Brilliant Integration of the iPad

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disclosure: I am the Director of Educational Technology at Mulgrave.

This fall Mulgrave School in Vancouver, Canada, handed iPads to all the Grade 3 classes. Three weeks into the academic program and lead teachers on the project, Melanie Cannon and Shauna Ullman throw down one of the best uses of the iPad I’ve seen yet. Have a look at this Home Reading Clips post where Cannon exlpains how she has her students record themselves reading aloud–at home.:

This is brilliant work. I keep coming up with more reasons why I love this project:

  • The students are working in the safest of places–home (check out the clip with the student reading in his pajamas) so there’s no performance anxiety to mask real student ability. Indeed, Cannon and Ullman report a significant jump in overall engagement and intellectual risk-taking amongst the students after the introduction of the iPad.
  • The students are in control–they can shoot as many takes as they like and submit their best work.
  • They own their content and will be able to look back over their work whenever they like.
  • In a Digital-Learning-Farm-ish move, the students do the the heavy lifting, essentially doing their own record keeping. I think this will build ownership.
  • The teachers get a comprehensive video record of student development over the year which, as Cannon points out, will be far more valuable than a set of hurried notes take while the student is reading.
  • The activity makes classroom learning transparent to families.
  • The whole thing is so light; there’s nothing complciated here. Even a Grade 3 kid can do it!
  • It is teacher-generated, not committee- or department- or admin-generated. I think the best way to develop best practices in education is for admin and IT to creat a fertile ground for creativity and then give the teachers the opportunity–and responsibility–to innovate.

Cannon (@West_Coastal) and Ullman (@ShaunaUllman) and their students and families are on fire here. Their blogs–raw and honest–are worth following.

Talking Student Tutorials with Eric Marcos – Part 2 of 2

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This is the second part of Alan’s discussion with Eric Marcos, BLC presenter and middle school teacher in Santa Monica, CA. In this episode, Eric, his students and Alan focus on the student created tutorials’ impact on how students are learning and how Eric can evaluate problems individual students might be having.

Eric also describes the skills and equipment that teachers would need to start a similar program in addition to new opportunities that his classes are becoming involved with through their work.

Talking Student Tutorials with Eric Marcos – Part 1 of 2

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In this episode Alan speaks to Eric Marcos, BLC presenter and middle school teacher in Santa Monica, CA. Eric explains how one individual screencast tutorial made to help a student with homework blossomed into a robust tutorial site called MathTrain. Through this site, students have been empowered to create math tutorials for students in their class and around the world.

You will also learn from Eric and several of his students how this work has positively impacted everyone involved.

Tutorial – Using Overlays with Google Maps

We recently received an email request from Fran Stromsland of Watchung Hills Regional HS in NJ requesting information about a particular Google Maps overlay. This overlay demonstrates the effect of sea level rise anywhere in the world.

The tutorial below explains how to get a Google Maps account, find the Google Map overlays and add one of these overlays to your own map.

To view this video, I highly recommend that you click on the full screen icon at the bottom right hand corner of the video window. You will see it when the video plays and you hover your mouse over the video window. This video is also available on YouTube.

Global Conversations with Instant Messaging

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In this episode, Brian Mull talks to Seth Bowers of Deerfield Public Schools in Illinois, who has been doing some exciting work with his teachers using blogs and instant messaging technology. Seth starts off by discussing a globalization project he was involved in, and he continues the conversation by highlighting other projects his school is working on and how the community has become an important role player in his school’s success.

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