Last evening six of my colleagues sat down with me in the MS HS Library to take the Level 1 exam for Google Certified Educators. Four of them are High School teachers (two English teachers, geography, mathematics) and two are from our Early Childhood program (Kindergarten and Grade 2), including one Apple Distinguished Educator. These teachers passed with flying colors and will receive a certificate from Google and a badge to display proudly in the signature line of their email or in their CV or portfolio.
As Google Certified Educators, these teachers have demonstrated not only the skills required to effectively use G Suite services like Drive, Sites, Calendar and Classroom, but also the thoughtful application of these tools in their own teaching and learning. These teachers dedicated their own time to learning and preparing for the exam (half are in my Google Step Up course) as well as the necessary extra time and resources for the exam itself.
I am very proud to be working with these new Google Certified Educators and look forward to what they will do next!
Learning2 PreCon for Technology Leaders
Technology Directors and coordinators work hard to strike a balance when articulating a school-wide vision for teaching and learning while also supporting the expanding, day-to-day needs of students, faculty, and their school community. As part of the Learning2 conference and experience we are excited to announce a new opportunity for technology leaders to collaborate.
Join Aaron Tyo-Dickerson and other members of the ECIS Special Interest Group for Technology, Innovation and Design (TID) for a full day of facilitated conversations around topics selected by and for technology directors and coordinators. Session participants will collect and share their ideas, questions and concerns in a circle of trust and will leave with a better understanding of what is possible and doable for their school today, tomorrow and in the future.
To make it even better, there is no cost for the Precon itself, just 55 US Dollars for the cost of food and transportation. However, we do require that participants attend the regular Learning2 Conference that follows – trust us, you want to! You will be able to continue your conversations all weekend including two other job alike sessions. The total cost of the regular conference, including this session, is 535 US Dollars.
A registration code is required for this pre-conference session. Please contact Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM @atyodickerson or Stephen@learning2.org or DM @sreiach.
Google Step Up
a free online course for international school educators
There are lots of great ways to use G Suite tools in your teaching and learning to help your students collaborate, create and share.
If you would like to grow your skills in a fun, interactive online environment with other international school educators please join us for a free, twelve-week course.
Course content will include G Suite services like Classroom, Mail, Drive, Calendar, Groups, YouTube and more.
Course participants will receive a course completion certificate and can even get certified by taking the optional Google Certified Educator Level 1 exam.
What: “Google Step Up”, a free Google Certified Educator prep course
Who: Aaron Tyo-Dickerson, Google Certified Trainer and course facilitator
Where: online in a private “training domain”
When: Course starts Monday, 15 January and takes place over twelve weeks
How: Click here to register!
“The trick is to downsize — not demolish — your family’s reliance on technology over the holidays. Advice from Common Sense Media editors.”
Just in time for the Winter Break, Common Sense media have created a succinct, useable resource for planning and enjoying the time off together with your family.
One of the things that I always appreciate about CSM is their balanced approach to media and technology and this guide is no exception. There are the predictable, #devicefreedinner-type of suggestions like putting phones in a basket or not checking emails obsessively, but also suggestions for enjoying tech time together in a responsible and fun way:
“Have a download derby. Browse the app store together. Look for games and activities that the whole family can enjoy, such as the ones on our our best app lists.
Try some tech togetherness. Unplugging for its own sake isn’t the point. Family time is. Plan a night of video games, movies, or maybe preselected YouTube videos that you can all enjoy together.”
Read more of the suggestions on the Common Sense Media site below.
Source: How Plugged-In Families Can Have a Device-Free(ish) Holiday
Next week Mitch Resnick and the folks at the MIT Media Lab are kicking off another round of their terrific online course and community: Learning Creative Learning. I have already signed up and am excited to be joining other creative people around the world in this great learning and sharing community.
Read the summary below and click here to register.
“For many years, the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, led byMitch Resnick, has been developing new technologies, activities, and environments (such as Scratch and Computer Clubhouses) to engage all children, from all backgrounds, in creative learning experiences.
Learning Creative Learning (LCL) is our effort to connect and share ideas with people around the world with similar goals, visions, and values. It is an opportunity for like-minded educators and learners to meet one another and share ideas, strategies, and practical tips on how to support creative learning.
LCL is organized as a six-week online course (starting on October 18, 2017), but its real goal is to cultivate an ongoing learning community in support of creative learning around the world.
Each week we will offer online videos, readings, and hands-on activities. You’ll be able go through this material at your own pace. All of our materials will be freely available (including sections from Mitch Resnick’s new Lifelong Kindergarten book). You can spend as much or as little time you like — by watching, reading, making, sharing, reflecting, and discussing.”
Scratch, the drag-and-drop visual programming language from MIT, continues to grow in popularity among teachers and students. The statistics tracker on the Scratch website shows:
- 18,688,109 projects shared,
- 15,314,275 users registered,
- comments posted,
- 3,069,067 studios created
Students are creating, sharing, and remixing Scratch projects…and universities are remixing Scratch itself, building and sharing new flavors of Scratch to further expand the appeal and application of Scratch for programming.
Scratch | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
If you are looking for the original Scratch (now in v.2) this is the place for you. Create an account and begin coding games, simulations, musical instruments, and more!
Snap | University of California, Berkeley
Snap is for more advanced users who want to add their own blocks to Scratch. Built on Scratch v.1.4, Snap projects are also exportable as stand-alone apps for Windows and Mac.
Scribble | Monash University
Artists will appreciate this customization of Scratch (via Snap) that comes pre-loaded with cool red blocks for shapes, transparency and text.
No matter your students’ interests or experience levels, there is a Scratch flavor that is just right for them. Try them out and let me know what you think in the comments below!
"Many assume that because young people are fluent in social media they are equally savvy about what they find there," the researchers wrote. "Our work shows the opposite."
Stanford researchers assessed students from middle school to college and found they struggled to distinguish ads from articles, neutral sources from biased ones and fake accounts from real ones.
This is truly dismaying news given the post-truth world we are apparently living in now. NPR News presents a concise and informative report on Stanford’s recently published “Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning” and paints a grim picture of so-called digital natives’ ability to critically assess news and fake news.
The participants in this study were middle and high school students who were asked to evaluate websites, tweets, and images in order to determine whether they were legitimate (from the cited source), factual (presented information that was true or which stood up to basic scrutiny) or unbiased. The Stanford researched used items from across the politial spectrum and discovered that students could not identify advertisements on webpages, could not determine if sources of sources were real or fake, or even if images were what they purported to be.
We in the IT and Library world clearly have our work cut out for ourselves and need to have some serious curricular discussions within our schools. I for one would be very curious to see how our own students would fare in a similar study. Anyone care to join me?
Listen on NPR.org: https://www.npr.org/player/embed/503129818/503141179
Read on NPR.org: Can You Tell Fake News From Real? Study Finds Students Have ‘Dismaying’ Inability : The Two-Way : NPR