What Comes First: the Curriculum or the Technology? It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when handing a student a calculator to work through algebraic equations caused many teachers and parents great consternation. It makes you wonder what type of pushback the creators of the abacus faced! In both cases, while the tools students were using may have been more advanced than previous generations’, the goal remained the same – to enhance classroom learning. But before moving forward with technology integration, every school must first have a great, robust and adaptable academic curriculum. Only then can you begin to find ways in which technology can help to elevate it. It’s important to never force fit technology – if it’s not supplementing what’s already happening in the classroom or a teacher’s goals for the school year, the addition will become more of a barrier to learning than a catalyst. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons by Brad Flickinger A Few Questions to Consider Think Curriculum Enhancements, Not Technology Implementations
Assistive Technology Information 10 Good Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms Add-ons for Teachers This afternoon I was asked if I could put together a list of my favorite Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms Add-ons. In the past I had put together lists of Sheets scripts, but most of those lists are outdated as Add-ons have mostly replaced scripts. Here's my updated list of my favorite Google Docs, Sheets and Forms Add-ons. Google Docs Add-ons: The Tag Cloud Generator Add-on will create a word cloud in the right-hand margin of any of your Google Documents that contain more than one hundred words. One of the most useful Add-ons for Google Documents is the EasyBib Bibliography Creator. Knowing the right keyboard shortcuts to type the accents and characters is one of the challenges that students face when learning and trying to type in a new language. g(Math) is an Add-on for Google Docs that enables you to easily insert graphs and equations into your Google Documents. Google Forms Add-ons:FormLimiter is one of my favorite Forms Add-ons.
UDL Examples and Resources Disclaimer: The examples and resources highlighted on these pages have been gathered for educational purposes. CAST does not necessarily endorse the products listed, nor does their inclusion here mean that these products are complete expressions of the UDL principles and guidelines. They may illustrate certain principles and not others. Below, you will find teacher-friendly examples and resources that illustrate each of the UDL checkpoints. Exploring these examples and resources not only helps to clarify what is meant by each of the checkpoints but also gives teachers ideas of ways to implement UDL in their classrooms. These lists are meant to be a sampling of the different examples and resources that are available. We're on Diigo! Want to search our examples and resources? Never used Diigo before? Principle I. Principle II. Principle III.
The Real Benefit of Using Google Sheets Add-ons Like Flubaroo and Goobric On Friday evening I posted a list of my ten favorite Google Sheets, Docs, and Forms Add-ons. A point that I should have made at the start of that post is that the biggest benefit of many Add-ons is that they save teachers time. For the most part Add-ons won't change the way you teach, but they can streamline some processes for you. Take that time savings and use it on the things that make teaching fun like having more conversations with students. Or take that time savings to reduce your personal stress level and go fishing, play with your kids, let your mind wander, or do whatever it is you like to do when you relax. We often talk about the need for balance between professional and personal lives. Here's an example of this from my life. Another example of an Add-on that can save teachers a ton of time is found in Doctopus and Goobric.
Encouraging Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in your service - CareforKids.com.au ® Encouraging Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in your service In a proudly multicultural society such as our own it is very important that child care providers have the resources, skills and knowledge necessary to help children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including indigenous backgrounds, settle into a care environment. Ensuring your centre is well equipped to handle applications from families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and designing orientation programs designed to help these children ease into their new care arrangement will help you build a strong relationship with the children and their families. Employing a range of strategies designed to encourage awareness and understanding of cultural and linguistic diversity among the other children and families in your service will further enhance the experience for the new families and will foster a wider appreciation of the value of difference. Children's Services Central NSW
e-Learning Accessibility & Usability | SSB BART Group SSB BART Group by Aina Irbe, Training Manager After 18 years in the field of e-Learning and as a doctoral learner in instructional design and online learning, I am intrigued by the intersection of usability and accessibility in the many delivery options offered by the online learning environment. Many terms define and describe the online delivery environments, and as these options expand the audiences and learners also grow more diverse. The downside to the exponential growth of e-Learning is that the more e-Learning expands around the world, the more disparate the usability and accessibility becomes, leading to more incongruent learner experiences. I mean, how many of us have been to websites that just don’t work well? Usability and accessibility do somewhat overlap, but have very different impacts on the learner. Yates (2005) emphasizes that usability and accessibility are not one and the same; a website might be useable, but not accessible (p.182), or vice versa. Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (2002).
Math Gal Standards of Mathematical Practice 3: Grades K-2 Posted on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 The third Standard of Mathematical Practice is to “construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.” From my personal experience, I think that students find this to be extremely difficult. Most students have never had to engage in any sort of real mathematical discourse. Young students are naturals when it comes to talking, which helps when focusing on developing this habit. The ability to critique the reasoning of others can also be difficult to develop appropriately. There is an art to critiquing the reasoning of others. The ability to engage in mathematical discourse is not easy. Here is a list a questions to ask your students! What mathematical evidence would support your solution? How can we be sure that...? What were you considering when...? How did you decide to try that strategy? How did you test whether your approach worked? How did you decide what the problem was asking you to find? - Basi
It's Time to Make Learning Fun Again . . . Even for Adults One of the things I've struggled with during my tenure in education is how professional development is done in schools, especially around integration of technology. PD is already confined to a couple of weeks in the summer, but then throw on top of that the "sit-and-get" style in which we teach our content, and you can see why most teachers would rather surf Pinterest than learn during these sessions. We preach how "student-centered" we want the classroom to be, yet we spend hours talking at teachers and call this "professional learning." While this isn't unique to technology, I've found that a vast majority of technology training spends 90 percent of our time teaching us about tools, and 10 percent discussing how we could use these tools in the classroom (usually at the end of the workshop, when we are all exhausted). The APPmazing Race One of the finalists for the APPmazing Race. The Interactive Learning Challenge "Learning by doing" is not a new concept by any stretch.
From Fish to Infinity I have a friend who gets a tremendous kick out of science, even though he’s an artist. Whenever we get together all he wants to do is chat about the latest thing in evolution or quantum mechanics. But when it comes to math, he feels at sea, and it saddens him. The strange symbols keep him out. He says he doesn’t even know how to pronounce them. In fact, his alienation runs a lot deeper. Crazy as it sounds, over the next several weeks I’m going to try to do something close to that. So, let’s begin with pre-school. The best introduction to numbers I’ve ever seen — the clearest and funniest explanation of what they are and why we need them — appears in a “Sesame Street” video called “123 Count With Me.” Children learn from this that numbers are wonderful shortcuts. As adults, however, we might notice a potential downside to numbers. Viewed in this light, numbers start to seem a bit mysterious. The creative process here is the same as the one that gave us numbers in the first place. Notes: