Thursday, March 27, 2014

Curriculum in the Cloud, 20% project

Sherry Klehr
Molly Schroeder
20% Project Reflection
March 18, 2014

20% Project Reflection for TECHNOLOGY COHORT: Curriculum in the Cloud. Improving myself and my classroom experiences using technology:

Attached you will find documentation of my learning throughout the last few weeks of this course. My intention was to add to my language arts moodle course which has been dormant for the past year or so. Mary Baradaran and myself were going to work on implementing grammar practice and the study of Greek and Latin roots. Hopefully we would discover websites and ideas to incorporate into our moodle which would teach, practice and enrich our students. I began by bookmarking these sites on my Chromebook. However, when we came across the website, I scrapped my plans and have been using this in the classroom ever since.

My back up plan was to add to my moodle course with the novel I was currently teaching. I did not attach this to my LA moodle course yet, as I was trying different technology ideas each day in my lesson plans. You will see some of those in my lesson plans and some in my google presentation.

My students are eager to use technology and patient with me when things do not go as planned. They have adapted well to submitting things by “sharing documents” with me. I however, must figure out a better way to organize. I know this can be done, I just have to find some time to meet with my colleagues to be more efficient, as I realize they have mastered this. StudySync was an app I thought might be helpful in this area, as well as aligning some Common Core standards.

Below you will find a journal of my activities I used to grow as a learner in this course.

  • spent 3-4 hours with each of my 4 language arts classes using video clips and discussions to raise awareness of our digital citizenship responsibilities

  • shared common sense media websites with parents in our team weekly updates

  • For the first time in a long time, I formally broached a “media study’ with my LA classes discussing advertising and media. Our focus was on Target Audience, Persuasive techniques, and production techniques.

  • Students got in small groups to design their own product (and possibly a logo or slogan). In addition, I “let go” and allowed them to use whatever app or device they were comfortable with to film a commercial for their product. I had just learned about WeVideo, so I had them install it on the 5 Chromebooks in my classroom. Many students were comfortable with iPads and brought their own in or used another teacher’s iPads to film using iMovie. Some of my favorite commercials were done by students who used Animoto. (These were VERY impressive.)

  • I am still having some issues finding the recorded commercials and viewing them because not all were easy to share with me, depending on the format. iMovies were especially difficult to find and view from my desktop (projecting onto the screen).

  • I also tried using Doctopus. It worked for all my students, the first time and was really slick. However, when I thought I could just upload another document to be shared, I ran into difficulty not realizing that I had to start over again, saving the classes and then generating them for each document I would like to share.

  • To simplify in a pinch, as I was being observed that day, I shared a document with my classes and had them make a copy in order to respond and give feedback for commercials I had selected to show them.This was something I hadn’t done before.

  • As a part of my Integrated Unit, I am trying to resurrect my once used moodle accounts for Language Arts and reading.

  • I shared a set of guided reading questions for LA classes through Google docs. Students are allowed to complete a paper copy or google doc

  • Study Sync is something I will try to use for my classroom discussions. Apparently it takes awhile to set up. I meant to add this to my lesson, but never did, and later found out it works on iPads only? (not sure if this is true, but I watched a webinar which was very impressive. I got the notification through graphite.) This would definitely be something to work on for next year!!! Both teachers who did the screencast were really excited about it and made it seem easy to use.

  • Padlet seemed to be not as user friendly as I thought it would be at first, but it turned out my students were more adept at using it than I. It is quite simple.

  • I really thought I was going to make my integrated lessons focus on vocabulary, but when I found, I really didn’t need to look any further.

  • I came upon Graphite app flow in the last 2 weeks and feel that could be a one stop shop. I signed up for this site and just got an email today (3-18) that looks to be a “new and improved way of using Common Core Standards and linking to technology in the classroom”. It looks awesome.

