I gotta thank http://ccssmath.org/ for this list of resources for math educators. If you are deciding to front-load/flip your classroom, this is a great place to start.
I am familiar to approximately 98.6% of the list. So, this Labor Day weekend is a good time to explore!
- Class Zone
- K-5 Math Teaching Resources
- Khan Academy
- Kuta Software
- Henrico County Mathematics
- Illustrative Mathematics Project
- Learn Zillion
- Mathematics Assessment Project
- Mixing in Math
- NCTM Illuminations
- National Science Digital Library (NSDL)
- PBS Learning Media
- Purple Math
- Read Write Think
- Regents Prep
- Science Net Links
- Smithsonian Education
- Teach Engineering
- Ten Marks
- Texas Instruments
- Xpeditions by National Geographic
- XP Math
Now whither the textbook…
Yes, there is a big push to move to digital text books. I understand there is a great need to eliminate paper and the convenience ebooks/tablets possess. Anyway, before your read this blog post any further please view: North Carolina School Engages Tech Generation With Digital Learning Tools.
This video champions the big push to having technology resources in the classroom. Don’t get me wrong. I am one of the biggest edtech nerds that you will ever know. As a nation, are we really for our classrooms to be transformed to a multimedia rich, Internet-driven environment? What is required for this to happen in school districts nation-wide? I am overjoyed how the above video elaborates why they are successful.
However let me let me quickly point out the key phases of any successful local school or even district wide full technology adoption.
1. Implementation – This is know as the “roll out.” Within implementation, there is a very brief period of training. It is important to know your hardware and know it’s limitations. This phase it the easy part.
2. OJT (On-the-Job Training) – This is the phase that is the key to the success or failure of any technology initiative. Videos on a website are good for training, but training should not stop there. To learn anything, you must get your hands dirty. The IT department and every school department must merge and become one (in my best Yoda voice). Teachers must be as tech savvy as your computer guy. The expectation is there. Period. There is no getting around this fact. Not just having a help desk on standby, but hand-holding/shadowing may be needed as necessary for those who are hesitant or very-slow to adopt in the transformation of the expectations of the 21st century learner.
3. Maintaining universal hardware and software requirements and access for all – In my humble opinion, to maintain a successful technology-dependent school you must ask hard questions. Will what we are doing continue to be successful in 1 year? 5 years? Will all our new equipment become obsolete next year, if so, what do we do? Will learning still take place when power is down? Can I find another teacher that can fit in the shoes of the hot-shot nerd-extraordinaire teacher that just left to the other school district with better training/equipment? Will my all students with their BYOT computer/tablet/smartphone/laptizzle work on the network? How do we handle students that bring their own network? How often should school districts supply students with updated equipment? How long will we be in the piloting phase of BYOT when students possess their own smartphones and portable wifi hotspots?
I can continue on with my rant for or against technology in the classroom. Let me just conclude that it will always come down to money. Without money there is no budget for technology or training. At this time, we just have the expertise of the teacher with their bag of best practices and textbooks to support instruction. How long will this be acceptable for the 21st century learner. We must allow the technology transformation to occur.
Lately, I have been creating videos for instruction using my iPad. The two apps that I’ve been using are Educreations and ShowMe. I would love to use the Smart Notebook app, unfortunately it does not have recording functionality. I really loved using Educreation app, until I posted a few videos on my website for my students to access. Apparently you cannot view the videos on the iPad/iPod devices because Flash is required. So, now I am forced to use the ShowMe app. Anyway, I will be patient until Notability have a video recording feature. I guess I I shouldn’t hold my breath…
Okay… This app may have been the reason I have an iPad for having a portable IWB is the greatest tool for an educator. If you cannot tell, I really have been waiting for this app for a while once the word got out Smart tech was on the project.
Honestly, I really wanted to share on this blog to say this is the only IWB app you will need. Please delete all of the others, but I cannot express that positive opinion at this time. Unfortunately, after dropping eight bucks and downloading this app, I was immediately disappointed in what it failed to offer compared to the other apps such as Notability, Penultimate, Paper and Show Me. Here are the missing features that I was looking for to separate it from the other lame IWB apps:
– Where is the Extend page function! They really missed the boat on this feature. This was the first feature I looked for, and was disappointed not to find it!
– Cannot change thickness of pens; no magic pen; no niffy erase features!!!!
– What? No lines? Ya’ll know I cannot draw a straight line!
– Next page does not mean new page… Okay, I’ll let this one slide.
– Cannot hide preview panel?! Shesh, Smart tech, I cannot utilize the whole page? Or at least have an option to go full screen, homies?
-Huh, no gallery? I’m done…
I’d say it’s only best feature that it will allow you to use existing Smart Notebook files. Honestly, this product is more like a beta product and IMHO should have been free. If you have not purchased this product, don’t until they get it right. If you need an app that’s better that is worth the $$, I highly recommend the purchase of Notability, Penultimate or even Paper to get the job done.
Yes, I’ve really been hungry for an iPad. I guess this want is logical since I am a proud owner of an iPhone 4. In order to be a pioneer in using this tablet technology in the classroom, I must be prepared to be a model for my fellow educators, right? The iPad 3 was released yesterday (3/16) and I was able to stop by an Apple store to witness the madness and get my hands on this device.
Anyway, My school district has an innovation for transformation grant that will supply me with an iPad 3 and an additional ten iPads for my students. My school has until the end of the month to get the paper work together. I participated in a workshop on Thursday that gave participants grant writing ideas which was useful. I will share further details on my quest to integrate this new technology in my classroom or other educational endeavor.
I was asked this question the other day by a college student interviewing me as a Technology Coach. Believe it or not, I actually struggled with this question. I know so much “stuff” about technology, what do I actually “know” the best?! I have many projects that I work on, but in my opinion to know something the best, you must have mastered it, right? I know and love Moodle, but can I say I know it best? I am still learning how to use it in a non-hybrid classroom structure.
Could I be a whiz with using the TI-84 calculator with the TI-Navigator system? Not sure, especially I can confess that I don’t use it everyday to get the official guru hat with that system. Hmmm… Could I be the master Smartboard ninja? I can say I know and shared some advanced techniques using this IWB, but there are other electronic IWB that I haven’t even touched. I can go on and on about my lack of mastery of technology, but as I concluded with answering this question. I stated that…
The lesson that I have learned that technology is evolving so fast, what you may “know” the best today; you have become master of an archaic/obsolete piece of equipment the next day.