I think part of it is that the interactive component draws upon their fear of looking stupid in front of peers, so they end up paying more attention to what leads up to the assessment pieces. Having said that, I'm suddenly wondering if it's such a good idea to move past that to acquire assessment data through the use of hand-held input devices. With these, students can answer open-ended questions by texting their responses to the board, where the software puts the responses up on the board with codes for the individual response units. While I know who responded with what, the class only sees all the responses without their identifying information. My sudden concern is that this could return us to the place where students zoned out because they weren't doing anything that could make them look stupid in front of peers. With this, while I know who might not have responded or who blew off the question with a valueless response, other students don't know who did what. Wow, it's amazing how these collaborative reflections can be so eye-opening.
What you said about the likeness of our students is certainly true. For the first time, this year we're getting students who should have been tested for EBD prior to their expulsions. They send them to us as a holding area while awaiting testing, since their home schools are pretty much done with them. The trouble with that is after they are determined to have EBD, they end up staying with us--we're not a least restrictive environment, to be sure. The EBD determination usually results in reversing their expulsion, but they stay because there really isn't anyone else stepping up to take them back into the general ed population. None of my colleagues nor I (all 4 of us) are certified for special ed, and I believe these students deserve better than that.
I see all the work ahead to move my curriculum into the gaming-type environment, and while I really want to do that, time doesn't allow that commitment right now. I started brainstorming about ways to do this for my ecology class yesterday, and I lost a good half day before realizing I can't do a sufficient job with this at the same time I'm teaching it. It's going to require a good deal more concentration to put it together well. Thanks to you, Chris, and others, the path to it looks clearer and clearer without blazing ahead on my own. Thanks!
You know Kate, the truth is that there's just nothing like building trusting relationships to keep them coming back for more. Sometimes it feels like I'm bashing my head into brick walls trying to get them to learn some science, but in the end I figure that at least if they're coming to school, they haven't closed their lives to education. Perhaps in time, some of them will remember an interest that we kindled, but in the meantime at least their away from their gangs and off the streets among adults showing interest in their welfare.
My greatest success has been since getting a Promethean ActivBoard (interactive whiteboard) in my classroom. I can engage even the hardest of the hard to reach with this technology. The challenge, of course, is designing the learning space for those interactions to build understanding of science content. While there are a lot of resources out there for IWB and science, many are just new clothes on old pedagogy. This is what builds my fascination in game theory, as essentially every kid I work with accesses games in a regular manner. Perhaps...
Thanks for sharing on my blog about study guides. Your professor had an interesting approach to getting students to take notes. I could see how focus on developing the notes would assist students in understanding the material. You mention you are using foldable notes. I spent some time at the beginning of class showing how students take notes on the front of a page and then fold to cover what they wrote. Then they wrote questions related to the notes on the blank side showing. This way they could go back and quiz themselves. When in doubt just open the fold and see the notes. Is this the same method? Like to hear how your approach works.
I also have another challenge (which is a good challenge) but we have a 1 to 1 computer program for students. So students tend to use their computer to either type notes (which means they can print them out and do what i was talking about). But many of them just use the ppt I provide and type in the note section.
Anyway thats again for sharing look forward to hearing more of your ideas.
With your interest in Education Technology, I recommend you take a look at Wiziq's virtual classroom and authorstream's power point presentation platform. Both are web based platforms, have a bunch of features and free basic service.
Happy New Year! I was wondering if you, your educator contacts or students would be interested in participating in a nationwide Vocab Video Contest @ MIT university. We'd really like to get more students involved from Michigan!
You can view contest details at BrainyFlix.com Please let me know. Thanks!
I'm sending out messages to everyone I know right now, and this classroom20 network is no exception. (I've also sent this out on other Ning networks you may be a part of.) My name is Alyshia Olsen; I am a 20 year old college student from Olin College of Engineering. I am a part of a group of 6 Olin College students (we're in Needham, MA, and engineering students) who has taken a year off to work on an education related project. Since you are in the 'connecting content and technology' groun, I thought you might be interested! Our project is called AlightLearning, and this is our "short" project description:
Under the assumption that within ten years, the landscape of modern education will have fully integrated what we now define as new classroom media: video, online collaboration, open source curriculum and other web tools, we hope to pioneer a web software tool that acts as a platform for this new media, bringing the power of the web and its tools to students, teachers and parents in a secure, comfortable and innovative environment. Our goal is to have our free software at a pilot middle school by April 15th, 2009, continuing to develop and coordinate with our users to create a product that other schools want to pilot and use at their schools, while allowing individual teachers to implement this tool in their own classroom.
Our project, titled Alight Learning, is currently trying to win an idea competition on Ideablob.com You can find us at http://ideablob.com/3975 . We would love your support in the form of a vote within the next couple days, but more importantly we'd love your feedback and comments. Our description on Ideablob is short, and even the one above hardly gets at many of the issues we would like to take a stab at solving, but at least it's a start.
Feel free to email me back, check out alightlearning.com, anything you like!
I'm a school teacher from NEpal. I run a small school in a rural area of Nepal. Our students dn't have enough notebooks, pens, crayons, pencil and lunch as well? Are you willing to help us for those innocent students? If you r interested, plz email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or skype me