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Showing posts from 2012

LiveBinders & the Flipped Classroom

As a teacher, I am always striving to find new and innovative ways to improve my students learning. The newest innovation is the Flipped Classroom. With this type of learning environment teachers video/record or provide resources for their lessons, the students use the resources on their own time and then come to class to do “homework” and to work with the teacher and other students on what they have learned or did not understand. By teaching in this way students are allowed to learn at their own pace and to receive the help needed.
 One way to flip the classroom that I use is to incorporate LiveBinders into my classroom (see earlier blog post for information about Livebinders). I started teaching stop motion/claymation to my students 2 to 3 years ago in the traditional manner. The projects I received from my students were decent. Last year, I decided to try something new. I created a binder in LiveBinders that included resources for every aspect of the claymation process along with …

LiveBinders - Pretty Cool

I have been utilizing my new favorite resource in class - http://www.livebinders.com/. This is an excellent free resource for teachers and trainers. LiveBinders is a website where users gather information into a virtual notebook. The notebook has tabs where internet resources (websites, videos, and blogs) can be added by the user. There is a plethora of notebooks already created that can be used in the classroom. Users can also create their own notebook pages with information they would like to share. Students have been using my LiveBinder to learn how to create Claymation projects. 

My favorite aspect of LiveBinders is that I can add all the websites and YouTube videos for my students to my pages. Students have everything they need access to without going to the internet and searching, typing URL’s incorrectly, or getting sidetracked by other things on the internet. LiveBinders also plays the YouTube videos inside the LiveBinder window. By playing the video inside LiveBinders, stude…

Blogging in the Classroom

A blog is defined as "A web site containing the writer's or group of writers' own experiences, Observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other web sites". (reference - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Blog)

Blogs are an excellent resource for any learning environment. Blogs are an outstanding way for instructors to assess learning and have students share their opinions and ideas. Students can access blogs in the classroom, from home, from their phones, and anywhere else there is an internet connection. They can be used in any classroom for any assignment. By blogging students are free to express their complete ideas in a safe non-judgmental setting. One way to use a blog in the classroom is as a discussion board. Teachers can provide questions to student that create critical thinking. Instead of asking yes/no questions, ask students open ended questions, answers that they must defend using vocabulary related to the lesson. For example,…

PowerPoint Powerful Multimedia Tool

PowerPoint is a powerful multimedia tool and when used correctly can create more opportunities for learning. I have provided a link to a small final PowerPoint that uses audience interaction, video, and a few notes on creating an engaging learning environment. Be sure you read the notes in the notes pane of the slides.

Example PowerPoint

Next Blog: Using blogs in a learning environment.

PowerPoint & Audience Interaction

Malcolm Knowles, was an influential figure in adult education. His research proved that adults have enough life experience to be in dialogue with any teacher about any subject and will learn new knowledge, attitudes, or skills best in relation to life experience. By creating an opportunity for audience interaction a presenter can perform real-time needs assessment, give an opportunity for learners to learn with mind, emotions, and muscles (which according to brain research and learning style theory is how the brain learns best), create an environment for learners to participate in the decision making of their own learning (safety), and create opportunities for reflection (Praxis). Audience interaction can also break up the presentation and help extend the attention span. One of the ways to create audience interaction and meet the needs of learners is with a resource provided by Polleverywhere.com. This website allows you to create polls and include them in your PowerPoint presentation…

Embed a YouTube Video in PowerPoint

When creating a presentation – you must always keep your audience in mind. What can you as the presenter do to keep them engaged and actively learning? When using PowerPoint you have many options to include. Let’s start with video. Video is a simple way to give your audience a break and to present information in a different way. YouTube is an excellent resource for useful free videos. A simple way to include a YouTube video in your presentation is to create a link to that video. You can create a hyperlink in PowerPoint by doing the following: 1)Go to YouTube and search for a video you would like to use. 2)   Once you have found the video, go to the address bar, right click, and the click copy.
3)Go to your PowerPoint presentation. 4)Type in the text you would like your audience to see. For example, I have found a humorous video about realtor negotiations, so I type in the following text “The Negotiation Process”. 5)    Highlight the text, right click, and then click hyperlink. 7)If you wou…

