Thursday, December 19, 2013

Digital Drawing Tools

There are a myriad of digital drawing apps, especially on Smart phones and tablets. I remember getting the one of the first of them - Doodle Buddy - for my son's iPod more than five years back when he was seven. That tool is still actively being used in classrooms for showing Math work, just doodling, creating title pages for the iPad iMovie app, and many more creative ways. I have since bought him drawing apps for his iPad as he really gets into it. When his obsession with Minecraft was at its peak, he would draw detailed Minecraft characters and scenes using plain paper and pencil and on digital devices, mostly the iPad.

In the classroom, I have seen students who would hate to draw on paper, using Google docs drawing to draw detailed visualizations of story characters, scenes, their hobbies and passions, and more, no matter how long it takes them, continuing their work at home. Students love the choice of drawing in any form. As long as they get the creative medium they are comfortable with.

Recently, my now twelve year old son asked me to buy him Pixen on his Mac. This is a pixel art editor. Following is what he came up with:


He would not have been as focussed, engaged, creative or so detailed if it was a paper medium. Give your students the choice to engage with those creative mediums.



Thursday, December 5, 2013

Google Glass


And so it was, because of my twitter buddy, co ed-tech passionate educator (he is way out there though), Robert Pronovost, that I got referred to for Google GLASS. I thought it would be the coolest thing to try out. Once I said yes, I began thinking of all these ideas in my head as to how I could go about using it. 

My appointment was set for almost two weeks after I first responded to Robert. I could have opted to have the GLASS shipped but figured I might as well have an expert tell me all about it. The appointment was set for a Friday at 4 p.m. Knowing that traffic into San Francisco might be terrible at that time, I left between 2:45 and 3 from Palo Alto. Right before I entered the city, I hit a road block. 

It took forever to cross from the freeway to even the first signal. I then called Google Support which was the only number I had, to let them know that I would be late. The person said he would inform the GLASS office. I then struggled to find parking. It was a fair walk from the parking lot to the GLASS office. The first thing that struck me was that it was in a really grand building. There was a security person when you entered. I started saying - I have an appointment - and he immediately piped up - "For GLASS?" I nodded and he gave me the directions to the fifth floor. 

When you got out of the elevator, you could feel the energy around. One person asked me if I wanted something to drink, another asked me something else; basically, the place is teeming with service. I loved the layout of the office - lots of open space, lots of glass overlooking the bay, particularly a beautiful view of the Bay Bridge, which is now lit up at night. 

It turned out that the person giving me the orientation has a teacher mom and/or dad so was more than aware of how things might work in a classroom. As he was giving me the rundown and linking to my account, etc, the sun had started to set, giving us a beautiful image in front. My photography self took over (I have had a life-long passion for photography) and I asked to step out to take a picture. The first time around taking a photo was a really cool feeling that it was so simple and yet got a beautiful image. 



Oh, and I must say something about the bag before I end this blog post. The bag itself is a beauty. My trainer said they had protective bags for "The Bag" because the bags are so well made and fancy. There is a pair of shades so people can't tell where you are looking when you take a picture. Also, he said I was lucky to be with a batch of people who got their brand new earbud. The charger comes in a dual shade of black and white, so looks fancier too.

Happy "GLASS"ing...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Coding to get it working the first time...

There are often wonderful coding stories but I never get to writing them on time by which time the details might be a blur. Today's success with a third grade student was really rewarding and I wanted to write about it before it became another blur.

Ever since the second and third grade teachers have started with coding in the classroom, there have been some wonderful interactions between the students, with varied skills coming to light from unexpected quarters. Students who otherwise may not be motivated to do any work or read, asking to do more, asking how they can login from home, etc. 

Today, while in a third grade classroom, I saw one of the shy ones (who also struggles with reading and self confidence) looking up a question on help. That alone was a win, as he figured out what he wanted to do and how to look it up - problem solving. So I did a general checkin on what he was trying to accomplish. Turned out he had a superhero who had to go up or down left or right. While working with him through the problem, he learned positive, negative, the X and Y axis. The first time he inserted the values for his up key and it worked, the smile on his face was so precious, so worth every battle that might have had to be fought to get programming implemented, and then the confidence it gave him to express his other ideas. A big reward in my mind.

