- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! https://t.co/4JGTXji8e0 2016-02-01
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! https://t.co/U9eREhYJqU 2016-02-02
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! https://t.co/4KGCKAvlrd Stories via @ocnb3 2016-02-03
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! https://t.co/rgaxL4l2p3 2016-02-04
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! https://t.co/tedop1lVKa Stories via @globalmaker 2016-02-05
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! https://t.co/91Cv2h0ziQ Stories via @MissGEnrique 2016-02-06
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! https://t.co/b2n8qW2KEg 2016-02-07
- Go Scorpions!!!!! #uasdubai @ The Universal American School http://t.co/dvGcgXcDmh 2015-10-06
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! http://t.co/4QpfFmWLaI Stories via @ibpyp @NRAbadMerritt @DanielMReck 2015-10-06
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! http://t.co/gqubdNTOaz 2015-10-07
- Grade 5 Unit of Inquiry "How We Express Ourselves" Student Presentations! #uasdubai #uasreads @ The… http://t.co/WX0jhaERSH 2015-10-08
- Artistic literacy in UAS After School Activities! #uasdubai @ The Universal American School http://t.co/tZqwWEE5jh 2015-10-08
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! http://t.co/iiK7KMf2ql Stories via @trivediashish @DaveSecomb @mathycathy 2015-10-08
- LOVE the fun nightly math… http://t.co/hlEhoYNtnS
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! http://t.co/13rrGUAalq Stories via @seansensei 2015-10-09
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! http://t.co/MUPoKAVKGV 2015-10-10
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! http://t.co/v5nnNTkRN5 Stories via @turnereducation 2015-10-11
We are so excited at my school as we have finally gone GAFE. Pockets of teachers have been tinkering in the GAFE world for a few years, but with the school being on the verge of implementing a robust technology plan, the time came for us to look at GAFE school-wide.
One of the first things we are doing for our teachers is showing them how to set up an automatic email forward. We don’t want teachers to feel like they are required to check two email addresses so it makes sense to set up an auto forward. Something so simple can make a huge difference when embarking on a measured GAFE rollout.
The following shows teachers how to quickly set the email forward up.
Wish us luck on our Google Apps journey. Students are getting logged on and we’ll begin with Google Docs!
- Morning ride equals a happy girl! #mydubai http://t.co/b2LVzVBa9k 2015-01-17
- RT @HollyClarkEdu: The How (and Why) It's Time to Create Digital Student Portfolios http://t.co/l5iNDl3TbH #edchat #edtech 2015-01-17
- The International Ed Tech a Daily is out! http://t.co/O7thwNjqXA Stories via @MarcWithersey @cagelessthink @jplaman 2015-01-17
Computer Science Education Week is coming and once again the Hour of Code is upon us. The purpose of the Hour of Code is to get every child and every teacher to experience coding for just one hour during the week of Dec. 8-14.
Several articles have been written about why it’s important for coding to be a part of modern day curriculum and resources are flooding personal learning networks. With so much information out there, sometimes it is difficult to find your “just right” entry point. If you haven’t been involved in coding yourself OR if you have never involved your students in coding, then read on…
Your ultimate goal should be to provide the gift on one hour…. that’s it… just one hour for students to experience coding. An excellent first place to stare is the Computer Science Education Week Site. Try coding from a student’s perspective by writing first computer programs a la Angry Birds or customize a game with Flappy Bird.
A next great place to start is by playing with apps yourself on the iPad. Several teachers from our school just came back from the iPad Summit in Delhi and saw applications such as Hopscotch in action. With the long holiday right before the Hour of Code week, why not learn something new? Jump into Hopscotch and use some of the resources listed below…
Apple just released a series of guides that give teachers ideas on how to integrate various content-
creation apps in the classroom, including Hopscotch. Each of the guides is an iBook so you’ll need to open them on your iPad. Each guide has video demonstrations, age appropriate lesson plans by subject and scoring guides to support each lesson. All of the guides can be found here.
The Hopscotch Lesson Ideas will draw you in to not only Hopscotch, but also into iBooks… think of the possibilities!
Go Learn Something New!
Go Share it with Your Students!
