Tag Archives: 21st

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Explore GPS and GIS In Engaging STEM Related PBL Activities : Free Resources And Site License

 


Give a kid a GPS and allow them to enthusiastically explore the world outdoors, introduce them to GIS and engage them with a world of relevant data, maps and information. We are all aware of of Google Maps, but are you aware of ESRI and Arcview? It is time to introduce your students to one of the fastest growing  job sectors in the world. This mid week post offers you an opportunity to discover free resources, inspire students using awesome activities,  and do a PBL project on your community while getting a free site license in return. As always fee free to visit me at my 21ceturyedtech Wiki and follow me on twitter @mjgormans. I will do the same and we can learn from each other. – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

Even before  there was Google Earth, there was a company called ESRI (Environment Systems Research Institute) based in Redlands, California. This company still exists and is not only a leader in GIS application but is also dedicated to K12 education. GIS (Geopgraphic Information Systems) can be integrated in science and social studies, as well as in mathematics and art/design. It also connects with GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to provide engaging adventures for students. GIS provides a foundation for interdisciplinary projects that allow for connections to the real world. Working with GIS also allows today’s students to develop 21st Century skills relating to computer literacy, problem solving, communication, collaboration, and presentation. Using GIS opens the doors to occupational fields that are growing and in demand for students upon completion of their schooling. Most resources from ESRI are either free, very low cost, or available through an ESRI grant for K12 educators and students.

You will find  abundant resources of materials at the ESRI Main K12 Page  in education This web page provides a format that educators can use to collaborate and share lessons with techniques that are successful. Check out this listing of over 300 lessons available for download using ESRI software. Be sure to download  a copy of Arc View for use in education

Most recently I came across four books (Our World GIS Education ) that were developed for K12 education. These books are available through ESRI at a retail price of about $50.00 each.These same books can be found at Amazon about $10.00 cheaper. The books do an excellent job of providing teachers with lessons and units that are based on twenty-first century skills and project based learning. They also include two CD in each book. One CD gives free access to necessary ESRI software for 365 days on up to 50 machines. After the 365 days schools can buy a site license for the entire school (about $500.00) or, better yet, engage students in an activity that provides the license for free. The other CD provides all lessons and support files for the book in a digital format. Our World GIS Education Books is the place to find these four books that were winners of the 2008 Geography Excellence in Media (GEM) Awards by The National Council for Geographic Education. Books are presented as levels going from level 1-4. This site provides a look at each book including a description along with links to Workbook Support, Teacher Resources, and Podcast with Authors. Also you must scan Taking a Look Inside which includes the  Table of Contents and the First Three Chapters, and, of course, a link to buy the book. Information links for each book follows along with descriptions from website.
Thinking Spatially Using GIS – provides geographic tools–maps, geographic data, and GIS–to teach young students a basic understanding of spatial concepts, pattern recognition, and map trends analysis.
Mapping Our World Using GIS – encourages students to acquire and continue building broad-based problem-solving skills using geospatial technology.
Analyzing Our World Using GIS – helps educators use GIS technology and geographic data to promote inquiry-based learning among students studying world geography and other disciplines. This book combines open-ended geospatial exploration opportunities with the structure of nationally standardized course content, classroom activities, teacher notes, student handouts, and assessments.
Making Spatial Decisions Using GIS – encourage the use of GIS in solving problems and making decisions. The lessons in this textbook build on the rich array of GIS tools available, enabling students to perform sophisticated analyses in a variety of content areas. This book encourages readers to make decisions and ultimately create their own analysis to investigate and answer based on real-world concerns.

How about a free site license from ESRI? Visit the ESRI Community Mapping Page and get your students involved. On this page you will learn more about Community Atlas and the grant program, have an opportunity to visit winning Model Projects from each year, download the Community Atlas instruction pages and model projects, explore all student projects, and submit or edit your project.

This was an enjoyable post for me to write. In fact I recieved some of my first training using GIS and GPS from Bob Kolvoord at James Madison University in the Project Vism (Visualization in Science and Math) through a grant with the NSF. Bob is one of the authors in Book Four, Making Spatial Decisions Using GIS. It was Project Vism, almost ten years ago, that engaged me in finding ways to use technology as a tool. Thanks for this visit and as always feel free to reply and comment. Check out my 21centuryedtech Wiki and feel free to follow me on twitter at @mjgormans, I will return the favor! – Mike (mgormans@sacs.k12.in.us)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s Free – Intel Provides An Amazing Tool To Assess 21st Century Skills

 

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler an American futurist.

