Monday, December 15, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 12/16/2014

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 12/09/2014

  • Resources about in this article which emphasizes skills over stuff when it comes to making.

    tags: maker edutopia makerspace maker movement

    • To realize the opportunity that the maker movement offers education, students need room for self-directed learning and interdisciplinary problem solving.
    • While setting up spaces for hands-on tinkering, schools also need to make mental space for creativity, risk taking, and learning from failure. Those qualities are central to maker culture, but still rare in too many school settings.
    • More important than gaining access to expensive tools is learning how to turn raw ideas into prototypes that can be tested, refined, and improved through feedback.
    • Students who gravitate toward an engineering or STEM approach to problem solving may get fresh ideas from watching artists work out solutions (and visa versa). Collaboration is more likely to happen when thinking and tinkering take place in the open.
    • parents team up with their children for monthly Maker Saturdays.
    • Encourage students to tell the stories behind their ideas and describe the process that took them from inspiration to finished product.


    • If you're interested in seeing a school makerspace in action, check out this curated list from Bob Pearlman
    • Maker Education Initiative maintains a resource library, including sample projects.
    • Should we worry that making in the classroom is just the new-new thing, soon to be replaced by some other newer new-new thing?
    • To prevent this, I like to combine the work of education pioneers and giants with the new work of scholars to show that this is more than just a fad or a chance for a shopping spree.
    • "making" shouldn't be just making anything.
    • When we talk about making in the classroom, we have to continually raise the bar and challenge ourselves to create an academically worthy process. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to add computational technology to the making
    • Interaction between the digital and physical world adds a level of complexity that results in greater understanding of both.
    • Although the learning happens inside the learner's head, it happens most reliably when the learner is engaged in a personally meaningful activity that makes the learning real and shareable.
    • "meaningful" part of constructionism
    • the power of making something comes from the learner's question or impulse and is not imposed from the outside.
    • Constructionism
    • It seeks to liberate learners from their dependency on being taught.
    • "It made me clearly realize how much superior an education based on free action and personal responsibility is to one relying on outward authority."
    • It's easy to find widespread support for the idea that hands-on experiences are crucial for students to develop deep understanding.
    • The modern Maker movement has its roots in timeless craft traditions combined with new materials and a community approach to problem-solving spread globally by the reach of the internet.
    • Educational institutions should take notice when a learning revolution is happening outside its doors. School loses relevancy to young people when it fails to connect to the real world, to their world, and the world of the future.
    • Agency by Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Education is investigating the "promises, practices, and pedagogies of maker-centered learning experiences." They see a new kind of hands-on pedagogy emerging, one that "encourages community and collaboration (a do-it-together mentality), distributed teaching, boundary crossing, and a responsive and flexible pedagogy."
    • like being on the same side as Piaget, Papert, MIT, Stanford, Harvard, thousands of museums and libraries, and a global revolution
  • These are templates of often used diagrams.

    tags: templates diagrams Google Draw

  • tags: research citations search searching Google Google scholar

  • A complicated way to create and save a badge, but a quick browse will likely get you what you are looking for.

    tags: badges Google_Drive gafe

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 12/04/2014

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 12/02/2014

  • tags: 3dprinting maker technology

  • tags: 3dprinting CAD maker maker movement technology

    • One of the big names in the CAD application industry is AutoDesk. While much of AutoDesk’s professional-level products are only available for purchase, the company has created a number of free CAD applications that can be used with 3D printers. AutoDesk offers 123D Design to users as a fast and easy tool for creating 3D objects that can be immediately sent to a connected 3D printer. But don’t ignore the company’s other free apps. 123D Creature and 123D Sculpt are two iPad apps that let users create custom objects on an iPad that can be saved and printed. 123D Catch lets users take a number of photographs of an object (from various angles) and then converts it to a 3D model that can be tweaked and then printed. Finally, 123D Make can take a model and slice it into layers that can be cut out in wood, plastic, or cardboard and then assembled.
  • Some good suggestions here for how teachers might use social media with their students and parent body.

    tags: social media PLN

  • tags: math financial literacy edutopia

  • tags: 21st century skills

    • The Skills All Students Need
    • Communication. Demonstrate strong writing, speaking, and listening skills. These skills are game changers for employees with strong technical skills, since their work often impacts members of other teams, technical and non-technical, across the company.


