Friday, July 26, 2013

The Final Countdown!

Sugata Mitra

Sidenote: Todd says get Air Server when I finally have enough $ for an iPhone.

Teachers don't want to teach where they are needed the most. Children will learn what they want to learn. "The method of the grandmother" "Self-organizing systems" SOLE-Self-organizing Learning environment.

It seems that Sugata is pushing for teachers to get out of the way of student learning. Let them research, let them problem-solve, let them discover. Students seem to retain more when they are in charge of learning.
Todd says to check out  Sugata's blog. Do it! I also need to read some Dan Pink. Check out Frank Smith, too.

Question: Are we becoming too insular? If we learn by who we are around, how do we bring new ideas into our buildings?

Todd's gonna tweet. @tfrimoth

Final Projects- Brainstorm Ideas fo' Me!

Margaret- Read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. Difference between needs of the Information Age and the Conceptual Age.

Noelle- Read Drive by Daniel Pink. All about traditional motivation methods. Self-Direction, Mastery, and Purpose are the main motivators.
Eric- A training PowerPoint about  flipping tech instruction.
Rob- Cell phone use policy.
Kara- Read Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug. How to make effective websites.
Bobby- Made an iMovie reflecting on the learning from this week.
Jody-The Power of a Story PowerPoint. Need to reframe who we are.  Communication. Digital Storytelling can be a powerful tool for students and staff. Jason Ohler.
CherieAnne- Doing evaluation walkthroughs with tech. Notability= notetaking, recording , video, photographs.
Becky A.- Adventures into the world of tech. Smartboard usage. Link Parentvue in Synergy to a blog? Good idea.
Becky S.- Ideas to communicate to staff. Wordsift- check it out.
Christy-Read book Communicating Innovation by Tony Wagner. "Passion without purpose is meaningless."
Amy- Cool film about learning.
Brian- Film about Sherwoord's Tech Plan
Me- Fantastic. Made myself cry.
Lisa-Practical applications for schools for tech. Softball example.

The Link to my Final Project Website:

In the End . . .

What a fantastic class! I learned so much. Thanks for being a part of it, everybody! I'll leave you with this movie which shows how being adaptive leads to survival. Bye everyone. Keep in touch!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Fourth Day- Becoming a Tech Wizard Master!

Local Vision

Big question: What will you do with the skills and information you have learned in the course?

I think I'm going to build a website for all of my courses. I think this is a really good way to help students stay up to par in classes and setting the example for other staff. I really like the model that Todd uses with setting up personal blogs and using them for note-taking and student responses. I think this is an excellent model for the Success Seminar Class that I will be teaching in the Fall. My Art Courses could really benefit from having a hub with all the video resources that I share.

Brian talked about setting up a Wiki for his staff about "What they learned this Summer." Interesting idea.
Rob reminded us to focus on the "Why" with ourselves and our staff. I liked his point about spending more time on the "Why" with staff. I have been in consensus model conversations where I could tell the admin had an opinion about the direction we should go. If that Admin. could have just presented the "Why" and done so convincingly, we could have saved a lot of time.
Good conversation about "landing." Do we want to land? Will life get boring? Will we lose our own personal visions and passions? These are the thoughts that scare me about becoming an administrator. There are parts of me that never want to be stuck in meetings talking about the current trends and having to pretend that I think they are important. Is that a sell-out? I'm still not sure.
                              Is the landing is the most boring part of space exploration?
                              Will landing be the most boring part of my career life?
                                                                    Sure hope not.

RS Animate- Sir Ken

That was awesome! I was inspired by the art work. It looked great. The ideas presented are completely in line with my own educational philosophy. I have struggled so much with having to push standardized testing. It's built-in. The kids don't graduate unless I do. At the same time, Art teachers are nearing extinction because the Elective Classes that our school has now are all focused on how to take standardized tests. Lame-sauce! I hope the pendulum starts swinging back towards the arts.
Wicked-awesome movie, though.

iTunesU, MOOC's, Online Learning

There are courses on iTunes? What? Dang! There's a lot of them. I've been wondering how to incorporate the use of ipods into my classrooms. This will help! Very interesting! I'll need to spend some time browsing for good stuff.

What's a MOOC?

                                               I immediately think of my deceased pet fish 
                                                    that I had in High School, Mookie.

 Massive Open Online Course. MIT, Stanford, other organization. No credit offered. Here's the link for MIT's page: Stanford's:
I just noticed that  a lot of the course material on iTunes U and both of the MOOC sites are from Maybe I need to check that site out.
Ethics issues? Can a teacher use the curriculum and then award credit? Questions, questions, questions.

Online Learning

Someone thinks that current online learning is better than conventional learning? I'd love to see that data. Great conversation on how to make sure students are getting appropriate services in the online schools. This is a fantastic question and definitely a bottom line for online schools. I think its an option that should be available to students who the model fits. One size does not fit all, and the online model is effective for some kids. I don't think its a solution for shoving all struggling learners into. I was happy to hear what Tigard is doing. I think they are handling it very responsibly. Good job, Noelle!

