Google’s New Sun Map Indicates Whether Your Rooftop Needs a Solar Panel

“The initiative, which the Mountain View giant initially launched almost two years ago, essentially leverages visual data from Maps and Earth to generate 3D models of the total amount of sunlight that reaches your roof.” – The Next Web

Check out Google’s blog post for full details.

Maker Education: A Quick Introduction

Guest Blogger
Kaylah Holland

Maker Movement in Education(Image Source)

Edutopia defines Marker Education as “a unique combination of artistry, circuitry, and old-fashioned craftsmanship” (source). This type of making is not a new idea but, until a few years ago, has not been in education and has been growing in implementation ever since.

What is Maker Education?

Several terms are involved with Maker Education such as tinker, hack, create, modify, build, and invent (source). This basic concept involves changing the traditional lecture style of education to a more engaging hands-on environment where students are learning through active projects. This style of learning does not have traditional assessments but uses the finished product as the assessment; thus, completely flipping the traditional style of learning.

Why implement Maker Education?

The following four mindsets show the benefits of implementing Maker Education into the classroom.

Maker Movement

(Screenshot Source)

Resources for Maker Education

Implementing Maker Education within your classroom does not have to be difficult. Start with one project and allow students to build or create something tangible. You can use Pinterest or Instructables to find handy DIY projects for the classroom simply be searching. You will soon become hooked on the idea and will begin to modify your own lesson plans to include more making.

The following websites are great resources.

Maker Education

(Image Source)


About the AuthorKaylah Holland

Kaylah Holland is currently a Middle School Instructional Technology Facilitator at Charlotte Christian School in Charlotte, NC. In addition to teaching coding, app development, and robotics; she has a vital role of assisting teachers with the integration of technology into the classroom through ample research, lesson planning, and training. She is currently completing her doctoral degree in the field of Instructional Design and Technology and is in the process of becoming a Google Certified Trainer. She is passionate about building an innovative culture for learning.

Nutshell: Prezi’s New App for Visual Storytelling

NutshellPrezi introduces a new way to share life’s little moments, in a nutshell.

Combining the simplicity of photographs, the compelling nature of video, and the fun of animated graphics, Nutshell uses Prezi’s new storymapping technology to create short, shareable cinematic narratives that can be shared easily and instantly.

Besides creating fun social media updates, Nutshell opens the door for all sorts of unique messaging opportunities when videos feel like too much of a production and plain photos just are not adequate for capturing life’s moments.

3 Easy Steps

  1. Snap three pictures.
  2. Add captions.
  3. Choose graphics and let Nutshell turn it all into a shareable cinematic story.

Features

  • Library of free animated graphics that you can use to create short cinematic stories
  • Instant sharing to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
  • Send nutshells directly to friends via email, text messages, and WhatsApp
  • Full camera support for iOS 8.0 and above
  • Much more

Educational Connections

  • Provides students with a creative alternative for submitting reflections, journals, etc.
  • Share engaging news and announcements with students and parents.
  • Integrate with standards focused on communication: personal expression, propaganda techniques, etc.
  • Enables creative ways for students to share their interpretations of poems, stories, books, plays, and other works of art.
  • Empower students to collect evidence of their thinking during a lab or group activity.
  • The finished product can serve as an artifact of learning, potentially making thinking visible in your classroom.

There are many other educational connections. Please share yours in the comments to this post.

Making Thinking Visible with Technology at #TNLEAD

Workshop Description

Visible Thinking from Project Zero at Harvard University includes methods for making students’ thinking visible to themselves, to their peers, and to the teacher. Visible Thinking makes extensive use of learning routines that are thinking rich. Thinking Routines are mini-strategies that extend and deepen students’ thinking and become part of the fabric of everyday classroom life. These routines encourage the development of a culture of thinking and can be used across all grade levels and content areas.

Workshop participants will learn to develop opportunities for students to make their thinking visible with technology. With freely available technologies students can engage in Thinking Routines and provide evidence of their thinking and demonstrate their understanding of course content in multiple ways (images, audio, video, presentations, artwork, and more). When thinking is visible in classrooms, students are in a position to be more metacognitive, to think about their thinking. When thinking is visible, it becomes clear that school is not about memorizing content but exploring ideas. Teachers benefit when they can see students’ thinking because misconceptions, prior knowledge, reasoning ability, and degrees of understanding are more likely to be uncovered. Teachers can then address these challenges and extend students’ thinking by starting from where they are.

Strategies for designing lessons and practical tips for implementation will be shared.

Introduction

The content of this professional development workshop builds on the research and work of Project Zero at Harvard University. Participants will be introduced to Making Thinking Visible and the use of the Visible Thinking Routines. This is a research-based approach to integrating the development of students’ thinking with content learning across subject areas and grade levels. Before we begin focusing on technology integration, it is important that we have a framework of understanding for these topics as we will build on them later.

