Tuesday, October 25, 2016

First Steps to a Technologically Rich Classroom

Our class is currently wrapping a unit on human geography.  We have used technology along the way, but we are finishing our unit by using Explain Everything.  I have used Explain Everything in the past, but I have not had students create slides first to place into their show.  If you want to see engagement in your classroom, this is a very sound route to take.  The students enjoy video taping their own voices and hearing what their classmates have to say.  They also enjoy using the tools to showcase certain elements of their presentations.

I am very excited for our upcoming middle school unit on physical geography as we will be digging into Google Earth and ESRI.  If you have not experienced ESRI before, do yourself a favor and consider it!  It has a breadth of tools available that allow students to see how maps change over time, to look deeply at various topics and their are some ESRI-made lessons in a range of topics from climate change to overpopulation.

A Note from the Tech Coach:

ESRI is a free tool available to any SDW educators (and their students). It marries maps with data to provide teachers a way to share how data plays out right on the map. If you are an SDW educator would like access to ESRI for exploration or use with your classroom, contact Brian Yearling

Monday, October 17, 2016

Am I teaching you or you teaching me?

As I review all that I have accomplished this week, I am amazed with my student capability to understand and own the new technology. This week I introduced my students to Explain Everything. If you are not familiar with this app, it is worth the initial learning that needs to take place on the teachers end.

Students are able to explain their thinking by recording what I could  describe as a smart white board. They are able to bring in pictures, text, and use interactive tools.

I provided my students with a template by sending it through airdrop. Then, I simply showed them an example. They took my expectations and surpassed them. One pointer I would share is to have students add all text and images before they record. This way it will be ready for the share/presentation.

So far, great beginning. This next week, I will be looking as to how my students can use Numbers in science. Another mind boggling app.