Monday, November 4, 2013

More on Twitter in the classroom and Digital Citizenship


When people talk of teaching digital citizenship as a lesson or a set of lessons in silo, it isn't even funny. The lessons are ongoing, need to go hand in hand with specific activities taking place with the students as well as capitalizing on teaching moments, just like issues on the playground and in the classroom. Two entries back when I talked about introducing Twitter in a fourth grade classroom, I mentioned that the do's and don't's and appropriateness, etc was introduced.

The net result - one of the parents talked to me two days later. She put it really well. First, she was really happy that her son came back and explained to her that his class was now tweeting but these are the things they can and cannot do and listed them all. Now, she goes on to add that she is not a Twitter fan but that she was so impressed that he had absorbed all this information and realized the appropriate usage.

I was basically thanking her for her support, that a parent "gets it" - why we want to introduce these tools in a safe environment in elementary school. She said she was thrilled because that is how it should be done. She has a middle schooler. Her analogy was that we throw the kids to the wolves when they turn 13 or whatever the appropriate age is for various tools. Her examples: "We tell kids not to go onto Facebook till they turn 13; then they get on and don't know what to do and do things they shouldn't. We tell kids not to go onto Google+, not to do this, not to do that, but we don't teach them the right way before they get to it. As a result, they are lost and get into trouble, land up doing things they shouldn't."

As a parent of one teenager and one soon to be teenager, I couldn't agree more. My now 12 year old must have been 6 years old when he learned from "Phineas and Ferb" of Disney channel - "Whatever goes on the internet stays on the internet". It has been ingrained in him. We have discussed it since at regular intervals and I couldn't thank Phineas and Ferb more for teaching him a life long lesson :) As I was writing this, he came to call me as he is going to bed. I was telling him about this blog entry and asked him - do you remember where you learned your lesson? And sure enough, he remembered the source. We, as educators want to be sure such life skill lessons are taught in a way that they are never forgotten.

Not only would I love to see more parents jump onto this way of thinking, I would love to see teachers do the same. Instead of "What if students do..." or "What if they do the wrong thing....", etc they need to teach them the right way, guide students when they stumble, use the teaching moments, show them the learning from failure and help build wonderful, global citizens.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween

Due to the influx of the iPad, the past two years has seen a huge influx of Halloween themed apps that show up a week or so before the event. However, even without getting any of those specialized apps, one can organize a variety of Halloween related activities with the same basic apps that you have on the iPad. Any of the usual apps for creativity come in handy. All one has to do is work on them with a Halloween activity.

For example, the past two days third graders and fifth graders worked on Halloween poetry. They worked by themselves or in pairs to write a poem. Once the poem was ready, they used either Sock Puppets, or Toontastic or Tellagami or iMovie to record their poem. Some wrote Haikus, others Acrostic, others rhyming, yet others phrases or just their version of poetry. The students got to be creative, they got to come up with their Halloween themes, we worked on age-appropriate vocabulary for the projects, they got to record their voice, they got to work together, they had so much fun and learned a lot, without spending any extra money on any more apps. 

It just validates my belief on the use of the same creative apps across all age groups and across the curriculum. 

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Twitter Introduced in a Fourth Grade Classroom


Thanks to my fun, ever challenging job, today I got to introduce Twitter in a fourth grade classroom at my site. At first thought, those new to twitter, those who have never used it might think - really? Fourth graders? How will they use it? Why would they use it? As a parent, I am sure I would have been nervous had I not known better. 

Having experienced the benefits of twitter for my professional learning and development, I have been eager to share it with colleagues and students. Those who see the benefits and jump on it have been quick to see beyond and get newer ideas. One such teacher has been a fifth grade teacher at my site who let me introduce the tool to her class on day one of the school year. I feel fortunate to have the trust of the teachers to let me go ahead even if they are unsure of the benefits or use of the tool. Fifth graders have 1:1 iPads so it is great to have the class Twitter account as they can tweet way more regularly. Also, the digital etiquette learning that takes place is unbelievable. Not only is that class using twitter regularly and continually getting better at it, the teacher created her personal twitter account too that she now uses. 

I approached the fourth grade teachers a short while back. Two of them were really keen on implementing the idea soon, one of whom asked me to go ahead with her class today even though she was away. I decided to ask two of the fifth graders to come introduce it since I really believe in the power of student-student knowledge transfer. The two students who were assigned belonged to that particular fourth grade class last year and were really excited to come. They not only came with their iPads that they reflected and showed the tweets, they came up with a host of ideas for the fourth graders in terms of what they could do. 

