As social media becomes an even bigger part of our lives, it's important students are taught appropriate use at a young age. Here are a few reasons why I think social media belongs in the K-12 classroom.
Brian Romero Smith's insight:
Simply put, this is meeting our students where they are.
"Here is an interesting visual on the concept of differentiation in education which I came across on a tweet by Karen Friedman. This visual is created by ASCD and outlines some key differences between what differentiation is and what it is not. Have a look and share with us what you think of it."
Your staff not interested in using Twitter as a PLN? Most of the time this is due to the intimidation factor of learning how to use Twitter and not having enough time to do so. Tweechme takes a simple approach to help teachers become comfortable with using Twitter to grow and to meet there students where they are.
Twitter is a challenging tool to really start using. That’s probably why only 26% of U.S. adults, for example, use the service. Many people view a single tweet as gibberish about nothing relevant. But there comes a time when you actually ‘get’ Twitter and understand what all the fuss is about. The gibberish turns into …
Brian Romero Smith's insight:
One of my challenges this summer is to engage my teachers using Social Media. Keep in mind...my task was to bring the two campuses into the 21st Century, but the mindset was stuck in the 19th. Getting people onto email was my year 1 challenge, imagine the fight I have to using twitter, Google+ and others. However, easing the initial fears of new technology has been my mission and I must say, I'm ahead in my 3 year plan. However, the Social Media block is still there and I've come to the conclusion that it's due to a lack of understanding that drives the fear to explore. However, In every Montessori and IB classroom, the teachers are always equipping students with the notion that they can do anything if they simply face their fears head on. Well, I think it's time that educators follow their own advice.
You've heard of Blended Learning strategies by now along with all the other technology driven methods available. What this particle TED talk focuses on is building a model that encourages student led learning using technology, while the teacher serves as the motivator, and your guide for exploring the student's learning potential. The most important aspect however when trying to implement a Blended learning model, is being flexible in its delivery and outcomes. As there are many ways to build your platform, just keep your students at the forefront of your decision making in order to Meet Them Where They Are.
In Key Stage 2 we use the Garageband app considerably and the pupils have mastered it well, often using it in conjunction with other apps such as iMovie. However, in Reception/Year 1 there seems to be a gap between the overly simple music apps created for that age group and the complexity of Garageband. Year 1 are able to create recordings in Garageband but layering instruments can sometimes be a skill too far. Year 2 were able to do this but only with a lot of support.
This term I have been using the 'Toc and Roll' app with Reception/Year 1/2 as an introduction into Garageband. It allows pupils to choose their instrument and then uses a drag and drop method for them to place a range of different musical phrases into each track. The volume of each track can be changed and effects such as reverb can be added.
It is effectively a simplified version of Garageband but the pupils do not play any virtual instruments. However they can use this app to learn about the process of mixing music before jumping into Garageband. I particularly like the voice recorder which divides each recording into smaller phrases.
The only negative I can see at present is the sharing features are quite limited. The user can upload to Youtube or save within the app itself but it is missing an ‘Open-in’ tool to save to an external storage app for assessment.
If you are working with younger pupils then 'Toca Band' makes a good intro to Toc and Roll as pupils can add band members playing different instruments to a stage where they all play simultaneously.
However, the pupils in Year 1 have enjoyed using it and I feel more confident they will hit the ground running with Garageband.
In our emerging digital world, a new medium of exchange has developed: online engagement, especially via social media. Effectively engaging online requires a myriad of skills that we strive to foster in school – effective written communication, brevity and civility. These components are often highlighted in Digital Citizenship programs, but in tradition-bound K12 education, we often deride social media as trite or ineffective.
I have noticed that many of the Dyslexia students on our campus are more of strategic gamers than most other students. I think I will consider more console options in the classroom. Their attention to detail in some games are phenomenal.
Google is slowly but surely improving Google+ and trying to bring the social network to the masses. Yet some of Google+'s best features are less than obvious for both avid Google Plussers and those who are still wondering what the point of it is.
Google+ can be a great asset to the classroom, if used wisely and creatively. Our campuses are beginning to utilize the Hangout Features for Virtual Field Trips and Global Classroom connections. The exposure students have received has enhanced the student's ability to conceptualize that there is world outside of their own.
