Hot off the press! The arrival of calendar is a welcome early surprise
I had an interesting experience on Friday while I was doing a professional development session. While I was relaying my personal experiences with assistive technology one of the teachers said “I am writing down that quote!” the phrase in question:
“When the mechanics of writing limits a student’s creativity, technology can intercede on their behalf”.
Technology has been interceding on my behalf my entire life. And yes, I realize I just quoted myself, sad but true. So, besides being a little giddy that someone actually thought I was quote worthy, I was touched that I could relay a concept that is near and dear to me. I began to relay my personal story of being a special education student who did not learn how to read until I was in the third grade. I presented some of the modifications that I currently make in my daily life to adapt and to work efficiently. In addition I was also able to share how Google Apps helped me make modifications for one of my children who also has an IEP.
The add-on that I show the teachers was speech recognition in Google Docs, in fact I'm using that add-on right now to do this blog post. I shared with these teachers that there are many students that I've had in the past, that were so intimidated about the creative process, because they found themechanics required by project were insurmountable. Really these students needed to do to express their ideas and opinions is start drafting using this speech recognition add-on, why not throw the EasyBib add-on for good measure? Here is a quick demo:
I've had a lot of experience using Google Apps for Education with a variety of children that had limitations placed on them by learning disabilities or physical challenges. Myself being a “card carrying IEP” dyslexic has found that Google Apps for Education has truly freed me in many ways.
Also, I shared that using these tools freed me to express my thoughts and follow my whims of my hyperlinking mind, which is often not where the typical thought process goes. Many times I have been someone who thoughts come completely out of left field. As a child this was really hard for me. I usually knew the answers or could arrive at them, I just didn't get them out fast enough. That is one of the reasons why I love instructional technology so much, it frees me to express my opinions, research topics that are meaningful to me, and publish for an audience. I realize that my writing is not perfect, nor will it ever be, but I refuse to allow fear to stop my creativity again. My writing is imperfect, as such, it is a honest representation of myself.
Along with technology, one of the other resources that I found to be very freeing for the atypical student, is Doug Lemov’s (@Doug_Lemov) Teach Like a Champion. If you have any opportunity to go to one of his workshops...go. Seriously, tell your district that you will turn-key the training. Ask for a grant from one of your school foundations, but go. It changed my thinking on teaching forever. As a child who struggled to express answers, take risks or speak up in class, I can tell you that these skills would have leveled the playing field. Now I get the honor of training teachers in these techniques. I have witnessed huge shifts in the classroom environment after training teachers in some of these techniques. Wait time and Cold Calling alone would have drastically changed my learning for the better.
I attended a two-day train the trainer workshop, and I was completely enthralled. The teaching skills that were covered would transform anyone’s classroom into a dynamic, fun, and rigorous learning environment.
I would suggest that any teacher would benefit from signing up for Lemov’s Teach Like a Championblog updates.
If you at the Hudson Valley Google Summit, you probably heard about John Calvert's standing room only session. Actually there wasn't any standing room, I tried to get in. Well thank you to John for breaking down his awesome session in the Hangout for us. The whole idea behind this presentation is to enable a students to tweets (Think exit tickets.) to their teacher, who then moderates them.
Enjoy the recap! We are hoping to schedule a hangout with +John Calvert to go over his infamous session that has been talked about since.
Not many people know that Jesse, Sabrina and myself went through the Google Education Trainer application proccess over the summer, we are now joining the ranks of Amber Klebanoff, Heidi Bernasconi, Paul Lepore and Anthony Celini as Google Education Trainers.
As part of this process we need to take five tests, submit an application, submit a case study and a demo video. Earlier today, I was putting together a schedule for the upcoming Superintendent's conference day and I thought of Jesse's awesome video on creating a table of contents. I went to Youtube and watched it all over again. Great video, concise and entertaining. I am jealous of his theme music.
Here it is- enjoy!
We had the pleasure of having 3 members of the Google Classroom Pilot Hangout with us today. Paul Lepore, Heidi Bernasconi and Toni Piscitelli are all members of Clarkstown Central School District and have been using Classroom since its Alpha testing.
Directly below is Google's promotional video featuring Heidi and Paul. The following video is the archived Hangout.
This was much different than the simple virtual tour, where students are still purely consuming information but not interacting, questioning or influencing. This was different than a Skyped interview because the students were going somewhere with the guide. This was not scripted, with rehearsed questions to interview someone (which has great educational value). This was live, real, and spontaneous. Students were actually influencing the journey with questions and suggestions.
*We were told the Hangout app for Glass is not currently working.
Special thanks to everyone at the NYC SMART Showroom offices, they were fantastic, they had all the newest toys. They would be very happy to demo for other groups as well.
NY Tech Ed is proud to announce our second Spotlight Teacher, Cameron Brindise. Cameron is a 7th grade ELA at Ardsley Middle School.
Cameron has transformed learning in her classroom. She provides resources that allow her students to do innovative things. The students use Macbooks on a daily basis to access Edmodo and Google Drive. Cameron recently participated in a Pearson pilot with her students. They used the interactive CCSoC app!
Cameron effectively uses technology to enhance curriculum. If you would like to see how she is using technology please check out her 7th/8th grade reading blog, https://ourgreatreads.weebly.com. Her students also maintain a writing blog https://thestorymakers.weebly.com
We asked Cameron what aspect of technology is she most passionate about and how has it made positive difference in the lives of your students.:
Technology equals opportunity and risk-taking in my classroom. It is amazing how these 7th graders troubleshoot problems and come up with creative ways to share information. Google Drive and Edmodo have become essential daily resources to make interaction between students easy and engaging.
Congratulations Cameron! You are an inspiration to many teachers, follow Cameron on Twitter at @CameronBrindise
NY Tech Ed's first Spotlight Teacher is Cristina Conciatori. Cristina is a Science teacher in Valhalla Middle High School and has always been an innovator in using technology in the classroom. Recently Cristina has been experimenting with flipping lessons.
If you would like to see how Cristina using technology in her class please check out her site https://techsavvyscience.blogspot.com and her twitter handle is @techsavvysci
We asked Cristina what aspect of technology did she find most useful in the class:
It's so hard to pick just on aspect of technology, but I love the ability to communicate with people in new and different ways. I like that it allows me to increase my communication with my students both in and out of school. I am able to have things like websites and multimedia presentations to allow students multiple ways to interact with the material.
Congratulations Cristina! And thanks for bringing technology in to the Science class.