December 18, 2011

What's on my iPad?

Recently I realized that I have 10 Gigabytes of "apps" on my iPad. These are some that I see uses for in our classrooms, some are iPhone versions running on an iPad:

Weather: The Weather Channel, MyWeather, Weather Station
Books: BookShelfLT, Flip Reader, iBooks, Kindle, Read it Later, LibAnywhere
Education: Edmodo, eduTecher, Google Earth, Dictionary, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iMovie, Garageband, PowerTeacher, iBrainstorm, Mental Class, VoiceThread, Mobile Slides, SlideShark, ShowMe, Countdown, Cosmic
Math: Everyday Math (free during NCTM in April), PopMathLite, ArithmeTick, NumberMathLite, Just Maths!, TellingTimeGame, Rocket Math, TanZen Lite, Concentration, Lemonade Stand, Mad Math, Set, Mancala,
Drawing: GlowColoring, Doodle Buddy, MyPaint Free, Brushes, Artisan, Doodle Dandy, SimpleDraw, DoodleDots, Neon Mania
Kids Books: Arthur Turns Green, Callum, Read Me, ICDL, Wild Fables, Magic Ink Books, Magic Books, Shel Movies, Paid Titles include Cat in The Hat, Peter Rabbit Popup
Kids Story Writing: Voicethread, Good Idea, Stories2Go, StoryMakerHD, Toontastic, Story Builder, JibJab Jr., This is My Story, PuppetPals, StoryBuddy Jr.
Kids Games: Super Why!, KiddyU, Uno, TicTacFree, Shapes,
Kids Literacy: Magnets, Read On Sight, Magico 2, Word Wizard, Alphabytes Lite, Word Bingo, Chicktionary, PocketABClite,
Useful Utilities: Flashlight, iTalk, Audioboo, QuickVoice, Dragon, i-nigma,Splashtop, Recorder, Remote, iClickrLite, Chronolite, TouchMouse, Mobile Mouse, Penultimate

December 17, 2011

Reading Bear from WatchKnowLearn

WatchKnowLearn has launched this new FREE phonics learning site with video presentations and an interactive format for early readers. This site will eventually have 50 lessons.

December 16, 2011

Managing "A Week in the Life..." FlatClassrom Elementary Project


In the fall of 2010 I chose to participate in the pilot of the first FlatClassroom elementary project with Rosie's 4th grade class. I have met the project originators Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis at conferences and I have followed their growing commitment to global collaboration at various grade levels. Last spring I took the FlatClassroom Certified Teacher course and this fall I responded to the request that some of us manage the second round of the "A Week in the Life..." global elementary project.

Managing the project meant sharing the role with a teacher in Iowa who I had only met online and working closely with Julie to coordinate the collaboration of several hundred students from twenty-two schools. I learned to plan and moderate weekly online meetings on Elluminate (now Blackboard Collaborate), help students from different schools greet each other in Edmodo, manage the project wiki and help all the classes develop group slideshows in Voicethread. This unique opportunity gave me an opportunity to work closely with teachers in several schools and countries. The skills I learned will be useful in any projects that I am able to pursue with other teachers in the future.

December 15, 2011

Tech Tip: Creating a Student Contact Group for Sharing Docs

It is possible to set all the students in your class up as a group in your Contacts and then you can share a document with the whole class at a time. If you want to do this you add your students to your Contacts (you need to put in both their name and their full google login), make them a group and then you can share with that contact group. Most likely you want to give them "View" access so they don't edit the original document. If students are going to edit the document, ask them to go to File>Make a Copy and then change the title of the document to include their name.

Awards for Blogs, Wikis, etc.


Edublog runs an annual "Best of" for several categories each year. There are some very interesting blogs, wikis and tools listed here that might be of interest.

http://edublogawards.com/announcing-the-2011-winners-congrats-to-all

Quote of the Day from a Second Grader

"On my iPod there's an apple on the back."

