#edtech #edchat #elemchat
The following are what I believe are the rights of all student to have with regards to using technology as an educational tool, written as a student to their teacher:
- I have the right to use my own technology at school. I should not be forced to leave my new technology at home to use (in most cases) out-of-date school technology. If I can afford it, let me use it — you don’t need to buy me one. If I cannot afford it, please help me get one — I don’t mind working for it.
- I have the right to access the school’s WiFi. Stop blaming bandwidth, security or whatever else — if I can get on WiFi at McDonalds, I think that I should be able to get online at school.
- I have the right to submit digital artifacts that prove my understanding of a subject, regardless of whether or not my teacher knows what they are. Just because you have never heard of Prezi, Voki, or Glogster, doesn’t mean that I should not be able to use these tools to prove to you that I understand what you are teaching me.
- I have the right to cite Wikipedia as one of the sources that I use to research a subject. Just because you believe the hype that Wikipedia is full of incorrect information, doesn’t mean that it is true — besides we all use it anyways (including you). I am smart enough to verify what I find online to be the truth.
- I have the right to access social media at school. It is where we all live, it is how we communicate — we do not use email, or call each other. We use Facebook, Twitter and texting to talk to each other. Teachers and schools should take advantage of this and post announcements and assignments using social media — you will get better results.
- I have the right to be taught by teachers who know how to manage the use technology in their classrooms. These teachers know when to use technology and when to put it away. They understand that I need to be taught how to balance my life between the online and offline worlds. They do not throw the techno-baby out with the bath water.
- I have the right to be taught by teachers who teach me and demand that I use 21st Century Skills. Someday I am going to need a job — please help me be employable.
- I have the right to be assessed with technology. I love the instant feedback of testing done technology. I live in a world of instant feedback, so to find out a couple of weeks later that I didn’t understand your lesson, drive me crazy. If you were a video game, no one would play you — your feedback is too slow.
- I have the right to be protected from technology. I don’t want to be cyberbullied, hurt, scared or find crud online that I would rather not find. Please help me use technology responsibly and safely. Please stay up-to-date with this kind of information, and teach me to make good choices. I am not you and we don’t see eye to eye about what to put online, but help me to meet you in the middle.
- I have the right to be taught by teachers that know their trade. They are passionate about what they do and embrace the use of technology to help me learn. They attend trainings and practice what they learn. They are not afraid to ask for my help; they might know more than me about the Civil War, but I know Glogster like nobody’s business.
This is a work in progress, please comment below on what to add or change.
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary
#edtech #edchat #elearning #elemchat
Like many of you, I spend my summers revamping my lessons so that I am ready for the upcoming school year. This is especially true when it comes to teaching technology — what was fresh and cool one year becomes outdated and un-cool the next. So I woke up this morning wanting to update my Audacity training (Audacity if a voice recording program), but after an hour of racking my brain for ideas on how my make a cool Audacity project it dawned on me to check to see what Atomic Learning (AL) had.
You see, I knew that Atomic Learning would have tutorials on how to use Audacity, but what I really wanted was a project. So I logged into AL and I noticed that one of the search criterias was for “projects,” so I clicked search and sure enough there was a project for Audacity called “What does Sound Look Like.”
I looked it over and it was perfect, just what I was looking for. Here is what the project description says:
We’ll begin by importing audio into Audacity. We’ll explore the audio waveform and identify drum beats and instrument attacks in the amplitude, as well as take a quick look at the relationship between frequency and pitch. Then, we’ll cut silence out of the song, fade it out, and crossfade it with another song. Finally, we’ll find a 4-measure loop, remove it from the song, and save the new song as a WAV file.
So I checked that off my list and moved on to my next summer project — cleaning the garage! I wonder if they have a project for that?
- Brad Flickinger, Bethke Elementary SchoolRead More
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
#elemchat #edtech #edchat #elearning
The other day I had dinner with a fellow educator and we naturally started to talk about technology integration in the classroom (of course), so I shared a story about my daughter and Wikipedia.
The last week my daughter came home and explained to me about a game she and her classmates play on their smartphones when they are bored in school. They call them “Wikipedia Races,” they like to use Wikipedia because it is banned by most teachers at her school so they feel a bit like rebels by using this “outlawed” website – evil Wikipedia.
The game goes like this; someone names two terms that are totally unrelated and then they race to see how they can use Wikipedia to get from one term the other the quickest, kind of like using six-degrees of separation but with terms instead of people.
Here is the one that she gave me: Turtles and Photosynthesis
What the? Turtles have nothing to do with photosynthesis!
Then she showed me how she won this round just that afternoon.
She looked up turtles in Wikipedia. Then under culture she found that a turtle is used on the Cayman Island’s coat of arms. So she went to Cayman Island, then to scuba diving, then to oxygen and finally to photosynthesis. Voila!
She said that they love playing this at school – weird, I know.
This reminded me of the scene from Jurassic Park when they realized that the female-only population of dinosaurs were somehow reproducing. “Nature will find a way – Nature always finds a way.”
Our students want to use technology to do their school work, and if we don’t let them, they will still find a way to use it. So rather than trying to make our entire population of teachers tech-savvy, maybe we just need to step aside and let the students just do it.
Case in point:
I wanted my 4th grade students to learn how to make video games.
I know nothing about making video games.
So I let them watch some video tutorials on Atomic Learning to get the basics on how to use the free application called Scratch and before I knew it, they were making video games. That’s “Step Aside Teaching.” If you don’t know how to do something with technology, just step aside and let the students teach themselves.
By the way, I now know how to use Scratch because my students have also taught me while they were learning themselves. So check your ego at the door and learn a little from your students.Read More
#edtech #edchat #elearning
I write this post as I am stuck in the airport. Actually, I am only 45 miles from my home here in Northern Colorado, but I am trying to fly to Seattle this evening to do some blended professional development tomorrow with the Northshore school district. My flight got delayed nearly three hours, so here I sit.
Anyone who has been in education for longer than a month knows about “PD.” It is what us teachers do to get better — or to get tortured — depending on how you approach it. By adding the word “blended” to the front of it I believe it gets much better.
The course I am teaching in Seattle (if I can make it there) is all about integrating 21st Century Skills into lessons and it is being offered by my pals over at Atomic Learning. Two weeks ago the teachers in Seattle got their assignment and access to the online component of the course. The teachers have been learning from these online lessons and when we get together tomorrow we will all be on the same page, which means we can get right down to work without having to spend a lot of time on instruction. This is so much better that the “old” way of doing PD.
Gotta go… I think I might be finally boarding.