Tag Archives: Catamount

Larry Cuban on Teaching Literature Using Technology

Recently I came across an article in a blog post by Larry Cuban in “Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice”.  He had the opportunity to observe a 7th-grade teacher, John DiCosmo, as he conducted a class on John Steinbeck’s “The Pearl”.  John began the class by using a back channel called Padlet. He elicited responses from his students to the following questions:  “What would you do if you found a treasure of millions, in cash, free and clear? How would your life change?”  A back channel is net-worked or online chat software that allows participants in a classroom or workshop to carry on a secondary chat exchange while the primary instructor conducts the discussion.  In this case, the students respond to the question anonymously as a stimulus for conversation.  The question is a very appropriate way to start talking about the “The Pearl” as the novella is about the ramifications of the discovery of a potentially very valuable pearl.  The student posts can be projected on a white board or smart board.  They can also be mirrored onto a TV using a tool such as Apple TV.  This article is about a 7th-grade classroom but the back channel technique could be used on other levels as well.  Padlet allows the student to write a response and they can drag in images, videos, and other files.   Mr. DiCosmo also created a video book trailer using fellow staff members to play the primary characters from the book.  What a fun way to show the students what would be expected when they make their own book trailers!

Other back channel possibilities are Twitter,  TodaysMeet, and Socrative.   I have used TodaysMeet in a number of workshops both as a participant and as an instructor.  It is very easy to use.  Whichever software you choose, back channels are a great way to elicit real-time responses from your students.  It can be particularly effective with students who might be reticent to speak in class

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

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10 Essential Characteristics of A 21st Century Educator by George Couros

Sometime I run into an article that says what’s on my mind better than I could ever say it.  “10 Essential Characteristic of a 21st Century Educator” is just such an article.  I especially like George Couros’ observation that “It is not technology that has the biggest influence on what we do; it is the speed of change being thrust upon us.”  Mr Couros, the author of “The Innovator’s Mindset” goes on to list ten characteristics that he considers crucial for 21st Century educators.  They are relationship builder, learner, inclusive, reflective, networked, innovator, leader, storyteller, designer, artist. “10 Essential Characteristics of a 21st Century Educator”  This article is worth reading.  Definitely food for thought.

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The New 2016 ISTE Student Standards

These are the 2016 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards.  The older standards included ways that students could demonstrate how they could use technology.  The new standards recognize that technology has revolutionized how we acquire, process and communicate knowledge.  Specifically, they reflect how technology can empower learning,  the acquisition of knowledge, innovation, the thinking process, communication  and collaboration.  Technology is redefining how we learn, what we learn and how we use what we learn.  The new standards reflect the reality that the digital age has truly provided us with the means  to do things we couldn’t do before.  Along with the power of digital tools comes the responsibility to critically evaluate data as well as to use it effectively and conscientiously.  While our students may be digital natives, most have not learned how to really use technology to empower their learning and their ability to communicate and collaborate. The new standards recognize the need to help our students reach their greatest potential given the truly awesome tools available to all of us.

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Science Journal

The Science Journal is part of the Google initiative to promote Making and Science.  I have added this app to my Android phone.  It looks like it will be fun to measure aspects of the environment.

The Science Journal app allows you to gather data from the world around you. It uses sensors to measure your environment, like light and sound, so you can graph your data, record your experiments, and organize your questions and ideas.

Free eBooks on Zing

Zing offers thousands of free eBooks.  You can create your own eBook library, create classes and assign books to specific students.  Books are leveled according to reading skill and as well as recommending what would be of interest to different students depending on their grade. When I signed up, I had to use our sau.org domain rather than govwentworth.

 

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Link to the Trailer of My New Book “Murder At Stillwater Lodge

Here is the link to the trailer for my new book “Murder At Stillwater Lodge“.

 

Here is the trailer for “Catamount, North Country Thriller” 

 

Take some time off and take advantage of these great summer reads.

20 Chrome Apps Every Teacher Should Know About And An Interesting Article On Narrative Writing Across All Content Areas

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning have created a list of 22 Google Chrome Apps that are useful for education. The list is not exhaustive but I have found most of these to be useful.

Here is another article that is  interesting look at Argument Writing across Content Areas by Heather Wolpert-Gawron. I  am reading Minds Made For Stories by UNH English Professor by Thomas Newkirk. Professor Newkirk challenges the idea that narrative writing and informational writing are different.  He maintains that narrative storytelling is, in his own words, the Mother of all Modes” of discourse.  Both Wolpert-Gawon’s and Newkirk’s arguments are very compelling and should be considered as the Common Core calls for more emphasis on information reading and writing.

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Create Your Own Storybook from mystorybook.com

This looks like a neat story book creating site that would be great for language students as well as younger students.

My Story Book

 

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Murder at Stillwater Lodge

Official Announcement for my new novel “Murder At Stillwater Lodge”

This is the official announcement for my new novel “Murder At Stillwater Lodge”

Murder at Stillwater Lodge

Google Search Education

Google Search Education provides Common Core aligned lesson plans for beginner, intermediate, and  advanced Google Search users.  Learning how to interpret and refine searches may well be one of the most important skills that we can master in the 21st Century.  This is the link to the the homepage with very interesting links to multiple resources on Google Searches.     Homepage

 

Check out the “Live Training Videos”.  I found the video on “Believe it or not: Authority and credibility of sources on the web”  particular interesting.  The video “Creative Commons” is critical as everyone should by using creative searches in order to respect copyright  laws.

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