Related Blog Posts:
“Teach Coding in the Classroom: Resources from ISTE ’14,” by Ashley Cronin (2014)
“Five-Minute Film Festival: Teaching Kids to Code,” by Amy Erin Borovoy (2014)
“15+ Ways of Teaching Every Student to Code (Even Without a Computer),” by Vicki Davis (2013)
“7 Apps for Teaching Children Coding Skills,” by Anna Adam (2013)
“Should Coding be the “New Foreign Language” Requirement?” by Helen Mowers (2013)
“Coding Across the Curriculum,” by Matthew Farber (2013)
Most schools go through a strategic planning process where they develop a mission statement and perhaps a vision statement or set of core values to go along with it. My school is not unique in that process, but what I do find unique is the third and final bullet point for a very short mission statement.
Initially, this thought came from a young high school student who served on the committee for the strategic planning process. Everybody was talking about a passion for learning, academic excellence, acting with integrity and then this young man stood up and said, “what about the courage to live MY dream – not your dream… not my parents’ dream for me…. MY dream”. In our fast-paced, enormous, growing and driven city that we live in, this idea is not as easy as it seems for our next generation of leaders.
The statement made the entire room pause and what ensued was a unification of thought and feeling around support for helping the next generation by nurturing their courage within to live their own dreams.
Question: How do we as a school community provide opportunities like this for our students and children?
Answer: Teachers and parents must model the courage to live their own dreams as well.
Today we had a visitor to our school that personified the integrity, compassion and courage we all seek within ourselves and hope to teach our students. John Jacobson is an educator, a musician, an artist and has made a name for himself over the years in education and communities through his work with America Sings, a community service based organization that rallies communities through voice and dance. Most recently John has achieved notoriety through his Double Dream Hands YouTube phenomenon and has even appeared on the Ellen show, teaching her staff the Double Dream Hands dance as a birthday present.
John had the teachers up dancing and singing throughout his time with us, but it’s his words that went along with the actions that stick with me because it’s the message I want my students and my own children to know and remember, especially in this fast-paced, high octane city and school we live in at this time.
1. “Find something meaningful to with YOUR life… that is the meaning of life.”
We all don’t have to go make the next great invention. Each one of us and our students has a place and purpose that unique to them. Finding that passion is the true key to their happiness.
2. “Find something to do, something to love, and something to hope for…”
Don’t just find something to do because really anybody can tell you what to do with your life. Only YOU can identify what you love and what you hope for.
3. “It’s a lot about you, but it’s not ALL about you.”
In our current environment, children are growing up fairly privileged as they have access to an amazing education, travel the world to visit amazing places… but what does that all mean? What’s point if our students don’t realize HOW they fit into the bigger picture. If they can’t figure out how to give back and fit into the bigger picture, see number two above.
John’s advice clearly fits into how we all want to educate our students. We all say this, but how do we model this as adults for our students so that they actually believe us? From our time with John today, I took the following three-word phrases away to help us adults lead the way to happiness, success and balance for everybody in our lives:
God is Love.
In any situation, you can face it with Love or hate. Always choose Love.
I love you.
The best words you can say to anybody
Fate is kind.
Good things will happen to you too if you always lead with love in your heart
Don’t get tired.
Even if you are, people don’t need to heart it. What if that one day you were tired, was the one day that you were meant to make a difference in somebody’s life? And while you are at it… walk faster. (Have you ever seen a depressed person walk fast?)
You are valuable.
Every unique person has a piece of the larger puzzle. We don’t need another Madonna or Steve Jobs, we need you.
I am enough.
Your unique role, led with love in your heart, is enough. Make a difference by doing something meaningful to YOU and say out loud, “I am enough”.
And just think, I remember all of this because of song and dance…
When students start school at the beginning of the year with their classmates, they have the advantage of setting up their computers together. At my school, we take all of the students through a Mac and Me course which is a course designed to empower the students to not only set their computers up properly, but also works with the students to positively shape their digital footprint. When students start midway though the year, they miss the opportunity to experience this with their classmates. So, when students show up for the first time on a random Wednesday in February, I do all that I can to get them set up so that they can hit the ground running as they dip their foot into the pool of learning with technology. When new students dip their feet into the pool, their classmates experience a leadership role by becoming the teachers.
Today I spent nearly an hour with a single new student. From the moment I walked out with the computer, we hit the ground running.
Deciding on a Username
Our systems do not talk to each other. When a student changes their password in one location (i.e.: on their computer), it is not automatically changed for the cloud computing system, Moodle, nor WordPress account. Therefore, the first order of business is to decide on a username, write it down and give it to my aide so that she can manually go set the password in all of our systems. Oh, and the password has to be at least 8 characters long with a number because of our Google Student Gmail accounts. We manually set passwords for:
- Equitrac printing
- Student Blogs
- Student Gmail
- Video portacl
Usernames and Passwords on the Computer Accounts
We give students their username that they will use for all systems related to school so that they can sign into their computer. The naming convention has the student’s first name, a number, their campus, and their graduation year. We sign them into the computer with the most famous default password in the world and immediately go to System Preferences to change the password on their personal account and the secondary install account.
