Happy New Year to everyone!! I hope that the New Year brings you happiness and prosperity!
Google Apps for Education and Digital Citizenship has been taking up a lion’s share of my time lately – along with my working towards the Adobe certification.
As I have mentioned previously, Alberta Education and Adobe have created a partnership where the Adobe software is now available for student use in the schools. Of course, it comes with a cost, but at a much reduced cost at that. The only real drawback on the use of the Adobe software is whether or not the existing school computers are robust enough to operate the software. We’re in a situation where we feel all but the Adobe Premier software should be operational on the existing hardware. To facilitate the use of the Adobe software in the various school districts, 25 teachers from all over Alberta are currently receiving training on the various programs. I’m lucky enough to be one of those 25, so if anyone down in the southern part of the province needs any tutoring or assistance involving the Adobe software (primarily Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat Pro, Premier), don’t hesitate to contact myself (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ken HakStol (Ken.Hakstol@sapdc.ca) or Mark Boschee (BoscheeM@holyspirit.ab.ca).
Pinterest has developed into the newest rave. I came across this link where individuals are using Pinterest to create resumes. Interesting approach to doing this. I guess it would work if this type of resume was received by a potential employer who thinks outside the box! http://pinterest.com/dzhmurkin/cool-resumes/
Here is an interesting article – http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/07/poll-students-less-engaged-over-time/1566102/. As might be expected, eight of ten elementary students were found ‘engaged.’ By middle school, this dropped to six out of ten. By high school, only four out of ten students were engaged in their learning process. The author puts forth that this trend should be going the other way. As students’ progress, the engagement should increase. This would be ideal but we know that is the real challenge. With technology though, I believe we have a medium to create this scenario.
Check this link (http://mattbgomez.com/introducing-apps-to-the-class/) out to see how Matt Gomez (Kindergarten Teacher) introduces new apps to his students. He uses a document camera to demo how to use the app. What is nice about using the document camera is the students can see how the hand and fingers are used to manipulate the app. If you displayed only the iPad, the students wouldn’t be able to observe the gesturing required. As for a document camera, the SMART version is costly – in the $600 neighborhood. A $30 webcam mounted on a ring stand (your science teacher should have a few of these to borrow) will do the job just as effectively.
Thanks to Pete MacKay (http://www.theteacherlist.ca/), here are a couple of sites to check out:
- Smore (http://www.smore.com/app?ref=logo) is a neat site to create a digital flyer! It’s free and it is very easy to use. Students will have no issues creating digital flyers using Smore. As I’m composing this post, I’m thinking of how this might be an easy way to create an infographic. You wouldn’t be able to get as much information on it as you would find on a typical infographic but at an elementary level, this could well do the job. Anyways, check it out!
- Math Master (http://mathmaster.org/) is another site taking its lead from Khanacademy. I like how it is laid out. In the video tab you will find the following sections: arithmetic, developmental math, algebra (a big section!), geometry, trigonometry, probability, calculus, statistics, differential equations, linear algebra, biology, chemistry, physics, cosmology/astronomy and economics. It is pretty comprehensive, much like Khanacademy! What Math Master offers that Khanacademy doesn’t are worksheets. The worksheet tab is not nearly as comprehensive as that of Khan, but it offers the teacher some supplementary materials to use in the classroom.
That’s it for this posting. I’ll present on how to use Google Forms to create multiple routes for doing formative assessments in my next blog entry. Have a great second half to the current school year!!