This quote found on the front page of the Intel’s Assessing Project Tool web site gives a foundation  and premise for Intel’s  free educational resource . For those trying to assess 21century skills, this site provides some practical tools and resources to answer this question. Not only does Intel provide a unique interface to construct a rubric, it includes theory, rational, best practices, and outstanding examples. It is more then an assessment tool, if used correctly it allows teacher’s to truely transform their practice using a planning process that starts with the end and involves on-going assessment. Please take a moment to read over my review and explore the links that will highlight some of the outstanding attitibutes of this site. As always, take a moment to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki .  If you have 21century skill assessment practices to share please post a reply or send an email. I enjoy reading and make it a practice to answer each and every e-mail. – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

The biggest question I get from teachers when conducting workshops on technology integration and 21st century skills remains, “How do you assess the 21st century skills?”  While it is important to make sure content standards are integrated and assessed in student projects, many times the 21st century skills are loosely incorporated and assessed . This leaves students often confused with the attempted integration of  21st century skill, resulting in a goal never achieved. Once again, as most research suggests, it is important that all projects are designed with the end in mind. The conclusion includes both content standards, and the 21st century skills that are to be acheived by students. This end, is a part of the planning process that is communicated to students in the form of a rubric. The rubric must act as a guide while students engage with the project’s on-going process.

This preparation can be time consuming for the educator, which is why I invite you to explore Intel Education’s Assessing Projects Tool. I am a long time fan of the Intel Thinking  Tools. I am just as impressed with the Assessing  Projects Tool.  Intel states, “When assessment drives instruction, students learn more and become more confident, self-directed learners. Assessing Projects helps teachers create assessments that address 21st century skills and provides strategies to make assessment an integral part of their teaching and help students understand content more deeply, think at higher levels, and become self-directed learners”.

The site overview page  gives the benefits of assessing projects, numerous references and authoritive writings,  and some outstanding assessment based websites  based on 21st century education. Learn more about the purpose of assessment, various assessments that go beyond tests, papers, and oral presentations, and how formative assessment which is continuous and ongoing promotes real achievement. Additionally, while higher-order thinking such as critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and metacognition, can be a challenge. this tool explores methods for assessing thinking. Last, this tool explores what components are necessary for successful assessment in a school.

Intel gives you the opportunity to Try It.  Here you can try a Demo to explore the Assessment Library and examine checklists, rubrics, and scoring guides on thinking skills, processes, products, and performances. There is also a video tutorial that allows you to see how features of the Assessing Projects application work in the classroom. You can also view a great animation of the process which helps simplify the process. Explore some example project assessment forms for both the elementary and secondary level. Intel states that assessment strategies can be broken into five main categories. While not all methods within a category are needed, all categories should be included in an assessment plan. The categories included are Strategies for Gauging Student Needs ,  Strategies for Encouraging Self-Direction and Collaboration,  Strategies for Monitoring ProgressStrategies for Checking for Understanding and Encouraging Metacognition,  and Strategies for Demonstrating Understanding and Skill. There is also an area that describes the planning of assessment, the changing of assessment strategies, and some sample lesson plans complete with timeline of project, venn diagram, table, and assessment timeline. I find it useful to use the large selection of pre-made rubics and modify and save them to my Intel Work Space. From here they can be exported as a Word or Excel file.

In conclusion, Intel offers a top of the line tool that is free to educators. There are other tools which I will explore in future posts but I do suggest that anyone exploring assessment of 21st century skills take a look at the Intel Assessing Projects Tool for its ease of use, vast resources of information,  on-line productivity, and theory behind practice. While it acts as a rubric machine, it goes much farther by transtorming educational practice. Please feel free to email or post. I am interested in learning about other tools available for 21st century assessment.  While taking your journey in 21st century education, please visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki. Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

 

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

What does the White House, County Music, President Obama, Fine Arts, Steam, Arne Duncan, STEM, and Daniel Pink have to do with 21st Century Education? – Welcome to the Future!

