Thing #16 I admit it I am a collector.

I must admit, that I am only a collector.  I have been collecting things for years, and have done very little to put them into meaningful order.

I justify that I am a collector because my interest are all over the place – I teach math, I also work in IT both at end user support and system management, and because I have been in education for 25 years, I gather information for other teachers in all disciplines.  With all those interest, my collection gets large quickly.

So my goal is to begin curating my information as I gather it.  I use evernote for most of my storage of ideas work.  I recently began tagging notes as I place them there, so I have taken the first step to curating.  It is a process, and I will continue to work at it.

Thing #15 Diigo

I like the idea of all of my bookmarks in one location.  I think that Diigo is a way to organize all of the information that you are exposed to on the web for easy access from any device.  I like the idea that you can easily share that information out with others.

For me, this provides another way to gather information and catalog it for later use.  I am happy with my present system, but it is nice to see alternatives in the event that my present system does not meet my needs.

Thing #14 Feedly

I have been viewing rss feeds for quite a while and they are one of the reasons that I am as passionate about education as I am.  I think that education can potentially be radically changed by the use of technology.  One of the things that I see having to have an impact is in the are of “education free for all”  There are a growing number of universities and colleges that are incorporating this into their programs now.  I see this as an opportunity for those that want an education to get it without as much expense.  The questions that it raises for me are

When will this begin to affect Secondary schools as well?

When will business and industry begin to accept proof of learning in an online environment as being equal with a college degree?

Thing #14 Networks

Without a doubt, Social networking like twitter, facebook, linkedin, and classroom2.0 are my main source of gorwing and learning.  Often these sites give me little snippets of information that peak my interest and cause me to dig deeper.  I think that as educators, we should model this behavior to our students and let them see that this is a way to learn that does not require sitting through a class, or following exactly what someone else says is important.

Students are often given credit for knowing more technology than we do.  What I have found is that they know more about the technology the way that they want to use it than we do, but often do not know some valuable ways it can help their education.  As educators, we can show them those ways, which will likely engage them more in learning and help them in the future.

Thing #12 Creating a digital story slide show

My digital story slide show is about a recent vacation.  Now that I have done this, I see how it could be used in some classes well!

My Favorite Vacation on PhotoPeach

 

Disney http://www.flickr.com/photos/wickedboy007/4214023013/ aziem hassan

Disney World Day 3 – The Animal Kingdom Parade http://www.flickr.com/photos/eoghann/5052813990/ Eoghann Irving

Disney World Day 3 – The Animal Kingdom Parade http://www.flickr.com/photos/eoghann/5052182349/ Eoghann Irving

Disney’s (Main Street) Electrical Parade http://www.flickr.com/photos/tombricker/5961482542/ Tom Bricker

Disney’s Magic Kingdom 143 http://www.flickr.com/photos/m-i-k-e/7005592314/ Michael Kappel

Thing #13 Anytime Anywhere PD

Professional Development  in a group setting is not optimal in my opinion.  Seldom does one topic apply to all subject areas. Time together can be utilized better than a “sit n get” session.  (Now why do we think students want to learn that way, but that is another topic.)

I watched the session Creating Learning Experiences without the Textbook.  I liked many of the ideas that they discussed about using video to introduce or teach lessons, have students create video to demonstrate understanding, and using online resources.

Online PD has the potential to help students become better in their weak areas and allow them to do it at their own time.  Most of the PD I do now is in this format.

Thing #10 Creative Commons and Copyright

This topic is important but very confusing to me.  I think that most people do not think  about copyright when it comes to the internet.

With all of the information so easily available on the internet, finding resources for education has gotten far easier.  Many teachers can now approach their classes without the need for a textbook at all and simply use resources from the internet.  This raises so many questions for me that I do not have answers to.

Is it ok to use the material?  I do not look on most sites and videos for copyright.  Many sites have free resources to download such as www.kutasoftware.com.  At the bottom of their homepage, it states Copyright  All Rights reserved.  If you download a worksheet such as this one, it does not have the copyright statement on it.  SO is it ok to use this sheet.

