The Powers of Jing and Teacher Challenge

I received the extra push to do a post about one of my favorite screen sharing tools, Jing, when I was invited to make a guest post on the Teacher Challenge blog.  My post about Jing is #18 of the Free Tools Challenge series.  Click here to read the post, get an overview of Jing, and discover the steps to get started. 

Here are three examples of ways I use it:
Self Introduction Using Jing and Prezi

Elementary Storytelling Using Jing and Kerpoof

Feedback to Student Papers

Take the challenge on the post and answer the questions to let me know how you use Jing.

As you are checking out The Powers of Jing post, be sure to also look over the other posts on the Teacher Challenge blog.  A few of my favorites include: Using Dropbox and DropItTo.Me, Organize and Share with Livebinders, and Word Clouds with Wordle.  There is a wealth of information on this blog!  Some of their past and future challenges include the following: Kick Start Your Blogging, Student Blogging, Free Tools Challenge, 30 Days to a whole new PLN, 30 Days to ensuring privacy and student safety, and 30 Days to increased parent involvement.

If you are interested in seeing other ways that we implement web 2.0 tools and educational sites in the classroom, follow this link to view some of our tech in the classroom related posts.  Some of my favorites are Vocabulary Class Takes to 21st Century Learning Tools, Mix It Up With Animoto and Engaging Students with StoryOnline.   We also have links to web 2.0 tools we use and challenge ourselves to explore in our Web 2.0 Tools tab and educational sites in our Ed Sites tab. We continually add to these tabs as we learn and discover.

Thanks for visiting and happy exploring!


Musings from the Oregon Reading Conference: iPod Touch Session

This article has been printed in the Emerald Empire Reading Council Newsletter.

I’m interested in technology and getting it into the hands of students, so when I read the description for the presentation, iSpeak and iRead: Introduction to Podcasting and iPod Touches presented by Jody Bean and Jamie Semrad from the Oregon City School District in the Oregon Reading Association’s program I thought to myself, “Humm…I don’t have iPod Touches, but it would be interesting to see what someone else is doing with them to support reading.”

I trekked up to the Mt. St. Helens Room located on the second floor of the conference facility and walked in as the presentation was about to begin. Apparently, the WiFi had stopped working! Unflappable, the team managed to maneuver conference attendees and technology down to a room on the first floor. They seamlessly set up while beginning the presentation in our new location.

Jody and Jamie shared how they are using iPod Touches in their classrooms. They received a grant through Qwest to purchase the iPod Touches. Here is how they use them in their classrooms:
·         Listening to Reading: audio books and podcasts
·         Word Work/Spelling: apps
·         Recording Reading: used for fluency (self fluency reflections) and comprehension
·         Celebrity Readers: People who visit the classrooms are requested to read and record a story for students to listen to later.

The team prepared packets for each attendee. The packets included fluency reflection sheets for teachers and students, fluency checklists, podcasting in the classroom tips, and a sample podcasting script.

Additionally, they shared ideas about classroom management with the iPod Touches. A calculator holder seems to do the trick for one class of 30 Touches and plastic bags with support material for the other class. I like the names they used to keep them straight: Super Heroes, Batman, etc. Students are allowed to take iPod Touches home, and amazingly not one iPod has been lost or stolen!

The team discussed how to find apps from the iTunes store. A few of their favorites for language arts were Brain Quest, Idiom Dictionairy, Storyrobe, Spelling Bee, Proofreading, Chicktionary and Bookworm. (See the links on Jamie's and Jody's sites for additional recommended apps.) Their answer to the question, “How do you pay for the apps?” was to add a gift cards from iTunes to the classroom wish list.

Now as I reflect on the presentation, here is what I’m thinking:
  • “Great, kids would love this, but I still don’t have iPod Touches!”
  • “What tools are out there for classrooms and kids who don’t have this technology?"
  • “How can I adapt what Jody and Jamie are doing in my own class with only four student computers that are internet capable, a projector, an Intewrite board and a teacher laptop?"
Please let me know if you have any ideas to answer these questions. As we reflect and investigate, stay tuned for some answers in upcoming posts.


