Just this month, my fourth graders collectively created an excellent movie on the Causes of the American Revolution. Watch the video. Then ask yourself: Do you think these students understand? Do you think they will remember?
My second graders are creating movies about the pilgrims' experience. So far, they have completed Part One
and Part Two
. Watch these videos. Then ask yourself: Do you think these students understand? Do you think they will remember?
If you would like more information and ideas, check out my Paper Slide Videos
Looking for other forms of Digital Authentic Assessment? Check it out HERE.
I'm trying to be a discriminate user of educational technology. In order to choose what is relevant and appropriate, I have to view the choices ... all those choices !!!! It's like going to the all-you-can-eat buffet. Everything looks so good, but in a very short time, there is no more room in the stomach to put another morsel of food. I am at that point with educational technology resources. I'm full. I'm sad that I'm full; my mouth is watering for more. The fact is, however, that I need time to digest.
So, my goal....for the month of September....well, maybe the rest of this week ....is that I am not going to the all-you-can-eat buffet. Oh, I know my colleagues will invite me ...they will make it look so enticing, all of them offering scrumptious treats. Alas, I'm going to abstain. I'm going to use self-restraint, go on the wagon, maybe even close my eyes and sit on my hands .... I need time to digest.
According to the dictionary, the definition of technology is "the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes". I had the privilege of visiting Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in July. There were so many fascinating technologies in his home. If you are interested, you may wish to read about The Great Clock which is the most amazing clock I've ever seen. I have to say, though, that the technology at Monticello that was of the greatest interest to me was The Polygraph. This is not the "polygraph" that we think of today when we are testing people to see if they are telling the truth. Instead, this is a copying machine. Jefferson called this device, also known as the "letter-copying machine", the finest invention (dare we say "technology") of his time. Look carefully at the photo below. Jefferson's hand moved one pe
n whose action was duplicated by a second pen, thus creating a copy of the original. The polygraph could be folded up and travel with Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson made a copy of everything
Thomas Jefferson had about 7,000 books and always had one or two in his pocket. He read in seven different languages, by the way. If Jefferson lived today, I think he would be the one with all the cool "technology" - an IPad, an IPhone, a Kindle and, yes, even Google Glass.
Jefferson's Polygraph Machine
Photo: Lance Rougeux, Director, Discovery Educator Network and Me.
Nine days in Vermont ..... July 2013 ..... Best professional development of the year !!
I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in The Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute (DENSI) this month. Educators from across the country and Canada gathered at The University of Vermont for eight days of professional development. This year, I also had the opportunity to present a session. Me...Presenting at a DENSI! I have looked up to, admired, and stood in awe of the people who have presented at past Institutes, and there I was - on the list of presenters with my "idols." I was so nervous prior to my presentation .... Did I really have something to offer this cadre of outstanding educators? The room was full, with standing room only (about 50 in all) as I shared my take on Digital Authentic Assessment. As I got going, I realized I could have shared with them for hours ... I'm that passionate about the topic and have found such great resources to share. But, alas, my time was spent and I could only share my digital notebook
with them. While I received many compliments on the presentation, the most meaningful was from a "newbie" who, with great excitement told me, "This was so great; I have so many resources now. Thank you so much. I can't wait to use these with my students."
It's interesting, but that affirmation from a newbie was the same one I was saying after every session that I
participated in . . ."This was so great; I have so many resources now. Thank you so much. I can't wait to use these with my students."
Some of the things my students can expect to see this year include: augmented reality, desktop green screen movie production, a course in iTunes University, Discovery Education Builder, an edible candle, tweeting, and lots of JOY !
I am usually the first one on the block to embrace a new technology. I jump into the deep end without thinking twice. But alas, I have been slow to embrace Twitter. To be honest, for a long time, I perceived Twitter as mostly a forum for celebrities to post their every move to thousands of attentive followers who had nothing better to do with their time than read tweets by celebrities.
I finally decided to get off the shore and wade into the Twitter waters. There was no running into the deep waters. I went in with hesitation and floaties. I wanted to make sure it held value for me professionally. I gradually built up the list of those who I wanted to "follow", and began to see the knowledge in their "tweets." I began to send out an occasional tweet myself, but still felt that what I had to say was not as significant as what I was reading from others. I started gaining more confidence moving around the TwitterSphere. I found myself returning to Twitter several times a day to see what my "Leaders" (they must be leaders...because I am their follower) had to say. I excitedly clicked on their links, bookmarked what they shared, and yes, even re-tweeted !!! I think I have the hang of this thing called Twitter, and I like it. It is going to be a powerful professional development tool for me as an educator.
And, then, last month, I learned how Twitter can impact my classroom practice. I watched an online presentation by Steve Dembo (@teach42) and got some great inspiration. (Of course, one always gets great inspiration when listening to Steve Dembo.) I have now set up another Twitter account specifically for the parents of my students. Each day in the coming school year, a student will send out a tweet with a message and photo highlighting the day's learning.