December 14, 2011

Google "Stock Photos" for Education

There's a new option for inserting something called "Stock photos". Basically if you go to insert an image as usual, you now have five options:
  • Upload
  • URL
  • Google Image Search
  • Picasa Wen Albums
  • Stock photos
Choose the "Stock photos" options (click on the image to the right for a bigger view), and then try out some common search terms. I had pretty good luck getting images for most things I entered, however the results seem to be more like real pictures and less like cartoon clipart. They are all images that can be used without copyright concerns.
http://www.appsusergroup.org/news/google-docs-gets-stock-photos

December 8, 2011

Grants for Teachers

This is a wonderful set of grant opportunities for teachers compiled by the people at Fablevision.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

December 7, 2011

Best of TED 2011

Check out these TED talks for 20 minutes on innovation topics.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

December 6, 2011

Picasa Slideshows on Sites and Blogs

I have updated the Picasa Slideshow directions on the Yarmouth Google Tools site. It's great to see so many of you using these to display photos of student learning on your sites and blogs.

December 5, 2011

PowerSchool Web Gradebook for Teachers

If you are starting to think about visiting the PowerSchool Web Gradebook, or if you are using it for the first time, here is the link to the slideshow I used at last year's introductory meeting:
https://sites.google.com/a/yarmouthschools.org/yes-technology-for-teachers/web-gradebook

November 29, 2011

Everyday Math Online Login

During a meeting about Everyday math resources yesterday I learned that we can setup student logins. I have sent all the K-4 student names to McGraw Hill and they have imported them into our school account. The next step is to move students to your own classes. Then we can distribute login and password cards to the students. Students can then login and select a unit and a lesson window which would like like this example:
Another option is that we can set up the "EM Facts Workshop Game" to track your students' progress as a class as well as individually.

November 28, 2011

Digital Citizenship for Parents

Resources for our work on Digital Citizenship with students, faculty and parents.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

November 19, 2011

Leveraging Learning: the iPad in Primary Grades - Auburn - Nov 2011


This three day institute had four strands: Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment, Leadership & Professional Development,  Data/Research and Technical Project Management. It was hard to split myself between the three strands and I was envious of the school districts that had larger teams attending the Institute. I got an introduction to each of the strands and coordinated with the parent from the Yarmouth Elementary Foundation. I met people from other districts who were looking at iPad implementations in a variety of forms and I attended some sessions with colleagues who are first grade teachers in Cape Elizabeth. The most powerful piece of the three days was visiting a Kindergarten classroom and talking with students using the iPads. The apps they were using for Math and Literacy learning showed the unique opportunities that an iPad can offer for engagement, problem-solving and immediate feedback.

November 8, 2011

Cyberchase Website Revamped and Improved

Cyberchase
"The Cyberchase website recently relaunched with all 94 episodes, hundreds of video clips including in-video gaming, engaging math games, and fun printable activities. Find student resources http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/ or explore lesson plans and thematic units http://www.pbs.org/teachers/cyberchase/. Cyberchase brings math to life for early elementary."
Cyberchase has some very appropriate high interest connections with our Math units, many of the games and video clips are on our student Educational Resource pages.

October 15, 2011

ACTEM MaineEd Conference October 2011

One of the opportunities I look forward to each year is the MaineEd ACTEM conference each fall. This year I chose not to present, but attended sessions on Global Learning with Lucy Gray, iPads in first grade and the implementation of iPads in the Auburn Kindergartens. My focus was on attending sessions with the many teachers from Yarmouth who attended. In a conversation with Tara Maker from Apple I became interested in attending the three day workshop that Apple was coordinating with Auburn on the literacy research being launched in Auburn. I was able to register for the conference and to gain a spot for a representative from the new Yarmouth Education Foundation. I also learned from Peter Robinson (Auburn) and Lars (Apple Engineer) about some of the particulars of setting up iPads for classroom use.

ACTEM MaineEd Conference Links 2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

October 2, 2011

Global Projects and Collaborations

Some of the most powerful learning opportunities that recent technologies have made available to our students are global collaborations. Over the last year I have expanded my professional network and I have had the tremendous opportunity to connect with several teachers who have started global projects.

Last fall I participated in the pilot elementary FlatClassroom® project and last spring I joined a group of teachers in the Flat Classroom Certified Teacher's Course based on the upcoming book by Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay. To followup on the learning from those experiences I am helping to manage the FlatClassroom elementary "A Week in the Life..." project which has over 500 students comparing and contrasting their communities, schools, languages and environments. The students are meeting each other in Edmodo and the wiki for that project will be up later this week. The next round of this project starts in February, 2012 and that timing will allow our third grade students to join in as part of their countries unit.

Some second grade classes are connecting with other schools around the "community" unit that is hosted at the wiki: http://ispycommunity.wikispaces.com/. Classes are starting this project this week and the final product will be Voicethreads from each school.

A fourth grade class is connecting with other readers on the Read Across the Globe wiki. This will be a good experience of reading and writing with other students before our fourth graders start their own writing blogs. The first book we are reading is In My Family by Sheila Kinkade & Elaine Little with a forward by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

Throughout the year we are planning to work with several other global collaborations including the Global Classroom Project 2011-2012 that was started by teachers in Ohio and Australia and is posted at http://globalclassroom2011-12.wikispaces.com/

I have found some of these projects through my online Professional Learning Network (sometimes called a PLN) and others through "clearinghouses" for global projects like the Global Education Collaborative ning hosted by Lucy Gray.

September 28, 2011

Deepening Learning through Storytelling - Wes Fryer in Yarmouth

One thing I would like to get better at is sharing professional learning when I go to a workshop, etc. This morning we were fortunate to have Wes Fryer at the YHS faculty meeting. This is a link to the site he used: http://wiki.wesfryer.com/Home/handouts/deepening to talk with us about "Deepening our Learning Through Storytelling: creativity, STEM and stories." Hopefully I'll have a chance to share more with faculty groups at a future time as I think his message is applicable to all levels.

June 30, 2011

ISTE 2011

ISTE 2011 was held in Philadelphia from June 25-29. Alice and I traveled on the chartered ACTEM bus with 40 Maine technology educators. At the conference we were able to talk with many colleagues who we usually only connect to online. The conversations and collegial connections are certainly a highlight of attending this conference. The initial keynote was by Dr. John Medina who has published Brain Rules. Videos of all the keynotes are available here. While I didn't find Medina's message new (students need to learn basics and then build on them in a logical order, etc.), I think his rules make sense and contain ideas that we should be attending to in schools. I was reminded that there is very little that is known about the way the brain works and that teachers are often the experts about how to approach individual students.

One of my goals for attending the conference was to explore more uses for iPads, for teachers as well as students. I took my new iPad instead of my laptop and was able to use it for most everything I would have done on a laptop with a lot less weight to carry around. The best uses of an iPad at this point in time seem to be to use the apps for Pages, Keynote, etc. to place instructional materials on the iPad for students to use and of course the access to the Internet. There are a few apps that are designed for particular adaptive uses, but many of those being marketed are a return to skill & drill on a new machine.

I was please to hear about the upcoming mobile apps for Voicethread and I think using it on a mobile device for field trips would be a great addition to use of that site. I talked to a number of teachers who are using iPod touches in the classroom and I think that we would make use of those if we had access to them. They are smaller and more manageable than an iPad and there are apps for story creation, drawing and math practice that would be appealing to students. I'm not sure how that will fit in with our budgets at Rowe and YES.

I learned about "infographics"(e.g. http://www.coolinfographics.com/) from a session cotaught by Diane Laufenberg, social studies teacher at Science Learning Academy in Philadephia. I hope to follow up on the ideas of this session with student assignments at YHS next year. Like many other tools I have been exploring, infographics are a creative way for students to describe their learning in a subject area.

