Minutes:GGHC2011 2011-03-29

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  • Training and support is a huge obstacle for educational tech. Our project should be ridiculously easy to use
  • Anything that helps manage data (grading etc.) would help free up teachers to spend more time with students.
  • scantron - mechanical step of data entry unnecessary
  • "The best technology lets teachers focus on the things that teachers do best" e.g. move silent work to home/online
  • students are more comfortable with cell phones than paper/computers
  • would like a way to facilitate students that go beyond teachers
  • cookie-cutter, college-bound, alienating a lot of students
  • hard to get/keep attention
  • letting students interact in real world situations is a win
  • caution for response systems: don't rush/pressure the slower students
  • everyone thought DDR was hilarious

Full Minutes

intros, background on i3 and challenge

question: fads/bandwagons, what's your experience and stuff that doesn't work?

smartboard - was it asked for? a few did ask for it, out of fashion, but... training was the major issue training is the issue for everything tech-related

Mr. Walsh went to west bloomfield and created their video program his report from there: "they don't have anywhere near as much in the way of tech as RO does, buuuut, what

they do have, they have infrastructure, training support, not just the latest fad"

there are multiple ways to deliver instruction, and the smartboard just added another

expensive, cumbersome, technical setup. You need to turn it on, have it work.

struggled with data management, test data, student info, grade filing, using the data to identify trends

and troubles, both population and individual. Become very personnel- specific with expertise, that person

disappears or becomes overwhelmed and data efficiency dropped. Last year had a data coach from stimulus

money, was a good thing but a one-year thing.

number crunching can really revealing

blip ryan called

scantron -- there's a mechanical step that makes it inefficient, because of this, it's a transitional

technology. Something that goes straight from the student to the data analysis would skip the step and be

more useful.

question: effective technology?

Mr 's webpage, kids can turn in stuff, also can do that with moodle, opening up avenues. Roadblocks are not

technological (except security). Moodle was probably one of the best decisions, if we had implemented it

fully. Possibilities are broad, easily learnable. Not all staff use it, which is interesting, but a comfort

level issue. Teacher learning it mid-year means unproductive to make kids change mid-year, need accounts

and stuff first-thing. Would be nice if it was like Scratch where you can design it with drag-and-drop,

because support is difficult and setting up your own things is awkward.

Email is also a transitional technology, kids aren't using it anymore.

Special ed: Adaptive technologies: kindles, audio things, very positive, not incorporated as much as we'd

like. Security of a laptop, are they gonna get on the web, etc. Something to give to kids without these

liabilities, that would open the same doors?

Tech helpers? Yes, pretty reliably. Fear and turf issues over giving kids latitude to learn on their own. Be willing to let them make mistakes, cuz they're gonna make 'em anyway. Might rely on Ed personally as a

resource when it comes to kids with needs/abilities.

Techniques that work: Moving things online frees up the classroom, silent individual work done at home so

the classroom can be used for other things. Been doing that since '98, with increasing frequency. Uploading

assignments, wikis online, very close to students using cellphones for exams and stuff. Self-hosted.

question: difficulties in the classroom:

not enough time in the day

coming from elementary to HS, "feel like all I'm doing is grading". Huge time sink.

sometimes we have tech we have access to but not training / prep for it. Software on the computers don't

know anything about, sure it would be awesome but...

Dreamweaver appeared without a word, nobody knows how to use it. How much did that cost??

Having students in-class on-time on-focus is an issue.

sheer amount of forms and paperwork, especially for special ed, regulatory burden and data collection

increasingly huge, ruins instructional ability, but need the data to create plans for these kids

QR codes that could grade things? do tracking with the iphone somehow, collate the data?

side notes: student orgs sending mass txt, facebook groups, using cellphones as tools despite the school not doing so

collaboration, meeting time, always an issue. Physically moving to different spaces is too challenging, but

desperately need collaboration time. Previous teacher used Second Life to talk to peers.

teleconferencing, another evil useless technology

cross-pollenation between teachers from a wider community, not the same circle you always see

atlas rubicon - anybody can post anything, good stuff and junk, have to sift through it. Also, teachers

post stuff in order to gain posting priveleges, fills the system with junk.

district collaboration need not be a limit, go global, why not? so busy with local concerns

looking at doing MYP and baccelaureate programs because they're internationally competitive but not talking

to international collaborators, stuck thinking locally but we can ignore geography now

