Parent Connect Parent Connect

14Nov/120

Quality Tutorial Designers Checklist

Helping students become quality Tutorial Designers has been on my mind and agenda. The reasons are plentiful, from the train of thought "if you can teach it, you know it", being a vital skill in the 21st century, Alan November's work "Who owns the Learning?"/ "Digital Learning Farm" to tutorials being an important piece in the self-motivated and self-directed learning of our times.

Teaching, nor creating (digital) tutorials, may come natural to everyone. There are are several skills involved. which are valuable for our students to learn.

  • communication
    not only understanding content and process, but being able to express and communicate them to someone else. The communication can be accomplished in a variety of media.
  • collaboration
    curating all student created tutorials in one place (ex. wiki) will create a hub, where students can search for tutorials of content, that they need a refresher on and it creates a depository for students in future years to come.
  • writing
    writing a script is an essential part of tutorial design. Tutorial writing could be considered part of the expository writing and technical writing genre
  • vocabulary
    using specific vocabulary related to the content explained
  • storyboarding
    "Storyboards are graphic organizers in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing"~ Wikipedia
  • digital storytelling
    a tutorial is a special type of story. It requires the "teller" of the story to engage the "listener" via different digital media
  • networking
    tutorials are meant for others to learn from us
  • digital media
    creating, editing, and mixing of a variety of media forms (text, images, audio, video, etc.) and the fluency to work with a variety of media and switch effortless between them
  • empathy
    the ability to understand and share the feelings (ex. not know how to do something or understand) of another

In addition to supporting students in gaining competency and fluency in the above mentioned skills, we  emphasize QUALITY work. It is about depth of content knowledge and  emphasis on showing evidence of learning, not just using a specific technology tool.

In an effort to support teachers and have a handy list for students when creating tutorials, I created the following checklist. The checklist is divided into three parts:

  1. Steps
  2. Technique
  3. Quality Considerations

Each part is divided further into different sections

Steps:

  • storyboarding
  • creation
  • dissemniation

Technique:

  • screencasting
  • audio
  • movie
  • images
  • text
  • comics
  • miscellaneous

Quality Considerations:

  • audio
  • video
  • images
  • text
  • content
  • strategy & procedures

10Oct/120

State of the Blogging School Address

State of our School Address (regarding Blogging)

3 years ago, we created blogs (WordPress platform) for ALL classroom teachers and resources. There was an expectation for teachers to be at least on the first step of the blogging ladder, illustrated in the image below. Their classroom blog needed to be, as a minimum,  a replacement of a weekly folder filled with parent-school communication and homework assignments. Teachers were expected to learn how to update their blogs (at least on a weekly basis), insert images and videos and categorize their blog posts. (Getting to Know your Blog- A Beginner’s How To Guide)

This was a steep learning curve for some teachers. In addition,  it was extra time consuming, as it was taking teachers longer time to learn and be comfortable with uploading and inserting images, creating photo galleries, creating links, posting, etc.

Then the question shifted from How to We Did it… We Built It…Will They Come? Some teachers continued to email parents weekly, pointing them to the blog to look at images and news, others resorted to “bribing” students with extra credit if their parents went on the blog, yet another class created a  Blog Tutorial for Parents & Grandparents video.

In preparation for our students to become actively involved in contributing on the classroom blogs, as a school, we needed to Update & Upgrade Our School’s Media & Publishing Release in order to reflect the shift from students as consumers to students as producers.

Some teachers felt ready sooner than others, to climb the next step on the ladder. They opened their classroom blog up for comments to their students. They started to shift from merely pushing out information to parents and students to see the opportunity for a conversation. Teachers were learning to, not only post information, but posing questions for students, encouraging them to think and to participate in a virtual conversation. – Preparing Students for Commenting with Wall Blogging.

Once students were well on their way to begin. They were comfortable in logging into their accounts, reading posts and submitting a commenting, the next step was to focus on the QUALITY of their writing. What constitutes a quality comment? One class answered this question by creating a newscast- Quality Commenting Video by Third Graders

The next step on the classroom blogging ladder was for not only the teacher to produce content/posts, but for students to take ownership. For one teacher, it meant the realization that her classroom job list was in need of a 21st century update What is… What Will Be Obsolete…in Second Grade?

