Monday, April 30, 2012

Flip the Classroom by making Custom Lessons with video

It’s been a long time since anyone’s done anything truly revolutionary when it comes to online video, but leave it to the folks at TED to buck that trend, and to revolutionize online learning while they’re at it. The TED-Ed website offers terrific educational video content in many different fields from many talented educators. But it’s the technology they’ve created that attaches to the videos that is really innovative.

Many teachers use websites like Khan Academy, Brightstorm, and YouTube for Schools to provide content for their students. This new offering from TED-Ed will give teachers a chance to create a more complete lesson by being able to add a quick quiz, open response questions, additional research ideas, and more. Opponents to the concept of a 'flipped classroom' argue that students passively watching videos is not an effective learning tool. Teachers can now flip their classroom with confidence as they direct their students towards the big ideas they want to focus on.

Please watch the video to learn more...


From the official press release:

Each video featured on the site is mapped, via tagging, to traditional subjects taught in schools and comes accompanied with supplementary materials that aid a teacher or student in using or understanding the video lesson. Supplementary materials include multiple-choice questions, open-answer questions, and links to more information on the topic.
But the most innovative feature of the site is that educators can customize these elements using a new functionality called “flipping.” When a video is flipped, the supplementary materials can be edited and the resulting lesson is rendered on a new and private web page. The creator of the lesson can then distribute it and track an individual student’s progress as they complete the assignment.

 Yes, that means that anyone can create a lesson around a video, and then track that lesson for their students and/or publish the lesson so others could benefit from it. And — here’s the big kicker — you can create a lesson around any video on YouTube. TED-Ed could easily have locked you into their site’s content, but they’ve chosen instead to open their tools up to the whole wide world of YouTube videos.

The implications of this for online education are amazing: Any of the countless videos on YouTube right now could be made into a lesson, and of course you could upload a video of your own for the purpose as well. And it’s all completely free! How much easier has TED-Ed just made the lives of parents who homeschool?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tracking Daily LEARNING SKILLS with Tools2Go

Teachers have always placed great importance on the Learning Skills that students possess and how they relate directly to their success as learners. We teach them both formally and informally every day in our classrooms. Growing Success - Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools (K-12) outlines six learning skills as integral parts of student learning.


Tracking student achievement of those Learning Skills sometimes presents a different problem. Teachers sometimes find themselves resorting to simply making a decision using a scroll-down menu on the day they submit their marks. 


A Google form (or Tools2Go in the WECDSB) allows teachers to record a level quickly for each of the six Learning Skills for some or all of their students any time they have an internet connection.  Once the form is created, teachers can just access the link and complete the form for one student, or as many as they wish. 


View a sample form that was created using a Google Form. 
Feel free to complete the form and press submit when you are done. 


The responses may be sorted, by student, after you
have gathered enough evidence 
The beauty of a Google form is that the 'responses' are automatically saved as a Google Spreadhseet that can be downloaded in several different formats, including an Excel Spreadsheet. 




All you need is a Gmail account (or Tools2Go in the WECDSB) and you are good to go. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cool Tools for Schools (GUEST POST)

Have you ever required an online tool or application for your classroom but didn’t know where to look?
Was the IT Guru or local tech geek unavailable for questioning?



If so check out Cool Tools for Schools.   

This website will not only have the tool you are searching for but also some you didn’t know you needed yet.  Explore the comprehensive collection of applications and teacher resources.  Cool Tools for Schools is an award winning wiki designed as a Web 2.0 Tools database with direct links and write-ups to provide quick access for students and teachers alike.
There are over 20 different categories such as writing, research, presentations, storage, audio, converters, mapping, graphing. (located on the left side of the screen)


This vast collection of educational applications was assembled by Lenva Shearing of Bucklands Beach Intermediate School in New Zealand. 

Definitely worth adding to your internet favourites!

This Guest Post was contributed by:
Josh Spina - Josh is a Technology Design teacher at Catholic Central High School and 
Please visit his class website at: https://sites.google.com/a/wecdsb.on.ca/designcentral/

Friday, April 13, 2012

Two Great new GIZMOS

GIZMOS, a piece of OSAPAC software, that is much loved and used by teachers and students in the WECDSB, and in Ontario, has released 2 new GIZMOS for Science, including one that will be very beneficial in the Mathematics classroom as well. 



