Category Archives: Uncategorized

Online Learning for Inclement Weather… 25 Ideas and a Free Webinar

snowday

It seems that cold snowy weather has become a topic in regards to schools and making up days. Technology provides some new solutions, although these solutions must be carefully thought through and well planned. While I do not claim to have the total answer, I do have 25 ideas and want to point you to a free webinar provided by OLN (Online Learning Network) at ISTE. First, to ensure you do not miss a valuable post or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration, please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Time to think about your school or conference needs. Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I  am almost booked through May and am already taking spring and summer dates for 2015 – Mike

Online Learning for Inclement Weather… 25 Ideas and a Free Webinar (Read about the free webinar from the Online Learning Network at ISTE after the list of 25 ideas)

At a recent PBL Summit in Estes Park, Colorado I couldn’t help but remember last winter in Indiana as I looked at the snow capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains. The winter of 2014 was one that included lots of snow in the Midwest, and with the snow… lots of school snow days. The district that I work with decided to take the challenge of using e-learning to make up some of those days. I worked with a team of amazing educators in the district to help plan and implement this initiative. Of course… several years of one to one computing did help, but we also learned a number of strategies and ideas that I hope might help your school or district if you plan to look at e-learning as a possible solution for school make-up. I know there is a lot more to consider, but reflection on these may provide a good start. Please let me know if there might be others that could be included. I am also still learning!

  1. Determine if school and district have the resources to use an e-learning experience in such a fashion.
  2. Check any guidelines provided by the state DOE.
  3. Gather input from all district stakeholders including educators, parents, and students beforehand.
  4. Collect student data regarding home internet connectivity.
  5. Determine community wifi access points.
  6. Investigate possible home connect programs for students who do not have access.
  7. Provide labs and access points at buildings in the district and communicate availability to students and parents.
  8. Investigate student special needs and include provisions in individualized learning plans.
  9. Allow extra time on work to accommodate students who may have difficulty connecting on the day off.
  10. Provide building facilities outside of school hours to provide for students that have difficulty connecting.
  11. Attempt to blend lessons as much as possible with learning that would have taken place if school was in session.
  12. Provide training and assistance to teachers regarding the use of the district LMS and blended learning.
  13. Encourage teachers to provide some low tech solutions such as using a video that can be accessed by cell phone.
  14. Emphasize that safety comes first and that no one should venture out to an access point if weather is a problem.
  15. Make a plan for the program, communicate both online and offline,  and be sure that all stakeholders understand the way the program will work.
  16. Understand that student work load may be different online, and a forty minute class may only require half the work time.
  17. Ask that teachers be aware of not providing busy work, instead ensure that work is meaningful and relevant.
  18. Ask teachers to communicate with students after each school day off in order to get a temperature read for future planning
  19. Find examples and encourage teachers to plan lessons that help students understand how to learn in the digital world.
  20. Take advantage of opportunities to promote digital citizenship.
  21. Attempt to set up teacher office hours that provide multiple avenues of connection while also allowing for anonymity in contact information.
  22. Provide opportunities and understanding that allows real blended learning to become a daily practice, not just an item saved for school closings.
  23. Understand that the district may need to make different accommodations for students unable to participate in this type of program.
  24. Evaluate, revise, and reflect on the program on a consistent basis.
  25. Celebrate both large and small successes with constant communication and public relations.

Free Online Learning For Inclement Weather

In conclusion, I also invite you to a very special webinar presented by the Online Learning Network at ISTE. You will learn from some amazing individuals representing school districts across the country. Join the discussion! In this webinar, three districts will share how they implemented online learning options to make up snow days. It is a must attend presentation and you will find more information and how you can register below.

