Tag Archives: video

A Boat Load Of Resources… Learn About Earth’s Life While Creating/Remixing At ARKive

Welcome to the sixth in a series of summer posts dedicated to bringing you the biggest collections of national and international resources you will find anywhere. Summer is a  perfect time to examine what you just might want to include in next year’s lesson plans that will engage your students. I plan to share resources that will cover all the curricular areas. Each article will give an in-depth and informative visit to one of these sites. Make sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share! If it is not summer where you are, then you can jump right in and facilitate learning with some new material  tomorrow. I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans) so be sure to follow. – Mike

I had my plan of sites to review this summer. As all plans go, it has already changed with the addition of this site I found just recently. The site is called ARKive and it originates in the UK. It bills itself as “Images Of Life On Earth”. ARKive’s mission is gathering  the very best films and photographs of the world’s species into one centralised digital library, to create a unique audio-visual record of life on Earth. In this process they are prioritising those species at most risk of extinction. One purpose is to preserve and maintain this collection for future generations.  ARKive is making this key resource accessible to all, from scientists and conservationists to the general public and school children, via its award-winning website.

As we work together to create a “Society Of Learners” the promotion of creation of content using technology must become  just as important as consumption. This is where ARKive really becomes  a useful tool for educators. ARKive embraces the idea of student remix and creation in the following statement. “ARKive’s many thousands of wildlife videos, images and fact files can be used in a wide range of science, ICT and literacy projects. Use the ARKive multimedia materials to engage your class in key biology topics, such as variation and adaptation, habitats or life cycles, or use them as creative inspiration for art & design projects. All our photos, video clips and authenticated fact files are free and easy to use in your classroom activities and presentations”. Wow, talk about opportunities for a 21st Century Classroom! There are even opportunities to integrate curriculum such as a combination of Science and Language Arts.

ARKive is instantly engaging and stimulating from the very first glance!  Teachers must visit the education page. Here one  can explore Learning Resources which include lessons from natural selection. Perhaps your students may want to participate in a collection of engaging games such as Tripwire of Terror, Animal Survival, Design A Habitat, Copes and Robbers, Magnetic Fish Poetry, World Safari, Animal Jumbo Puzzle, One..Two..Three..Grow, Egg and Spawn Race, and ARKives Wild Celebrities. There is also an external link page connected to outside resources. There is even an interface that allows students to connect using Google Earth. Be sure to explore the area that allows users to create their own scrapbook.

The search engine which is built into every page allows users to search by Plant, Animal, or Fungi species. One can also search by continents and either pictures, videos, or both can be specified.  This search engine can even be embedded on your own web page. Some special areas to explore are themes relating to Sharks and Rays, Amazon Rain Forest, Climate Change, Migration, Conservation, Flightless Birds, Coral Reef, Desert, Antarctic, and Pollination. Some of these provide some great resources for classes studying the world’s biomes.

When visiting a particular species one can read about Facts and Status, Description, Range/Habitat, Biology, Threats/Conservation, More Info, and Glossary/Reference. Species are related by family group, habitat, and conservation status. While students can build a scrapbook, they can also email information, view slideshows, and even use code to embed images and information in their own web page. Students will also find a link to the IUCN Red List Species of The Day along with an archive of all animals listed.

ARKive is truly a wonderful place where students can both learn and create. While it may be especially useful to Science Teachers, others have used the ARKive wildlife videos and photos to develop literacy and ICT skills, for creative writing exercises, and to inspire poetry or art assignments. It is time you jumped on the boat, or ark if you prefer, while facilitating real learning through encouraging student creation, remix and reinvention in the 21st century at ARKive!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as ARKive this summer! Take some time to investigate and possibly implement in the school year,  or tomorrow! I will continue to bring thought, reflection, and amazing web apps along with this summer series. Please share with others, visit the 21centuryedtech Wiki, follow on me twitter (mjgormans), and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email . If you have resources that you feel need to be included please leave a reply!  Enjoy, relax, play, and smile…. also take a moment to transform education toward 21st Century Learning! – Mike

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Collaboration, a 21st Century Skill: Three Free Sites To Help Students Understand Collaboration

