PLNs: Teachers & Social Media For the past 4 years, I have researched the what, who, how, and why of Personal/Professional/ Passionate Learning Networks (PLNs). We have seen the benefits of the people we choose to connect, collaborate, and problem solve with through social media. The educators, subject matter experts (SMEs), authors, and mentors we choose to derive knowledge from help us self-reflect on our methodologies and beliefs. They support us, remember our birthdays, celebrate our accomplishments, and stir within us a passion to improve the status quo. Within one year of connecting with a PLN, I jump started many projects at my school and in the past 5 years I’ve organized many free incredible professional development events with the help of my PLN.
Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones, and BYOT Every day, people around the world communicate, connect, and learn digitally on the go. Our students spend hours with their devices and digital tools. Imagine if some of that time was spent learning your content. Imagine your students learning by creating, playing, translating, editing, curating, researching, and brainstorming digitally on cell phones, mobile devices, laptops, tablets, iPads, Chromebooks, and consoles. Learning to Go is a collection of lesson plans, resources, handouts, and tips for teachers wishing to incorporate mobile devices, cell phones or BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) into their teaching.
Some Cool Keyboard Tricks That Few People Know About We have become so addicted to the mouse that we do not realize how much it disrupts our work as we keep reaching out for it. And just how annoying does it become when your mouse is unresponsive, gets stuck or you trip it over as you try to quickly get a hold of it. The keyboard on the other hand is far more powerful than we realize. And don’t we have our hands all over it anyways? There are a few cool keyboard tricks that can help you save time and make you more productive. Lesson Planning I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. – Socrates Lesson planning is stressful and time-consuming, but is important in giving us an action plan for the entire school year. The way we design our curriculums and the activities we use will determine how successful our learners will be in grasping new knowledge. Lesson design and planning is important. We have our often mandated objectives as the seeds of our curriculum. They act as the vision, goals, and foundation.
Mobile Devices Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.- John Holt I believe mobile devices transform learning when integrated effectively. Our students have powerful devices that they can carry in their pockets. With their devices students can capture images, make videos, record audio, access the Internet, and so much more! These tools will work without Internet access. Teaching Kids Looking forward to connecting with you! Feel free to share these resources. Thank you for leaving your digital footprint! Check out other worldwide digital footprints. Classroom Management “We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how.” ~ Anonymous If we start the learning journey well with our learners then we can look forward to what the year ahead will bring. However, we must show our learners how to act in order to have a successful journey. How our learners approach that journey- their attitudes and behaviors- will determine if they end the journey better individuals than they were before they entered our classrooms. Even though classroom management isn’t adequately taught in most teacher development programs, I think it is one of the most important skills for a teacher.
Survival Tips for Teaching with Technology “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” ~ Bill Gates I have been integrating technology with students since 1997. I remember some of the first technologies I used with students were a TV/VCR, cassette recorders, cameras, polaroids, large video cameras, large desktop computers, microscopes, telescopes, the Internet, a transparency projector, and a video projector. Now I use iPads, mobile phones, iPods, digital cameras, and still the Internet. Citizenship “The most exciting breakthroughs of the 21st century will not occur because of technology but because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human.” – John Naisbitt A thousand years ago, books were accessible to a select few who were part of the top social and economic class, often one ethnicity, and profession. As technology develops so does access and now our learners are so blessed to be able to access knowledge from scientists, astronauts, producers, artists, Ted speakers, CEOs, fashion designers, musicians, and any expert in any profession by just carrying a connected digital device in their pockets. Wow! Sadly, our students do not feel their privilege or byte size potential. Not only do they have access but they have the power of reach.
Digital Storytelling “It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.” ~ Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind Throughout history, people have learned through stories. Teaching Tips I have been teaching since 1994 in Texas, Germany, Greece, and many other places worldwide. This means I’ve often met new learners of various ages (from 2 to 80 years-old) in various classroom settings and situations. I don’t think I will ever get comfortable with meeting new learners, because each year my learners come with new challenges and personalities. About 5 years ago, I fooled myself into believing I was a pro with facing new learners. I was in Germany, teaching about 20 children between the ages of six- to seven-years-old who spoke and understood very little English. On the first day, I received a less than warm welcome.
Game based learning & Gamification Lots people want to get started with game based learning, gamification and serious games in their training. We’ve been curating game related content for over a year and a half while conducting our own research and case studies. Here are 100 articles related to games and learning. Some of them are research-based, while others just offer an interesting perspective to spark discussion. Take what you need and share this with a colleague. Game Based Learning Mobile Games for Adult Learning: What’s the Appeal? Play dough ● Imagination Box is an incredible creativity app that allows children to draw, color, sculpt, and make anything they want - Best Apps for Kids ● offers hours of fun, unlimited replay value and a an impressive number of tools that will sparks your kids imagination and creativity! - Fun Educational Apps ● absolutely a great art/creativity app suitable for preschoolers and early elementary schoolers - Real Kids Apps ● one of the “Best Creativity Apps for Kids of 2013″ according to Top Kids Apps Give your child endless possibilities for educational and open-ended creative play that will bring a huge smile to their face with Imagination Box! Every child loves play dough, but no one enjoys cleaning up the mess. This application takes care of that problem, and does so much more! This lite version of Imagination Box is a great “Try Before You Buy” option!
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