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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Almost into November already!

If you are looking for a browser supported ‘text-to-speech’ plug-in, here is a site that lists what you could use for a particular browser – http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/latest/text-speech-and-other-plugins-web-browsers.

When it comes to integrating technology into our classroom, we have to ensure that it is used as a tool to help meet the outcomes we’re attempting to cover.  TPACK is a program which was designed with this in mind.  The approach should be:

  1. 1.      Establish the Outcomes
  2. 2.      Develop your Pedagogy to meet the Outcomes
  3. 3.      Only after the first two steps have been achieved, then we look at what there is in the form of Technology to help achieve the Outcomes

Judy Harris (William & Mary School of Education) tends to make her way through Alberta on an annual basis promoting this program – it’s well worth your time to take in this PD experience.  In her workshop, Judy guides the participants through the process of TPACK.  She had a site which was really nice because she had it laid out so that one could look for the technology tool to support the activity to achieve the outcome.  Here is the current site – http://www.tpack.org/.  Unfortunately, I can’t find the work where she provides the activity and the suggested tool.  Here is an example of what there used to be available:

TPACK sample

I’m going to register on the site to see if this provides the access to this information – here’s crossing my fingers that it does!!

It would appear that others have taken on the this TPACK approach – as I just recently received this information my a fellow teacher in the district.  This approach is referred to as the SAMR Model.  The acronym stands for:

  • Substitution (Substitute and no functional change)
  • Augmentation (Substitute with functional improvement)
  • Modification (Significant task redesign)
  • Redefinition (New tasks previously inconceivable)

As you work your way from S-A-M-R in the model, you are moving from the basic ‘recall’ to the area of ‘creating knowledge’ which is where you want to be in the 21st century classroom.  Check out the new graphic to support this newly evolve process (http://www.edudemic.com/new-padagogy-wheel-helps-you-integrate-technology-using-samr-model/) :

SAMR Model

For those teachers who are having issues with their SMART notebook where the flash objects (the interactives) are not working properly, there is a fix.  What has occurred is that the newest flash upgrade is NOT compatible with the newest version of SMART notebook!  At temporary fix is to ‘downgrade the flash version’ which I’ve done and it works well.  Here is the link to the fix which involves a three step process (which I should indicate is designed for the PC environment – not sure about the Mac environment) – tinyurl.com/flashKB.

Looking for ‘free’ science apps for the iPads?  Here are 7 from http://ipadapps4school.com/2013/10/17/seven-free-science-apps-for-ipads/.  Have a look – they include:

  • Bill Nye The Science Guy  iPad app
  • goREACT
  • Powers of Minus Ten: Bone
  • Virtual Heart
  • 3D Brain
  • Essential Skeleton
  • Solve the Outbreak

I think we may have found the replacement for Audacity!!  It’s called Audio Expert (http://www.audioexpert.com).  The site allows students to record, convert, edit, merge and mange audio clips with no software to install!!  Thanks Pete!

Here are some more links that Pete Mckay from his teacherlist.ca share recently:

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Vantage links

Vantage does a great job of providing links for various subjects from K to 12.  This time around they have (PDF format):

Art – Vantage – Art theme Oct 2013

Math – Vantage – Math theme Oct 2013

If you don’t already subscribe to Vantage – you should!!!  Go to http://www.2learn.ca/vantage/vantage.html

 

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Moodle & Literacy

Palliser continues to work on its virtual school! With Alison H. leading the way, we’re hoping to be able to offer a collection of courses come the second semester.  With the move to version 2.5.2 Moodle, we now have a number of new plugins and blocks that will really enhance the functionality of Moodle.  With the following new additions, students and teachers will be able to get maximum use of the this learning management system:

  • marking manager
  • glossary quiz
  • moodle dictionary
  • collapsed topics
  • text-to-speech
  • navigation arrows
  • checklist block
  • PDF writer

We’re working on creating a template so that all of the courses we’re accessing from the Rockyview Hub (a consortium of school divisions who have willingly shared their Moodle courses for other districts to use!) will have a common appearance and functionality.  By doing this, students should be able to go from one course to another and not have to worry about figuring out the different setups.

Last week, the Palliser Admin got together for three days in Calgary to focus on Literacy.  This is a major focus for Palliser this year and we are very fortunate to have two very passionate and knowledgeable staff to help carry us forward.  Connie A. and Bev S. put together what every Administrator said was ‘by far the best ever PD they had taken part in!!’  Way to go ladies and the seed has been planted and now we look forward to the germination process as Admin gets all teachers on the same page – ‘Every Teacher is a Teacher of Literacy’!  It’s not just the English/Language Arts teachers who promote literacy – it’s EVERY teacher!!

 

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Uncategorized