Tabaldo on Tech

Teaching with Technology in the 21st Century

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SymbalooEDU – A Must Have for Teachers

ToT_SymbalooEDUA Personal Learning Environment that teachers will love!

I have been radio silent for the past few weeks on the blog but not on Twitter! I have been doing many professional developments for teachers and schools (the presentations can be found under the Professional Development tab) and have done some training on many different apps and web tools. The one I ALWAYS show and spend time on is SymbalooEDU! This amazing and FREE web resource allows teachers to create Continue reading

Personalized Mathamatics Instruction to Raise Student Achievement

 


ToT - webinar

I’d like to share an excellent webinar mathematics resource covering personalized instruction for K-5 students from T.H.E. Journal and Dreambox Learning

Intelligent Adaptive Learning: An Essential Element of 21st Century Teaching

If you work at the district or K-5 education level, you’ll want to view this presentation. This on-demand webinar covers a next generation technology that is able to tailor instruction according to each students’ unique needs and current understandings and interests, while ensuring that all responses subscribe to sound pedagogy.

This presentation covers how to:

  • Create rigorous elementary mathematics curriculum and motivating learning environment for students K-5
  • Raise the overall achievement level of all students by meeting the learning needs of each individual student
  • Understand the research base required for school districts to invest wisely in technology

View Here!

If you are not registerest with T.H.E. Journal you will need to create a FREE account.

Hack the Classroom Event coming to Los Angeles

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What:

Hack the Classroom brings together educators and technologists for one day events to catalyze conversations about how technology can dramatically improve education.  These events are a unique opportunity to talk about technology in schools, the challenges teachers are facing, the tools they are using, and the solutions they are working on to meet students’ needs.

Hosted by:

LMU-Seal_+_SOE

Featured sessions to include:

  • App Workshops: Learn hands on skills to help you maximize Google Docs, iPad Apps, Evernote, and more taught by educators with real classroom applications from how they use apps to hack their classrooms.
  • Big Idea Talks: Get inspired by the possibilities of technology through topics like Technology as Core Ciriculuum, Flipping the Classroom, and Teaching Programming as a Second Language.
  • Group Discussions: Use tools like Design Thinking to articulate challenges and brainstorm solutions to transform the future of education.

Additional Benefits:

  • Earn hours towards your professional development.
  • Create community with educators and technologists sharing a passion for technology in the classroom.

When

Saturday, April 13, 2013
8am – 2:30pm

Where

Conrad Hilton Center
Loyola Marymount University
1 Loyola Marymount University Drive
Los Angeles, 90045

Who

Because this event is hosted by Loyola Marymount, this Hack the Classroom focuses on K-12 educators working at Catholic schools in the Los Angeles Archdiocese.  Future Hack The Classroom events will be organized for other educator groups.

Why

Technology poses an opportunity to personalize education for students, improve teacher livelihoods, and help address the great challenges facing education today.  Hack the Classroom seeks to empower educators with the tools they need to “hack their classrooms” and, in doing so, transform the state of education.

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Hilton is giving 15 teachers a chance to experience the world

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Hilton is giving 15 teachers a chance to experience the world…will it be you?

Hilton HHonors™  believes that as nurturers of future generations of travelers, teachers play an important role in spreading understanding of other cultures. This year they are giving 15 teachers the opportunity to travel and bring their experiences back to the classroom through the Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks Travel Grant Competition.

This information is straight from the website:

ABOUT THE TEACHER TREKS COMPETITION

The Inspiration

Hilton HHonors™, the guest loyalty program of Hilton Worldwide, has long believed in the power of travel to bring people together and foster greater understanding between countries.

This year, Hilton HHonors™ is celebrating culture by giving once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to teachers, many of whom rarely get to experience different cultures firsthand.

As nurturers of future generations of travelers, teachers play an important role in spreading understanding of other cultures and can have a profound impact on their students’ lives. Whether analyzing a historic work of art or telling a riveting account of an ancient civilization, teachers are the ultimate conduits to cultural enlightenment.