Nasa Historical Photograph

I have lately been  trying to write shorter blogs on a more frequent basis.  Thanks for the positive comments and emails. Your thoughts and ideas are really an inspiration. I am practicing my tweeting skills by tweeting my blog titles  and links under mjgormans. Go ahead and follow if you wish. It has already given me some great ideas for an up coming tweet blog (Do they go together?). I may have a title! This posting is a follow up of a blog I posted at the start of the 2009 school year. I have recently found some extra information on the posting “Welcome To The Future“.  Please take some time, I know if you spend a few moments with the material it will provide you with a message to share with educators and also students. As always, please visit me at the 21centuryedtech Wiki!  for even more information – Mike

I hope I was able to get you wondering about the connection between all the players in the title and 21st Century Learning.  I believe as you read you will see the connection and understand its importance. This posting has been several months in the making and contains some outstanding material for professional development. Please take a moment to  explore and reflect.

 About  three months ago I posted a country music video by singer song writer Brad Paisley. This song and video reminded me that our dreams as educators must be to protect and nuture the dreams of our students.  If you never read the posting or viewed the video I am speaking of, please take a moment from your internet browsing and enjoy. As you view the video Welcome To The Future  keep in mind the important and neccessary mission of 21st century skills and education. I have had the pleasure of sharing this with teachers and students and have always seen people walk away with excitement and  enthusiasm.

Now, the reason for my follow up. I knew the video was powerful but have since found out it made a bigger impact then what I knew at the time of my original posting. I had often wondered what singer songwriter Brad Paisely had thought as he wrote the song. He answered some of my questions in an interview held at the White House. I have included both the blog  posting and video of this White House interview and performance. It was moving to see see the performance in the formal setting  of the White House as President Obama listened, and the camera panned famous pictures such as George Washington and lyrics resonated famous people including Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.  This amazing performance was part of the White House Performance Series ,a program developed to promote arts education. As part of this initative, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been in dialogue with Support Music, an organization dedicated to the promotion of music and fine arts in the nation’s schools. Take a moment to read a recent letter, listen to a conference call (mp3), or read the transcript of Secretary Duncan’s support for the Fine Arts.

This leads me to Daniel Pink , author of A Whole New Mind : Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future. At a recent keynote, Pink eluded to the idea that STEM education must include the fine arts. Take a look at this amazing video as students use visual Thinking Strategies. These students are part of the program,  Visual Thinking Strategies, a non-profit organization that “uses art to foster kids’ capacities to observe, think, listen and communicate.”  With this in mind, listen to the  TASA 2009 Podcast that includes Pink’s thoughts on teaching to the Right Brain in education. While speaking of adding Arts to STEM, why not call it STEAM ,as proposed by the Ohio Alliance For Arts Education . Enjoy this article  filled with great reflections and resources.

I conclude this posting with one last reflection of another past post. The post referred to another musician, Tom Chapin, with a message that cannot be ignored. Chapin is also a proponent of fine arts education and promotes its neccessary place in today’s schools in order to promote 21 st century learning. I know you will want to share his music video Not on the Test with other educators.

I hope you can see that there really is a connection between the White House, STEM, Secretary Duncan, country music, fine arts, Brad Paisley, Daniel Pink, and steam. It really is a convergent of the right and left brain. It is a partnership that will develop creativity, ingenuity, problem solving, and a new way to look at the world. These are 21st century skills, the very skills our students will need to seek their dreams and continue our dreams. It truely is an amazing “Welcome To The Future”!

I invite you to email, comment, and as always visit the 21centuryedtech Wiki. I also invite you to download  my Welcome_to_the_Future  Document. I put together for teachers who may wish to have their students study the video Welcome To The Future. It contains standards that cover writing, film making, and social studies. I look forward to hearing from you . As always thank you joining me as I reflect  upon and dream about a 21st century educational sysytem that will make a difference for the future of our students!

– Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Googal in Google : I Didn’t Know Google Could Do That!

