Category Archives: Technology

Our new reality: Social media monitoring in school

Is it our responsibility to monitor social media sites to help protect students from the dangers of bullying, drug use, violence, and suicide?

As principal of Decatur Middle School, it is my goal to make sure that all of our students’ academic needs are met throughout the school year. However, as instances of bullying continue to plague students throughout the country, questions of whether we as principals and administrators should do more to monitor students’ online interactions come to the forefront. Is it our responsibility to monitor social media sites to help protect students from the dangers of bullying, drug use, violence, and suicide?

My colleagues and I continue to strive to strike the proper balance between ensuring students’ safety while maintaining their desired privacy. But with mobile phones more prevalent and social media use on Twitter and Facebook at an all-time high, it’s become increasingly more difficult to monitor effectively.

more Our new reality: Social media monitoring in school | eSchool News | eSchool News.

Setting Technology Goals for the New Year

* New Year

New Years Day is traditionally the time when we look back on the past 12 months and make resolutions for the next 12. If youre looking to set a goal for yourself professionally, why not focus on technology integration? This year, think of an area where you can grow!

Here are a few ideas of where to concentrate your energy as you make technology goals for the upcoming year.

  • Choose a New Tool Each Month
  • Join a Twitter Chat
  • Host a Google Hangout
  • Use Your Phone
  • Check Out Pinterest
  • Try Skype
  • Share Your Story

more Setting Technology Goals for the New Year | Edutopia.

3 lessons for successful technology integration

* Child using technology

Our school, Colegio Inglés, is a private 1:1 school in Monterrey, Mexico. We have established a very complete system and infrastructure in 1:1 technology implementation. In middle school, every student owns an Apple MacBook, which gives them access to a world of learning opportunities.

In addition, our kids have access to bilingual education that aligns with accrediting bodies in the U.S., with common core standards and with Mexico’s Secretariat of Education’s requirements. There are different divisions that tap into different kinds of technology to leverage learning. For instance, elementary uses iPads in their instruction, and middle school has embraced a 1:1 program with MacBooks.

The school has done a remarkable job at the infrastructure level and at the academic level, in regards to technology. There has also been a push in balancing content, pedagogical models and technology. None of these should be dominant. It is rather a perfect equilibrium of these that constitutes effective learning.

This being said, we would like to share some of the main lessons we’ve learned during our technology integration process:

more 3 lessons for successful technology integration SmartBlogs.

Tablets are changing the classroom

Tablet PC

As curriculum meshes with technology in the classroom, teachers are discovering that tablets can be game-changers.

Students can research without leaving the classroom, teachers can project and manipulate 3-D objects on a screen and a virtual library is available at the swipe of a student’s fingertip. Backpacks are lighter, teachers’ handouts are almost impossible to lose and it’s harder for a dog to eat homework.

St. George’s School fifth-grade teacher Jennifer Smith says Microsoft Surface tablets have been a great addition for her students. “They are flexible and portable. We can take them outside if we need to. We use them for social studies and science. They are great support for what we are already learning.”

At the same time, teachers say iPads and Microsoft Surfaces aren’t the be-all and end-all of technology in the classroom; it takes a digital ecosystem.

via Tablets are changing the classroom – Spokesman.com – Nov. 23, 2013.

Insights Live from the 3rd iPad Summit

* 3rd iPad Summit

by Jennifer Carey

Last week I had the privilege of attending the third iPad Summit hosted by EdTechTeacher in Boston, Massachusetts. This fall’s summit was the largest ever – a sold out crowd of 1,000 participants. I live-blogged the conference, so you can read about the individual sessions I attended, along with the keynotes, on my blog here. (You can find my two previous Summit reports here and here.)

While officially an “iPad conference,” the theme of the Summit was definitely innovation and connectivity in education, whatever the device. Keynote speakers David Weinberger, Ph.D. and Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D. (the father of the SAMR model concept) highlighted key elements about 21st century learning: we must be connected online, we must re-envision education in the wake of new technology, and we should foster creativity and innovation not stymie it with restrictive practices and archaic security (or instructional) systems.

more Insights Live from the 3rd iPad Summit.

Facebook Has Transformed My Students’ Writing—for the Better

Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

The Internet has ruined high-school writing. Write the line on the board five hundred times like Bart Simpson. Remember and internalize it. Intone it in an Andy Rooney-esque grumble.

I’ve heard the line repeated by dozens of educators and laypeople. I’ve even said it myself.

Thankfully it is untrue.

As a high-school English teacher, I read well over a thousand student essays a year. I can report that complete sentences are an increasingly endangered species. I wearily review the point of paragraphs every semester. This year I tried and failed to spark a senior class protest against “blobs”—my pejorative term for essays lacking paragraphs. When I see a winky face in the body of a personal essay—and believe me, it has happened enough to warrant a routine response—I use a red pen to draw next to it a larger face with narrow, angry eyes and gaping jaws poised to chomp the offending emoticon to pieces Pac-Man-style. My students analyze good writing and discuss the effect of word choice and elegant syntax on an audience’s reading experience. The uphill battle is worth fighting, but I’m always aware that something more foreboding than chronic senioritis lines up in opposition.

More Facebook Has Transformed My Students’ Writing—for the Better – Andrew Simmons – The Atlantic.

YouTube in the classroom: A new necessity?

