It’s hard to believe, but the time is coming for the Illinois Computing Educator’s conference. Every year, in the dead of winter, something innovative and magical goes on in St. Charles, IL. Educators from all over Illinois gather to show off the latest innovations, integrations, and progress that are being made inside Illinois’ classrooms.
This year the theme is “Connect to Learn.” Participants at ICE will be treated to seeing myriad ways that devices are invading our schools, and will be privy to the latest apps and teachers’ processes that are improving over the education landscape.
The greatest thing about ICE is: ideas. You come to ICE to re-fuel, to energize your teaching practice. You come back with a new tool-belt, ready to try new things and take some chances with new technology. I wouldn’t miss it.
This is also a time to prepare for the next school year. Some things you see at ICE will take time to implement, but now is the time to get started. So, what are you waiting for? Click here to learn more about ICE and to register!
This morning we hosted Formative Assessment and Google Drive, a morning PD session available on Google Hangouts. Kristen Olsen from District 58 joined me with some fantastic ideas for gathering formative feedback.
After the session, which we shared a multitude of ideas for getting student feedback, it appears clear to me that Google Forms, and particularly Flubaroo.com with Google Forms- is a great way to gather data and feedback from your students. The clear winner.
Flubaroo.com is a tool that integrates with Google Forms, allowing the teacher to create self-grading quizzes and forms. It really should be part of your practice.
So- we stuck to 30 minutes. I hope you go away with as many ideas as I did! Thanks Miss Olsen. You can follow her on Twitter @MissOlsen58.
You can view that hangout with all the viewer comments here: https://plus.google.com/u/1/events/c04bcrbgv6u62ao40hjcf4dvsrs
Our iPad 1:1 program is in its second year. Yesterday we had a chance to catch up with the 5th and 6th grade teachers as we reflected on some of the positives as well as challenges that they faced in this pilot.
We connected all three buildings through our Google Hangout. Watch and enjoy!
Updated Imovie and Google Drive apps
Older Imovie and Google Drive apps
I think we need to take a moment to dispel some myths about becoming an “iPad Educator.” Let’s do a quick rundown of some popular predictions that we’ve heard over the past year, and let’s see if these match up with your teaching practice:
1. The iPad Will Revolutionize Your Classroom
2. The iPad Will Transform the Way You Teach
3. The iPad Will Connect Educators From All Over the World
4. iPad Integration Will Bring on a “Creative Revolution”
5. The iPad Will Replace Paper in Every Way
Remember these predictions? If you’ve been teaching with an iPad for- say- one year, has this happened yet? How does your classroom match up and compare? I’m going to take a totally unscientific guess here and say that probably 90% of teachers that are in a 1:1 device program can’t say any of the top 5 statements with any real confidence- and probably not all 5. If you are in the 10%, then you are fortunate. If you are not- then you have to know: it’s okay.
These predictions are extremely hard to live up to, considering many of the factors that go into one individual’s teaching practice. I think what we have to do is remember- the iPad is just a tool. It’s a great tool when it’s used to enhance what you are already doing in your classroom. If you can make to that step alone- I would say that you have accomplished a whole lot as an “iDevice” teacher.
Since there are so many schools now in a second year of iPad 1:1 deployment, I think it’s important to remember that the iPad alone cannot replace teaching habits. That is the keyword here: habits. We all have them as educators, and they start the first minute we enter our buildings and start preparing for our day.
And there’s another thing to think about: the iPad doesn’t replace our teaching habits. We do. Being a former personal trainer, I understand how difficult it is to integrate behavior into people’s lives. If you want to lose weight or add muscle- that’s not going to happen by skipping the gym or being inconsistent.
Consistency is probably the most important factor that affects changing habits. Changing, transforming, or revolutionizing teaching habits isn’t going to happen overnight. It may not happen the first year, it might start seeping in the second year, but is absolutely based on being consistent. Dipping in and reading one ebook through Subtext is a great integration, but it may not change old habits.
Take a look at the SAMR model below. I love looking at it. Staring at it. The quest to reach to top of the ladder is a real exploration- an adventure in teaching. It’s like looking at a blank canvas and wondering what you’re going to paint. To truly re-define your teaching practice will take a change of habits that may already be ingrained for 10, 20, and even 30 years of practice.
Try and remember that while you are on your quest, it’s going to take failure. It’s going to take time. It’s going to take consistency. But it can happen. We’ve seen it happen, and it will require patience. Many of our older teaching habits don’t fit into an iDevice future. We have to change.
I guess the question to ask: do we want this learning revolution?
If you’re upset about the Black Bar going away or with iGoogle being sunsetted, follow this advice from Mr. Kevin Brookhouser.
Now that the Google black bar is gone (or going away), many of us are upset because it now takes two clicks to go from Gmail to Google Calendar, when it used to take only one….
We are hearing more and more about Minecraft being used in educational settings, so we wanted to talk about what the entry point is for teachers who have never used Minecraft before. Does it have to be a whole-class activity? Can Minecraft simply be an option to extend the learning activities that you already do in your classroom?
How is Minecraft integrated into Math, Social Studies, and Science?
And, lo and behold: what the heck is Minecraft anyway? Go ahead and watch and enjoy!
Here’s the link to the original Google Plus Event (with all the resources we shared):