Around the World in 30 Minutes

This spring, many PSD middle and high school students were afforded an innovative experience through Google Pioneer Expeditions. The immersive virtual realiIMG_0280ty (VR) technology creates a memorable experience to connect kids to their learning.

At Poudre High School, Jen Musci’s English students experienced the world of Syrian Refugee children. These students, having no first-hand experience with civil war, were shocked by what they saw. Students discussed the living conditions, education, even the facial expressions of the people they saw. Afterward, they completed an essay on the crisis in Syria, using their VR experience as a source of information.

IMG_0339At Boltz Middle School, science teachers Ashley Rakiecki and Kathleen Scandary used Google Pioneer Expeditions to observe animal adaptations in the rain forests of Borneo. There were lots of “ooohs” and “aaahhhs” when students spotted a python lurking in the leaves. Students were tasked with finding other creatures hiding in the landscape, camouflaged by their adaptations.

Many experts predict that virtual reality is on it’s way to becoming a prominent feature in many modern classrooms. With the ability to be fully immersed in the content, students are better able to understand and retain what they are learningIMG_0384. VR creates a deeper, more meaningful lesson than an article or a video can provide; the students feel like they are there. Teachers have limitless ability to bolster their curriculum with these enriching VR experiences.

French students at Rocky Mountain High School toured the Palace of Versaille without ever leaving their seats. “Imagine how much money it cost to build this place,” one student exclaimed, peering up at a crystal chandelier through the Google Cardboard viewer. For many students, this is a learning experience that could not have happened without this revolutionary VR technology.
While Google Pioneer Expeditions wraps up the nationwide tour of their product, here in PSD, the EdTech team has begun gathering other VR tools. PSD TV has collaborated with EdTech to create 360video using GoPro cameras (look for them on YouTube soon!) iPods and POWIS viewers are available for checkout to teachers to use with students. Contact EdTech to learn more about the possibilities!

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Tech in the Classroom

#innedco #edtech #edchat

During the year, the PSD tech trainers have the pleasure of working with teachers and students in the classroom. We really enjoy spending time building and teaching engaging, tech-embedded lessons.  Here is a collection of  recent video podcasts, put together by some of the tech trainers, showing the great work they’ve done at some PSD schools.

Click the pictures to view individual videos.

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2nd grade students at Tavelli Elementary create their own Realebooks focusing on the relationship between animal adaptations and their habitat using the software program Realewriter.

 

The 6th grade Lincoln Scholars’ book club at Lincoln IB Middle School connect in a live video conference with Holly Goldberg Sloan who wrote “Counting by Sevens” using Skype and technology tools. 

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Students in Sarah Keller’s economics class at Fort Collins High School use Popplet to demonstrate their understanding of international marketing.

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As always, check our elementary, middle schools, and high schools podcast pages for other classroom ideas and updates.  You can also follow us on Twitter @TeachTechPSD and on Facebook /teachtechpsd

Principles for Fair Use in Journalism

#innedco #edtech #copyright

The following post if from guest blogger, Herb Saperstone of PSD’s own Channel 10.

The Center for Social Media has excellent information regarding fair use in the context of the ever-expanding landscape of online media. American University Law Professor, Peter Jaszi says, “Limited but significant use of preexisting copyrighted material in our own information activities and Is protected in copyright doctrine of fair use.” Student projects, media critiques, news reporting, social-oriented journalism, etc. can and must find ways to use copyrighted materials.  Video courtesy of Center for Social and Media Impact

-HS

StoryStarters

#cotlf #engchat #edtech If your students have difficulty coming up with topics to write about, StoryStarters is the website for you! This simple website has a fun, Vegas-style “slot machine” that generates writing prompts for students. (Prompts vary by grade level selected.) Send students to this website during a free writing activity or for a warmup/sponge activity. You can also project the website at the beginning of class and invite a different student each day to spin the wheel and set the prompt for all. Some example prompts generated from this site include: Write a funny story about a sunburned screenwriter who wins the lottery. Write a brief biography of a million-year-old iguana who is always getting into trouble with her parents.

Students can continue through the site and write their piece online after choosing a format (letter, postcard, notebook, newspaper), or use Word/Google Docs, etc. Visit the teach section for more lesson ideas. Never again will you have to listen to, “But, I don’t know what to write about!!”