Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tool # 11: Self Assessing and Reflecting

What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools.
When IPads are available for my classroom, I plan to use the Human Body App as a center when organ systems are introduced. Then, when students have basic knowledge, perhaps images can be incorporated into student presentations as each organ system is studied in detail.

How have you transformed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom? How has your vision for your classroom changed? Are you going to need to make any changes to your classroom to accommodate the 21st Century learner?
I see myself becoming more of a learning coach  and less of a lecturer. I will give guidance on content to be learned, develop resources, and give instruction in appropriate tools, apps, and websites. Student will take more responsibility for producing product that develop their knowledge, and share information with other students. The drawback is the time involved. It is possible that selected topics will be covered in greater depth, students will have more enthusiasm and recall of information, but fewer topics can be covered.

Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I was surprised at how much free information is already available to support my curriculum. I was also surprised at how much time it will take to find and adapt information.

I hope that the 11 tools will remain available as a resource next year. Although I have completed the program, I do not have the new devices in my classroom yet. I will need to review this information when I can actually implement some of these new techniques.

Tool #10: Digital Citizenship

Discuss at least three things you would want to make sure your students understand about being good digital citizens.
I want my students to know that the Internet connects them to the real world, and that bad choices can result in real world danger. Students are used to games, and virtual situations, and it is easy for them to ignore real risks.

I want my students to know that they need to be responsible for their behavior, and must avoid hurting others through online activities.

I want my students to know that the emphasis on safety and responsible behavior is not meant to limit them, but to expand their opportunities. It will give them a framework to safely explore and interact with the digital community.

Share at least one of the resources mentioned above or on the Ed Tech website that you plan to use instructionally.
The Cybersmart for Teens site has content that is appropriate for my high school students, and seems to be in a format that students will find engaging. I plan to use some activities from that site.
Explain briefly how you would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship to your students.
Verbal and written instructions on acceptable use of technology will be provided. Information will be provided on my website for review by parent and students. Students will discuss their previous experiences, and identify dangers that they recognize and already avoid. I will use techology to teach how to use technology. One of the first lessons on the new equipment will be students using the Cybersmart for Teens site.

Explain briefly how you plan to share the idea of digital citizenship with your parents.
Students will be provided with a letter explaining key ideas, to be discussed with their parents and returned, signed by their parents. This will insure communication with parents who do not have access to a computer. More detailed information will be available on my website.

Tool # 9: Incorporating Classroom Devices as tools for Learning

Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective?
Technology can be seductive and a sneaky time thief. It is so entertaining for students. That is its power: it can entice students to be enthusiastic about the curriculum information being delivered. That is its drawback: students will be tempted to use the technology for non-educational purposes. Teachers, as they learn to use new devices and applications, could have all their planning and preparation time consumed by learning how to use the technology, and have less time to develop content. Teachers need to select the right amount of technology needed in order to meet the learning objective. Sometimes the new technology tools will be indispensable. Sometimes the old way of doing things will be just as effective but more efficient.

Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers?
Students need to learn more than facts. Students need to develop character traits like responsibility and honesty, and develop efficient work habits. When students are responsible for accounting for their time and caring for the equipment, it helps with the development of these traits. It also helps preserve the expensive equipment.

Visit 2 of the applicable links to interactive websites for your content/grade level. Which sites did you like. How could you use them as stations? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations?
Thinkfinity has two activities at the high school level that fit into my curriculum. The Skin Cancer activity would support content objectives from the course TEKS. The "From Cells to DNA" activity would be a good introduction to anatomy and physiology, and a good review of important concepts covered in biology, which is a prerequisite to my courses.

Another interactive website that might be useful is Tenmarks, which allows development of math lessons. This might be useful in developing medical math skills. There is a wide range of math ability in students. Those students who need more practice could work at a center doing online drills, while other students could do an alternate activity, such as constructing medical math problems.

List two to three apps you found for the iPod Touch/iPad that you can use in your classroom. What do you see that station looking like? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations?

DK The Human Body app sounds like it would be a valuable enhancement in teaching human anatomy. It has high resolution images, so students could see necessary detail. It has a testing tool, which might be useful for student drill and practice. 3-D rotatable images would be superior to printed illustrations. It is not free, but only costs $10-$19, so it might be a worthwhile use of budget funds.

