- APU Courses
- 2013 Online Writing That Meets the Common Core – CUE13
- 2012 Internet Safety – PFB
- 2012 AppleTV in the Classroom – FallCUE
- 2012 Common Core 101 – FallCUE12
- 2012 TeachMeetNJ & TeachMeetKY – Intro to Flipped Classroom
- 2012 ISTE Presentation – QR Codes
- TeachMeet12 Nashville – Remind101.com
- CUE12 – Going Wild with Weebly
- EdCampOCLA – iPad Apps We Use
- CUE11 – Going Green with iMovie
- TeachMeet11 in Nashville TN via Skype
This past weekend I had the chance to attend the San Gabriel Valley Computer Using Educator’s (SGVCUE) Tech Fair. It was a great chance to talk and listen to educators that are like minded in educational technology. There were many presentations to pick from throughout the morning and early afternoon to sit in on with also a keynote by Roger Wagner sandwiched in the middle.
There were many presentations by some great tech using people that included Sean Williams (@seani_), Dennis Large, Jennifer Wagner (@jenwagner), Kim Bass, Tim McKean and Chris Bell (@cbell619) to name a few.
I had the chance to sit in on Dennis Large’s presentation titled, “Knowledge is Power: Become an Informed Ed Tech Advocate at Your School” He shared that according to the current budget situation educational technology is only receiving 14.7 million dollars for the entire state of California. With the current situation of possible state cuts that can get worse.
Another topic in Dennis’s presentation was Digital Textbooks. He shared that CK12.org offers free online flexbooks. These types of online textbooks can be downloaded onto tablets such as the iPad can be an alternative to regular hard covered books we see today. An alternative that may be cheaper to both districts and publishers. Students will have a copy of the book where ever that may go. Books may come from sites like CK12.org or from publishers such as Holt McDougal as portrayed in this video:
Online Learning was also discussed. Recent research is pointing to online learning as a huge benefit for overall learning. The hybrid of online and face to face learning has recently shown to provide the best learning for students. Some would even say that teachers who teach online know their students better. That may be up for debate and discussion. The Edtech community is determining the pros and cons of administering online learning. How do we know who is doing the work? Well it seems some of the best ideas are still being thought out, but one may be that the administering of assessments would be proctored in a building rather than online. It’s going to be interesting on where online learning is going to go and look like in schools in the years to come.
My second session was with the wonderful @SymbalooEDU team. They did an awesome job explaining and setting us up with our own Symbaloo account. Symbaloo is a fantastic way to bookmark your sites in a visual way. You can set them up as webmixes for certain groups or subjects. You can have this set as your homepage for easy access. This would be great for students as they open their browser to have access to all the preset bookmarks that they can visually see. No more writing long URLs on the board or waiting for them to type them in. Symbaloo is seen and explained in this video here:
You can also visit the website by clicking here.
Some of the ideas I had as I was learning the Symbaloo site was the ability to have a webmix for all the California Missions since I teach fourth grade. I also have all my students creating websites through Weebly and students can easily navigate to their peers sites to read and comment on them. Being able to share important sites in one location with parents can be a huge way to strengthen that home-school bridge.
It was then on to the Keynote with Roger Wagner. The creator of HyperStudio. He presented a thought provoking idea of how we deal with recall. We spend a lot of time in recall. We all know Bloom’s Taxonomy and the idea of creating. It does take a lot of recall and comprehension to create. As Roger pointed out, when we wake up the next day where are we? Are we at recall again? Having to recall the information again and again to comprehend and to hopefully create could be like the movie, Groundhog Day. Over and over again. We have to recall to comprehend to re-express ourselves without using the same words but using different ones. We may have to stay in recall for awhile to fully comprehend. Then we have application. The ability to solve a problem for which the answer is still unknown. It is then we might be able to create new problems autonomously that are not yet posed. Being able to bring new things to existence.
How many times do we have students “create” a tech project that seems to demonstrate their learning? Without noticing we have two learning cycles going on at the same time. One with the technology and the other with the content. Are we learning the content or the technology? As Roger stated, “Don’t mistake tech achievement for content achievement.”
My last session was with Kim Bass. She presented on iPod Touches and allowed us to use them. She shared on how she was able to have them in her class via a district grant. She shared many management strategies such as simply having the students having the iPod Touches face down rather than face up. This keeps them from being sneaky and touching them during instruction or while directions are being given. She shared her excitement and the higher engagement that her students now have in using the mobile devices in her class. She also shared some of the apps the students use for learning and playing. I have listed some below:
Again it is always great to mingle with educators who are doing amazing things in the classroom with the tools of the 21st Century. Although, I could not go to all of them, as is always the case at a fair or conference, I was impressed with SGVCUE’s Tech Fair. I was able to talk, share an learn from other professionals who are in the classroom or soon hope to be. Being able to network and share with each other helps each one of us grow and truly be life long learners. It was even amazing as I sat and talked to a group of students who are in grades four through six on how they work as a site tech team. They go around and solve troubleshooting issues for teachers. It was great to hear how they meet, plan and troubleshoot through their days and weeks. They get together at recess and share the responsibilities. They use their free time to help teachers with issues that arise. This is an example of how we can and should listen to our students when it comes to tech considering they truly are the 21st Century Learner.
It is always refreshing to come to a tech fair/conference such as this to see other educators doing the same things as yourself. It can either be talking about the state of edtech funding, learning about iPod Touches, digital storytelling or even knowing how to podcast. Also, meeting those from the Twitter world face to face is a pretty neat thing.
Great job SGVCUE, those who presented and the people behind the scenes to make it happen!
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