Copying images vs linking to them?  From our reading, I understand that just because the image is listed in google, does not give the right to download it.  Can I embed the image on my page?  As a teacher, is there a way for me to determine if an image a student includes in a project is copyrighted or not?

Ownership.  As I have created information for my moodle courses, I do not know who owns the material.  I went as far as contacting a PAGE attorney, who stated that their is no clear definition of whether the school or teacher owns the material.  Do they have joint ownership.  This may not seem like a big deal, until you look at some online courses. If a teacher creates lectures, assignments, projects, etc in a format that is easy for students to be engaged and learn without much teacher interaction other than motivation and accountability  how long before a school tries to create a new revenue stream by offering that course online?  Could teachers become contract workers (ie.  I teach the same class in an online environment for many different schools.)  I do not think that content is at that point now, but I think that we are very close to having that ability in some areas.

I want a clearer understanding of this topic, but I am inclined to believe it is very difficult to gain a clear understanding.

Thing #8

Wikis are a tool that I have thought of as useful in other disciplines, but not math.  I have viewed wikis in disciplines such as English and History.  Wikis seemed like logical tools to use in these areas.

I was excited to see this math wiki.  I like how the teacher used it as a way for students to summarize their learning and also be able to share what they have learned with others.  I see it as a good way to allow students to study for a major assessment and I plan to break may class into small groups and let them do something similar this year.  I plan to have students read and comment on one another’s entries, post questions for clarification like Cool Cat teacher described.  I think that this will help all students to prepare, and give me a clear picture of what they think is important.  If they leave out some important pieces, I can know that before the assessment and bring it to their attention.

Thing #7 Web Tools

Some of the tools that I have researched are not on the list provided in Thing 7.  As a school, we implemented a 1:1 iPad program last year, and have looked and I am looking for tools that work with the iPad.  Dropbox is a great tool for the iPad.  It gives users the ability to access files on both the iPad and computers as well as share documents with one another.  The sharing is not as easy as some other services, but it is capable.

A notetaking app that I use and require students to have called Notability.  This is an app on the iPad, but it allow students to annotate pdf files, take notes freehand or typing, create folders and tags for each note, and record audio along with the notetaking.  Photos can be taken and inserted into a note as well.  I find it very valuable because as a math teacher, I can now send students a set of problems or notes and  they can annotate and send back to me or annotate and file away.  At the end of the year, when we were reviewing for the AP exam, a student had a question about a definition from September. In a matter of seconds she found the notes from that day and found the needed info. She could also share that info with other classmates via email quickly.  Notability also syncs with Dropbox, so students can have access to these files on a PC or MAC.

An app that is also a website that I have used some and plan to have students use next year is EduCreations.  This is a whiteboard app.  I use it by taking a problem and create a short video on how to solve that problem.  I have had students send me  a photo of a problem that they are trying to solve but are stuck.  I can put that photo into educreations, and create a quick video like this that they can watch and now how to solve the problem, or I can point out their mistakes or give a hint so that they can complete the problem.  This app allows students to get help when they want to learn and not have to wait until tomorrow.   There are many other whiteboard apps with similar features, but this one is very simple to use.  This year I plan to have students create videos to turn in.  I think that instead of having a student work 15 problems tonight (or copy from someone else),  they work 1-2 problems and explain each step as they go using correct mathematical language. I can get a better understanding of their level of knowledge and provide them more accurate feedback.

It is very easy to get excited about the “Bling” of technology.  I try to focus my thoughts first on what is it that I want to accomplish educationally.  Do I need to get more accomplished in class?  Do students need more individualized help?  How can I grade all of these papers when some only need marking right or wrong?  How can I help student be more organized? How can I keep students engaged?.  Once I decide what I need to accomplish educationally, then I look for technology that will help me accomplish that.  Web 2.0 tools help immensely.