#edchat #edtech The School Technology Report for Monday, November 22, 2010 How teachers are using Atomic Learning to get training on new technologies like Prezi. I talk about teachers learning to go to Atomic Learning for their tech questions.
Let me explain…
As I work with schools about educational technology they will inevitably take me on a tour of their school to show me the “cool” projects their students are doing with technology. This usually means that I am going to have to sit though yet another poorly made student tech project of some sort.
You’ve seen them — presentation made with every transition, animation and sound effect that came with the software. Videos that are so shaky, poorly lit and with such bad audio that you are car sick by the end of watching it and you still have no idea what it was about. Websites that have animated logos, a sound track, and a background that is so busy-looking that you can’t even read it. I could go on and on, but I think you get the sarcastic picture I am painting about student-made tech projects.
Inevitably, at the end of these projects the teachers look back at me to get the accolades that they think are coming. They mistakenly think that because their students worked hard on a student-made tech project that was full of everything that the software possibly does that I would be impressed. I simply thank them for the hard work and I tell them that I will talk to them about this project later.
Then, when the appropriate time comes, and I have just the teachers alone in a room, I let them know how I really feel, “That project was horrible.”
Then, just as they are reaching for the pitch forks and lighting their torches, I explain to them that it is not their fault. None of them studied filmmaking, graphic design and web programming, how were they to know what makes a good presentation, video or website? But allowing students to do a poor tech project is like letting them write a story and allowing them to do anything they want, any way they want. Poor grammar — sure. Spelling errors — yup. Bad punctuation — you bet. Or like allowing students to solve math problems any way they want — no order of operations, no learning your times tables, etc. We, as teachers, would never allow this to happen to our other projects even if the students worked hard at it. We would correct them and teach them the proper way. Yet, when it comes to projects that use technology we allow bad presentations, videos, podcasts, web pages, etc. to be made by our students. All because as teachers we have no idea what to look for and how to grade it.
#edchat #edtech The School Technology Report for November 15, 2010 A review of teachers using Atomic Learning to find out how to set up their own blogs.Read More
#edtech #edchat #elearning I vividly remember the first time I saw an unbelievable tech project from a student. It was the spring of 2007 and I was searching the Internet about this new thing called podcasting. I came across a website that had a middle school principal who had made a few podcasts. His name was Dr. Tim Tyson and at the time he was the principal of the Mabry Middle School in Marietta, GA
My research into podcasting continued as I found his school website (he still keeps it archived at www.MabryOnline.org) and I was amazed to see how much this principal was podcasting. But that was not the unbelievable part.
What happened next changed me as a teacher for the rest of my life.
While on the Mabry website I saw a link for the 2007 film festival. I clicked the link and soon I was watching the film work the middle school students had done. I was blown-away, I had never seen this type of quality work from college students, let alone middle schoolers.
Within days I was on the phone to Dr. Tyson asking him all sorts of questions, but the biggest one was that I wanted to know who made those movies. He told me that the students had and I told him I didn’t believe him. He laughed and explained to me that he gets that a lot. He assured me that they had a high expectation when it comes to the tech projects that the students make at his middle school. At Mabry they do not allow there students to do sloppy film work. Instead, they needed to follow a quality rubric with areas like sound, lighting, etc. He went on to explain that most teachers allow students to do poor work when it comes to tech projects because they don’t know what to look for, after all they are teachers not filmmakers. But you don’t need to go to film school to know what makes a good video. A student should not be allowed to turn in a video that looks like it was shot during an earthquake and has such poor lighting and sound that you cannot see or hear what is going on.
It was like he flipped a switch inside of me. I had no idea that young students were capable of such great work. Here I was an elementary tech teacher and I knew what I wanted my students to do; I wanted them to make such incredible tech projects that people would be calling me someday and asking me who really made them.
I wanted people to say “There is no way a third grader took that photo.” or “How many grown-ups help make that movie about the civil war?”
What I wanted was unbelievable tech projects from elementary students. I wanted to push my students to do great work with technology, not just mediocre work. I wanted them to do projects that they could put in there digital portfolios and say with pride years later, “Yeah, I made this movie when I was in elementary school, pretty cool, huh?”
So here I am, four years later, still burning with the same passion that was ignited inside of me back in 2007, working on unbelievable tech projects for elementary students. Check out their latest work at www.BethkeElementary.com and look for KBOB Studios.Read More
#edtech #edchat #elearning The School Technology Report: A review on using Atomic Learning and how a workshop taught us how to use Facebook in our school.Read More