Amazing Web Design

User-focused Navigation

Make the site easy to navigate. People look to the upper-left first. Place something interesting up there. Making sure that a website is usable can be enlightening. Having Usability Studies is helpful.


Be simple, and concise. Make pics big and keep navigation slick. Don't overload with info.


Make sure that you use good graphics and pro-style photos. Don't over do with bullets and text. Don't be afraid to leave blank space to focus on main concepts. Todd likes Keynote. I am definitely more comfortable with PowerPoint. I'll have to check it out. I know that I need to check out Prezi. Dan Pink talks about the importance of Design in A Whole New Mind. Garr Reynolds is another great resource for Design fundamentals. I need to check out his website.


Another jam-packed day. I understand why I have heard such great things about this class. It really expands your practice and gives you up-to-date tools to use. I can see some students being uber-excited as I add these tools into my classes. I heard some great things that I am going to implement today as I work on my website.
Todd just said that this is our final reflection. That's kinda sad. I just have to say that I'm sorry if I talked too much. Every day I would think to myself, "Don't talk today. These people have more experience than you. Listen and learn." Then, we would start talking about something that makes me passionate and I could not stop myself. So, sorry.
I also wanted to thank everyone. When I was listening, I learned a lot from each of you. It is fantastic to be among educators and exciting to learn together. I feel like i made some new friends this week. Always a bonus!
Lastly, Todd, what a fantastic class! Thanks so much! I will be figuring out how to implement this learning for the rest of the summer. I feel like I have been given a new bunch of tools and I don't know how to use them or what to use them for, but I know that I'm going to have fun figuring it out.
Thanks again everyone! Stay awesome!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 3 for the Win!!

Poor Practice in Tech Implementation

Always look for the "Why" in tech use. Just because it's a cool-sounding tech project doesn't mean it effective. Email came up. Christy brought up that staff often uses email inappropriately. Reply All can be a real pain. Use of social media by staff and community brings new levels of forced transparency. Brian "Information is going to be shared-how do we get ahead of it?" Fantastic question in my humble opinion.
Social media became the big topic. Students are using this to assemble to causes and advocate against school discipline issues. Becky talked about not knowing how to handle issues like these before they happen. Can we have a proactive policy?
Bobby brought up the "low-tech use of high tech tools." This points to needing more time to focus on professional development surrounding tech. We had so many cool tools shown to us yesterday. There are so many ways to show teachers how to implement tech.
Rob made a very nice summative statement. He talked about how quickly tech has changed and how that has impacted young people. He advocated that school is the place to teach kids to be tech current. The teachers need to be the example. If they are not being the example, there will be repercussions. The teachers won't be in the loop, and that would be a natural consequence.
Great discussion!

Teaching Channel

This site is cool. I spent some time learning how to teach music which is  weakness of mine, but I need to make it a strength since I built the recording studio. I will definitely be using this site again.

Flipped Professional Development

This is an exciting concept. Giving teachers freedom to explore and create PD for each other and giving them the tools and support to do so would be good for staff morale and be easier to measure and have artifacts of progress. Teachers have been super low on morale with constant media spankings and messages from the district admin that feel demeaning. This lets teachers be professionals while gaining new tech skills that interest them.
Also, districts now have to measure teacher progress. These are artifacts that are actually meaningful and can be used to show teacher progress. Something that people aren't looking at in professional development is whether or not the development is real or superficial. Currently, professional development tends to be superficial. Districts mandate that you show a % of growth in some area by using a test. Teachers throw this together when they can because its just a mundane chore. This makes it meaningful!
That's definitely winning, but not like Charlie Sheen.

Becoming a Googlite

with G. Doug Bundy

Google tools that I never knew about:
Google Drive (you can translate it! What?)
Google Scholar
Google Custom Search
Wikistream- Shows all Wikipedia activity


Brain Research

John Medina-Brain research. "Memorize and then improvise." Current classrooms are counterproductive to how our brains learn.
Jane McGonigal- game-based learning. "Crowd-sourcing." Using games to get a mass collaboration of people who think in all sorts of ways.

Student Source

Students create standard-based resource collections. I have wanted to make something like this for high school students who are interested in becoming teachers. Letting students create curriculum that interests them while still adhering to standards. Lots o' learning possible there.

I like the Crowd-sourcing games that were shown. Looks fun!


All I can say is wow. I just can't believe all of the ways tech is changing education and streamlining processes. I was floored by how easy it was to translate documents. I really like the idea of sharing documents among a class for class-critique. So many options, so little time. This makes me want our laptop cart every day! Man o man!

Just a final follow-up on videos as story telling devices. I saw this during the summer and I loved it. This kid is a Youtube celebrity and to see that he had problems and overcame them is quite powerful!
I want to do a similar type of project with a film class this year. Enjoy!

Thanks for another fantastic class!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 2=Twice the Fun!

