You've heard me talk a lot about the SAMR (Substitution-Augmentation-Modification-Redefinition) model of technology integration. This article from Educators Technology includes a helpful, interactive "ThingLink" where you can explore various resources to implement a SAMR strategy in your use of classroom technology. You might even want to explore the use of a ThingLink as a student project. Enjoy!
The video below is included as a part of a post on the EdTechReview Website addressing the integration of the the "4 C's" into the classroom. As you watch the video, ask yourself how often our classrooms look more like the "kit approach" than the dynamic, creative approach. Check out the post and enjoy the video! Let's give our students roots and wings!
We have all used the traditional pen and paper to write, but have we? Ask many of your students and you will find that the pen and paper has gone with the wind, or can I say the computer. Computers and technology are revolutionizing how our students are putting information together and it is mapping their brains in a way that makes sense to them but may not make sense to us. In this article the author points out three distinct phases of writing 1.)Writing 1.0 2.)Writing 2.0) and 3.)Writing 3.0 - the author contends that students are now in the writing 3.0 stage, this is the stage that they use other tools to help organize their thoughts into cohesive patterns, and they do this with an IPad. Check it out.
I just came across a pretty flexible online mathematics drill and practice site call Kakooma. Students can solve a variety of puzzles with addition and subtraction, fractions and signed numbers. These games are available in a variety of levels. There are also iOS apps available for $0.99 each.
Looking at the example on the left, you look at the active cell (surrounded by the bold lines) and find number which is the product of two different numbers in the cell. In this case, you would click on '96' which is the product of 8 and 12. Once you get the correct answer, a new cell is highlighted. Once you complete all those cells, a final puzzle is presented using the answers from those cells. Upon successful completion you are given a final score based on the time it took you to solve plus any penalties you may have accrued for incorrect responses.
If you want to make this competitive in your classroom, you could post leaderboards for the day or week with the top scores of the week. If you choose to do this, you could go "old school" and write names on the board or go digital using Google forms. Tammy Worcester provides a tutorial on setting up a Google forms to create these leaderboards here.
In the SAMR model of evaluating technology integration, this is clearly on the lower end ... augmentation at best. But it certainly provides a fun alternative to standard worksheets. It is far more than just 6-7 problems; students are likely doing dozens of calculations as they try to determine what set of numbers works in each cell.
If you have every listened to Sir Ken Robinson speak, you know he is passionate about education, especially encouraging creativity in our students. His own Ted Talks are among the most viewed on the web. He was recently asked to curate a list of his favorite 10 Ted Talks .... You might be interested to see what interests him. Enjoy!
I came across this website today with several inspirational quotes for teachers. What is you favorite of these and why? Create a discussion by commenting to this blog post.
Another 21st Century theme is creativity. Sir Ken Robinson has written and talked at length about the need to encourage and develop creativity in schools. He talks about how children come to school with loads of creativity and how schools effectively eliminate that in this book (Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative) and in the video below. You can also find a great interview on the ASCD website.
One of the most common ways we can encourage creativity in our students is providing them with opportunities to write. And with today's technology, that activity can go far beyond a simple pen and paper exercise. This link provides some great iPad apps that are available to create full multimedia ebooks that can be easily be shared with each other, parents and grandparents, etc.
One of the most "C's" of the 21st Century Classroom is Critical Thinking ... the the avalanche of information available on the web (described by David Weinberger in his book Too Big To Know) with little or no "gatekeeping" function requires the ability view this data with a critical eye. One definition of critical thinking is "the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action." (This definition appears on the website of The Critical Thinking Community.)
The definition above doesn't sound much like memorizing dates, terms, and responses to fill-in-the-blank questions. You might find his link from the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning website helpful as provides a number of resources for incorporating critical thinking in the classroom.
GeoGuesser is a fun, online activity that takes advantage of the Google Streetview feature. Students are given a series of five streetviews from around the world and given a chance to click on the map where they think that picture may have been taken. Points are awarded according to the distance between the student guess and the actual location.
Be sure to scroll around the photo to look for clues. Have fun!
Check out this list of cool, helpful tools for teachers. Try one out!
is designed to provide weekly inspiration and ideas to encourage 21st Century technology skills in the classroom
Anthony Brenchley - Emergent Technologies Librarian