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… dates are filling! … Mike Gorman

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Google Classroom… Where Does It Fit… Ten Steps To Help Determine

googleclassroom

 

Many of us may have taken some time learning and working with a new Learning Management System… and then… along comes Google Classroom. In this post I will attempt to help you reflect on how Google Classroom could compliment what you are already using. I will also provide 10 steps to reflect on when determining how  Google Classroom might fit existing parameters.  First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Time to think about your school or conference needs. Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I  am almost booked through January and am already taking spring and summer dates for 2015 – Mike

By now you probably have learned about the entry of Google Classroom across the country. At the very same time you might be finally getting use to the LMS  (Learning Management System) your school district has adopted.  Before you you throw out the old and/or run from the new… you might just want to take a breathe, sit down, and consider how both might have a place in your 21st century classroom. 
As in all technology integration, it really comes down to purpose of the tool you are using. Chances are your LMS (Learning Management System) has a wonderful place by now in your classroom. Is there a reason for something new? This provides an opportunity to weigh in on both your LMS  strengths and weakness. Is there something you wish it could do? Are there are things it can do, but do not seem streamlined? Are you already using Google Apps and Drive but wish things could flow just a little better?

Next… you may wish to read about and become more familiar with Google Classroom. What might be one thing it allows you to do that your LMS does not? Perhaps there is something that will make productivity easier.  This might be the perfect opportunity for you, or a team of teachers, to put the information regarding your LMS and Google Classroom on a Venn Diagram. After careful and collaborative study you and your peers might find one item you might wish to adopt from Google Classroom. In fact, that one item might just save you time and allow you and your students to be more productive. If there are other items, put those on the back table… focus on the one. 

Next, consider what you might need to do to make that one item possible. Does it involve a new link in your LMS?  Do you need to build, or better yet… have your IT Department build, a class set up in Google? Also, note that you can have students opt into a class using a code. You might also want to  give a new set of directions to your students. Could this be posted on a LMS and authored collaboratively? 

If you find that one thing, you can now make a plan and involve others if possible. Give it a test run and be ready to evaluate. In your evaluation, consider if it worked as you wished, increased productivity, and provided a valuable resource. Next consider if it should  it be continued, and what refinements are needed? 

There really is a wonderful chance that you will find new success. Be sure to celebrate your success and take some time away before trying one more step. As technology progresses there will always be a new possibility. Our job as educators is to decide how it works with what we already have. We must also consider if it provides our students the best learning experience possible. If we can do this collectively we will  be able to do so much more. Last, take a moment to enjoy the fruits of your labor and relax before trying the next possible application that Google Classroom might allow for.
In the space below I have provided some steps you may wish to think about while deciding if a new tool such as Google Classroom should be piloted. Of course, you may already be a Google Docs District… which may help with one or two steps. Remember that Google Classroom may actually not replace that LMS you are feeling so comfortable with… but it just might enhance it. 

10 Steps To Consider

1. Study and research Google Classroom
2. Determine the abilities of Google Classroom and the current LMS. (Venn Diagram could help)
3. Decide on one tool Google Classroom offers that could add to productivity
4. Determine what needs to happen to make that one tool work
6. Inform and prepare for student implementation
7. Test this one item
8. Evaluate and determine usage and possible refinement
9. Continue to practice and enjoy the new productivity
10. Enjoy, relax, and allow time before taking another step.

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… dates are filling! … Mike Gorman

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Ten Ideas To Move Classroom Technology Closer To Blended Learning

1a

Welcome to a post where I reflect on the idea of blended learning. In this post I will attempt to provide 10 ideas that can turn simple technology integration into a blended learning environment. First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Time to think about your school or conference needs. Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I  am almost booked through January and am already taking spring and summer dates for 2015 – Mike

There has been a lot of discussion as to what blended learning really means. Most of us have come to realize that it probably involves the classroom and technology. In fact, the 1 to 1 programs across the nation emphasize the technology as an important component of classroom instruction. Yet, is emphasizing technology in the classroom really Blended Learning? The answer is… maybe! A closer look needs to be taken in order to see how the technology is being used.

As we employ the 1 to 1 experience, we need to ask two important questions. Is the 1 to 1 and the device about using technology, or is it about a more meaningful and engaging learning experience? Spending a day online for individual research can be a wonderful simple integration of technology experience, but might not be a true blended learning opportunity. Asking students to research and then collaborate with each other online in a collective experience takes this integration and provides more of a blended experience.

