It’s 8 AM. School here starts at 9. I’ve been in my classroom working for almost an hour when I start thinking about what today will be like:
- the 3D printer in my classroom has been running since I arrived here. I’ve had a few problems dialing it in, but with a few final adjustments this morning, the quality looks great and I’ve got a backlog of student made projects to print out. It will probably take a few days to catch up.
- My Idea Hive partner, Heather Durnin and I are working on the story the Monkey’s Paw with our students. Our classrooms are 2700 kms apart, but over the past two days we’ve had kids form up into groups and have played vocabulary bingo between our two classrooms. Today, we are going to actually begin reading the story. As well as reading it live on skype between our two classes, we are also recording it on 105thehive radio so that other classes can listen in if they wish. We have a chatroom set up for the kids to use while we are reading the story and a linoit bulletin board for them to post their ideas on after we have finished our reading for today. We need to talk with our students about appropriate use of chatrooms for learning as it is a different skill set than simply using these kinds of tools for socializing.
- My high school web design class started on some simple video editing yesterday. Today, a grade 12 student in our school is coming to show off some of his imovie creations that he made in a class of mine last year. After that, we are spending some time hunting down trailers old cartoons and archival footage from archive.org to put into our own original remixes.
- Later today we are going to use Khan Academy videos to practice a few geometry skills that we are struggling with. I’m not a huge user of Khan Academy and I’ve read many critiques of the site, but I am willing to use any resource I can find to help when my students struggle. I think that the site has a good set of tutorials and practice exercises on this topic and I am willing to use them.
- Finally, my students have to finish up their writing of a fantasy story that they have been working on. We usually use Google docs for any kind of writing like this. It makes revising and editing easy. It makes it easy to work on something here and at home as well. It also lets students share their work between each other and me to get some feedback as they go.
I’ve been teaching for almost 20 years. Any one who thinks education isn’t changing and isn’t more powerful now than in the past needs to spend more time in classrooms.