June 22, 2011

Yarmouth Summer Tech Course for Teachers

Once again we (Alice Barr & Mike Arsenault and me) are offering a course designed to bring teachers the most recent innovations related to using technology for learning and teaching. The course site is online and is a hybrid of classroom time and online learning on their own. The course is being attended by teams of teachers working on planning for units and ways to use our 1:1 laptops in grades 7-12 and 1:3 in grades 2-6. K-1 teachers are exploring grade level information sites, class blogs and the use of new document cameras in the classroom. The course continues into the Fall and will wrap up on October 22nd with a day long session of sharing projects.

June 20, 2011

Flat Classroom Certified Teacher Course - Plans for the Future


One of the high points of this class was attending the online "pitch" session with many members of the class last week. Seeing and hearing the ideas of educators who are making a commitment to increased global collaboration by students was energizing and even somewhat emotional. I look forward to using these ideas and resources and well as those that will be presented later in the summer with classes next year. 

May 11, 2011

Parent Survey Feedback April 2011

Last year I included parents and students in a survey on media usage modified from Common Sense Media. This year I returned to some of the questions I used in a survey in 2009 as I wanted to be able to see if there were similarities or differences.

The responses to Question 1 were heartening as to parental perception of student attitudes about using technology:
Comments indicated that students look forward to the day that they have access to the Computer Lab with their class and that they carry information home from school. There was also positive feedback about classrooms that have up-to-date web pages with photos and descriptions of learning activities.

As I look at the responses to the second question from two years ago and this year, the responses are very similar with slight increases in access via. email and for teacher web pages.
As part of the Google transition we asked all Yarmouth parents for feedback on our web pages and we will be using those responses as we revise the school websites.

"Disruptive Learning" - iPad visits the Lab

I have been bringing my new iPad to school to get feedback and reactions. Today a class of 4th graders were enjoying some "choice" time with the emphasis on creativity. Primarily they selected Scratch, Lego Digital Designer, Tux Paint (symmetry & string designs), and GarageBand. In the midst of the low key buzz of exploration I brought out my iPad. The interest was huge and I got to hear who had an iPad at home, who was saving up for one, who had an iPhone, etc. I was curious about apps they use and I heard, "I like Carnivores, but you wouldn't have that," "Oh, download Sheep!", "Search for Juicy Fruit and Candy Box"! As I looked up the apps they wanted it became clear very quickly that they were heading me into "Entertainment" and "Arcade Games" and not anything "Educational". A student found the Uno app and immediately started a game. Several wanted to join in and my questions in my own mind started: Is this better in any way than using the cards? Would it be easier to take out an iPad or a deck of cards? How does the collaboration change around an iPad vs. a set of cards? and so on...

There was a lot of hubbub in the room and we certainly "disrupted" the calm of the lab by gathering around the iPad and chattering. I need to do more of this as we explore the potential for iPads. Beyond the high level of interest from students we need to focus on "a purpose with a plan" that is the expectation in our school.

April 18, 2011

Global Interactions & Global Collaborations

In Maine we have a Social Studies expectation that students understand the geography, economics and diversity of the community, Maine, the United States, and various regions of the world. This progression from local to the country to the continents of the world is pursued using Google Earth and other classroom geography tools. In the last two years I have been looking for ways to encourage 3rd and 4th grade teachers to incorporate global collaboration as a regular part of our curriculum. I see this as an expansion from our state learning "parameters" to learning that includes 21st Century global awareness and involvement.  Several years ago I started using the Journey North materials with our K-1 classes and found interest in some 2nd & 3rd grade classes learning about life cycles and our seasons. This year all of the 3rd grade classes are taking part in the Mystery Class module and they are finding it an expanded opportunity to explore geography and climate information about places around the world. Conversations about latitude, photoperiod, the equator, the Poles, the rotation of the Earth are all taking place as students try to determine the location of ten Mystery Classes