Some teachers:

  • had daily  student “bloggers”,  who were in charge of updating the classroom blog, being the Official Scribe of the day.
  • had students take (handwritten notes) summarizing the daily learning during each subject area, to be then typed and uploaded on Friday to the blog (younger grades).
  • highlighted best work from students as it was produced.
  • put students in charge of photographing classroom/resource activities and learning taking place during the day, the class discussed and voted on the final images to be uploaded at the end of the day and write a short blurb to each image. – Let’s Ask the Kids: 2nd Grade Bloggers

Some classroom blogs were growing beyond homework assignment, as teachers found opportunities to amplify the use of their virtual spaces to get kids involved and engaged in conversation

As commenting and posting to the classroom blog became the routine, especially in the upper elementary grades, students were eager to “earn” their own blogs. It was up to the teacher to set the criteria for students to earn them (ex.5 quality posts moderated and published on the classroom blog).

Once having earned that promotion, students became administrators of their own blogfolio , a combination of an online portfolio and a learning blog. Students were able to choose their own theme from a variety of pre-approved themes available. They chose their own title and tagline, and wrote their About Page.

It takes time for the faculty to see that the students’ blogfolios are NOT a project from/for the Language Arts class. We are not there yet.Teachers, still need to take advantage of pulling in resource teachers and student experiences. Non-Language Arts teachers still need to realize that the blog is a platform for learning for THEIR students too. All this is a process for teachers and students to work through.

We had Professional Development workshops helping teachers subscribe to RSS feeds (Subscribing via RSS & Google Reader to Classroom Blogs) in order to streamline the process of reading AND giving feedback to all their students. This is a daunting task for many teachers, as they are feeling overwhelmed. I have met too many teachers (at other schools) who, precisely for that reason, gave up blogging with their students. It was simply too much work to read and sift through all the writing and commenting (!!). We are committed to working through this at our school though. We are concentrating on finding new ways to embed the reading, the writing, the commenting, the conversation into the “way we do things”, not something we do in addition.

I created the following infographic to demonstrate the flow of blogging in the classroom. The hope is to deflect from the emphasis on technology and the “translation” from analog work to digital work during the blogging process.

You can download the infographic as a pdf file.

There is so much to consider when blogging with your students. You will be able to read about some, some you will hear from teaches who are already blogging and some things you will just have to experience and go through for yourself in order to make it work for you and your students. What we do know, is that no teacher can attend a 3 hour workshop on blogging and is ready to blog with their students the following Monday. I wrote extensively about the process for Stepping it Up- Learning About Blogs FOR your Student as a guide for teachers who want to see blogging as a platform for their own professional development and as a medium for student learning.

Ann Davis, on her blog wrote a post titled “Rationale for Educational Blogging“, an article (and the following comments) worth reading! David Jakes responds in the comment section speaking directly to the teachers “who have kids write for the refrigerator”.

Ann Davis’ quote of “It is not just a matter of transferring classroom writing into digital spaces”, resonates deeply with me. It is a challenge, that we are continuously reflecting on in school, as learning and literacy coaches, but need to do a better job in helping faculty work through this as well. Tough questions need to bubble up  to the surface:

  •  Where it the Authentic Audience?  by Andrea Hernandez
  • What does it mean when students, teachers, parents feel “blogged out”?
  • How do we prevent student blogfolios from becoming an accumulation of “Homework for Thursday”, “Homework for Friday” posts?

Where do we go from here?

We will continue to seek the following through our blogs:

  • quality writing and commenting
  • documentation of the learning process
  • hub for learning artifacts
  • reflections
  • meaningful discussion
  • metacognition
  • authentic feedback
  • global awareness and connectedness

We will encourage, support and participate in activities that will foster the above goals.

Examples:

  • quad-blogging
  • commenting mentor program
  • blogging buddies
  • professional blogs for our educators to build reflective teaching practices, connections to a global network of educators and building a personal brand

2Sep/120

Twitter Policy and Rationale

We want to keep our parents in the loop about Social Media use in the classroom and are posting the following Twitter Policy and Rational.

Twitter Policy and Rationale

Several classrooms at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School are tweeting!
We wanted to be transparent in our rationale for using Twitter as a platform with our students for academic learning.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social media platform, a micro-blogging service. Every tweet is limited to 140 characters or less. Twitter is surfacing everywhere in our daily lives, from your favorite restaurant chain to your rabbi, politicians, celebrities, sports team and TV shows. What is less known about Twitter is the academic value of learning with and from other educators and students, experts, authors, organizations, companies from around the world that support 21st century learning. By tweeting with our students, we expose them to social networking strategies, support their growth as global digital citizens and model focused, clear writing.

Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety

Our students DO NOT tweet on personal accounts. The tweeting classrooms are using a classroom Twitter account, set up and managed by the classroom teachers and the 21st century learning team. We monitor and choose carefully, who is allowed to follow the classroom Twitter stream and who we follow on Twitter. Netiquette, Internet safety, digital citizenship including copyright lessons are interwoven throughout the year and continuously discussed and reinforced. Netiquette is defined as the "acceptable" way how to communicate on the Internet. Learning acceptable behavior is part of digital Citizenship, one of the core literacies of the 21st century. We remind students of  our classroom rules and emphasize that "real world" etiquette,  rules and consequences transfer to online behavior as well.

The use of Twitter in the classroom follows the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School's guidelines for Media and Publishing release. Tweets will occasionally mention students’ first name, but never their last name. We will also be sharing classroom images, video or audio, directly related to student learning.

Twitter as a Tool for Learning

We want students to produce and contribute developmentally and age appropriate quality content. This is a process that can only be internalized by “doing”. The focus of Twitter in our classrooms is always learning. We connect, share and reflect on our learning experiences at school as well as tap into and link to individual student background knowledge.  Younger students will tweet  and document experiences they have through observation. Older students will be “thinking” about their learning on a deeper level and learn to articulate their metacognitive process of reflection.

The classroom teacher and 21st century learning team will actively search for and connect classrooms with same grade level twitter buddies and pre-approved mentors, to give students an authentic audience for their writing, with whom students can share their learning, ask questions and gain perspective.

...First graders might read a story with another first grade class from Canada and collaboratively tweet a summary of the story or describe the main characters. They might even share, via Twitter, a link to artwork they created illustrating the story’s setting.

...Fifth graders might tweet with a High School history teacher from Boston about their studies of the American Revolution and might receive images of historic sites.

We will be continuously modeling quality during the process. Before we click the "tweet" button, the class will ask if their tweet:

* is Informative?
* documents their learning?
* asks questions?
* responds to someone else's question?
* curates information for specific audience?
* links to quality resources?
*adds Value to any links re-tweeted?
* states its intent clearly?
* is globally conscious?
* is grammatically correct?
* is spelled correctly?

As students tweet, they learn about word choices, clarity, the writing process (write/revise/edit/publish), networking skills, research skills, summarizing skills, global awareness and connections.

21at Century Skills & Literacies

Twitter is not the only tool that our classroom and students use to connect globally. We use a variety of platforms, such as blogs, wikis, podcasts and Skype to allow our students to practice skills such as communicating, collaborating, connecting, creating and critical thinking skills. These tools also expose them to and support  emerging 21st century literacies (global literacy, network literacy, media literacy, information literacy) in addition to basic literacy skills (reading and writing)

We encourage our parents to follow our classroom Twitter feed to join their students' learning journey.

http://www.twitter.com/1stmjgds
http://www.twitter.com/4thmjgds
http://www.twitter.com/5thmjgds

We will be adding links to more Twitter classroom accounts from school as they become active on Twitter.

You can follow also our head of school, Jon Mitzmacher, Admission's Director, Talie Zaifert, 21st Century Learning Specialists, Andrea Hernandez & Silvia Tolisano, librarian, Karin Hallett and the following classroom teachers on Twitter: Shelly Zavon, Stephanie Teitelbaum, Deb Kuhr, Amy Stein, Seth Carpenter, Pamela Lewis, Sara Luetchau.

23Sep/110

Lunch and Learn

On September 15th, our middle school students had the opportunity to "lunch and learn" with Mr. Ben Smilowitz from Disaster Accountability Project. One of the "21st century skills"  is "connecting".  In an information age, students must be able, not only to filter information, but to connect information in new ways. It is vital to make connections between subjects, between new ideas and background knowledge, between ourselves and others.

Mr. Smilowitz shared the connections in his own life that led him from a Schechter education of Tikkun Olam to a life devoted to making a difference in the world. His talk helped our middle school students make connections from the Mitzvot they do as part of their schooling to the bigger picture of their lives beyond and after they leave MJGDS.

6Sep/110

What’s New?

Welcome to 21st century learning in the school year 2011-2012! (Since we're so far into the 21st century, maybe we should call it something else....any ideas?)
We have lots of exciting news to share with you.

New Tools

First of all, we have new equipment! We are thrilled to have brand new MacBooks for student use at school.  We are working hard to get the new laptops set up and into the carts. We are also going to be piloting iPads this year. Stay tuned to learn with us as we explore the educational applications of this technological innovation.