  • Participated in a google hangout with the other teachers and the media specialists during our LA classes to introduce new books in the media center. Mike Walker, Cathy Heller and Rob Schwartz were the brains behind this one. It took awhile to get it all set up right, fortunately during some prep times, but it went very smooth when we actually did it. We did it 4 times, one for each LA class.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sarah Duffy-Curriculum in the Cloud 20%

Sarah Duffy
20% Project Reflection
T&T Cohort 13-14: Curriculum in the Cloud

For my 20% project, I completed the following:

  • Set up folders in Google Drive for all of my students using gClassFolders. This amazing script set up the following for each class: a Class View folder where I can share documents with my students, a Class Edit folder where students can work on collaborative documents, and an assignment folder for each student where they can submit work and receive feedback.  This script is connected with Doctopus, where I can set up documents for individual students in the future.
  • Created a screencast for my students about how to set up and use their folders in Google Drive.
  • Created a paperless assessment system for a recorded playing test.  I used PDF Expert on the iPad to score each student on my rubric, and then I uploaded the PDF rubric directly through the app into their folders in Google Drive.  This worked well, but now that I have the folders up and running I am planning to try the following next time: share the rubric via Doctopus with each student, and have them paste a link to their recording directly into the doc OR upload their file into Google Drive.  That will save me a few steps per student.
  • Explored multiple ways to provide audio comments for students on their recorded playing tests.  I ended up settling on Smart Recorder 7, which let me record on the iPad while playing their tests off of another device.  I uploaded the recordings into PDF Expert and moved them from there into their Google Drive folders.  After listening to their recordings, students completed a very brief Google Form to verify that they completed assignment.
  • I researched and ordered multiple tools for my iPad so it will be more useful in my classroom.  I ordered an external mic and all of the necessary gear to attach it to the iPad or computer, a mic stand, and an iKlip2 stand.  Here is a comparison of the internal mic on my HP laptop vs. the Blue Yeti Pro mic ($179).  I am now trying to figure out the best way to run audio through the stereo system in my room--bluetooth receiver, AirPlay, etc.
  • I spent a lot of time exploring apps for the music classroom.  I asked for recommendations through my PLN on Facebook and I received some invaluable advice.
  • I attended training on Doceri, the program that allows someone to run their computer through the iPad and project it on the screen.  
  • Air Server was installed on my iPad and laptop so now I can project from my iPad.  
  • I wrote the title and description for a session I will be presenting on technology integration at the 2014 summer MNSOTA teachers’ workshop at the College of St. Benedict.
  • I explored recording methods for use during the All-State audition process.

I was able to improve greatly upon my current assessment procedures by going paperless through the Google Drive folders.  Being able to provide recorded comments is a wonderful benefit for the students.  Going paperless will save a few reams of paper each year, too.  By having the students complete a recorded performance assessment, they have a chance to listen to their own performance and evaluate their growth.  The recordings provide an ongoing portfolio for each student, too.

My students know that I am participating in the cohort this year, and they know that they are my “guinea pigs”!  We are all learning and growing through our explorations together.  They see me modeling digital-age work and learning every day, especially now that I have an iPad to use in class.

I shared my work with gClassFolders with my PLC.  I have been working on my presentation for the summer MNSOTA workshop.  I have been seeking out and exploring additional resources for professional growth, such as the book by Danah Boyd, my Twitter feed, and the school orchestra teacher group on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

20% Project: Attending iSummit MN, 7771, Susan Tewksbury

Technology Cohort 20% Project
Susan Tewksbury

     For my 20% project I attended the iSummitMN on February 1, 2014.  I appreciated that the format of the summit allowed for differentiation for participants.  A camping theme was used for the summit.   Attendants could choose their level of expertise (or not) and attend sessions based on three different levels;   Car Campers (beginners), Car Campers (intermediate) and Alpine Campers (advanced).  Though I found myself inspired and in awe of the Alpine Campers, I was most comfortable camping in a car.  Throughout the day campers could earn badges by Credly based on the participant’s ability to complete certain tasks presented by the session leaders.
     The summit keynote speaker was Jennie Magiera from Chicago Public Schools.  Jennie was a dynamic, engaged speaker.  She made an analogy between technology and the Three Little Pigs.  The third pig was the innovator, he did not just do what the other pigs had done before him, but rather he changed his thinking and tried something different.  Technology can be viewed in the same way, we can have all the technological tools in the world, but they are useless unless we change the way we are teaching and the way we use technology. Technology is just another tool, we need to be purposeful in how we are using the tool.  Ms. Mageria had many examples of how she personally has used technology and in particular iPads in the classroom.  She shared that a trend in education right now is the Flipped Classroom, which Chicago Public Schools calls, "Cloning the Teacher."  This allows the teacher to work among students rather than standing in front of the class lecturing.  It also allows learning to happen anytime and anywhere.  iPads allow students to maintain their privacy while working independently at their learning level. This also allows teachers to create their own content for students.  iPads can assit with unveiling meta cognition and build authentic learning situations for students.  This gives student a voice and allows them to connect with the world.  Jennie challenged us to start somewhere, learn from our failures and work as a community.
    The remainder of the summit consisted of four sessions with a variety of topics to choose from at our individual level.  I was to spend most of my day as a Car Camper.