I would like to explore adding a Flat Classroom aspect to this participation that involved direct communication once the students have all figured out the locations of the Mystery Classes. How might we do this? I would like to start using Edmodo with pilot 3rd and 4th grade classes in the fall to develop links between classrooms and to support collaboration on Google Docs for a shared project that had the conversation going in Edmodo. If we find this works for classes then we can expand the idea beyond our school to connecting with other schools. We could also create a Voicethread and invite the Mystery Classes and the classes that are trying to identify the Mystery Classes to contribute a photo about their location and student comments around it. I have just joined the Journey North Ning and I will see if there is any interest in the Voicethread idea. To make it truly within the guidelines of a Flat Classroom Project there would need to be more than a Voicethread, but I hope to try it as a start.

April 5, 2011

A Sample Day as an Instructional Technology Integrator

What do I do all day? Sometimes I am asked if I have a job description and I don't actually have one. This is a job that varies day-to-day and keeps changing over the months. Here's a snapshot of today:

7:45 - Elmo demonstration in the Lab - Teachers who have had this document camera in their rooms came and showed the possible uses for it to teachers who are interested in using the new ones we recently purchased. Lots of excitement for sharing and teaching from Math journals, writing samples and more.
8:15 - Moved the Elmo to a 2nd grade classroom and set it up for use during the first class of the day.
Hallway conversation about Photo Booth for recording reading fluency with the Literacy Specialist who is new to Macs this year. We agreed to meet later in the day for me to show her how to video the student.
8:30 - A 2nd grade class used laptops in their room with the goal of writing an idiom, its meaning and adding an illustration. We are hanging on to using AppleWorks for this as it is the only program that allows students to add an illustration on the same page with text. The class had used Clicker Paint, but this was their first time on AppleWorks paint tools. They had a very easy time transferring their drawing experience to new program and the class of 20 students were able to finish and print in about a half an hour.
9:15 - 3rd grade classes are in the midst of a Biography unit and the students in the Lab today were looking for Internet photos that they added to a Pages document and wrote captions. These will be cut out and pasted on the characters they have been creating. The Lab printer is waiting for a part so due to printing issues we planned for the class to come back at 11:40 to finish.
10:00 - The 4th grade class across the hall had a sub so I helped her move the laptop cart and prepare for a Google Doc writing assignment of continuing their fiction stories.
10:15 - A 4th grade class came in to work on their fiction stories in their Google Docs and the teacher met with individual students for editing. I was able to check on the printer issue and fix it.
10:30 - A teacher came in with a question about Google Calendar and how to use the new Resource options to sign up for the Lab and the Carts.
11:00 - Went to Rowe School to help the School Counselor install NoteShare as she had been working with colleagues who were using it to keep notes on student interactions in an organized way. While I was there I dropped off some plastic bins I had bought at Target that we agreed to use to organize the Flipcams and their various parts.
11:40 - The 3rd grade class returned to finish their Internet photos and captions. Students who had finished were to pick a choice activity. I took note of their choices: Clicker Paint drawings, Timez Attack to practice multiplication facts ("This is surprisingly fun."), or Google Earth ("Are we allowed to do that?")
11:50 - Spent 10 minutes showing the Literacy Specialist how to use Photo Booth to record reading fluency.
12:00 - Went to a classroom to help a teacher with Gmail questions about "Undo" and adding a signature.
12:30 - Lunch and email check. Phone call from a teacher whose computer crashed - I setup a loaner, took it to her and packed hers for repair.
Email catchup. Wrote a Resource Calendar How To Sheet and sent an email about it.
Went to see the YES secretary about using the new Resource Calendar for the YES Conference Room.
1:30 - 2nd grade class used the videos and games I had set up online for a self-directed lesson on ideas in the Force & Motion unit they are doing.
The Literacy Specialist stopped in to tell me that Photo Booth had worked just as she had hoped with the student.
2:15 - 4th grade class came in for their second session on the program Scratch. I encouraged them to move to work with partners or share computers to work together. Ideas flowed and the kids worked through ideas and possibilities. For the last ten minutes they viewed each others projects. Many students have reported downloading the Scratch software at home.
3:15 - Met with two teachers about a grade level website that we have been working on all year as a place for descriptions of common experiences for students in 2nd grade.

