Is technology the new kid on the block?

via the Yildiz University Wired In or Out blog, a vimeo interview with Dr. Gary Motteram by the British Council Turkey.  Gary talks about the differences in his own experiences of teaching languages and the range of options available using recent technologies. The Wired In or Out blog covers the symposium with more posts to follow.

The interview

Pictures from the poster presentation session showing a range of different Turkish projects

 

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More kindergartens using technology to encourage learning through play

Samantha Lee writes about a project in Singapore where children are becoming movie directors

The kids write their very own movie script for their stop-motion animation video. With a S$4,000 Innovation Grant from the Ministry of Education Singapore they bought a laptop, digital camera, projector and a screen for this project. The kids then use Lego blocks and other recycled materials as props and photographed the scenes, eventually stringing the photos together to moving illusion (like how we flipped the end of our books to create movement). Through this project, the children learn the basics of animation and understand that Television is really about moving images. They also get to be introduced to technology early in life and be comfortable with technology in future – a basic expectation we have for the generation of tomorrow.

The children use a mix of lego and other recycled materials to create the scenes.

In full, Photos on Asia one

Tips for TechCautious Teachers

Kevin Fairchild mentions an article which includes a range of tips for teachers who are not used to technology and not sure where to begin.

Some people get excited by finding new websites, new tools, new strategies for students: the more, the better.  Other people get easily overwhelmed with too much new information: how can you select the valuable from the worthless?

The article by Brianna Crowley mentions some great pragmatic suggestions including giving yourself time to learn

Sometimes, to understand the potential of a tool to enhance your classroom, you have to dive in and experiment, giving yourself permission to learn and play before you fully commit

In full

Creating the first blog entry

Ferdinand Krauss discusses some early outcomes of a recent class blogging project which involved a mix of paper and technology blogs. In October, they looked at examples of blogs and blogging practices then shared in groups about why people might want to write and read blogs.  They looked at how to create a great post and encourage discourse  with comments but this is an area which he thinks needs more work. There are some great photos of the paper blogs.

One of the lessons learned is

I provided the students with a class code so that they could create their individual accounts according to the convention I had outlined. I did not anticipate that the students would memorize the class code and continue to use it to create additional accounts when they re-visited the site (in some cases 3 or 4 times!!).

In full

Doing Internet Research at the Elementary Level

Rajasekar of the scoolbell blog writes about a recent experience preparing to teach research skills to students in grades three to seven. He has broken the topic up into smaller areas which he has mapped on the blog, including topic keywords, testing search terms, synthesizing information and several other areas.

All classes begin with a discussion about what research is and why we do it and how we do it. Each grade will be using their research and applying it to a larger question or problem. For instance, rather than having my third regurgitate answers back to me about animals, they will use the information they find to answer the larger question. (i.e. “Your parents said you can have any pet you want. What will you need to keep the pet?”)

The notes will vary across grades and shows a wonderful research graphic from The Kentucky Virtual Library

In full

Red herrings in education reform

Clarke L Reubel has been teaching English at a high school for 14 years and reflects on educational reform, drawing a distinction betweenissue which have focused on reforming specific aspects and a wider philosophical view of improving education. He notes that many changes of curriula and standards and scores have resulted in many different systems leading to additional training and resources being required He highlights issues with structural reforms being drawn into continuous cycles regardless of the type of school

Our system stifles independent thinking among leadership the same way teachers are tasked with subverting critical thought in our students. Those of us who resist become agitators, drawing the ire of a frustrated public who consider us problems rather than potential solutions, which leads to increasingly adamant demands to rein us in.

Charter and private schools are not immune to this cycle. They are products of it, and vouchers, like merit pay, will only serve to legitimize the fundamental flaws in the current system. Ironically, demanding structural changes without philosophical adjustment contributes to the structural problems.

In full

Characteristics of the Zamorano Dairy Plant – Education, Innovation and Outreach

cflorian describes the Zamorano university enterprise in Honduras, which has a fully functional plant where students can learn all the different processes including pasteurization, packaging, manufacturing cheese, yoghurt, ice-cream. The enterprise supports the local economy by processing thousands of litres of milk from local organisations and sells products in local markets. The profits are returned to support the student scholarship fund. The students can also take part in a range of research:

One example of these research projects was an evaluation of new dairy cultures for cheddar cheese with the aim of reducing maturation time and improving its taste. Other studies have involved the analysis of stabilizers to improve cream chesses and the development of natural preservatives to increase the duration of natural milk, among others. New product development by Zamorano students has resulted in products that will soon hit the market, such as yogurt-based dips, smoked cheeses, liquid yogurt and traditional and artisanal products like industrially-manufactured curds

In full

Für die Kinder von heute ist der Füller der Touchscreen

Martin Ebner shares  his presentation from a recent symposium where he was invited to discuss the topic of ‘digital natives’.  He looks at digital literacy, digital divides, digital identity, the appropriateness of current educational practices for today’s students. The presentation also provides data about usage of mobile learning and how young people are using their devices

The presentation

eTwinning Learning Lab

Tea describes an eTwinning learning lab that she has launched in Spanish about using Web 2.0 tools.  She demonstrates an answer garden which anyone can type in to answer the question

One of the first activities was to create an AnswerGarden with a question which Web 2.0 tools have you used before. By providing a link to your blog or any page, you get feedback and brainstorming.

In a follow up post she provides a list of a range of Web 2.0 tools that have been used in the Learning Lab including Animoto, Prezi, Vimeo.

The full list

Bosnia and Herzegovina gets its first e-classroom

Aldina Dzebo reports on an eClassroom initiative in 2012 aimed at elementary students who can choose their own learning areas and access learning materials and resources as they need.

Courses last between five and ten weeks and all of them include video presentations on their given topics, as well as weekly assignments that students must complete. Upon completion of the course, students are given certificates in both the local language(s) and in English

The areas include arts, music, natural and social sciences, linguistics. The project formally launches in October with courses running from December onwards.
In full