Teaching is fun now.docx 2014


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The mobile learning revolution is alive and growing in popularity every day. When schools move toward mobile learning in the classroom, they can take advantage of electronic devices such as tablets and cell phones that offer portability and ease of use. Mobile learning technologies can offer teachers a flexible approach to learning with their students in a variety of locations, and encourage this learning to continue at home.

More and more teachers are finding success with using mobile devices in the classroom. As a new teacher, you will want to investigate the policy and attitudes of your school and administration regarding the use of mobile devices for learning. What is the written policy? What is the spoken policy? Are there other teachers, coaches or administrators in your school who are doing this? Find like-minded teachers and begin a discussion.
Success doesn't just happen. It takes strategic planning and putting the right building blocks in place for success. This means doing things like informing parents, teaching responsible use, updating classroom management techniques, carefully planning activities and including students, and teaching students about safety and etiquette

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Teaching is fun now.docx 2014

  1. 1. TEACHING IS FUN NOW Innovative education in virtual worlds, augmented reality and mobile learning I EFFECTIVE teacher Think back to when you were in school. Who was your favorite teacher? Who was the teacher you dreaded having? Almost everyone will instantly be able to answer these two questions. We’ve all had terrific teachers and, unfortunately, most of us have had teachers that were not effective. So what qualities does an effective teacher have that an ineffective teacher does not? The answer is that it takes a perfect blend of several qualities to create a truly effective teacher who can have a lasting impact on virtually every student. In this article, we examine ten qualities that virtually every effective teacher will possess.  An effective teacher loves to teach. The single most important quality that every teacher should possess is a love and passion for teaching young people. Unfortunately, there are teachers who do not love what they do. This single factor can destroy a teacher’s effectiveness quicker than anything else. Teachers who do not enjoy their job cannot possibly be effective day in and day out. There are too many discouraging factors associated with teaching that is difficult enough on a teacher who absolutely loves what they do, much less on one who doesn’t have the drive, passion, or enthusiasm for it. On top of that, kids are smarter than what we give them credit for. They will spot a fake sooner than anyone and thus destroy any credibility that the teacher may have.
  2. 2.  An effective teacher demonstrates a caring attitude. Even teachers who love their job can struggle in this area, not because they don’t care, but because they get caught up so much in the day to day routine of teaching that they can forget that their students have lives outside of school. Taking the time to get to know a student on a personal level takes a lot of time and dedication. There is also a line that no teacher wants to cross where their relationship becomes too personal. Elite teachers know how to balance this without crossing that line and once a student believes the teacher truly cares for them, then there is no limit to what that student can achieve.  An effective teacher can relate to his or her students. The best teachers work hard to figure out how to relate to each of their students. Common interest can be hard to find, but exceptional teachers will find a way to connect with their students even if they have to fake it. For instance, you may have a student who is a Lego fanatic. You can relate to that student if you do something as simple as ordering a Lego catalog and then going through it and discussing it with that student. Even if you have no actual interest in Lego’s, the student will think you do and thus naturally create a connection.  An effective teacher is willing to think outside the box. There is no one set cookie cutter way to teach. A cookie cutter approach would likely be boring for both teachers and students. What makes teaching so exciting is that kids learn differently, and we have to find and utilize different strategies and differentiated learning to reach every student. What works for one student, will not work for every student. Teachers have to be willing to be creative and adaptive in their lessons, thinking outside the box on a continual basis. If you try to teach every concept in the same manner, there will be students who miss out on key factors because they aren’t wired to learn that way.  An effective teacher is an excellent communicator. To be the best possible teacher you must be an effective communicator. However, in this area you are not just limited to being a skilled communicator to your students although that is a must. You must also be a strong communicator with parents of your students as well as your faculty/staff team within in your building. If you have a difficulty communicating with any of these three groups, then you limit your overall effectiveness as a teacher.  An effective teacher is proactive rather than reactive. This can be one of most difficult aspects for a teacher to conquer. Intense planning and organization can ultimately make your job all the more less difficult. Teachers who plan ahead, looking for
  3. 3. aspects that they might have issues with, and proactively looking for solutions to solve those problems will have less stress on them, than those teachers who wait until a problem arises and then tries to address it. Being proactive does not replace being adaptive. No matter how well you plan, there will be surprises. However, being proactive can cut down on these surprises tremendously, thus making you more effective overall.  An effective teacher strives to be better. A teacher who has grown complacent in what they do is the most ineffective kind of teacher. Any teacher who is not looking for new and better teaching strategies isn’t being an effective teacher. No matter how long you have taught, you should always want to grow as a teacher. Every year there is new research, new technology, and new educational tools that could make you a better teacher. Seek out professional development opportunities and try to apply something new to your class every year.  An effective teacher uses a variety of media in their lessons. Like it or not we are in the 21st century, and this generation of students was born in the digital age. These students have been bombarded by technological advances unlike any other generation. They have embraced it, and if we as teachers do not, then we are falling behind. This is not to say that we should eliminate textbooks and worksheets completely, but effective teachers are not afraid to implement other forms of media within their lessons.  An effective teacher challenges their students. The most effective teachers, are often the ones that many students think are the most difficult. This is because they challenge their students and push them harder than the average teacher does. These are the teachers who are often students’ least favorite teachers at the time, but then later on in life they are the ones that we all remember and want to thank, because of how well they prepared us for life after our time with them. Being an effective teacher does not mean you are easy. It means that you challenge every one of your students and maximize your time with them so that they learn more than they ever thought they could learn.  An effective teacher understands the content that they teach and knows how to explain that content in a manner that their students understand. There are teachers who do not know the content well enough to effectively teach it. There are teachers who are truly experts on the content, but struggle to effectively explain it to their students. The highly effective teacher both understands the content and explains it on level. This can be a difficult skill to accomplish, but the teachers who can, maximize their effectiveness as a teacher.
  4. 4. II What Are the Potential Benefits of Online Learning? Convenience and flexibility: 1. Schedule Flexibility: Students can access their course at any time, from anywhere they can log on, in most cases. This means that parents, working students, and professionals on the move have the option of attending classes no matter their work schedule. Students only need a computer and Internet access to take online classes. 2. Ease of accessibility: Courseware can be accessible for students when they need it. Students can review lectures, discussions, explanations, and comments. Individuals can also share notes with each other to help facilitate community learning. 3. Range of options: Students may be able to choose from a wider breadth of degree programs. Some online colleges develop and offer degree programs that might not yet be available through nearby public or private institutions. 4. Students control study time: On-campus courses are typically scheduled in a more rigid format, with shorter classes running 50 minutes, and others running longer. Night classes may last for nearly three hours. One of the benefits of online education is that students may not have to sit for long periods of time. Lessons can be paused when needed, and notes read at will. Student enrichment: 1. Chance for interaction: Online courses may be less intimidating than the brick-and- mortar classroom setting, and could help to increase student interaction. By allowing everyone to have a voice, shared ideas grow diverse as well. Students can also think longer about what they want to say and add their comments when ready. In a traditional classroom, the conversation could have moved past the point where the student may be willing to comment. 2. Online communications: Instructors can be more approachable in the online setting. Students may feel more comfortable talking openly with their teachers through online chats, emails, and newsgroup discussions rather than face-to-face. Online correspondence also cuts out having to wait for office hours that may not be convenient for either party.
  5. 5. 3. Time to absorb material: Positive results are reported for students enrolled in online classes, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE, 2010): "on average, students in online learning conditions performed modestly better than those receiving face-to-face instruction." Using over 1,000 empirical studies, the DOE found that time was the additive that helped students perform better. The report noted benefits in studies in which online learners spent more time on task than students in the face-to- face condition. Cost-effective choices: 1. Money saving option: Students may be able to save money by not having to physically attend classes. Online courses may help individuals cut down or eliminate costs of transportation, babysitting, and other expenses incurred by attending classes in a traditional setting. 2. No more expensive textbooks: Some web-based classes may not require physical textbooks, as reading materials may be available either through the school's own library or their partnerships with e-libraries and other digital publishers. E-textbooks might offer substantial savings for students, adding up to hundreds of dollars a year. Opportunities for convenience, cost-effectiveness, and student enrichment are just some of the variables that have contributed to online learning's growth. Distance education has gained steam in these areas, and advocates are continuously looking to improve upon these as well as other facets of the experience. One concern is the lack of face-to-face interaction with the instructor and fellow classmates. Students may experience a disconnect with the rest of the classroom, but schools are proactively looking into ways to alleviate the issue. The adoption of video conferencing technologies, and even free-to-use group chats, for example, can help students interface with teachers and other students. Another worry is that online degree programs are viewed as less optimal instruction for students, with no real standards to regulate the curriculum. However, online instruction is subject to academic scrutiny like on-campus schooling. Accrediting bodies exist to review and accredit online institutions as well as traditional colleges and programs. It's always a good idea to check that a school has been reviewed by an approved accreditation organization.
  6. 6. Student plagiarism and dishonesty are areas of concern as well. Some critics feel that it is easier to plagiarize or share answers because of reduced surveillance and increased connectivity. Institutions have begun to find ways to fight against these concerns with technologies to tackle cheating, like Turnitin and iThenticate. Distance education has come a long way since its beginnings, and more advancements are likely to come. Advocates are finding ways to tighten up the perceived shortcomings of e-learning, and new technological developments continue to add to the advantages that online learning may offer for students. III 20 Ways to Use Augmented Reality in Education Our colleagues in Online Universities have generously shared with us this list featuring 20 ways Augmented Reality is being used in education. If you are not familiar with what Augmented Reality is all about, check "teachers' guide to Augmented Reality" to learn more. Second Life: Second Life proved an incredibly valuable tool for educators hoping to reach a broad audience — or offering even more ways to learn for their own bands of students. Augmented Reality Development Lab: Affiliated with Google, Microsoft, and Logitech, the Augmented Reality Development Lab run by Digital Tech Frontier seeks to draw up projects that entertain as well as educate. The very core goal of the ARDL involves creating interactive, three-dimensional objects for studying purposes. Reliving the Revolution: Karen Schrier harnessed GPS and Pocket PCs to bring the Battle of Lexington to her students through the Reliving the Revolution game, an AR experiment exploring some of the mysteries
  7. 7. still shrouding the event — like who shot first! Players assume different historical roles and walk through everything on a real-life map of the Massachusetts city. PhysicsPlayground: One of the many, many engines behind PC games received a second life as an engaging strategy for illustrating the intricate ins and outs of physics, in a project known as PhysicsPlayground. It offers up an immersive, three-dimensional environment for experimenting, offering up a safer, more diverse space to better understand how the universe drives itself. MITAR Games: Developed by MIT’s Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade, MITAR Games blend real-life locations with virtual individuals and scenarios for an educational experience that research proves entirely valid. Environmental Detectives, its first offering, sends users off on a mystery to discover the source of a devastating toxic spill. New Horizon: As a smartphone app, it takes advantage of built-in cameras to present animated character conversations when aligned with certain sections of pages. Occupational Safety Scaffolding: Professor Ron Dotson’s Construction Safety students receive a thorough education in establishing safe scaffolding space through three-dimensional demonstrations incorporating the real and the digital alike. A simple application of AR, to be certain, but one undoubtedly possessing the potential to save lives and limbs alike. FETCH! Lunch Rush: Education-conscious parents who want L’il Muffin and Junior to learn outside the classroom might want to consider downloading PBS Kids’ intriguing iPhone and iPod Touch app. Keep them entertained in the car or on the couch with a fun little game for ages six through eight meant to help them build basic math skills visually. Field trips: Augmented