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Susan Bio 2014One way I know for sure an app has potential to transform classroom practice is when, with minimal introduction and little prep time, a whole team of teachers adopts it and launches its use.

 

 

 

storifydigitalOn February 11th, Edmunds Middle School opened their doors to the community and invited them to see what technology integration looks like in a 21st century Vermont school.

 

Here, a 2013 Code Camp attendee explains how he used the web development skills he learned there to build a website about animation and programming

Here, a 2013 Code Camp attendee explains how he used the web development skills he learned there to build a website about animation and programming

 

As part of celebrating Digital Learning Day yesterday, we visited The Edge team at Essex Middle School for their annual Project Fair, where students share their learning with the community. Here’s a look at some of the amazing work on display.

 

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One group of students was using an iPad to remotely monitor the development of a clutch of hatching chicks.

 

This student, inspired by a trip to Winooski Mill, replicated a water mill in Google Sketch-Up as part of a lesson plan he created for others wanting to learn Sketch-Up.

This student, inspired by a trip to Winooski Mill, replicated a water mill in Google Sketch-Up as part of a lesson plan he created for others wanting to learn Sketch-Up.

 

One student used her iPad to produce stop-motion animation for sharing online.

One student used her iPad to produce stop-motion animation for sharing online.

 

A group of students collaborated on building a Minecraft game about sustainability. In the game, you enter a world where electrical power is dying out, and you must shoot the monster stealing it.

A group of students collaborated on building a Minecraft game about sustainability. In the game, you enter a world where electrical power is dying out, and you must slay the monster stealing it.

 

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A pair of students researched the history of space exploration, as well as its future, and produced a presentation on the topic, which they gave to a local Cub Scout troop and a class of 3rd graders.

 

For a round-up of more Digital Learning Day activities in Vermont, check out Lucie delaBruere’s Storify. And don’t forget to mark your calendars for Edmunds Middle School’s Digital Learning Day on February 11th. Of course, we know for many of you, digital learning days take place year-round…

Tell us: how did your school celebrate Digital Learning Day?

 

Susan Bio 2014

 

Over at Curat.ivity, TIIE professional development coordinator Susan Hennessey is blogging about how to take the huge flow of informational text and current events news and find ways to customize it for individual users.

“One-size-fits-all has no place in our classrooms, given the ready access we have to digital tools that support differentiation, which is why we welcome any resource built to allow its users control of content based on individual needs and preferences.”

 

“It is time that educators recognize and capitalize on the social nature of their students because their virtual interactions stretch well beyond their standard school day. Therefore, by integrating assignments and homework into social media platforms, students’ motivation, their time spent completing school assignments, and their grades will increase.”

 

Via interactyx and Jonathan Flegg, the answer according to the infographic below is A WHOLE LOT OF THEM. So what does that mean for educators and classrooms?

 

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Sixth grade math educator Laura Botte explains how she’s using a simple Google form to make it easier for students to talk about what’s on their minds.

 

 

 

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Vine is a tool where users can craft looping six-second videos for sharing globally, and other users can up-vote them, follow favored Vine-creators (some of whom have one million+ followers) and comment. It’s available for the Android, iOS and Windows platforms, and despite the nominal age-17 requirement for the platform, it’s more than likely that students in your class are more than likely Vining.

And what they’re making are awesome. Here’s why:

1. Authentic student voice

Want to know what students really think about school? Get on Vine and follow the #school hashtag.

 

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They aren’t Vining for a grade or for any school project. This is what students really think about school. It’s not always pretty, and it’s definitely not always complimentary towards the schools in question, but what it is is startlingly honest.

And 2., this is a really fascinating digital storytelling medium.

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Think about all the skills that come into play in figuring out how to tell a story in six seconds.

 

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But it’s not just students who are using Vine.

At Orchard School in South Burlington, librarian/rock-star Donna McDonald is using Vine with her students to create a series of six-second book reviews to share for the #MockCaldecott awards. First of all, they’re epic, and second, they’re each only six seconds long, so you can easily justify watching every last one. Such as this one:

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And this:

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(Seriously, just go follow @OrchardVT on twitter. They share fantastic work and those #MockCaldecott Vines are this close >< to becoming their own meme.)

All of which brings up two questions: Do you Vine? And do you know what your students are Vining?

 

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PAML 6th grade educator and all-around good egg Joe Speers returns to the blog to with another #1minutehowto, this time on how he’s using Google Docs to reinforce the difference between formal and informal writing with his students.

Joe previously showed us how his students use Corkulous to create vocab flashcards, and how he uses Google Drive to organize student work.

 

 

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It’s PAML 6th grade educator Joe Speers, of course! And he’s here to explain how his students are using Explain Everything to share the Best Part Of My Week with their families.

Joe previously showed us how his students use Corkulous to create vocab flashcards, and how he uses Google Drive to organize student work.

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Edmunds Middle School teachers, students and district technologists were on Commissioner’s Corner last night , talking about their experiences designing mobile iOS games with ARIS and the Echo Museum. We’re proud to say we knew them way back when.

If you’re interested in hearing from Laura Botte and Katie Wyndorf about this project, they’ll be at the 7th annual Middle Grades Conference, January 11th at UVM.

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