(nate idea: teachables like instrutctables)

website worth exploring: take IT global .org? classroom tiged cyberclassroom online collaboration, kids can

do projects, upload art, etc. Not sure how much it's used.

question: difficulites for students:

stifled because they've gone past us in a lot of ways, especially tech

what we offer them is not in a medium that's in their lifestyle

filtering is unreasonable, teachers have the same limits, youtube requires jumping through hoops. To get

federal money you have to get filtering systems but this district does it poorly. Model UN team can't

research because Bess blocks naughty things like human rights.

all kids expected to be college-bound, and follow that curriculum, not the right fit for some kids. Boxed

into having to do advanced math and whatever, we're not looking at their individual needs to be successful,

100% college is a cookie-cutter approach, ignores different styles and intelligences. There can be rigor in

other domains. Tension between politics of a common core, and pedagogical goodness of differentiated

structure. Paperwork to exempt kids from inappropriate classes.

question from ryan: Do you try to do things that step outside a box to get their attention?

attention spans vary, so lessons shrunk into small packages, techniques we should be employing to hold

attention but chunking is still with traditional pen-and-paper models. Not a lot of variation because

comfort level doesn't fit technological means into the classroom in an educationally sound way.

Powerpoint seems to be an end-all of presentation format.

Dialogue in classroom is the most effective thing, freeing up time for that is difficult.

Getting kids into a class lab takes advance scheduling, they don't just have laptops sitting in front of

them. Lab use has not been a clear advantage, drills and quizzes in foreign language could be effectively

done in traditional method, not really an improvement. Gotta use tech to enable things we couldn't

otherwise do. Teacher fear of tech turning them into robots. The best technolgies are the ones that enable

us to do what we've been trained to, well.

was trying to show the rebecca black video... 3 1/2 minutes of agony, you'll like it

question: think of a story that illustrates a teacher or a student overcoming a challenge

back to teaching visually impaired... 30 years ago I read everything to kids, had to read everything to

them, the only way they could get things done. Scanning and having the computer read it to them: No greater

sense of pride in a kid's place than when they did something independently.

several students will do practice simulations and exercises, it's what public school is all about. but

watching kids interact with the real world, meeting a politician or something and realizing that the skills

they've learned are a match for that adult across the table, that's empowering. Can't trade that for


question: quiz buzzer

response: clicker is a transitional technology, cellphones could replace it. Speed component is not a goal

for most instructional uses, we ask our teachers to think about wait time, don't call on the first kid to

raise their hand, go the other direction. Clicker is / cellphone could allow students to take their time

and think it through, everyone answers in their own time.

PollEverywhere is the name of the website I want to use, allows students to text answers through their

cellphones. $50/teacher/year, or $250/school/year

FourSquare these kids, let them check into class, know where they are, attendance is done! Capitalize on

the infrastructure already in place, the devices the kids already own

ed question: Collaboration and group working skills, group-based response system. Grade each other, etc?

could be good if it required everyone to interact, otherwise one could just hog the button and the rest of

the group is idle. Give the kids each a contributing piece. Reading circles where every individual kid has

a role.

ed question: Regardless of skill level, afraid of making a mistake. Mistake counter.

Definitely beneficial to understand that partial credit, showing your work, identify the small glitch in

the process and fix it, rather than just getting the overall question wrong. Something that focuses on the


Within a couple years, moving towards a common core curriculum, testing at end of year, software grades for

partial credit. Seriously?

Electronic portfolios, been waiting for that for a long time. To show their growth as writers, etc.

Two thoughts on points-for-effort approach: Anonymity. Much more likely to participate and count mistakes.

Mastery: Want our students to master a concept, don't care if they get it the first time, as long as they

get it, sooner or later. Redo it until that happens, then reinforce it.

Posting paper drafts online, kids can critique each other's papers, admin knows their true names. They

guess throughout the year about who the identities are.

DDR-quiz project might not be educationally useful but hilarious.

dunk tank??

english running media literacy course next year..

11th graders doing research, group fascinated by conflict minerals in phones and laptops, social

implications catching interest, brains rewiring by technology, kids fascinated by it

kids fired up about things happening across curriculum, talking about environmental and social issues ad

the science of one thing that crosses disciplines