reality museums guide students and self-learners of all ages through interactive digital media centered around a specific theme — maybe even challenge them to play games along the way. HistoriQuest, for example, started life as the Civil War Augmented Reality Project and presented a heady blend of mystery gaming and very real stories. School in the Park Augmented Reality Experience: Third graders participating in the 12-year-old School in the Park program engage with AR via smartphones as they explore Balboa Park, the San Diego History Center, and the world-class San Diego Zoo. Not only do they receive exposure to numerous educational digital media resources, teachers also train them in creating their very own augmented reality experiences! QR Code scavenger hunts: Smartphones equipped with a QR code reader make for optimal tools when sending students on scavenger hunts across the classroom or school. The Daring Librarian, Gwyneth Anne
  8. 8. Bronwynn, sends kids on an augmented reality, animated voyage through the library to figure out where to find everything and whom to ask for assistance. Mentira: Mentira takes place in Albuquerque and fuses fact and fiction, fantasy characters and real people, for the world’s first AR Spanish language learning game. It intentionally mimics the structure of a historical murder mystery novel and allows for far deeper, more effective engagement with native speakers than many classroom lessons. Driver’s ed: Toyota teamed up with Saatchi & Saatchi to deliver the world’s cleanest and safest test-drive via augmented reality. While the method has yet to catch on in the majority of driver’s education classes, it definitely makes for an impressive, effective alternative to keeping and maintaining a fleet of cars. Geotagging: Classrooms with smartphone access blend Google Earth and web albums such as Picasa or Instagram for a firsthand experience in geotagging and receiving a visual education about the world around them. More collaborative classrooms — like those hked together with Skype or another VOIP client – could use this as a way to nurture cross-cultural, geopolitical understanding. Dow Day: Jim Mathews’ augmented reality documentary and smartphone app brought University of Madison-Wisconsin students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the year 1967. As they traveled campus, participants’ smartphones called up actual footage of Vietnam War protests corresponding with their current locations. SciMorph: Using a webcam and printed target, young kids in need of some science (although, really, everyone is in need of some science) interact with the cute critter SciMorph, who teaches them about gravity, sound, and microbial structures. Each lesson involves exploring a specific zone within the game and opens users up to questions, quizzes, and talks. Imaginary Worlds: With PSPs in hand, Mansel Primary School students embarked on an artistic voyage, where downloaded images and QR codes merge and provide challenges to draw up personalized environments. The journey also pits them against monsters and requires a final write-up about how the immersive experience left an educational impact. Sky Map and Star Walk: Available on Android and iWhatever devices, these deceptively simple applications pack a megaton punch of education via an innovative augmented reality approach. Both involve pointing the gadget to the sky and seeing the names of the currently visible stars, planets, and constellations pop up, along with additional astronomical information. Handheld Augmented Reality Project:
  9. 9. Harvard, MIT, and University of Wisconsin at Madison teamed up with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and nurtured science and math skills to junior high kids using GPS navigators and Dell Axims. Moving through the school meant moving through a synched virtual environment, with each area presenting new challenges they must tackle before pressing forward. Project Glass: One of the most ambitious augmented reality initiatives comes straight from Google, who believes its Project Glass holds potential far beyond the classroom. Notoriously, it requires a pair of glasses versus the usual smartphones and laptops, and current experiments involve placing users in first-person extreme athletic experiences, snapping photos, and more. IV Mobile Learning Support for New Teachers The mobile learning revolution is alive and growing in popularity every day. When schools move toward mobile learning in the classroom, they can take advantage of electronic devices such as tablets and cell phones that offer portability and ease of use. Mobile learning technologies can offer teachers a flexible approach to learning with their students in a variety of locations, and encourage this learning to continue at home. More and more teachers are finding success with using mobile devices in the classroom. As a new teacher, you will want to investigate the policy and attitudes of your school and administration regarding the use of mobile devices for learning. What is the written policy? What is the spoken policy? Are there other teachers, coaches or administrators in your school who are doing this? Find like-minded teachers and begin a discussion. Success doesn't just happen. It takes strategic planning and putting the right building blocks in place for success. This means doing things like informing parents, teaching responsible use, updating classroom management techniques, carefully planning activities and including students, and teaching students about safety and etiquette. These next five building blocks will help ensure that you have just what you need in place for a smooth integration of mobile devices into your teaching, learning, and connecting with students and parents.