The blended learning experience allows technology and the online experience to breakdown the traditional classroom allowing important transformation. One might wonder where on the spectrum of simple integration to blending learning a possible learning activity might be. I would like to share a lens of ten ideas that educators may wish to look at as they reflect on their 1 to 1 activity and classroom learning experiences that use technology . Sometimes it is just a simple tweak to bring out the wonderful possibilities of blended learning. Please feel free to read my ideas below that might allow you to use classroom technology to bring out a richer and blended learning experience.

Use Technology to:

  1. Reach beyond the classroom walls for learning opportunities, collaboration, and audience
  2. Create a student driven/centered learning environment
  3. Allow for collaborative experiences in and out of the classroom
  4. Permit student control over learning, allowing for important voice and choice
  5. Provide opportunities for remixing of information leading to innovation and creativity
  6. Give opportunities for personalized and differentiated learning
  7. Promote convergent and divergent thinking  in order to promote inquiry and critical thinking 
  8. Encourage student invention of new products and possibilities to demonstrate learning
  9. Exploring authentic and real learning experiences.
  10. Establishing opportunities for anytime/anywhere learning

As we continue to explore technology facilitation and 1 to 1 learning experiences it is important that we understand the blurred line between simple technology integration and blended learning.  While simple technology integration is a wonderful step, it is important to reflect and refine our practice and allow our classrooms to provide opportunities for real authentic blended learning experiences.

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… dates are filling! … Mike Gorman

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Essential Connections of STEM, PBL, and Tech Integration… What Would Dewey Think?

dewey_stem

 

Welcome to a post where I bring together three of my favorite areas of educational transformation. As I deliver workshops across the country I am reminded of how much we need to prepare STEM educators with regards to process of delivery. After all, STEM (or STEAM) is so much more than content. How can Project Based Learning and technology integration work to create a process for STEM? It is so important in education to remember that it is not the final product, but the journey, that allows for the learning to take place. First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Time to think about your new school year needs. Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. Remember that I have limited dates since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

Essential Connections of STEM, PBL, and Tech Integration… What Would Dewey Think?      Michael Gorman at (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com)

“Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.” – John Dewey

It has been exciting to work in both the STEM, PBL, and technology integration field. In fact, I have an opportunity to provide professional development across the country involving all three. As a long-time advocate of STEM education, technology integration, and more recently Project Based Learning (PBL), I can’t help but see how these three concepts really do complement one another. These initiatives  take on three important roles to make a wonderful classroom learning environment for students. STEM (or STEAM) includes those all important content standards that have often been taught isolated from each other.  PBL provides an important process and pedagogy that allows for the integrated delivery of this content. Technology integration acts as the conductor, glue, and amplifier allowing for increased productivity and learning opportunities.  Both STEM and PBL depend on a student need to know and inquiry, which allows for higher level learning. Technology integration provides tools to drive  this process. Additionally, they all facilitate and promote important 21st century competencies.  STEM includes the integration of the curricular areas of Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering. This integration allows for connections and an authenticity that is essential to both PBL and STEM.  Technology  provides the necessary conduit to the real world, breaking down the walls of the classroom and creating a real-world blended learning environment.

Best practice behind the disciplines of STEM are changing. The Common Core State Standards, and other state high quality standards (that have opted out of CCSS), place a strong emphasis on scientific literacy involving student writing about process. These standards also demand that students understand concepts in depth while making relationships to real world applications. It is no longer acceptable to just find the answer to a math equation. Students must be able to apply their math skills to the real world.  The Next Generation Science Standards promote the kind of application found in engineering and technology, demanding formulation of a problem that is solved by design thinking. These standards state, “Strengthening the engineering aspects of the Next Generation Science Standards will clarify for students the relevance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (the four STEM fields) to everyday life.”

PBL, with its emphasis on authenticity, connections, inquiry, and process, is able to provide these disciplines a necessary pedagogy.  It allows students to own their learning while promoting the inquiry of science, resourcefulness of technology, design principles found in engineering, and application of math. Integrating the subjects encourages student innovation, promotes authentic learning, and allows students to see connections with their community and between content areas. It’s true; PBL can be the delivery method as well as the connector of separate content areas. While it is optimal to blend classes together, it is entirely possible to provide a STEM environment through teacher awareness of outside discipline areas and collaboration with other educators on school schedule.

