Welcome to another installment of our newest project at SimpleK12, the 2 Minute EdTech Talk. We’re interviewing educators of all grade levels and subjects to share their experiences using EdTech. The goal? To share, to collaborate, and most of all – to help and encourage teachers to try new forms of technology in their own classrooms.
There’s been a healthy amount of replies to this article I posted earlier about how Twitter is a teacher’s best friend. Many people were expressing some frustration at not quite knowing where to start, or become more involved.
The article linked in the title of this post is an outstanding collection of resources from Edudemic. Anything you may need to know is probably there. If you’re serious about joining Twitter, I strongly suggest you block out about three hours to spend with that article, and to go through setting yourself up.
Over 800 students participated in editing Wikipedia over the course of the school year. In the fall term, this was one of the requirements for 14 college classes, and in the spring term, 33 courses were part of the initiative. If you’ve ever worked your way through grading stacks of college assignments, you can imagine the size of this contribution: the equivalent of 5800 pages - 11 reams of paper - full of new content added to Wikipedia. he chart at right shows the number of bytes our students added to articles. Over the course of the academic year, students have added 8.8 million bytes to the English version of Wikipedia.
It’s amazing what we can do when we embrace a technology instead of spurning it.
As a classroom teacher I remember going across the hall to ask Mr. Sally for tips on getting kids to learn their times tables. His ideas were fine, but what if I’d been able to crowdsource my question to the global community of educators on Twitter? A teacher who engages with other educators on Twitter essentially has a 24/7 open door policy. Type the hashtag #edchat in the search box, and you’ll see a real-time stream of discussion about an unlimited number of educational topics. It’s pretty clear teachers are collaborating with each other by sharing solutions to their challenges—links to articles, resources and practical ideas:
If you’re like me and you can’t tell a paper birch from poison sumac, this is an app for us. I really want to try this out! By just taking a picture of a leaf with your phone, the app will identify the likely species.
Here’s the first three (click through to read more!):
1 Produce public service announcements.
Here is a sample Glogster with video and photo components (not made by the student but embedded).
Students can make PSAs about any topic you choose, such as the environment. Have them take photos around town and then use Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 to create the announcements.
2 Study textures.
For a fun art project, have students take close-up pictures of a variety of textures, including brick walls and dead grass. Along the way they can learn about warm colors, cool colors, and textures. If you like, they can turn the pictures into a collage.
3 Do an interactive book report.
Glogster (www.glogster.com) lets students turn assignments into interactive extravaganzas. Just add text, images, music, and video to make Glogs, or posters. In addition to book reports, your students can make pro-and-con Glogs about controversial topics, like global warming.
What makes Inkling’s apps unique is the fact that “content isn’t bound by pages or sections or chapters in the same linear fashion. Rather, it’s hierarchical, richly illustrated and augmented. It’s interactive. It’s social,” Watters writes. The digital versions include quizzes, interactive infographics, and a scrolling and searchable interface.