      Critical thinking. Assess a situation and determine whether or not to ask for help, seek additional information, or forge ahead. Recognize when to “pull the cord” and stop the bus.


      Ownership. When taking on a project, own it from start to finish. Be reliable and know what needs to be done to complete the task, project, or initiative, whether alone or as a member of a team.


      Leadership. Act as leader, with or without the title. Recognize that leadership lies in how you behave and how you conduct yourself as much as it does in the title that you hold.


      Creative problem solving. Enjoy solving problems and doing so in creative ways, especially when resources may be constrained, time short, and expectations high.


      Self-directed learning. Own professional learning and stay up-to-date on new trends in the field. Participate in ongoing learning through online and in-person options, and be willing to share what you’ve learned with colleagues.


      Curiosity. Get stumped, but never get overwhelmed. When stuck, turn to personal and professional learning networks to problem solve. Failure is a part of the learning process.


      Collaboration. Contribute to larger projects and meet game-changing goals. View collaboration as a key part of the job, especially when it comes to achieving outcomes.


      High threshold for uncertainty. Be comfortable with the uncertainty that often accompanies problem solving, innovative and creative work. Uncertainty is what drives leaders to seek answers and solve problems. Recognize that setbacks and dead-ends are part of the process.

  • Wordless video that visually demonstrates how addiction works.

    tags: addiction character education

  • tags: handwriting keyboarding

    • From autumn 2016, students won't have to learn cursive handwriting or calligraphy, but will instead be taught typing skills, the report says. "Fluent typing skills are an important national competence,
    • she points out that handwriting helps children to develop fine motor skills and brain function, and suggests handwriting classes could be replaced by handicrafts and drawing.
    • "Handwriting is a totally useless skill. Maybe not as useless as compulsory Swedish, but coming pretty close to it."
      • Love the last line of this article!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 11/26/2014

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 11/25/2014

    • "In smaller schools, and in smaller classrooms, you force people to interact, and they are less hierarchical, less cliquish, and less self-segregated.”

        <!--INSERT IN_ARTICLE AD-->

    • "In classrooms with assigned seating, you’re forced to sit next to someone whom you wouldn’t otherwise interact, and that tends to break down the tendency to segregate by background,” McFarland said.
    • Instead, McFarland’s biggest point isn’t about how we ought to organize our schools, but rather
    • But smaller schools, smaller classrooms, and forced interactions between students with different backgrounds make us different than big classes, big schools, and an unfettered freedom to pick friends by the first thing we can see about them
  • tags: bullying bullying prevention cybersafety cyberbullying SEL sexting

  • tags: Web2.0 student response edtech tech tools

  • Three domains mentioned about how to facilitate teacher team meetings.

    tags: facilitation meetings edutopia

    • Note that I'm using the term "facilitator" to mean the person who plans and designs agendas as well as who guides a team through processes outlined on an agenda
    • we know that great attention must be paid to how a meeting is designed.
    • The purpose of the meeting and desired outcomes are articulated and connected to the school's vision, mission, and big goals
    • a variety of structures or protocols to meet the desired outcomes.
    • anticipates the emotional, cognitive and energy needs of the participants
    • planning reflects an awareness of how power dynamics and systemic oppression may manifest in this group and seeks to interrupt these dynamics
    • We want to ensure that all will voices will be heard and will have equal access to decision-making and input.
    • Frame the purpose and desired outcomes for the meeting and review agenda.
    • Articulate the role participants will play in the meeting
      • Name any decision-making points and processes that will be used
      • Identify the structures or activities that will be used in this meeting and how they'll connect to the desired outcomes
    • Articulate expectations for behavior or procedures
    • Determine structures to hold members accountable (self-monitoring and reflection, use of process observer, use of a team process rubric)
    • Use a variety of listening strategies including paraphrasing and active listening
    • Use a variety of questioning strategies to probe thinking and elicit new ideas
    • encourage conflict about ideas verses interpersonal or inter-team conflict)
    • Use data gathered in the moment to modify and inform facilitation
    • Protect time for reflection and feedback within the established time
    • Hold team members accountable to agreements, goals, structures, and protocols
    • use various strategies to help a group a recover from a breakdown
    • Read the group's emotional and energetic state and adjust accordingly
    • Hold the expectation that members will learn, think creatively, and push each others' thinking
    • Show up as a grounded, calm presence that believes in the capacity of team members
    • Identify an app or tool that will transcribe speaking into text. Some options for this include PaperPortNotes, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Dictation Pro, VoiceTranslator, or a text-to-speech tool that is built into many smartphones. Try one of these to your phone, tablet, or computer.
  • tags: teacher teams edutopia coaching facilitation

