Friday, December 11, 2009

Tech peripherals

This semester the first new peripheral was the microphone for Smart Recording. Easy to use for the students though there was a problem with constantly recurring lack of sound. This required administrative password access as students accessing settings at will could potentially wreak havoc. It seems there is a solution to this underway though we faced each incident as it arose. I used the lab with the students as Khun Eed was right there and ready to help adjust. We learned very quickly to do a test before launching in to the presentation. The thrill of uploading there finsihed products on to YouTube nipped any complaining and frustration in the bud.

The Document Camera is easy to use in tandem with the Smart board and saves scanning, sending and reformatting. Easy for students and teachers to put up examples and lowers the nerve level as students get used to providing evidence instantly, using it to project a picture or data, as a prop for discussion.

The Smartboard itself can be the bane of my life. It either works brilliantly - or not. With a mac I now have to reset the display every time I plug in. We ( being me and various people from EdTech) have reset the display but dependent on whether someone else has use the Smartboard it is a process and requires me being really organised, using breaks to set up and not expecting to just plug in and go.

For novel study summary the students worked with cameras and movie cameras to summarise plot or showcase charcter development. It was a lot of work to put movies in to imovie but we used the pyramid learning and peer tutor. We've ended up with quite a few experts at pulling movies together. More with this next semester...

Relevant - How?

What is a 'good' educator? Someone who values learning, motivates students to question, connect, communicate, create ... There have been many wonderful teachers in the past who have taught without technology - that is the technology as we know it to be now. Of course one can be a great educator without digital tools but with the right tools for each task the possibilities increase exponentially.

NETs encourage educators to
  • Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
  • Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
  • Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
  • Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
  • Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
Clearly there is relevance in the standards, though as we discussed - the document would and could stand as what many good teachers ahve been doing for years - without the word technology inbedded. They could be applied ot any curriculum area. ISB has come far since being on this new campus. The one computer lab has long gone and laptops are the computer of choice. Technology is a part of learning every day. There are always newer and newer tools. I jsut don't want ot throw out the great ones as new ones appear. It does not have to be the latest - for it to be great. But I, for one, will keep looking. The NETs may indeed help along the way.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


If you teach it, you better understand it - so of course it is every teachers responsibility - regardless of whatever other title they are using - specialist, principal, administrator standards need to be understood. Teachers and administrators have clearly stated expectations and standards which easily align with a wide variety of tasks within curriculum. The NETS are clear and easy to understand, adapt, and work with. Like other guidelines - Gardener's, Taylor's etc., it is impossible to address everything all of the time, but in a spiral curriculum it can be done over time.

NETs address creativity, information gathering and communication. What we need from all learners - an ability to know and understand - - take the thinking to a higher level and of course the ability to communicate their creation - through a variety of programs and media.

Having said that - people's confidence and capabilities vary, so minimum standards being set make sense. At ISB minimum skills for use of Panthernet have been stated in order to facilitate long distance learning when necessary. Incoming educators are often overwhelmed so a succinct document with expectations is valuable.

Leadership comes not only from administrators, but from colleagues and students. NETS outline and reflect possibilites. Learning is always the focus and technology a tool.