Monday, July 28, 2014

My Thoughts on Going 1:1 Part 7

This is the seventh post in a multi-part series for the Summer of 2014

I wanted to share some of my thoughts, ideas, suggestions, helpful tips on embarking on our digital learning initiative (aka 1:1 with Chromebooks) at the Senior High.

My First Classroom
Now, before you say, "What does Mickie know about teaching in a 1:1 classroom?", consider where I have been. I spent seventeenish years as a business teacher. I worked for three different school districts during that time. In each school my "classroom" was a computer lab. Each of my students had a computer to use during my classes. I was 1:1 before 1:1 was a thing! So I do think I have something to offer when it comes to teaching in a 1:1 classroom environment.

This series of blog posts will give you some "food for thought" when it comes to each of your students having a device to use during your classes. I am by no means saying "Do it this way!" Rather, I am giving you some things to consider from the perspective of someone who has been there.

Last week I shared with you the SAMR model and I gave you ideas for the first two levels, Substitution and Augmentation. Everyone should have a goal this semester to attempt something at one of these two levels.


Some of you may be ready to go further with the model. The Modification and Redefinition levels can really lead to transforming your classroom in ways that were not previously possibly without technology. So for those of you who are ready, what are some things you can do to get your students above the line?

Modification

  • Instead of students writing a paper and turning it in for the teacher to evaluate, students write a blog post and comment on each others work
  • Instead of students creating a poster on poster board that is hung in the classroom, students use Glogster to create a poster and allow other students to comment on their work using the comments feature; students could also embed their Glog into a personal website or blog to share with a wider audience 
  • Instead of students writing an essay, an audio recording of the essay is created with original music; the audio recording is played for the class and/or parents and posted on a personal website or blog
Redefinition 
  • Students create a narrated Google Earth tour and share online
  • Students teams collaborate to create a documentary exploring a particular topic and the video is posted online to get input from a global audience 
  • Students connect with scientists via Skype or Google Hangouts to share with the scientists findings of a class research project; scientists give feedback that allows for the improvement of the project
Some really creative things can take place above the line at Modification and Redefinition. For those of you who are ready to go there, I am ready to help! Together, we can design a project that meets your curricular objectives and takes advantage of the technology your students will have. I don't know about you but I am really looking forward to this year!

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Thoughts on Going 1:1 Part 6

This is the sixth post in a multi-part series for the Summer of 2014

I wanted to share some of my thoughts, ideas, suggestions, helpful tips on embarking on our digital learning initiative (aka 1:1 with Chromebooks) at the Senior High.

My First Classroom
Now, before you say, "What does Mickie know about teaching in a 1:1 classroom?", consider where I have been. I spent seventeenish years as a business teacher. I worked for three different school districts during that time. In each school my "classroom" was a computer lab. Each of my students had a computer to use during my classes. I was 1:1 before 1:1 was a thing! So I do think I have something to offer when it comes to teaching in a 1:1 classroom environment.

This series of blog posts will give you some "food for thought" when it comes to each of your students having a device to use during your classes. I am by no means saying "Do it this way!" Rather, I am giving you some things to consider from the perspective of someone who has been there.

In this post I am going to introduce you to the SAMR Model. The SAMR Model was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura to assist teachers in integrating technology into teaching and learning. The letters stand for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. This model can also be viewed as a progression of how teachers integrate technology into teaching and learning. Most teachers start at the Substitution level and work their way up as they become more comfortable with integrating technology.

I am fully aware that some of you are already above the line at Modification and Redefinition. And others of you have yet to really dip your toe into the water yet. With the Chromebooks, some of you may feel like you are jumping head first into the deep end, especially if you haven't done a lot of technology integration yet.

So, Jake and I would like to give each of you a goal. And that goal is by the end of the first semester, you have attempted something at either the Substitution or Augmentation level. Here are some simple ideas for these levels:

Substitution
  • Instead of students taking notes with paper and pencil, they take notes on the Chromebooks
  • Instead of students taking a quiz with paper and pencil, they take a quiz using Google Forms
  • Instead of having a student ask a question and you not knowing the answer and waiting until the next day to tell students the correct answer, have students have a Google race to find the correct answer
Augmentation
  • Instead of students taking a quiz with paper and pencil, they take a Socrative quiz and receive immediate feedback on how they did
  • Instead of holding a class discussion where only the "chatty" or "brave" students take part, use a backchannel tool like Today's Meet or Padlet and have all students participate
  • Instead of students writing a report or paragraph on a particular topic, have students use Movenote to demonstrate their understanding of the topic
Still not sure about this SAMR thing? I would love to sit down with you and see how I can help you get started using technology in your classroom.

