Thursday, September 29, 2011

Where are the Children?

This is an interactive website suitable for middle and high school students.  Information below is quoted directly from the Where are the Children? website.

Why Learn About the Residential School System?
Because the Residential School System has been acknowledged as “part of the process of
nation building and the concomitant marginalization of Aboriginal communities” (Royal
Commission on Aboriginal People), its legacy is part of the nation of Canada’s legacy.
The impact of the schools has had a profound effect on Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal
peoples alike; therefore, the Canadian education system has an important role to play in
teaching all students about this period in our country’s history.
By studying the past, students learn about the origins and causes of current issues and
events, which in turn will affect the decisions that they will make in the future. By studying
different cultures and traditions, students also acquire an understanding, respect, and
acceptance of others. This understanding will, we believe, promote the ability of students
to find unity in diversity, and to celebrate the strength of multiple perspectives.


General Student Learning Outcomes
The Where are the Children? website course will develop students’ abilities in four specific
skill areas:
  • • Students will learn to manage information and ideas by:
  • Finding information from various sources, including oral, print, visual, and electronic sources;
  • Organizing and recording information in various formats, and using correct referencing methodologies and vocabulary;
  • Selecting appropriate tools and technologies to accomplish tasks; and
  • Learning to interpret various documents and texts.
Students will learn to think critically and creatively by:
  • Formulating questions to plan and develop their inquiry and research;
  • Considering all sides of issues through events, accounts, ideas, and interpretations;
  • Drawing conclusions and making decisions based on research and hard evidence;
  • Understanding subjective and objective information, and biases in various types of information; and
  • Evaluating information to determine its reliability, validity, authenticity, and perspective.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Using Clickers in the Classroom

Most schools in LPSD have at least one set of SMART Response clickers.  These remote control-like units allow students to instananeously communicate with you. While they certainly can be used for summative assessment, their power comes from using them for formative assessment.  You can easily take an anonymous poll or track responses per student.  The information you gather and display for the class can help you teach to a particularly difficult concept.  They’re quite easy to use, they provide instant feedback, and they do engage students.

How SMART Response can be used in your class.

1. Formative Assessment that guides teacher instruction.
How well your students understand the lesson? Take a perception check part of the way through and use this to guide how the lesson progresses. You can teach to some misunderstandings or use this to help provide guidance for differentiated groups.  This can be very useful for teaching material that is sensitive in nature ie) puberty, reproduction to younger grades
2. Pre-test material.  
How much do your students know at the beginning of a concept or unit?  Use a quick test to guide your unit and lesson planning.
3. Assessment as student feedback.
Students can go through the quiz or test at their own pace. Clickers can be set to provide immediate feedback on whether they got the question right or wrong.
4. Opinion polls.
Voting for something in your class (i.e. class representative)? Clickers can be set up to record the student’s name with their vote, or to keep it anonymous. Show the results in a bar graph.
5. Game show review.
Vote for a response just as if it were a game show.

Please contact S. Merth for assistance setting up your classes or for help administering SMART Response for the first time.

Arounder: Travel the World!

"Arounder gives travelers a vivid sense of what a city has to offer: historical cathedrals and works of art, museums featuring famous artists, local cafes and stores, breathtaking mountain-top views, quiet parks and gardens. Each issue contains a series of interesting panoramas giving you a full immersive view of the cities. Navigation is easy with Google maps of the city and surrounding area. Every issue also links to local merchants with virtual tours of hotels, restaurants, spas and stores."
In addition to the same content through their website, there is also a free download from the Apple Store: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/aroundertouch/id335574325?mt=8

Arounder will be added to the LCHS ipod and ipad image this fall.


Examples of included locations:  Amsterdam, Barcelona, Atlanta, Helsinki, Paris, Oslo, Venice, Beijing, Moon, Mars

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Saving YouTube & File Conversion Programs

Some people have been using Save YouTube or KeepVid as a way of saving video files to their computers.  This can be very efficient for content delivery as you may have noticed that videos are removed from YouTube, or that download times can be slow.


Find a video on YouTube, then type the word kick, kiss, save or keep in front of YouTube and you will be directed to the Save YouTube or KeepVid websites.  Some of these sites do get blocked from time to time or may not be free.