   

 

New Spaces

As we have all experienced, with the renovation of our office and hallways, spaces really affect how we feel about a place. Learning spaces should reflect our pedagogy. Sam Gliksman, in "Learning Space Designs & Their Impact on Education" writes:

We go to great lengths and expense to provide technology to our schools - hopefully in part because we see it as a means of empowering students to research, explore, experience, collaborate and more. Does your physical learning environment support that vision? How does it impact the process and flow of learning taking place? 

Here, in the room formerly known as the "computer lab," we are giving serious consideration to how the physical environment reflects our beliefs about learning. The ultimate vision for the use of technology in our school is, in the words of Chris Lehmann, for the tools to be "like oxygen: ubiquitous, invisible and necessary."

So, we have dismantled the computer lab and distributed the old desktop computers to the classrooms. No longer will K-5 students have "technology" once a week as a "resource class." We are re-purposing the space as a hub for our new, mobile technologies. Some possible names for the new space are: "cyber cafe," and "learning lab."  We are still playing with ideas- please share yours in the comments!  We have grouped the tables to enable working together and covered them with map tablecloths to inspire thoughts of global connectedness. We will have a green screen for video making. We hope to see teachers and students of all ages working side by side on projects, using the technology tools in pursuit of great learning.

Parent Education

"Parent Coffee Talk" also has a new name for the new year: "Parent Connect."

 If you haven't joined us in the past, please consider checking it out. The discussions are dynamic, and we all learn from each other. We look forward to welcoming you to our newly-designed learning space where we can discuss in detail our visions and dreams for the year ahead. Feel free to bring interested guests and BYOC (Bring Your Own Coffee!).

edJEWcon

This last bit of news is certainly not least. MJGDS will be hosting edJEWcon 5772.0 , a participatory learning conference for Jewish schools, in the late spring!  We have dreamed and discussed, planned and envisioned, and now we will have the real opportunity to open our school and invite others to learn with us and from us. Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs of Curriculum 21 will be our keynote speaker. Much more will be shared as the details take shape, but this is an incredibly exciting event!

25May/110

Let’s Talk About Summer


Recommended Resources-

Virtual Bookshelf-
Shelfari

Blogging-
WordPress
Blogger

Blog Tutorial by our Second Graders:

Audio Recording-
Voicethread

Programming-
Scratch (free download)

Problem Solving-
Whizzball
Fantastic Contraption

Keyboarding Practice-
http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/keyboarding_games.html
Dance Mat Typing
Krazy Keyboarding for Kids
Type Racer

Creative-
Pixie Parent Guides- free resource for parents (grade and subject specific). Pixie is wonderful, creative software that we use at school. It can be downloaded and used free for 30 days at http://www.tech4learning.com/pixie Tech4Learning also has a parent purchase program if you are interested in purchasing their software at significant savings.
Tux Paint (free download)
National Gallery of Art - some great interactive tools for creating and learning about art

Digital Storytelling-

Mixbook
Book Builder

Have a wonderful summer! Learn, create, share...

14Apr/110

Storyboarding: Pre-Writing Activity

The more we podcast and have our students create video clips or other digital storytelling projects, the more we need to teach storyboarding as part of the process. Being able to pre-visualize how your story will unfold is becoming a vital skill to have for storytellers.

Storyboards are defined as:

Graphic organizers such as a series of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence, including website interactivity.

In the book by Roger Essley "Visual Tools for Differentiating Reading & Writing Instruction: Strategies to Help Students Make Abstract Ideas Concrete and Accessible", he says

Storyboarding, or picture writing, is the origin of all written languages, used by ancient cultures before text evolved and as a natural bridge to text. The Chinese language was built using pictographs. Egyptians used storyboards, or hieroglyphics, first etched in stone and later written on papyrus, to organize a complex society and to rule the ancient world.

Pre-Writing is defined as

Pre-writing is the first stage of the writing process, typically followed by drafting, revision, editing and publishing. Elements of prewriting may include planning, research, outlining, diagramming, storyboarding or clustering.

I have experimented with several storyboarding tools, from the paper and pencil method to iPad apps. Students and I are both finding the creation of the storyboard extremely helpful as we are collaborating on creating podcasts and movies.

I created a Word Doc, that is easily edited with the title of the storytelling project and printed out to be distributed to students. (Download the Word Doc Template)

Storyboarding Template Created in Word

We have also asked students to directly use their writing journals to storyboard their ideas for a script. Students use their storyboard to write their script in sequence and to supervise and help as we edit the movie together.

