#edtech #edchat #elearning
For years I have been all alone in teaching my elementary students about the world of technology, I’ve made all my own lessons from scratch as I tried my best to give my students the tech skills that they so desperately need in this new world of the 21st Century.
That was all perfect until I came across Learning.com this summer at the ISTE conference in Philadelphia. I just wandered into their booth drawn by the free candies that they prominently displayed at the back of the booth. “Candy,” I thought in my head, saying it like I was Homer Simpson. I was just inches away from my reward when I was approached by a rep from Learning.com who asked me if I would like a demonstration of their products.
I was beat and needed to sit down so I agreed.
The first product they showed me was their web based tech training for elementary students called EasyTech.
“This should be good,” I sarcastically thought to myself believing that I had the best tech lessons on the planet..
I watched as they demonstrated how easy it was for students to log on and then follow along with an animated lesson about certain tech subject.
Learning.com blew me away with EasyTech.
The lesson I watched was done with a cool animated character named Lukas Blackwell, a young rocker who is on a european tour and wants to stay connected to his friends and fans so he starts his own blog. I was pleasantly shocked at how much detail this little lesson covered, they really went into all of the deeper aspects of blogging, not forgetting to cover Internet safety all along the way.
The animation and narration of EasyTech is top notch and it is not just a “sit and watch” lesson, on every other slide the student needs to interact with the lesson to make sure that they are understanding the content that is being presented. Learning.com has got strong academics backing these lessons — something that caught my eye from the first of the demo.
Here is a link to the same lesson on blogging that I saw at their booth in Philadelphia.
Just click on the Curriculum link and then Grades 6-8 Sample.
The other half of the EasyTech program are the lesson plans for teachers to use once the online lesson is over. This is usually a PDF that has it all spelled out for the teacher. Here is a quote from the blogging assignment:
In this activity, students create and respond to blogs as they read and write about literature. To begin, the class is divided into two teams. Each team brainstorms prompts about the current reading and theme for the other team. The teams then break into pairs to respond to the prompts in their blogs. Students post blog entries in first person as one of the main characters, and respond to other students blogs in their own voices. In a culminating project, students watch a modern-day movie version of the literary work and blog a final movie review essay that compares and contrasts the movie to the original work and provides a movie review.
Learning.com’s EasyTech is a fee-based subscription service that is for the K-8 market. They also offer other products like: Aha!Science and Aha!Math, which I will review at a later date.
Here are some photos of my students using Learning.com’s EasyTech on their netbooks:
EasyTech lessons are aligned with the ISTE NETS-S standards (something that I strongly believe in), and that they are available in both Spanish and English.
What really ticks me off about this particular EasyTech lesson on blogging is that I worked for years to develop and refine my own blogging lesson and in the end I didn’t cover half of what was covered by Learning.com And what really hurts is how my kids think that the rocker character “Lukas Blackwell” is so much cooler than me.
I should have never fell for the candy!
- Brad Flickinger, Bethke Elementary School
#edtech #edchat #elemchat #podstock2011
I just uploaded a new episode of Elementary Tech Teacher’s Journal.
Episode Number 34 for the week of July 25, 2011
What’s the Deal with QR Codes?
In today’s episode I explain what QR or Quick Response Codes are and how they can be used in education. Here is one that leads back to this blog.
This week’s episode is sponsored by Atomic Learning.
My district announced a few days before the end of school that they would be updating us from Microsoft Office 2003 to 2010 (skipping Office 2007) during the summer, so when we get back in August we will all be running Office 2010. I thought this was really cool, but then the emails started to flood in from teachers panicking over the announcement. People were worried about the upgrade and having to learn how to use the new Office platform.
So I was happy when I was reading Atomic Learning’s blog today when I found the post about how to transition from MS Office 2003 to 2010 with a great video that shows you exactly how to do it. I have forwarded this post to all my teachers so that when they back, they will have this handy little video that will show them everything they need to know. Thank you Atomic Learning.
- Brad Flickinger, Bethke Elementary SchoolRead More
#edtech #edchat #iste11
So there I was minding my own business at ISTE in the Blogger’s Cafe busily writing the previous blog post when in walks Kevin Honeycutt and before you know it we were jamming on our iPods and iPads and having a great time. Before too long David Warlick and others had joined in. I love ISTE — Edu-Geeks unite! Here are some photos I took while I jammed along.
- Brad Flickinger
It seems that every week I used my iPad more and more and my laptop less and less, so when stumbled across the recent blog post from Atomic Learning stating that most of their videos now work on my iPad, I looked over at my dusty laptop and said “sorry.” This was No small task when you consider the tens of thousands of videos that are in their library.
I just went to my AL account and I happy to report that the videos work great on my iPad.
In fact, I am writing this blog post on my iPad using an app called Blogsy, so thank you Atomic Learning for keeping at the leading edge of the curve. Which is good because by this time next year my laptop could be on eBay.Read More