Picture Courtesy of http://www.lumaxart.com/

I am sitting in Wichita, Kansas after providing a day long tech integration in-service to an amazing  and creative group of middle school teachers. While I hope I was able to facilitate technology infusion to a group already at the cutting edge of education reform, I too walked away with new ideas they indirectly taught me. This experience reminded me of “The Wisdom Of The Crowd” and how collectively we are much more effective as a group than we are as an individual. In this posting I would like to share with you the idea of collaboration and how we may wish to ask students to collaborate, but we first must show them how and why. Please enjoy the post and add any response on how you facilitate collaboration.  As always you can follow me on on twitter at (mjgormans) and I will be sure to follow back so we can learn from each other. Also, please join me at my 21centuryedtech Wiki, it’s filled with great resources that are free and effective!  – Mike

This first paragraph contains reflections on the definition of collaboration, if you wish to go to links that help students understand collaboration. If not, go on to the second paragraph. Collaboration is a Twenty-First Century Skill. It is also a  process and that all students need to experience it in order to fully comprehend its potential.   Wikipedia defines collaboration as “a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together in an intersection of common goals — for example, an intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature —by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus”.  In the definition, the word recursive is found. The definition of recursive involves the idea of an  “infinite statement using finite components” Looking at collaboration in this sense sure makes collaboration sound a lot more powerful! The definition ends with  the idea of sharing knowledge, learning, and building consensus. Most teachers have the sharing portion down pretty well, and is  inspiring to note  the learning component. What is most impressive, but possibly underused, is the last concept of  building consensus!  Further into the article there is a reference to a Roth and Lee study in the 1990′s that “led to changes in learning and teaching design in which students were encouraged to share their ways of doing mathematics, history, science, with each other. In other words, that children take part in the construction of consensual domains, and ‘participate in the negotiation and institutionalization of … meaning’”. (Roth, W-M. and Lee, Y-J. (2006) Contradictions in theorizing and implementing communities in education. Educational Research Review, 1, (1), pp27–40.) In other words, learning communities were being recognized for students. So, how do we develop and show importance for developing collaborative learning communities.? I suggest the following three free web sites that may allow teachers to begin to build a foundation for the understanding of collaboration.

I have spent time with James Surowiecki‘s book “Wisdom of Crowds” which I will say is an important read for educators. Your students can enjoy listening to portions of the book. In fact, PBS has created a page that highlights the important concepts of the book for students. You will find it at Nova’s Science Now Site. Here you will find relevant videos and a few activities. Students can watch a video including  Surowiecki’s book highlights or another video that includes a case study of a WWII submarine.  Included are activities entitled Counting CabsOne Minute Expert, and  Differences Between Mean and Median. There is even a transcript of the video. Be sure to check out the related Random House Site because it contains questions and answers with the author along with excerpts and even audio clips that could be used in podcasts.

If you are not aware of TED.com , be ready to visit  an awesome site of  amazing technology and innovation videos. If you are aware, you must be sure to visit the theme devoted to The Rise Of Collaboration.  TED is a small,  but rapidly growing, nonprofit group devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from the  three worlds of  Technology, Entertainment, and Design. In the theme devoted to The Rise Of Collaboration you will find Jimmy Wales telling  the story of perhaps the movement’s most famous example, Wikipedia . Also included is Richard Baraniuk as he envisions a  free global education system to which thousands of teachers could contribute. In an awesome presentation,  Charles Leadbeater gives examples of collaborative innovation that predate the World Wide Web, and  Cameron Sinclair wants to shelter the world by providing an online platform for open-source architecture. Don’t miss as Deborah Gordon shows  the inspiration of collaboration as she reveals the world of  the desert anthill. Included in the TED collection are nearly fifty videos that highlight the world of collaboration in an exciting and engaging way.