They talked about appropriate tweets, explained hashtags, explained responding to tweets, how they need to tweet as a class, what kind of people they could follow, showed all their tweets, their followers and how it has helped them. They explained the 140 character limit, how it needs editing, how the important aspects need to be included, the language that would be used and patiently addressed all of the fourth grader questions. When the fourth graders came up with their profile description and wondering what profile picture to put up, one of the fifth graders actually suggested putting up a picture of a centerpiece of the room, which is very special to that room. After that, they went back to their classroom and tweeted to the fourth graders asking about their learning experience. Wow! That was so very thorough and great modeling of student-to-student collaboration, teaching and learning.

In the meantime, each one of the fourth graders was so engaged in the activity, so full of ideas about what they would like to share, so excited to learn about what is taking place in a fifth grade classroom so they would know what's coming next year and so respectful of the fifth grade students, it was extremely rewarding.

And so another set of students has been charmed by the magical world of social media with cyber citizenship smoothly rolled in trying to get them ready to take on the world!

I needed to put in an addendum to the above. One of the other fourth grade teachers read this blog entry, got inspired and now has a bunch of fifth graders coming in tomorrow to introduce twitter to her class. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall CUE 2013


I haven't been as regular as I would like to be about my blogging for a few months now, not for any particular reason but that life gets in the way and trying to juggle a husband, my own children, school life and a masters, parent volunteer jobs, cultural obligations, it feels like there isn't time to do all of the things I like doing. In between which, I did make time for my closest friends, which to me is really important. However, this morning, someone I met at Fall CUE ( @jkloczko), talked about my blog. And I felt so guilty about not updating it for a while, thought I should write something worthwhile today. 

One of the great things about conferences now is that even if I have never met someone in person before, it is almost relatively easy to recognize them because of Twitter. It is very nice to have someone walk up to you or for you to walk up to someone and say - I think I know you and you launch off into a really interesting conversation. 

This year's #fallcue had the largest number of attendees since 2002 - 1,124. It is extremely impressive given that several educators pay for themselves to attend the conference. It is a reflection of the drive, the passion, the inherent motivation that so many of the educators have. Their students are very lucky to have them indeed. As a result, the energy in the sessions was very positive and wonderful. I got more than a whiff of it during both my presentations, one of which was the very last one of the day on a Saturday afternoon and was still very well attended as well as the level of participation was high. So grateful for that. 

The links for all of the Fall CUE sessions can be found at: bit.ly/fallcuenotes

The one big idea that I walked away with - try and organize an Innovation Day. Loved the concept, the benefit for the students and everyone else involved in the process and have to say that my brain is working hard at how to make it happen this year whether in my school or at the district.

Kudos to the organizers for a very well organized conference, for a variety of sessions, for excellent keynote speakers (Ramsey Musallam and Angela Maiers) as well as for the level of presenters. Kudos to the participants for the level of enthusiasm and energy and it made every bit of effort in preparing for the conference, leaving the family behind worth it, coming back rejuvenated and re-energized and ready to take on the world :)


Monday, October 7, 2013

iMovie on the iPad


While working with teachers at various grade levels, when one says iMovie, they immediately think of movie making on the computers which they designate to be a long, elaborate affair, little realizing until they get their hands dirty that iMovie on the iPads is another story altogether. Today, I taught a workshop on using the iPad as a creativity tool. Almost the entire morning was spent on the iMovie app though. I am not in the least bit surprised. iMovie the app is fascinating and extremely versatile.

If you had to have one application, which one would you choose? I have a hard time choosing between Explain Everything and iMovie

The iMovie app allows you to create trailers and projects. 

The trailers are constrained in that one must use the template as is with the time clips as is, and no voice over. But then the purpose of a trailer is to give the audience a precursor of what's to come. It needs to be short and enticing. The words and pictures/video clips that go into making a movie trailer can be very attractive. 

When students work on the trailers, giving them explicit guidelines on the expectations around vocabulary is key. It is also critical to give them guidelines around the images and/or video clips. Once those are planned out, placing them appropriately in the trailer is very simple. Hey presto - you have a movie trailer ready to go! The music is preloaded with the theme, as is the length.

While working on the iMovie app projects, you can add in text, pictures, videos, titles, credits, voice over and edit clips. The text items can have subtitles in English (if for instance you are creating a movie in another language). 

