I've moved the blog!

I've moved my blog to www.coolcatteacher.com as well as all of the posts from this blog. Learn more...
Showing posts with label cooperative learning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cooperative learning. Show all posts

Friday, October 29, 2010

Got a Great Project? Share!! #msief

Shea Grisham,North Carolina (USA) and Linda Bradfield (South Africa)
The bandwidth issues experienced here in South Africa, called the most wired country in South Africa, have hit home for me.  Really, I haven't been yelling and stomping my feet - it would do no good. I've been doing what I can do -- grabbing my handy camera and recording everything I can to share with you when I get online.

This is what people do and why we must be flexible as we collaborate globally.  Great barriers have been overcome by teachers here and lots of hard work has been part of what they've done!

Tell Your Story
This has truly been a great experience and I hope that even more teachers will apply for the Microsoft Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum next year. It is a competition and I'm so impressed with those who have made it here. They use a variety of tools -- some Microsoft, some not, but many are using the free tools as a component of what they are doing. Next year, we will be in the US in Washington, DC.  But to get there, one has to compete in three rounds of competition!

Microsoft is worldwide and the projects demonstrated here have a richness and diversity I've not seen at anything else I've attended in the world. Honorees are indeed all incredibly inspirational. I wish I could post a recording with all of them.

I'm tremendously impressed with the diversity and calibre of the educators here and have found myself on the verge of tears many time as my own tendency to complain and whine about the comparatively insignificant problems of my own classroom have reared into my psyche.

Writing the Book on Global Collaboration

I was chatting Julie for the only brief moment we've talked this week and let her know that I've got some incredible stories to add to the Flat Classroom book that we're tweaking this week. These stories deserve to be told and as a teacher, it is an honor to feel as if I am one of the ones to tell it.  People have long been telling our stories for us, it is time for teachers to tell our own story!! (Our book from Pearson will be out January 2012.)

Hope you continue to take time to watch some of these videos and get inspired!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Six and Seven Year Old Boys Collect 8 tons of waste in "Trash to Treasure" #msief

In this interview with Linda Bradfield from St.John's College in South Africa she discussed the Trash to Treasure project. It is so exciting to see teachers work with parents and make changes in behavior and also improve technology skills.

"This project involved 6 and 7 year old boys collaborating with their peers to collect eight tons of waste in six weeks. The boys, together with their parents and teacher, found online information about recycling and collated it in their Trash-to-Treasure wiki. They also used '2Create aa Superstory" to create e-books and used Skype to communicate." p 71 Microsoft Worldwide Education Forum 2010 p 71

This project was presented at the Microsoft Worldwide Innovative Education Forum in Capetown South Africa, 2010.

Part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning Worldwide Innovative Education Forum 2010 series. Click the msief tag below to see all posts in this series.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Live School 2.0 Show Tuesday, Jan 23 at 9 pm EST with Will Richardson, Steve Hargadon, Chris Lehman - WOW!

Exciting discussion of School 2.0 and the tentative edubloggercon ( a place where bloggers get together) prior to NECC this summer.

This Tuesday night at 9 pm EST, go to edtechtalk.com and listen to channel 1 and you can hear the WOW2 ladies (Sharon Peters, Jennifer Wagner, Cheryl Oakes and myself) talk with Steve Hargadon, Will Richardson, and Chris Lehman (if he's recovered from the flu.)

This "star studded" cast will talk to us about the following:
  • What does School 2.0 look like? How will classrooms, teachers, and assessments change?
  • Tentative plans for the edubloggercon in June and how YOU can get involved.
As always, you can go in the edtechtalk chat room and ASK questions of our guests and the WOW2 ladies. (You can hear past shows over at womenofweb2.podomatic.com or at edtechtalk.com.)

I have found that each show is better than the last and that the diverse background of those in our chatroom (public, private, men, women, various countries) makes it the birthing ground for some really phenomenal discussions and activities.

Those who participate are as much a part of the show as those moderating. And we welcome beginners! Last week there was a person named Newbie2 -- I loved it! Because I'm a Newbie too and I know what it feels like every day as I sit back in awe of this new classroom that has been created by free tools! WOW!

The weekly WOW2 show has changed my life and inspired me as the guests teach me so much about the dynamics of our society and education. Every show I learn something new and practical for my classroom but especially like the fact that I come away feeling that I am not alone. (Remember that you can listen later via our podcast!)

We have been blessed with amazing guests. Here is the schedule for the upcoming shows: (All of them are at 9 pm EST on Tuesdays).

