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Showing posts from September, 2015

Some Data & Privacy Basics for Educators

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This week I had the opportunity to attend and participate in the National Student Privacy Symposium in Washington D.C. The room was filled with policy-makers, parent advocates, edtech executives, and lawyers. But only a few educators were in attendance. The data privacy landscape is complicated, and there is little information out there packaged for educators to help them navigate this complex issue. This post is meant to help define and explain some of the topics of discussion and debate, but it is by no means exhaustive.

1. Not All Student Data is Created Equal When data in schools is discussed, educators should remember that it is about much more than test scores. Here are some broad categories:

Health/Ability = medical information, allergies, physical and intellectual disabilities, individual education programs, accommodationsBehavioral = disciplinary records, behavioral intervention plans, notes on behaviorAcademic = grades, test scores, progress reportsDirectory = name, age, addr…

Finding Your Bliss #beyouEDU

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Once again I have the privilege of contributing to the #beyouEDU movement hosted by Dr. Will Deyamport. This month's theme is Finding Your Bliss. Dr. Will explains it in his video podcast embedded below.


As I sat down to type my reflection, it became obvious to me that my career has developed in a few directions at once. I'll always be an educator, but the means I work through have expanded. I'm in classrooms with students, in conference rooms with teachers, on internet publications through written articles and posts, and talking to larger audiences at conference, symposiums, and summits. I'm finding bliss in each of these roles, and that's why I don't mind juggling them all. It all started in the classroom with students, though.


Dig Deep with Primary Source Deep Image Analysis

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In the second of two posts I've written for the Barat Education Foundation and its TPS-Barat Teaching with Primary Sources from the Library of Congress program, I go into detail on how to get students to look closely at primary source art and photos and really think about the meaning behind the images.



In the first post, Integrating Tech: Using Skitch and Evernote to Analyze Images, I wrote about how these two tools allow students to interact with a high definition color image from history and annotate it in a way that shows personal learning.

This second post, Teaching Now: Deep Image Analysis, gets into how to pose questions to students so that they'll look closely at the images for evidence to help them find an answer. There are even examples of the questions I posed and the student work that resulted.

For instance, to help students understand why the Women's Rights Movement started in the early 19th century, I asked, "Which parts of gender roles are public and whi…

EdTech's New BFFs

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Open Education Resources and Formative Assessment tools are a match made in edtech heaven. 
Sound confusing? It's not.
What is OER?More and more, teachers are moving away from traditional text books -- even the electronic versions -- and turning to open education resources (OER). OER is the acronym for high-quality open-licensed educational materials that can be found online. They are also free, which means parents can often access them at home to see what their child is learning or help support their student.  
What is formative assessment?Students analyze the resources and complete activities with ed tech tools like eduCanon and others. The teacher has access to live data as the students work. The teacher then shares this data with the students and they discuss what next steps are needed to reach their learning goals. Together, they make personalized plans for what they will do and how they will accomplish it. This process of learning, assessing, discussing, planning, and learning …

Should ZERO be a part of your class?

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I was recently in a personal teacher training session regarding the use of a particular edtech tool. The purpose of the tool is to enable teachers to distribute and students to complete multimedia assignments. This is typical in my new role as an digital learning coach. The tool isn't important, but at some point during that meeting a question was posed:

What if the teacher doesn't accept late work? Is it possible for the student to access this assignment beyond the due date?
So, this would mean a student would get a zero for anything he failed to submit on time, even if he completed it a day, an hour, or a few minutes late. My immediate reaction in the moment was to respond with yet another question:

Why wouldn't a teacher accept late work? Then the student doesn't get to learn from it.
So, we chatted briefly about how different educators have different grading policies, and then moved on to continue exploring the edtech tool. But I can't help myself. I've be…

Using Skitch and Evernote to Analyze Images

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In cooperation with the Barat Education Foundation and its TPS-Barat Teaching with Primary Sources from the Library of Congress program, I've written a 2-part series about historical image analysis.



Part 1 was published tonight and focuses on how to use digital tools to help students analyze and annotate historical images as part of their learning. The article includes:

how student learning and engagement increases when they annotate digital images individually on at their desksvivid examples of student work with real historical images from my classroomuser guides for Skitch, a powerful (and FREE) image annotation tool that is available across all mobile platforms


Stay tuned for Part 2 next week. It will explain the teaching method behind deep image analysis and how it can be a dynamic part of the study of primary source evidence in your classroom.