As I look at all of the amazing resources for students and educators that are online today, a couple words come up regularly, regardless of age group, regardless of discipline- choice and empathy. When I look at resources for digital design or STEM- first thing on the list- empathy; and the same thing happens when I look at ELA resources. They are all about choice and empathy, not just the subject matter. The two resources I have been looking at are ostensibly for "History" or "Global Culture". Both seem to me to be about people, empathy and the choices we make, even when we don't actively make a choice. Check them out, see what you think.
Facing History and Ourselves
The intro states: "Through rigorous historical analysis combined with the study of human behavior, Facing History’s approach heightens students’ understanding of racism, religious intolerance, and prejudice; increases students’ ability to relate history to their own lives; and promotes greater understanding of their roles and responsibilities in a democracy." I embedded a few of their intro videos below, but do check out all the resources available on theweb site.
Global Oneness Project
I love the stories on theGlobal Oneness Project web site. The imagery compliments the rich stories about culture, about climate and more. This is from the site: "Committed to the exploration of cultural, environmental, and social issues, we offer a rich library of multimedia stories comprised of award-winning films, photo essays, and articles. Companion curriculum and discussion guides are also available. All for free.
We aim to connect, through stories, the local human experience to global meta-level issues, such as climate change, water scarcity, food insecurity, poverty, endangered cultures, migration, and sustainability."
Ideas to Share
Matt Miller at CUE
GAfE 4 Littles
NGSS put out a new newsletter the other day with lots of resources to teach the new science standards, especially focused on ESL/ELL learners. Check out the link to see more.
I enjoyed meeting old friends and lots of new folks at EdCampNQ on Saturday. This edcamp is relatively small, with about 40-50 teachers. This is the link to the Board with the topics. Some have great notes associated with them, others not so much. What I found interesting- one session about SPED/Gen Ed pretty much reinforced what I see at our school- in both positive and negative aspects. There was a lot of discussion about push in vs pull out. I enjoyed the session on makerspaces since we got to visit their new space. This is new this year (or maybe last year), but has a bunch of rooms- for CAD, for woodworking, etc. It is a required semester course for middle school. Right now it really seems like a choose your own adventure space, where kids come up with projects and work with their teams to make "stuff". It much more about entrepreneurship, problem solving and working collaboratively than robotics or electronics. I'll be curious to see where they go with this.
One other new thing I enjoyed over in Orange was seeing a demo of Jamboard. "Jamboard is a collaborative digital whiteboarding experience, available through a physical board, tablet and mobile apps as well as on the web." So, it's a very fancy interactive whiteboard- but it is easy to use and you can collaborate with folks anywhere. You don't actually have to have the fancy board to try this out. You can use the app, use the web interface, etc. Check it out.
Trying to keep up with the constant changes in Google tools isn't always easy. Even when you learn how to do something, unless it is something that you use all the time, it's often hard to remember. One solution, of course, is to Google it... watch a YouTube video, etc. The Applied Digital Skills curriculum is a great place to start for many. Now Google has a new place to find training, The Teacher Center where even your students can earn digital badges. Teachers who are interested can do these tests as well, but they recommend that adults go through the certification process. The tests are not free. What I like about this site: there are two paths- fundamentals and advanced, and most importantly there is a whole section called First Day. If you are new to Google Docs, Google classroom, etc... this may well be a great way to start. This is an example- First Day in Google Classroom.
Student Chat via GDocs
This is not news to most of us who are actually in the classrooms, but has gotten a ton of media attention of late. Yup, no surprise, kids use docs to chat in class. It should not be a big surprise is that they sometimes use these digital tools inappropriately, even using them to bully others. You can read more of the hoo-ha about this in The Atlantic, Inc, Gadget, Parents, Lifehacker and more. So, is this a problem? It is a violation of most school AUPs and can be and is addressed that way at our school. There are several different software solutions to help schools monitor this- for example Securly. In the classroom, it is just another classroom management issue, at least at the elementary level. However, if students are unsupervised at home, or if their parents assume that if they are on Google Docs that they are just doing school work, that may be a parental issue. Just as we cannot control all other things that come along with using technology, we cannot control ethical use, aside from educating our students, ourselves and the parents and guardians in our community.
