for the Classroom
- 25 Places to Find Instructional Videos
For information on how to integrate videos checkout:
Using Spreadsheets in the Classroom
Spreadsheets aren’t handy just for classroom management. In fact, the ability of spreadsheets to organize data makes them a wonderful tool for uses at all levels of education and can be applied to any discipline of study. The benefits of spreadsheets are that they help students manage working with complex sets of numbers and save time by allowing for quick calculations. This frees students to ask more “what if” questions and may increase motivation because students can manipulate spreadsheet graphics. Spreadsheets have four main functions students can explore: data collection, creating graphs, plotting timelines, and recording surveys results. Here is a brief overview of how each can be used in the classroom.
For students data collection can be used to record homework grades, class assignments, and test scores to keep a tally of the overall class grade. Spreadsheets can also be used to keep track of a budget for a hypothetical business, club, or personal living expenses, or specific information from a science lab. In the graph below student count the number of skittles in small and large bags to find the average number of colors in each.
Graphs are an outstanding way to put a visual representation to a numeric concept. Graphs can be used to show the relationship between numbers in bar, pie, line, area, and x/y plot. Each graph has a different purpose, for example bar graphs show changes over time (years, months, or days) or compare differences between things (types of occupations students want to be). Below is an example of three team scores that have been compared for the whole season.
Surveys can be conducted online or in person and are a fantastic way to get students engaged, collaborating, and applying new skills in a real world situation. Surveys are similar to polling mechanisms and are designed to collect multiple responses to questions that can be true/false, yes/no, multiple-choice, or multiple answer. Here students conduct a survey to identify mac or PC users and computer use preferences.
Students will benefit from putting important events in order in a timeline or calendar. The time line can also be used is to record steps to a procedure. These options allow students to organize what they have learned or plan for future events. Timelines and calendars can span a short period of time such as events or assignments over the course of a school year, or they can cover decades and centuries. This timeline below tracks the key life events of Sitting Bull.
Topic: Water Usage in Your Home
Goals of lesson:
- Use a spreadsheet to track the amount of water their family uses and apply concepts and procedures from probability and statistics.
- Use spreadsheets to solve problems and make informed decisions.
- Use spreadsheets to process data and report results.
- Students will use Internet resources to compare the amount of water used by their families to that used by other families.
- Students will identify ways to decrease family water usage.
Description of the data:
Students will explore how much water is used in their household over the course of one week. They will answer questions like “How much water does a 5 minute shower typically take?” or “Which uses less water, hand washing dishes or running the dishwasher?” They will record their findings in spreadsheet and report on their findings. Extend this activity by allowing students to compare results and work in groups to brainstorm ways to reduce family water usage.
Spreadsheet and student instructions: