Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Does Your Student Have a Workspace for Homework?

I found an interesting article on Mashable written by Beth Blecherman that I wanted to share with you.

In "How to Set Up the Best Workspace for Homework" the author states:
With the right environment, kids can more easily transition from the fun of summer to the rigors of school and put their technology to work. Here are the five main components of setting up a home technology workspace for students of any age.
  1. Tablets, Laptops, and Desktops
  2. Ergonomics
  3. Wi-Fi and Parental Controls
  4. Tech Accessories and Peripherals
  5. Storage
Please follow this LINK to read the article in it's entirety and learn more about the five components of setting up a home technology workplace for students.

I also wanted to add that my kids would add an additional component entitled "6.  Food and Beverage." So here are few links to help you find healthy options for enhancing your student's learning:
What Foods to Eat While Studying
10 Healthy (& Yummy) Study Snacks
What Do Healthy Snacks Do to Your Learning?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Assessment Types and their Uses: Diagnostic

Here is a recent post from the Questionmark Blog written by Julie Delazyn, Public Relations/Marketing for Questionmark that I wanted to share with you:
Assessments have many different purposes, and to use them effectively it’s important to understand their context and uses within the learning process. I’ll explore each of these five key assessment types over the next few weeks:
  • Diagnostic
  • Formative
  • Needs
  • Reaction
  • Summative
Let’s start with diagnostic assessments.

Typical uses:
  • Identifying the needs and prior knowledge of participants for the purpose of directing them to the most appropriate learning experience
  • Determining knowledge and identifying skills gaps and needs
  • Placing learners in appropriate courses and tailor instruction to their needs
  • Providing instructors and mentors information on a student’s abilities
  • Giving feedback to participants and providing recommendations for products, services and/or learning activities
  • Setting benchmarks for comparison with post-course tests
  • Analyzing personality traits in order to predict behaviors
  • Creating intrigue about the content of a learning activity, which can in turn actually enhance the learning experience
  • Pre-tests
  • Placement tests
  • Self-diagnostic tools
  • Personality assessments
  • Stakes: low/medium
Example: A diagnostic assessment might report that a learner has mastered every competency in using Microsoft Word but can only perform 50 percent of those required to use Excel. The results of the assessment would prescribe a course on Excel. In addition, a diagnostic assessment can help place students within suitable learning experiences by asking questions such as, “Do you prefer instructor-led training or online training?”
For a fuller analysis of assessments and their uses check out the white paper, Assessments Through the Learning Process. You can download it free here, after login. Another good source for testing and assessment terms is our glossary.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

10 Apps for Student Safety

I read an interesting article on Edudemic today entitled 50 Apps Students Will Be Using In Your Classroom.

With the beginning of school and all of the news about bullying and student safety, I wanted to highlight one section of the article that deals with ten apps for student safety. Please read the following from Edudemic:

1. iHollaback:
This crowdsourced safety app maps out instances of harassment and discriminatory behaviors, including verbal and physical assault, and allows students to visualize the most dangerous sections of their cities and campuses.

2. StreetSafe:
If the $19.99 per month subscription plan is feasible, StreetSafe provides two services protecting the lives of users. One involves a silent alarm that dials 911 in an emergency, while the other connects anyone scared of their surroundings with an individual trained to advise them calmly and alert the proper authorities in case of anything compromising.

3. Flashlight, Brightest Flashlight Free, and Flashlight Free:
Turn that smartphone into peace of mind when walking in unfamiliar territory with these fabulous digital flashlights.

4. Silent Bodyguard:
Available for the iPhone and Blackberry, Silent Blackberry uses GPS tracking to discreetly send emergency messages to trusted contacts in the event something ugly goes down.

5. SaferBus:
Students who must take public transportation take advantage of this iPhone app to learn which buses meet or fail the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s standards and report any violations they encounter.

6. First Aid by American Red Cross:
This free download for iPhone and Android users teaches basic first aid techniques anytime, anywhere and definitely stands as a worthwhile bandwidth investment.

7. Circle of 6:
Pick six trusted individuals and keep tabs on one another’s whereabouts and actions in order to lower the risk of victimization. iPhone only.

8. Emergency Rescue Alarm:
For use on the Android, the Emergency Rescue Alarm provides three very loud, very common signals to alert the proper authorities on a disaster or crime’s whereabouts.

9. Marine Martial Arts MCRP 3-02B and Marine Martial Arts:
While you probably won’t walk away from these apps ready to teach Predators a thing or two, they do offer up some great self-defense training tips.

10. ICE: In Case of Emergency:
In the event of a scenario where you go unresponsive, the ICE app makes first responders’ jobs faster and easier by providing them with medical information, emergency contacts, and other valuable, potentially life-saving bits of data.

Please read the article in it's entirety by clicking HERE and you'll also find more great apps on Productivity and Organization, Reading and Writing, Reference, and STEM.

Friday, August 10, 2012

EdTech Cheat Sheet - Understanding New Trends in Educational Technology

Are you overwhelmed by educational technology and all of the new terminology? Are you familiar with MOOC, OER, asynchronous learning, or blended learning? Then take a look at the infographic below created by Boundless as they provide a little clarity on many of the current educational technology issues.

I also hope you will join my PLN (Personal Learning Network) by following this blog or by joining me on Facebook and TwitterIsn't "sharing" what education is all about?
EdTech Cheat Sheet Infographic
You can also click HERE to view the infographic on the Boundless Blog.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

35 Sources for Curated Educational Videos

I found a great resource written by Carri Schneider (Getting Smart, July 3, 2012) that I wanted to share with you.

As the author states:
While many teachers begin by creating their own content and videos, most start by sifting through free online sources. The amount of available information out there is staggering.

YouTube users across the globe upload 48 hours of content every minute. And a google search for “science video” yields over 4 billion results!

Fortunately, there are some great websites and services that take the guesswork out of finding and sorting educational video content.
Here are a few of the curated video sites that Schneider highlighted:
  • The Futures Channel: Based on the goal of using new media technologies to create a channel between scientists, enginners, explorers, visionaries and learners, The Future Channel partners with schools to provide these high-quality digital learning resources.
  • EduTube: Launched in 2008, EduTube focuses on popular and high quality educational videos that are sorted by EduTube index – a measure of quality, popularity and educational value.
  • Edutopia Video: Edutopia’s large video library is sortable by topic and by grade level.
Please click HERE to find additional resources educational videos and read "35 Sources for Curated Educational Videos" in it's entirety.
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