Another great site for assisting in teaching the collaborative process is Your Take. It demonstrates the true power found in a group working together.    The site emphasizes that a real  key to success inside and outside the classroom is the ability to think critically and  go beyond grades.  The authors of this site have developed a unique tool called SCAN .  The SCAN program promotes an interactive and collaborative way for students to use technology to analyze and problem solve an issue. The letters in SCAN stand for:  S – Stop and think things through, C – Clarify the key issues, A – Ask yourself what’s most important, N – Now, what’s your next step. Lessons can be taught as an individual or group activity. Students use the web to follow these guidelines and reflect on various points of view. The end product is a group effort that can be used as a project, writing prompt, or presentation. A  video provided by Your Take gives a clear demonstration  of how this program works. The program has nearly one hundred pre-made lessons with prompts. I advise you to not stop there. Use lessons that you have used in the past and integrate them using this outstanding technology. Include standards found in your curriculum to better understand past issues in history, current topics of today, and future problems that will need solutions only found through the efforts of a group. An archived Webinar provides an even  more thorough examination of  “Your Take”. It provides great information on the ways to set up this online collaborative environment in a safe and effective way. A list of sample of standards,  including 21st century technology standards can also be found on the Your Take Web Site.

Thanks for taking the time to visit. As you can see, this post is dedicated to teachers wanting to facilitate real collaboration in their classroom. I will close with the idea that true (PBL) Project Based Learning and 21st Century Learning require that students collaborate in the planning of the learning process. Perhaps modeling is still the very best method to teach and facilitate. Have a great week and as always you can follow me on on twitter at (mjgormans) and I will be sure to follow back so we can learn from each other. As always please join me at my 21centuryedtech Wiki, it’s filled with great resources that are free and effective! - Mike

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Imagine It! Power In Action… Big Ideas For 21st Century Education!

 

I have an inspiring and motivational site to share with you this week. I’m typing as I sit in the  lobby of the Hilton Hotel in Austin, Texas. While I am a far from home Hoosier attending this year’s TCEA conference, I am filled with excitement and a sense of assurance that I will bring to my home state, my PLN, and my blog readers something new. The site I share this week is appropriately called “Imagine It”.  As always follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mjgormans) and you are always welcome to visit my 21st centuryedtech Wiki! Through out the week I will be sharing thoughts, ideas, and dreams, from Texas, until then, take a moment to “Imagine It” – Mike

The people at Imagine It have the  awesome mission to inspire people to imagine the world a better place and then get involved to solve global challenges. I see it as a wonderful tool for teachers to help develop twenty-first century skills and implement project based learning in the classroom. Imagine It also holds a lot of potentional for inspirational professional development for educators!   Imagine It  makes such opportunities possible by providing production of multi-platform media content, including documentary series,  film shorts and video clips  to help teachers and students Imagine It!  Such titles as  Global Challenges Need to be Solved , The Need for Innovation is Now,  There’s Power in Big Ideas in Action,  and To Remind You that One Person (that would be you) Can Make a Difference are thought provoking and motivational. I was inspired by the numerous video clips in both of the Post It Challenges. Titles such as Creativity, Change Makers, Connectivity, and Collaboration are perfect for opening up conversations that encourage Twenty-First Century learning.  Listen to experts from the current news page  such as Calestous Juma, Professor – Harvard University, speak about the important role of teachers, Sally Ride,  physicist, astronaut (first American woman in space), with remarks on inspiring students with science, and Gary Stager, Educator & Collaborator at MIT Lab Future of Learning, discussing his hopes for schools of the future. These are just three of the nearly twenty expert presentations you will encounter on  the current news page, also including Chris Wink, co-founder of Blue Man Group, with thoughts on creativity in education.

If you don’t believe watching  is enough, there is a way to get students involved interactively.  How about an introduction to the  online collaborative media console?  This  is really a media editor and tool set that gives  the power to create mixed and mashed-up media.  This tool is an open source application based on the Imagine It  project media library. It  includes pre-mixed video modules, online video editor, remix console and media uploader. Students around the world can create their own video using Imagine It  videos, b-roll, music and graphics along with original videos, interview clips, music and graphics. Take the time to facilitate a mix, match and mash-up a video and see if a student produced video gets distributed on top websites, television or included in the next film Imagine It!³,  the story of unleashing human potential to solve global challenges.