I began with technology integration at the start of my career integrating the use of scientific recording equipment, cameras, compasses, and archaeology tools to teach content area skills in the outdoor environment back in the 70’s. I tell this story because it is important to remember that tools are the foundation for technology integration. Today there are so many additional tools that can be used.  It wasn’t until the advent of the Apple II that I started using a computer in the classroom, and at that point I discovered another amazing tool. Today’s computing devices provide both an opportunity for students to learn and inquire, as well as to produce, publish, and connect to the real world. It is the technology integration that provides the ability to amplify the content of STEM and the process of PBL. Through this amplification our students become engaged and can enter a flow, allowing for authentic and exciting learning opportunities. While the computer is important, one must think beyond the device!  Imagine what John Dewey would do with all of the technological possibilities of today!

As I reflect on my STEM practice, I am aware of the integral way PBL facilitates student learning. One of my favorite STEM projects involves a spin-off of a Rube Goldberg study. Sixth graders work in collaborative teams to design a system utilizing necessary scientific elements, while incorporating detailed constraints. They learn significant science content relating to systems and simple machines, and math content involving measurement and scale. Student teams communicate, debate, and tinker using the process of revision and reflection.  Design thinking is evident as students carefully plan using programs such as SketchUp to put thoughts on paper, and later transfer their ideas to a real working model. Technology is incorporated which includes hammers, glue guns, and, of course, the computer to produce engineering designs, learn content, and connect with the real world.  Excitement swells as they  test their contraptions with mentor engineers on that last day but, more importantly, engagement and learning are evident through the entire process.

I often use the program West Point Bridge Design to promote mathematics and physics skills with seventh grade students. Working in collaborative contractor teams, students uncover the STEM content area in order to design a computer simulated bridge. They answer the Driving Question, “How can we build a working bridge at the lowest cost possible?” Through a formative learning process students experience the rigorous math and physics found in engineering while practicing 21st century competencies.

In another STEM project that incorporates a national competition called Future City, eighth grade students use science and math to design a future city using the popular simulation SIM City. They later transform their creation by designing a model of a city built using mathematical scale. Engineer mentors provide the important guidance and public audience that leads to real world connections.

The connection between STEM, PBL, and technology integration  can be further seen through an examination of PBL’s Eight Essential Elements that are promoted by BIE, the BUCK Institute for Education. I also encourage you to browse the projects at BIE. When you find a project that encompasses multiple STEM subject areas, you may have found your next STEM opportunity. Also, look for future posts that include some PBL and STEM ideas.

The famous educator John Dewey said, “Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.” This practice is at the very center of PBL and STEM. As we look at the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards for math and literacy, and the other high quality standards adopted by states outside of the CCSS,  it is clear that PBL, STEM, and technology integration are a natural and essential connection.

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL,Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Get ready for more information on STEM resources as part of this series, and also an examination of differences between Project Based, Problem Based, Inquiry Based, Challenge Based, and … Design Based Learning. But first, take time to sign up and follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). –  Michael Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Back To School 2014…10 Amazing 21st Century Lessons From An Almost Analog Native

analog

Thanks for joining me as I share my back-to-school post. While I do not have my usual listing of resource links… I believe I have something that will make you smile and remind you why you are an educator. I hope you enjoy this story and its ten timeless educational lessons. This post is a reminder that teaching truly is an amazing art. Let’s all keep up the wonderful painting and please pass these lessons on to others.  Please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way through out the school year …So Sign Up Now and please take a moment to share and retweet this article. Your effort is appreciated… Please enjoy! – Mike

Booking Info – Before reading the article please take some time to think about your new school year needs. Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer was booked and my 2014/15 calendar is beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates, since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

Back To School 2014…10 Amazing 21st Century  Lessons From An Almost Analog Native

It was a normal first day back to school. The building was still quiet and still. I could sense there was an air of extreme excitement and anticipation in the air. I sat at my desk and pondered the reality of a new year wondering about the new faces I would greet.  I already knew that all too soon I would be waving good bye to another group I had come to know so well. It is amazing what the short period of a school year brings to both educators and students.  Suddenly awakened from what was either my deep reflection or possibly a type of relaxing nap that only the whisperings of being another year older can bring, a panicked voice was heard at my classroom door.

