Friday, February 22, 2013

Yet Another Reason I'm Excited About Using MinecraftEDU

I just got the green light to purchase the student licenses I need to use MinecraftEDU with my Digital World students, and I am super stoked.  The same day I began the process of requisitioning the licenses, I read this great blog post by my friend and fellow EdTech Geek, Chris Scott:

Group Problem Solving and Challenge Based Learning

I can totally relate to what he describes in one sense: my students at my previous school frequently taught each other, discovered new features, and created better work than I could have simply assigned because there was a lot of freedom within my lab, and a huge spirit of cooperation and collaboration, even though the tasks were usually part of individual projects.  I was often heard to say, "No one crosses the finish line until we all can."

I'm excited by how enthusiastic Chris is and also by how amazing it is when, left to their own devices, students will often find better solutions than we offer, and -- best of all -- they'll OWN those solutions from the start.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Emoji Literature?

If you don't know what emoji are, then you probably don't text or chat online much.

Jerome Burg, father of Google Lit Trips, tipped me off to this humorous post.  You can "read" 20 great books, it says, in 2 minutes, emoji style.

Try for yourself, by following the link below.  When you want to check if you got the book titles right, click on "Show As List" in the post.

Read 20 Great Books in 2 Minutes, Emoji Style

Friday, February 8, 2013

Teaching Introverted Kids and the Psychology of Music (two separate things.....sort of)

There's been a lot of press, chatter, and research about education and introversion lately.  I'm by my own admission a huge extravert, but I know and love many people who are not like me.  And over the past twenty years, I've had my fair share of introverted students.  While it's true the approach is much different, we really can't allow these young folks to eschew class participation when it doesn't feel good.  It's training for other parts of life, as Jessica Lahey so expertly explains in this article in The Atlantic, Introverted Kids Need to Learn to Speak Up at School.

And now for something completely different.

Granted, this is more or less an advertisement for UF's Music Education department, but it's extremely well done, and it makes an excellent case not only for the arts in schools, but for considering the many benefits of music to our learning, health, and more.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Feel like you need some new uses for your LCD projector?

Catlin Tucker always has loads of great ideas and practical suggestions for classroom teachers, especially where effective technology integration is concerned.  Most classrooms have a projector, right?  Here are some great ideas for integrating it even more:

LCD Projectors: Create Relevance, Capture Attention & Connect to Resources

10 Sentences Google Teachers Never Hear

This is quality stuff from my friend Kevin Brookhouser, the creator of the series of Writing Felonies videos.

by Kevin Brookhouser (@brookhouser on Twitter)