I had an appointment so I left school at 3:45. Work at home tonight will include the Flat Classroom Certified Teacher Class online conversation for an hour, editing a biography interview for a 3rd grade class, some reading, and, and... While there isn't any job description, I treasure the opportunities, the connections and the learning that occur every day.

April 3, 2011

Flat Classroom Certified Teacher Course

Our reading for the course this week revisits the ideas of "push" and "pull" technologies. For my purposes there are so many resources that I could pick up and read that I prefer to use some form of "pull" to select certain items and have them come directly to my desktop. Several years ago I set up a Bloglines account and had feeds coming in from educators, technology colleagues, newspaper columnists and others. I rarely took the time to check the results and kept looking for ways to select the ones I would really read and learn from. Then came Google Reader and I could organize and winnow a bit. I still have both accounts, but my latest attempt at seeing many headlines and blog posts at a glance is m renovated iGoogle with my Google Reader gadget coming into it. I have set my iGoogle as the start page for my favorite browser and I am making a commitment to set aside pieces of time each week to scan and read.

My reality is that I most often use Twitter at a glance during my work day and I rely on the people I follow to send and resend links so that I don't miss too many posts. Some of the people I follow are in my Gmail Buzz and I value having their posts stay there in case I miss them in Twitter. My original reason for establishing a Personal Learning Network was that I am the only one in my district who does what I do. While I'm fortunate to have two colleagues who are also Instructional Integrators, I am the only one who is at the elementary level. I have an amazing colleague in Southern Maine in Bob Sprankle and he and I have sometimes collaborated on presentations at the annual fall MainED conference. There are other people I connect with who are geographically available for occasional face-to-face contacts, but much of my professional collaboration is online in some form.

Diigo for sharing bookmarks, reading and communities of learners is a "pull" tool that I can't imagine not having. The possibilities of tags for organizing, making lists & slideshows and sharing with groups make it essential to me. While I have taught Diigo in courses I teach, I have been trying to find a chance to introduce it to all of the faculty at school. I hope to be able to do that in May of this year.

This week I expect the arrival of my new iPad2 and I look forward to that as a new tool for viewing, reading, and occasionally responding to my learning network.
http://www.geek.com/articles/apple/three-versions-of-the-ipad-2-are-expected-in-2011-20101228/

March 25, 2011

Learning with Laptops

On Friday, March 25th our high school students were invited to present what the laptops at YHS have meant to them in their learning as the Keynote presentation for a Technology Day at SAD 6. The students planned a presentation using the Google Presentation app, working on it whenever they each had a chance. Alice Barr worked on getting the students, coordinating their ideas and making sure that all was ready for Friday. With the entire faculty of SAD 6 gathered the team of students spoke clearly and eloquently about the power and importance of having laptops and technology as integral parts of their high school lives. This is one short video clip, the full video is available.

video
The rest of the day was sessions for teachers and the students helped me and Alice Barr teach creating Google Sites. While this isn't blog post isn't about Elementary students it is about the investment that Yarmouth students have in incorporating technology into every aspect of their learning. Seeing what that can mean in high school gives me even more impetus to give every elementary student the experiences that will lead them to creative, independent learning with technology.

March 19, 2011

Yarmouth Goes Google

On March 18th the K12 Technology Team planned and carried out a professional development day at YHS for all faculty and staff. The process of moving from Google Docs and FirstClass Mail to all Google Apps is accelerating as we plan to be using all Google Apps as of April 25th (after April Vacation). Google Education provides numerous tutorials and transition aids to all districts moving to Google Education Domains. Using those materials, and others from colleagues and Google Certified Teachers, we put together a Conference style day that is posted at this site: http://ytechday.yarmouthschools.org.