He was a brand new teacher dressed as one who just might enlighten the downtown business club, yet he stood with the glazed eyes of a student still waiting for that moment of enlightenment. I had seen it all before, perhaps even in the reflection of a distant mirror over thirty-four years ago. He was summoning me to his room, not that I regarded it as his… at least not yet. You see, I had great respect for the educator who had been a part of the four walls that this soon to be teacher was leading me to. As he led me through the doorway of his new headquarters for dissemination of information I couldn’t help but notice a peculiar feeling of past warmth that was missing. It was a indescribable void, covering a large aura which had been in place for nearly fifty years.

As he motioned for me to look at the archaic blackboard behind the new, still packaged, and not yet plugged in interactive whiteboard I couldn’t help but smile. There, still written with chalk that  had the smell of fresh dust, were the words “A Message from an Analog Native”.  Then I heard the young teacher’s voice asking how he might  get rid of the words. He pleaded that, after all, he saw no button to push to dissolve the print. I smiled and walked to the board and picked up the eraser. I cleverly planned to display to this obviously digital native, one of this school’s first such inductees, the magic of an eraser. I even had my strategy for providing a professional development moment on the use of chalk. After all, improper use of chalk can lead to an annoying screech that will send most students diving under their desks. As I held up the eraser I walked to the board and began to perform the ancient teacher ritual of erasing a black… not green,board. Amazingly, it did not work out the way I had planned. As I observed the pupils of this brand new teacher’e eyes grow large, I turned to the board and took a step back in awe. Not only were the words not disappearing… but new words were beginning to appear underneath. It was now quite obvious that we were both extremely engaged in the lesson that was about to begin. I have recorded for you the amazing script that came before my eyes that very day.

A Message from an (almost) Analog Native

Welcome to your new classroom. I am sure you are going to explain and teach in a way that I might never understand. You see, I come from a day of filmstrip projectors that beeped, ditto paper that left my fingers blue and the students enjoying the scent, bells that really did ring out a mechanical melody, 16 millimeter films that, if in color, amazed the kids. In fact, if these films were shown backwards it provided bonus entertainment. In recent years I have heard words that are so strange to me. These words include foreign terms such as twitter, blog, wiki, Skype, web 2.0, clickers, and interactive whiteboards. I have heard all this talk about 21st century skills and I am not even sure if I can tell you what they are. So there you have it. I am not one of those digital natives, nor am I a digital immigrant! I may not even be an analog native or immigrant. So, even though I do not know all the new terms, I thought that I might give you a list of ten items I feel just might ensure success no matter what century it is.

