Monday, October 28, 2013

Have our classrooms changed that much?

Bloom's Taxonomy and Bloom's Revised Taxonomy are key tools for teachers and instructional designers.  With the advancements in Technology and many schools embracing Technology in their classrooms, Bloom's Digital Taxonomy was introduced.

Bloom's original premise that you can't apply knowledge and concepts if you don't understand them and learning continues to be a process. Better stated:  

  • Before we can understand a concept we have to remember it.
  • Before we can apply the concept we must understand it.
  • Before we can analyze it we must be able to apply it.
  • Before we can evaluate its impact we must have analyzed it.
  • Before we can create we must have remembered, understood, applied, analyzed, and evaluated.  

As we've moved into the 20th century and embraced technology, also known as Web 2.0 tools, the resources available to teachers have moved from ancillaries associated with textbook to websites and now apps to take advantage of the mobile devices available to students and teachers.  Technology has replaced worksheets as students now demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of concepts by creating and producing products.    

How do you determine how a website or an app can be used to address Bloom’s Taxonomy?  The list of sites and apps is lengthy and ever changing.  To assist with this vast amount of information, I will share a number of sites that I found useful in determining which website or app best fits with Bloom’s new Digital Taxonomy. 

Where do you find sites and or apps to address each of these new verbs?  Through a bit of research, I found a number of sites that do an excellent job of identifying websites and apps that address each of the individual categories.  The information shared below is only a small sampling of what is available to help determine what website or app will help address the learning for students.  Explore and bookmark those sites and apps which best address the needs of your students. We would enjoy hearing from you as you explore the numerous sites listed and let us know what you found to be the most beneficial for you and your students.

To access a snapshot of Bloom's Digital Taxonomy for Apps, click HERE

Bloom's Digital Taxonomy for Websites 

The Blooms Digital Taxonomy Quicksheets are resources created as a quick and easy summary of the six different taxonomic levels of Bloom's Digital Taxonomy.  They define the different taxonomic levels, provide the Digital Taxonomy verbs with some possibilities for classroom use.  To access and download these resources, click HERE

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Are You a Connected Educator????

Did you know that October has been declared by the Department of Education to be Connected Educator Month?

What does this mean??? Well, it started just last year in 2012 with an entire month of webinars, blog posts, ideas, discussions and more all about increasing the importance of educators being connected. You can read more about it on the official website.

Here is a great video that shows interviews of educators who describe the importance of being connected:

If you are already a connected educator or if you are wanting to dig in a little more, make sure to follow the hashtag #ce13 on Twitter to see the amazing month long discussions happening RIGHT NOW!

Here is a plethora of resources, or gems of greatness some might say, that are all about being a connected educator and collected via Twitter. Check them out and join the discussion!

Also, be sure you don't miss the events calendar for a listing of upcoming, ongoing, and past event that might interest you as a connected educator. 

Google Drive as a Feedback Tool

Since all of our students, K-12, have a GISD Google Drive account, I wanted to share an idea of how to incorporate this into your instruction. 

If you have no idea what Google Drive is, check out this brief video for an introduction:

While Google drive boasts a ton of useful tools, I want to focus now on using it to give your students feedback on their writing. Writing is a huge focus for our District this year and I can't think of a more useful tech tool to make this easier and effective for your students.

Google Docs is the Microsoft Word of the Google Products Suite. It is not as robust as Word or Apple's Pages, but that really makes it much easier for our kids to use! That being said, Google has still provided plenty of word processing features such as margins, formatting, inserting media and text, etc.

Your students simply need to log in using their GISD account info. For elementary students, their log in is and their password is their ID number. For secondary students, it's with nPin as their password.

Once they're in, they simply need to click 'Create' and choose 'Document.'

Once they do this, a word processor will appear and they can type normally. Google saves their progress automatically, so there is no need for them to even click 'save.' In fact, there is no save button!

Students will click 'Share' in the top right corner and share their live document with you, the teacher! Be sure the students choose the "can edit" option when giving you sharing rights.

Here's where the feedback comes in. Instead of emailing documents back and forth or you carrying home piles of papers to mark up and pass out again, the teacher logs in to his or her Google Drive account and finds the student's document that was shared with them. From here, the teacher can make live comments or corrections to the student's document!

To add a comment, just highlight a portion of text and click the Comment button. You can then type as much or as little as you like. The student will see the comment the next time he or she logs in and can make adjustments. Or, they could comment you back and a discussion begins! Giving feedback has never been easier.

Once the document is finished, it's easy to download into Microsoft Word by selecting File/Download As/Word or to simply click File/Print.

I really think this time saving productivity tool can revolutionize the feedback process! Let us know if we can help you.

Hope everyone had a great Fair Day :)