PBS- Inspiring Young Scientists Series
Starting today- March 19th, PBS will be showcasing a new 3 part series Inspiring Young Scientists through STEAM Education. Read more about all of them and register here.
"Data,data, data..data is everywhere! How do we teach students to care about data? To interpret data? To understand all the cool things that can be done because of data? Look no further: join us on this LIVE conversation with NASA experts to explore how they brought visualizations of the Earth to the palm of our hands all by using, you guessed it, DATA!"
Part 2 “Live-Learning” Experience #2: Teaching Computational Thinking
March 26, 2019
“Live Learning” Experience #3: Exploring Models Inspired by Nature
April 2, 2019
Ideas to Share
VoiceIn Voice Typing
Science and Social Justice
Western Mass Science for the People with Arise for Social Justice
A two-part workshop on integrating science and social justice in
elementary and middle school classrooms. This series features
presentations and facilitation by community organizers, K-12 teachers,
scientists and historians of science on themes including:
* ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
* WORKING WITH COMMUNITY EXPERTS
* INTEGRATING SOCIAL STUDIES AND LANGUAGE ARTS INTO SCIENCE CURRICULA
* TRAUMA-INFORMED YOUTH LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Participants will be provided with concrete examples and resources,
guidance on fulfilling NEXT GEN SCIENCE STANDARDS, and time to develop
and workshop individual plans for innovative curriculum units.
Saturday, April 13 and 20, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center
100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA
BREAKFAST AND LUNCH PROVIDED!
Space is limited to 30 participants and registration is required!
More Info an REGISTER HERE!
I was lucky enough to spend the day on Saturday with about 200 educators from around the state and the region at EdcampBoston. I can even check back on the schedule to get notes from sessions that I did not attend. If you've never been to an edcamp, where the choice of sessions and what the sessions will actually be, belong to the participants, check out the video in the smore below. One thing that I like about edcamps is the ability to connect f2f with educators from other schools and to talk with them about what they are doing and how they are doing it. Often times it feels like each teacher is in a silo, be it one of a single classroom, an age group, subject matter or even a single school or district. Edcamp is a way to escape the silo and learn from others. This coming Saturday brings one of the very few western MA edcamps out our way with EdCamp North Quabbin over at Mahar.
Looking to curl up in your PJs and learn? Sign up for the first Library 2.0 mini conference. This will be this Wednesday, but you can register and then watch the recordings at your leisure.
Media Literacy Certification
This is a course that I have on my to-do list. Media Literacy is a moving target as both the technology and cultural mores shift. It seems to be more important than ever to be able to help our students determine whether the information they are reading/seeing is credible. This is a set of micro-credentials- badges that you can complete at your own pace and then get the certification from KQED/PBS. Check it out here. This may be something that you can also work into your educator plan and get pdps for completing.
This week I noticed a a couple of great short videos from Edutopia with ideas for quick, easy formative assessment- Closing the Loop and 60 Second TAG. The 60 tag video also had a TAG critique worksheet that students fill out. If you're looking for another exit ticket type activity, check out the MakeyMakey exit slips.
Ideas to Share
Women's History Month
A friend posted a link to an article about women becoming invisible as they age, which really got me thinking more about this topic. You can check out theAtlantic article here. So, as educators, how can we make sure that all voices are heard? How can we encourage girls and young women in our classes? How can we highlight the contributions of women across history?
How many can you name?
This is a playlist- mostly from Google Edu... 28 videos, use arrows to navigate
Resources to check out:
I subscribe to Austin Kleon's weekly newsletter and enjoy reading about his latest adventures, poetry and even his random ramblings. One of the things that he is known for is blackout poetry. I saw examples of this being done in new ways last summer at Pathfinders. Colleen Graves has some great videos and labz to demonstrate how to use makeymakey and scratch to make interactive blackout poetry. So, what is this "blackout poetry" that you speak of? Here's Kleon's video:
Here's Colleen's example of an interactive way to do this.
Ideas to Share