Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top 100 teachers - Los Angeles Teacher Ratings - Los Angeles Times

Top 100 teachers - Los Angeles Teacher Ratings - Los Angeles Times

Above is the link to the "list" that has gotten so much attention in the media and on countless Tweets and blogs over the last few days. The "list" of the best teachers in Los Angeles Public Schools. It is a little harder to find the list of the 100 worst and I'm actually not sure it exists.



What is interesting if you have a few minutes it to click on one of the teacher names or perhaps a few of them and then scroll down to the comments section for that teacher.

Parents, teachers, and even students are posting. Some posts are general in nature and others are very specific relating to actual teachers.

While I am in favor of data like this being available as long as people are educated and understand that value added data like this is "a number" not "the number". It is one piece of information related to that teacher....not the only piece of information on that teacher.

From reading the comments there were people posting that their favorite teacher was highly ranked and the rating was right on. Yet, other people posted saying they had a bad experience with one of the highly rated teachers and it was only when their child was transferred to another teacher (not as highly ranked or even only average) that their child began to grow, blossom, and develop in a reader or learner.

It reminded me that behind every child there is a story and behind each child and parent's interaction with a school there is a unique story. Perhaps there really is no "best" teacher...but rather a better teacher for a particular learner. While one child may flourish with a particular teacher another child may struggle with the very same teacher.

I need to spend more time thinking on how this Value Added data should be used.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What I learned this week 08/30/2010


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

New Things to Try in the New School Year

New Things to Try in the New School Year



Looking for inspiration on using new technologies in the classroom this year....see what others are doing.

via Richard Byrne's Free Tech for Teachers

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Interesting Cover Version of Bad Romance



I enjoy cover versions of songs when well done....but the instrument used at Iowa State University covering Lady Gaga was a first for me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Are Tests Biased Against Students Who Don't Care? (Humor)


In The Know: Are Tests Biased Against Students Who Don't Give A Sh*t?

What I learned this week 08/28/2010


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

YouTube - RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

YouTube - RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

RSA animate are drawings done with audio of interesting speeches. Fascinating approach to learning...if only we could all draw like this person. Topic in this video is Dan Pink's talk human motivation...shared at TED.

What I learned this week 08/27/2010


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Too Fun Not to Share



Music mashups when done well can be quite fun to listen to and in this case watch.  Who knew Nirvana and the Jackson 5 could co-exist in one space.

What I learned this week 08/26/2010


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What I learned this week 08/25/2010


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What I learned this week 08/24/2010


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What I learned this week 08/16/2010


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Summer Teacher Book Club

This summer a small group of teachers and myself read and discussed two educational books.  The first was Larry Rosen's Rewired: Understanding the IGeneration and the way they learn.  I hope to post on this book later but in a nutshell we can summarize the message of the book as we need to teach the way students will be most receptive to our content....not the way that works best for us as teachers.  Kids are extremely bored when we do not make the content meaningful and engaging to them and one way we can do that is allow multitasking of learning in our classroom and encourage student to use creative technologies where we can to enhance interest and thus learning.

The second book was Wormeli's Fair Isn't Always Equal. Couldn't help but notice that as start of the school year is looming just around the corner that posting on the Wormeli book has pretty much stopped.  As I finish the book today I came to the conclusion that our school (and probably many others) have faulty grading practices.  Too often we use grades to reward or sadly punish students for their efforts or lack of efforts.  Yes, hard work is important as is dedication to the task at hand but when we grade based on effort we muddy the waters.  Hard work and dedication or lack of it should be reported in comments since parents need to know while the actual grade for the course should be reflective of content mastery.  Parents count on us to report their child's learning and if we inflate our grades with other information we are doing a disservice.  Our report card, perhaps the most visible and weighty form of parent communication we have at our disposal may give a parent a misrepresentation of where their child is in relation to where they should be or at least where the average student is.  The average grade of a student not passing the OAA in building (meaning basic or limited) was a B+.  That creates quite a disconnect for the parent who sees a B+ on the report card and what equates to a "fail" on the report of progress created by the state.  We just need to clean it up.  I'm not saying it is an easy fix but there is no question that it needs to be done.  Do we have the intestinal fortitude to do it?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What I learned this week 08/15/2010


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What I learned this week 08/09/2010


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Friday Agenda

Viability of this class
______________________
Videos

  • Eat that Frog video from Pat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W7GB5Fh2XM
  • The Class (The Office)
  • Kung Fu Bear (with a laser)
  • Social Media Revolution video
  • New movie trailers coming out (3)

_____________________________
Blackboard
teams are setup ….but I need to define the instructors…help appreciated

Blackboard procedures

_____________________________
Glogster (Vicky is an expert)

_____________________________
Voicethread

_____________________________
Presentations: Your choice Open House or Presentations (out by lunch)

Voicethread

Voicethread

http://voicethread.com/share/1265980/

Demo

script src="http://www.gmodules.com/ig/ifr?url=http://broadcast-weather.net/gadget/local-weather/45201.xml&synd=open&w=320&h=200&title=&border=%23ffffff%7C3px%2C1px+solid+%23999999&output=js">

Thursday Agenda (8.5.2010)

Thursday Agenda

How do the presentations tomorrow….open to ideas..finish early Friday, remember our buffer

Funny Video

Ninja cat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v71Dtj2W7pw

Yoda and Darth Vader on Tom Tom
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdcJVuylmsM (Yoda)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ljFfL-mL70 (Darth)

_________________________
Catch up videos


team building video project


Willingham Multitasking video

A Message from the Future video

Social Media Revolution video
____________________________________

Google overview (refer to handouts)


GoogleBooks (build, embed previews, share your shelf)
Google Gadgets
Google Docs (word, ppt, excel, forms, drawings, lots of templates)
Highlight forms – fills spreadsheet on the fly and graphs automatically
Doc translations to multiple languages
Docs has built in dictionary, thesaurus (not everyone has word)
Demonstrate sharing document (character by character sharing)
Google Apps for Schools
Google Lit Trips/Google Earth
Google Custom Search
Google Bookmarks….like delicious
Google Sites….free websites with various templates
IGoogle….Internet start page
Google Alerts….predefined news searches
Google Calendar….think shared calendar
Google Talk….thing Skype
Gmail
Google Voice (plugin required)
Overview http://www.youtube.com/googlevoice#p/u/6/LpX0wbNtkC4
Runs on smartphones
Conference calls
Sms to email
Transcribes voice to text
Use it to call another number on the web
_____________________________
Creativity Crisis from Newsweek and Creative Model
_____________________________
Glogster
_____________________________
Voicethread

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Google Gadgets







Example of Embedded Google Book preview

My library

My library

Learn to Appreciate Technology

Wednesday (8.4.2010)

Any questions about the data project?
Reminder, who to send to (MarkA, JaneK, me, your admin)
Situation, Remedy
______________________________


Have a lose tooth video
The Pizza Order from Kim
______________________________


Nothing new on wallwisher….
______________________________


The PLN
Handout
Watch videos (?)
View Slideshare presentation from the site (discuss how to use it)
______________________________


Google Reader (demo), find sites and start building a habit
#student example at St. Ursula…students have blog, teacher subscribes, writing process


Delicious or Diigo (social bookmarking)
______________________________


Twitter


Twitter videos


Twitter in 60 Seconds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYz9M70KVR0


Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010 as at 03 August 2010 (Jane Hart)
http://c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/top100-2010.html


Who to follow?
http://tweepml.org/Teachers-to-Follow/
http://followfinder.googlelabs.com/
http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2009/03/seven-ways-to-find-teachers-on-twitter.html


7 Step Guide for Newbies
http://edudemic.com/2010/05/twitter-101-a-7-step-guide-for-teachers-newbies-and-everyone/


Twitterholics Guide
http://theedublogger.com/2010/07/08/a-twitteraholics-guide-to-tweets-hashtags-and-all-things-twitter/


Educational Hashtags
http://www.cybraryman.com/edhashtags.html


TweetGrid
http://tweetgrid.com/grid?l=2


______________________________
Cool tools featurette (‘ette meaning short and without much detail)


VocabSushi
http://vocabsushi.com


BrainyFlix
http://GotBrainy.com


Wordia
http://www.wordia.com


VocabAhead
http://vocabahead.com/
custom lists, upload video


ToonDoo, GoAnimate, XtraNormal


Finding a video on YouTube and re-edit it


WordCentral Games
http://www.wordcentral.com/games.html


Must Pop (letter fluency)
http://www.bartbonte.com/mustpopwords/


The Differentiator
http://www.byrdseed.com/differentiator/


Podcast (Audacity)….for the student, for the teacher
http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2009/07/5-resources-for-creating-and-hosting.html