The Ten Timeless Lessons From an Almost Analog Native

  1.  You come to school to serve your students…. put them at the center of their learning. Find great books, integrate fascinating projects, and include engaging resources.  As you do this, always remember that students must be at the center of their learning.
  2.  As you teach you will come upon some amazing tools…. use them to amplify real learning. My very first full sized erasable blackboard was wonderful and I was amazed by the pull down map. I remember the very first time I used colored chalk and our very first classroom set of encyclopedias. Imagine having almost all the knowledge of the world in your classroom. Please remember that tools are only as effective as those who use them. You will be introduced to amazing new tools. Make sure these tools become the servants and not the masters of your teaching.
  3. Realize that every student is truly gifted and it is your job is to find that special gift and make the student aware of it. Each gift is different and will ultimately lead that student to an interest and vocation that they find great pleasure in while contributing to society. They may even come back some day and thank you for revealing that gift to them.
  4. Learning does not just happen in the classroom so open your students to the world by introducing them to experts, authors, cultures, and multiple disciplines. Teach them to become lifetime learners who will embrace learning beyond the classroom and beyond their school experience. It seems this world is ever changing and, in order to keep up with things, they may need to someday be their own teacher.
  5. Allow your students the experience of searching for success allowing multiple attempts, occasional failure, and eventual triumph. Learning does not always need to be graded, but must always be guided. Remember, it is not always the destination, but in most instances… the journey. Allow your students those journeys with multiple opportunities and outcomes.
  6. Encourage cooperation, teamwork, and healthy competition as yo teach your students that the thoughts and contributions of many can be so much more powerful than just the contribution of one. Emphasize true discussion and listening, and allow for discourse. The ability to work, plan, and play together has been, and always will be, an important skill.
  7. Promote thinking that is outside what many might consider the box allowing your students to have their own ideas, play with possibilities, and invent what doesn’t exist. Not everything in life can come from your textbook. Remember, what we believe as facts today could change in twenty-five to fifty years. It seems that information probably doubles every hundred years. I suppose that might even speed up a bit as time goes on.
  8. All of us learn best by doing so allow your students to not just hear it or read about it but provide them with real life experiences and allow then to do it. Guide them as they are doing so they are learning relevant content and gaining new skills. Give them some say in what they are doing.
  9. Remember your humanness and always have a sense of humor and be yourself. Remember that teaching is a people business. Enjoy the laughter, the stories, the victories, the accomplishment, and the small (but really big) moments that can only happen in a real live classroom. Some say that someday robots or some kind of two way wireless radio will take over education. I truly think this will never happen because teachers will always show that the human element is essential. A smile from a real person sure beats that of a  robot or a distant person on a wireless radio covered in distant sounds of static.
  10. Always remember that you teach children… not subjects such as science, history, arithmetic, ciphering, citizenship, reading, English, and shop. You see, it is the teaching of children that convinced me to get into this amazing business… and it is the reason that most great teachers have a hard time giving up a classroom like this.

Please take good care of this classroom. It never was mine, only one that I was allowed not just to educate children in, but so much more. It was a classroom in which I was allowed to perpetuate a culture of learning for almost fifty years. You see, not all of these ideas were mine. I found them on an old slate lying in a back closet when I first entered this room. I was so happy I had a pencil in hand, because no faster had I made my copy than the words on the slate disappeared. I think I may have made a few changes. I know I will have a chance in my retirement to read about some of these new tools and even learn about these 21st century skills. It will probably give me a chance think about what I might have done to make learning in my classroom even better. When I find out… I might even send you a message. Until then, please take care of this old classroom and, more importantly, take even more care with those children who will enter tomorrow and thereafter. I know you will perpetuate the culture of learning that has permeated these four walls for more years than even those I taught.

You know… there wasn’t much to say. I looked at the new kid who seemed even more ready to teach. His eyes appeared already a few years older. As we both stood there we saw the old blackboard magically erase and turn a clean dark shade of black. I picked up the eraser that I had dropped during this unusual encounter and handed it over to the new guy. He opened the closet door and threw it in. I heard a gentle thump as it landed on something that may have been a slate. Together, we both unpacked and plugged in his new interactive whiteboard. He carefully positioned it so he could still see a portion of that old blackboard from his desk. We both knew why. As I walked out of the room that day I couldn’t help but think about the history that just might occur in that old classroom in the next fifty years. But, I had plans to make and students to get ready for as I was incorporating many of those new 21st century skills I had been reading about all summer. I was so excited about providing so many new opportunities for my students. After all, this is a new era for new techniques and strategies.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of 21st century (and even before that) learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, PBL,  digital literacy, and the common core.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week, and a enjoy this wonderful brand new school year. Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

Booking Info – Before reading the article please take some time to think about your new school year needs. Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer was booked and my 2014/15 calendar is beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates, since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Maker Space In Education Series… Making It With Raspberry Pi

maker4

Welcome back and I sure hope you enjoyed the last post including   20 Reasons for Maker Space in Education,  10 Sites To Help You Start Making In The Classroom10 More Sites….Making With Technology  and   In this post I highlight an important  tool that can promote computing and Making in the classroom. I encourage you to send me information and resources you think help with this idea, as I am also Making time to learn.  First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Time to think about your new school year needs. Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

Maker Space In Education Series…  Making It With Raspberry Pi and Adriono – Michael Gorman (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

In the last three posts I have included information that allows for you to get Making in education. I have also emphasized that with Making in the classroom there needs to be an integration with curriculum standards along with those important 21st century skills. That integration really is possible, it just requires some creativity and thinking outside the box. In this post I wish to examine a tool that can get your students Making computational devices. This is a perfect addition to the STEM classroom and could also fit in other areas.