* YouTube

Some say YouTube’s library of educational content allows educators to teach more creatively

Teachers are increasingly incorporating videos from YouTube’s education channel into classroom lessons.

Districts are dropping bans on YouTube and allowing students and teachers access to the site’s educational videos. Paving the way in this shift in policy are large districts like Chicago and Broward County, Fla.

YouTube’s library of educational content allows educators to teach more creatively, says Angela Lin, manager of YouTube’s Education Partnerships. “After learning the same way for hundreds of years, educators are now redefining educational experiences to make them more fun and powerful by taking advantage of today’s technology, especially video,” she says.

On the site’s education channel, YouTube EDU, teachers can search videos by subject or categories such as primary and secondary education, and university. The channel, which has more than 2.6 million subscribers, has hundreds of thousands of free educational videos from PBS, TED, and other organizations.

More YouTube in the classroom: A new necessity? | District Administration Magazine.

Should schools monitor social media use by students?

Just as parents are grappling with how to keep their kids safe on social media, schools are increasingly confronting a controversial question: Should they do more to monitor students online interactions off-campus to protect them from dangers such as bullying, drug use, violence and suicide?

Should schools be monitoring students’ use of social media? Or is this the domain of parents? Does a school’s responsibility end with just teaching about online safety or should it go further? Given the rise of cyber bullying, and many parents inadequate internet skills do schools need to step up and actively get involved? These are touch questions. Here is what one article had to say this week:

This summer, the Glendale school district in suburban Los Angeles captured headlines with its decision to pay a tech firm $40,500 to monitor what middle and high school students post publicly on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

The school district went with the firm Geo Listening after a pilot program with the company last spring helped a student who was talking on social media about “ending his life,” company CEO Chris Frydrych told CNNs Michael Martinez in September.

“We were able to save a life,” said Richard Sheehan, the Glendale superintendent, adding that two students in the school district had committed suicide the past two years.

“Its just another avenue to open up a dialogue with parents about safety,” he said.

more Schools step up social media monitoring of students – CNN.com.

Tip for using Google Drive in Class

Google Car

As the word gets out about the many advantages of using Google docs, lots of teachers are becoming experts at creating and sharing documents in Google Drive – as well as exercising the “comments” and “see revision history” tools to provide student feedback on writing assignments (as I described in my first Google Drive article).

If you’ve rolled out Google Drive in your classes, either via individual accounts or through Google Apps for Education, then you know you can effectively employ it to share and collect assignments from your students. However, to save yourself from being inundated with electronic documents, you need to be sure that part of your lesson preparation includes effective workflow planning. Otherwise, you may find some tire marks on those carefully constructed lessons as Google Drive’s powerful features careen out of control.

Here are a few tips that have worked for me in the classroom.

via Don’t Let Google Drive Leave Tire Marks on Your Lesson Plans.

Free App Lets Teachers Create High Quality Flipped Video on iPads

Natasha Rausch is the first to admit that her first two attempts at creating video lessons from scratch were crude at best. “I used a cheap screencast download and filmed myself over a PowerPoint presentation that I’d made,” recalled Rausch, who teaches English and social studies to middle and high school students at Walden School/The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, MA.

“It took me hours to make and it looked horrible—like a B movie.”

Intent on flipping her classroom, Rausch started looking for a better way to produce content. Ideally, she wanted a whiteboard-type app that would allow her to create the flipped classroom presentations. That was a tall order for a teacher of deaf students. “All whiteboard apps at the time were audio-only,” Rausch said.

Ask and You Shall Receive

Having taught with iPads since 2011, she was introduced to Knowmia Teach, a free iPad app, at a summer workshop. Teachers use the app to create dynamic video presentations and publish them on the apps website. Rausch took an interest in the app that went beyond simply downloading it and using it. “I suggested that Knowmia find a way to incorporate a camera and video recording option so teachers could record themselves over the slides explaining their lessons,” said Rausch.

via Free App Lets Teachers Create High Quality Flipped Video on iPads — THE Journal.

Connecting With Parents On Social Media Is Good For Teens

It may be a teen’s worst nightmare: discovering that their parents have joined Facebook. But a new study shows that social networking with parents may actually strengthen the parent-child bond, which may in turn lead to more positive results for teens.

The study was conducted by researchers from Brigham Young University, led by Dr. Sarah Coyne of the School of Family Life.

The team gave questionnaires to 491 adolescents and their parents, who answered queries about social networking use, feelings of connection and behavioral effects.

The results show that kids who engage with their parents through social media feel more connected and had higher “prosocial behavior” and lower incidence of aggression and depression.

Read more: Connecting With Parents On Social Media Is Good For Teens.

Survey provides snapshot of BYOD in K20

* Boy ising smatphone

More schools are adopting bring-your-own-device initiatives, and the trend is expected to grow during the next five years, according to a survey conducted by the Software & Information Industry Association.

Results of the annual online SIIA Vision: K-20 Survey were released in June and for the first time, the survey asked participants about BYOD policies. Responses were collected from about 1,500 educators working in K-20.

The use of student-owned devices varied by education level with two- and four-year postsecondary institutions allowing the devices most often — 83% and 95%, respectively. Only 20% of respondents from the elementary sector said they allow students to use their own devices, 48% of secondary-school participants and 46% of K-12 district respondents said they allow BYOD.

Read more: SmartBlog on Education – Survey provides snapshot of BYOD in K20 – SmartBrief, Inc. SmartBlogs SmartBlogs.