Friday, September 2, 2016

Using Facebook in the Classroom

New How-To Guide for Using Facebook in the Classroom By Clara Pak on August 16, 2013 5:50 PM Commissioned by Facebook, an education think tank in the United Kingdom recently created a "Facebook Guide for Educators." As of May 2013, 1.1 billion people worldwide are using Facebook, making the social network "rich with potential for learning," states the guide by The Education Foundation. The 20-page manual outlines the functions Facebook allows and how educators can tailor them for their own classrooms. For example, teachers can use Facebook Groups to communicate with parents. They can share information about an upcoming school trip or staff contact details. Students can also use group pages to collaborate on projects, post research, ...

What do you think? Good idea? Bad one? Leave a comment below...

Need some more perspective? Read

"Facebook in classroom, bad idea?

Social networking sites are extremely popular among students, but there appear to be two competing trends for social media in school classrooms and on university campuses.
Some teachers and lecturers are embracing Facebook and Twitter as new ways of communicating with students, and some universities and school boards are banning access to social networking tools entirely, citing security concerns...

I personally think that teachers who take the time and trouble to investigate and research the use of Facebook in class, and who do their due diligence to set parameters for acceptable behavior and  safety, can offer their students and themselves a very satisfying experience with it. On the other hand, there are other, more recently arrived Social Media resources that may serve the needs of teachers and students better...

Monday, April 18, 2016

Looking Through the News for EdTech Trends

Here's a partial list of the items covered in class discussions and listed in weekly class discussion notes. These have all appeared in the last couple of months and, in my opinion, point towards significant trends in EdTech as it is used in preK-12 schools:

* Online & Blended Learning Solutions
W hat qualities do effective digital school leaders share?
There are seven pillars of effective digital school leaders, asserts Eric
Sheninger, a senior fellow at the International Center for Leadership in
Education and a former high school principal. He outlined the pillars during
a CoSN 2016 spotlight session. eSchool News (free registration) 
Testing and Assessment
Online Assessment Computer Glitch Affected Thousands of State of Texas Assessments of Academic  Readiness Exams
* Grading Software Seen as Time Saving Tool
Teachers are turning to essay grading software to critique student  writing, but critics point to serious flaws in the technology

Author Daniel Pink and U.S. CTO Megan Smith addressed education technology leaders at the Consortium for School Networking Conference this week.
*2016 Digital School Districts Winners Use Data Analytics, Digital Literacy Curriculum to Help Students Succeed
Three school districts earned top recognition for their education technology work in the annual Digital School Districts Survey from the Center for Digital Education. Here's insight into how they're helping students to learn.
The fully online  school is open to K-12 students and is marketed toward kids looking to pursue personalized education and opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
*From Assessment to Insight With Analytics
Want to provide teachers with knowledge that can improve student achievement as well as serve as an early warning system for at risk students? This eBook describes how turning streams of data into actionable information made a real difference in Hamden Public Schools (CT) and Auburn City Schools (AL).
*Prepare students for 21st-century careers
How do educators prepare students for jobs that don't exist yet? STEAM adding Arts to STEM provides a full 360-degree approach to 21st-century learning. Now more than ever, students need to engage in STEAM learning. And with littleBits, you automatically have a STEAM curriculum. Learn more>
*How to use Google Map tools
Google Map has tools that can help students create stories across multiple subjects, instructional technology consultant Will Kimbley suggests. This blog post details what Google Earth, Google Tour Builder and Google My Maps can do and offers tutorials teachers can access to get acquainted with these tools.

*High-tech classrooms designed to promote innovative teaching
A dozen Florida middle-school teachers are having their classrooms revamped with new furniture and technology as part of a districtwide pilot program to promote student-centered, collaborative learning. Educators applied for grants to test out a range of technology, including computerized walls, virtual reality equipment and lab discs that automatically measure and record data.