Hilton HHonors™ is giving teachers a passport to see the world and bring their experiences back to the classroom through Teacher Treks.

The Competition

Teacher Treks is an award program in which teachers vie for the chance to travel, explore and share culture firsthand. Through an essay submission, teachers discuss cultural destinations they have always wanted to visit and explain how they would share the learnings and experiences from a trip there with their students.

Thirty finalists will be selected by a panel of judges that will include education experts and actual teachers. The judging process will be managed independently by the Institute of International Education, a non-for-profit organization that fosters mutual understanding worldwide through educational exchange and training programs.

Fifteen grants will be awarded to 15 teachers selected by both public votes and an expert panel. Winning teachers will travel to their proposed destinations, chronicle their journeys and share their experiences with their students. Each winning teacher must travel sometime during his or her 2013 summer break. In addition to the trip, each winning teachers’ school will also receive a $2,500 donation to use for cultural activities or enhancements.

Prizing

  • 15 winners will receive a trip to the destination of their choice, valued at $6,000, along with a $2,500 donation to their school
  • 15 runners-up will receive a $2,500 donation to their school
  • One winner will be randomly selected from all submissions to receive a cultural excursion for their classroom valued at $1,500
  • From those who voted in the Teacher Treks competition, 10 random winners will receive one Hilton HHonors™ Gift Card valued at $250

The Submission

Your Teacher Treks submission will consist of a photo, a 140 character title, two essays, and a letter of recommendation from your principal.

We recommend that you write your essays in a word processing application and check the word count before you copy-and-paste the essay into our submission form. The essays should be between 300 – 600 words. Please note that formatting (bold, italics, etc.) will not be retained.

Entry Summary:

Please summarize your entry in 140 characters or less (the length of a tweet) to tell voters why they should consider you. For example, “How exactly were the pyramids built? I’d like to find out! 4th grade history @ Parker Middle School will never be the same!”

Essays:

1. The Teacher Treks program was established to recognize teachers who build awareness of cultural diversity within the classroom and to provide an opportunity for them to further their commitment to acting as cultural curators and molding the future generation of travelers. Please use this section to describe your proposed global cultural adventure: Where will you go (outside the U.S.)? What will you do? Why do you want to take this trip? How will your experiences help you better teach your subject to your students and contribute to your personal or professional goals?

2. Please use this section to describe your plan for sharing your experiences on the Teacher Treks Program with your students and colleagues. How will you infuse your experience into your curriculum? You should include specific details on projects or programs which you will implement upon your return.

Letter of Recommendation:

Request a letter of recommendation from your principal and save it as a JPG or PDF. The letter should illustrate the principal’s support for your participation in the Teacher Treks Competition. Click here for a letter of recommendation request template you can customize and then send to your principal.

Judging Criteria:

  • The applicant clearly and creatively articulated where and what their trip would entail and how their experiences would help them educate their students and contribute to their personal or professional goals: 25%
  • The applicant clearly articulated a plan to share the Teacher Treks Program experience with students and colleagues: 25%
  • Overall quality of the submission: 40%
  • Trip feasibility and availability of property within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio: 10%

Questions?

If you have specific questions about the competition, we recommend you first read the Official Rules. If you still have a question, please email teachertreks@iie.org. For technical issues or questions about this site, please send an email from the FAQ form.

iPads in Middle School

Students pioneer the iPad frontier!

Every fifth-grader at Heim Middle School in Williamsville recently received an iPad to use until the end of the school year. Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

Every fifth-grader at Heim Middle School in Williamsville recently received an iPad to use until the end of the school year. Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

I just read this article from the Buffalo News about the iPad initiative that is rolling out in progressive public school districts.

“It’s transforming instruction,”  “I’ve got kindergarteners who email me their work.”

 

“the change in classroom instruction has been huge.”

 

“No more stumbling over unknown words in reading class. A light tap on the electronic page calls up the definition from Webster’s Dictionary.”

The use of polling apps, emailing assignments, instant access to digital content like definitions and e-books this is amazing. The article states that iPads in education is still in infancy and there are still bugs to be worked out, but for the most part they are successful at this time.