  • Making Thinking Visible – Visible Thinking is a broad and flexible framework for enriching classroom learning in the content areas and fostering students’ intellectual development at the same time
  • Visible Thinking Routines – Thinking routines are short, easy-to-learn mini-strategies that extend and deepen students’ thinking and become part of the fabric of everyday classroom life.

Workshop Resources

You can view the workshop slides by clicking below. The handouts, resources, and in depth information are also available.

Making Thinking Visible with Technology

hgsepzfol #hgsepzfol

13 Yr. Old CEO of Innovative Educational Gaming Company

Elementeo(Repost from 06/11/2007)

Event Tags: FOL2013, hgsepzfol

Anshul Samar is the CEO of Elementeo, a startup company seeking to combine fun and learning. This article provides an overview of the company’s goals, video of Anshul’s CEO speech, and a description of the company’s first game which teaches chemistry through a role-playing board game.

This is interesting to me on many different levels. Watching the video of Anshul’s CEO speech gives me the impression that this may have actually been a class project. Regardless, couldn’t a student activity like this be the jumping-off point for effectively integrating technology with teaching and learning?

  1. How many content areas/topics/objectives/skills would this kind of activity include? I’ve noticed 1) math, business and economics, 2) science/chemistry, 3) art and graphic design, 4) language arts, 5) perhaps copyright and patents, 6) ……???
  2. If this was a class project, do you think that the teacher could have ever imagined that this would be the result?
  3. Elementeo is seeking to put the fun back into learning. Has education taken the fun out of learning? It seems that these students think so. What does that tell those of us that are teachers?
  4. If this is not a class project and Anshul and his friends did this of their own initiative then perhaps we, as teachers, should reconsider what it is that we have our students doing. I suggest that a traditional lesson/unit on entrepreneurship would likely not teach students nearly as much about the world of business (and the other aforementioned content areas) as this activity likely did.
  5. While students weren’t necessarily playing games but rather developing games, this could be an example of effectively bringing gaming into the classroom and integrating it with the curriculum.
  6. Let’s begin to consider all the elements of effective teaching and learning (according to today’s research) that might possibly be identified in a class project like this. Such an activity might include 1) problem solving, 2) discovery learning, 3) legitimate peripheral participation and/or authentic/situated/contextual teaching and learning, 4) communities of practice, 5) collaboration, 6) project management (for those instructional designers among us), 7) ……???

I think this could be a rich discussion. Please, please chime in.

We the People…

I’m old enough to remember the Schoolhouse Rock videos airing between cartoons on Saturday mornings. I really liked (most of) them as a kid. I rediscovered them years later as a classroom teacher and was even more impressed by them. Not only do these videos cover a lot of curriculum they are also artistically impressive. My wife and I are getting to enjoy all the Schoolhouse Rock fun again with our kids.

We’re looking at integrating higher order thinking skills and word processing in one of my classes right now. The following video is connected to the lesson. Reminisce and enjoy!

Let’s share ideas about how any/all the following could be integrated with teaching and learning.

Call for Chapters: Digital Tools for Writing

Student Writing

Dr. Becky Anderson and I invite you to consider contributing your expertise by submitting a chapter in a soon-to-be-published edited book. Digital Tools for Writing Instruction in K-12 Settings: Student Perception and Experience is timely because students are currently using technology to write both in and out of the classroom. In particular, students are writing outside of the classroom in ways that are not well documented or understood. Research is needed to report what students are doing both in and out of school and the implications this has on their learning. As a result, there exists a need for an edited collection of chapters in this area to 1) keep educators abreast of how to use the growing number of technology tools, 2) address the growing emphasis on writing instruction in both K-12 settings and in teacher education programs, 3) meet national standards and current initiatives that expect teachers to integrate writing across the curriculum, and 4) inform practice for the growing number of educators involved in K-12 online teaching and learning.

Working Title

Digital Tools for Writing Instruction in K-12 Settings: Student Perception and Experience

Download Call as PDF

Publisher’s Announcement

Editors

Rebecca S. Anderson (The University of Memphis, USA)

Clif Mims (The University of Memphis, USA)

Call for Chapters

Proposal Submission Deadline: March 15, 2013

Full Chapters Due: July 20, 2013

Introduction

Currently, more emphasis is placed on writing instruction in K-12 schools than ever before. Unfortunately, however, students continue to perform poorly on national writing assessments. One possible solution to helping students become better writers is for K-12 teachers to use the growing number of digital tools to teach writing. Another possible solution is for content area teachers (i.e., math, science, social studies, and language arts) to integrate writing assignments into their curricula. Consistent with the present national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiative, which also embraces writing across the curriculum, students are no longer taught how to write just by the writing teacher. Instead, teachers at all levels, and in all content areas, are expected to use writing to help students both become better writers and to learn content knowledge. Therefore, it is important that K-12 teachers learn how to use new digital tools to effectively teach writing in the content areas. In particular, it is important to learn which technologies students are using, both inside and outside the classroom, and the implications this has for teaching and learning. As a result, there exists a need for an edited collection of articles in this area.

