Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An Art Teacher's Blog

So my cousin is graduating from college, has passed her PRAXXIS and is becoming an Art teacher.  It prompted me to share a blog with her that the Art Teacher at my school is doing with the hope that it will encourage her to do the same with her students.  Then it got me thinking, I haven't shared the blog that the Art teacher is doing with his students with anyone who reads this blog.  This just goes to show that integrating technology is an opportunity for all.

On his blog, Art Studio 1169 (which is the classroom number for his room), he shares videos, lessons, information, Apps, and samples of student work related to what he is teaching.  It is truly a great example of how teachers can easily integrate technology and Web 2.0 into their classrooms.  I recommend viewing and sharing with the Art teachers in your school and in your district, and then encouraging them to take this next step.

You might also notice that the title of the Blog is also the hashtag on Twitter that he created for his Art class.  He truly has embraced Social Media in his classroom.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Putting Ed Tech Into Practice - Social Media on Paper

I teach Government for the next 12 weeks.  We were starting our investigation into the Constitution and for one of the assignments I had my students take the Preamble of the Constitution and transform it into a SMS, Tweet, and Facebook Status.

For the SMS, students were required to change the text as if they were to text it to friends and texting existed during the Constitutional Conventions.

For the Tweet students had to try and shrink the text to 140 characters.  Surprisingly students struggled trying to do this and keep it in the 140 characters limit.  I also explained and had them include hashtags that would have been used if Twitter existed. 

For the Facebook status, students had to act as if they were participating in the Constitutional Convention and update their friends on what was happening with the Constitution and their thoughts on how it would impact/change the United States.

I found an image of a SMS bubble that you normally see on an iPhone, created my own Twitter update box, and also cut and pasted a Facebook status update.  Some students got really creative with their Facebook statuses and even included the "location" for where they were.

Surprisingly, the buy in to the assignment was not as I expected.  I am coming to the realization that students I teach have not been exposed completely to using technology outside of the classroom and it is a tough adjustment for them.  The interaction online with the blog and Facebook is not nearly the percentage that I thought it would be, and I think a lot of that has to do with students not being comfortable with it and not having exposure to it.  I think it also has to do with the fact that I teacher freshman.  I feel that upperclassmen would probably have more experience and be more open to using it in and outside the classroom.

I am using the Remind101 website for SMS reminders for students, and I do have 5 times as many students signed up during this 12 weeks.

I think I am coming to the realization that the concept of "Digital Natives" might not be as broad as some people might say.  I also know that it is on me as well to figure out how to adjust and encourage use by my students.  Something that I know I need to work on and will figure out as time goes on.

Anyone else integrating technology for the first time, more specifically social media, experiencing struggles?  Anyone having great success, if so, what are you doing that is working for you?

Back to the "Blogspot"

Well, when I originally purchased the domain http://edutechintegration.com I checked to have my yearly payment for the domain automatically deducted.  Apparently it did not work and subsequent emails letting me know it did not work never got to me.  Because of this, I have had to revert back to http://edutechintegration.blogspot.com. 

My plan was to contact GoDaddy/Google and get my domain name back, but a subsequent visit to my domain has revealed that someone else has already taken it.  Talk about a quick turnaround of those companies. 

I have updated the Feed for any subscribers if you are still interested, you can re-subscribe.  Going back to the classroom has been difficult in terms of keeping this blog up to date.  Hard to find time with teaching, coaching, and being and husband and father of two young children. 

Any links that I have embedded to my own blog within posts will no longer work since the domain has changed.  It is way to much trouble to go back and try to edit all those, so you will just have to add "blogspot" if you are really interested in seeing any of those posts, at least I think that will work.

Sorry for any confusion.  I hope that I might be able to regularly post in the future as I get adjusted to everything.  Thanks to everyone who has been and continues to be a loyal reader.  Hope that everything is going well for you.