  10. 10. 1) Notify Parents Before teachers get going with mobile learning, they should inform the student's parents. This should include mobile learning ideas to strengthen the home-school connection. You may want to model this notification after others in your building, write your own, or look Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning examples. 2) Develop a Responsible Use Policy Just like any other classroom tool, teachers need to work with students to establish responsible use policies. In some classrooms, the teacher just explains how the general policies apply to the use of mobile devices; in others, they create a new policy; in some schools, the students help create the policies; and in some classrooms, they invite parental input as well. Remember that it's a good idea to ask your administrator if there is a school-wide policy, as well as connecting with other teachers in your building about their policies. 3) Establish Classroom Management Procedures Teachers who use mobile devices for learning must use updated procedures that include how to manage mobile devices in the classroom. Talking to fellow teachers and learning what works for them will provide consistency within the building. Be open to modifications or suggestions your students may have. They may have some good ideas. Note, however, that this should be determined and posted in advance of using mobile devices in the classroom. 4) Plan Activities "With" Students A well thought-out plan for embedding mobile devices into instruction is key. Develop a well- crafted outline and description of lessons and activities that could be used for learning with mobile devices. For a fun lesson that will involve students in planning how to incorporate mobile devices into their learning, look on the Teaching Generation text blog.This plan can be shared on your class and/or school website as well as distributed to parents, guardians and school community members. 5) Teach Safety and Etiquette Knowing proper safety and etiquette when using mobile devices is an essential 21st century skill. Students need support not only with engaging in and developing safe and appropriate use for themselves, but also with how they may handle a situation when others are not exhibiting appropriate behavior. A fun lesson focusing on good manners with phones can be found on the Teaching Generation Text blog. Not only will their parents appreciate this, but many of their future employers will as well.
  11. 11. Building Blocks and Additional Resources With these five building blocks in place, new teachers are provided with the means to lay the groundwork for the effective integration of mobile devices in the classroom. Taking the time to address each of these areas will prevent problems and encourage support from administration and parents. These building blocks support new teachers in having classrooms that run more smoothly and foster student engagement. They will also ensure that you are better prepared in harnessing the power of the tools of the 21st century. Useful Links for Mobile Learning Resources  Follow #mlearning, @InnovativeEdu and @WillynWebb on Twitter.  Join The Innovative Educator group on Facebook.  Read The Innovative Educator and Teaching Generation Text blogs.  Check out the book Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning for lesson plans, sample policies and letters, workshops for parents, and a lot of free and effective tools and ideas. Fab Five FREE Apps for New Teachers 1. TeacherPal - take attendance 2. Nearpod - presentation, collaboration, real-time assessment 3. ShowMe - interactive whiteboard 4. Mobile Mouse - wireless remote 5. BeeTag - QR code reader Samobor, 27.04 2014.
  12. 12. Links: 1. Using Augmented Reality in the Primary Classroom http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOJDFEQ4_LM 2. Augmented Reality In Education http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOh1ubm9_Ss 3. Augmented Reality in Education: Shaw Wood Primary School uses Aurasma http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qRcIek4NY0 4. Is this the future in Education? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC1DP85g8_0 5. Benefits of Mobile Technologies for K12 - Dr. Elliot Soloway http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4tVJx5G238 6. Teaching and Learning with the iPad Conference: Unleashing Cre http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2N2rT7WBwI