Thursday, May 30, 2013


In an earlier post, I mentioned students creating infographics.  In case that's an unfamiliar term, or you're not sure what students might do with infographics, here are some wonderful examples from Stan & Emily's sophomores.  They were charged with creating infographics about the impact of cotton on the early US.  Caitlin's is shown below and here are some more.

Summer Opportunities for Teachers

Here are a few opportunities I've noticed for developing tech integration ideas this summer:

RETN is offering a course on harnessing the power of digital video in the classroom (this appeared in the latest Field Memo for the VT Agency of Ed).

Google is offering a free on-line course on Google Earth and Google Maps.  It starts June 10th (during exams, unfortunately), but it's self-paced, so you can probably jump in when ready.  It goes until June 24th.  There are lots of great uses of Google Maps/Earth in the classroom.  Here's one example from CVU (look at #2).

Know of others that you want to share?  The easiest way to comment is to select "Name/URL" where it says "Comment As:".  Then just enter your name (a URL is not necessary).

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dynamic Landscapes 2013

This past Thursday and Friday, I attended the Dynamic Landscapes conference at Champlain College.  Lots of great learning and sharing!  Here are some take-aways.

In Thursday’s Keynote, Pamela Moran and Ira David Socol argued that “cognitive authority no longer resides in publishing brands and academic credentials, but in value to, and usability by, society” and addressed the questions, “How do we build the capacity - across faculty and leadership - for the rapid, significant change needed by our students now? What must all of us do, starting now and working continuously, to create a culture of learning innovation?”

My (pretty random) notes:
  • We are no longer in the “Gutenberg era.”

  • We need settlers, not just pioneers (westward expansion metaphor for innovation).  Not enough to have a few teachers out there innovating-- it’s the ones who follow their lead that make the difference.

  • There’s an Inverse relationship between countries that do great on math tests and their ability to invent/create.  

  • If kids are uncomfortable, they are paying attention to uncomfortableness. If chairs are uncomfortable, you start paying attention to that.  

  • There are no standard problems with standard solutions today.

  • Skills students need are: Search, connect, communicate, collaborate, make viable solutions.

  • Kids need:
    • natural light
    • fresh air
    • large muscle movement
    • ability to figure out ways to access info and communicate.

I next attended a session on the Learning Commons at Mt. Abraham Union HS.  They are working to change their library’s physical space to make it most conducive to learning.
In Challenging the Model of 1-to-1, Amanda Paquette & Nichole Villieux (from the Hartford schools), described how each (5th and 6th grade) classroom was given a mix of technology tools so that students could choose which tool works best for which purpose. Teams chose a combination of mobile devices and worked with the Tech Integrationist to prepare.
The rationale: Push people to do something different. Force differentiation.  Choose the right technology for what they were trying to do..

The teacher said that students often wanted to go to iPads first but learned that this was not always the best approach.  They had to make decisions.  Why did you choose that device?  e.g. use iPod Touch for voice recording.  Students are more engaged.

The teacher also emphasized that it’s OK to make mistakes and learn together.

For the last session on Thursday, I attended Shannon McCauley’s workshop on infographics.  Shannon is a social studies and English teacher at Mt. Mansfield UHS.  She described how she has students create infographics to present a point of view, using a choice of tools.   If you are not familiar with infographics, I will be writing a separate post on these soon.

Friday’s keynote speaker was Steve Hargadon, who spoke eloquently about how technology and social networks are transforming culture and learning.  

I attended a session on students coding video games, which was offered by VTVLC.

Google Apps. Lucie deLaBruere is an amazing tech integrator and she shared her expertise on using mobile devices (iPads).  One take-away from this session was the importance of checking out how an app shares data when choosing an app to use.  For example, can the app export to Google Drive-- or elsewhere in the cloud?

My last session was called Dipping Our Toes in the Internet2 Pool. This was a discussion to SEGP and the types of learning opportunities that it affords.  Many of the resources shared do not require Internet 2.  The one that I liked the best was the National Archives, which makes all kinds of documents available digitally.

Finally, the closing on Friday featured a group of 5th and 6th grades from Moretown who are just embarking on a 1-to-1 netbook initiative.  The students talked about the types of activities they do with their computers and the impact they’ve had on learning.

As always, the conference was an inspiration.  I hope you will consider an educational technology conference next year-- see me for ideas!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Screen capture and screencasting on a Mac

After some recent posts about capturing images of your screen in Windows, I realized that you Mac users might want to do the same, so...

For the many students and teachers at CVU who use Mac computers, you can also take a picture of your screen (called screen capture) and/or record video of your screen (aka screencasting).

Here's how:

1. To take a snapshot of your screen, press Command-Shift-4.  Then drag a box around the part of the screen you want to capture.  Or use Command-Shift-3 to capture the entire screen.

2. Another method for capturing screen shots on the Mac is by using the utility called Grab, located in the Applications > Utilities folder.

3. To take video of your screen (useful to demonstrate something), you can use QuickTime. Open QuickTime player, then choose New Screen Recording from the File menu. You can now record your screen while you narrate, if desired. The result can be sent right to iMovie for editing, if needed.