Have you ever considered using a game to move your class or curriculum?
When I last taught social studies, I used the game Real Lives (http://www.educationalsimulations.com/). It allowed students to actually walk in the shoes of a person in a different culture. We simply used the free trial where students got to try three lives. It was great for days before Spring Break or when we have continuous interruptions due to snow delays and cancellations and one class gets ahead of another.
This game was originally part of Games for Change (http://www.gamesfoechange.org/). Each year, this website showcases a series of educational games. It might be fun to browse through several of these games during your "free time" to see how you could use it in your class or curriculum. Quickly browsing this year's list, here are a few I though many of you could use: Inside the Haiti Earthquake, Crown or Colony, Republica Time (how to influence public opinion), Fibber (Election of 2012), and Depression Quest to name a few.
These games could illustrate a concept that you are trying to teach and then you can create student activities that reflect on what they learned. Or you could use the game simulation as a prompt for an assignment or essay. By using a game you are naturally tying into an interest of many students. My students were drawn into the games and wanted to play them on their own- while at the same time teaching them invaluable skills and knowledge that they were not getting from traditional teaching alone.
I know that every Tech Talk Group did not have time to participate, but Goose Chase is an awesome take away that can be used in every curriculum as a fun teaching tool. I just thought I would post some of out greatest "pics" from our time at play. Can you guess which clues the groups were answering?
Try one yourself at: http://www.goosechase.com
Let's think about how we use our own technology? Is it for social media...if so how do you use your circles of friends? Who do you post too?
Purposeful Transparency and Productive Eavesdropping
How can you work to make your actions and rationales visible to all?
How can you help others to see into your conversations and work?
How do you model for your students how you use your technology to work effectively? Are we a group that wants to shut down every new app or tool out of fear or do we want to embrace it to show meaningful ways to teach students how to use it - especially since these things are not going away.....
Sometimes we think that our ideas and actions are not good enough so we do not choose to share, but what if we flipped our ideas and shared our failures as well as our successes to show our human side and the process not the end results.
This is definitely an area I struggle with in my own personal networking. Am I sharing too much? I want to keep my circles separate - personal vs. professional. But let's be honest, who does not start talking about school the first moment of a social event that you go too anyway (and then get mad at yourself for it).
Love this new tool! It is a quick and easy way to poll your class or Professional Development Session, have a back channel, and create quick formative assessments. My favorite feature is the confusion barometer. As a moderator you can download and archive the chats or class activities for later. Check it out at: www.gosoapbox.com
I found this tool from Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers Blog which is an excellent professional resources of technology tools. Subscribe to a few blogs today and start following them on your favorite social media site or RSS Feed to see how they might fit into your classroom and curriculum.
If you have not tried Kahoot (https://getkahoot.com/) yet with your class, you are really missing out! It is such a quick setup to engage students and a great filler for those lessons that go faster or slower than you expect. Kahoot creates a quiz your students join using their phone. It scores their responses based on speed and accuracy and shows the results on the screen. It is applicable to any subject area. Scott Fernandez recently used it in Psychology and here is a quick video of Allison Tarwater using it in the media center as a Spanish review.
During the week of November 3-7 Butler High School had approximately 88 staff members take the CMS 21st Century Skills Assessment in Atomic Learning and record their results. Here is a break down of how we scored based on the ISTE Standards:
We scored the highest as a school in promoting and modeling digital citizenship and responsibility. Our weakest area was in facilitating and inspiring student learning and creativity. I think that this does reflect our school. We do a great job at modeling and encouraging the appropriate uses of technology, but we need to work on infusing more creativity into our technology integration for student use. Your comments were especially insightful. Many of you commented on the overall length of the test, what the district plans to do with the results, that the questions appeared to be tricky or misleading. For example the check box questions stated all that apply - but then marked the answers wrong if you selected more than one choice. Math is a subject area that many feel is still struggling to find appropriate technology uses.
Below is a selection of teacher comments to the assessment:
What do you think we can do with this information now to improve Butler?