Meet and Greet

Image from Flickr

WOW! We had our first meet and greet of our PLN for educators in my county. It was fabulous! We had 14 strong educators there that truly love technology and want to use it more in their classroom. The ideas were flying. And the sharing was unbelievable. These teachers that have never met were sharing and asking for more information from the other teachers. It was so exciting!

We had a very diverse group from Kindergarten teachers to High School teachers to 2 Technology Facilitators. I enjoyed being about to guide the discussion, but not direct it. Everyone seemed so comfortable with one another.

One of the requests was that we all get together during the summer for a week (yes, they wanted a week!) to ‘play’ and learn from each other in a computer lab. Now remember, this is without pay and without credit. Can you imagine? I was shocked! These are truly great people!

We did set another date for a meeting to talk and share more. Hopefully, our group will grow and we can meet once a quarter next year.

I can’t wait to see what else this group does!

Until next time ~ Danita

Google Workshop

I presented a Google Applications workshop on Thursday afternoon. While I was sure that no one would come, in came 4 very diverse learners. Granted, I would have liked to have had a roomful, I will take 4 eager learners over a roomful of relucant learners anytime.

We got right into learning about the different apps when I hear “Wow! That’s cool!” and “I didn’t know Google could do that!”. This just egged me on even more. I love when you can show something new to someone who will use what you are showing them.

We explored and played and learned and grew together. I am a HUGE Google fan and one day dream of being a Google Educator and going to the training. But, until then, I will share what I know of Google and hope to hear more “Wow! That’s cool!”.

You can find my PowerPoint and presentation wiki here.

Until next time ~ Danita

Google Image From Here

PBL conference session 6

Session 6

Session 6
Roller Coasters and Energy Conservation
Jeff Milbourne – NC School of Science and Math
– Kids design roller coaster for CaroWinds
– Scaffolding activities
o 1 what makes an enjoyable roller coaster?
 Used blog to post ideas and drawings
o 2 energy skate park
 Think about new physics that is involved in roller coasters
 Can’t show motion on a board – use 3D and games and interactive
 phet in Google
o 3 energy-go-round
 Stations made from everyday objects
 Get kids to think about how energy changes
 More traditional lab activities
o 4 work/energy challenges
 Quantitative problems – go from conceptual to computational problems
o 5 human horsepower
 Run up a flight of stairs and find out your horse power
 Idea of work and power
o Web conference with each other using illuminate to collaborate and communicate with each other
o Final product
 Safety of roller coaster
 Presentation – most chose PowerPoint
 Understanding of energy
o Mini –projects
 Driver’s safety manual – motion
 Usian bolt at the Beijing Olympics – motion
 A traffic nightmare – collisions
 Bungee jumping – simple harmonic motion
 The large Hadron collider – magnetism
 Volcanism on lo – energy
o 919-416-2762

PBL conference session 5

Session 5

Session 5
Emerging PBL Part C
Matt Sears
– 21st century Student Outcomes and Support Systems
o Life and career skills
o Learning and innovation Skills
o Information, Media, and Technology Skills
o Core Subjects and 21st century Themes
 What might you find in your classroom
 Communication – present ideas
o Presentation skills
o Collaboration
o Writing & vocabulary
o Sharing
• Problem-solving/logic/reasoning skills
• Higher order thinking skills
• Researching
• Ethics
• Typing/computer application
• Punctuality
• Organizational skills
– What they tell the parents:
o Not only will your child have the same content knowledge, but also ….. to better prepare them for 21st century learning
o 5 categories that students are evaluated
 Communication skills 10%
 Work ethic 15%
 Content knowledge 60%
 Inventive thinking (hard to assess) 5%
• Problem solving/logic/reasoning skills
• Higher order thinking
• Creativity
 Technology skills 10%
– Never give a project where you grade all 5 of the above points
– State objectives on rubric
– New Technology Foundation
o Based in Napa, California
– *** Activity
o Student created group wikis on Earthquakes Around the World
 Variety of embed media
• 2 other than images
 Cite sources
 Organized
• Stay on track
• No duplication
 Easy to follow
 Communication (in History tab)
 Correct content
 Proper grammar (Communication)
 Computer skills (Likert Survey with Google Docs)
 Demonstrate that they contacted an expert outside of school
• Using Skype or Twitter or Blog & cell phone
– Technology Fair where students present what they have done throughout the year

PBL conference session 4

Session 4

Emerging PBL Part B
Lee Fleming
School Development Coach with New Technology Foundation
– General Questions – Need to know for our group:
o Midway project crash
 Greater front end planning versus end grading in regular classrooms
o Pacing guide
o Big picture too big or too small
o Content and process
o Engagement in content
 Student ownership
 Competition
 Interest surveys
• Make a list of who might need this knowledge
– Big Picture
o Identify standards you will assess
 How much time will you spend on each standard for this course?
 What objectives will you include?
o Find how your standards are used in the real world and who uses these standards
– WHO might need to have this knowledge?
o environmentalist
– WHY might they need this information?
o To identify the effects of industrialism on a developing nation
– What might this person DO with this knowledge?
o Create ways to prevent the negative effects of industrialism, share with government or people these effects
– Start:
o Planning out the year – what the most important points my students need to know at the end of the year?

