Articles Tagged with teaching

IMG_0070.jpgIt’s been four weeks and my iPad still has that new computer smell. Now that I’ve been using it in my workflow I wanted to post some additional comments on it’s utility in an educational setting.

In general I think my original take holds up well – this is fantastic tool for consuming content, is extremely useful as an outboard content manager, and passable in a pinch as a creation tool (this whole post was written on it).

On a meta level it is truly amazing how natural the “point and do” nature of the touch interface feels. Once you understand the grammar of the device it all just flows. A mouse now feels clunky for most operations other than image processing or massive spreadsheets.

Michele-KingGuest blogger Michele King provides a practitioner’s perspective to Randy Wilhelm’s post Web Content is a Source for Differentiated Instruction. Michele is an administrator at a large urban school district and a former 1st Grade bilingual teacher.

By Michele King

As the Instructional Support Coordinator for a large urban district, I am responsible for transitioning our district away from print-based instructional resources to a database driven solution accessed by teachers over the Internet. I read Mr. Wilhelm’s post with great interest and my experience working with teachers closely aligns with the “Schools and Generation Net” survey results.

In my post about Barack Obama’s focus on early childhood education I noted that the gap between low performers and high performers gets much more difficult to bridge as students get older. Obama’s early learning proposals are pragmatic because they aim to close the achievement gap when it is easiest and most effective.

Michelle King, today’s guest blogger, makes the important point that it is the relative gap not the absolute gap that presents a challenge to teachers. Michelle is an administrator at a large urban school district and a former 1st Grade bilingual teacher.

Michelle’s insights amplify the urgency for intervening in the early grades. She also points towards a Response to Intervention (RTI) program that is addressing this challenge here in Texas.

NFImageImportWhy don’t textbook publishers use more humor? Humor frequently plays a critical role in revealing truth and puncturing pomposity. Textbooks should be a path to the truth – and they are frequently so pompous they could bore a narcoleptic sloth to death.

As an example the “You Suck at Photoshop” series on YouTube is pure snarky genius. Our guide and teacher is the hapless Donnie Hoyle. During serious lessons on Photoshop we learn about Donnie’s unfaithful wife, his lame World of Warcraft buddies, and his egomaniac boss at Phebco (motto: Innovation, Vision, Waste). He uses the mesh tool to paste a copy of his marriage certificate in the windshield of the boyfriend’s car, compound paths to paste his wedding ring into a barren dessert scene, and pucker and bloat to reveal his bosses inner piggishness.

View episode 1 to get a taste of the series (warning – strong language, adult themes, and snark).

introductionEd Note: Are video games and simulations essential learning tools for the 21st Century? Guest Blogger NT Etuk responds to my post about Ethics in the first of two posts on this topic.

By NT Etuk – CEO and Co-Founder, Tabula Digita.

Video games and simulations are among the most efficient learning tools ever built. Period. This is not a guess. It is not a hypothesis. If you don’t agree I’d like to share the perspective of someone who is working with schools to incorporate video games into classroom practice.