Links of the Month: April

This month, we chose to think about some overarching educational reform topics.  The Bit By Bit and the Teachers Teaching Teachers podcasts highlighted below fall into this category.  The November Learning Flipped Classroom Podcast demonstrates application of some of these ideas.  We also highlight a few sites we have used in our own classes.  Read on for more details and links!   
Kacey’s picks:   
Panel Discussion on Race to Nowhere: Bob Sprankle posted a podcast of a discussion that took place after viewing the movie Race to Nowhere. The discussion was part of the Wilcard Movie Series at the Portsmouth Music Hall.  Bob has listed the names and links of the panel on the Bit By Bit web site.  It contains interesting discussion from the perspective of parents, teachers, and principals about issues such as homework, utilizing class time better and differently, customizing instruction, and much more. We both enjoyed this podcast since we watched  Race To Nowhere and discussed it earlier in the year.

Cheridy’s picks: 
The Flipped Classroom: When Kacey and I started talking this summer, I recall thinking that one of the first visible signs of ed tech integration changes within the classroom would take place in the form of videos and audio, both in the hands of teachers and students.  Over the past few years, I have watched digital storytelling spread and enjoyed using it my own classes.  From a language acquisition standpoint, the use of video has long been accepted as a good means of instruction. With that background, this November Learning podcast caught my attention this month.  Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams talk about how they use The Flipped Classroom Model in their high school science classes.  This podcast can be accessed here.  The basic idea is that the teacher creates vodcasts for students.  The students watch the vodcasts at home, pausing and rewinding as needed, for homework and then come to class prepared to do the hands-on stuff and receive support from the teachers.   The videos become one way of supporting student learning and individualizing instruction. Below is a video demonstrating their Flipped Classroom.  They also have an interesting  Ning site called The Flipped Class Network.  Their ideas remind us of the Khan Academy, which we discussed in this previous post.

Digital and Media Literacy: A Plan of Action:  In this Teacher’s Teaching Teachers podcast, Renee Hobbs discusses her white paper.  You can read, listen, watch and learn more about her plan of action here.   I like how she looks at the bigger picture of tech and ed, talks about the tools being tools but need for more, and looks at grass root community level implementation, involving stakeholders, etc.  These ideas reminded me of Kacey’s March podcast picks and the importance of attempting to put this thing called tech and ed in a larger framework.

Kacey’s picks:  Mr. Salsich’s third grade blog  is a fantastic example of a class blog that works. Be sure to check out the students’ Poetry Madness and the links to their Blogging Buddies in Australia, California, and New Zealand.  If you would like to spend some time looking through a whole slue of student and class blogs and even take the “Blogging With Students” challenge, check out Teacher Challenge supported by EduBlogs .  
This month our class has also enjoyed Noises Everywhere – Interesting internet tidbits for kids to ponder. Excavating a giant ant hill and watching baby eagles hatch have been our favorites.  

Cheridy’s picks:   This month, I have experimented in my College of Ed. class with some collaborative writing and sticky note web 2.0 tools.  I set out to find collaborative tools that are simple, low frills and have no login for my students.  Titan Pad and Primary Wall have worked well for us and allowed us to build on the same document both synchronously and asynchronously.  Titan Pad can be public or private.  It has some fun features such as the timeslider where changes to the document are displayed in video mode. Primary Wall is similar to Wallwisher, but with a background geared for elementary students. (See more collaborative tools under our web2.0 tab.)  I have also enjoyed experimenting with classroom tools.net and some of their online graphic organizers.  The Teacher’s Challenge blog gives a good overview of this site.

Happy listening and exploring!


Khan Academy Conversation

The Khan Academy is a site that we have been following with interest for some time.  This link gives a good overview of it, what it offers, and how teachers, parents, and students could use it.  Its library of videos covers k-12 math, science and some humanities.  Browse their free educational videos here.

Here’s a snapshot conversation of some of our thinking and questioning about Khan Academy.

Cheridy:  Hey Kacey, have you heard of The Khan Academy?

Kacey: Yeah, the tech guys from TWIT have talked about it.  I checked it out when it first came out but just took another look.  Thanks for reminding me about it! WOW! It sure has expanded since the last time I browsed his lessons.

Cheridy:  Will you use it in your class?

Kacey: Absolutely! I love how students will be able to access it anytime and anywhere.  The lessons are short but include multiple strategies.  I think I'll incorporate this lesson  into our new unit on division! Students and parents can then access the videos from home.  Did you see the practice section?  You can log in and see your proficiency on a math concept.  I love that students can work at their own pace,  track their progress, and receive “awards.”  It looks like Khan Academy received a Google Grant in September 2010.  They used the money to hire a team to build out the structure of the site.  You can watch the CNN video.  They will be translating the content into different languages and expanding the content into other areas of study.  Also, I liked the video where Salman Khan talks at the MIT Club of Northern California . He talked about starting the site as well as research they did with students in a summer program.  He also gave this TED Talk.

Cheridy:   I also noticed that the teachers or parents can track the students’ progress if they login as a coach and have students add them as a coach.  It appears they can get class reports as well.  The way that the statistics for each student are shown reminds me of the Seedlings podcast I listened to on The Horizon Project that mentions how technology will make data like this more manageable and meaningful, allowing teachers to potentially individualize instruction more.

Kacey:  There are some positives to this site and concept.  On the other hand, I have a few questions like how will I be able to keep students from "getting help" from parents or peers on the actual practice test, so I can see it is their work?  There still needs to be a second assessment that I'm in charge of.  Slip-age between the cracks can still happen.   Also, you need to have a gmail account to document your progress.  Some kids have it and some don't.  However, even if they are looking at the videos it could still be helpful.

Do you see any drawbacks?

Cheridy:   I’m not a math or science teacher, so I don’t feel comfortable talking about the quality of the videos.  From a language perspective I liked how in the few videos I reviewed some of the math vocabulary was written down.  (It would be good to see even more of this.) This can be very useful for ELLs.  He also drew pictures, which can be useful, and related it to real life examples. 

Kacey:  I LOVE the idea of kids working at their own pace.

Cheridy:  I agree with you on individualizing instruction.  I also teach online courses and create my own videos in my content area for my classes.  This can be a ton of work, but I get just enough positive feedback from my students to continue my endeavors.  It seems to me that the demand for quality, short 5-15 minute videos in all academic disciplines for educational purposes is there.  I can see using them in a variety of ways, both inside and outside the class.   It is interesting to think how this type of product and instruction could influence education. 

Kacey:  This also makes me think about the book Disrupting Class that we talked about last summer.  Did you know there was a new edition?  I haven’t read it yet but heard Michael Horn interviewed on The Future of Education by Steve Hargadon.

Cheridy:  The whole concept reminds me of Flipped Instruction Model  that I will highlight in our April Links of the Month post. 

Conversation Wrap Up:  It’s evident our conversations never have a tidy wrap up.  We continue to explore our findings and views on this type of video integration and how it fits into the larger picture of tech and ed.  And as a final thought…  There’s an app for that.

Happy learning!


Check Out the 22nd ESL/EFLELL Blog Carnival

David Deubelbeiss is hosting the current 22nd ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival.  I highlighted the 21st Carnival in a previous post.  I recall reading my fist Blog Carnival with excitement, discovering other bloggers in the field with a common interest sharing a wealth of ideas.  This edition carries that same excitement.  All of the links I have followed so far have either ideas worth contemplation or practical possible applications for the classroom.

Although I still feel like such a newbie and think it is possible in the field of technology to always feel that way since there is so much to learn, I am thankful for the welcome that people in the field such as David Deubelbeiss and Kareene Sylvester have extended!  Thanks David for giving me a platform to share some of my ideas and my students’ work in this 22nd Blog Carnival

Shelly Terrell will host a May 1st edition on early learners!  Eva Buyuksimkesyan will host it on September 1st.  Past Blog Carnivals can be linked to via Larry Ferlazzo’s site here.

Happy reading!


Three Videos Prove Linguistics is Fascinating

In preparation for teaching a Foundations of Second Language Acquisition class to pre-service and practicing teachers, I watched numerous videos related to first and second language acquisition. Really, it’s more fun than the academic sounding vocabulary in the proceeding sentence makes it sound. Here are a few that show how exciting the field can be, make me think, and I hope encourage my students to make connections to our course readings and beyond!

The Birth of a Word by Deb Roy may very well be my new favorite TED Talks. You can read more about Deb Roy here.

Patricia Kuhl gives a TED Talk entitled The Linguistic Genius of Babies. She describes some interesting findings about language acquisition. The video can be accessed here, and you can read more about Patricia Kuhl and her work.

In addition to TED Talks, RSA animate continues to captivate me. Here’s an RSA animate with Steven Pinker entitled Language as a Window into Human Nature.

As a challenge to my College of Education students, I want to ask in the wider picture, how does what Pinker says relate to what and how we teach language? How does it relate to other things we have read or discussed this term?

If you were interested in these videos, you may also be interested in past posts made about TED Talks and RSA Animate. Happy viewing!