Individual Storyboarding in Journal

Storyboarding in Journal

One of my favorite places to create a storyboard together with the students in on the SmartBoard. We use the Notebook software to draw the different scenes that will need to be filmed and which actors will be participating in each scene.

Collaborative Storyboarding on SmartBoard

The following storyboard was also created with the SmartBoard Notebook. This time we used screenshots to illustrate the images we were imagining for the green screen background replacement.

Collaborative Storyboarding with Screenshots

We printed the storyboard out for all students to have and to use as they were going to write their parts of the script. It helped them understand their individual role in the collaborative whole of the story. Once we finished recording the script (which often happened to be film completely out of sequence) , I made it a point to involve students in the editing process.

As the storyboard area of iMovie was displayed on the projector, students were using their paper storyboard printout to help me drag and drop individual video clips in the correct order , add sounds, transitions and text. The storyboard made it possible to pull all the individually written scripts and out-of-order filmed video clips into a coherent sequence.

I am just starting to experiment with storyboard apps on my iPad. I am sure similar apps exist for the Android market or other tablet computers.

Storyboards Premium allows you to create a background scene, insert actors and text.

StoryPages HD allows you to draw your own board and add text in a different pane. You can move different pages in order on the page grid and email the final board as a pdf file.

Our Art teacher, Shana Gutterman, collaborated with us by teaching a lesson on storyboarding techniques to the students.

For more examples of storyboarding, take a look at the following article and posts:

  • R.Alfonso's blog EETT & Making Movies
  • What Are Storyboards?
    Storyboarding, or picture writing, is the origin of all written languages. Storyboards are widely used because we know pictures combined with text offer a rich synthesis of information that can entertain and inform. The pictures in picture writing can be simple cartoons, photographs, or sophisticated technical diagrams. This technique can be an invaluable tool when differentiating reading and writing instruction....
  • Differentiated Instruction: Developing a Storyboarding Classroom
    Tips on how to use visual tools, such as storyboarding, to differentiate instruction in a reading program....
12Sep/100

Blogs- More Than a Shiny New Tool

All teachers at our school are using a new online platform this school year to communicate with students and parents. We are using a blog platform that enables non-Web Designers to publish and edit content more easily.

The word "Blog" comes from "Web Log" which is an Online Journal. Wikipedia defines a blog as:

A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.

A blog format distinguishes itself from a static website (like Edline was). It allows a two way communication between the teacher and her students, the students between each other and even for parents to leave comments that contribute to learning.

David Warlick, author of "Classroom Blogging- A Teacher's Guide to the Blogosphere" (p.15-16), says that blogs are important for educators to take notice, because of

the direct and conspicuous relationship between blogging and literacy. It is about writing and reading- communication. If we can tap into the sudden notoriety of blogging as a cool thing to do, given our students authentic assignments of finding, reading, and evaluating blog-based information within the context of curriculum and then make them bloggers, communicators with a broadening audience, then we may o a more effective job of teaching literacy, both in the traditional sense, and within the context of an emerging new definition of literacy in a a networked, digital information environment.

Creating a blog is a process for our classrooms, teachers and students. As they are learning the nuts and bolts of blog lingo and logistics, such as posts, pages, categories, tags and widgets, they are also learning to use this new media as a way to extend learning beyond the classroom walls. Teachers are scouting the web to find age appropriate and curriculum related links that will allow individual students to deepen their knowledge of a topic, practice or extend specific skills taught in the classroom. In addition to links that connect to outside resources, the blog becomes a journal of individual entries/conversations by teachers and students that are displayed in reverse chronological order.

The format of a blog naturally invites to reflective thinking. This may happen in the classroom as a whole group activity, when teachers use the site to go over past assignments, classroom happenings or questions that were posted. It may happen when students use the blog as a source to review content discussed in class that day, or when they had time to digest and share their ideas, questions or doubts when they are more comfortable (for some) and not in front of the entire class. The reflection can also happen as a conversation starter at home between parents and students to look back on what was discussed in school. As teachers and students are learning to embed images, audio, video and other media into their blogs, the dreaded parent/child interchange of "What did you do in school today?- Nothing!" will be something of the past. Parents will be able to share learning conversations and events from their child's classroom and visit/re-visit with their child virtually from home.

A blog is more than a shiny new tool!