    • It can be very, very, painfully slow to build trust in a group of adults -- but it can be done, and you as the facilitator have to believe it can be done.
    • Trust grows in tiny little ways when people are open and authentic, when they ask real questions and listen to each other, when they share their stories and others hold space for those stories, and when they do things together and those things go well. So create space for speaking and listening, ensure that everyone is participating, and then give them something to do.
    • When we do things together that are new and challenging (but within our zone of proximal development), our brains actually produce hormones that make us feel good and feel closer to each other.
    • As a facilitator, it's our job to clarify purpose and raise it, integrate it, and reference it all the time.
    • Purpose needs to be connected to a school's mission, vision, and goals. When there isn't alignment and correlation, again, we can get lost.
    • even if we trust and like each other, we need to know why we're there.
    • while you can have a lot of power in a team, you may not have had the skill development to do so.
    • And then it happened! They opened up and started sharing their fears and concerns, they asked meaningful questions, and they started learning together

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 11/18/2014

  • Five gaming options for teaching principles of science and math.

    tags: gaming minecraft gamification physics

  • How to perform stronger Google searches.

    tags: google search terms search engine boolean

  • tags: edtech tech integration report education technology

    • According to a recent study of middle school science students and teachers, the teachers tended to have greater technology use.
    • Do school-age students fit the digital native profile? Do school-age students surpass their teachers in terms of technology use? What roles do teachers play in shaping students' technology experiences inside the classroom?
    • "In many ways," the researchers wrote, "it is determined by the requirements teachers place on their students to make use of new technologies and the ways teachers integrate new technologies in their teaching."
    • "School-age students may be fluent in using entertainment or communication technologies, but they need guidance to learn how to use these technologies to solve sophisticated thinking problems," Wang noted. "The school setting is the only institution that might create the needs to shape and facilitate students' technology experience. Once teachers introduce students to a new technology to support learning, they quickly learn how to use it."
  • tags: youtube technology education

  • The relationships that teachers build with students are far more important than the content and the tests that they deliver.

    tags: SEL edutopia

    • No one looking back on his or her school experience remembers a particularly poignant test. Instead, people remember the teacher who reached out to them at a vulnerable moment, the unit that changed the way they understand an issue, or the project that seemed impossible at first but then became something far beyond everyone's expectations.
    • Warm, genuine greetings and attempts to connect can have a large impact.
    • Classrooms based on a foundation of respect encourage people to be kind and the best versions of themselves.
    • What can be done to bring more students into the mainstream and alleviate feelings of marginalization?


    • If the first message that students get about their work is what is wrong or how it is deficient, they are less likely to invest themselves in revision, and less likely to work hard in the future.
    • If students hear what is interesting, special, or unique about their work, they will more likely be open to suggestions for improvement.
    • Create rituals that help everyone laugh and be willing to pause the action to appreciate each other. Congratulate a class when they complete a large project.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 11/09/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 10/31/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 10/30/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 10/25/2014

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 10/23/2014

  • Trust and relationships among all constituents build strong schools.