In next week's post, I will take a closer look at the levels above the line, Modification and Redefinition. Until then, the following video is of Dr. Puentedura explaining the SAMR model.


Monday, July 14, 2014

My Thoughts on Going 1:1 Part 5

This is the fifth post in a multi-part series for the Summer of 2014

I wanted to share some of my thoughts, ideas, suggestions, helpful tips on embarking on our digital learning initiative (aka 1:1 with Chromebooks) at the Senior High.

My First Classroom
Now, before you say, "What does Mickie know about teaching in a 1:1 classroom?", consider where I have been. I spent seventeenish years as a business teacher. I worked for three different school districts during that time. In each school my "classroom" was a computer lab. Each of my students had a computer to use during my classes. I was 1:1 before 1:1 was a thing! So I do think I have something to offer when it comes to teaching in a 1:1 classroom environment.

This series of blog posts will give you some "food for thought" when it comes to each of your students having a device to use during your classes. I am by no means saying "Do it this way!" Rather, I am giving you some things to consider from the perspective of someone who has been there.

Structuring a lesson involving technology can be challenging, but you have all done it before. How will this change now that each student has their own device to use every day? When I was in the classroom, I was teaching technology so my students used the computers from the time the bell rang to begin class to the time the bell rang to end class. But that was my class. The vast majority of you are not teaching technology. So your challenge is to figure out when it is appropriate to use technology in the scope of your lesson. Is it possible that you could conduct an entire lesson and not have the students use their Chromebooks? Sure. But, could you add the use of the Chromebook to your lesson somehow? Bell ringers or exit tickets are a great way to make use of the Chromebooks and could be used in every classroom, every day. Tools like Socrative or Kahoot or Geddit are great to check for understanding during class. Need to do a quiz? Why not use a Google Form? A Google Form is easy to create and can do the grading for you! Want to have a discussion? Why not try a Padlet wall? Student ask a question that no one knows the answer to? Have the students Google it and see who can come up with the correct answer first.

There are all sorts of small ways you can take advantage of having the Chromebooks in your classroom. You don't have to start with a full blown, technology only project. Just start small. It is okay. And it is okay to ask for help. That is what I am here for. Invite me into your classroom and let me see how I can help you. I have ideas! Just ask my husband!

Monday, July 7, 2014

My Thoughts on Going 1:1 Part 4

This is the fourth post in a multi-part series for the Summer of 2014

I wanted to share some of my thoughts, ideas, suggestions, helpful tips on embarking on our digital learning initiative (aka 1:1 with Chromebooks) at the Senior High.

My First Classroom
Now, before you say, "What does Mickie know about teaching in a 1:1 classroom?", consider where I have been. I spent seventeenish years as a business teacher. I worked for three different school districts during that time. In each school my "classroom" was a computer lab. Each of my students had a computer to use during my classes. I was 1:1 before 1:1 was a thing! So I do think I have something to offer when it comes to teaching in a 1:1 classroom environment.

This series of blog posts will give you some "food for thought" when it comes to each of your students having a device to use during your classes. I am by no means saying "Do it this way!" Rather, I am giving you some things to consider from the perspective of someone who has been there.

Each student will ultimately be responsible for the care of his or her Chromebook. But we can all keep a watchful eye out and help our students learn to be good stewards of school property. You can help by making sure that Chromebooks are in the school issued cases at all times. By enforcing proper Chromebook use and care in your room, we can assure that Chromebooks are being well cared for. For example, encourage your students to carry the Chromebook with two hands, lid closed. Remind students not to pick the Chromebooks up by the screen or to flop the screen back and forth--the screen and the hinges are the most delicate parts of these Chromebooks. Let students know that it is not okay to close the Chromebook lid with anything between the screen and keyboard (pencils, papers, books). Do not let students pile other books on top of the Chromebook. If you notice the student has decorated his or her Chromebook with stickers, remind them that this is against policy and report them. Most of these things are common sense but as we know with high school students, reminders will be needed.

Routine Chromebook "health checks" will be conducted but don't be afraid to remind students about proper care when you see a violation. Stopping something before it starts and constant reminding of proper use will ensure our Chromebooks will last.