Friday, March 15, 2013

More cool tools and news from CUE Conference!

Another interesting day at the CUE Conference.

The keynote was an inspiring and very thought provoking talk by Sir Ken Robinson. We'll add the link to his talk soon. The main message: schools need to change to better meet the needs of each student. Many of the changes so far (No Child Left Behind, for instance) have actually limited our ability to provide unique educational opportunities for our kids. Technology should play a huge role in addressing the unique needs of every learner. As educators interested in truly integrating technology tools and resources into the curriculum, people like those attending the CUE Conference, and our readers at home, we  are at the forefront of the changes needed. Daunting, but very cool to know the impact we can have.

Catlin Tucker provided lots of details and real classroom details about how to better engage students in writing, engagement with each other, communicating online, and ways to deepen their knowledge overall.  Here's a link to her website, with lots of interesting details about her approach. Today, she talked about Collaborize Classroom, Linoit (similar to Padlet), and many approaches to use Google Forms in day to day feedback, both from the teacher and by the student.

ALEKS was an interesting web-based math program that provides precise assessment and individualized learning. It was originally funded by the National Science Foundation and, based upon what we saw, there has been a considerable amount of thought and testing put into their current iteration. Well worth spending the time to explore it, and they currently have a 3 month pilot opportunity for zero cost  - they will even provide training for teachers to use it with up to 100 students during the trial (pilot) period. You can also set up a free trial to use yourself.

More to come!

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