    tags: Leadership education reform character PD

    • Enduring achievement gains require not only applying content and concepts worth knowing, but also ensuring that learning is occurring in a healthy, thriving culture as well
    • Is the principal visible in classrooms and noticing and commenting on teachers' and students' strengths?
    • And—not to be minimized—are teachers and students enjoying instruction and learning?
    • Joy in learning is essential to a healthy and productive school culture; fear and joy cannot coexist.
    • People who are anxious with worry, concerned for their safety, or treated disrespectfully do not take risks or work well with others, nor do they perform their best work.
    • Successful principals and other education leaders deliberately model and take trust-building steps with and for their school communities every day.
    • They listen without judgment, are open to divergent viewpoints, communicate clearly and respectfully, and are humble in their actions and demeanor.
    • They celebrate teachers' strengths before evaluating them. They give feedback that is useful and actionable.
    • A caring, well-organized, and well-managed environment helps promote a sense of well-being and optimism
    • Research has clearly shown that teachers become more effective, efficient, and joyful when they have time to plan, observe, problem-solve, coach, and learn together.
    • Successful principals foster a collaborative atmosphere by creating time for classroom teachers and specialists to
    • The most effective principals and education leaders also take their own professional learning seriously and become highly knowledgeable so they can ably guide and coach teachers.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 10/22/2014

  • tags: conferences parent-teacher

    • Whatever support you ask from a parent needs to be something that is within her sphere of influence.
    • Always convey a growth mindset. All behaviors can change given the right conditions. If you want to see changes and have concerns about a student, be prepared to offer specific, actionable solutions
    • If this is the first time you're sitting down with parents, it's a great opportunity to hear their perspective on their child's school experience so far, on what their child likes to do outside of school, on the questions and concerns they have about their child, and so on.
    • Don't underestimate the power of the positive, and lead with it.
    • Be specific in the positive data you share -- tell an anecdote or show a piece of work.
  • "New ways to think about how people learn."

    tags: habitsofmind habits learning habits of mind

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 10/21/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Build Your Own PLN

I'll be presenting at the Fall CUE Conference in Napa this weekend.  The session is titled "Build Your Own PLN...Right Now!" My goal is to help educators find new ways to receive a steady drip of resources without becoming overwhelmed.  Check out the slides here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Teaching Teachers

This past week, I set out to lead 11 of our middle school faculty through an afternoon of professional development.  For me, it's always a little intimidating to stand in front of a group of teachers and teach them about teaching tools.  Nevertheless, I surveyed the teachers before our session to get a sense of what they wanted to learn more about.  I LOVE using the scale tool on Google Forms.

I had the teachers rate each topic and then I averaged their scores, and also looked at the mode, to see that I had selected the right sessions for our faculty.

In the end, I chose to offer three half hour sessions on five topics (yes, I repeated a topic.) Here is what happened.  The teachers became so invested in their learning that most of them stayed with one topic the entire time.  Who was I to say, "stop your learning and move on to something else?" Below I offer up the topics and tools our teachers explored.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 10/09/2014

  • STEM resource for inspiration, design, building and testing machines. This section is the FAQ, check out the rest of the site.

    tags: STEAM STEM science math

  • tags: grading feedback assessment teaching

    • Rubrics aren't just about summative feedback, "Here's how you did," they are also a sort of preemptive feedback, "Here's what you need to do."
    • allow a student to choose the section or numbers they feel best represent their comprehension
    • Rotate groups of students that get more percentage of your attention.
    • Teach the students to give the first wave of feedback to each other.
    • Carol Jago reminds us that it's the students job to correct their errors. In fact, it would be even more powerful for them to identify the errors in the first place using hints provided by you
    • Develop a key of symbols that you can use in the margins instead of writing in sentences or bullets.
    • This will require students to translate as well, which embeds the lesson even further.
    • Sometimes, assignments will take a huge leap in quality when students think someone other than their own teacher is seeing them.
    • Keep the final grade of an assignment as a carrot dangling until the feedback is read, attempted, and proven. Make them solve some of the problems in the assignment based on your feedback, and trade their solutions for access to their score.
    • You conference; they write.
    • Stagger due dates for your classes.
    • Ask them what worked and what didn't. Model your own comfort at criticism and they will work harder at their own.
  • tags: edtech technology PD

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, October 6, 2014