With my edtech badges program passing the six month mark, I am amazed at how successful it is.
“Mr. Flick, is it okay if I come in a recess today to finish my Online Research Badge?” I am pestered by badge questions like this all the time, my students are hooked on earning badge for tech skills. Crud! I wish I would have thought of this years ago. Each week I write in my teaching journal on how things are going with this program, here are a few entries from the past six months…
September 12, 2012
“I need to make sure that the recognition for earning badges is based on the badges and not the individual. For example the public badge chart should show all the students that have earned the podcasting badge, and not a chart of students with stars for each badge they have earned. The later could publicly show a student as lacking skills, however with the former, it would be impossible to find the student that is lacking skills (this type of tracking will be in my grade book).”
September 22, 2012
“Badges are great, the students are finally getting used to them and some have started to earn them. I told fourth grade that they cannot have the Email Skills badge until the Word Processing badge is done. That was the kick in the pants they needed. Making the badges is a pain, I need to get kids to make them. Now I have time to just work the room. They still are reluctant to use the videos. They seem to still be addicted to being hand-fed education. Breaking old habits seems to be harder than I first thought.”
October 5, 2012
“Badges are working! Kids are finally figuring them out. I have begun to make and hand out badges. I think this might work. I have a list on the website of the kids that have earned badges (grouped by badges).”
October 13, 2012
“Making badges and checking kids work has been taking a lot of time, plus I am having kids turn in crap work, and want me to help them make one change at a time – the pain of gamification. I need to figure out a better way. Plus, what do I do about special needs kids like XXXX, how do they “earn” badges. I think I need to start each class with 15 minutes of keyboarding for those who have not earned their keyboarding badge. Get kids that are ahead in badges to make more badges.”
October 22, 2012
“I modified each badge for special needs children, it turns out I have more time now to work with these students more one-on-one now that the other students are busy on their own pacing. Students have now been taught that they can only turn in work when it is down, no more bit-by-bit help. I tell then to go back and watch video such and such. Students are finally figuring it out, the independent learner thing. I now have kids make badges, they love to do it. Things were much better this week.”
November 3, 2012
“What to do about kids that are waiting for feedback from teacher – grading, email, etc? They need to be able to work on other badges and not in order or you get “bottle-neckers” and “waiters.” I’ve got to figure this out.”
November 10, 2012
This past week I broke the badges into levels, now they can work on any badge they want from the same level, no more waiting on me. If they are waiting for me to grade something, they simply move on to a different badge for that level.”
January 9, 2013
“The badges are working great! I had a sub this past week and she did great. She said she had never seen kids so busy. All she had to do was work the room and answer a few questions. Should I be worried that the badge might replace me???”
January 30, 2013
“The badge program is cruising on auto pilot. I love being able to have time to truly help students that need it. My “high-flyers” are cruising through the badges and are happy (non-disruptive) because they don’t have wait for anyone. A few students have finished all of the beginner level badges and are now working on their advanced badges like photography and video game design.”
#edtech #atomiclearning #mlearning #ipaded
Atomic Learning announces the launch of Atomic Mobilize, a repository of online professional development resources and planning tools focusing on helping educators realize the full potential mobile devices provide in the classroom.Atomic Mobilize includes not only PD and planning tools, but also stories, examples and resources from fellow educators that illustrate how mobile devices can transform education and create highly personalized learning experiences for students. One story that is shared throughout the collection is that of Little Falls Community Schools in Minnesota, and their program known as Project REAL.You can check out a video about this program here… http://www.atomiclearning.com/mobilize
My friends over at Atomic Learning just announced Atomic Mobilize …
Atomic Learning announces the launch of Atomic Mobilize, a repository of online professional development resources and planning tools focusing on helping educators realize the full potential mobile devices provide in the classroom.
Atomic Mobilize includes not only PD and planning tools, but also stories, examples and resources from fellow educators that illustrate how mobile devices can transform education and create highly personalized learning experiences for students. One story that is shared throughout the collection is that of Little Falls Community Schools in Minnesota, and their program known as Project REAL.
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary SchoolRead More
#edtech #edchat #mlearning
Today I had the pleasure of listening to Travis Allen, the University Junior who has started his own non-profit to bring about the change that he wants to see in education. The company he started is called iSchool and the premise for what he wants is more mobile learning.
The talk that Travis gave us (about 50 people , a mixture of education and business leaders) was pretty much the same as his YouTube video. I really did enjoy what Travis had to say with one exception.
Any good story-teller knows that you need to start by explaining a problem, so at the beginning of his talk Travis mentions how bad he feels the U.S. education system is and how unjustly treated he has been as a “digital native.” He even goes as far as to list his complaints. I guess he does this for effect, and so that he can continue his story-telling by building up to a climax where he introduces how he and his followers are going to single-handedly change education, the very system that he called the “Titanic.”
The exception I take is this; if he got such a horrible education, how does he explain himself. By this I mean, how is it that he is standing before us as a 20-something, successful business owner, and university junior? How did this happen in this horrible country with it’s horrible educational system? His very existence speaks to the success of the U.S. educational system. Although it is true that we make horrible test-takers, as all the nay-sayers like to quote; “The U.S. placed 28th out of 30 industrialized nations in math, blah, blah, blah…” What we do make are amazing students who go on to do amazing things. Things that would never be allowed in other so-called better scoring countries.
I agree that there are problems and that we are losing jobs to other countries at an incredible rate. But there are some things that are not broken, let’s not just make better test takers, let’s make better people. People that go on to do amazing things in the greatest country in the world. While it is true that many of these other industrialized countries kick our butts in standardized tests — we kick their butts in innovation. The majority of great ideas still come from this educationally-broken system of the good ol’ US of A.
So my advice to you Travis is to change your tune… a bit. Rather than saying what a horrible education you got, you should maybe sing the praises of the education that made you what you are today and then introduce what we can to do to make it even better. We are not the Titanic. For crying out loud, we just put a rover the size of Mini-Cooper on Mars using a frickin’ “sky-crane!”
Frickin’ sky-crane, Travis! Did you see the animation of this? Where the crud did they get that idea from?
What other country has done something like that?
So change your tune, because your present song might get you some sound-bytes and some followers. But if you want to really make the change that you desire, you need to build some bridges with us educators and not burn them.
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School
P.S. What this…Read More
#edtech #edchat #ce12
With today being the first of August, my reminder app popped up and told me that today was the start of Connected Educators Month. I must have put this into my iPhone when I heard about it at SocialEdCon that happened the day before ISTE got started in San Diego. I remember someone getting up and explaining how it is important for educators that we connect with one another and start to share ideas on how to move education forward.
When I checked out their website this evening, I found that they have over 80 online events scheduled for this month. 80!
I scrolled down the list and found 10 or 12 activities that interested me right off the bat.
Next, I downloaded the Getting Started Kit so that I wouldn’t miss a thing. Going through this guide reminded me of the Spotlight series that Atomic Learning did on Collaborating with a Global Community last year (full of great workshops too).
I am excited with the prospects of this coming month, I hope to find more educators to connect with that are just as crazy about elementary edtech as I am. I find myself getting more and more ideas from my PLN than from anything else in my life, so the more I can add to this the better I get.
So join me in supporting this cause and let’s get this ball rolling.
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary SchoolRead More