By blogging, students not only are "going on a website" to look up their assignments, but they are learning to read and write with hypertext, they are writing to an authentic worldwide audience, lessons about online safety and etiquette are organically woven into lessons. Reading and writing becomes a tool to authentically communicate with classmates, teachers as well as readers from around the world. Learning how to tag, categorize, link and find information is an increasingly important skill in the Information Age. Our students, from Kindergarten on, are being exposed to these skills by being part of building a learning community on their classroom blog.

Will Richardson, author of the book "Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and other Powerful Tools for the Classroom", identifies six traits that support blogging as a tool to improve students learning (p.27-28)

  1. Weblogs truly are a constructivist approach for learning
  2. Weblogs extend the walls of the classroom.
  3. Blogs archive the work that teachers and students do, facilitating all sorts of reflection and metacognitive analysis.
  4. A weblog is a democratic tool that supports different learning styles.
  5. Weblogs can enhance the development of expertise in a particular in a particular subject.
  6. Blogs can teach students the new literacies they will need to function in an ever expanding information society

A blog is more than "just" a tool. It is more than a buzzword that you are hearing more and more in the mainstream media. A blog allows teachers to address critical skills and literacies while differentiating instruction in a digital medium that most of our students today are very comfortable with in using.


    The blog platform does not replace parent-teacher conferences, face to face conversations or private emails concerning individual students. The blog platform is a venue that allows school-home communication to extend and support existing communication venues. A blog, that in the beginning might be only a "replacement" for the "Friday Folder" and "Edline" with homework assignments or upcoming events shared, will evolve into a virtual place for collaborative work, shared ideas and conversation. Please have patience with us, as teachers are learning alongside their students to communicate in new forms. As we are moving ahead in the process of creating, maintaining and evolving with our classroom blogs, we will gradually invite more voices to become part of the classroom learning community.

    Blogs will connect us to a global classroom. All our classroom blogs are public. Anyone in the world with the URL (Web Address) can visit and read our blogs. This is done intentionally to encourage global communication and collaboration. Currently, all blogs "only" allow comments from registered users (our students). Part of the process will be to open commenting up to the world, always with a degree of"protection" in the form of comment moderation by the teacher before a comment is made public on the blog. This open policy is vital in making connections with other classrooms and curriculum content-related voices from around the world. It provides our students with an authentic audience for their writing, ideas and points of view.

    1Jun/100

    How to Subscribe to the MJGDS Podcast Channel

    What is a Podcast?

    A podcast is an audio file, similar to a radio show, that you are able to listen to anytime and anywhere with a computer or MP3 player (ex. iPod.)

    Martin J. Gottlieb Day School Podcast

    Our podcast is a continuous collection of episodes that showcases events in the classrooms and highlights curriculum content and student learning. Students learn to express themselves in different media that reinforces their studies.

    How can I subscribe to MJGDS’ Podcast?

    Click on the MJGDS Podcast Channel Link here. You will be asked to open the link up in iTunes, You can then subscribe to the podcast within iTunes

    You can also go directly to iTunes and search for "MJGDS" under Podcast. Click the "SUBSCRIBE" button to automatically subscribe to our Podcast Channel.

    You can also subscribe manually to the Podcast Channel:

    Copy this RSS feed by highlighting the following, right click and choosing “copy”:

    http://mjgds.org/podcasts/podcast.xml

    Paste them into your favorite podcatcher, such as iTunes.

    Click on the Advanced Tab, subscribe to podcast  and then paste (right click, then choose paste)  the RSS feed.

    iTunes will automatically subscribe you to the MJGDS’ Podcast.

    Now you are ready to download/sync them to your MP3 player.

    13May/100

    Teaching is the Highest Form of Understanding

    Aristotle says:

    Teaching is the highest form of understanding

    Alan November, in the book Curriculum 21 by Heidi Hayes Jacobs, lists "Tutorial Designers" as one of the six new roles to develop empowered learners.

    If these two educators , separated by over 2000 years in history, are right... then we should be pushing students to do just that. We need to give them opportunities to become teachers.

    The creation and maintenance of the Math Wiki by our Middle Schoolers was the perfect platform to expose students to an array of design tools to create tutorials for their classmates and other math students around the world.

    Take a look at the following tools used and student examples.

    Animoto

    Microsoft PowerPoint

    PowerPoint

    SmartBoard Notebook

    SmartBoard Notebook

    SmartBoard Notebook

    Skitch/ Jing

    • Screenshot software

    Using Skitch

    Google Docs Drawing

    Google Docs-Drawing

    Google Earth

    Google Earth

    iMovie/MovieMaker

    Untitled from MJGDS on Vimeo.

    Garageband or Vocaroo (web based recording)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.