Friday, February 27, 2009

Proud as a Peacock

I received an email last week from Ms. Branom. She is the Library Information Specialist for our District. Much to my delight, she asked if my "Qatar" students (that is, my students who participated in the Flat Classroom Conference) would make a presentation about their involvement in the Flat Classroom Project and Conference to the District Curriculum and Instruction Team.

Wow! What an opportunity! The students (Karla, Steve, and Erika) began brainstorming on how they would create a presentation...then...it hit them...POW!!! (or something like that)...why not utilize what they had learned from Frank Guttler at the conference?? Make a video that would chronicle their walk through the project, the conference, and their reflections!!!

So...they began...they first drew a storyboard. Then they did some video tape, chose some pictures, made some stills...awesome!

Since my computer is the only one with any post-production software on it :-(, I helped them post-produce the video. I must say they did pretty well...and...the C & I Team loved it. The best part though was how well the students fielded questions from the Team Members. They were asked for their input on project-based learning, the changing role of the teacher, and the implementation of different technologies in the classroom.

The students let the Team members know that they are (by default) multi-taskers and they would like to see more classrooms utilize that strength. They advocate laptops for all students and they conveyed how much they like using the back-channel in my class.

Take a look at their video and let me know what you think...I'm proud!!

video

Monday, February 9, 2009

Score 1 More for Technology in the Classroom

I stayed home from work today...the flu...

I felt just awful, but I really needed to meet with my Business Education Independent Study class. Today begins their trek into a Junior Achievement Titan competition and they needed to made their first round of business decisions...how can we do that when they are there and I am here? Enter technology...

...I set up a private chat room for us via Chatzy last week so that we could communicate and record our ideas during class I discovered Chatzy while attending the Flat Classroom Conference in Doha, Qatar last month--thanks Julie and Vicki!!. Since I can save text files of the chat room for later reference, we can recall our recorded chats as needed to make decisions for the JA Titan competition. Pretty cool, huh?

I called the substitute and told her what I wanted to do. With her support...well, having access to Chatzy helped make a difficult situation much easier. I was home...they were in class...We all logged into the room and began our chat. We exchanged ideas, scenarios, consequences, etc. Via the chat, the students made informed decisions for their competition.

Once again...I was able to utilize technology to be a 'guide on the side' rather than a 'sage on the stage' in my classroom...man, I love technology!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Favorite Superbowl Commercial

Every year there's that one Super Bowl commercial that rises above the others. This commercial does just that...

My Favorite Super Bowl Commercial...this one really spoke to me. It works on several different levels...has a broad target base, yet is personal (and I'm not even a Pepsi fan).