iQuiz Maker for iPod

Neil Hokanson has an interesting post about using iQuiz Maker to create your own quizzes to be used on iPods. The possibilities for use in the classroom are intriguing. What are some of the possible educational uses that you can envision?

ITM’s Show and Tell

The Infinite Thinking Machine has put together another compilation of “amazing examples of how students are using a wide-range of innovative tools in the classroom.” Here’s a blurb from this episode’s show notes.

Dive into our Virtual Open House! We can talk all we want about “cool tools,” but it doesn’t mean much until we see how it impacts kids. So, this episode is all about students: what interests them, how they understand and generate knowledge, and the amazing things they can do when we give them the right tools and guidance. It’s time to let the kids show off!

I encourage you to visit ITM’s post related to this episode to view all of the associated resources. There are some really outstanding ideas there.

Technology in the Classroom

I ran across an interesting blog post by Leah at Tech in the Class. She sets out to build a justification for the use of technology in education. I especially found the research findings at the end of the post to be intriguing. See what you think….

Technology in the Classroom

There have been several people who have asked me “What does technology in the classroom really offer? Don’t most teachers just use technology in the classroom as a means to entertain and or stay in touch with their audience?!” Ok, so, sure I have my biases (technology in the classroom is not a trend, nor is it simply a good thing to do for efficiency reasons, it’s a must because it provides students tools to problem solve, critical think, learn more in depth, do more effective research, express their creativity, provide them access to a greater spectrum of information and knowledge, get them involved in the international community, etc.), but a recent article in the USA Today outlined the exact reasons why technology is needed in classrooms. The article reported several detrimental issues found in elementary schools that I believe can potentially be solved by integrating a few educational technologies. For example, here are a few quotes from the article, where I feel, had the schools/ teachers been using (or had access to technology) the learning environments and teaching performances would have been more effective: “The typical child in the USA stands only a one-in-14 chance of having a consistently rich, supportive elementary school experience … they found just as many signs that classrooms can be dull, bleak places where kids don’t get a lot of teacher feedback or face time… Fifth-graders spent 91.2% of class time in their seats listening to a teacher or working alone, and only 7% working in small groups, which foster social skills and critical thinking. Findings were similar in first and third grades… In fifth grade, 62% of instructional time was in literacy or math; only 24% was devoted to social studies or science… About one in seven (14%) kids had a consistently high-quality “instructional climate” all three years studied. Most classrooms had a fairly healthy “emotional climate,” but only 7% of students consistently had classrooms high in both. There was no difference between public and private schools.” If you don’t know how, or don’t believe how technology can rectify any of these issues please contact me – I would be more than pleased to talk to you about the detriments of only teaching “Reading, Writing, and basic Math” sans technology.

Tech in the Class

Technology Integration Blogs

I’ve been looking around for blogs that discuss the integration of technology with teaching and learning. I’ve used a myriad of search terms, key words, categories, tags, etc. but have been disappointed with the scarcity of conversation in blogdome on this topic. Do you know of any? Please share suggestions in the Comments section.

Draft of NETS-S

I read the following on ISTE’s site today. “ISTE has held Town Hall Meetings at many venues across the nation and globally to provide opportunities for public input on refreshing the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS•S).” You can view a PDF of a draft version of the next generation of NETS•S.

So, what do you think of the revised standards? Let the conversation begin.

If You Give a Kid an iBook

I found this exhibit from Apple’s Learning Interchange 2007 to be interesting. Here’s a blurb just to picque your interest.

We wanted to put technology in the hands of our students, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and a wireless Apple iBook made the most sense,” shares Rae Niles, Curriculum Director/Technology USD 439.

Little did this school know how the learning and educational culture would change for their students. This exhibit highlights the many successes experienced when “You Give a Kid an iBook.”

After nearly five years of a one-to-one laptop computer initiative where every 10th, 11th, and 12th grade student has their own wireless Apple laptop we are still seeing an impact on the teaching and learning.

Web 2.0’s Potential Impact on Teaching and Learning

This short video is a quick primer in the merits of Web 2.0.

Title: Web 2.0 … The Machine Is Us/ing Us

By: Michael Wesch

After watching the video, consider…

This was posted on the Abilene, Kansas High School Dialogue Buzz website. It was an anonymous post, but VERY powerful. Feel free to share this with educators, parents and stakeholders about 1:1 and the power of the seamless use of technology. It seems to sum it all up!!

Let’s have a little competition at school and get ready for the future.
I will use a laptop and you will use paper and pencil. Are you ready…?I will access up-to-date information – you have a textbook that is 5 years old.

I will immediately know when I misspell a word – you have to wait until it’s graded.

I will learn how to care for technology by using it – you will read about it.

I will see math problems in 3D – you will do the odd problems.

I will create artwork and poetry and share it with the world – you will share yours with the class.

I will have 24/7 access – you have the entire class period.

I will access the most dynamic information – yours will be printed and photocopied.

I will communicate with leaders and experts using email – you will wait for Friday’s speaker.

I will select my learning style – you will use the teacher’s favorite learning style.

I will collaborate with my peers from around the world – you will collaborate with peers in your classroom.

I will take my learning as far as I want – you must wait for the rest of the class.

The cost of a laptop per year? – $250
The cost of teacher and student training? – Expensive
The cost of well educated US citizens and workforce? – Priceless

What Will/Should “EdTech 101” Evolve Into?

We have all taken it, taught it, criticized it, and pondered its effectiveness. We teach students a bunch of “tools”, gadgets, software, and/or hardware or a combination thereof. Currently the Microsoft Office Suite is the chosen product to teach in many EdTech 101 courses, maybe with a little Inspiration, Kid Pix, and Dreamweaver thrown in for “good measure” or “just in case a student wants to get into it.”

However, many feel that teaching all these tools doesn’t translate into these preservice teachers integrating technology. Most feel that our preservice teachers use these tools to do their “teacher stuff” but don’t let the students use it or learn with or from the technology. Basically, preservice teachers leave the EdTech 101 course with a set of skills and knowledge that is disconnected from and separate from any instructional design and technology integration theory.

We teach tools because there is always something new that comes out. Decades ago it was slide and filmstrip projectors, then televisions, video cassette recorders, computer based instruction, software tools, the Internet, DVDs, digital cameras, digital microscopes, scanners…. What’s next? Palm Pilots, iPods, and other handheld devices (some of you may already be using these)? Flash? TiVo? Final Cut? Adobe Atmosphere? Virtual reality? The evolution and progression of new technology seems to invade the EdTech 101 course so we can “keep our students up to date” or “prepare them for the [insert next century or decade here]’s” claims. The way many EdTech 101 courses are structured and the content is taught perpetuates the cycle of non-integration because we teach tools, but not integration. We show students how to use the technology tools, but don’t show them or teach them how to get the students to use them or why they should.

How can we break this cycle? Do we even want to? What would an EdTech 101 course look like if we could change it? Would preservice teachers benefit from the changes?