As you visit the site take a look at all of those involved including  an extensive list of organizations, educational institutions, people, and countries. While on that page be sure to click on the things people are saying about Imagine It.  There is also a download page that provides  access to many of the freely available open source materials. Also, review the upcoming calendar of events including the Sundance Festival, National Engineers Week, National Science Teachers’ Association, School Library Month, Project Lead The Way, Teacher Appreciation Week, and National Teacher Day. For a short introduction to the Imagine It Project  take a look at these three short video; START: Join The ConversationImagine It… What Is It?,  and a very short video entitled The New Generation. Take the time to visit this amazing site, incorprate it into the classroom,  and integrate it in educational  professional development. It will allow all educators to creatively infuse those 21st Century Skills and give students, teachers, and administrators the opportunity to Imagine It!

Thanks for taking the time to look over this post based on reflection and inspiration. As always follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mjgormans) and you are always welcome to visit my 21st centuryedtech Wiki!  Through out the week I will be sharing thoughts, ideas, and dreams, from Texas, until then, take a moment to “Imagine It” – Mike

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Pondering Podcasts? : Free First Class PD Videos On Podcasting!

Another mid week blog highlighting some of the best of the web. This week I focus on a fantastic site put out by Learning and Teaching Scotland. Learning and Teaching Scotland is sponsored by the Scottish Government and emphasizes information, guidance, and resources to promote learning in Scotland. While I have not explored the entire site, there is a portion at this site on Podcasts. It is certain to be an asset to any educator interested in producing their own podcats or engaging students by assisting them in producing their own podcasts. As always thanks for stopping by, please feel free to comment, and join me at my 21centuryedtech Wiki  filled with resources. You can follow me on twitter at @mjgormans, I will be sure to follow you back and we can learn from each other! – Mike 

How about a site that has 15 podcasts devoted to teaching teachers how to podcast? Or, how about over two hours of free professional development broken into 15 segments guaranteed to assist teachers towards integrating podcasts in the curriculum? Better yet , how about  podcasts that can be streamed to a computer or downloaded as quicktime movies in two different file sizes. It should also be mentioned that these tutorials are filled with outstanding  information, colorful graphics, and a mix of enjoyable music with wonderful narration. If this all sounds interesting then it is time for you to check out Podcasting from About Learning and Teaching in Scotland. While the series is designed for using podcasts in the modern foriegn languge classroom, most tutorials cover podcasting in general. The few geared toward foriegn language could make a case for adaptation in any subject area. Explore topics in five different series, many with multiple podcasts. Series one includes Why Podcast?, while series two includes reasons for students, teachers, curriculum, and classrooms to use podcasts. Series three provides ideas for podcasts intyegrated for a  foriegn language emphasis. In the fourth series, six different podcasts introduce teachers to equipment needed, Audacity as a pod production tool, integration with  a blog (Typepad), and the use of Podomatic to host and produce a podcast. Last, series five has three videos dedicated to producing podcasts with out a computer, pod safe music sounds, Voicethread (always use the educational servce), and Voki  (make avitars speak on a vodcast). Stop pondering and take a virtual trip to Scotland in order to perpetuate the use of podcasts in 21st century education.

Thanks for stopping by my 21centuryedtech Blog once. Please return or subscribe to an RSS feed. Remember to follow me on twitter at @mjgormans, I will be sure to follow you back and we can learn from each other! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

 

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Free Math Video Game & Curriculum From MIT: Engages Students And Facilitates 21st Century Learning!

A great MIT math game for middle school students incorporating problem solving, higher order thinking skills, national standards, and 21st century skills is available for free!  Includes lesson plans, graphic organizers, a library of material, evaluation strategies, and a  teacher administrative tool set. You have just entered the world of Lure of the Labyrinth, one of my web catches of the week!  While it has been around for a few years, it deserves mention every so often. For more great resources visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki – Mike  email (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us) Twitter @mjgormans