*Guidelines for funding classroom technology. GUEST COLUMN| by Mike Patterson 
Teachers and school administrators nationwide believe that bringing technology into classrooms boosts educational outcomes for students. Districts often purchase the next big device to “revolutionize” learning. In fact, overall education technology spending will reach $19 billion worldwide by 2019, according to market research firm Futuresource […]

…focus on science, technology engineering and math, as well as computer science. ESSA includes computer science among core subjects, such as writing and science. EdTech magazine online
*Coding lessons are reaching students earlier, sometimes as early as preschool. Educators are using tools such as robots and apps to engage students in these lessons.

Florida lawmakers have adopted legislation allowing coding courses to count toward foreign-language requirements beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Students in school districts that do not offer coding classes can enroll in the state's online school.USA Today


*Augmented Reality    September 17, 2012
Augmented Reality In Education? Here Are 20 Examples

*Student Robotics
Professor Gura’s Classroom Robotics BLOG 
*Maker Spaces/Maker Culture
The Maker Movement in K-12 Education: A Guide to Emerging Research As Maker Education evolves in K-12, researchers are exploring related equity issues, design principles for Maker spaces, and the impact of this approach on student learning. Read more.
President Obama Announces 'Computer Science for All' Initiative Today, the White House announced what it's calling an "ambitious, all-hands-on-deck" initiative to get every student in the United States coding."In the new economy, computer science isn't an optional skill—it's a basic skill, right along with the three Rs,'" President Obama said in his weekly address today. . Read more.
*Tech and Creativity (Prof. Gura’s new book for ISTE)
Make, Learn, Succeed
Building a Culture of Creativity in Your School Expected publication date: 05/2016 - Topics: Curriculum, Robotics, STEM, Project-based learning, Personalized learning, Maker movement
* California Virtual Academy Begins Enrolling Students for Fall
The fully online school is open to K-12 students and is marketed toward kids looking to pursue personalized education and opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

*Using Video Effectively in the Classroom
Getting students to tune in through active and reactive viewing of video.
March 21, 2016
Digital Curriculum, Differentiated Instruction, and More: New Spotlights From Education Week

When you provide feedback to a teacher by coaching them virtually, new strategies come into play. Read more.

*Some Needed Perspective On Ed-Tech Adoptions
(Reinventing K-12 Learning)

SPONSOR WEBINAR - Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 2 to 3 p.m. ET
Omaha Public Schools worked with teachers, staff, and students to implement a technology plan that has delivered improved outcomes by focusing on what is best for the student. Learn how they were able to turn their schools around. Click here to attend this free live event.
Content provided by: Microsoft
*Ind. schools have varied policies on social media    WRTV-TV (Indianapolis) (4/5) 
*SmartBrief celebrates education bloggers: Meet the winners
SmartBlog on Education's monthly content award recognizes content written by educators, for educators, that inspires readers to engage, innovate and discuss. Visit SmartBlogs to read about -- and be inspired by -- the winners.

Join us Thursday, March 31st at 1pm ET for practical information that will help you make the best choice for your district.
**** If you can't make it, no worries. Register ASAP to receive the webinar on demand.

*Educators Learn About Latest Tech Tools at Google EdTech Summit
Grand Canyon University was home to the 2016 Google EdTech Summit where educators from all over Arizona met to discuss the progression of EdTech.
*Mich. school to use 3D printer to promote manufacturing industry
A Michigan technical campus will integrate 3D printing into classes to help students experience advanced manufacturing technologies. A nonprofit organization that focuses on the manufacturing industry recently gifted the printer to the school.
T.H.E. Journal (3/28) 
Momentum continues to grow for using formative assessments as an alternative to traditional multiple-choice testing, writes Measured Progress' Stuart Kahl. In this commentary, Kahl asserts that technology was not used enough in assessments during the era of No Child Left Behind.

*Facebook's Zuckerberg to Bet Big on Personalized Learning “….a new, multi-pronged effort by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, pediatrician Priscilla Chan, to use their massive fortune to reshape public education with technology