Repair Disk Permissions and Complete Software Updates
The computers at our school have an image that was built and updated either over the summer or over the winter holiday. As a result, I show the students how to do Software Updates on their computer. The school image also hides the Sharing folder in System Preferences, but this can be corrected by repairing disk permissions. The students complete this step by creating a reoccurring event in their iCal, prompting them to do Software Updates and Repair Permissions once a week.
Connect to the Server
The school uses a server that can be used while students are at school so that teachers can easily share files with students, and students can easily drop digital assignments into their teacher’s dropbox. I log the students in with the default password and have them change the password to match all of the other passwords. We then go to the math teacher folders so that the students can download their digital math textbook.
Set up Student WordPress Blog
Students who are already at school have been nurturing their blog for months if not years. I log into the WordPress MU blog with the students and set up everything in the backend so that they can hit the ground running when a teacher asks them to post reflections to their blog. Within their blog we do the following together:
- Change title and tagline in Settings
- Activate EmbedIt, Peter’s Custom Anti-Spam, Unfiltered MU and WP-SpamFree in Plugins
- Change their theme in Appearance
- Add Categories, Recent Posts, Links, Archives and Meta to their Widgets in Apperance
- Delete the About Me Page
- Create a link to each of their teachers under Links
- Change the Uncategorized category under Post to Humanities and create a category for each one of their classes
I then show them how to write their first post complete with pictures and PDF documents.
Log them into Powerschool
I log students into the school’s Powerschool site to show them how to check their grades and how to register for After School Activities and sports.
Setup their Digital Portfolio in iWeb
All of the students in our school create a digital portfolio that can grow with them as the move from grade level to grade level. Students have pages for their Student as a Learner Profile (SLP), subject areas, electives and special projects like Reading EXP and their NGO site. I let the students hit the ground running because teachers weave the portfolio into their daily practice as the portfolio has turned into a dynamic representation of learning. Student can publish to an FTP server at school and I ensure that their account is active by helping them setup all of their pages to publish.
Our band and orchestra students and teachers use SmartMusic to supplement their learning. I wish I had SmartMusic when I was in school as it has been one of the best motivators and learning experiences for musical students. Basically, teachers assign a piece in SmartMusic and then students log into their account and play the piece into the computer with accompaniment. SmartMusic gives immediate feedback to the student by telling them if the note was early, late, sharp, flat, etc… Students then send the file and the score to teachers. Students, parents and teachers love SmartMusic!
Enter their Moodle Classroom
Our school uses Moodle to supplement what is happening inside the classroom. I make sure that students cannot only login, but that they are registered for the correct courses. I show they how to interact with the Moodle environment with their materials and course discussions. Not all teaches are using Moodle with the school as it’s part of our smorgasbord of tech available, but we are sure that each grade level has exposure in at least one of their classes.
Sign students into the school accounts for IXL and History Alive
Students use History Alive as a supplement to their humanities curriculum and IXL to practice specific math goals. The reports and graphs from IXL give detailed feedback to students, teachers and parents.
Discuss Digital Citizenship and Safety
Perhaps the most difficult part of student entering midyear is that they will not have benefited from the multiple class meetings and discussions about digital citizenship and safety. Before sending new students off to class, we have a conversations about what has been talked about all year at school around shaping online profiles. We openly discuss topics with students on that first day but follow up with conversations through the Mac and Me mandatory elective class that all new students take upon entry into school.
Before new students dip their foot into the technology pool, we do as must as we can for them so that they can feel successful within their first few weeks. They will hear phrases like
- Get the files off the server
- I’ve updated your iCal to reflect the new testing dates
- Write a reflect on the blog
- Send me your SmarMusic file
- Post to the class discussion in Moodle
- Access the decimal practice in your digital math textbook
- Log into your History Alive account to learn more about…
Of course, they will here things like:
- Greenscreen yourself in front of Mt. Vesuvius and report live from scene about what is happening in Pompeii
- Record you and a partner discussing this topic in Chinese and send me the raw Garageband file so that I may leave digital comments
But they’ll get there in time! In the end, I spent over an hour with each new student individually when they come in mid-year. What is important is that the new students are ready to hit the ground running when they enter the classrooms of our school!
