7 Things To Remember About Classroom Feedback – Edudemic

Some good things to remember about feedback in the class…

See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

Feedback is an inevitable part of teaching. Naturally, you’re in a position where you’re giving a whole lot of feedback, but you’re likely on the receiving end of feedback as well. We’ve all been on the receiving end of feedback in various aspects of our lives, and I’m sure we’ve all experienced some feedback that …

See on www.edudemic.com


Updating my Skill Set: Getting Over my Fear of Photoshop

ladieslearningcode-500x500Learning something new is scary, especially if you have had time to build up a good infrastructure of fear around it. But there comes a time when you have to woman up and face your fears directly. That time came for me this last Saturday, when I took an introductory workshop on web design with the organization Ladies Learning Code.

That wasn’t the scary part. The scary part was that we were using – gasp – Photoshop as a design tool.

Confession time. I am Photoshop phobic. The few times I have tried to use it, I end up simply moving my mouse up and down with no idea where to even begin. Anytime photoshop is required beyond resizing or cropping images, I get my husband to do it (or my daughters- they are now both adept at using it due to Mr. Scruton’s multimedia class.)

Photoshop is one of the few tools I felt I needed some handholding to begin to understand (and, for the sake of my marriage, the hand holder could not be my husband), so I jumped at the chance when I saw the workshop advertised. It cost $50 and included a catered lunch. There was a workshop leader and then a mentor for every 3 participants (these people volunteered their time to help out) which meant that there was always someone around to help if I got stuck.

I met some interesting people and above all, learned the basics of navigating the arcane (ok, now a little less for me) world of Photoshop! I was even able to put my new found skills to work on Monday, when I designed the following poster using Photoshop:

Used Book Sale Poster

It was way easier than using word or powerpoint (which is what I have been using) once I finally understood the advantage of layers. Okay, so I have a ways to go in terms of design, but it’s a start!

I would definitely recommend Ladies Learning Code if you want to learn something new (they give introductory workshops on html, CSS, etc.) Their next workshop is a mother/daughter introduction to html/css. Check it out!

Now can anybody tell me what the heck rasterizing means?

Stand Up For Your Right…to live longer and healthier

Okay, so yesterday was the last straw. I was sitting for about the fourth consecutive hour, focussing on putting my new found Photoshop skills into practice (more on that later) and Ideas in the Afternoon comes on the CBC. What was the topic? Well, okay, it was mainly about walking but a big part of it was how sitting is becoming the new epidemic.

Now, I have written about this before. Talked anyone who has the misfortune of being in my vicinity ears off about it. And yet, there I was, sitting my way to an early death (You say I exaggerate? whatever. Hyperbole is an effective literary technique in order to demonstrate my point, I riposte).

So I did something about it. Here is my first attempt at a standing desk:

photo 3

It took five minutes. Okay, okay, it was aesthetically displeasing and not so ergonomic, but it got me standing. Issues were that the screen was too low and the mouse didn’t work so well on the dirty box surface.

So this morning, I tried putting all those unused National Geographics to use (I dusted them before though):

photo 1 photo 2

It looks better, I can adjust the height and the mouse works way better.  I am sure I will be making some adjustments but so far so good. Not sure about the actual ergonomics- I have tried to make it so my elbows fall naturally at my side and my wrist is not at a bad angle, but I am not sure if I am doing it right- I would have to defer to an expert on that…

Now, I will let you know how it feels to be standing instead of sitting all day…

Visible Thinking in Math- Part 1

An interesting showcase of a middle school math class trying to teach math as you would a foreign language… There are some techniques I know our math teacher, Mr. Scruton uses- blogging, getting the students to make videos of how to solve certain equations. Has anyone else used the KWHL chart?

I also appreciate some of the teacher feedback on this exercise- clearly there is some getting used to this new process with the students…

See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

The conversation about visible thinking in Math started with one of our teachers at Graded, The American School of São Paulo, Adam Hancock, wanting to know how he could incorporate having students’…

See on langwitches.org

Why You Should Try Video Feedback With Students – Edudemic

An interesting article about providing feedback via video to your students. It’s sort of like an extension of the flipped classroom- the students receive all the same benefits from being able to pause and rewind the feedback as well as make the corrections the teacher is talking about right away and then move on.

