VFLR blogger Patti Grayson has gone from Twitter novice to accomplished Twitter user in a year’s time. The big jump came earlier this summer, when she plumbed the depths of hashtagging and discovered the micro-blogging tool’s secret capacity to form meaningful professional communities — 140 characters at a time.
Texas IT leader Tim Holt wonders: “Can teenagers actually point to some place in the day that they recall learning something? Is there a event in the day that peaked their attention? Something that made their neurons fire up and their brains engage? I asked my son this exact question. ‘What 30 minutes stands out most in your day?’ His response: ‘Lunch, because I got to be with my friends.’” It’s clear to Holt that “our lessons and our curriculum need to be more social in nature” — and social media is one tool to make that happen.
I love the flip. I do. And I realize by saying this I’m making a controversial statement. I believe if used judiciously, in the right context, the flip can free up valuable class time and provide the background knowledge that is fundamental for students to then go forward and wrestle with higher order thinking. Bottom line: it’s not always the right instructional choice, it’s only one tool in our educational repertoire. But it can be a powerful one.
Our netbooks pilot has set us on a path toward a 1 to 1 networked environment in our high school. In our next step, we’re expanding the group to include a Theology teacher and a Spanish teacher. Our first trial runs are teaching us something both about the challenges of 1-to-1 implementation and the powerful learning that can occur when classrooms become connected. (Includes video with student comments)
Ever wish Twitter provided a more coherent narrative? This tale of science adventure is being told both to underscore the value of Personal Learning Networks and to demo the power of Storify. Storify helps you assemble disparate tweets, pictures, retweets, responses to tweets and direct messages into one place — and one storyline. Add narration and extra information to the Twitter content, and you now have a chance to tell a tale and help others understand what happened.
Let me state for the record, I like Khan Academy. Specifically, I like the principle behind it: students can move at their own pace and practice until they understand the concept. In other words, students can own their learning. They need to know how to learn and how to manage their learning. In possessing this valuable skill, our students will hold the keys to the kingdom. How many academic stars do we lose now because they don’t progress at the rate considered necessary by unit and test calendars?