Giving students a voice in critical to learning. I have used SoundCloud for music sharing purposes, but I wasn't aware of the group aspect in SoundCloud. Students are already using it socially, why not "Meet Them Where They Are" and begin using it in the classroom. Haiku allows for full integration which will continue to allow single sign-on with Google.
"I had the privilege of holding a Google Hangout with Holly Clark (@HollyEdTEchDiva) and Tanya Avrith(@EdTechSchools). It was a great chat, where we compared US, NZ and Canadian school systems. Afterwards I was checking out Holly’s stuff and came across her great introduction to iPads in Classrooms. I checked with Holly and she was keen I do one of my visual representations of the ideas. So here it is, my visual, albeit briefer introduction for teachers who just got iPads:"
Peggo is a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) that records MP3s of your favorite online videos. Peggo's packed with great features like integrated search, automatic silence removal, audio normalization, subtrack offsets, and artist and title tags. Peggo automatically removes unwanted silence from the beginning and end of videos so you get a beautiful MP3 with just the good stuff. In addition, Peggo also normalizes the volume of every recording to the same, comfortable level so you never have to reach for the volume dial between MP3s again.
Many times the audio from a YouTube video is all you need to have an impact in the classroom. This looks like a useful, and apparently legal tool that extracts the audio and creates an mp3 file for you. I will play around with it to see what the limitations are, but I can see the music industry having some issues.
32000 Chromebooks: How a Virginia school system bet on Google's PC platform TechRepublic As Chromebooks gain serious traction in the education market, schools are beginning to work through massive deployments of Google's cloud-based laptops.
"The STEM Activity App, a new free web app specifically designed to engage families with elementary-age students in STEM activities, provides engaging experiments for parents and children to learn more about science, tech, engineer and math.
Barbara Joseph, the innovator of the STEM Activity App, is a two-time recipient of the Silvia Earl Innovation award. Joseph created the app for 3rd-6th graders to make learning math and science fun and to boost interaction between parent and child.
This post was co-written by Corey Holmer and Jamie Trow A class set of novels, binders, poster boards, and enough post-it notes to wallpaper a school…. all supplies associated with a traditional middle school book club model. With the addition of iPads, Google Apps, and other educational technology, the age of the “traditional” book club …
I have mentioned in previous blog posts that my favourite education app is the Camera app. Any app that then talks to the camera app makes it a more powerful and widely used app. One of my favourite examples of this is I Can Animate. It allows pupils or teachers to take a series of photos and then the app plays the photos as a video.
Firstly this can be used to inspire creativity as pupils can make inanimate objects move, such as Lego and plasticine by making subtle movements for each photo. What's nice about this app is it keeps an 'Onion skin' image each time so pupils can see where the previous photo was when lining the camera up.
At school we have used I Can Animate more for science than any other subject as we are able to capture processes. Here are a few ideas: Take a photo each day of a seed growing and then watch the seed grow as a video. Videos of seeds growing in different conditions can be played side by side using the Split screen feature in iMovie app. 2. Take a photo every 5 minutes of different materials absorbing water. I Can Animate also includes a time lapse feature where it will automatically take photos at intervals predetermined by the user. 3. Using the the time lapse feature, capture a shadow moving across the playground. 4. Put a bird feeder outside the classroom window and record animals visiting. This video can then be used for data handling. 5. Record the weather outside the window. I can animate include a speed tool so you can condense longer videos.
Most of the time we only have one iPad in the classroom so the teacher can share the videos with pupils as a shared resource in Dropbox or Showbie.
Check out these great uses of stop motion video for Science classes. I truly enjoy Stop motion video lessons as it provides wonderful analytical problem solving situations for students. When I conduct digital storytelling lessons, students display their critical thinking skills more often for me when using stop motion video, especially when using Legos.
Now this is interesting. Many times we have had students unable to open certain documents at home because they did not have the appropriate program to allow access. Uploading everything to Google Drive didn't always solve the problem. This could be a viable solution.
If you are someone who purchases movies via iTunes or Google Play and would like to convert the file into a format in order to burn to a disc...I'm not sure on the permission, but CloudConvert makes it possible. Now truly, no one will be left behind.
The national movement of STEM + Art = STEAM fosters innovation and encourages the integration of art and design in K-12 education. For this week's Top Picks List Friday, we're featuring the best tech creation tools. Students love to make their own creations -- no matter what the topic....