I am waiting for the research to be complete from the University at Buffalo to see if iPad use translates into improved academic achievement.

Google Advanced Power Searching

Google Advanced Power Searching

 

Power Searcher Certificate

I am a Google Certified Teacher. That means that I have gone to a Google campus and been trained to 3 days on how to use Google apps and can even train others how to use or better use Google apps in the classroom.

I am also a Google Certified Power Searcher. This means that I have taken a Google Power Searching course, and I am now a stronger searcher. This has helped me to search faster and more purposefully in my job as well as when I’m working with faculty or my kiddos.

Well now I can be a Google Advanced Power Searcher too! Google posted on its Google for Students Blog this week, that an Advanced Power Searching online course will begin January 23 through February 8thRegistration is required and it is a bit of work. I will tell you that I use Google so many times a day that I can’t even count. The Google Power Searching course taught me searching tips and tools using Google in a way I have never knew possible. I can’t wait to see what NEW searching tips and tools I’ll learn as an Advanced Power Searcher.

If you are a teacher, a student, a Google user I recommend Google (Advanced) Power Searching class. I can almost guarantee that you will walk away with not only a certificate from Google, but you will walk away with some knowledge about searching that you did not have before. Hope to see you there!

Professional Development & Technology

ToT-PD banner

Professional Development is a difficult subject to tackle because it means many different things to different people. PD to a teacher means finding something that they can attend that has some value and is hopefully interesting to their related subject or grade level and will meet the amount of hours needed to keep current. PD to an administrator means you are paying a substitute AND the teacher at the same time. I know that seems harsh, but it is true. As much as an administrators want the teachers to be current in their areas, they really want them to do it on their own time.

An excerpt from Standford’s

    Professional Learning for the Learning Professional

 

sums it up so well:

As students are expected to learn more complex and analytical skills in preparation for further education and work in the 21st century, teachers must learn to teach in ways that develop higher order thinking and performance. These new standards require a new kind of teaching, conducted by “teachers who understand learning as well as teaching, who can address students’ needs as well as the demands of their disciplines, and who can create bridges between students’ experiences and curriculum goals” (Darling-Hammond, 2005, p.5). Efforts to improve student achievement can succeed only by building the capacity of teachers to improve their instructional practice and the capacity of school systems to advance teacher learning.

 

 

What is being asked of us as teachers is more complex than it was 20 years ago and therefore we will need to help the teachers by filling their teaching “tool-belt” with some 21st century tools.

Here is an awkward thought, what about the Professional Development for the Educational Technologist? Here is an industry that is changing at the speed of dog years x 2! Just when we research the products out there, then recommend the product, by the time the school board approves the product it could be obsolete. Finding technology that will remain constant is an oxymoron. PD for the Instructional Designer, the IT Professional, the Educational Technologist is critical, because the technology can function totally different in a year to meet the needs of different uses/consumers. For tech professionals, the process for implementation of new technology looks much like any other business model for implementation: Request for Proposal, Research, Recommend, Approve, Implement, Assess, Revise, Assess, Report. With this model in place in an educational institution, usually it involves a new phone system or risograph, or copier. In those instances this process could go smoothly and quickly, but when it comes to software and hardware this process can be painstakingly difficult. This is why technology professionals in education need to be current in their area of expertise just as a subject matter expert faculty member. These tech pros when filled with knowledge from conferences and collaborations with others in their industry will be your loyal companion and trusted confidant. These tech pros not only crave the newest information on whatever gadget is comping out, in order for them to be of any value to their institution, they must be as current as possible in their area.

For tech pros, conferences like Educause and software user conferences are the best way to stay connected with the new and emerging technologies. Take that to the next level and understand that there is more community development in learning communities and list-serves even consortiums.

I know I personally look forward to professional development and I always make sure I leave the conference with at least one thing I can take away and implement right away. If I’m an attendee thats what I want out of every session and if I’m presenting, that’s what I try to give.

So for some Professional Development is and always will be a burden, but for others of us, not only do we require it we actually look forward to it!