MIT has created another great learning experience, this time for middle school pre-algebra and algebra students. This is not the typical game that involves solving math problems with the reward of playing a game as a reward in the end.  Lure of the Labyrinth isn’t that kind of game. In fact, teachers and students report that math is one of the most fun parts of this game that incorporates a style found in popular graphic novels. It is embedded in a strong story line that engages students in a far off world where they must stop the  monsters from dominating the world.  This is accomplished by solving puzzles through the use of logic and the understanding of  number relationships. The mathematics embedded in Lure of the Labyrinth is the central part of any pre-algebra curriculum, and is based on key standards that guide national and state mathematics curriculum. Lure of the Labyrinth’s exploration of number relationships is complex, intriguing, and it is accessible to all mathematical thinkers. Take a moment to read more about all of the math, scientific method, problem solving,  and hypothesizing found in this unique game.
There are two basic ways that teachers can use Lure of the Labyrinth. Students can play it as a full-fledged game or they can  play its puzzles as separate, standalone activities that compliment specific math lessons. There is a large resource area available for teachers that cover standardssixteen different lesson plans, and graphic organizers that can be used with each lesson.  The game also allows for student cooperation and collaboration while giving teachers an administrative tool to monitor online activity and student progress. The graphics are fun and the story line is interesting! Take a moment to view various video segments produced for professional development of Maryland teachers  involving  game play, testimonials, and planning! Be sure to read this complete page written for educators and be sure to listen to the audio by Scott Osterweil  who is Creative Director at the Education Arcade at MIT . In fact, the MIT link will bring you several other games for education that I will include in future write ups. More research is supporting the use of games to faciltate  this generation of digital natives in their aquisition of  those all important 21st century skills!

Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to send on any comments or replies and catch all updates on both sites at twitter – Mike

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Free Software To Make That Flip Video Experience Even Better!

Ever had trouble getting those flip video files into Windows Movie Maker or your preferred video editor? This midweek post of 21centuryedtech focuses on a free piece of software that really does make integrating the Flip Video camera with Windows Movie Maker easy. Outside of that, it is truly a great video and audio transfer program that has a multitude of uses in student and teacher productions of movies and podcasts! Try this and other great ideas and resources found at the 21centuryedtech Wiki! As always follow me at www.twitter.com/mjgormans - Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

It really is time to do a double flip for your Flip video camera as you find ways to integrate with free Windows Movie Maker. I recently purchased 30 Flip Video Camera for student use!  They have been a hit as have the movies that students have produced. While others may not, I did experience problems with the Flip Software (too simplistic) and using the video files on various computers and networks. I did a triple flip when I found the free product Any Video Converter.  This powerful yet free video converter application makes video and audio conversion quick and easy. The application can clip any segments and optionally merge and sort them to make a creative movie. Even more, Any Video Converter Freeware can crop frame size to remove any unwanted area in the frame ,just like a pair of smart scissors. It can convert almost any video format:  including DivX, XviD, MOV, rm, rmvb, MPEG, VOB, DVD, WMV, AVI, MPEG-I, DVD NTSC , DVD PAL, Flash for Video (FLV), AVI Video and Customized WMV movie formats. It also supports any user defined video file format as the output including avi, mp4, wmv, swf, flv, mkv, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, mpg (PAL or NTSC), mp3, wma, ogg, aac, wave, m4a. This means that youtube, iPod, Zune, PSP, iPhone, 3GP Phone, and MP4 player are all covered. And if that’s not enough, it is also lightning  fast, even over a network.

Now about that Flip camera integration! It really is as simple as using the Flip Video Camera as a portable drive!  Just plug the Flip Camera into the computer’s USB port. Then open up Any Video Converter. Next select Add Video. It is then simple to use the easy interface to find the drive of the Flip Video Camera . Now , open the drive and select the desired videos.

 

Once the videos are selected a selection must be made from a pulldown on the right regarding the correct output format. For Windows Movie Maker the choice is customized WMV movie. Note that there are many other formats to pick from including ones that will work on the Mac, Mobile phones (including the iPhone), Flash, and portable video players.

There is even an Output folder on the bottom of the menu with various choices. The built in default is to have the program build an Any Video Folder in the user’s My Documents Folder. This can be great for network use that automatically sends user files to the user  network folder. Since Any Video Converter  can convert multiple files quickly and easily, you and your students will be editing using Windows Movie Maker or your preferred video editing software in no time. Take a moment to explore and learn about  and the download this free and useful program. While I have described its integration with Flip Video, you will find its power something you will find other reasons to do summersalts over!