Robyn Treyvaud (@rtreyvaud on Twitter) who is the founder of Cyber Safe Kids, visited Shanghai American School this week to work with our students, teachers and parents as we take our journey through a digital life. Her visit with our parent community was full of information valuable for all parents raising digital kids. Her key point was this: Parents have a PhD in the University of Life and need to focus on the underpinnings of technology by focusing on values with their children.
The methods of today’s communication have changed over time, and parents can help their children manage their digital footprint. Begin by Googling your child’s name and personal information. Follow that up by setting up a Google Alert so that you are notified if any information is put on the internet about your child.
One of the most startling statistics mentioned was that 82% of students who have broken internet house rules have experienced something negative online. Commonsense Media offers Family Media Agreements for all grade levels so that parents can start the conversation about digital footprints with their children. In the end, fences are not sufficient. For the kids to be safe around all water, we have to teach them responsibility through collaborative conversations.
Talk to children about stereotypes of gender online and about values for your family. The moral compass reminds us that our job as a parent is to help our children develop a strong moral compass that will guide them through life as they make decisions for themselves and others. While their are shades of gray, we can impact the decisions they make through explicit conversations about their digital footprint.
Good kids can do bad things because strong emotions can be released at the speed of a keystroke. Keep up with your child’s digital life no matter what their age. Use resources like the 2012 Parent’s Guide to Facebook and use Privacy Defender to help your children properly set their sharing preferences within Facebook.
We can best help our children by focusing on the values we hold true. Help children determine which side of the line they should be on when making a decision:
This video, Where Are You? created by Mark C. Eshleman and featuring Tyler Joseph just won Trend Micro’s 2011 “What’s Your Story” Internet Safety Contest.
For more information follow Robyn Treyvaud:
@rtreyvaud on Twitter
The beginning of the school year is such a great time for getting organized. Students, teachers, parents all say goodbye to summer and relish the fact that they “get” to be part of a routine again. At least I relish it! Part of what keeps me organized is sharing because it requires me to catalogue in my mind what is worthy of a second look and what I can let go of. So, when I can.. I’ll share with you What Caught My Eye. It’s not all necessarily related, but I really do like to type that cute little logo…
SAS use Google Apps for Education and one of the features that many of our teachers like to use is Google Forms as it allows teachers to create an online quiz for students that they can access via a designated URL or teachers can embed it in their blogs. Flubaroo is a script that will grade the online quiz for one in one single step. Click to this link to grade a mock assignment and to view the setup instructions.
QR codes are starting to pop up everywhere. Quick Response (QR) codes allow the user to scan a code with a QR reader in order to obtain further information about a topic, business or person. There are many ways that educators can use QR codes, but I would like to start with two upcoming events at SAS. Bonding Day is coming up for our middle school students and I think that it would be very cool to have a scavenger hunt out in Shanghai using QR codes to provide the clues. We are lucky at my school in that many of our kids have devices that will read the codes. A second event is Open House. Our parents at school have the devices so why not have each teacher put their QR code outside of their room for parents to scan? Parents would then have immediate access about the teacher including relevant contact information. It just a start… I recommend using Paperlinks to create your personal QR code and also their QR Code app on your iDevice to scan them.
Here is a good slideshare presentation about 40 Interesting ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
This week, new and returning teachers are busy setting up their blogs on our school’s WordPress MU installation. Getting back into the routine of things, it’s important to model good online behavior for our students by crediting photos that we insert into our posts. We all need to do a better job of deterring students from going to Google Images and simply downloading and using a random image found as they may be copyright protected. So, here’s list of sites that will give you access to Creative Commons pictures. Use them and give credit where credit is due.
Wikly – iPad Calendar App
Having my calendar in front of me is essential. About a week ago, Wikly was released for the iPad. I LOVE THIS APP! There is no set up as it just works. You have the ability to add events that automatically sync with your other calendars on your computers, blogs, iPhones… for those of you that purchased iPads this summer, pay the $1.99 for this app – it’s worth it.
Evernote – Don’t forget about Evernote!
I noticed this morning the Evernote came out with a new update and thought about how much I use Evernote for the classes I’m taking now. It is so nice to have all of my notes for all of my classes in Evernote as I can access them anytime from any computer. It has helped me stay organized as I always seemed to have a hard time putting notes in folders in my Documents folder. Sound familiar? I noticed students using Evernote at another international school in Shanghai and it seems to work well for them in taking notes in their classes. For teachers, it’s very easy to take your notes and share them with your team with the click of a button. Don’t forget about Evernote!