Monday, May 5, 2014

Technology Tools to Engage and Empower Students

As you know a technology tool that engages students is not enough unless the tool allows students to participate in meaningful instruction and learning. The author, Nicola Pino James,  lists 7 characteristics for useful technology tools.  He highlights 4 free examples found on the web. 
  1. My Brainshark - allows students to make podcasts or voiceovers to PowerPoint or video presentations
  2. PosterMyWall - creates high quality posters that could be used as a culmination of a project
  3. Screencast-o-matic - used to create video or record what's happening on screens.  Can be used by both students and teachers.
  4. Padlet - students & teachers can post stickty notes on virtual walls.  A good place for collaborative work.
All four examples have links to their websites.  Have you used similiar tool technologies?  What results did you get with your students?  Please comment below.

4 Free Web Tools to Boost Student Engagement.  Nicolas Pino James. 5.2.14.  edupopia

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Making "Things" Are Seeing a Rebirth

Years ago kids made things in their classrooms, clubs, and at home.  We changed direction in schools because of standardized testing and accountablility for those results.  Instinctively we humans are inventors, makers of things, and creators .  Today in schools we can do these things again, not only with hands-on art supplies but with project-based learning using technology tools.  Read this article to see how different school districts are using creativity in the classroom resulting in collaboration between students and teachers.

The Maker Movement Conquers the Classroom.  Greg Thompson. 4.20.14.  The Journal - Transforming Education Through Technology.

What Do We Want Technology to Do For Our Students?

This article is the first in a series by George Couros who will be presenting the "Myths of Technology."  This first post is entitled "Technology equals engagement."  Really?  We know from experience in our small group Title I classes that this can be true at first but not so later on.
What the author wants students to do with engagement is to extend that state to a state of empowerment - do something for yourself that is meaningful using the tools of technology.  Well said!  I'll be posting Couros's future myths as they come on board.

The Myths of Technology Series - "Technology equals engagement." George Couros. 4.30.14.  Connected Principals -Sharing, Learning, Leading