Ed. Tech. Debate

We read an article about educational technology (Transforming Schools with Technology) and the ways to be effective in classrooms with the use of tech. Class discussion covered ideas like making sure that the right students are paired with the right tech and figuring out which tech is truly beneficial and how to know. Another good point was that tech is often used to perpetuate the traditional teaching methods.

Tech Tools

                                                                    "I pity the fool,
                                                          who won't use tech tools!"

Today I heard about so many cool (and mostly free) tech tools. I'm going to put a list below, mostly for myself. I tend to take notes and then lose them. This blog can help me keep notes that I know that I will want to find later. Cool, right? Here's the list:

Schoolology- Curriculum organization/presentation. Allows teachers to put their curriculum in a digital format. Looks cool!

Edmoto- Looks like the same thing as Schoolology. I wonder which one is better. For me, it will be the one that is free! :)

Google Forms- Okay, I already know about Google Forms, but why haven't I used them yet? I am a SPED Teacher. I am always inventing new data collection tools. My colleagues are always like, "Hey Jared, sweet data collection tool. Can I have it?" This would make it so easy to use, share, and store.

Diigo- A digital bookmarking app. Way cool! I love how it also saves bibliography info as well as the selected text. I'm downloading that fo' sho'!

Quicktime- I always thought this was just a digi media player. I didn't know that I could use it to create screen-based instructional videos. This could be a big help for online teachers everywhere!

Makin' Videos, Son!

Oh man! I love making videos. I do love me some imovie. If you were wondering why I was hating on Windows Movie Maker, it's mostly because of the limited amount of audio tracks that you can use. I want to put in music, voiceover, sound effects, and original audio. Sometimes even more. MovieMaker allows for only two audio tracks. What?

I enjoyed making the video. Good times as always. I apologize for my immaturity in subject matter. Here's my video:


Another great class! I think what I learned today that is something to really work towards is taking the time to save me time. That sounds really weird, but I kept thinking that there are so many awesome tools that I can use to make my instruction more interesting, fun, and effective. Why don't I use them? The answer is time. It takes time to learn the tools. But, if I take the time, I will save myself time in the future with all of these time-saving options. Gotta do that!

Also, we talked a lot about appropriate implementation of tech in classrooms. Sometimes I do opt for what is comfortable for me and let tech sit while I talk for ever. I owe it to my students to abandon my comfort zone and try new strategies. I know that they learn from my example. If I am afraid to venture away from what is comfortable for me, how can I ask them to change?

I have always believed in the power of video. Last year, I created an animated movie to help the online students get started successfully as my summer project for my online school. The result was being assigned a team and creating even more videos this year. I'll post the old video below. The new ones will be better. I have created new character designs and better art (and I have been given more time). I want to remember to use these tools in life after online school and especially if I ever score a job in admin.

Thanks for another great class, Todd!
                                                   The new and improved Tsunami Syd

Monday, July 22, 2013

Class Video Responses

Learning to Change- Changing to Learn

Technology has opened up so many new teaching options. There are more connective opportunities than ever. A lot of what students do for fun is content development. Wow! I am so glad to hear the voices of people who have a similar educational vision to my own. Standardized Testing models have swept a lot of the creative learning opportunities out of the door. I've seen the standardized testing model as very arrogant. It basically states that if kids can pass a test, they will be successful in the world. This is so untrue, but so easy to measure. I think that it's sad that we have sacrificed quality for convenience.

Rob and I just had a cool conversation about cell phone usage in schools. We talked about benefits and drawbacks of legalizing cell phone use in schools. Definitely an interesting idea. Access came up in the class and making sure all students have similar access to technology. That would be very difficult, and finding solutions would be an interesting challenge.

TED Talk:-Sir Ken Robinson

People are different. Education is standardized. This is why most kids don't like school. Education should be allowed to personalize the experience for each student. I love this kind of thinking. It is so refreshing as opposed tot he robotic, one-size-fits-all stuff that is forced on us. I believe in celebrating individuality. Not just for the students, but for adults as well. I have always believed that, if you want someone to do a really good job at their workplace, give them freedom to grow their job. Let them add parts that make the work more meaningful for them.


Well, one day of class down, four to go. I really enjoyed the day and i am excited to add new tools into my work. I am having a hard time deciding what to do for my final project only because I am interested in far too many of the topics. I think I'm going to focus on Web Design since that is what I am doing right now, but I feel a lot of the other topics were very intriguing. This has made me want to do some serious exploring to learn what other tools are available to me and my students for free.
The videos were inspiring and refreshing. I entered teaching with a plan to be come an art teacher. Reality settled in after I had graduated from college. There were no jobs. SO sad that the art teacher is facing extinction. I hope to be a part of the revolution that leads us back to teaching kids how to think and create.
Below I have posted the video that my students made about the closure of the Big Picture School (Terra Nova) where I worked. Enjoy. Thanks for a great class, Todd!

Oh Snap! It's a Test Post

What's up, Tech Class nerds?
Every day I be bloggin' son!
Tech's a party,
so you'd better have fun!