Magnettech Highlights

Education tech today from Tampa Bay.

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    Greg Hart is the author of Magnettech Highlights. DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are my own and not necessarily those of my employer(s). See my Disclosure Policy for more info.
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Tech Shy Teachers

Posted by magnethart on May 18, 2010

Originally posted by me on March 1, 2010 on my magnettech website.  It may be viewed here.

Through my parousing of my recent Google Reader feeds, I came across this post from Tech & Learning about training teachers who are “Tech Shy”.

The link to the real article can be found here but I’ve copied what main part below.

“Teaching Tech-Shy Teachers”, March 1, 2010, Tech & Learning

The conversations at the recent EduCon 2.2 conference at Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy were dynamic and ongoing, thanks to the tech savvy of the attendees and participants. One of the most interesting conversations involved the challenge of motivating teachers unenthusiastic about technology to use it.

Reading (PA) Public Schools’ Danja Mahoney, Michael Springer, and Beth Knittle asked the question, “Why is professional development such a challenge?” Here are highlights of the answers:

  • Training sessions are held at the worst time of the day.
  • Top-down decision making results in programs that aren’t helpful to teachers.
  • Training is usually a onetime thing.
  • There’s no real modeling from the administration.
  • PD opportunities are not of interest to teachers.
  • There is a lack of good leadership. The presenters then asked the participants what they would change to improve this experience and motivate those reluctant teachers. Here are highlights of their answers:
  • Give teachers hands-on workshops and make sure they have a product they can take home (e.g., demo wiki).
  • Make the training experience sustainable. Create some way to follow up with these teachers after the training event. Encourage the participants to continue the conversation after the PD event.
  • Encourage school leaders to join this conversation.
  • Do a survey before the PD event to make sure you are presenting what the teachers want.
  • Get the buy-in from the teachers.

These comments strike home for me since technology training is mostly what I do and I ofter come across teachers who would qualify as “tech-shy”.  I particulary like to comment about surveying teachers to make sure the PD is really what they are looking for.  This is something that I try and do using Google Docs forms when possible.  I also like the idea of giving them something to take away like a lesson they created during the training or a wiki/collaborative website (better after Firstclass 10 is available for teachers in the district).

All in all, good things to consider here for my next training.


Posted in Ed Tech, Professional Development, technology | Leave a Comment »

Learning By Non-Example

Posted by magnethart on May 18, 2010

Originally posted by me on March 11, 2010 on my magnettech website.  It may be viewed here.

I came across this video today while perusing through my google reader feed where I follow several blogs from fellow educators and professional journals.  Sometimes I realize as an educator that it can be more convincing to teach by the non-example.  Here is a great non-example on how we should view technology in our classroom.

This video was downloaded from youtube using since youtube is blocked within the district.  You can access the original video here.  Thank you to Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) for posting this video in his blog and giving some great commentary.  Check out Wesley’s blog, Moving At the Speed of Creativity.

Posted in Classroom Technology, Ed Tech | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy

Posted by magnethart on May 18, 2010

Originally posted on March 1, 2010 by me on the magnettech website.  May be viewed here.

Taken in summary from Educational Origami

Most of you are familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy (figure 1).  Benjamin Bloom created what seems to be the corner stone of today’s educational principals.  His categorization of thinking skills into Lower Order (LOTS) and Higher Order (HOTS) has allowed teachers to better assess student mastery of a particular topic or subject area.

Fig. 1  Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom's Taxonomy

In the early 1990’s, Bloom’s Taxonomy was revised by two of his former students to reflect a simple change in using verbs rather than nouns to classify Lower Order and Higher Order thinking skills.  This was released as Bloom’s Revised  Taxonomy (Figure 2) in 2001.

Fig. 2  Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy

Bloom's Updated Taxonomy

The real question begins to rise when we think about how educational technology can be applied to Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy.  In thinking about this information, I came across a great site called Educational Origami.  Here, the author goes into great detail about Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.  In his discussion, the focus is on how we can use technology to help students reach for higher order thinking skills.  It is important to look at Bloom’s under the new light of technology as we prepare students to enter into the workforce of the 21st Century.

Yet I almost feel like we have to take a “better late than never” attitude toward this idea of providing a 21st Century education to our students.  Haven’t we been in the 21st Century for the past 10 years?  Why are we just now taking the charge of teaching 21st Century skills to students who are in our schools?  And even at that, I visit teachers who still do not teach 21st Century skills to their students.  Whose job is it to teach teachers about the 21st Century skill our students need to be masters of by the time the graduate from our schools?

In what ways are you, the teacher, encouraging your students to develop 21st Century Skills such as electronic collaboration?  What limits you from going further in your own classrooms?

Just saw this on Twitter from @tomwhitby and @nashworld.  This is a flash version of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy.

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Taking a Journey Without Leaving the Classroom

Posted by magnethart on May 17, 2010

A recent article in T.H.E. Journal titled ‘A Virtal Ticket to Ride” has done a great job at showcasing how teachers can create an out-of-class experience without ever leaving the classroom.  In the example given, Traci Blazosky, an elementary teacher from Clarion Elementary School in northwest Pennsylvania uses two of my favorite web tools (Glogster EDU and Google Earth) together in a way that I hadn’t thought about.  
Check out the article for more info.  This will definitely be something I am going to incorporate into a training later on.  

Posted in Ed Tech | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »