Monday, February 13, 2012

Creating and Sharing Media Center Resource Lists

by Matt Schafer- HS Media Specialist

Examples of
1.  Expanding the walls of the classroom with technology.
2.  Being able to use technology purposefully within the classroom.

Not too long ago, I sat down with David While, a photography instructor at JIS, as he wanted to share some supplementary texts and websites with students in his IB photography course.  In the past, teachers have simply given students paper handouts and/or PDFs and distributed these through email.  Instead, Mr. White and I used Follett's Destiny software to quickly create a list that integrates with the high school library's resources.  Students are able to access all the bibliographical information, reserve the book, and see if it is available or checked out.  In addition, the websites Follett Destiny displays are prescreened by information professionals and deemed solid for formal, academic research.  Once Mr. White completed his list, he simply created a link to the resource list and shared with students on his course Moodle page.

The following pictures serve as an easy, step-by-step guide to building one's own resource lists.   

It really is that easy.  As always, feel free to hit me up with comments, ideas, and questions.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Stages of Movement in a G9 PE class

Examples of:
  1. Personalizing learning through the use of technology 
  2. Being able to use technology purposefully within my curriculum
  3. Managing a classroom where every student has a computer 

Last week I was invited to Kyle’s PE class where students were identifying the various stages of movement in sports. Kyle had video taped his colleague Jake performing a T-Ball swing. In class, Kyle and his students watched the video and discussed the stages of movement, connecting these to any sport. To show their understanding, students were then given a document (distributed through Moodle) with key images from the video and using correct vocabulary they had to describe the movement depicted in each image. 

Next, students were given the task to video themselves with PhotoBooth while they served a volleyball underhand. Using the key stages of movement and the video, they had to reflect on their own performance in terms of the movement stages they had learned. 
Students only spent the first 30 minutes on their MacBooks to accomplish the above. The rest of the time was dedicated to PE activities.

Thank you Kyle for sharing this lesson. Student feedback was very positive.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

1:1 Increases Student Responsibility?

I feel like I should give some context to this video.  These two students are in a 6th Grade Science classroom where Kristen DePass and I have been experimenting with the "Flipped Classroom", and then using the Moodle Forums as blogs for students to talk about their learning.  We also use Google Forms to get feedback/advice from the students on what helps them learn or what might be hindering their learning.   We have been very surprised to say the least about the results we have been getting from the students both in the learning of the content and having them think about what helps them learn.

These two students seem to hit on two positive points (possibly more) about the effects on learning that 1:1 has had on them.

1.  Increased responsibility for their learning.   It seemed to me as I interview them and spoke with them afterwards that they felt the added pressure of making sure what they are writing or communicating is good, because as they put it, "it's out there to the world and you can't take it back".   (I have to say I am feeling the same right now.)   It's not good enough to do mediocre work when you know that more than just your teacher will be reading it... a bunch of people will.  They will be judging you by what you say and how you can communicate what you know and think. 

2.  The teacher knows what they have learned before coming into the classroom and knows what they still need to learn upon entering the start of each lesson.   This really seems like it should be a no brainier, but it isn't.   I believe what they are saying is that they feel like they are learning more by getting the lesson that a teacher would normally give in the classroom, outside the classroom, and then use the classroom time to try to learn what they didn't understand.   This is totally "flipped" if you think about what we traditionally do.  We usually tell/teach them what they need to they need to in the classroom and then let them practice it outside the classroom, which we all know that's when they struggle with what they don't know from the lesson.   This also leads me to think this is why many of the students get frustrated or don't even bother with doing the homework.

So I would have to say that this is a good example of: purposeful, enriching our understanding of how and what we learn.

I would love to hear what people think about these 2 points.   Dan