In both cases the movies can be saved to the camera roll (besides Dropbox, Youtube, iTunes and Facebook). The camera roll means that students can then directly upload those to their course on the Schoology app.

The possibilities for creativity are endless, the benefits to the students are tremendous - listening, speaking, creating, language, explaining their thinking, collaborating, etc, etc...
So pick up an iPad, get iMovie and get started...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Magic of iPad Creativity in First Grade

I had meant to blog more regularly from the start of the school year but it seems like the days have slipped by and we are more than a month into the school year. Last year, I took on a new job as Educational Technology TOSA at an elementary site. Challenging, exciting, anxious, lots of things rolled in one school year. Conducting teacher surveys on their use of iPads, trying to get creativity done with iPads, etc.

Net result: one of the kindergarten teachers used Doodlecast Pro very regularly with her students - sometimes once a week. The other teacher did not use it as often but regularly enough with Toontastic and other creation apps, that the students were not camera shy nor apprehensive about recording themselves explaining concepts, narrating stories and more.

Fast forward to this year. I started working regularly with the same set of students, now in first grade. Amazing absorption and retention of knowledge. The students not only remembered the name of the application - Doodlecast Pro - they had no problems remembering that they could change colors, change the thickness of the pen, and more. Which meant that instead of spending a lesson on just playing around with the app, they could get on with working on the task at hand. And boy, did they get on with it, knowing exactly what to record, when to record, what to say, what to draw.

What inspired my post today was because I got questions such as the following from these little six year olds: An EL student who otherwise struggles academically with so much: "I messed up at this point. Can I re-record my Math story?" Another one: "I have a two second recording. I don't want it. How can I erase it?" And another: "Can I make another Math Story?" And so many more snippets, it is hard to remember them all. What I do remember is: The students love creating, they love recording and listening to their voices, they are proud of this work, they want to do more, they want to do better, they look forward to Math as a result of this activity and they continue to strive to improvise on their work, all through non-prompted self-reflection.

Oh, the magic of the iPads....

Monday, July 1, 2013

ISTE 2013 - iPad Updates

iPads - is like a magical word. As much information as is out there, people seem to want more. Here are some resources from ISTE.

______________________

Kathy Shrock had a huge audience in the concert hall. I caught the last twenty minutes of the presentation. She managed to convey a ton of information in the time she had. The following apps are what she talked about:
Three Ring - for digitizing student work organized in folders.
InfuseLearning - a website
Mentimeter is meant to be a one question quiz
Mastery Scan - used to scan bubble responses straight from an iPad
Group board - upto four students can collaborate
Baiboard - has chat as well
Think binder - chat, upload, etc. great project tool
ScreenLeap - students can connect to the laptop through this app
Mover+ - you can move images to students
Chirp - send a file via chirp
Showbie for a paperless classroom
Pointer show your presentation on a secondary display by pointing; also allows voice control
Ipads4teaching.net : Good site

___________________________

Another session I attended was the top Productivity apps for the iPad:

Paid Apps: DocToGo, Keynote, iAnnotate, QuickOffice, ProHD, TapForms HD

Free Apps: Flipboard, Evernote, DropBox, Edmodo, Google Drive, SkyDrive, AudioNote Lite, AppShopper, AppsGoneFree

Someone recommended a stylus called: The Friendly Swede

______________________

Carolyn and I presented a subset/various versions of our Bring on the Bling on the Digital Playground. We had a great response. There were several people who hadn't used iMovie trailers. There was one teacher who used iMovie trailers with her EL students and was moved by what they created. There was one person who loved Explain Everything. There were others who took to Sock Puppets.
Give the iPad to your students, go forth and create!



ISTE 2013 - The Theme of Gamification


It is now five days since ISTE 2013 came to a close with Adam Bellow's inspiring closing keynote. If you haven't seen it already, it is almost a must for every educator. What appealed to me the most is that he really seems to speak from his heart.

