Online Education

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More and more school districts and universities are turning to online education. There are many critics and many supporters. What do you think? I recently read an article that helped shed some light on the matter. A link to the article is here. Leave a comment.

Gulp: You Want Me to Use Technology?

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Using technology in the classroom is scary, unpredictable at times, and down right nerve-racking to some people. Students have the ability to run technological circles the size of Jupiter around us. These two ideas come together in each of our classrooms every day. Meeting students, the digital natives as it were, needs technologically is very difficult for us to figure out. However, that does not mean we have the right to say that this technology has no place in our schools or even say that it is harmful. Though it is likely our society will never be the same because of social networking and online media it is safe to say that society would never be the same at any stage in history. Using the latest and greatest technology is as important as using the latest and greatest teaching styles. Math, Language, History, and any other subject taught in school rarely changes. But the way in which students learn best has changed. That is the primary focus of the new standards. Take some time to find a new way to present the same content using technology. Also, take a moment to read this article about using a few pieces of technology in your next unit of study. I think you will find some of the data surprising.

Keeping Students’ Interest

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How many times have you walked into something because you were paying more attention to your phone than where you were going? Our students have the same problem except they have it much worse. The amount of time a student spends immersed in their own digital world is hard to believe. Students are becoming more and more seduced by the power of digital media. What are we going to do about it? Checking all electronic devices at the door usually creates undesirable results and makes students less likely to be interested in school. One option is to use students’ love of electronics to get them to learn. More and more teachers are using online games and tools to enhance their daily instruction. The use of online resources though has its own undesirable consequences. How do you find games that are educational? How do you make sure the game is school appropriate? NCTM Tips gave a helpful guide for using online games including, the benefits of using games, how to choose the right games, and a list of games that are appropriate. Check out the article here. Consider using more games in your instruction but make sure that you take the time to play the games yourself. Your time will be rewarded in student learning.

To Google it or not to Google it?

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I saw a forum on Tech and Learning that asked the question “Can you Google-proof a question using Bloom’s Taxonomy?”. It was an interesting conversation. You can check it out here. It made me think though about what we are doing in our classrooms that would be Google-able. Simple math questions (i.e. 2+2) are easily answered by Google. But much more rigorous questions require students to think about the context of the question, the information that is unnecessary, the information that is important, the process to solve, etc. You can’t google many of those things. Google can help students get to the right answer and give suggestions but the problem must be solved by the student. When considering whether a question is rigorous enough try this test. Put it into a search engine. If the search comes back with the correct answer quickly perhaps the question needs to be more challenging. If the search comes back with an answer that is vague and, at best, helpful then maybe you have a question that will truly make students think.

7 Reasons To Leverage Social Networking Tools in the Classroom

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Check out this article about using social networking sites to increase communication in your classroom. Try it some time and see how students respond. http://www.emergingedtech.com/2011/06/7-reasons-to-leverage-social-networking-tools-in-the-classroom/

Using Twitter in the Classroom

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There have been thousands of articles about using twitter in the classroom. Emerging EdTech has put together a list of ways to make twitter useful in the classroom. If you would like to take a look at how this article click the following link. http://www.emergingedtech.com/2010/02/100-ways-to-teach-with-twitter/ Begin to think about how you can link students’ desire to share information through social media and your classroom. They will love it.

What is Web 2.0?

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Let’s take a step back. Web 1.0 is an internet experience that is strictly meant for consumption. Interaction with and modification of content is not possible. Websites like those provided by corporations are a good example. Browsing Lowe’s website only allows you to view the available products, not to add any new products. “You can look but not touch”. Web 2.0, however, is much different. The content and modification of content is now in the hands of those consuming the information. Things like wikis, blogs, and other interactive types of information media are good examples. This allows the consumer control over some of what is being presented. You can add comments, attempt to correct previous statements that are misleading or incorrect, have discussions, etc.

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