How a GoPro Got My Students Excited to Learn

One teacher recounts the transformation in learning, collaboration, and creativity he’s seen after adding a GoProgopro-racecar

Rewind to May 2007. . .

I had not planned to purchase a GoPro while out shopping. However, it was on sale, I had a coupon, two gift cards, and two weeks in the Florida Keys was just a moon phase away. Needless to say the summer spent fishing, snorkeling, and kayaking in the Keys yielded very few incredible pictures. I had purchased the Digital Hero 3, the first GoPro with sound. After that experience my GoPro stayed packed up with all my kayak gear and did not see the light of day too often.

Fast forward to August 2013 . . .    …Read More

4 Essential Game-Based Learning Questions

Asking the right questions can help games make a positive impact in the classroom

game-learningYou’d have to live under a rock to be unfamiliar with the rise of game-based learning in classrooms across the nation in recent years. Integrating a game into an instructional unit may seem daunting, but four key implementation questions should help educators use games to support teaching and learning and help drive student engagement.

Games offer opportunities for collaboration and inquiry-based, self-directed learning. They also support skill development that students need under Common Core math and Next Generation Science Standards.

It’s first important to define what is not a learning game, said Susannah Gordon-Messer, curriculum and professional development specialist at the MIT Education Arcade, during an edWeb webinar on gaming implementation strategies.…Read More

Three Ways Digital Badges are Used in Education

As schools progress to include online and on-campus courses and activities, digital badges are suited to meet the needs of emerging education models

gI_132393_MakingbadgesAs children, our accomplishments were recognized with trophies, plaques, a pat on the back or cloth badges sewn on to a Girl Scout or Boy Scout sash.

In high school and college, we received diplomas and began to fill up resumes and LinkedIn profiles with job qualifications and experience. But what if there was a way to help acknowledge educational experiences that happen outside of the classroom and recognize valuable skills such as leadership or collaboration?

To address this need, the trend of digital badges is rapidly catching on. But what will be its impact and potential on education?…Read More

How the ‘four Cs’ fit with the Common Core

The ‘four Cs’ are an integral part of the Common Core standards; here are free resources for helping to teach these important skills

Connecting students is a great opportunity to teach digital literacy and citizenship.

The 21st-century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, often referred to as the “four Cs,” are an integral part of the Common Core standards.

Fortunately, there are an abundance of free resources and digital tools that empower teachers to lead by example and integrate these “four Cs” in meaningful and effective ways.

Communication…Read More

Why we collaborate

Mass collaboration is the theme of this excellent TED Radio Hour. “The world has over a trillion hours a year of free time to commit to shared projects,” says professor Clay Shirky. But what motivates dozens, thousands, even millions of people to come together on the Internet and commit their time to a project for free? What is the key to making a successful collaboration work? In this hour, TED speakers unravel ideas behind the mystery of mass collaborations that build a better world…

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Kno announces single-screen tablet textbook

Kno has announced that it plans to make a single-screen version of its tablet textbook, ReadWriteWeb reports. The company received a $46 million round of funding in August for its then dual-screen tablet textbook, which came with a strong endorsement from investor Marc Andreessen (creator of the Netscape web browser), who said the device was “the most powerful tablet anyone has ever made.” Kno, short for knowledge, is a touch-screen tablet that focuses on providing digital textbooks, course materials, note taking, web access, and educational applications. The device boasts a stylus so that students can take notes directly onto the screen. Despite the current dominance of the iPad, more companies are poised to enter the tablet market soon. But what differentiates Kno, according to CEO and co-founder Osman Rashid, is that the product is specifically designed for the education market. He contends that the iPad is primarily an entertainment device, whereas Kno will be an “integrated experience for learning.” Students will be able to port their textbooks and course materials to the device and collaborate—share notes, chat via Skype—as they study. It remains to be seen if the Kno will win over the student market; the price for the dual-screen tablet, while not confirmed by the company, is supposed to be just under $1,000. Rashid says the single-screen version will be cheaper and will be competitive with other tablet options. The price of the Kno will be revealed “soon,” he says…

Click here for the full story

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Words that inspire

The panelists provided unique views on global learning.
The panelists provided unique views on global learning.

