Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I am boring.  

Despite the fact that I have years of experience teaching in classrooms across Ontario...despite the fact that I am an 'Educational Technology Specialist'...and despite the fact that I am up-to-date on the most recent pre-teen trends in music and fashion...I am boring.  

My students don't come to my Computer Lab each week hoping to hear my deepest thoughts on the newest technology-focused educational paradigms - they come to my Lab (they come to OUR LAB) to communicate with each other.  

They come to work with tablet and desktop computers to help them communicate with their peers at our school and around the world.  

With this in mind, I have created my first web tutorial.  I have spent three hours at home creating a three-minute video that MINIMIZES my talk-time in front of my Grade One and Grade Two classes - so that they can spend as much time possible working and sharing with their friends while they're in the Lab.

When Grade One and Two students come to the Lab
  • They'll watch the short video tutorial I made.  
  • They'll work on the project I've assigned during the tutorial.  
  • They'll have the opportunity to view and review the tutorial during their work period to make sure they're on track.  
  • They'll share their work - what they're proud of, and what they could have done better.
  • They'll share what they liked and what they didn't like about the instructional period.

Let's see if this format is an effective means of instruction.  My goal is to make video tutorials so concise and so useful that my students have almost no questions as to what they should do during their work period - so that they can get down to the business of sharing and learning as soon as possible.

As my students work, I'll circulate to provide one-on-one instruction.  My ultimate goal is for my Grade One and Two students to create their own tutorials to teach their peers how to perform basic tasks in the Lab (e.g. - how to print a document, how to search for a particular website, etc).

More to follow.  In the meanwhile, here's my first video tutorial for Grade One and Two students...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rose and Regent/Duke of Kent iPad Teacher Training Feedback

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Technology and Health Mini Unit

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Students as Film Makers

Our class has always hosted a great collection of excellent Teacher Candidates.  Every year, between two and five student teachers from one of the Faculties of Education in Ontario, Canada come and share a little piece of their lived experience with us.  It's wonderful.  I could preach the benefits of hosting student teachers all day long:  They enable students to see adults as learners; they provide an alternate type of role model to children who don't necessarily connect with their regular classroom teacher; they offer fresh perspective.  

Today is the last day for one of our favorite student teachers.   In appreciation, my students filmed some stuff and I edited it together.  Since I had nothing to do with the filming (and didn't even see the kid's work until I was editing), I was surprised to see the unique perspectives and insights of some of the class members.  The kids spoke to the camera with brilliant honesty - devoid of the typical power dynamic that exists between teacher and student.  There's something to this.  The gears in my head are turning.  I'm sure I'll post more about video in the classroom, but for now here's our most recent creation...