I first remember computer kits when the personal computer age first took off. In fact, a few of you just might remember the Timex Sinclair Computer Kit. In 1982 it sold for $99 and had 2K of memory, used Sinclar Basic, and had a speed of 3.25 MHz. It was in direct competition with the Commodore Vic-20 which would later produce the Commodore 64. It is now 32 years later and there are some amazing opportunities for your students to Tinker with computers. Let me introduce you to Raspberry Pi, it is an awesome tool that can be much more then dessert!

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that can plug into your TV and an existing keyboard. It is a amazing computer which can be used in electronics projects. It can also perform many of the things that a  desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. In fact, it can also play high-definition video. It is an amazing tool for students and allows them to learn how computers work, how to manipulate the electronic world around them, and how to program. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a registered educational charity (registration number 1129409) based in the UK. The Foundation’s goal is to advance the education of adults and children, particularly in the field of computers, computer science and related subjects. Kits start at under $40 and provide a great opportunity for learning. Check out the links below to learn more about how you can start Making with Raspberry Pi.

As you can see, computers have come a long way since 1982. The power and capabilities of the credit card sized Raspberry Pi are remarkable when compared to the room size computers of the past. Best of all, we can put this power and possibilities in the classroom. This invites opportunity that goes beyond what any classroom of even ten years ago may have had. It might be a perfect solution to get your students learning and Making.

I hope you found this information is something you can use in your school and share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy Making! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Get ready for more links and resources that promote 21st century education in future posts. Get ready for a new series  that will help you make connections between PBL, STEM and Technology Integration… first make some time to sign up and follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). –  Michael Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Maker Space In Education Series… 10 More Sites….Making With Technology

mm3

Welcome back and I sure hope you enjoyed the last article of  20 Reasons for Maker Space in Education and also 10 Sites To Help You Start Making In The Classroom.  In this post I highlight 10 additional sites that can promote making with an emphasis on some tech tools. I encourage you to send me information and resources you think help with this idea, as I am also Making time to learn.  First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always,  I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Time to think about your new school year needs. Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

Maker Space In Education Series… 10 More Sites….Making With Technology – Michael Gorman (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

In the last post I emphasized practical and doable.I suggested finding an idea from a kit or project that might fit a curricular area of study.  In this way teachers have the opportunity to bring Making Ideas into their classroom with out having to have a whole area devoted to a Maker Space. As this happens it is important that students have the opportunity to see curricular connections to the real world.

In this post, I invite you to look for that one Maker Possibility that will allow your students to make as they learn, while incorporating some sort of technology. As you incorporate technology it is important to be sure that the technology does not become the reason… but instead a conduit for engaged learning of the standards. You may even wish to have students practice the 21st century skills, while you assess.

Take some time and enjoy some of the links I have included below to get some ideas. It is important to look and decide how a certain project or idea just might help students connect. I have included resources that are free along with some that do come with a cost. As you investigate and discover you will open a world of unique, engaging, and exciting possibilities. STEM teachers may wish to take some extra time… so many of these links work in the STEM classroom.. Once again, it is important to think outside the box and Make some great learning happen!

Makey Makey – OK… it is not free but is also pretty amazing at less then fifty dollars a kit. Take a moment to explore this  invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touch-pads and combine them with the internet. It’s really is a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in-between. It comes ready to use out of the box with everything you see above: MaKey MaKey, Alligator Clips, USB Cable. Four student can work with one kit. Make sure you look at the project possibilities on the website. It is here that you just might see curricular connections

High Low Tech – This site from MIT Media Lab really does have some tech for everyone. HLT’s work integrates high and low technological materials, processes, and cultures. Their primary aim is to engage diverse audiences in designing and building their own technologies. It is their belief that the future of technology will be largely determined by end-users who will design, build, and hack their own devices. Furthermore, their goal is to inspire, shape, support, and study these communities. Take a look at these projects that explore the intersection of computation, physical materials, manufacturing processes, traditional crafts, and design

Squishy Circuits – What kids don’t want to Make something with play dough… now add circuits and they have an even greater Making opportunity. Squishy circuits are a project from the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas.  The goal of the project is to design tools and activities which allow kids of all ages to create circuits and explore electronics using play dough. Be sure to check out the Ted Talk, White House Maker Faire, and the Ready to Use Kits. As with any circuit activity… read any precautions.