PBL conference session 3

Session 3
Fredrica Nash
The Weather Report
– Entry Doc: Job advertisement for a team fresh out of meteorology school
– Posted Entry Document around the school so that students were reading the document before the project began – looked like a job application form
– Scaffolding activities
o Choose cities around the world
o Daily collection over 2 weeks
o Prediction of temperatures based on models and predictors for 5 days
o Analyze and evaluate local weather reports
o Workshop – earth’s seasons
o Activitiy atmospheric structure and energy transfer
– Final Product
o Videotaped weather report
 Groups of 2 (anchor and weather person)
 Current weather
 5 day forecast
 Use weather symbols
 “dress for the weather of their city”
o Insert some type of media into the product – commercials
– Mini-lessons on weather symbols, city locations, and other information that the individual class needed
– Can use SMART Notebook to manipulate the weather data for forecast
– Design an online briefcase of materials that the students can access instead of coming to the teacher to ask questions – videos, support documents (how-to’s), audio

PBL conference in Durham – session 1

More (and better – Kim was able to blog live during the sessions, I had to use Word and then import) notes here

Session 1
Kelley Yonce
– Science
– East Wake School of Integrated Technology
– Advocate of New Technology Foundation
– 5 steps for designing a PBL classroom
-The Buck Institute
Project Based Learning Handbook
o Things to keep in mind:
 Frustration is part of the process, being successful is dependent on how individuals handle it
 The answers top meaningful questions often lead to more questions
 There is no ONE right answer
– PBL vs. Doing Projects
o Large activities completed after the students have been pushed through homework assignments, lectures, and readings, Usually a culminating event for a unit or semester
o PBL: students are pulled through the curriculum by a driving a questions or realistic problem that provides a “need to know”. Lectures, readings, and skill building are integrated into the problem as the students need the information.
 Kids come up with 4 needs to know at the beginning – entry document
o Entry document – lecture – writing exercises – interview – writing exercises – peer edit – rubric
– The project drives the curriculum by creating a need for the students to know the content
– Students work more autonomously or real or realistic work that has high stakes
– Evaluation is made more authentic with performance based measurements and is often conducted with the help of non-teachers
– Designing units
o 1. Begin with the end in mind
 What do we want our students to know and be able to do?
• State content standards
• School wide learning outcomes
o 2. Craft the driving question
 Are provocative
 Are open-ended
 Go to the heart of a discipline or topic
 Are consistent with curricular standards and frameworks
 Are challenging
 Arise from real world situations that students find interesting
 Acts as a lighthouse to keep you, the project designer, on course
 ** Divorce Court between the Thirteen colonies and British Monarchy
o 3. Plan the assessment
 What products could demonstrate what the students have learned?
• Final products
• Sub-assignments
• Process documents
• Webquests
 Final products should….
• Require students to understand, synthesize, and apply the projects outcomes
• Exemplify project outcomes in an authentic way
• Be relevant and interesting to students
• Give students the opportunity to demonstrate and reflect on their learning
 Sub-assignments and process documents : scaffolding
 Reminder:
• PBL methodology does not exclude the use of traditional assignments like homework, journals, research, or even note taking. But, these traditional assignments should have context with the larger project. Students should see a clear connection between the assignment and the project.
o 4. Map the project
 Organize tasks and activities
 Decide how to launch the project
 Gather resources
 Draw a story board
 Entry event
• Hook the students
• Give students their role
• Lay out project or problem to be completes of solved
• Give clues for students to research and ask questions about
o 5. Manage the process
 Not too different than managing a team of employees
 Teacher’s role
• Group students appropriately
• Orient students to the goals of the project
• Organize the project daily by defining the scope of the inquiry
• Clarify everything
• Monitor and regulate student behavior
• Manage the workflow
o Team leader not the only one doing the work
• Evaluate success and reflect on learning
– 6 A’s of PBL’s
o Authenticity
o Academic rigor
o Applied learning
o Active exploration
o Adult connections
o Assessment practices
– Resources
o Midlink Magazine
o thinkQuest
o Buck institute
o George Lucas Foundation

Digesting NC TIES

NC TIES is over for another year. It always seems to go soooo quickly.

This year I had an even exceptionally good time because I got to meet so many of my Skype NC Ed Tech Chat group “friends”. I say friends in quotes, because I have never met any of these friends in real life. We have become friends through many conversations and sharing of information. I know if I need anything I can go to them and someone will help me in an instant. That, is truly a friend.

At the opening session, my head did begin to swell a bit. Vicki Davis had a wonderful keynote and even mentioned me as someone who needs to be followed in North Carolina. I know, I’m just as shocked as you! WOW! What a shout-out! (Start listening at 27:10 to get the gist of what Vicki is talking about and to hear my name. Listen to the entire presentation here. Well worth the few minutes to listen – it was great!) Well, needless to say, I was walking on clouds the remainder of the conference.

Vicki Part 2

I did live blog all the sessions I attended. Everyone did a fabulous job. I learned a lot.

I was VERY proud of my presenting partner Kim. Kim is one of the best teachers I have ever seen. She infuses so much technology seemlessly into her classroom. It’s truly amazing to see what she does with her 6th graders! Kim presented her findings from Project W.I.S.E. – Wiki Integration in Science Education. She was one of the grant winners from NC TIES last year and was invited to speak this year. Check out what Kim is doing in her classroom here.

Don Mace (another one of my Skype buddies) did a great presentation on Moodle here. Here’s the handout of the presentation. I’m definitely going to have to spend more time looking into Moodle. This might be the answer to some of our problems in our county. Don is the Moodle guru. Check out what he’s doing with his teachers. Great work, Don!

Mark Samberg and Abbey Askew had another good presentation on It’s a Jungle Out There. Mark and Abbey had some great sites they shared. I know I’ll be referring to their wiki often.

I missed several of the big hitters this year so I could check out some of the ‘regualr’ folks. It does my heart good to see what teachers are doing in their classrooms. I wanted to see some grass roots presentations. Check out all the presentations at the NC TIES Wiki. I really liked how NC TIES added the wiki with the links this year. Great idea!

I hope we can attend NC TIES again next year. I always have a great time and learn so much! But, now it’s time to rest for a bit before I start digesting and processing all the information I learned.

Until next time ~ Danita