My first thought is that Explain everything would be a good app to use for this- you can stick the PDF of the student’s document in the app and then write comments as well as record your voice over them. This would also be a great way to save paper- the students would submit their work electronically and the teacher would give feedback electronically.

What do you think?

ISee on Scoop.itipadyoupad

As Katie Lepi showed in her recent article, the use of video in education is fast emerging as an efficient, creative, and effective way to help students learn. Over the past year I have been experimenting with assessment methods and have found that using video is now the best way for me to assess the …

See on www.edudemic.com

The 5 Things To Do About the New Heartbleed Bug

If you haven’t heard of this yet (and you should have- it is why revenue Canada was not open for business yesterday)  here is a good article from The Atlantic with some good tips on how to avoid it.

Now excuse me while I go change all my passwords…

See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

Should you take the latest security scare seriously? I do, and here are the steps I am taking.

See on www.theatlantic.com

Conference Notes Part II:Practicing Safe and Ethical Use of Social Media

The other conference I was able to attend in March was given by Alissa Sklar, the writer of the Risk within Reason blog (among other accomplishments).  This was a day long event for educators held in the beautiful McGill Faculty Club.

The morning was spent looking at a bunch of research and resources Sklar had curated for us as well as engaging in a discussion about the challenges in our schools and possible solutions.

We began by going through the 9 elements of Digital Citizenship as laid out by Ribble and Bailey:

1. Digital Access:

  • Who has access?
  • Who is tech literate?
  • Accommodations for those with no wifi at home

2. Digital commerce:

  • internet scams
  • create informed, careful consumers
  • ID theft

Here a question was asked that gave me pause:

What does it mean to have everything you do be a commercial transaction?  All the tools we use online (or at least most of them) are gathering our data, analyzing it and then targeting our ads. They are gathering our likes, dislikes, our browsing choices, etc. and using it for commercial purposes.

How does that make you feel? Ambivalent? Sort of creeped out? Feeling like that is somehow deeply wrong but not sure why?

Yeah. Me too.

3. Digital communication:

  • Communication online cannot be controlled
  • Privilege/responsibility are flip sides of the same coin

4. Digital Literacy

  • Evaluating online resources
  • how to search effectively

5. Digital etiquette:

  • Illusion of multitasking
  • Mindfulness

6. Digital Law:

  • hacking
  • Copyright
  • plagiairism
  • libel
  • school/teacher liability:
    • should teachers friend students on Facebook?

7. Digital Rights and Responsibilities:

  • Do no harm
  • Freedom from harrassment
  • Freedom of expression

8. Digital Health and Wellness:

  • Physical issues:
    • ergonomy
    • carpal tunnel
    • sleep deprivation
  • Time management
  • Impulse control
  • Technology hygiene

9. Digital security:

  • Protecting/backing up data
  • ID theft
  • online predators

As you can see- there is a lot to talk about, a lot to address with our students. Sklar then went on to suggest some ways we can address these issues in class. A couple of exercises she suggested were to ask the students to fill out a questionnaire on how much time they spend online and then keep a log of the actual hours they do spend online to see if their perception and reality match up. Questions to ask students are what kind of info can we learn from someone’s Facebook profile? Try making a book report on it. Or What does it mean when you sign on with Facebook? Google? What happens to your information?

Here are some of the amazing resources i was introduced to and which undoubtedly help in my development of an awesome, all in one, Digital Citizenship toolkit:

Family Online Safety Institute: Fosi.org

They have a family online safety contract you can sign with your kids as well as many more resources.

Scrubbing services: you can actually pay someone to scrub your data of all those pesky pictures your ex-friend posted of you at that party you don’t remember so well…

Hall Monitor app created by a quebec teacher, it is an app to help monitor students. We use google docs at our school, but someone actually developed an app for this.

Scarlet teen: It bills itself as sex ed for the real world.

SPARK Movement: “SPARK is a girl-fueled activist movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media.”

Wattpad: an online space to showcase your writing. You can see some of the novels of a few of our students here!

Goorulearning: “Create and share collections of engaging web resources with your students. Browse courses in our K-12 Community Library to get started.”

Quixey: A search engine for apps!

Reading Rewards.com: This one is very intriguing- it adds a ramification element to reading- especially good to motivate those competitive students or the reluctant readers. The idea is that at first they do it for the rewards and soon find out that reading is in itself a reward.

TES: Teaching Resources: From the UK

As you can see, it was a full day!