As with all new GIZMOS, resources include:
  • a Student Exploration Guide & Key (in Word and .pdf format)
  • a Teacher Guide (in Word and .pdf format)
  • a Vocabulary Sheet (in Word and .pdf format)
  • Assessment Questions

 The DIGESTIVE SYSTEM GIZMO allows students to arrange the organs and structures of the human digestive system in any way they like. By measuring how well different nutrients are digested and absorbed, students can discover for themselves the important role that each organ plays in the digestive process. Perhaps somebody can use this Gizmo to improve the design of our own digestive system!




The second new Gizmo focuses on an important skill in all areas of science and math: the ability to convert a measurement or value from one unit to another. The UNIT CONVERSIONS GIZMO allows students to answer questions such as "What is the height of Mount Everest in kilometers?" or "How fast is sprinter Usain Bolt in miles per hour?" With 55 preset problems (and 12 additional randomized questions) to choose from, students will get plenty of practice converting distance, time, speed, mass, volume, and density units. 



For more information, please read the latest edition of the
Please contact Joe Sisco for Registration information for GIZMOS and all OSAPAC software.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Printing POSTERS for your classroom... inexpensively


PosteRazor

Many teachers and students have discovered infographics and find them to be a wealth of information displayed in a visual-pleasing way. Most of these infographics are large images that would be cost-prohibitive to print and display in your classroom.

An inexpensive and easy option is to 'cut up' the image, print individual pages, and glue or tape them together. After laminating the assembled image, the final product is a 'seamless' poster without the hefty pricetag.


PosteRazor is a free website that splits up any image into a printable .pdf in no time. 

The infographic at the left, about CYCLING INJURIES, is a large image that I brought into PosteRazor,
which created a 20-page .pdf, that may now be printed on 8.5 by 11 paper.



I have provided another example with a FACTORING infographic, at the right, that PosteRazor converted into
a 6-page .pdf that, when assembled, is more than a metre tall!

If you love information communicated in a visually appealing and simplifying manner then Infographics are for you. Infographics illustrate how information can be spread and understood in a graphic manner,
usually much easier than pure text.

Find hundreds of Infographics online at the
INFOGRAPHICS SHOWCASE.

* Please note that some material may be for mature viewers only.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Join the Conversation about Professional Learning Communities








Catholic Central History teacher Chad Barrette has been chosen by the folks at ALL THINGS PLC to host their weekly PLC chat on twitter.
Please join in Thursday April 19th from 9 pm - 10 pm at #atplc.
The topic is Secondary PLCs - Trials and Tribulations,a multi-disciplinary approach. 
Join Twitter today!

The format is as follows: Chad will begin the discussion by posing tweets such as,


What are some of the challenges of starting
a Secondary PLC?
How did you overcome them?

How do you instill the moral purpose of being
an educator in a PLC?
 
Staff need to celebrate success in PLC,
how do you celebrate your success?

What has been the focus of your Secondary PLC?
Did it change? Why?

What books or articles have you used
in your secondary PLC?

Any advice to offer a new Secondary PLC School?

You may participate in a couple of ways:
#1. You can join the conversation live if you have a Twitter account, simply follow #atplc at 9:00 pm on Thursday, April 19th. If you are new to Twitter, creating an account takes only a few minutes at https://twitter.com/signup.
#2. You may simply be a spectator and follow the conversation using Twitterfall (no account is needed, but please be advised that Twitterfall is not moderated and may contain inappropriate material)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Post Content Quickly and Easily

Embedit is a free website that allows users to embed any file into your website. I have embedded examples of files below - in different formats (.pdf, .docx, .jpg).

Embedit makes it convenient for your viewers to see and interact with your content right in their browser with no need to prompt for any software download or account for variability in user experience. Experience never-before-possible control over the documents and files on your website.
I have provided examples of the 3 ways that you can choose how your viewers experience your documents...

#1. Embed the document directly in your webpage


#2. Create a thumbnail in an overlay on top of the page









#3. Create a link that opens in an overlay on top of the page


After opening any file, you will notice that viewers can easily zoom, view full-screen, scroll through, print and download any document.


Another great feature is that Embedit allows users to control the level of access they provide for viewers. When you embed a file you may choose a combination of any of the choices below.



Thank you to Ian Cullion at Catholic Central for this contribution.