InstaGrok is an intelligent visual search engine and interactive learning tool that collects educational content and displays it in the form of a cloud of related words. The tool is very appealing because it offers a variety of multimedia features to meet the unique learning needs of students.
There is a step in the design process that seems to be rushed-over at times: Brainstorming. Many times we are presented with information that needs to be trained. We've probably done a similar course in the past and/or covered a similar topic.
This school year started in July, 2011, with a spectacular trip to the iEARN Conference and Student Summit in Kaoshiung, Taiwan. There I met the most inspiring teachers from around the world…Egypt, The United Emirates, Jordan, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Morocco, among many others. I spent the early mornings strolling along the walking paths in the wooded park across the street… being overtaken by the silence and calmness of local people in mediation, doing Tai Chi and walking mindfully. The evenings were spent with new friends being amazed by the shrines, temples and other sights of Kaohsiung and wandering around the night markets filled with curious food, lively crowds, and sounds and smells of all kinds. ....
My students are now blogging online! It’s quite exciting. We started by working through the blogging concept and process using paper blogs and a week later, we put those same ideas on our class blog.
But first, we needed to make sure we were safe! In fact, I first had to have multiple meetings with my principal, the technology teacher and integration specialist – understandably so! This is a big step when it’s the first time young students will be putting themselves out there. But I made a few assurances that using kidblog.org would be safe. First, I designed this go around so that all the students’ posts would only go live after I approved them. I also made certain that would be the case for all the comments. In addition, I created our classes blog so that the posts would only be viewable by our classmates when they are logged on. In other words, it’s a closed blog.
I didn't mean to call it a Mosaic process--when I began to put my ideas down on paper, it originally resembled a flow chart. As I began to brainstorm in different colors, however, it turned into a mosaic.
After centuries of fixating on the solitary student's singular progress, we are currently experiencing the rise of a radical emphasis on collaborative, team-based learning. This is not just a slight course correction… ...
Patrick Ledesma is a National Board-certified teacher and School Based Technology Specialist in Fairfax, Virginia, where he focuses on instructional-technology integration and special education at the middle school level.
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