The opening keynote was by Jane McGonigal who set the tone for the theme of gamification at the conference. Earlier in the day she spoke at a three hour workshop on gamification, which I attended and at which she talked about her brain injury and recovery thereafter, which too, was extremely inspiring to learn what she had gone through and overcome successfully. She has successfully developed and implemented gaming environments in schools. Some quotes from Jane's keynote:
"Games light up the hippocampus that is responsible for memory. "
"The 10 positive emotions - delight, relief, love, surprise, pride, curiosity, excitement, awe & wonder, contentment, creativity – generated by playing a game"
"The opposite of play isn't work, it's depression"
"Maybe we've had it backwards...gamers aren't angry because of games. Conversely, they turn to games to discover joy."
"Wikipedia = 100 M hours to build but that is only 3 weeks of angry bird playing or 7 days of Call of Duty!"

"I billion people spend at least an hour every day playing a game on a connected device."

Personally, I think, human beings have played games since their evolution and that is how they learned. There is hardly anyone who doesn’t like playing games whether it is a board game, an online game, a video game, etc. It is not unnatural to have games in education. Games are used predominantly in Math. I have seen games used by therapists with younger children to teach them rules, delayed gratification aka patience, waiting for turns, respect for each other, conversation starters, social etiquette, and more.

Digital games is where the new factor comes in – not new outside of school but new to several educators. When someone asks me, "Are you a gamer?", my first instinct is to reply in the negative. However, seeing as I am addicted to online word games, which I play daily, I am technically a gamer. Even today, I would play Tetris for hours if I had the chance, which is exactly what today's younger breed is doing. They play different versions - Minecraft, World of warcraft, Angry Birds, etc.

Each of those games has a lesson similar to board games. Each of those games can be incorporated across the curriculum, connecting the various curricular areas. Each of those games will increase motivation and engagement for students, especially for those who find it hard to stay motivated beyond elementary school. Each of those games has a social element, which we all not only like as adults, but are using in our daily lives. Social networks have become the norm, no matter what network. I can only think of one con which is that children need to expand their horizons and one needs to ensure that one is providing a balance. However, no matter what tool is used to teach, a balance is needed for it all.

Besides these popular games, there are other games that have been developed. Spongelab is one such site which started with a focus on Science games and has expanded to other areas. BrainPOP, the popular educational video repository has had Game UP for a while now. They have now expanded to more third party games linked to BrainPOP.

Dr. Chris Haskell is a gaming expert and creates games based upon his experiences with students. He said that education takes the commonly used tools currently, and find a home in the educational institutions, in this case games. He went on to state that gamification is not a product of just digital natives. Games have been appealing to humans from the beginning of civilization. He teaches all his classes through games and assesses his students through games as well. According to Dr. Haskell, "Games are authentic, personally connected, interaction and feedback." He is part of the Gogolab team.

Ann Collier, who works on connecting kids safely, talked about meaningful game play. This paragraph is what she talks about. What motivates people? The more part of gaming is extrinsic rewards - badges, points, etc. More is a means of controlling people. More is used to lure people. But extrinsic rewards is not play. Play is intrinsic rewards. Autonomy and choice is what motivates students. Basic psychological need is mastery. Kids keep playing a game because they want to master it.  Community and connection - something we create together. "All learning is understanding relationships." - George Washington carver.

Some educational gaming websites are: Endurealms.com, Gamesmoocshivtr.com.

Marianne Malmstorm, after teaching for thirty years, has gone the way of incorporating gaming, specifically Minecraft, after seeing what motivated her third grade students. 

Mindshift had a great article on Minecraft. Math, physics, languages, calling it the teachers ultimate tool.

John Hunter, who has a famous TED talk, used gaming to teach his students world peace.  

It does look like gamification is the way education is moving for better or worse. There is no one-size-fits all, nor the perfect game for specific needs, nor that all instruction should be done through gaming. However, using students to design and incorporate these into the curriculum, will not only motivate them, engage them, help get them working on something enjoyable. After all, don't we all want our work lives to be enjoyable?



Sunday, May 19, 2013

Children, Computing and Creativity


Having written earlier on why programming needs to be taught in elementary schools, this year was very rewarding in my new job as I could expand the programming from just fifth grade to almost the entire school - grades 1-5. 

It started with a noon time "Scratch Club" using Scratch for grades 3-5. At the time I was apprehensive about introducing it to third grade having never done it before, but they just took off. It was almost as though those students were waiting for something like this to happen. Here is an article about the noontime program. The ideas, the projects, the thinking, so much so that when the third grade scouts troop had to pick a project to work on, they picked something related to programming and technology. It was wonderful to see that. 