Tinkercad –  Are you excited about 3D creating and printing? Explore Tinkercad, an easy-to-use tool for creating digital designs that are ready to be 3D printed into physical objects. Users are guided through the 3D design process through ‘Lessons’, which teach the basics before moving on to more complex modeling techniques. Tinkercad is a free tool from Autodesk, joining the 123D family of products in helping students, makers, and individuals from all walks of life to design and make the things they imagine. Be sure to watch videos and try the tutorials!

Scratch – This is a wonderful tool to support computational thinking. With Scratch, students can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations. Better yet, they can share their creations with others in the online community. Best of all,  it is free from MIT! Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. These certainly are essential skills for life in the 21st century. As in all sites designed to share… besure to read the Terms of Use and Privacy.

Picoboards – This under fifty dollar tool allows students to create interactions with various sensors. It compliments the free Scratch programming language by allowing students to easily create simple interactive programs based on the input from sensors. The PicoBoard incorporates a light sensor, sound sensor, a button and a slider, as well as 4 additional inputs that can sense electrical resistance via included cables. Click here for ordering information.

Thingiverse – Are you or your students into 3D printing. Then take a moment and  browse the world’s largest 3D design community for discovering, printing, and sharing 3D models. You and your students can join over 130,000 community members in downloading, sharing, and remixing 3D designs. As in all sites designed to share… be sure to read the Terms of Use and Privacy.

SparkFun – The Education Department at SparkFun  uses electronics as a creative medium and hands-on learning tool, with products and curriculum designed to develop foundational skills.  It allows students to explore the world of electronics while increasing the investment and ownership in education. Most of all it plants the seeds of inventorship in today’s youth.

LittleBits – Discover this organization that believes it is important to create the next generation of problem-solvers in the very near future. The time is now to create the pipe cleaner and the craft stick of the 21st century.  LittleBits products are designed to break down the boundaries between the things we consume and the things we make. Most important LittleBits encourages all students  to be an inventor. Be sure to look at some of the tutorials and lessons found on the site.

Drawdio – Take a moment and imagine that your students could draw musical instruments on normal paper with any pencil (cheap circuit thumb-tacked on) and then play them with your finger. The Drawdio circuit-craft can take everyday objects and make them into musical instruments whether they be paintbrushes, macaroni, trees, a person, even the kitchen sink. Make one… or buy the kit.

Adafruit – You will want to explore this site and learn about all the different electronic items that can be built. It is amazing to just see all the possibilities. There maybe one that just might work for you. As you explore you might just come upon an idea for the Making!

I am sure you might have found some possible ideas to bring a little technology and Making into your student learning. While many of these items do carry some type of cost, it is important to remember that students can work in groups.There maybe funding possibilities in your school. There are also programs such as Donors Choose which just might help you out. I really do hope that your students will be next in line to learn while Making? Take some time to discover more about it, and be sure to consider and plan for those important safety rules that are many times specified at each site. You should also make up your own and enforce with students. I am sure you can see that allowing kids to be Makers promotes so many aspects of what 21st century learning and technology is all about. At the same time, be sure to Make time for Making that allows students to connect with important standards. This is where your creativity comes to play!  I really do hope that some of the ideas in this series Makes your school year plan… and of course the plans of those you share with… still waiting for the Making!

I hope you found this information is something you can use in your school and share with other educators.  As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit.   To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy Making! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Get ready for more links and resources on this series covering the Maker Movement in K12 Education and also a collection on the connections between PBL, STEM and Technology Integration… first make some time to sign up and follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). –  Michael Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My summer is fully booked but it is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill! Remember that I have limited dates since I also still provide PD for my own district. Please contact me soon. – Mike

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized