Monday, May 9, 2011

Week 15: Ending with the Beginning in Mind!

Well, we have reached the end of another semester.  My favorite thing about the end of the semester is to look at the blogs/work of the students who seemed most afraid of this class or technology only to discover that their work is often of the highest quality.  My goal was to teach everyone the value of technology in education as a medium of instruction and to empower the student to have the confidence that she/he could facilitate this type of instruction in the classroom.  I can tell you that I believe that each of you can be that type of teacher if you so choose.  So, for that thank you!

This Week:  On to my least favorite part of the semester: TaskStream ;-)  I would like everyone to take a collective breath, hold it . . .now let it out.  When you are writing your narratives, think about how you would explain to a principal what you created, how you created it, and then discuss why your creation (artifact) meets the NETS-T.  Easy, right?  Anyway, in class this week you will be peer reviewing each others' blogs and completing the emerging technology checklists.  I will be consulting with each of you individually on your TaskStream narratives and give you feedback in the moment as to how complete the narratives are.  If you haven't finished writing your narratives, you will spend the majority of the class time writing. 

Please don't forget to complete the online professor evaluation.  I definitely use the feedback I receive to make the course better for students!

This Week's Question:  What is the best thing you will take away from this course?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Week 14: Are you a Tortoise or a Hare?

It appears that we are finally reaching the end of the semester.  If all things are right in your world, then you need only to finish your iMovie PSA project and write the final narratives for NETS-T 3-5.  If all things are not right in your world, then you are behind and have a lot of catching up to do.  I have graded and regraded everything except the Google Sites on cybersafety for Monday's class and will have everything graded for Thursday's class before class on Thursday.  For the Google Sites, please tell me who is in your group and what specific page(s) you worked on to make it easier for me to assess.  Also, please go back through your assignments to ensure you have received credit for your work.  If you have not, read my comments and resubmit any missing work ASAP (for Thursday class, give me a couple days to finish re-grading).

This Week:  We will be finishing the iMovie projects and ensuring you can embed them on your blog.  Bring your emerging tech checklist so I can help you with any work you need to get on your blog.  I will also go over the final NETS narratives and discuss which artifacts are going where (CLICK HERE to get access to some student samples).  Remember, my goal for next week is to have everyone finished with his/her TaskStream narratives completed and ready to discuss with me in class.  Ideally, when you leave class next week,  you will be finished with the course (he says with high hopes and fingers' crossed).

If you need extra help, please, please, talk to me and schedule a time to meet either this week or next.  I can make myself available, but I am not willing to work harder than my students are at their work ;-)

This Week's Question:  What has been your favorite assignment in this class and why?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Week 13: Bring on the Learning Revolution!

Aside from the final TaskStream narratives for NETS-T 3-5, we will begin our last assignment this week.  To go along with all of the mad tech skills you already have, we are going to add film editor to the mix!  Using some stock footage that I took on campus, you will all create PSAs (public service announcements) about CSUSM.  The tool we will use is iMovie, so this is the one assignment that you will have to use the Mac and, with the file size (about 1.5GB), you will have to complete the project on the same computer you start on.  This is also the only week where you will receive instruction so attendance is very important.  And please remember to bring headphones if you have them!

Note on GoogleSites:  I have heard from more than one person who has had some trouble inserting YouTube videos on the GoogleSite. . .well, luckily for us, you are all masters of finding an embed code (share>embed from the video on YouTube) so you can embed the video without having to use the "insert video" feature.  When you are in the section of the page you want to put your video, look for the html area on the edit bar (far right), click it and then you can paste in the html code of your movie. . .voila! Once done, you can move the actual placement by drag and drop.

New tool of the week:  Cartoonize will take an ordinary image and make it a cartoon. . .I'm posting a picture of my daughter Lily in her ballerina pig halloween costume (which was entirely her idea, combining her love for ballet with her adoration for pigs)!

I can't help myself, here is an awesome video from Sir Ken Robinson, which is where I derrived the title of this post:

This Week's Question: What feeds your spirit? (If you need help with this, look at the 13 minute mark of the above video!)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Week 12: Finding Inspiration

photo from website
Holy Cow, we are 75% complete with the course!  We should have a normal schedule for the rest of the semester and, if you have been able to keep up, your last few weeks should be much easier than the beginning of the semester.  We only have a few new assignments and your last three TaskStream narratives!

This Week: I will introduce Inspiration, a very cool "visual thinking tool" that you will use to brainstorm the final artifacts for your NETS narratives!  I also thought it would be a great time to ensure that your blogs are in order (get out that emerging technology checklist!  Click Here to see a good sample from last semester), and I can help you complete your cybersafety Google Sites.  Next week, we will learn how to use iMovie to create a PSA (public service announcement) for CSUSM.  I believe it will be the last new assignment.

Journals 6-10:  I have extended the deadline to April 23.  Don't forget that journal 10 is extra credit and it must be submitted on time to receive the extra points!  You may search the L&L archives to find an interesting article or search the web to find an article relating to technology and education.  Remember to use the Citation Machine to get the proper APA citation.

This Week's Question: What has been your most challenging assignment in this class so far, and why?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week 11: Becoming One with Technology

The Tau of Twitter
I can't believe it is already week eleven.  We will finally be back to normal for the rest of the semester (he says with fingers' crossed).  I must say, this has been the craziest schedule in my seven years teaching @ CSUSM.  As I continue to grade your assignments, I can't help but be impressed with all of the awesome blogs you have.  If you take a minute to look at some of your peers' blogs, you will be amazed as to how much you have all grown in eleven short weeks.  With the stress level a bit high, it might also be a great time to go back and re-read journal 3 ;-)

This Week:  The beginning of class will be ensuring that your presentations and assessments are ready.  The assessments should be a Google form embedded on your blog.  If you go back and revisit the instructions for the assessment (found waaay back in week 6), you need at least 3 questions (could have more):  one about the content (NETS Performance Indicators for your grade range), one about the technical aspects (number of slides/frames, graphics, etc.), and one about the overall presentation.  Once you are ready, you will present your NETS-S presentation to grade-level groups.  I will also revisit the emerging technology checklist to see if you have any questions and show everyone how to put their narratives in TaskStream (Each group has had at least two edits from me!).  Lastly, if time permits, I will show you how to use Inspiration to plan out the final TaskStream narratives!

Journal 9: "Teaching Green," by John K. Waters is in the April 2011 issue of t|h|e Journal.  This journal is free if you register.  Remember, you can also search L&L for an article that is in an area you are interested in!  

This Week's Question: What would be your ideal teaching job?  If you are not an aspiring educator, what is your ideal job?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 10: Moving at the Speed of Technology

Some of the crew on the way to Mammoth
I am writing this blog from beautiful Mammoth Lakes, CA.  This is the week of my daughters' spring break and we, along with 5 other families, are snowboarding and skiing for the week.  There is nothing more fun for me than to see the whole family on the mountain having a great time.  Anyway, as I you should know by now, my very good friend and partner in technological crime, Mark Rounds, will be teaching class this week.  He has taught this course numerous times and is my sounding board when I create new assignments. 
When I logged in to Blogger, I noticed that there are some new dynamic views for public blogs.  I played around with them. . .Check them out here.
This Week:  There are a number of assignments that you are probably working on right now. . .Prezi, PLN, Excel, and those darn journal articles. . .Mark is more than capable to help you with any or all of these.  He will start class like I do, checking in with people and answering personal questions.  Then, he will introduce this week's assignment: a collaborative website on cybersafety(click link here) The good news is that, because this is a collaborative assignment, you will have a great resource and only have to contribute one page.  If you do groups of less than six, you will have to divide the workload among your members.
In my open labs the last two Mondays, I noticed that students struggled with the PLN the most.  Trying to figure out who to follow in Twitter and how to network on Diigo. . .Mark will go over this with the class briefly.  Also, if you have yet to do a chat, TweetChat is a great resource to follow and participate in a chat.  For the presentation assignment, don't forget that you have to create a short assessment using Google Forms.  My expectation is that next week in class, you will present your Prezi/PowerPoint/Google Presentation in small groups in class.  If you have any questions for this do not hesitate to ask.  I will get feedback from Mark on how the entire class is doing regarding this assignment.

Journal 8: Keeping with the cybersafety theme, "Point/Counterpoint: Should Schools Be Held Responsible for Cyberbullying?" from the March/April 2011 issue of L&L.  It is a very short article, but relevant to today's topic!  If you would like to choose your own articles for Journal 8-10, you are welcome.  Ensure you choose an article relating to technology and education and use the correct APA citation.

This Week's Question:  How do you feel about single-gender schools (all-boy or all-girl)?  Experience or thoughts?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break: Cribs, Teacher Edition

I saw this video at the Computer Using Educators Conference last week.  I thought all my future teachers would appreciate this. . . Hope you're all having a great break!

CLICK HERE if the video isn't playing.  . .you may have to watch a commercial, but it is worth the wait!!