PowerPoint & Storyboards

As stated in the previous blog it is important to know why you are creating a PowerPoint presentation. Once you have decided the point of the presentation, who your audience will be, and if it is a live presentation or not, you are ready to begin creating the storyboard. Storyboards are graphic organizers that allow you the opportunity to layout your presentation visually. For example, for each slide you would decide what information you need and ideas for chunking the material. The planning stage allows you an opportunity to think through the process. There are many different ways to create a storyboard. You could hand draw and write a storyboard, you could use Word and create an outline, or you could use a template (there are many online). I have created my storyboard using PowerPoint which works well for my creative process. In PowerPoint you have the option of using the Notes Pane at the bottom of the screen. This pane is useful for storing ideas and information you would like to …

PowerPoint Presentation – Torture or a Powerful Multimedia Tool

Planning Stage We have all had to sit through the boring PowerPoint presentations with too many charts, silly pictures, and text that goes on forever. But what if I told you there is a better way. PowerPoint is a powerful multimedia tool that is beneficial, even to those with mad technology skills However, before we can make the most of PowerPoint, we have to know what and why we are creating a presentation. So, let’s begin with the planning stage. You must ask yourself the following questions: 1.What is the goal, the point? a.If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? b.If you don’t know what your goal is, how can you expect your audience to know? c.Your goal should be specific, not vague. For example: i.Vague – to share information. ii.Specific – to share year end revenue gains and ways to increase revenue in the coming year. d.By knowing your specific goal you are able to create a more engaging PowerPoint. 2.Who is my audience? a.Who will be participating i…

“The Times They Are A-Changin”

As I have advanced through my career, I have seen jobs, the economy, and technology change. For businesses to continue to be competitive, their employees’ skills must grow and change. Technology offers many ways to improve employee skills. The traditional face to face training is still beneficial but can be greatly enhanced through multimedia presentations that incorporate all aspects of the job through video, animation, print, and hands on experiences. In addition to this type of training, emerging technologies have created more options for training. Businesses now have the option to include webcasts (can be produced, for example, once a month to share updates and new skills with employees), webinars (a web-based seminar with the key feature of allowing the presenter to interact with the participants), and instructional videos for specific skills. Learning modules are another great learning tool. With an objective or learning goal, a learning module can be designed. Modules include t…

Technology Vocabulary - Growing & Changing

As a technology professional, I find myself quite often researching the meaning of new technology terms. Like the technology itself, the vocabulary of technology is always changing. I remember when people started discussing Web 2.0. I had no idea what they were talking about. As I began to research the vocabulary I began to realize what a major impact Web 2.0 could have on training. Web 2.0 was introduced to technology vocabulary in 2004. I was so used to software versions that when I first heard the term, I thought it was something one must install to have access to. Boy was I wrong. Web 2.0 actually refers to technological improvements and changes to the web experience. Since 2004, there have been major changes to our web experiences. Web 2.0 technologies include: wikis, social networking, blogs, and web applications. Web 2.0 tools can be extremely beneficial to business. The tools can be used for sharing and gathering information, training employees, and public relations. Web 2.0 al…

Information is not Knowledge

In our Informational Society, we are presented with information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have access to the information but do we use the information to increase our knowledge? Albert Einstein is quoted as saying "Information is not knowledge". This is a true statement of our current society. We listen to the news, we read articles online, our smart phones give us instant access to the world, yet the information we have is extremely shallow. Society has lost the art of delving deeper into a topic and discovering the truth. As a teacher, my goal has not been to impart information to passive students but to lead students to find the answers to their questions. Society must recapture the art of finding true knowledge, to look underneath, not believe it because someone said it, but to actively search and find the truth for themselves.