Have fun and keep coming back ,and as always visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! – Mike  (http://www.twitter.com/mjgormans)

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It’s Free, Engaging, Creative, and Project Based : Make or Take A Virtual Fieldtrip or Book Review and “Meet Me At The Corner”

Wow, what a response I recieved on both the Blog and Wiki on the Intel free resources for assessing 21st Century skills. If you liked that, I promise you will enjoy some upcoming postings on simular materials. This new posting has been designed to get the right side of your brain flowing by introducing you to a creative site designed to engage students. It also addresses standards, promotes Project Based Learning, and enhances 21st Century Skills. I reccomend you take a look at the my review, and the site. I am certain it will bring you to an amazing corner that has been produced especially for students. As always feel free to respond, email ,and visit my 21centyredtech Wiki. In fact, take a moment and join! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

Every once and a while I am introduced to a truely unique and innovative site that has great implications for 21st century learning. The most recent site that fits this bill is one called Meet Me At The Corner. The site is dynamic and interactive, encouraging  individual expression and participation through video submissions from children worldwide. Donna Guthrie, the website producer, is committed to creating a community of children, who learn the art of self-expression and storytelling through video. Guthrie is not new to education. She is the author of more than twenty award-winning books for children. Donna has also taught kindergarten through fifth grade in both public and private schools in Pennsylvania and Colorado and is a visiting professor at Colorado College where she teaches children’s writing.

The website focus is geared toward  students and standards  in elementary and middle school. At present time, Meet Me At The Corner has a collection of close to one hundred  short virtual fieldtrip episodes  hosted by students and filmed on location.  The episodes are written and video is filmed by students. The footage is then sent to Meet Me At The Corner, and Donns’s crew edits and posts a final production that is truely professional and engaging for students. In keeping with educational standards, each episode has a related material that has questions to answer from the video, creative activities,  weblinks that focus on the topic, and possible books for reading. Topics are fund and of high interest. One interesting example includes  juggling from an expert in Brooklyn, be sure to scroll down below the video to see resources to integrate. How about this interview with an astronomer in San Diego? The episode and related resources could most certainly take care of some science standards. Write and submit a fieldtrip, and some of the language arts standards are covered. If students collaborate as a group on a project, then those all important 21st Century Skills can also be addressed. Take a moment and have students explore and uncover their community resources. Perhaps your students will find an author such as Robert Sabuda, a famous pop-up book engineer and artist, and create an episode like this  for an authentic audience to watch. Even more resources and information is found at the Learning Corner.

Don’ pass by the Contest Area of the website. Here you will find contests related to current events such as Arbor Day, the holidays, and an on-going writing and poetry contest. This inspiring episode  entitled Paws For Poetry sponsored by the New York Humane Society and Meet Me At The Corner should spark some great ideas. It may even get your school community thinking about possible partners. When visiting the Episode Page you can serach for videos by topic. My favorite topic is the  Big Apple Book Review. This area contains a small collection of books of elementary and middle school books reviewed by students and then produced by Meet Me At The Corner staff. While the collection is small, it provides a great opportunity for students to submit a favorite book and build the collection. Students get a chance to learn the difference between a report and a review. They can work in groups enhancing Project Based Learning as they aquire a wide range of 21st century skills. You will note that only first names are used in the productions. Take a look at this Video Episode that shows how to submit a video podcast for final editing and posting by Meet Me At The Corner staff.

In conclusion, be sure to read the User Agreement on the website  and also check you school district policy on submitting student work. It is important to be aware and abide by policies and procedures both at the site and in your school district. The site has a designated area to sign up and read more about submitting student work. Meet Me At The Corner really does  provide students with some amazing, engaging, and relevant resources. It also invites teachers and  students to become contributing members.  I know the teachers I have already presented the site to have walked away with enthusiasm and excitement. Perhaps you will, Meet Us At The Corner!