Blogging and podcasting
http://posterous.com/
http://techtuneup.posterous.com/


Backchanneling/Collaborative Writing
http://titanpad.com
http://typewith.me
http://todaysmeet.com/techtuneup
______________________________


IGeneration Presentation
Learn to Appreciate Technology video (our generation versus their generation)
The IGeneration – Rosen presentation
What About Multitasking (article and video)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What I learned this week 08/04/2010


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sample Prezi

Core PLN Tools

Google Reader (demo), find sites and start building a habit

#student example at St. Ursula…students have blog, teacher subscribes, writing process

Delicious or Diigo (social bookmarking)
 

- Watch more Videos at Vodpod.


Twitter (more later this week)

The PLN



Will Richardson



PLN advice




One person's journey
http://blip.tv/file/1262079/

Monday, August 2, 2010

Don't Fear Change....it is inevitable



You have a handout on Prezi

http://prezi.com/
Sign and click on teacher/student licenses
Embeddable (can use offline but requires special tool...not really needed though)

Basic interface
write
insert
resize/move
frames
path
embed

Wallwisher

It doesn't get much easier than this!

http://www.wallwisher.com



Create your account (email address required to send you link to wall, also gives you rights to edit the wall)

Ideas for using Wallwisher

21 Interesting Ways to use Wallwisher (part of a great series...)
http://www.ideastoinspire.co.uk/wallwisher.htm

Sean Banville's 105 Ways to Use Wallwisher
http://seanbanville.com/2010/06/26/wallwisher-105-classroom-ideas/

Funny Tuesday

Tuesday Agenda (8.3.2010)

  • Funny Video
  • YouTube….probably need to reset...email Arline your IP (both and she should be able to fix it)
  • Wallwisher – review comments from yesterday
  • How to make a wall in wallwisher
  • Success website....a little more
  • How to create a new class of current student (as small as 10)….perhaps your Adv/Accel look different than proficient)
  • Share Elluminate email as example of PD
  • Handouts for the day on table –overview of each
  • Change with Prezi
  • How to use Prezi (there will always be content creation/not everyone has PPT at home)
  • The PLN
  • Handout
  • Watch videos (?)
  • View Slideshare presentation from the site (discuss how to use it)
  • Core tools of the PLN (IMHO) 
  • Google Reader (demo), find sites and start building a habit
  • #student example at St. Ursula…students have blog, teacher subscribes, writing process
  • Delicious or Diigo (social bookmarking)
  • Twitter (later this week)
Tools to consider installing
  • Melissa Stewart on effective use of Outlook
  • Blackboard 9.1
  • Getting last year's courses (status of Bb)



Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Learning Opps Galore!!!

No one likes feeling like this while learning, so use what you can....
absorb what you can.....
there will always be more to learn....
more opportunities for growth....
it doesn't happen in one day, one class, one year....
learning is a lifelong process




Tech TuneUP Monday 8.2.2010













OneNote
Electronic "trapper keeper"

Why OneNote? -- 1-1, software that lends itself to tablet

Learning OneNote -- Getting Start With OneNote 2007 notebook


Don't forget Atomic Learning
http://www.atomiclearning.com/k12/en/onenote07

OneNote Quick Guide
http://www.customguide.com/pdf/onenote-quick-reference-2007.pdf


Data Work
Dr. Ault presenting on What to Look For at 1 pm

Tech TuneUP class kick off

Each day I will try to post our agenda (with an understanding that it will change as needed)
  • Registration
  • Class meeting times
  • Project requirements
  • Lunch
  • Snacks/Drinks
  • Goals of the class (keep it fresh, but willing to change as needed--above all it must be useful to each participant)
  • Project requirements
  • Data
  • New Tools Application
  • Customized Project(s)
  • Personal Networking (in and out of class)
  • Friday open house/presentation
  • Questions?
Wallwisher Parking lot
http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/techtune2010