Archive for category 21st Century Skills

iPad in The Classroom: Taking Learning to the Next Level

Educators are always finding ways to improve their skills, and the best way to reach their students. As technology evolves, the opportunities to reach students on their level becomes easier and easier. In a world where 21st century skills are crucial for student achievement, tablet PCs like the iPad are becoming a staple in schools across the country.

We asked our Twitter followers what their favorite iPad apps where, and we found five we think you’ll love.

Flipboard
Besides being named Apple’s iPad App of the Year, Flipboard is a great way to catalog many publications in one setting.  In addition to  regular publications, you can turn your social media updates into magazine format as well. According to the App store, “See your social media in a magazine layout that is easy to scan and fun to read. Catch up on the latest stories, videos and posts from popular publications and people such as National Geographic, The New Yorker, Wired, Rolling Stone, Oprah, Forbes, Robert Scoble, and Brain Pickings’ Maria Popova.”

Chris Fancher, a Math/Engineering teacher at Manor New Technology High School in Manor, Texas, is excited to use this app in his classroom.

Keynote
Adding a little pizzazz to a presentation is done much easier with Keynote. Once you have created your presentation in the app, you can hook up your iPad to a projector, and you are set to go! Some of the features Keynote boasts are:
• Animate objects on slides with more than 20 builds.
• Choose from over 20 professional-quality slide transitions, including Anagram, Page Flip, Mosaic, and Twist.
• Use the predefined text styles or choose text options to personalize your slides.
• Quickly add your photos and videos from the Photos app using the Media Browser.
• Organize your data with beautiful charts and tables.
• Skim through your presentation, add new slides, and reorder slides with the slide navigator.
• Work without worry — Keynote automatically saves your presentations whenever you make a change.

Outliner
How do you keep track of your to-dos? Outliner is a great app that lets you stay on top of everything going on in your crazy world. Outliner has the following features:

  • Create outlines for structured notes, lists, tasks, tasks with subtasks, projects, etc.
  • Search through all your outlines, or find text in the current outline.
  •  Create items as tasks (with checkboxes) or not
  • Add notes to items
  • Get a quick view of the progress of a parent task – each shows pie charts to indicate what percent of child items are complete

Attendance
Appadvice.com recently did a review for iPad apps geared to teachers. They recommend Attendance because it’s a, “solution for quickly taking attendance, identifying students via photo, recording tardies, and emailing students or classes with progress reports. It integrates with your address book to import student data, or allows for direct download of course .csv files from the web. It is not particularly pretty to look at, but what it lacks in form, it makes up for in function. With an inexpensive in-app purchase you can also sync data between iDevices.” You can read more in Apple’s App store here.

Cram
You might not want your students to cram your content the night before a big test, but Cram is a great app for teachers. Cram is actually a flash card application to quiz your students. Teachhub.com goes on to say, “the multiple choice, flash card format saves resources, time, and energy when it comes to whipping up a quick assignment, quiz, or test. In addition, users are granted the ability to access an online database of questions as well as pre-established assignments. Cram boasts its own benefits for all elements of education, though, making it a well-rounded application to download and use.”

Do you have an iPad app you can’t live without? Let our readers know in the comments below.

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Budget Cuts Can Bring Creativity Into the Classroom

If you type in “education” into Google News, you find article after article on funding and budget cuts. The economy is still far from “reformed”, and everyone including our children, are feeling the effects. Teachers now need to be more creative in their classroom to keep their students engaged.

Incorporating new and fresh ideas isn’t a new tactic. Teachers have been evolving their craft since the first person started teaching. With that said, what can we do to keep student motivation and participation up when budget cuts are looming in the air? There are many cost-effective ways to include technology and fresh tactics into your curriculum.

Energy
Being energetic doesn’t cost you or your school board any money. It might be hard to put on a smile and be energetic some days, but if Ellen can do it—you can do it. If your teaching style is more serious in tone that doesn’t mean you can’t be energetic. We aren’t talking about jumping up and down and being a cheerleader for your kids, but it’s the way you stand, talk and give out information.

Smiles are contagious—how many of you could not smile at someone who smiles at you? Frowns are also contagious, so make sure you are setting the example for your students. You have to be 10x more energetic than your students to keep them engaged. Another way to get them energized is by INVOLVING them with the lesson. Have them work in teams, create a learning game, anything to get them up moving and motivated.

YouTube
What if your next English assignment was inspired by a video of the Tempest you showed your class? Hooking up your computer to a projector is inexpensive, and brings the world of YouTube to your students. If you have a video camera you can have your students submit videos via YouTube for a video book report.

There’s an App For That!
If you have an iPhone, you can send your students text messages to remind them of an important test, or even home study tips in the evening.  Thinking of new teaching tools such as mobile apps can be extremely beneficial. The app Mozes is a great tool to reach your kids via text message.

Get Involved
Going to sporting events to support students who are participating is an excellent way of building a sense of trust with your students. Juliann Frangella, a teacher in Illinois told us on our Facebook Page, “I have been doing this for years…the kids get such a kick out of it!”

Parent involvement is important, and sporting events is a great place to meet them outside of the classroom. Interacting with parents in a different environment than your classroom can really make the bond between you and the parent even stronger.

What have you done to get more creative in the classroom? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Credit: http://education.byu.edu/n

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Technology is Everywhere: How Can You Use it In the Classroom?

technology-in-the-classroomTechnology has evolved dramatically over the last ten years. We can now drive electric-powered cars, work with lightweight computers containing amazing power, and manage our lives on “smart” phones. As technology evolves, it has a powerful impact on us and our children.  Learning to read on an iPad or even playing fundamental learning games on the computer, make children very susceptible to new technology.

With that said, how are you implementing new technology in your classroom? Are you engaging your students to the best of their abilities? Are you being flexible and thinking of new ways to reach your students on their level?

Finding new and exciting ways to present your material can have a direct impact on how well your students will learn, and how they are able to retain the information.

Cameras
Last June, an educational certification program for K-12 teachers called Teach Tech was held.  The program demonstrated how teachers can utilize YouTube and Flip Video cameras to help student engagement.

StatePres.com reported, “Eighty-nine percent of teachers who attended the program last year said in a survey that the “new technologies enhanced the classroom experience.”

Computers
Your computer can do so much, not only for you, but for your students. Simply hooking up your computer to a projector, you can make your classroom come alive. Teaching about tsunamis? Go to YouTube and get examples from real life.

Even a simple PowerPoint presentation can make the curriculum more entertaining (if you have the right PowerPoint skills).

Google Calendar
If you aren’t familiar with Google apps such as Google Calendar, it’s worth checking out. By giving access to your students to view the calendar, they will have an online source for all major projects going on in the classroom. You can even set up alerts for your class which would be sent straight to the students’ cell phones.

Skype
As of this past Tuesday (March 29, 2011) Skype launched Skype in the Classroom. “Using the platform, teachers can create profiles that describe their classes and teaching interests. They can also search a directory of teachers from all over the world by student age range, language and subject,” reports Mashable.

Other Technologies
School districts across the globe are getting creative with technology.  Percy Centennial Public Schools in Warkworth, ON, have purchased iPods and iPads for their students. “The students love it, they think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread,” said school Principal John Goheen to the Northumberland News. Goheen goes on to say, “One of our Grade 1 students basically summed it all up … ‘It’s really easy to use because if you have a finger and you can point, you can work it’… the whole experience has been great.”

Have you used new technology in your classroom recently? Let us know about it in the comments below.

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Character Education Conference

At the upcoming Character Education Conference in San Francisco, Quantum Learning representative Cami Eiskamp will be hosting a workshop.  Cami has worked with administrators, teachers, students and parents as an instructor and trainer around the globe for more than 13 years.  Her witty, outgoing personality — combined with her highly interactive training approach — keeps audiences energized and engaged.  She models applicable instructional/leadership strategies that all attendees can use immediately when they return to school. Cami is a San Diego native, currently in her seventh year as a high school Spanish and leadership teacher.  She was voted Teacher of the Year by staff and students.  If you are attending the conference, you can join Cami on Thursday, 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.

 

 

 

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POWER WHOOSH!

Below you can see a video of Kelli Myers’ Quantum Learning 5th grade class doing a “power whoosh.” A “Power Whoosh” is when on cue, everyone claps their hands three times in unison, then sends all of their positive energy to a designated person. It is a part of Quantum Learning’s “If It’s Worth Learning, It’s Worth Celebrating.” Celebration builds the desire for success. So celebrate often!

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Goal setting and quantum learning principles by Kecia Burcham

The best part of our job is to see results.  Below, we bring you an article reinforcing our techniques by a teacher, Kecia Burcham.

Thanks for the support Kecia!

I recently published an article on one of the concepts of Quantum Learning; living above or below the line.  As I was preparing to teach this concept in my Franklin classroom, it occurred to me that although the model originated in the business world and moved to educators, the principles lend themselves beautifully to goal setting and achievement for all ages.

For example, many if not most of us are bound in some way by limiting beliefs about just what we can and can’t do. We often feel trapped by a lack of confidence, lack of resources, education or, perhaps most commonly – fear.  We wear some labels that often define our lives and leave us stuck on the fence of familiarity.  As many will agree, change is hard – way hard.

It can be said that whatever we are doing, saying, even wearing is sending a message of some kind about who we are.  That being the case, the way we approach our life mission sends a message as well, to ourselves as well as others.

Revisiting the “below the line” ideas of laying blame, justifying, denying and quitting; let’s explore how those responses translate into roadblocks to our personal destinations.

  • Laying blame – it’s someone or something else’s fault. “My family doesn’t have money or prestige.” “Society is prejudiced against my gender, race religion, etc.” In other words, “I don’t control my goals; others do.”
  • Justifying – it’s okay because….”No one else is…”, “I’ve been too busy doing something else.” (raising families, working, going to school – which are all worthy in themselves, but can easily justify ignoring your own personal goals) In other words, “Outside circumstances dictate whether or not I pursue my goals.”
  • Denial – lying to yourself; “I couldn’t have pulled that off anyway” “I didn’t really want that degree, that job, etc.” This sends the message “I can’t trust myself – I must believe what others say about my future.”
  • Quitting – simply giving up. “I’m stuck with these labels and it’s too hard to change.” “I’m too tired, too old, too short, too fat, etc.” This is so common and so sad.  We give up when things seem too difficult.  We let go because the obstacles seem so great. This sends the message to ourselves and others that we simply don’t have what it takes. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Most of us have far more than we realize. This is where we need motivation and to remember that good things are almost always difficult. Change is rarely if ever easy.  Getting off the fence takes a whole lot of effort. Rome wasn’t built in a day, etc. etc.

Take a second look at “where you’re living” when it comes to what you want to get out of this life and what you want to leave behind. Watch where your kids are in the same context. Are you; Are they making the hard choices that result in the power to free yourselves and move forward?  Are you finding it hard to rip off those old labels and get off the fence?  I challenge you to identify where you really are and start rising above.  As the saying goes, “Life ain’t no dress rehearsal!”

www.examiner.com/parenting-in-nashville/goal-setting-and-quantum-learning-principles

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Put Downs Go Up In Flames by The McPherson Sentinel

Eisenhower Elementary School students saw their negative thoughts, comments and actions go up in flames Friday.   Eisenhower third through fifth-graders wrote put downs on paper to be burned during the ceremony. The school’s head custodian, Al Ortego, then burned, and extinguished the put downs in a brief but powerful ceremony.
Put downs are negatives comments students say to one another or about one another.  Burning the put downs is part of the school’s bullying philosophy that if a student does not have anything nice to day, they don’t need to say anything at all said Eisenhower third grade teacher Kari Moddelmog.
The lesson also goes along with the district’s new 8 Keys of Excellence, which is part of the Citizenship, College and Career Ready initiative.  The second key, speak with good purpose, teaches students to make positive comments to one another.   By burning the put downs, the negative thoughts and comments student have heard or said “will be gone forever, never to be said or thought about again,” Moddelmog said.

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