In about October, I got introduced to Tynker, a new block based programming platform with very cool, built-in concepts. It gave the students a choice. In December, Tynker revamped its look and feel and classroom management. I got emboldened to use it with second grade. Not only did I introduce it to second grade, I invited the first graders as well, having seen them at work and believing in their capabilities. The first graders are my power users of the program.

With so many students exposed to programming, I decided that celebrating world-wide Scratch day this year was something I would really like to do. Having received the stamp of approval from my principal, I went ahead and created the event.

Without a doubt, despite all of the work involved in planning and executing the event, it has been one of the most rewarding days in this past school year. The number of students who came and tried it out for the first time, the number of parents who were trying it out and got hooked onto it and the sheer breadth of ideas and creativity that I saw was phenomenal. The students ranged in age from Pre-K to 8th grade. They ranged from novices to advanced students. They worked on such a wide variety of projects. Some of them worked on the challenge project that I assigned them - To come up with an environmental problem, explain it and come up with a resolution to the same. Several folks asked why we couldn't have this event more often. All of it enhanced my belief on continuing to introduce and guide the children through the world of programming, in the process letting them create, think, reason, problem solve and have a lot fun.... So, waiting for next year's world wide Scratch day for the next such event!

Here's an article that just got published by the BBC on computing in K-12.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

iPad Summit Atlanta 2013


I wanted to try and start and finish writing while the conference was still in my head. Besides the excellent facilities and constant, freely flowing good food, including lots of vegetarian choices, for yours truly and the fact that I had the super Carolyn T. for company, the conference was extremely well organized and had that personal touch that doesn't necessarily happen at the larger conferences. It was gratifying to see so many people excited and going with ideas to implement iPads in their classrooms in meaningful ways. There were lots of good ideas/presentations/talks. If you want to read up more search for #ettipad on Twitter.

Delighted that this particular blogger wrote about Carolyn and my session as one of the top ten reasons to have attended the iPad summit. Here is the link to our website that contains the presentation and some other information.

Angela Maiers kicked off the summit with her passionate keynote session about what else but leveraging off children's passions. There is so much one can achieve as a teacher in terms of driving students to the next level, just by knowing and working on their passion. If a child does not have one, helping him/her realize his/her passion. Here is her blog. 

One of her constant reminders was taking risks. Sir Ken Robinson has a famous quote on that: "If you are not prepared to make a mistake you will never come up with something original". As educators, we want our students to learn to take risks. However, we may be often reluctant to do so. Just as Rome wasn't built in a day, things don't happen overnight. Students get new tools in their hands. They may not create anywhere near their best work the first time, even the second, or the third. Anything needs practice. Those of you who have heard Malcolm Gladwell's famous 10,000 rule quote - well, reminding ourselves often about it helps. As I was joking in Atlanta with my friends, I must have spent 10,000 hours each so far on Sudokus, Word puzzles, Words with Friends, making rotis (the Indian bread). So now it seems easy and comfortable. So it is with students. When they get used to doing something, they want to get better at it when it is made engaging, exciting and inspiring them to think above and beyond....

There were two places where the SAMR method was talked about - once during a concurrent session and once during a keynote. Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura who is responsible for the idea of the SAMR model will be the keynote speaker at the Boston iPad Summit in November later this year.

The afternoon keynote by Greg Kulowiec  was again inspiring. Loved his analogy to a DJ during the days of LPs and now. He emphasized not being hung up on apps and having just a page. If I was to have just one app on the iPad, it would be Explain Everything.

Tom Daccor's keynote the next afternoon gave more food for thought. He talked about augmented reality. The two free most popular apps are: Aurasma and Layar.

Some more useful links:

Lisa Johnson's page

Teaching like it is 2999

Derrick Willard

Technology Tailgate

Kiang's sessions

Conference Reflections by Derrick Willard

Jen's live blogging

How iPads and Social Media are changing Science Instruction

Justin Reich's article (one of the founders of edtechteacher)

Video of Second Grade student using Evernote for her reading fluency

There were two sessions on interactive Science notebooks, something I have been thinking about now for a few weeks (and talked to a couple of upper elementary teachers at my school about last week). Why do we still have only written notebooks for all subjects. Given all the technology resources at hand, it should be very doable from first or second grade to have interactive journals for all subjects. The level of engagement, thought process and learning for the students should increase exponentially. 

I am sure I will think of more information that I may have left out. There is so much to process but all of it is super exciting. I feel like we are so lucky to be in the field of education in these times!