This past summer at a technology conference I attended a session on edtech badges, I found it to be very interesting and in-line with the work I had been doing with my own students for the past year. Then the woman next to me whispered to her friend in disgust, “This is ridiculous, students should learn for the love of learning and not for some silly badge.” The friend mumbled something back in agreement and then promptly left the session. I was left sitting at my skinny little conference table in shock.
How can teachers be so naïve? Do we really thing this generation of students want to learn for the sheer joy of learning? Who are they trying to kid? Research (1) shows that this new crop of students are motivated by three things; choice, effort and persistence. All three of which are part of a solid badge program, joy of learning is not.
Choice: when I recently announced to my students all of the optional edtech badges they could earn (30 plus badges now), they cheered. They love the idea of being able to choose there learning path. Some students loved the idea of a videography strand, where others were more interested in the LEGO engineering strand.
Effort: Students want to know that their effort will be recognized. This is something that badges do really well. Every badge has an element of “sharing” so they get a chance to show the world what they have done as well as a badge they proudly wear on their backpack.
Persistence: Students truly, deep down inside of themselves, do not want badges to to easy to earn. They want them to require some persistence — this is what gets the respect of their peers. One of the hardest badges to earn in our school is the coveted Director’s Badges, which is really hard to get since we only make three movies a year.
So my teachers who sat next to me at that convention, I hope that your little “Badges! We don’t need stinkin’ badges!” world you live in is working for you, but for the rest of us, badges could just be the thing to get our students the tech skills that they so desperately need.
#edtech #edchat #elearning #elemchat
While I was sitting and enjoying the opening keynote for the TIE Colorado conference, I could help but notice that the presenter, Roger Pryor, was wearing a tshirt with a elephant’s head printed on it. If fact, he even referred to his shirt a few times in his keynote. The elephant’s head is of course the logo for Evernote. I had never really though very much about Evernote, but the keynote references to it were just the beginning. It seamed that everywhere I went this summer I kept running into people that love Evernote.
So take I finally gave in and I downloaded the Evernote app to my iPad, then to my iPhone and then finally to my MacBook. I will install it on my school PC when I get back to work next week. I know nothing about using Evernote so I started with some online tutorials form Atomic Learning. You can see from this image that they had a lot of quick little lesson videos about Evernote. These lessons are part of their much bigger workshop called “The Social and Interactive Web.”
I spent about 15 minutes watching the videos all the while pausing every now and then to practice what I had just learned. I am now using Evernote lickety-split. I’m no pro — but I know way more about Evernote than when I woke up this morning.
Part of being a 21st Century teacher is always being ready to learn new things — and today I am glad I did, I can already see how this little program is going to help me get a little more organized as teacher.
- Brad Flickinger, Bethke Elementary School
- Keep it Forever Using Evernote’s Web Clipper (techie-buzz.com)
- Evernote Tips Tricks and Resources (ismckenzie.com)
- App of the week for journalists: Evernote – A must-have app ‘like having a second brain’ (blogs.journalism.co.uk)
I saw someone at ISTE Unplugged present on this book so I ordered it the moment I got home. It arrived today and I just finished chapter one, and I knew I had to write a blog post about it.
I LOVE THIS BOOK!
I hope the rest of the book is as good as the preface and chapter one, I feel as if the authors are touching on something that I have felt for years. We need to bring passion back into teaching, and into learning for that matter. I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those books that forever change how I teach.
I’ll keep you posted.
- Brad Flickinger, Bethke Elementary SchoolRead More
#edtech #elemchat #edchat
Before you even have your first FLL (First LEGO League) meeting plan to make a scrapbook of all of your team’s activities. This will be invaluable later when you are working with judges at the competitions. You will want to take photos and notes on everything your team does at every meeting. Assign a team member to take care of the scrapbook.
When your students are planning their robot – take photos.
When students practice a team building activity – take photos.
I think you get the idea.
You will use this team scrapbook with your team as you prepare for the competition. I review all of the building we did, the programming, the mistakes, the successes, and team activities so these are fresh in their heads when then talk to the judges. Plus, they take the scrapbook along, so if a judge asks them how they came up with a certain attachment, they can open up the scrapbook and show them the photos.
JUDGES LOVE A TEAM SCRAPBOOK!
- 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