Friday, October 23, 2015

20-Time Projects

Over the summer I went to a Google Apps for Education Future-Ready Summit in Chicago presented by the Ed Tech Team. I always love attending one of these events because it rejuvenates my love and passion for technology integration. The summits are getting closer to Iowa and one day I hope we have one in Des Moines.

At the summit I learned about a new trend in education. It is called 20% Time, 20-Time, and even Genius Hour. This concept originally began as an idea for Google employees.  I read the book called The 20-time Project by Kevin Brookhouser. Here is a great TedEd Talk that he did on this concept.

During last semester at UNI, I was able to take this concept and really expand upon it for a class project. Working with three of my technology integration peers, we developed ways in which this program could work for students from elementary to college.

As part of my UNI studies and degree requirements, I have chosen to take this concept deeper and learn more about the implementation challenges and successes. Shari Shaw has agreed to take on a 20-Time project with her 4th and 5th grade students. I am helping Shari get the professional development that she needs and am working along side her as we help her students create their project and work toward their goals.

Each student will have a blog where they will be expected to write posts frequently to share what they are learning about themselves and their project. The students will also be connecting with experts outside the school walls to gain more knowledge. Toward the end of the year we are going to work with the students on their own TedED style talks about their projects and what they have learned about themselves.

Some of the projects that the kids have chosen are: app development through MIT's App Inventor program, Python programming language, community gardening, learning a new language, creating resources for people with food allergies, making websites about endangered animals in order to bring awareness, and so on.

I will keep blogging about our experience!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Technology Integration and SAMR

We are back in the swing of things here at IHS! After a new adoption and implementation of a learning management system, great work is taking place in our Digital Learning Environment. This blog is meant review the SAMR model and provide examples of different tools and activities that you may want to incorporate in your classroom.

Remember that the SAMR model stands for:

Technology integration, or the SAMR model is not meant to be seen as a ladder, but rather the filling of a pool. You will need all of these types of tasks in your classroom. Transformation begins when  you work your way up to the Modification and Redefinition levels of the model.

SAMR ties closely to Bloom's Taxonomy and Authentic Intellectual Work. Kathy Schrock has a great site about SAMR and Bloom's. Kathy has also written a blog post that talks about different examples of classroom tasks paired with the SAMR model.

SAMR is more than just technology integration. It is about transforming your teaching tasks to make them more innovative. Technology is the tool that you use to accomplish that. This article is great at taking common classroom activities or tasks and transforming them through the SAMR model.

Did you know that discussion board activities are a great way to springboard student communication and collaboration? Schoology has a discussion board tool built into their program. The following video is a tutorial on how to create, and even grade, a discussion board for your class.

Here is an example of expectations that you may have for students when completing a discussion board activity.

Discussion boards also make a great connections to "Digital Citizenship" discussions. The following article contains seven rules to teach students about discussion board etiquette.  Common Sense Media is a great resource for teachers, students and parents when it comes to media issues.