Have a wonderful week and continue to visit my partner 21centuryedtech Wiki! I am constantly adding resources that I feel are the best for 21st Century educators as they transform instruction in their classroom! While you are at the sight, take a moment to join and become part of a new community of educators! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

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Time For “Your Take” – An Interactive Site That Promotes “The Wisdom Of The Crowd”

yourtake2

Once in a while a truly unique site is created that promotes genuine 21st Century Skills using technology. A site that provides tools that  assist students in  reflecting, questioning, collaborating, thinking globally, gathering facts, analyzing, and seeking solutions is currently available for free!  Your Take demonstrates the true power found in a group working together.  Students must learn thos process if they are to successfully compete  in the global world of the 21st Century.  Your Take,  an effort made possible by the Tregoe Education Forum,  can be found at www.yourtake.org.  The site emphasizes that a real  key to success inside and outside the classroom is the ability to think critically and  go beyond grades.  The authors of this site have developed a unique tool called SCAN .  The SCAN program promotes an interactive and collaborative way for students to use technology to analyze and problem solve an issue. The letters in SCAN stand for:

S – Stop and think things through

C – Clarify the key issues

A – Ask yourself what’s most important

N – Now, what’s your next step

Lessons can be taught as an individual or group activity. Students use the web to follow these guidelines and reflect on various points of view. The end product is a group effort that can be used as a project, writing prompt, or presentation. A  video provided by Your Take gives a clear demonstration  of how this program works. The program has nearly one hundred pre-made lessons with prompts. I advise you to not stop there. Use lessons that you have used in the past and integrate them using this outstanding technology. Include standards found in your curriculum to better understand past issues in history, current topics of today, and future problems that will need solutions only found through the efforts of a group. An archived Webinar provides an even  more thorough examination of Your Take. It provides great information on the ways to set up this online collaborative environment in a safe and effective way. A list of sample of standards,  including 21st century technology standards can also be found on the Your Take Web Site.

As you become familiar with this amazing site please feel free to post ideas, plans, and thoughts you may have on using this tool in education. I also invite you to read a book entitled, The Wisdom of Crowds ,by James Surowiecki. It is a must read for twenty-first century educators as they affirm mission and vision for facilitating student growth in twenty-first century skills. After all, we are a crowd of educators  and together our collective wisdom has unlimited potential! Feel free to join the constantly growing crowd at my wiki entitled 21centuryedtech at www. 21centuryedtech.wikispaces.com . It really is time for you to become even more familiar with  Your Take!

Mike  (21centuryedtech)

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Educators : Welcome To The Future

Image from above - NASA

Image from Above - NASA

Do not miss the opportunity to view the video from the link posted at the bottom of this article post. This is a shortened post so that you may take the time to view what  is a truly inspirational message.


It is the mission of this Blog to bring you content, ideas, and practical ideas to enhance 21st Century Skills and educational transformation using technology. It is equally important to provide readers with content for reflection, motivation, and encouragement.  As we encounter a new school year I want to dedicate this posting to educational possibilities. Our educational future involves everyone including community stakeholders, educators, and students.  Recently I came a across a video produced by country music singer and songwriter Brad Paisley entitled Welcome to the Future. When I first heard the lyrics I felt they provided a thought provoking opportunity for  educators . Upon viewing the video it came apparent to me that the message is an inspiration to 21st Century Education. It reflects transformation, progress,  diversity, technology, universal accomplishment, and hope.  I know there have been a wide range of videos that can be found emphasizing the need to think different, engage the digital native, transform education, think outside the box, be prepared for the stopped escalator, and question what we know about global education.  This video however is the most powerful video I have come across in recent years.  I know you will feel the same way and I applaud singer and song writer Brad Paisley for a positive message that resonates  an enthusiasm for the future, and the promise that education can bring.  Be sure to reflect on the  well written lyrics as you encounter this awesome and powerful digital story. Please check out the link below! Let me know what you think!

Once again, welcome to the new school year and our  future!

Link – Welcome To The Future by  – Brad Paisley

Update – I have created a student activity sheet that goes with this video. It is a great activity that allows students to investigate a video for meaning. I have tried to include a process that facilitates a collaborative effort at investigating lyrics, video, and plot. It also asks students to write an individual paragraph stating the meaning. A final suggestion entails having the students feed their paragraph into Wordle. If you try it please let me know how it goes. It can be found at my 21centuryedtech wiki at the bottom of the Welcome To The Future Post as a Word Document.

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