Wednesdays with Bret!
If you are a North American, congratulations, you have approximately a week and a half until you wrap up your 2010/2011 adventure. With that in mind, let’s celebrate by saluting our next…
Edmodian of the Week: Mr. McAsh!
Mr. McAsh is a HUGE asset to the Edmodo PLN and is an amazing example of what 21st century eductation should look like. When you can take your professional development to a global level in the way Mr. McAsh has done with Edmodo, you know that you understand the direction the world is heading (which is a good one, in case some of you are skeptical 🙂 ). I can safely say, his students are the better for it. He has quite the story as to how he got to this point so I will let him tell it to you:
“I started my teaching career in September 1979. I was a Geography graduate and was also qualified to teach Computer Science. I was hired as a Business teacher to teach “data processing”. The board had one computer at one school, not mine! We coded BASIC programs using Hollerith Code, onto optical keypunch cards; sent the cards to the school with the computer; waited a week to get the printed results back. In June 1980, we received the first computer, a Commodore PET with 16K of memory. I’m still at the same school today and we have 3 computer labs, one mobile lab, 30 computers / netbooks in the library, plus a few Macs and MacBooks here and there, 10 iPads (to experiment with this year) – all connected to the Interent with an open WiFi for teachers and students who are encourage to bring their own computer devices. St. Marys DCVI has a school population of about 500 with approximately half our students living in the Town of St. Marys and the other half from the surrounding rural community.
I have been an edmodo user, to some extent, since it first launched. The last two years it has become my primary mode of communication with my students, parents, and the public. The majority of my postings in edmodo are tagged as “public”. Prior to the implementation of parent accounts, it was a good way to share with parents. The use of “public” edmodo pages continues to be the method I use to share my work with my fellow teachers. “Public” pages also permits members of the public, who don’t have students in school, or not in my classes, to see what we are doing in education.
Edmodo is all about 21st century learning. 21st century learning is all about learning networks. Some refer to these networks as a PLN (personal learning network). We all have a PLN, even if we don’t realize it. We are all life-long learners (teachers, students, parents, everyone!). The latest implementation in edmodo has greatly enhanced the development of PLNs (for teachers) directly in edmodo. The sharing that is taking place within the various edmodo “Communities” is amazing.
One of the features that I like is the ability to embed, directly in edmodo, various media. This feature allows students to access the content without the necessity to leave edmodo, then navigate back.
I am pleased to be the first “Canadian” Edmodian of the week (even given the fact I nominated myself!).”
I wanted to draw attention to something cool here for those of you who are looking to further your PLN. If you click on Mr. McAsh‘s name in this sentence you will see his profile with a rather large sharing score. If you don’t know what that is, here goes. It’s not just a pat on the back for sendig out a ton of content into the communities. This is your indicator as to what kind of benefit and experience this educator brings to the table. A large score means that a lot of community members have added this person’s conent to their own library. You should know this person. In this case, you should really know Mr. McAsh. Thanks again, Mr. McAsh, for your contributions to our professional development
Tool High-Light of the Week: Screen Cast-O-Matic
I am absolutely kicking myself for not using this earlier in the year. I saw a teacher post some examples of the videos she made with this website and then put the idea on the back of my mind until now. Shame on me. Screen Cast-O-Matic does exactly what the name says-it makes a screen cast video of whatever you’re doing on your computer which can become amazing “How-To” videos for yours students. I figured this out just last week when my ESL students were all in various stages of completion of a poetry project we’ve been working on and each needed reteaching of the poetic guidelines for the three poems. I had been running in circles like a tazmanian devil until I decided to just write out the whole process in a screen cast, set up a couple of video stations in Edmodo (I’ll explain in a minute), and let the students see each as they needed. Miraculous! The students understood it, sat down and produced accurate poetry within minutes, thus freeing me to concentrate on the quality of each students’ writing and not just their completion of the task.
As far as “Edmodo Stations” go, it is really just a matter of taking advantage of your library. Now that shared folders are viewable to your students without having to navigate to the actual library, you can set up a few folders for each “station” that you want kids to go to and complete. Within it, add from your library files with directions, video examples, grading rubrics and whatever other resources you want to include. This way your students are set up for differentiated learning at their pace in a way that is organized and easy to navigate. In my case, I put the screen casts I made into each one creating 4 teachers in the room instead of just one. I do have to say though, make sure your students have heaphones as you can really get annoyed with the sound of your own voice being played in a round all day long. Just a suggestion.
Why We Love Edmodo
This is it! For all of you amazing Edmodians who contributed to the making of this video, I hope I’ve done you proud. In case you missed it, I sent a request to all the communities to help think of the 51 best ways to use Edmodo. I got 59 by the time I finshed the video and then a few more after. Let me know what you think!
Credits to people who submitted responses after the video was created:
Mrs. Dershowitz – Communication tool between teachers, related service personnel and parent. Restricted groups according to student
Mrs. Nguyen – My students created Vokis for Celebrating Black History Month and Edmodo was a great way for me to view them all in one place! By linking the html code given at the Voki site, the students could easily turn in their Vokis through the class assignment
Mrs. Filer – Posting models and lessons for student reference. Grouping performance assessment tools, rubrics, guidelines and student models.
Ms. Luka – Posting class notes for the absent students or those who struggle in class.
Mrs. Lackey – Create time lines to work in and have students type in information for example when doing an author study
FYI-I made it a personal goal to create this as a complete web 2.0 production. Photo editing was done in picnic, video clips were created in jayclip and the final product was rendered in animoto.
That’s about it for me. See y’all next time!