Session 1:  iPad Refresher presented by Angie Kalthoff, St. Cloud Public Schools
This presentation was about the basics of owning and operating an iPad. Angie walked us through the basics beginning with the layout of an iPad, basic features, apps and how to personalize iPads.  I knew most of the information Angie presented by I did learn a few tricks such as;  how to AirDrop a photo,  free apps (GarageBand, iPhoto, iMovie) and SafeShare TV.  This is a tool for teachers to keep students from being exposed to inappropriate videos and or comments on You Tube.  We downloaded several free apps (Chirp, Educreations, Fetch!LunchRush, ColAR Mix, Nearpod and ScanLife) and Angie demonstrated the classroom application of each.  I plan on further exploring Educreations, ColAR Mix, QR Codes for Sight Words and Fetch!LunchRush.   

Session 2:  OK, I Have an iPad for my Classroom, Now What?!? presented by Steve Asper, White Bear Lake Schools
This presentation shared information about the logistics of storing and charging iPads, how to access wireless connections, the ins and outs of purchasing apps and using the iPad to project using Apple TV, Apps-reflector and an air server.  Though I found this interesting, in my current teaching position I am not using iPads to project as I teach small groups and individuals.  I love the idea of projecting which allows teachers to move about their teaching space, engage students and project student work.  Steve stressed that we cannot underestimate the talents of our students.  They need to be reporters and behind the camera.  This is a challenge I want to take on.

Session 3:  Elementary Engagement, presented by Angie Kalthoff, St. Cloud Public Schools
I attended this session as I found Angie's previous presentation engaging.  We spent the hour "playing" and trying multiple apps.  I am intrigued by using QR codes.  Angie shared how she used them while working with English Language Learners.  That population is similar to the students I work with.  We explored Educreations, Nearpod, Chirp and Explain Everything more in depth this session.  I also downloaded Record of Reading which is an app to collect data from reading running records for students.  I am excited about this as I plan on incorporating this into my final integrated project on reading fluency and comprehension.

Session 4:  iGoogle:  Google Apps on the iPad, presented by Jennie Magiera, Chicago Public Schools.  
This session was clearly over my head, as it was for Alpine Campers.  I had found Jennie to be so engaging during the Keynote that I gave it a try.  Not only was this over my head, but I had technology issues.  My iPad battery ran out so I tried to keep up with the class using my iPhone.  I was not very successful.  As Jennie and the other participants whizzed through apps and programs, I observed, felt like a student with special needs, but realized that though I have learned so much already about technology, my learning curve is huge! Some of the programs and apps Jeannie talked about and demonstrated were somewhat familiar to me; You Tube Capture, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Google+ and Blogger.

     iSummitMN closed with an "Appy Hour."  This was a fun way to share our "take aways."  Everyone was able to share something they learned during the day and were excited to use in  the future.

     When I reflect on the day, and review NETS*T Standards I believe I gained an awareness and knowledge in all three areas.  

  • Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
     I am using the app Record of Reading for gathering fluency data and Educreations and Toontastics for students to demonstrate comprehension by summarizing or providing a visual image of what they have read.  Both of these areas align with my Student Learning Goal and the standards I am working on as part of my Integrated Project.  I have not designed an assessment using Kahoot!, but that is on my TO DO list as well.

  • Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
   As I am teaching my students new reading fluency and comprehension strategies I am modeling expectations and the use of different tools.  I have already used digital thinking maps for comparing and contrasting, (Double Bubble Maps and Venn Diagrams), recording reading to measure fluency using Record of Reading and Audioboo to demonstrate recording independent reading. As I explore other apps and uses of technology I will continue to model for my students.

  • Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
     By attending iSummitMN I spent eight hours engaging in professional growth.  Since attending the summit, I have spent additional hours exploring and researching several of the apps and programs mentioned during the summit.   I have also spent some of our Professional Learning Community time each week to share with my team what I have learned through my exploring, what I learned from the summit and what I am learning from the Technology Cohort.