January 23 - Will Richardson, Steve Hargadon, Chris Lehman
January 30 - --The TechPodzone guys - Podcasting Experts


February 6 2.15 -- Mike Lawrence * Mark Wagner (From CUE)
February 13 2.16 Prerecord with Terry Freedman about Coming of Age - (We won't be live but Terry can't guest otherwise as our show comes on at 2 a.m. his time!)
February 20 2.17 - Julie Lindsey, Dhaka Bangladesh (My Co teacher with flat classroom project)

Please give us suggestions for guests you'd like to see (just comment here.) We've also planned to pull in some of our superstars for future shows!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

OK, 10th grader, what's your major? and more about this week.

I'm a little nervous, this is my first post on the new blogger. Let me know if there are any glitches!

My tenth graders select a "major"

You may wonder what I'm talking about, but as I planned this 8 weeks with my amazing computer science class, I've been pondering the section of Thomas Friedman's book where he talks about the "strands" at Georgia Tech. This essentially allows students to select a dual area of interest-- computing and aestheics or computing and art. Then, students are qualified to work in a variety of areas and essentially find their passion.

So, I have my projects that I usually conduct in computer science this time of year, only this time we'll take a different angle. I've asked my students to select an area of interest. This is to be an industry that they are already excited about -- hunting, special effects, hospitality -- these are some of the areas that the students have selected as their "majors."

Their first blog post on their major

Now, when I have their weekly blog posts that summarize the week, they discuss this from their major. For example, two weeks a go I asked them to write specifically about the hardware in their major.

Here is an excerpt from a student who is interested in golf course managment:
Golf course management has many different new technologies. One of the technologies is the new GPS systems used on golf courses all over the world. They use GPS systems to see where a golf cart might be on the golf course, the measurements to the green from a certain point on the course. The GPS systems also include integrated dash view or roof view GPS screen, widescreen/flat screen display, Dynamic hole zoom, integrated car control, multiple event advertising, full tournament leader board.

The GPS systems allow golfers to order beverage and food from the cart, which improves pace of play and increases food and beverage sales. Staff can send warning messages to individual or all golfers. Staff responds to emergency requests from golfers and dispatch assistance to their exact location. Golfers send and receive messages using the GPS screen and control panel. Staff send and receive messages - and view exact car locations - from the management computer or from any car on the course.

I didn't know these things! Or how about the student who is interested in optometry:

I have learned through research on optometry that optometrists use many kinds of hardware through the eye examination process. The mostly use computers. Computers are used to store the data. Databases are made to store client information and etc. The computers are used to enter prescription data, payment data, and client data.

Optical hardware is also used. It is used to examine the eyes, take photos of the inside of the eyes, and test the eyes to check to see the prescription number. The examination equipment uses lights and storage devices to look inside and around the eye. A machine is also used to take pictures of the back of the eyeball to check for disease or buckles in the eye. The other machine they use you look into it and look at the Christmas tree in the background and it will measure your eyesight.

Again, she spent time looking into her interests. So, instead of just teaching about hardware, each student is looking at it from the lens of their future interest. I am finding that it makes them more interested and am planning their 8 week assessment as a major project where they will select the hardware and software required for a person to start up in that business (or if it is a large corporation, perhaps just to outfit the office.)

Storage Device Wikis

This week we learned about storage devices and my students have produced some very informative wikis about the types of storage devices:

If you don't know about solid state storage, it is really a MUST READ! They also recorded podcasts to release on the class blog about their topic and are in the process of embedding these in the wiki as well. (You can listen to the one on optical storage.)

How I taught storage devices:
Interestingly, the podcast portion has added an interesting element to teamwork. Here is how I did this week's work on solid state storage:

This is a jigsaw that also uses a reading strategy grid that I created. (For those of you who've had training in cooperative learning and in reading across the content areas.)

1) Students came in and had an outline of the lesson (I always hand out lesson plans so they can follow me.)

2) Each student had an assigned subject (one of the three) and was told to move into that team.

3) Reading Strategy and Planning - Day 1

There was a reading strategy sheet that the students used to read the section of the book. They were to read about their assigned type of storage and glean information about how it works and also its versatility, durability, and several other aspects used to analyze storage devices. This was done as a team.

4) Day 2 - Wiki and Podcast -

Each team was to make a wiki and to record a podcast. They had one day. This forced everyone to divide up tasks and get busy. The best group finished it in one day. The groups where one person wanted to do it all had a harder time. I require each person to post to the wiki. If they record the podcast, they must post it to the wiki after I upload it to the stream. I want to teach them that teamwork is essential. I had one group in particular that has now "gotten it" and produced their work efficiently and effectively.

