Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Making a Splash With Digital Learning!

We Splashed into digital learning this week at Batesville Community School Corporation with keynote Leslie Fisher(@LeslieFisher) who delighted participants with her presentation- Technology Time Machine.  She not only made the group nostalgic for the smell of ditto fluid, but pushed our thinking to possibilities of 3D printing. Anyone for  printed pizza? Leslie does an amazing job of bringing the “Wow” of technology to its practical educational application. Try augmenting the reality of your classroom with apps like Aurasma or Elements4D. If you missed Leslie here, catch up with her in Carmel or Vincennes or Evansvilles' Summer of eLearning conferences. 

Next, we stopped in with our  Promethean friend, Wendy Zuber (@wzuber) who engaged all of us in her session, 4 Strategies to Get Kids Thinking.  Wendy has excellent strategies to truly engage students in their learning.   Engaged learners are provided opportunities to interact with the content through discussion and with the use of visuals.   Technology provides us the tools- primary sources, audio, pictures, video, and more to bring the learning process to life. Wendy brings researched proven ideas from the Mazur Group.  Mazur's interactive engagement method of peer instruction has data proving that collaboration around an idea can bring everyone to the correct answer even when no one knew it to begin with. Wendy ended the session with "energy shifters". Contact Wendy to find out how to utilize this strategy when students start to glaze over. 

Batesville alum and current iCATS, Kris Gordon led a session packed with great iPad Apps for elementary students. But the real experts in this session were the elementary students themselves. Gordon brought his own sons, Aidan and Karson who demonstrated each of the apps discussed. The boys were a great gauge of how engaging these apps are; as they struggled to stop playing each one so we could go to the next! You can find a multi-tab spreadsheet of all the apps discussed.

In his session, Eric Feller (@_MrFeller) shared how the “Math Twitter Blogosphere” had a huge impact; not only in how he taught, but also in how he finds resources. One social media math guru he tuned into is Dan Meyer. (@ddmeyer)  Feller explained how Meyer encourages math teachers to give less information and demand more thinking and questioning from students. Meyer’s model, Three-Act Math Tasks exemplifies this with lessons that begin with engaging video and end with some great questions. For similar tasks involving estimation, Feller turns to Estimation 180. Although, his favorite resource is blogger Fawn Nguyen (@fawnpnguyen), and you can find her blog here

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