Mr. Flick's Tech Badges: Take 2

#edtech #edchat As many of you know, last year I tried to flip my tech classroom for 4th and 5th graders and have them earn badges for the tech skills they needed to acquire while still in elementary school. I am pleased to report that it was a screaming success. With that said, there are still a number of things that need to be improved, and that is what I am now trying to do.

Student will use technology to help to improve literacy in Nicaragua.

My tech badge program is a mixture of the flipping model, PBL model, and Challenge Based Learning.

This summer I have been watching a lot of TED videos and they have really got me thinking. Thinking about how I can turn my students into little social innovators, students that care about the world around them and then try to do something about it.

So here is some of the info from the PBL planner that I am using to give you an idea...

Name of Project: Bethke Kids Helping Kids Program

Duration: all year long
Subject: Technology
Teacher: Mr. Flickinger
Grade Levels: 3rd, 4th, and 5th
Project Idea:  Students learn how to leverage technology to help change their world following the theme: "Using technology to make our world better."  In order to do this they have to gain certain tech skills (which will be tracked by earning badges) that will allow them to progress to different levels as they create projects that will be part of the Kids Helping Kids Technology Showcase and Dinner with the proceeds going to help a library program in Nicaragua. This will be a red-carpet event with awards to the top projects.
Driving Question: How can I use technology to make the world a better place, starting with me?
Stay tuned for more updates...


An Edtech Teacher's Take on CES 2013

#edtech Why does an edtech teacher visit the largest consumer electronics show on earth?

Each winter I look forward to attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas as part of my job as an elementary technology teacher and edtech consultant. More for the latter I suppose.

At CES each year I get a chance to glance into the crystal ball of technology. You see, often times when I am working with school districts on their technology plans I will get asked about my opinions of where technology is headed. A fair question when you're a district about to spend millions of dollars on technology. CES allows me to see how things are trending in technology. For example a few years ago 3D was all the rage, but at CES I got to play with 3D technology and I couldn't see it working in homes, let alone schools. So I steered districts away from it, and sure enough, 3D for homes and schools at least, is D.O.A.

Other technologies that I have discovered at CES like tablet computers as teleprompters, I used at my own school. There is something about being able to play with technology that helps me decide if it will work in schools or not. Seeing, and touching, really is believing when it comes to technology.

School technology is a moving target so it is important to get as much intelligence as you can, so you can get the biggest bang for your edtech buck. I think we've all been burned, whether at home or at school, when we've purchased a new piece of technology one day only to have is become obsolete the next. I work hard to prevent this as much as possible and attending CES helps.

But CES is massive, the show covers the equivalent of 32 football fields, so there is no way I can see it all in the few days that I am there. So I make a plan of which technologies I need to check out. This year I am focused on mobile technologies.

So here I go, off to Las Vegas with 160,000 other geeks to check out the coolest gadgets on earth, all in hopes of seeing where the edtech ball will be instead of where it is right now.