5) Day 3 - The jigsaw -

The third day, the students were to get with their team number. (I also assigned these on the first day.) There were four teams. Each person was responsible to teach their type of storage to the others and help them complete their information. If they finished early, they were to get back into their teams and could work on the wiki some more. (I've created a group of wiki-perfectionists!)

6) Day 4 - The blog posting and labs

Their blog posts for this week were to discuss the types of storage devices used in their major. Additionally, our book has interactive labs and online quizzes that they take and submit. We spent Friday completing these. It really was a breeze considering how well they understood storage.

7) Monday

I will review this with the students by asking questions and we will move on to peripheral devices on Monday. Could I have talked about these three types of storage in a one day lecture? Perhaps. Would they truly have learned it. Not necessarily!

The Results

One of my students has a parent who works at an elite research center with the most amazing computing systems in this area. He can discuss computing with the experts and understand what they are talking about. He is in tenth grade and he understands the "lingo" of computing and even better, he is unafraid to find out when he doesn't know something!

Time Management
We have been discussing time management/ planning with the 9th graders. This is a very rewarding discussion. I love to pull in movie clips to make the point. Friday I pulled in a clip from one of my favorite miniseries. Band of Brothers based upon the book by Stephen Ambrose.

The D that makes all the difference - Story from Band of Brothers

In this particular scene there is a Lieutenant Dykes who has an ivy league pedigree, aced officer training, and has all of the right connections. He is in charge of EZ company and they are to take over a small village in nazi germany. However, as they have held the woods outside the town, Lieutenant Dykes always dissappears when the bombing gets tough. He's never there mentally.

When they invade, disaster strikes. Dykes cannot make a decision. He is afraid and keeps telling the men to retreat. He stops right in the middle of an open field. People around him are dying. He cannot decide. He mentally cannot do it.

Then, Winters, the battalion commander makes a bold move. Watching from the woods, he pulls in Lieutenant Spears from another company and sends him in to relieve Dykes. He is another great officer. Physically fit, battle hardened, and considered by some as half crazy. Spears goes in, relieves Dykes and immediately takes charge of the situation.

Dykes has spread the company out too far and half is on one side of the city with the other half on the other. They must connect or they will all die. Spears takes off running through the middle of the city, connects with the other half and then, he runs back. No one can believe it! At first the Nazi's don't even fire at him!

EZ company goes on to take the city.

How we discussed it

We then compared and contrasted Dykes and Spears. They were exactly the same except for the decisions that they made. I call it "the Big D that makes all the difference."

I was looking for a way to pull the guys into what they consider boring "planner" girly stuff. My own father is a very successful award winning farmer and he always carried a small book in his pocket -- his list. He worked it and used it.

The discussion was amazing. They got it. And it took a movie.

iTunes and Podcasting
I also taught my classes the basics of itunes and particularly the podcasting area. Interestingly NONE of my students understood how to subscribe to a podcast in ITunes. Don't assume that because they have an iPod that they understand how to subscribe to a podcast or even know what it is.

Coming up

Fifth keyboarding - I'm starting with our fifth graders this week and will be teaching them how to keyboard. I'm excited. This year I've planned to start them blogging with blogs that they can take with them into middle school. We've also planned some work with another class that we'll pick up in early March. I'm going to work with the teacher to pull it into her creative writing activities.

Computer Science
More wikis. More blogs. A test is coming up and we will move into software, then, we'll have a big project that I'll make sure to share with you!

Computer Fundamentals
Monday, after I give them time to write down their own values, we are going to learn airset and explore some other online ways to automate their planning. When we finish, each person is going to create a movie about how they will keep a list, a calendar, and their important addresses. I find that each person needs a system that works for them, but it is must be a system. We have seen a consistent increase in grades after teaching the students this. Then, I will be teaching the amazing Cornell notetaking system that literally is one of the main reasons that I was first in my class at Georgia Tech.

Computer Graphic Design
I'm going to have to share another post about the amazing things going on here. Many of my non-academic types excel in this class where they immerse themselves in effective graphic design and non-verbal communication skills.

I love teaching! It is my life. I love my students! When they learn and get excited, it is a greater adrenaline rush than skydiving (I think), but I can feel it over and over again as I reflect on the light bulb experiences.

Now is the time of year when last year's seniors and their parents call and thank me. My students often take a computer science course their first semester to help their GPA because they are confident. That is the best endorsement I can get!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Disqus Comments for Cool Cat Teacher Blog