TIES 2008 – Online Simulations and Video Games

Glenn Wiebe, ESSDACK

Saturday, Dec 6 from 12:30 – 3:30
MY Notes!

Research:
“Video games help to rewire brains”

How do we make our job essential for the survival of the student?

  • Brains search for patterns (games provide structured patterns)
  • Brains make connections best when emotional chemicals are increased. Endorphins…Non-threatening (good games make emotional connections)
  • Brains want to work with others (good games collaborative learning)

AP History – Metal of Honor (gave more emotional connection)

What are some things that make learning effective?

  • hands on
  • control the action/make choices
  • problem solving
  • active learning
  • real world application
  • student centered
  • immediate feedback
  • creativity

Glenn’s Resources

Challenges

  • Takes Time – What are you willing to give up?
  • Standards Alignment – what do you want them to learn?
  • Money – hardware, software, computer upgrades
  • Technology issues -Not enough stations, age appropriate games, apple vs. pc
  • Assessment issues – PBL rubric, participation, self eval, presentations and written work

SMART Board – Two minute tutorials

I stumbled upon this SMART Board training resource today and thought it might be helpful to new SMART Board users!  Click the link to view the 2 minute Flash videos and learn how to use the tools and different aspects of the Notebook software.  After having a small discussion about the need for our substitute teachers to have “SMART Board skills” I am thinking this might be a good start and a good site to direct them to.  Thoughts?

Smartboard

Six Important Trends to Watch

As directed by our district technology committee, I have been doing research on what it would take to implement a 1:1 computing initiative in our school.  I stumbled on America’s Digital School report and the following are the top six trends in technology and education.

  • Large-Scale 1:1 Implementations Are Alive and Well
  • Learning Management Systems Go Mainstream
  • Online Assessment Is Replacing the No. 2 Pencil
  • The Student Computing “Race to Mobility” Accelerates
  • Interactive Whiteboards Come Into Their Own
  • Awareness of the Internet Bandwidth Crisis Reveals New Concerns

I would say that currently in Byron, all of the above areas have been discussed or started to implement over the last several years.  I have begun to collect my 1:1 resources – http://delicious.com/jenhegna/1to1 and would appreciate any feedback OR useful research you have found.  I am also looking for 1:1 research regarding the infrastructure, training, and support needed to have a successful 1:1 program.

Thanks MUCH!

Library of Congress visits Byron Public Schools!

Yesterday we had the Library of Congress present a workshop during our Bears Professional Growth Academy!  Judy Graves did a great job in the morning showing us around the LOC’s website and then in the afternoon she showed us how to analyze primary sources from LOC’s American Memory website .  (THIS WAS FUN!!!)  She posted all her resources on our wiki – located here.  Did I mention she came to us via our new video conferencing room?  It is unbelievable the connections a school can make when the technology is available.    Library of Congress in Byron – WOW! 

1 down 4 to go

Today was the start of our Bears Professional Growth AcademyDoug Johnson, Blue Skunk blogger, kicked of the academy with an excellent keynote on Schools and Libraries for the Net generation.  The presentation helped our district leaders (school board, administrators, teachers, staff) understand the characteristics of the millenial generation and gave us ideas/suggestions on how to adjust our learning environments.  I hope the conversations do not stop here!  We also had AIMSweb training, Advanced SMART Board training, Technology orientation for New Teachers, Intro to PowerPoint 2007, Office 2007, Designing Research Projects that Kids (and Teachers) Love, and Getting What You Ask For: Creating Effective Assessment Tools for Projects, People and Programs.  What do you plan on doing to keep the momentum going?

Resource mentioned in Doug’s presentation – http://www.educause.edu/educatingthenetgen/5989

Free Web 2.0 training from Atomic Learning (November only)

Are you looking to learn a little more about Web 2.0 technology. This month Atomic Learning is providing free training on Web 2.0 on their website. This training was developed by Cool Cat Teacher Blog creator Viki Davis.

Click Web 2.0 workshop and participate and learn:

  • Web 2.0 terminology
  • Blog basics (like what it is, how to read a blog, how to comment, how to find a license)
  • Wiki basics (what is a wiki, parts of a wiki)
  • Podcast basics (what is a podcast, how to listen to a podcast)
  • Webcast Basics (how to listen to a webcast)
  • Social Networking Basics (how to navigate them)
  • Tags and Tag Clouds – Uses of tags
  • How to set up an RSS Reader (using Netvibes) — this is important
  • How to communicate with a group using Netvibes

Truly a Grin and BEAR (with) “I.T.” day!

Today was the first day of workshops during our week long Bears Professional Growth Academy. We really had a great “round 1” of sessions. In our opening (virtual) keynote, “Preparing students for the new economy – A candid discussion about education in the 21st century”, Dr. Scott McLeod provided us with an impressive overview of where public education is heading (or as the research shows – not heading). My wheels are turning and the message was pretty clear – crystal that is. My next steps – get the word out, share, collaborate, discuss and most of all get the ball rolling! Stay tuned, you will be inundated with the message!

After the keynote, our staff learned how to use our new online computer/technology training system – Infosource. Through an E2T2 grant with the South East Service Coop, our access to this learning management system will help accomplish one common goal between all of our districts – Develop expanded 24/7 educational opportunities for teachers and staff. (How 21st century is that???)

My afternoon session, “Podcasting in the Classroom”, was also well received. Even though this technology is new to Byron teachers, I believe podcasting (whether subscribing to content or creating your own) will provide an extra resource to our classrooms and community.

I have to admit, I am very empowered by Byron staff. They are an extremely talented group! Some may feel a little apprehensive about the “tech stuff” – but for those leaders (yes you are all leaders in my eyes) to walk through my door is a giant step in the right direction!