Inclusion Benefits All
This short film has gotten rave reviews around the world. The film sets out to show that children with disabilities can and should be included. Check the write up on Respectability.org
Here's the blurb from YouTube: " A short film that appeals to emotions. A crush on the heart so that we all participate in the construction of a more inclusive world. Ian was born with cerebral palsy. Like everyone else, he wants to have friends. Like no one, he needs to work hard to get it. Discrimination, bullying and indifference keep him away from his beloved playground. But Ian won’t give up easily and will achieve something amazing. Ian is not alone. In Argentina there are five million people with disability. In the world, more than a billion. Inclusion is vital for our society, it makes us richer, more diverse and more just."
Less than 10 minutes... take the time.
12 Days of Techmas
Nadine Gilkison has shared a great slidedeck filled with wonderful ideas. She has given me permission to share the first slide (above) and to link it to her work. Check out her video below which explains a bit more about her motivation, the big picture. I first became aware of Nadine's work via Twitter and then was amazed all the wonderful hyperdocs that she shared. Lots of great ideas in the slide deck and don't forget to follow her work online for more.
A Holiday Gift from Lisa Highfill and HyperDocs
Lisa and her co-authors, Kelly Hilton and Sarah Landis, as well as all the teachers who freely share their work on the Hyperdocs.co site, or on the FB group deserve a standing ovation from all who benefit from their work. I was in the first cohort to take the Hyperdocs course, back when the book first came out and have to say that the ideas shared then combined with all the new hyperdocs shared online, are amazing tools which can really help you connect with and make a difference for your students. Click here or on the image below to see all the goodies Lisa shared today.
Ditch Summit 2018 & Access to all 35 Videos!
I know I already posted about this free online PD, but I didn't know that Matt Miller was going to open up all 35 videos in the series! These are only available through Dec 31st- so watch as many as you can before they disappear again. Today is Day 5 and I am already behind... but plan to catch up.
Don't Forget- Free Master FlipGrid course is live!
The debate around screen time is heating up once again. I have my own personal take on this, being one of the only tech folks in the universe who does not own a cell phone. But, aside from all the personal engagement/social issues that we can all acknowledge as adults- what is this doing to our kids' brains?
60 Minutes did a whole show on this recently and it was written up in the NY Times. This is an excerpt from the NY Times article: " As part of an exposé on screen time, “60 Minutes” reported that heavy screen use was associated with lower scores on some aptitude tests, and to accelerated “cortical thinning" — a natural process — in some children. But the data is preliminary, and it’s unclear whether the effects are lasting or even meaningful."
So NIH is doing a big longitudinal study to help clear this up. This is all well and good, but it also means that there is no quick and easy answer. I get a bit frustrated when I hear complaints about screen time in school. Our goal is to use this as an additional tool, to create, to learn. When the complaints come from folks who hand off a phone to a toddler in the car, it bugs me. Is this generational? Perhaps. When I see a group of students on a really cool field trip looking at natural wonders through a lens, instead of being present, in the moment, I think they are missing out. I see tech as a cool tool, but it should enhance, not limit, our world.
The various press releases around this study are already pointing fingers... more than 2 hours of screen time negatively affects the brain; brains of 9 and 10 year olds who use screens more than 7 hours a day show "thinning cortex", and on and on. It is a really interesting study, but it is far too early to say what these initial findings really mean. However, it is not too early to remind ourselves, parents and children to be aware of screen time and to balance our activities.
Google Tour Creator
When I saw the announcement last Wednesday that Google has created a really cool, easy to use tool to make VR tours right on a chromebook, I envisioned using it for a current 4th grade project on regions. Well, we're still waiting for it to roll out for our district. But, I do have access on my personal Google account and will keep checking the domain settings to see when it lands out heah. Essentially, you start here, then you go to Google Maps, street view (grab that little peg man and plop him where you want to look around), use the images found there or upload your own 360° images. So, I decided to test it out by looking around on the Kenai Peninsula where my son is doing some forestry work. Guess what- no roads= no Google street view- duh! But I did check out Yellowstone and found some good street view images there- although of course not everywhere I wanted to see.
But, if you want a couple of really good tutorials- turn to Richard Byrne's blog and learn more. I will put the 1st tutorial below, but he has another one to add even more detail. Check out his second tutorial here.
Applied Digital Skills
I posted a video about this back in March, and although I signed up to try it out for Digital Skills Week, life intervened and I didn't get back to it. Since then, I have talked with other educators and some are using pieces of this all the way down to 3rd grade- or at least upper elementary. EdTechTeam hosted a couple of half hour webinars that you can check out on YouTube. There is so much to explore in this well organized system that is already made for you. I loved the clickable pdf that Heather Sanders made. If you have a few minutes, check out a tiny piece of the curriculum- theIf-Then adventure stories are great for all ages.
I know- too early to even think about... let me get through the year... BUT I just wanted to let you know that MassCue is sponsoring yet another PD opportunity in Western Mass! This one will also be at Gateway- over in Huntington. Their IT director-Chris Parker- is a Hadley native and I have to say, having met him all of one time at #EdCampWesternMass - he's kind of awesome. Lots of ideas, runs a great program in his district. So- this will be in August. My all time favorite Google Guru to learn from- Jenn Judkins will be there. Honestly, I can sit in her sessions all day long and come away with something new every time. She actually uses these tools, has incredible work flow ideas, and she's funny. It's $65 for the whole day. I can pretty much guarantee that you will come away with ideas that you can use in the classroom, as an admin, etc. Check it out here.
Those of you who know me, know that Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality both make me feel seasick. I can be sitting down, I can hold a 3D image way out away from me, but I am the Dramamine queen. But, that does not mean that I don't see the value in this for some of our students. I have a whole box of Merge Cubes that I picked up when they were on sale at Walmart for $1/each, but haven't had the time to mess around with them. If you have time, stop by- I'll share. I love the Merge Cube educator group on FB. The ideas being shared every day are really amazing.
I was fortunate enough to catch Michael Fricano's webinar on Saturday. It went long- so you can watch the whole hour plus if you have time, or just check out the resources he shared in the Livebinder. He is also consolidating all of the AR/VR stuff into a nice new website- check it out here.
Click here to open this binder in a new window.