If those methods are not working for you, another option may be Zamzar.


Zamzar takes a little longer but the options are better than most websites for online file conversion.  While the choices are better, sometimes the download times are slow.  It does take an extra step as a link is sent via email when the conversion has been completed.  Sometimes that link comes right away, sometimes it can take much longer if their server is busy.  Conversion is free and will handle files up to 100 MB.  Once the file is converted, you have 24 hours to download the file (via your email).  Zamzar no longer allows you to save YouTube videos.

VidGod
Zamzar also allows you to take the audio from a video file such as a music video.  For this purpose, to make an mp3 file from a .flv file (YouTube), an easier method is to use VidGod.  It is an easy tool for stripping the audio from a video.  Copy and paste the YouTube URL into the correct box on VidGod, then convert.  Conversion is free and very fast.

More YouTube! Tube Chop

TubeChop
If you would like to select a portion of a YouTube clip to show to students, this website service will allow you to edit a clip by chopping out the portion you want.
1. Find the video you want to chop. 
2. Select and cut the interesting part of the video. 
3. Save or copy the hyperlink of the new "chopped" video.


Two Methods:


a.  Copy and paste the YouTube URL into the box found on TubeChop.
b.  Replace youtube with tubechop and add/delete as shown below.


Original YouTube URL:       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDthMGtZKa4
Modified TubeChop URL:   http://www.tubechop.com/chop/MDthMGtZKa4

Dealing with YouTube! ViewPure & Quietube

There are many programs that can help you manage YouTube clips in the classroom.  Are you annoyed with the inappropriate comments listed below the clips or perhaps the suggested videos that appear on the side of the page?  Although you can show the video in full screen mode to hide this content, there are still times during class when it appears.  Perhaps you want to give the video link to a student on a netbook to watch - this way you don't have to worry about exposing them to undesirable material. 


Try Viewpure to get rid of the content around the video clip.  There are two ways to accomplish this:
1.  Copy your YouTube clip URL and paste it into the box on the Viewpure site.
2.  When in YouTube, replace http://www.youtube.com/ with viewpure.com .  Then erase watch?v= but leave the number/letter string


Original YouTube URL:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckP8msIgMYE
ViewPure URL:              http://viewpure.com/ckP8msIgMYE


These new links can be added directly on to your Notebook, PowerPoint, and Word documents as a hyperlink instead of going through this process during class time.  It makes the lesson go a bit smoother and faster.


Other options within ViewPure: 
a) show with black background
b) return to original YouTube URL


As with ViewPure, Quietube works in a similar fashion.  

Bugscope: Look Closer!

How would you like access to an industry standard, $600,000 Scanning Electron Microscope?


Bugscope:
"The Bugscope project run out of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign allows students to examine their own bugs using a high power environmental scanning electron microscope that can magnify samples up 20,000 times. Students are able to operate the microscope remotely via the internet. It is suited to students from kindergarten, to high scholl and all the way up to college and allows kids to look at real life bug samples.

Scanning Electron Photograph
In doing these examinations, the students are also able to gain a better understanding of insect anatomy, gaining valuable insights into how bugs eat, breath and move.

The project is simple and free to access, with applications taking less then 10 minutes. Each classroom proposes its own experiments using their own samples. Once approved, the students have remote access to over $600,00 worth of high tech equipment as well as scientists and microscopists who can assist during examinations proving valuable insights about the instrument and samples.

Another benefit of the project is it help to promote science and helps prepare students to become scientists through real interaction .

To date the Bugscope project has been used by over 580 classrooms in 415 schools all over America, with students acquiring over 120,000 images of bugs.

A live Bugscope session typically runs about an hour and is scheduled to allow the teacher to participate during his/her class period. Teachers can choose to login from a single machine, connected to a projector, or allow students to login individually or in groups on their own computers. The live interface allows all participants to see the latest images coming from the microscope, ask questions via the built-in chat, and have the opportunity to control the microscope.

The live session experience is flexible and exciting: Parents can join their student's session and kids home sick can even join their classrooms online!"

Please contact S. Merth if you would like help in running this session.