Tag Archives: masscue

Leading, learning the future

I spent the day at Holy Cross College with fellow Newton Public School colleagues at MASSCUE’s Leading, Learning the Future Conference.

Michael Mino (Contact: michaelmino.comgave a comprehensive overview of the many types of 21st century learning environments including social learning environments such as Ted Edmentormob, skillshare and instructables; open source learning management systems such as Moodle and Khan Academy Lite; cloud based environments such as Google Apps; and the ever-growing MOOCs (massive open online courses) such as those on Coursera, Edx, and Venture Lab. As more and more mobile devices populate K-12 classrooms, especially with the increased interest in the adoption of BYOD models, the question burns even as our eyes burn trying out so many different applications to find the right “fit” for our classrooms, schools, or districts: What will be the impact on K-12 learning at home, at school…or anywhere across the community?

I also enjoyed the keynote at lunch by Tom Daccord, co-founder of EdTechTeacher. He spoke about the impact of mobile devices, particularly the iPad, in the classroom and the challenges and affordances of a BYOD model. He emphasized the need for anyone implementing a mobile device model to stop focusing on the apps and start focusing on the activities! Educators should stop listing apps and searching for the “silver bullet” app that teaches a specific subject. Instead, use the creative and collaborative apps to enable your students to share and show their knowledge of a subject, and assess their creations  to find gaps in their understanding. I especially connected with this appeal given my experiences rolling out a set of iPads to special education teachers for the first time at an elementary school. It took some time for them to accept that there was no one “silver bullet” app for math, or ela, or science, and only in year 2 when the second ipad came our and had a camera, did we see the creative apps come out and get easier to use and collaborate with. A big challenge too was helping teachers plan activities that would work on these devices for a variety of subjects and students. So when he acknowledge a major challenge in a BYOD model for teachers is to ask them to plan activities that would work on a VARIETY of devices to ensure equity, I realized the possible intimidating and overwhelming feelings some teachers may indeed have! He showed us Inkling: a digital textbook creator…that actually turns the textbook into a social learning environment. How many educators are able and willing to take the time and know the materials to make their own digital textbooks that can be shared and manipulated like this, instead of the publishing companies digitizing and owning them, which could mean that students and teachers would lose the ability to manipulate the content…just like a textbook?! Tom ended with a buzzing reflection on a recent publication called Hacking Your Education, by UnCollege founder, Dale Stephens. With guidance as to the right resources and tools, anyone can create his or her own courses, to take and learn from. This would be the ultimate personalized and customized education that puts ownership more (almost 100%) on the learner, and less on the teacher! Now, isn’t that what educators have been yearning for? I do think I felt the audience sway a little on this thought!

MASSCUE Day 1:Session 2

Session 2: Engage, Enrich, and Reinforce

presented by Reading Specialists

This session was SO rich with web resources and easy ways to integrate them into reading and writing lessons! AND the best part is that they are FREE!

See http://www.todaysmeet.com/readingMassCue

See livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit/37689

Reading Resources:

1) Spellingcity.com: practice spelling and learn vocabulary, then test directly on the web site and print results out. Can upgrade to a premium package to track progress.

2) storybird.com: collaborative storytelling and creating your own books online. *No student email is required!* and http://www.storyjumper.com/ allows uploading children’s own pictures.

3) http://animoto.com/: make your own 30 second clips (FREE), and you can apply for educators membership for FREE access as an educator (http://animoto.com/education)

Online course builders:

1) Moodle: post assignments and assign discussions in the forum

2) http://www.edmodo.com/

News sources for kids:

1) http://www.tweentribune.com/

2) http://theweekinrap.com/

Voicethread: supports fluency

1) students speak and record their voice and upload pictures to tell their story

2) teachers can record instructions

3) teachers can provide graphics and students respond by speaking

Glogster: make interactive posters at edu.glogster.com

Assignment: assign a vocab word and make a poster about the word. Takes 10 minutes to

Vocabulary raps: http://www.flocabulary.com

see edgar allen poe: http://www.flocabulary.com/poe_pit.html

Character development:

http://www.myavatareditor.com/ to make the characters in their books based on the author’s description and inferences. Also can use voki.com to make animated characters and speak their character’s words. “go back to the text” is exciting for them!

(you can rotate small groups or pairs of kids to work on the projects on computers)

Plot development: www.fodey.com makes newspaper clippings

Make your own cartoons or comics:

http://comiclife.com/ (30 day free trial software but then you have to pay).



MASSCUE 2010 Day 1:Session 1

I am writing from Gillette Stadium at the MASSCUE Conference today. I am very excited not only to learn some new things, but for my TLT team of “Technology Lead Teachers” to learn as well! Already there have been some wonderful discussions about ways to implement some of these strategies and share the resources we have seen today and yesterday, and the excitement from the team is inspiring! I set up a group on the classroom 2.0 (classroom20.com) NING for us where we will post and discuss what we’ve learned this week at MASSCUE. But Ill post the details of my sessions and reflections here as well.
Session 1: Keyboarding
I went to the Document Camera session but the presenter never showed! ) : So I skipped over to the Keyboarding session lead by Gabrielle A. Richard-Harrington. Her mission is : Kids can learn to type as they learn to read!

Her typing curriculum is web-based at http://www.strategy2design.com/ and is founded in the the Diana King Method (http://www.kildonan.org) which essentially revolves around a series of poems to help kids practice typing:
“Pinky reaches A
Ring finger on S
Middle finger D
Pointer F.”

She begins at Grade 1 and in 5-6 lessons kids know how to type, but it is the PRACTICE that really makes the difference. So she gives them typing games at http://freetypinggame.net/ after each lesson as homework.

Day 1=home row – tell the OT who needs help!
Day 2=A-Z
Day 3=P-Z
Day 4= “other keys” – come up with a poem for these!

Grades 1-5:
Go to http://www.strategy2design.com/es/
Grades 6-8:


Other methods:
➢    Get software that has a dictation piece because (Type2Learn 3) because they will have to type notes in college or at meetings while listening.
➢    Use Keyboard Masks (washcloths over their hands) to keep them from looking at the keys all the time.
➢    Use AlphaSmarts – PRINT the alphasmart keyboard out and post it on each child’s desk for practicing at any time, even in their teacher’s classroom as a 5-10 minute activity.
➢    Use a document camera to project and show proper typing on a keyboard – see point2view $79 document camera (http://www.ipevo.com/Point-2-View-USB-Camera_p_70.html)
➢    Have kids pair up, and one reads the sentences while the other types, then switch.
➢    Make booklets of the poem and the practice words, and have the kids come up with their own words to practice as well.
➢    Paint mini hands on mini white boards.
➢    Use KEYCAPS (a mac font) to make keyboarding quizzes.

Her MASSCUE presentation and handouts will be posted at:


eportfolios revisited


Originally uploaded by msradden

In the digital portfolio session now. ive been doing web-based portfolios with highschool kids for 6 yrs so not so new of a concept. im curious more about content for elementary kids now and i never solved the archiving and take away issues. i still think kids should produce their own sites from scratch buuuut where is it stored yr to yr and as alum? our own webserver? public blogs? or in a web-based clickthrough template like theyre selling in this session? puts the focus less on the tech skills of the teacher to support it and more focus on content. hmmm.