Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cell Phones in Education?!

I came across a tweet from @lkolb(Liz Kolb) regarding Poll Everywhere so I decided to do a little exploring. Essentially, one can collect data with a live audience and display the results on the spot. So on a whim, I emailed a few people, tweeted about it, and asked my students to participate in my beta test of poll everywhere.

The directions were tough to follow for nontexters but after I talked them through it, it made sense.
American Idol fans don't seem to have a problem. :-)
Students w/o phones can respond via a pc for open ended questions.
I was impressed by how fast the information appeared on the website.
My students were excited because I allowed them to use their cell phones in class.
One can export the results in a .csv file

See clip of results:

This technology certainly has a great deal of potential. I may introduce it during student elections or perhaps for an alumni function but for the time being it will be for nonacademic purposes until I have additional time to explore its capabilities.
Also, as a recent Blackberry adopter, it has become clear to me that the smartphone will continue to grow in market share which will only increase and improve the capabilities of these devices.

Good Timing:
This article came out today from the Daily Press: Cell Phones get top marks in education

And yes, I read it on my phone.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Creative Thinking and Problem Solving

A few months ago Darren Kuropatwa suggested an activity as part of the Powerful Learning Practice. In his words, the activity was going to be "something along the lines of" Presentation Tennis.

Specifically, here is what Darren asked us to do.
We will collaboratively create a 20 slide presentation (not counting the title slide) called "Teaching Well". 20 slides in 10 pairs of contrasts: "Teaching well is more like < slide 1 > than it is like < slide 2 >." or however else you want to create contrast.

Each day one slide is added to the deck that builds on those that came before. The final 4-6 slides must bring the presentation to some sort of close.

The collaboration continues after the deck is done. The completed slide deck will be uploaded to as a "Master Deck". To view our final project, click here

Time to Model

I was so impressed by the results of that activity that I decided to adopt the strategy and use it in my 8th grade computer class. The goal of the activity was to have each student develop a slide(a few made 2)that depicts what it means to be a creative problem solver. They were required to have an image and a quote that would assist them in depicting what constitutes creative thinking and problem solving. To view the slideshow, please click here.

I hope you enjoy my students' perceptions on this topic.