Objectives of the Book

  1. To provide research about using digital tools to support writing instruction with K-12 students.
  2. To disseminate information about how students use digital tools to write in school settings.
  3. To disseminate information about how students use digital tools to write outside of school settings.
  4. To disseminate information about students’ perspectives on using technology to write.
  5. To discuss issues and concerns related to students using digital tools for writing.
  6. To discuss the teaching and learning implications of K-12 students using digital tools for writing.

Target Audience

The target audience of this book is educators who are, or who work with, K-12 content area teachers. Thus, the primary audience will be professionals and researchers working in the field of K-12 education and teacher education. Additional audiences are higher education and adult education professionals who can adapt the practical and effective applications for using new technologies to teach writing in their respective content areas.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Hardware (e.g., iPads, Audiobooks, Smartboards, etc.) Used to Teach Writing in K-12 Classrooms
  • Applications Used to Teach Writing in K-12 Classrooms
  • Software Applications Used to Teach Writing in K-12 Classrooms
  • Web-based/Online Tools for Use in the K-12 Writing Curriculum
  • In-School Writing Using Digital Tools
  • Students’ Out-of-School Writing Using Digital Tools
  • Action Research: K-12 Classroom Teachers Studying Students’ Digital Writing Tools
  • Training Teachers: Providing Professional Development for Digital Writing Tools
  • The Future Use of Digital Writing Tools

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before March 15, 2013, a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by March 29, 2013, about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by July 30, 2013. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Publisher

This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit www.igi-global.com. This book is anticipated to be released in 2014

Important Dates

Proposal Submission Deadline March 15, 2013
Notification of Acceptance March 29, 2013
Full Chapter Submission July 30, 2013
Review Results Returned September 30, 2013
Revised Chapter Submission October 30, 2013
Final Chapter Deadline December 15, 2013

Inquiries and Submissions

Submissions can be forwarded electronically (Word document)

Rebecca S. Anderson, Ph.D.
Professor, Reading Education
The University of Memphis
406 Ball Hall
Memphis, TN 38152
USA
Website, Email, Phone: (901) 678-3977

Clif Mims, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Instructional Design and Technology
The University of Memphis
406 Ball Hall
Memphis, TN 38152
USA
Website, Email, Phone: (901) 678-5672

Shhh!!! The Students Are Learning

Facilitating Learning: Part 1

I was invited to be the speaker at the Arkansas Christian Educators Association Conference recently. Since I had more than 3 hours of time allotted, I was able to design a series of activities and discussions around the topics of facilitated learning and technology integration. I’m going to share some of the resources in a series of posts. This is the first entry in the series.

The information below is part of what I shared with the leaders of the various faculty groups participating in the conference ahead of time. This gave them a chance to consider some of the broad ideas prior to participating in the workshop. This was important as we ended the day by allowing attendees to breakout into their faculty groups. The goal was for the administrators to facilitate conversation about how the information presented during the day might fit into their schools, discuss some of the barriers and benefits, and to identify ways to support implementation. Flipping the instruction allowed the administrators to be exposed to the information ahead of time, reflect on it, and have the chance to better prepare to guide their faculty’s conversation.

Shhh

Shhh!!! The Students Are Learning:
Being an Effective Classroom Facilitator

Description

We often hear that teachers need to be facilitators of learning rather than deliverers of information. Through this workshop, we will begin to develop strategies for managing a classroom where students have a leading role in learning and the teacher becomes an engaged classroom coach. Strategies for designing and practical tips for implementing units will be shared.

Before You Begin

  • Please reflect on your experiences designing and implementing facilitated learning activities and units.
  • What worked well and what would you do differently next time?
  • What advice can you share with teachers preparing to facilitate learning?

Screencast

This screencast will provide you with an overview of the big ideas that we will be discussing. We will dive much deeper during the workshops and explore application across grade levels and curricular areas, strategies for implementation, benefits and barriers, and more. This video is simply intended to provide you with an early frame of reference as you participate in the upcoming workshops and as you prepare to facilitate the afternoon discussion with your individual school or division.

Shhh!!! The Students Are Learning: Being an Effective Classroom Facilitator from Clif Mims on Vimeo.