Mrs. Vance Goes To School

Learning and Teaching with Technology

Archive for July, 2008

NECC – Prevent Powerpoint Poisoning

Posted by MrsVance on July 1, 2008

NECC – Prevent PowerPoint Poisoning with Engaging Project Starters and Sidekicks
by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson

Can use any of their materials from the website.

Don’t just assign ‘do a powerpoint’ – must be more specific – such as compare and contrast – ie higer level thinking skills –

Danger Signs – laminated lesson plans – business thinking – google, copy, paste

Powerpoint – 2 spaces – 1 space – learning space – the layout, design, speaker notes space.

Example: give an old picture – in the speaker notes write the instructions for the assignment – have them make up a story about the characters in the picture, then add speech bubbles and some audio to go with the story they have created, place background information in speakers notes.

More ideas – using speech bubbles – create a dialogue between historical figures – react to peer pressure – compare science image to a student project – solve an architect’s geometry dilemma – brainstorm characters, plot, setting

Give them starter photos then if they have time allow them to find more pictures – prevents them from wasting so much time.

Create some simple templates so it is very clear what they are supposed to do and where, esp for the primary grades.

Image starters vs. textual starters – wikimedia commons – select, delete organize – categorize, compare, sequence

Other image resources:

Make sure you re-look at this page – ‘Explore Sidekicks Across the Curriculum’ – – many examples of using PowerPoint across the curriculum

Main point – you will often want to create a starting place in PowerPoint – many students are intimidated by the blank page – many waste time on non-essential activities like searching for pics or changing the font – both problems can be avoided by having some beginning place – this does not restrict more advanced students, they can still go beyond what has been provided in the starter.

Use guidebooks – try allows you to search for info about animals in your zip code.


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NECC – Powerful Learning Practice

Posted by MrsVance on July 1, 2008

NECC – Powerful Learning Practice: Creating Online Communities for Professional Development
by Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Challenging time to figure out the best ways to do things for ourselves and for our students. – What does it mean to be a networked learner. When she needed to decide how to distribute the things that she collected she asked her readers.

New technologies are being driven by our kids -they are pushing them to the limit. Analogy – bus careening widely down the road – kids in front driving – adults in the back of the bus – how do we get from the back of the bus to at least sitting next to the kids driving so we can at least give advice etc.

Here Comes Everybody
Clay Shirky

Schools should have as a goal that students will be able to (SWBAT) learn personal learning networks. Easy to create and use the tools. What is hard is understanding what happens after you create the blog/wiki/podcast.

The power of these tools is not in learning to use the tools – but support a longer term immersion in the tools.

What is community – any group working toward a common goal – safe, learning, neighbors, interaction – mutual accountability – common interests, impact may be positive or negative. wikipedia

Much of the learning on the internet is self-motivated – so how do we encourage teachers to be motivated, to have the courage to reach out.

Emergent Design Model (need to get a copy of this)

Trying to get away from the models of teachers being behind 4 walls in isolation

Characteristics of a healthy community (need to get a copy of this)

Pilot in Alabama – 20 schools – teams of 5 – could meet f2f, synchronously and asynchronously – designed to draw in lurkers. – in business week – dept of education became involved.

What is the scaling framework that allows you to take a small initiative and transfer it – scale it.

Begin w/ 2 f2f workshops
Webinars – might use Elluminate
Virtual learning community
Local, job embedded groups
End w/ f2f meeting to celebrate and announce success.

Seek schools willing to invest time in exploring the challenge of 21st century learning
Include some experts – fellows
Each school should identify small team to participate.
Goal of scaling-up in each school.

At the beginning of the project have teachers identify where they are on the developmental continuum from ‘Know Nothing’ to ‘Know Everything’

100 – 120 people ideal to make a real difference.

What about the parents – must get buy-in – can create a ‘lite’ version that is for the parents.

handouts will be on NECC site

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NECC – Seeing Is Learning

Posted by MrsVance on July 1, 2008

NECC – Seeing Is Learning: Integrate Digital Pictures and Sound into Lessons
by Cheryl McInnis and Kent McInnis

Materials will be on NECC website later today.

Free, Reliable Resources:
EBSCO and SIRS Discoverer
Library of Congress

Flip video – has an hour of recording time – USB port flips out – software included on the device
HD TV stick from pinnacle- can be plugged into an antennae or cable – can use computer as a TV – can record

Useful websites – free music – help in fixing home video quality – weekly tech news – file conversion

Power Point Slides can be saved as JPG files – then can import these into PhotoStory or Movie Maker.

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NECC – What Effective Computer-Using Teachers Know

Posted by MrsVance on July 1, 2008

NECC – What Effective Computer-Using Teachers Know about Teaching: An International Perspective
by Geoff Powell, Peter Skillen and Gary Stager

GS – idea of being able to use computers to do know and learn things that we could not do know and learn before.

GS – Some teachers are simply not effective teachers.

More info at

GP – Good teachers scare kids sometimes – ie – not afraid to do things – not just technology – media making the culture of fear more pervasive

examples of good work –

PS – YMCA started HS – Authenticity – Students and teachers as co-investigators – modeling – zone pf proximal development – socio-constructivist – google Earth project – Peace on Earth Project – zoom to a place, for instance Bejing – Artwork, music, video and commentary inserted into placemark related to art from China – another example – Italy – info about baroque music as related to performing inner peace. – This was very authentic for this group, YMCA focuses on peace.

GS – teachers should be qualified to work in summer camp – these folks know how to be w/ children – value what it is that children are about.

GP – Power of location – we will pay obscene amounts of money to be in a certain locations – relation to classrooms – rows – laptops and wireless networks expand the location options – when you do wireless don’t forget outside – if students are in an odd spot they will email him to let him know where they are located – While we are debating how much access our kids have to technology many places do not even have enough books – OLPC!!! – no matter where you are you do the best you can, don’t get depressed or distracted by what you do not have.

PS – challenge to get kids to do better research – challenge kids to come up with a driving question that is ‘fat’ rather than ‘skinny’ – had kids make a blog around a driving question – took several iterations to develop good driving question

GS – Good at craft and theory / art and science – most educational problems have been around for a long time and have been solved already

GP – Great teachers love kids – moderate your behavior according to cultural norms

PS – Harm Reduction – take kids who have issues, diction issues, tardiness issues etc. – take these kids into a counseling situation until they slowly begin to change – non-judgmental, not threatening

GS – expertise made transparent to the students – thinking out loud

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