<div xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns#" about="http://www.flickr.com/photos/carlosluna/2856173673/"><a rel="cc:attributionURL" href=

It was many years ago that I was introduced to the internet search engine. It amazed me that a website could search through the entire web and pull up web pages from my keywords. While I got my start with Altavista, I soon found myself excited by both the simplicity and complexity provided by Google. Wikipedia defines Googal as “the large number 10100, that is, the digit 1 followed by one hundred zeros in decimal representation. The term was coined in 1938 by Milton Sirotta (1929–1980), nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, when he was nine years old”. The people at Google understood the meaning Googal would bring. In fact new words have appeared in the English language such as googled, googling, googler, and possibly even googlist.

In this Blog Posting I would like to investigate a small portion of the new  Googal that is found in Google. Most people are aware of Google Docs, Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Flickr, Google You Tube and the Google Search Engine. It is amazing to explore some of the lesser known areas, beta projects, experiments in the making, and those too new for the (googal) of people to have found yet. Let’s explore!

Google Options – Wonder Wheel and Timeline

First, let’s look at the Google Search Engine itself. Have you ever clicked on that Show Options Button?  If you have not done it lately, now is the time.  Click on the Show Options Button under the search and you will see a bunch of options. One of the neatest options introduced in May of 2009  is the Wonder Wheel. When it is clicked, users get a graphical display of their search. A great way for students to expand search terms!  Directly to the right on the results page  are websites related to the wheel. Click on a spoke of the wheel and you get a new wheel and new links related to that spoke.

wheel2

While in the options menu check out the  Timeline Option. This can can be a neat educational tool. Type in iPod and you will get a timeline of significant events in the iPod’s history. Feel free to explore the option window and also notice you can  Hide Options at anytime.

Google Squared

Another new tool released in the Spring of 2009 is Google Squared (just type in http://www.google.com/squared in your browser). Google describes this tool as a way to collect multiple  facts on a subject from the web. Google Squared then  presents them in an organized collection, similar to a spreadsheet. You can even customize and export results to Excel. Best of all, for students,  it  even includes pictures. Read more about it at  Google’s Blog.

elements

Google News Timeline

Are your students following a news event? How about looking at an event in history? Then a new service from Google called Google News Timeline is a great resource. Google describes this service as  a web application that easily organizes search results by date. Google puts the news events in a  graphical timeline filled with links and pictures.  Data sources include recent and historical news, scanned newspapers and magazines, blog posts, sports scores, and even information relating to current  media, such as music, albums, and movies. Check out the capabilities as described in the Google Information Site.  Take a moment to view the example below that displays  how students can even find primary sources in news history using Google News Timeline.

hawaii

Google Images – More Options with Similar Images and Creative Commons

While students have access to images under “fair use guidelines ” there are still limits to usage. This is especially true  if projects are to be shared online.  Also, educators may have the need to share an image on the web via school web page, blog, or wiki. This is where the ability to use pictures created under “creative commons” comes in handy. Check out this Google July 2009 Blog that explains new features in the advanced settings for image filters. It is a great way to use images others have created, and still stay within copyright. Google has also introduced Similar Images  Search. First, search for a picture , next use Similar Images  Search to find more pictures  that compliment the original search. Also be  sure to note that there is a safe search option in Google.  It  should be set on the strict filtering option when using Google Images and even for a regular Google Web Search in the classroom.

Google Listen

Want to get more use out of your portable devices ? In August of 2009 Google released Google Listen. Google describes it as ” getting more power from your Android-powered device”.  Google Listen allows you to search, subscribe, download and stream. The user can determine what to listen to by  subscribing to programs and  using search words.  Google Listen will take this user information and create a personalized audio-magazine.  At this time, Google Listen is indexing thousands of popular English-only audio sources. Check out the fact sheet and try a download.

Google Sets

Although Google Sets has been around a few years it is a little known product that can be fun to use. Google Sets was  one of the very first applications produced by Google Labs. This awesome little search tool allows the user  to automatically create sets of items from just a few examples. These  user made sets identify  related items on the web.  Predict relationships between words and construct either large  sets or small sets. It is a great tool for brainstorming, seeing relationships, or just figuring out what is missing. It is a surprisingly  intuitive interface, one that will have you attempting to see if it knows what you are thinking. On a recent exploration I entered lions, panthers, bears and was given a set of mammals. However, when I entered Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears,  Carolina Panthers  I was shown a set of NFL Teams. It even knows the Seven Dwarfs from motion picture,  Snow White!