The reaction has been very positive as to the differentiation that was offered for learners at different points in the transition. We offered 20+ sessions in strands that ranged from Novice to Experienced. We were fortunate to have colleagues from neighboring schools and districts as well as our own faculty offer sessions and twelve YHS students spent all or half of the day assisting presenters and offering help to faculty members. Photos uploaded during the day are posted online.


These were some comments on the Exit slips:
I was a little nervous about the Google inservice day at first, but you all did such a great job explaining everything. It was so nice to have time to work on what we learned that day when we had others there to answer any questions we may have. 
I really enjoyed working with others...we helped and supported each other in a safe environment.  
This was phenomenal. I really didn't realize how much these tools can do. Now I know more about what I don't know. This day helps me to continue with my own learning.   
A very professional day with all of the amenities that one would expect from a conference that we paid lots of money to attend. 
I thought the day was very well planned. I enjoyed learning new things and working with colleagues I don't normally get an opportunity to work with. 
I love the variety of sessions and all the extra help. Lots of energy around this transition! 
A wonderful learning experience!
I appreciated that I could leave a session anytime that I felt that it wasn't what I needed.  
I really enjoyed working with others...we helped and supported each other in a safe environment.  
After much apprehension, I am so excited about creating a website.
 I love the way you always include students - they are such an amazing resource and it's wonderful for them to see us learning, learning, learning.   
We will continue to offer informal and formal learning opportunities for faculty and staff as we move through the coming months. Over 30 Yarmouth faculty will participate in the “Teaching & Learning with Google Tools” course posted at https://sites.google.com/a/yarmouthschools.org/spring-2011-tech/.

March 15, 2011

Winter/Spring Yarmouth Tech Course

It's great to have the opportunity to offer a one credit course again in Yarmouth. For some people that time frame works better than attending in the summer and in particular teachers will have time for the learning that will be required to move to our Yarmouth Google Domain in the coming months. The course is being developed with separate sessions for K-4 and 5-12 to allow teachers to start and end at different times. The course site is at https://sites.google.com/a/yarmouthschools.org/spring-2011-tech/ and the website will be developed over the months of the course.

March 8, 2011

YES Student Surveys 2011

This year it happened that I had mostly 2nd and 4th grade classes fill out brief survey on using computers and the Computer Lab at YES.
 A considerable majority of students report that they like using computers at school:
I was pleased to see that most students think that I help them learn, at least some of the time:
When asked, "One thing I like to do on our computers is:" students had a varied list of items that they like to do on computers: draw, Clicker Paint, Games, math, Timez Attack, Keynote, Online books, Scratch, Google Accounts, and of course "free choice". The second graders had a strong voice for drawing programs and math games, while fourth graders were more specific about math games and creating projects.

In response to: "One thing I wish we did more of on our computers:" there fewer responses, but the answers were a broad range from more free time to GarageBand to videos. They would like to spend more time searching and exploring sites on the Internet, but we try to keep that inside the bounds of school research. Interest in learning to type is growing in younger grades and I may start offering it to 3rd graders next year.

I was curious to see what their responses would be to the question, "One thing I think I am really good at when we use our computers:". There weren't very many responses, but they are interesting:
  • math websites (3)
  • everything
  • clicker paint (5)
  • Photo Booth
  • acrostic poems (3)
  • typing (6)
  • finding what to do
  • learning
  • spelling
  • Edmodo
  • figuring out stuff
  • Scratch (3)
  • computer shortcuts and Scratch
  • lego digital designer
  • TimezAttack (3)
  • solving problems that I have by myself
  • garage band
We are fortunate to have the equipment and resources we do and I hope to keep encouraging our students to become confident, active learners with technology.