I’ve asked the members of my tech committee who attended METC this year to share something they learned in a screencast. Our eighth grade Social Studies teacher, Danny Commes, was inspired by Josh Stumpenhorst’s Interactive History and PDBytes’s own Patricia Brown’s Classrooms Without Walls to dive into the Twitter stream. Learn how he got started and why Commes thinks you should, too!
I wish we could send our whole staff to the METC conference. Here’s the next best thing: The Connected Classroom, Education Plus’s blog, reminds us this week that you can still catch 12 of the METC 2014 sessions, including both Keynote speakers, by viewing the “Virtual Conference” videos that were streamed and archived. These sessions feature national and Midwest leaders in educational technology presenting about topics such as flipped classroom, project based learning, STEM, and PLNs.
Nowadays, there’s an app or web tool to assist us in every aspect of education. At METC this year, we asked Stump the Chumps! session participants to test their knowledge of 21st century teaching and compete for bragging rights. Jenny Stockton, Sarah Stauffenecker, Katie Rathmell, and Jerri Meppiel were our champs. Below is the list of web tools and apps (many you will recognize, some you may not) that they and our other audience members recommend. During the session, we also shared our rubric for selecting tools to integrate into your classroom, and you can find that info. here.
Taking and Organizing Notes
Cool Student Projects
Curating Web Content
First of all, check out these two posts from Richard Byrne’s Free Technology for Teachers:
Fun With Bad Math In Pictures. As a former English teacher, I always notice typos and grammatical errors on signs and whatnot; this is the math lover’s version. What a fun idea to have your students figure out the faulty figuring!
Another great post from Byrne is this reminder that the Google Science Fair is open now until May 12, 2014. I wish the idea springboard had been available when I was a kid working on my science fair projects.
If you’re considering implementing a makerspace in your school, you might want to check out Make‘s post 3 Key Qualities for a School Makerspace and then check out the awesome things happening at the Grand Center Arts Academy’s Makerspace. I visited the space in December and was really impressed with all of the great design thinking happening there.
Finally, check out Machine Uses “Imagination” to Draw Images from big think. I’m interested to see how quickly the AI behind this technology will evolve from these crude drawings that remind me of ancient cave paintings.
I learned a lot at METC this year and attended some great sessions, but I wanted to highlight one today that most of you missed: Graduating “Career-Ready” with Cisco Networking Academy. The session featured current students and graduates from North County Technical High School (some of those same wonderful kiddos who were providing tech support to all of the presenters…Shout out to my helper, J!), along with their instructor, Jim Elkins. With Cisco Networking Academy, these students can get Cisco certified while still in high school. Those who get certified are all making $50K/year before age 25. Jim’s students have been placed out of high school at AT&T, Scottrade, Centurylink (formerly SAVVIS) earning $26-40K/yr. The kids all said that the program is challenging, but that the draw of a successful career kept them motivated. Even for those kiddos who plan to attend college, the program seems to give them a real leg-up in their career paths. If you want to know more about bringing the program to your students, contact co-presenter Clydene Stangvik (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am already in the process of setting up a webinar with her for my administrators!