Friday, February 26, 2016

21CL Hong Kong Conference reflection

I had a great time presenting and Learning in Hong Kong. It was nice having 'the band back together'. Presenting and working with these guys is like getting your own, intense PD session, everyday. I've grown so much by working with Ben Summerton, Steve Katz, and the fantastic faculty and students at Korea International School.
Photo by Ben Summerton
  I was presenting about skills that my students at KIS have shown me. They have been working the 'Design Thinking' method finding solutions to problems their teachers asked open-ended questions about. I've learned some skills at conferences too, and I'd like to thank Heather Dowd who helped me through this process at a conference a few years back.
I've learned a bucket full as well. Coming home with fantastic ideas about supporting students with sleep and mood through smart phone technology, thanks to Dr. Michael Carr Gregg.
And Rob Newberry was fantastic. We need to look, as teachers, to both the positives and negatives of placing technology in the hands of our students. Rob's presentation on creating a multimodal unit on discussing the effects of porn on our body was thought provoking. This is a modern health unit, discussing the ideas of addiction, brain chemistry, and straight talk. Discussing 'sexting' and the legal situations it can cause is an important fore-warning our students must hear.
As well as these sessions, I learned a lot, caught up with amazing educators, and had a great time. See you (hopefully) again next year!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Infographics, Charts, & Posters

Want easy tools to make awesome displays?  Want students to output data collected in an interesting way?  How the heck do I get that big thing to print out on my teeny-tiny printer?  All things answered here.





canva.com A website that creates great graphics, without much hassle.  Does have in-app purchases, but they can be avoided easily.



piktochart.com Very similar to canva, but it can interpret data in spreadsheets for use with Charts.  Fill in the form here, and we will see how this works!
color.adobe.com Keep your colors collected!  Also has an iOS app, that allows you to upload images to create your custom color palette.
rasterbator.net Don't let the name put you off.  This is a website that allows you to create poster sized images, with an A4 desktop printer.  This feature can also be done in Adobe Acrobat, but this does not add in some of rasterbater's filters.

Friday, February 5, 2016

RSS in Education: Photography

24183679494_b13cffaf81_o
Photo by Art Schultz ©All rights reserved

As well as a Tech Integrator, I co-teach this semester.  Along with Hannah Cone, my school's amazing HS 2D Art teacher, we teach a small Advanced Digital Photography course this semester. This class, is made up of Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors.  Assignments are all completed on their Blogger pages, and are paperless. Our school administration requires that all classes have an activity or test that counts towards an exam.  Not liking exams, I would rather give my students time to shine, and do something amazing.

I proposed to my co-teacher that we have our students take the blogging up a notch, and start following professional photographers' blogs for a project.  The basic premise, for students to follow a thread in photography that interests, inspires, and pushes them to new learning. So, I am going to have them set up a RSS reader, Feedly, to follow a bunch of blogs that might interest them.  Then I am going to ask that they make comments on posts, or attempt to contact the poster for additional information.



They will need to post a proposal for their research on their blog, to explain to the class what they are hoping to find more information about.  They will also need to make a post to show their results! Here is the lesson plan so far:
 
Link to Google Doc above

And this is the list of blogs to follow, that I modified from a list I found here.



Link to Google Doc above