It’s been a fun couple of months since the holiday break. I’ve had the chance to spend time with a variety of folks doing all sorts of cool stuff. A group of us have been struggling to write questions for the social studies state assessment pilot due out this spring. (Spoiler alert: more on that later this week.)
I’ve spent time with teachers discussing social studies best practices that are aligned to the state’s recently adopted state standards. And I’ve had the opportunity to work with lots of teachers as we shared ideas and discussed ways to integrate technology into instruction.
It’s all part of what is perhaps the best job in the world. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy themselves spending time with dedicated, amazing people who literally are changing the world?
But . . . Read more
Saturday morning. 8:00 am. Must. Have. More. Coffee.
Steven White and Hilary Harms should not go out and buy lottery tickets. Any one who gets selected to present on Saturday morning have no luck whatsoever.
But they have an interesting topic so they should be okay. I love using primary sources and I love using iPads. Perfect storm. Plus there’s only like 10 of us awake at this hour so we’re getting some one-on-one instruction.
Steven and Hilary are sharing ideas for using primary sources to create something called a multi-genre story.The idea seems to be that an ePUB book contains both text and multimedia elements. They’re starting by showing how this type of activity is aligned with Common Core ELA standards.
Can we use primary sources and technology to promote civic engagement? Richard Hartshorne and Scott Waring of University of Central Florida say yes.
They shared a great set of resources to help you structure your use of technology in the classroom. They didn’t really share specific examples about civic engagement activities with these tools – mostly a review of the different tools – but they do have one lesson idea online.
All of the tech tools are free and easy to use: Read more
I know none of us have ever been to a bar and played one of those trivia games with the special keypad. But I have heard of them. Perhaps you have as well. Questions come up. The time counts down. The quicker you type in the correct answer, the higher your point score. After every question, you see everyone else’s score – giving you the chance to compare your score with the rest of the group. It can be incredibly addictive and a lot of fun to play.
I mean, that’s what I’ve been told. I would never sit in a bar, playing some silly video trivia game over drinks and snacks with friends. Because that would be, well . . . okay. Yes. I’ve played video trivia games over drinks and snacks with friends. It’s incredibly addictive and a lot of fun.
All good games have three basic elements. These elements combine to make it hard to walk away from the game. The first element is a goal. There has to be something that players are working to achieve. The second element is some sort of instant feedback. All good games give you some idea of how you’re doing, while you’re doing it. And finally there’s something called flow. Flow is the perfect balance between too easy and too hard. The game has to be hard but not so hard that you can’t win.
The video trivia game has all three. I want to have more points than everyone else. I get feedback after every question telling me how I’m doing. And during the questions, as time is counting down, wrong answers slowly disappear until just at the last second . . . only the correct answer remains. This helps provide a balance between hard and easy. And so millions of people get hooked into playing the game.
All this to say that there’s a new assessment game in town. And it contains the same sort of elements that a good game would contain.
It’s called Kahoot! Read more
The digital landscape that you and your kids have to navigate has exploded. Mobile technology, apps, instant access, digital content. The stuff is everywhere. And all of the stuff is changing how we do school.
But sometimes it feels like there is just too much. Sometimes it’s easier to just throw up our hands and try to ignore everything out there. How do we sort through all of it? We need unbiased and relevant information that can help us find the best of what we’re looking for.
And now there’s help. Read more