Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rewards of Role Reversal: Teachers Learn, Students Teach

I wanted to share an interesting article that I found on MindShift written by Audrey Watters. Can students really teach teachers on how to use educational technology? Is it true that schools often find that they’ve invested heavily in education technology only to see those tools unused or that classroom instruction has remained unchanged?

As the article, "Rewards of Role Reversal: Teachers Learn, Students Teach" states:
That was one of the realizations of the Oak Hills Local School District (OHLSD), a tech-friendly district in Cincinnati, Ohio. Even though the district had adopted an “anywhere, anytime, any device” policy, school officials found that technology simply wasn’t being used all that frequently in the classroom. It was clear that a different level of support was necessary, beyond typical professional development.

So the district devised a program to help teachers and students take full advantage of the tech resources by turning to an under-utilized but incredibly valuable resource: its students.

Tracy Pirkle, OHLSD’s director of curriculum and e-learning, created a pilot program last year called eKIDS (eLearning Kids in Demand) that turned a handful of seventh-graders at each of the district’s middle schools into “e-learning consultants.”

Now, these consultant/students are equipped with computers and software that they use both at school and at home.

The positive response to the pilot program has prompted the district to expand it this year to both the elementary and high school level. There are now 10 eKIDS at every grade level from 4 through 12 at every one of the district’s schools — 90 in total (The students who participate in the eKIDS program are self-selected).

Please click HERE to read the article in it's entirety.
Related post: Yukon Students Show Teachers How to Use Technology

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Construction Concepts TLA Now Available from CIMC

CIMC has recently introduced a new Construction Concepts TLA (Technology Learning Activity) that covers the basics of construction and takes students through the process of building a structure. Students will create a scale model of an early home, design a home as an architect (online), research alternative housing materials, build a base floor, estimate framing materials, frame an interior wall with a door, cut pipe, join pieces of pipe, plumb lines for water, wire a light switch, estimate drywall material needs, install drywall, tape joints, compare heating and cooling methods, determine elements of style, paint a wall, complete a green building survey, and research a career related to construction.

The TLA is also crosswalked to Oklahoma PASS (Technology Education) standards, ITEA standards, and AAAS standards and includes the following lessons:

Lesson 1: The Basics of Home Construction
Lesson 2: Building Materials
Lesson 3: Foundations and Concrete Work
Lesson 4: Estimating Materials
Lesson 5: Framing
Lesson 6: Let the Water Flow!
Lesson 7: Lights On!
Lesson 8: Drywall and Wall Finishing
Lesson 9: Heating and Cooling
Lesson 10: A Thing of Beauty
Lesson 11: Green Building and LEED
Lesson 12: Careers in Construction

Contact the Customer Service Division online or at 800.654.4502 to place your order today!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Steering Clear of Cyber Tricks

The Google Digital Literacy Tour...
is dedicated to the education of families on how to stay safe online. iKeepSafe teamed up with Google to create a free curriculum for educators to teach what it means to be a responsible digital citizen.

The curriculum is designed to be interactive, discussion filled and allow students to learn through hands-on and scenario activities. Each workshop contains a resource booklet for both educators and students that can be downloaded in PDF form, presentations to accompany the lesson and animated videos to help frame the conversation.

The three workshops available are:
  1. Detecting Lies and Staying True
  2. Playing and Staying Safe Online
  3. Steering Clear of Cyber Tricks
They also have a fourth video entitled, "Staying Safe on YouTube."

Although the videos are geared toward students, I believe they are a great resource for parents and employees as well.

Please watch "Steering Clear of Cyber Tricks"

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Apple Shakes Up the Textbook Industry...Announces iBooks 2 for iPad

Apple announced a new iBooks Authoring App today that makes creating an Apple ebook a drag-and-drop process.

This free app automatically determines the best way to lay out the book and creates appropriate sections and headers. Users can then drag and resize images within the text and add definitions, photo galleries, movies Keynote presentations and 3D objects. Users can preview their books on their iPads or publish them directly to the iBook store.

Apple also announced a new textbook experience, iBooks Author, for iPad where users can drag a Word file into a book creation space.

They also announced an all-new iTunes U app giving educators and students everything they need to teach and take entire courses on their Apple mobile devices.

Read Apple's press release below in its' entirety:
Apple Reinvents Textbooks with iBooks 2 for iPad
New iBooks Author Lets Anyone Create Stunning iBooks Textbooks

NEW YORK—January 19, 2012—Apple® today announced iBooks® 2 for iPad®, featuring iBooks textbooks, an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. iBooks textbooks offer iPad users gorgeous, fullscreen textbooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more. iBooks textbooks can be kept up to date, don't weigh down a backpack and never have to be returned. Leading education services companies including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson will deliver educational titles on the iBookstore℠ with most priced at $14.99 or less, and with the new iBooks Author, a free authoring tool available today, anyone with a Mac® can create stunning iBooks textbooks.

“Education is deep in Apple’s DNA and iPad may be our most exciting education product yet. With 1.5 million iPads already in use in education institutions, including over 1,000 one-to-one deployments, iPad is rapidly being adopted by schools across the US and around the world,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Now with iBooks 2 for iPad, students have a more dynamic, engaging and truly interactive way to read and learn, using the device they already love.”

The new iBooks 2 app is available today as a free download from the App Store™. With support for great new features including gorgeous, fullscreen books, interactive 3D objects, diagrams, videos and photos, the iBooks 2 app will let students learn about the solar system or the physics of a skyscraper with amazing new interactive textbooks that come to life with just a tap or swipe of the finger. With its fast, fluid navigation, easy highlighting and note-taking, searching and definitions, plus lesson reviews and study cards, the new iBooks 2 app lets students study and learn in more efficient and effective ways than ever before.

iBooks Author is also available today as a free download from the Mac App Store and lets anyone with a Mac create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books and more, and publish them to Apple’s iBookstore. Authors and publishers of any size can start creating with Apple-designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. iBooks Author lets you add your own text and images by simply dragging and dropping, and with the Multi-Touch™ widgets you can easily add interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote® presentations and 3D objects.

Apple today also announced an all-new iTunes® U app giving educators and students everything they need on their iPad, iPhone® and iPod touch® to teach and take entire courses. With the new iTunes U app, students using iPads have access to the world’s largest catalog of free educational content, along with over 20,000 education apps at their fingertips and hundreds of thousands of books in the iBookstore that can be used in their school curriculum, such as novels for English or Social Studies.* The iTunes U app is available today as a free download from the App Store.

*Some content is available only for iPad.
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