Two experiences encountered by Mr. Schwartz and his blues-loving first graders truly illustrate the phenomenal effects of this program. Early on in the year, a non-English speaking student who had moved to San Diego from Mexico in August struggled with communication and classroom involvement. For months, she had been too shy to speak with her teacher and he had struggled to find ways to reach her while working with her parents and the school’s support staff. One day, a fellow student convinced her to join the classroom’s recently formed “1st Grade Blues Band” and the result was shocking. As Mr. Schwartz says, “…here she was singing ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ in front of the whole class with a HUGE smile on her face. Her peers and the music had emboldened her and she took the leap, speaking English aloud for the first time in class.”
A few months ago, Mr. Schwartz faced a similar situation when an Asian girl moved to San Diego and entered his first grade classroom. Unlike his Spanish-speaking students who have the advantage of interacting with many bilingual teachers and peers, this girl had no one and faced severe cultural and language barriers. As he again worked with the school staff and the girl’s parents, Mr. Schwartz began to recognize the same amazing phenomenon with this girl. She was getting into the Blues and it “had enabled her to overcome her shyness, and she sang with enthusiasm and joy.”
Today, both girls are integral parts of Garrison Elementary’s “1st Grade Blues Band.” In addition to putting on a great show, this band demonstrates irrefutable evidence of the positive role that music plays in education. To find out more about the pedagogy behind music and Mr. Schwartz’s use of music in his classroom, please visit the KidsLikeBlues.org website. And you don’t want to miss watching these incredible kids get their Blues on with a rousing rendition of “Sweet Home Chicago” at their recent talent show. (Click here for the YouTube video and get ready to rock!)
I know that it is 12 years into the 21st Century and you would think that my lessons would be full of 21st Century Skills, but I still need help with a few lessons. So the other day when I was logged into Atomic Learning I noticed that they had an area where I could search by state standard or, hold on to your seat, by 21st Century Skills.
So I searched for the standard I was stuck on…
Use digital-imaging technology to modify or create works of art for use in a digital presentation.
Sure enough, the search came up with a few different lessons that I could do.
I had totally forgotten about PhotoStory3, so I checked out what they had and it worked perfectly with what I needed.
No. 14 on my 28 item to-do list is now done. Now if only I could get Atomic Learning to do an oil change on my car, I could get another thing done.
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke ElementaryRead More
#edtech #ipad #ipaded
I need a GarageBand guru to take apart a song so that I can have an iBand cover the song at a convention. I pay little — but think of the fame!
- Brad Flickinger, tech teacher, Bethke Elementary
Two days ago while I was stuck in the Managua, Nicaragua airport desperately trying to find a book to read for the flights back home to Colorado, I decided to check the blog at Atomic Learning which it when I came across a post by Kristi Gottwalt about a new book:
Are you dreading implantation of your organization’s latest technology updates? There may be help for you in the book “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey A. Moore. The book is intended for organizations that market and sell “disruptive” products to mainstream customers. While your organization may not be selling in a traditional sense, advice from experts may be the key to get your team onboard with a new technology implementation.
What does it mean to cross the chasm? The theory indicates there are several different types of people when it comes to technology adoption. Innovators and Early Adopters embrace change. In the bell curve of technology adoption, there is then a chasm. This is the home of failed technology implementations. If the chasm can be crossed, the remaining characters on the technology adoption life cycle will accept technology change.
I downloaded the book to my Kindle app on my iPad and started to read it while waiting for my flight to board. By the time my section was called I was already mad. I was mad about this book because I could have used this information years ago!
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School
(The photo is of a little girl I met in the market in Granada, she told me I speak Spanish like a baby.)Read More
#edtech #edchat #mlearning
The other day I was showing a colleague an amazing little app I use to manage my to-do lists across multiple devices on multiple platforms. He was really impressed until he found out that is cost…
A whopping $4.99!
“$4.99! I’m not going to pay that much for an app!”
I’m sorry to say this about him – but what an idiot. He won’t pay $4.99 to make his life a whole lot better when the coffee in his hand cost more than this app. Again, what an idiot.
But some school districts are no different.
For example, as I work with more and more districts about converting over to mobile devices in the classrooms, the discussions always leads to the apps that these devices will use. But almost without exception as I start to suggest certain apps over others there is always someone in the group to freak out over the price of an app.
“You mean the app is not free?”
“No, it is $1.99.” I repeat.
“Can’t you find one that is free and does the same thing?” they fire back.
“Yes, there might be one that is free, but it won’t do the same thing.” I answer back knowing where this is headed.
And acting like they didn’t hear a thing I said; “Show us the free one.” they ask.
And with that, I start to pack up and I announce that I am no longer interested in helping them with their mobile integration if we cannot get past the cost of apps then there nothing more to talk about. This usually shocks them back to reality and I stay and finish my presentation and recommendations. Although I have walked out of a few meetings to be called back a few weeks later when they have come to their senses.
What is so wrong with paying for an app if it gives you what you need?
Now I get the fact that at the district level every penny spent on an app could equate to thousands of dollars in the end. But are we going to do tech integration right or not? I know budgets are tight, but holy crud people, when did it become so evil to pay for an app.
Let’s say the unit price of a mobile computing solution is $399, and with the RIGHT apps it is then $419. If the different between a device being useless or useful is $20, then we better rethink paying for apps.
It really is okay we can pay for apps, because when it comes to apps, you get what you pay for.
– Brad Flickinger, tech teacher, Bethke Elementary School