10/11/2013

Educreations - The App, The Website. Let's Capture Learning

There are a few iPad Apps that are exciting for all content areas. Educreations is one of those Apps everyone should download on their iPad!  


Educreations Part 1 - Teaching supply & demand curve (4:17 long - Fast forward through what you already know) was created just for you here: 


Educreations Part 2 - Eric getting excited about the possibilities of Educreations.com and sharing recorded lessons with students: 


You don't need an iPad to use this tool. Log in with your Google Account at educreations.com 

**If you need help downloading apps or getting your iPad setup to use, email me! 

PS. Do you use an App that does the same thing? (Such as Explain Everything-$2.99), let's start talking about what seems to be the most meaningful strategies to capture learning! 


10/09/2013

My First Tweet


Yesterday I was writing a short discussion post for our instructional Technology Coaches about Twitter becoming the most meaningful PLN I have ever found. To explain that I haven't been addicted to social media in general before finding it to be a useful venue for professional learning, I decided to look up the date I sent out my first Tweet.

While there is definitely a much better way to do this, I pressed the page-down key through 1,500 Tweets until I reached the bottom. The picture above is what I discovered as the first thing I chose to share on Twitter.

Watching other educators much more experienced and inspiring than myself in 2011 talk about the Google Teacher Academy (GTA) on Twitter was relevant and exciting enough to me that I wanted to take a shot at participating in the conversation. Looking back on March 14th, 2011, less than three years ago, I am impressed I knew enough to use a hashtag in my first tweet. While I could write about how GTA was an awakening experience for me and helped make me much more aware of the great teaching happening around me to learn and grow from, this was written to promote Twitter was a Personal Learning Network.

If you're an educator, sign up for Twitter it's free and low-commitment. 

Search some Hashtags used in Education. 

When you are ready, even if it takes over a year, start adding to the conversation and engage other teachers. Checkout the schedule of PUBLIC talks about education on Twitter. I'm sure there's one for your content area. 


Need to a more basic start? Here is @RaeFearing's self-paced course on Twitter for Educators.

10/01/2013

High Impact Instruction Breakout Day 2

Midwest Leadership Summit @ St. Paul RiverCentre  

LESSON PLANNING 

"Thinking Prompts: Any device a teacher puts in front of students to prompt thinking, discussion, and dialog."

Effective thinking prompts are
  • Provocative, complex, concise, humanizing, varied
  • Catch emotions 
  • Not necessarily controversial, but stirs multiple thoughts in different people 
  • VARIED - do not use the same type of thinking prompt all the time
What Kind of Question are you asking for your discussion prompt?
Open or Closed 
Right/wrong or Opinion 

The more open ended or opinion questions you can form, the more rich the discussion and engagement will be. 

Level of Question asked (Jim Knight uses in lieu of Bloom's Taxonomy)
Knowledge
Skill 
Big idea 
  • You should ask about 4-5 good questions per period during direct instruction 
  •  Closed ended questions to affirm understandings - WKRP: Venus Explains the Atom
Playlist of videos used as discussion and inquiry prompts during session

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COMMUNITY BUILDING

Create a learner-friendly culture 
Changing the look of your classroom is an easy way to restart a different method of classroom management or instruction strategy.

What we say about the culture: The norms, rules, expectations within a classroom. The way everyone interacts during different activities in all part of classroom cultre.

Have power with, not over, your students. 

Use your power as a teacher to:
  • Build connections, 
  • Get to know a lot about your students, 
  • Offer choices, 
  • Meet one-to-one, 
  • Admit your imperfections, 
  • Continually ask, "How are my students' feeling now?" 
  • Ask for anonymous feedback
Use Freedom Within Form

  • Tightly structured routines and rituals
  • Attention signals, timers
  • Cooperative learning structures
  • Dialogue structures 
  • Structured choices 
  • Cues - such as thinking prompts - for transitions

Identify & teach expectations