Live ISTE Blog – One of my favorite quotes comes from Uncle Ben of Spider-Man fame… “With great power, comes great responsibility.” I’m pretty sure that Stan Lee wasn’t thinking about ISTE keynotes when he penned that well-used phrase. However, that’s the quote that comes to my mind when I consider the impact that a well-thought out, well-delivered keynote can provide.

After years of attending conferences, I’ve seen terrible keynotes, great ones, and everything in between. I’ve seen solo keynote presentations, panel discussions, and a plethora of combinations and permutations there of. After all these years at conferences, I’m still amazed and thrilled when I see a keynote speaker or panel that “sings” with its message. What do I mean by that (because I’m definitely not talking about karaoke)? I mean that I appreciate all the keynotes where the message is clear, powerful, and well-delivered, and it resonates with the audience.

Overall, I really like keynotes. It’s the theory of “Educational Amway” to the highest degree. That’s why I became a tech trainer. Instead of teaching 20-30 kids, I could teach 20-30 teachers at a time who each teach 20-30 students. That theory is magnified with keynotes. When you’re doing a huge keynote presentation, the potential base of students that you can affect is even greater… You might be speaking to 200-300 or 2,000-3,000 or more educators, and that’s why I like keynotes. That said, it’s imperative that organizations really consider who they bring in for keynotes because it’s not just the message, it’s the way that information is delivered. Just like how we encourage our teachers to engage all learners, it’s important that all keynote presenters do the same with the audience.…Read More

Microsoft, ePals team up on collaborative tools

ePals users will have access to online versions of popular Microsoft software within a secure learning environment.
ePals users will have access to online versions of popular Microsoft software within a secure learning environment.

In a move that could spur more widespread use of online tools for communicating and collaborating within K-12 education, software giant Microsoft Corp. has announced a strategic partnership with ePals, which provides a safe online platform for teachers and students to share information and work together on projects.

Under the terms of the alliance, ePals this fall will add Microsoft’s Live@edu eMail and calendaring software to the services it already provides for some 600,000 educators in 200 countries through its ePals Learning Space platform.

Sometime early next year, ePals users also will have access to the web-based versions of Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint within the ePals Learning Space, the two companies say.…Read More

Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 targets 21st-century skills

Adobe's latest release targets digital learners.
Adobe's latest release targets digital learners.

Adobe Systems Inc. has updated its multimedia design and publishing software with the April 12 release of Creative Suite 5 (CS5), which contains new curricula, a certification program, and learning resources to better train students and faculty in the digital communication and collaboration skills that are increasingly important in a global marketplace.

Adobe has developed three different CS5 curricula designed to help teachers implement design, web, and video programs. These curricula focus on the technical skills and design theory students need to be successful communicators in their fields: (1) Digital Design: Foundations of Web Design; (2) Visual Design: Foundations of Design and Print Production; and (3) Digital Video: Foundations of Video Design and Production. The year-long curriculum guides will be available free of charge from Adobe and will align with the International Society for Technology in Education’s National Education Technology Standards (NETS) for Students.

Educators and students can become certified for both entry-level skills as an Adobe Certified Associate and professional-level skills as an Adobe Certified Expert. Developed and deployed by Certiport and Adobe, these certifications validate a broad range of technical and communication skills when entering post-secondary schools or the workforce.…Read More

Has Google developed the next wave of online education?

Google Wave has a spell checker that uses context to correct misused words.
Google Wave marks the next step in collaboration capabilities for group projects, some in education say.

Combining text, audio, and video chat with features like drag-and-drop documents and interactive polls, Google Wave is a free web program that could add unprecedented depth to student interaction, many educators say.

Programmers who designed Google Wave, a tool still in development and only available through limited invites, started with a question: What would eMail look like if it were invented today?

The answer is a format that merges social networking with multimedia in an online meeting space where students and instructors can see each other type in real time, conduct private conversations, and edit documents simultaneously.…Read More