Bamboo Paper is a free virtual notebook. It claims to allow handwritten notes, drawings and doodle. This would provide flexibility for students to capture their thoughts, brainstorm and collaborate. Although the app is free, it requires a "Bamboo stylus" I did not see price information for that product, so I do not know if it would be cost effective
What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station.

In the past, I have used stations with Physician's Desk Reference and other pharmaceutical reference books when students are learning to use resources and research drugs. Adding an IPad station to this lesson would enhance the learning. Epocrates is an excellent app providing information about prescriptions medications. There is a free version available that I have been using. I think it would be appropriate. I will need to find out how to get it added to the SBISD approved list of IPad apps.

Tool # 8: Taking a look at the tools

List two to three things you learned about the device(s) that will be in your classroom this fall.
I do not yet know what devices I will be receiving. I am not scheduled to receive any devices this year, and there in no information yet about what might arrive next school year. Assuming that I will eventually get Dell 2120 Netbooks and IPads, I learned that the netbooks have a camera capable of video or still photography, and Internet-based interaction such as Skype. I can begin tentative plans for incorporating this capacity into next year's lessons. I learned that log in will be faster if every student has previously logged on to each device. Slow log in is a problem with the laptop computers currently available in my classroom. I will explore using this strategy with my older equipment. I learned that each teacher will have a great deal of freedom and responsibility for managing the classroom set of IPads. This will give me more flexibility, but will also require time. As I add new use of technology, I will also need to eliminate activities and strategies that I have used successfully in previous years. This will take courage, giving up the old for the new.

How do you plan to manage the device(s) in your classroom? Do you have ideas/suggestions that others may find useful?
I plan to follow the suggested strategy of identifying students who already have IPad and netbook skills, and asking them to volunteer to be student-technicians and tutors. Even though many students already have IPad experience, classrroom use will be different than the recreational use. The initial lessons will cover basic expectations for appropriate classroom use, and basic operations. Students who have less proficincy will then be partnered with the previously identified student-experts. Security will be a concern with these small, portable devices. I will have students assisting with setting up the devices at the beginning of each period, and securing the devices at the end of each period.

Tool # 7: Online Digital Projects

Here is an online project that could be done by the Health Science students at Memorial High School paired with a class of Health Science students at Northbrook High School.
Objective: Working with a partner from another school, Health Science students will research the professional responsibilities and educational requirements of a chosen health occupation, using online resources, print resources, personal interviews and clinical experiences, will create a presentation using Google presentation, and each student will then show the presentation to their class.
Implementation: This project could be done during the first 2 weeks of May.
Tools: Google presentation, Skype, email, Internet sites such as Occupational Outlook Handbook and college web sites
Description:Students will be paired with a partner from the other school. They will have an initial Skype session in order to select their topic, and divide responsibilities. They will then work asynchronously, researching independently, communicating through email, constructing their presentation in Google presentation with comments to each other, as well as receiving comments and feedback from the teachers. They may have another Skype session if needed. The completed projects will be presented to each class as a means to review course content as a final review.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tool # 6:Promoting Classroom Discussion

Last semester, I assigned an individual essay to students. They needed to identify and discus in writing one way to improve the health of the city, country or world. This assignment could become more collaborative by using Wallwisher. Instead of starting with an individual essay, students could brainstorm and share ideas about improving health. Students could build on each others ideas. As common themes emerged, students could form groups and explore areas of common interest. I anticipate it looking something like this:

I think Skype could be a useful tool to promote interaction between students and classes at different schools. The Health Science Interns and Memorial HS could Skype with students at Northbrook and Spring Woods High Schools. They could compare experiences at the hospital, and could share experiences in order to help each other prepare for future assignments. I do not yet have devices in my classroom with the cameras needed, but I have set up my Skype account.

Tool # 5:Producing with Web 2.0 Tools


I created a Wordle from medical terms the class has been studying. This could be used as a tool to review the terminology. students could work in pairs, quizzing eaach other on the definitions of the terms.
I created a comic with content from a lesson planned later this week. Students could create their own comics covering key concepts from the lesson. Comics could be printed and posted in stations in the classroom. Students could review key concepts by viewing student-created comics.