Educators can apply for a FREE subscription to Animoto to create dynamic slideshows and videos. There are many themes to choose from and users can mix video clips, photos, text, and music seamlessly. Videos can be easily shared to multiple social networks, emailed, or downloaded.
If you would like to learn more on how to integrate technology into your district and/or classroom, please check out our 100% online, 6-week courses
Next session (Session 5) begins April 22, 2013
It’s not too late to register for session four, which begins on Monday, February 25, 2013.
Educational courses provided by Critical Connections deliver graduate-level, engaging learning experiences through rigorous and thoughtful materials that challenge teachers and administrators to reach the level of accomplishment and mastery. Our instructors are licensed and credentialed professionals that have classroom experience and are involved daily in work that improves learning opportunities for students and professional experiences for teachers.
To support certificated teachers who are renewing certificates or teaching licenses, courses assist teachers in enhancing their skills, knowledge, and practice. Our courses align with Ohio and Wisconsin teaching standards and the common core standards providing a direct connection between effective teaching and high student achievement.
There is no question that Apple is great at marketing – especially to educators. However, Apple’s focus is to place their users into a “box” – or more like “box-in” their users – leaving them with limited access to applications, external devices, and networking capabilities. Before you spend your technology budget with purchasing iPads for your school and students, please read the following article, which was posted by Dean Groom
“Okay, the title is provocative, but with the demise of Netbooks many schools are fumbling around with iPads as the natural successor. I’ve always said wait. I said wait last year to the CEO in Sydney and though pilots are a good thing, the iPad remains to me a ‘near future’ investment, as few IT departments have had time to establish the kind of processes and methods they have with Windows. Slow down, Wall Marts open all night.
Here’s why, and I’ll try to be concise. Apple’s business model is not to network people or schools – it is to connect paying consumers to it’s legion of app-developers. iPads are not designed to work on local networks – classrooms are. iPads deployment is volatile and the owner is a constant hostage to numerous ‘update’ demands. There is this insanity that Apple create workflows – and if you have enough apps you can build a Dreamliner on the train to work. Ahem …
So why the Surface?
This quote describes our role as a teacher:
“If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 25 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.”– Colman McCarthy in The Washington Post
Students come to our classes with varied strengths,weaknesses, abilities, experiences, and the list goes on and on. Because of the diverse needs of the students, instruction must be delivered in ways that addresses the variety of knowledge and experiences that students bring to class. The teacher must organize the content of the lesson to address these diverse needs and most importantly deliver it in a way to meet the needs of all the students. ‘One size fits all’ lessons only address ‘some’ of the students. To align the learning goals with students, the lessons need to be differentiated or presented in various ways.
A Participatory Culture is a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing products/creations, and some type of informal membership whereby experienced participants pass along knowledge to novices.
Forms of Participatory Culture include:
Affiliations ~ Memberships, formal and informal, in online communities centered around various forms of media, such as Facebook, Message Boards, Meta-gaming or game clans.
Expressions ~ Producing new creative forms, such as digital sampling, skinning and modding, fan videos, fan fiction, zines, or mash-ups.
Collaborative problem-solving ~ Working together in teams, formal and informal, to complete tasks and develop new knowledge, such as Wikipedia, alternative reality gaming, and spoiling.
Circulations ~ Shaping the flow of media, such as podcasting or blogging (Henry Jenkins, 2009)
The 45 Lessons Life Taught Me
I came across these fabulous words of advice this week written by a 90 year old.
(Thanks to my dear friend Hilary for sharing them.)
I think that each of us will be able to identify with them … the trick of course is to remember them!
Written by Regina Brett, Columist with the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .
“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.”
The 45 Lessons Life Taught Me
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short – enjoy it..
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it..
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive but don’t forget.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does..
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.
42. The best is yet to come…
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”
As you reflect on your professional life…no matter if you are in the first year or the 40th year of your career…what would be your “lessons”?
What are you thoughts about the future of education in a K12 environment. What is the future of the K12 school? How will it change years from now?” These are very thought provoking question with no solid answers.
Consider using blogging in your classroom for discussion and student reflection. Many teachers have found that students are more apt to share their insights when given this opportunity to write them as opposed to discussion in the classroom. Overall, students feel more comfortable and less intimated – especially students who are typically shy speaking in front of others. Blogging aligns with Bloom’s Taxonomy Revised Version (Andrew Churches, 2008):
Remembering – Students must recognize, list, identify, retrieve, and describe when posting their response to a Blog.
Understanding – This assignment allows student to interpret, summarize, infer, and explain their findings and opinion.
Applying – Students are required to share their findings with their instructor and classmates. They are applying their search engine skills to locate information necessary to complete the assignment.
Analyzing -The Blog assignment requires students to compare opinions and organize their thoughts prior to posting their reply..
Evaluating – The assignments encourage students to hypothesize and apply discretion when reviewing and commenting.
Creating – Blogging allows student to create content on the Web. They are building a portfolio of their achievements in their educational process.
Andrew Churches. (2008, April 1). Bloom’s Taxonomy Blooms Digitally. Retrieved June 5, 2012, from Tech & Learning: http://www.techlearning.com/article/44988#
We are excited to bring you even more courses for the upcoming school year! With your support, Critical Connections is growing to provide you the knowledge and skills to do great work! All educational courses are 6-weeks long are are accredited for 1 college credit each. CEU certification is also available.
Courses will begin September 9, 2012 – registration opens August 20th; be sure to check back soon!