While I did not supply a googal of information, I do hope you are now more familiar with  a little bit more of the googal of resources found in Google. As you explore the website I am sure you will continue to find even more ways to connect Google with today’s digital learner.  Please visit me on my wiki as I continue to  promote the use of free and inexpensive resources at http://21centuryedtech.wikispaces.com/, and enjoy googling!

– Mike

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Jukebox or the Ipod – Reflection on Educational Transformation

jukebox_ipod
I recently presented at Alan November’s BLC 09 Conference in Boston. What an awesome conference and an opportunity to meet and network not just across the states but internationally! The question posed in my presentation involved the idea of whether education is closer to the Jukebox or the iPod. I bring this up because as educators we must remember to transform practices that have been valuable instead of always coming up with something new. How can you as an educator transform ideas, practices, and lessons with the technology you may already have?
The jukebox was one of the first devices that allowed for the instant play of music, on demand, from various artists, from a large collection of databases. The jukebox was invented in 1889. It was referred to as the Nickel-in-the-Slot Machine and was invented by Louis Glass and William S. Arnold who placed a coin-operated Edison cylinder phonograph in the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. It was an Edison Class M Electric Phonograph in an oak cabinet that was refitted with a coin mechanism patented (U.S. 428,750) by Glass and Arnold. There was no amplification (wow, similar to the iPod) and patrons had to listen to the music using one of four listening tubes. In its first six months of service, the Nickel-in-the-Slot earned over $1000. Over one hundred years later Apple Computer transformed this same idea with the technology of the 21st century. Launched on October 23, 2001 the original iPod had a 5 GB hard drive that put “1,000 songs in your pocket.” As of September 2008, more than 173,000,000 iPods had been sold worldwide. The 2008 120 GB allowed for instant retrieval of over 24,000 songs. Apple did not invent the idea, they transformed an excellent and proven idea that already existed!
As educators we must enlist our collective database of lessons and practices as we adapt technology that is already in our schools. This concept allows us to make transformation happen on the cheap! I would like to share an example. Many of us have been part of a NASA lesson that had us work in a group to decide what we would need to survive on the moon. We were given a list and as a group we worked collaboratively to prioritize it. It is now possible to transform the lesson using technology that is available today. The lesson could be put in a Moodle. Students could collaborate online through chats and Google Docs. I recently found a tool available for free from Intel called Thinking Tools. Feel free to check out my 21centuryedtech wiki for more information. It allows students to work in collaborative groups and rank items. They can then compare their rankings with others and the class average through teacher made accounts. In this process they also share information and reasoning with the teacher. The results could be shared through a Power Point presentation and a visual ranking of the data could be displayed using Excel. How about a video conference or online chat to compare with experts in the community? Most schools have the technology, connection, and software to make this Old Lesson transform to a 21st Century experience. Remember that Open Office can even serve as a no cost alternative to Microsoft Office.
It is time for educators to explore new possibilities by transforming what has always worked. Do not wait for a new purchase in order to engage students in 21st Century Learning. You already have what it takes to transform the educational jukebox into an iPod. The result will be educational experiences that are more productive, efficient, connected, authentic, and engaging to the digital generation. It will facilitate important 21st century skills that are essential to our students’ future.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Blog Devoted To 21st Century Ed Technology On The Cheap!

michael-gorman

Hello, my name is Michael Gorman. I have been teaching over 31 years while spending the last 15 years integrating technology with the core standards. I have also presented at various national conferences including NECC, NMSA, BLC 09, and CELL. Welcome to a Blog devoted to free and inexpensive educational activities. I even plan to throw in my two bits, play on words, as I find resources and ideas that can be used as tools to transform the educational experience while promoting 21st century skills, project based learning, and NETS standards. I maintain a wiki devoted to 21st century education (21centuryedtech). Please feel free to visit. This blog will be a companion site and serve as avenue to informally share as I come across transformational ideas in a timely manner. Remember the emphasis is on the cheap, although I guarantee the ideas, reflections, and results will be rich! Thanks for joining me on a journey devoted to student engagement and learning!

Link – Visit my Wiki at 21centuryteched for in depth ideas, handouts, documents, and links

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized