These are my notes from Julie Cook‘s morning presentation at the Crescent Public Schools‘ 1:1 learning conference on 4 June 2010. Julie teaches multiple levels / grades / courses of English. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

MY ASIDE: THE STORYCHASERS MOBILE LEARNING TEAM BLOG IS A PLACE FOR EDUCATORS IN 1:1 SETTINGS TO SHARE IDEAS.

ASIDE: INTERESTING THAT THIS CLASSROOM IS PACKED (ALL CHAIRS FILLED) AND I AM THE ONLY MALE IN THE ROOM. 🙂

Julie’s Crescent homepage

Julie Cook at Crescent High School (Oklahoma)

I have taught here at Crescent for 18 years
I have so much to tell you I almost don’t know where to begin!
I am very glad to hear
– telling strangers what you believe is risky

Understand: you cannot remove the teacher / student relationship from the 1:1 environment
– I keep hearing a lot of people that don’t know what they are talking about say: “Oh, you’re 1:1. What do you need the teacher for?”
– there is a perception that teachers don’t teach anymore in a 1:1
– that is absolutely not true
– you are working VERY hard in a 1:1 environment

LIke a parent saying, “I’m going to parent you so hard your head is going to spin”
– sometimes our kids feel like that
– in my afternoon session I’ll tell you more about that

The 1:1 environment does NOT take the teacher out of the equation
– it also does not have the student exclusively interact with a machine
– teacher/student interaction is still the most important thing

Best thing about this: it provides equity (virtual environment)
– there are no “haves” and “have nots”

We’ve been doing this for 2 years now
– main things I’ve noticed now in year 2: in vocabulary we were 9 lessons ahead this year
– I was able to deliver it faster… more… better
– that is 90 more words the kids were exposed to this year
– we still had more time at the end of the year
– goes back to what was said: when you are designing your curriculum, everything you do…. you don’t have to start over the next year!
– all of your work is still there

We are not holding the kids back
– you have kids at the top, in the middle and at the bottom
– top end kids are not having to sit back and wait for everyone else to finish
– they can move on

You are required to put your work out there a week ahead, but why just a week?
– remember we have lots of different opinions…
– my thought is: put the whole year out there
– all of my curriculum is “out there” for my kids
– it’s not a secret (quizzes are an exception, maybe when and where extra credit will come)
– everything else is wide open

One of my students got so excited about Romeo and Juliet, she read it early in the year on her own
– students who are excited can work ahead
– students who want to work ahead can

Example: basketball student who knew he needed to get ahead before basketball season started
– he worked ahead
– same thing with Ag kids, band kids, others
– kids can get it… (they take laptops with them, motels where they stay have wifi, they can work on their lessons there)

When my students are finished with assignments for my class, if they have something else to work on they will move on to other coursework: math, history, etc.
– students don’t have to have any books with them, they have everything they need in Moodle

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Moodle
– I can’t say enough positive things about Moodle
– mine is organized by topic

MY COMMENT: IT IS GREAT TO SEE JULIE’S CURRICULUM IN MOODLE! I AM INSPIRED THINKING ABOUT WORKING AGAIN IN MOODLE FOR MY UNIVERSITY CLASSES, AS I DID IN 2005…. WE LEARN SO MUCH WHEN WE GET IMMERSED IN AN ENVIRONMENT…

None of your prep time is wasted
– even if you don’t want to show something you’ve created in Moodle, you can just “hide” it
– you can do a topic or calendar format for Moodle
– I don’t feel comfortable using a calendar format
– I was a little concerned about that at first, I thought someone would tell me I couldn’t do it that way

I LIKE THAT APPROACH AS WELL– I THINK IT FOCUSES MORE ON THE LEARNING AND THE IDEAS, RATHER THAN THE SCHEDULE. IDEAS AND LEARNING ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE CALENDAR.

Moodle: All of the great things you find at all the workshops and websites you find can be archived in your Moodle pages
– they will stay there forever
– you can create quizzes that are automatically graded
– if you have examview (I don’t) you can upload those questions to Moodle

We’ve been learning how to capture flash video and embed those into your pages
– no download time or buffering, they play smoothly

Moodle takes a lot of frustration out this for me and others
– everything just works

You can capture videos out of YouTube (there are fantastic ones) and then copy them into your Moodle
– YouTube won’t make it through your content filter
– YouTube is not all porn

Think of it this way: you are creating your own textbook
– you have looked through all the texts and samples, and wondered why
– you find those resources you want and use them!

Gutenberg Project is a GREAT site

I am a big believer in audio books and the value of hearing the story
– something happens in the brain when you can SEE it and hear it at the same time
– my rule: if I am going to provide this for you to hear, you are at least going to be a passive reader with your eyes to make the connection
– there are lots of free audio books

I love Libravox
– just Google it

We love Macs here!
– there is a built-in text to speech option, it is standard on a Mac
– you can create your own keyboard shortcut/combination for that
– highlight the text you want, then press your keyboard shortcut: The computer will read it to you

Podcasts
– I create some, my kids create some
– we showcase some of those podcasts

THIS IS GREAT TO HEAR. I THINK, LIKE HOWE PUBLIC SCHOOLS IS DOING, ALL SCHOOLS SHOULD HAVE MODERATED, INTERACTIVE ENVIRONMENTS FOR SHOWCASING AND SHARING STUDENT WORK.

We are web-based but not paperless
– my kids must bring paper and pencil every day to class

I ASKED JULIE IF ANY OF HER STUDENTS’ WORK IS PUBLISHED ONLINE WHERE WE COULD VIEW IT LATER… SHE SAID SHE COULD PLAY IT OFF HER MACHINE, BUT SHE’D HAVE TO CHECK. I THINK SHARING STUDENT WORK IN A MODERATED, INTERACTIVE ENVIRONMENT IS A “NEXT STEP” WE’LL HOPEFULLY SEE CRESCENT AND OTHER SCHOOLS MOVE TO.

We use WallWisher many times to get student responses
– sometimes kids respond differently if they know it will be something

Saving things forever
– we have a process in place for our kids to archive EVERYTHING they do digitally
– this is called a “digital locker”
– it exists on our server
– everything in the student’s digital locker lives forever, except for their own music, movies, personal pictures etc (we don’t host student personal media like their iTunes library)
– ALL student projects and school work are archived online FOREVER as long as they are at Crescent

Kids here keep their same computer year to year. That provides incentive for them to take care of their machines
– We take computers in over the summer and wipe them clean

On Moodle we have links to teacher webpages
– first thing we did years ago, we used Dreamweaver to create teacher webpages
– requirement was: it had to have our picture and our contact info
– say who I am, get to know me a little, and how to contact me
– since then we have gone to iWeb pages
– looking back at our old pages we look like we were kindergarteners…
– Mac just makes it look pretty! (I give them the credit for that)
– teacher webpages have just explodes

I am not a Dreamweaver person, I never “got it”
– once I started using iWeb, I don’t know how many pages off my homepage I have now!
– it just goes on and on!
– we also have links to outside activities

We use Discovery Streaming
We have a podcast server (Podcast Producer, super easy to use)

Participant question: Is there a place where you’ve written all these links down somewhere on your district site to share with us? (Answer: No – I SAID I’M TAKING GOOD NOTES AND WILL SHARE A LINK!)

You are putting together all these links as your own textbook

I THINK A KEY ELEMENT OF WHAT WE NEED FOR SCHOOL TRANSFORMATION IS ENCOURAGING / ENABLING / EMPOWERING TEACHERS LIKE JULIE TO SHARE THEIR CURRICULUM AND OPENLY LICENSE IT. HOW WONDERFUL FOR ALL THE ENGLISH TEACHERS IN THE ROOM WOULD IT BE, IF JULIE’S AMAZING ONLINE CURRICULUM WAS AVAILABLE FREE (UNDER A CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION-NONCOMMERCIAL-SHARE ALIKE LICENSE.)

You are protected, your kids are protected, everything is secure

I work on Moodle EVERY single day
– we were very exhausted when we started

AT some point I realized (in the past) I was shoveling work at students
– there is NO reason everything we do has to end in a 50 question test
– we have focused too much on summative assessment
– we need to do more on formative assessment
– if you just find out at the end that “they didn’t get it” that is often too late
– this doesn’t mean you have to take a 50 question test at every step

You don’t want to just pretest, let the kids go, and post-test
– if you would, you
– not everything has to be evaluated / assessed with a test
– as we go along, we have many discussions

I used to hate teaching Romeo and Juliet
– this year I got excited about it because the kids found out it was really dirty, and really funny
– example: in 1 class period we had something like 60 “a-ha” moments

I titled my “Romeo and Juliet” block this year, “Stupid Kids Making Stupid Decisions”
– this approach really worked to “hook” my kids today

When you learn/realize the kids didn’t get it, then back up and do it again

Kids hate research, obviously
– they hate to cite things

For research this year, I asked kids to give me five topics that they would really like to research and are interested in
– I took those and weeded some things out that there isn’t much info out there on
– they picked their topic and I told them there are two main things:

1- organization
2- citation

Kids felt a lot better about it presented in this way
– some still didn’t get some subtleties
– some got pieces of attribution, others didn’t
– no one’s looked the same

I WONDER IF THEIR USING A TOOL LIKE BIBME.COM FOR BIBLIOGRAPHIES?
http://www.bibme.com/

We are NOT just regurgitating facts

My story:
– the year before we passed out these laptops
– we had to decide what to do
– we didn’t have a mandate about how to deliver the curriculum

I don’t get Dreamweaver or Firefox…
– some people seemed to get those really well
– some people wanted to deliver their online curriculum via their webpage
– I was scared of that
– Our tech director introduced me to Moodle, it was template driven

IT IS SO GREAT THE TEACHERS HERE AT CRESCENT ARE EVANGELIZING MOODLE AND A LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM SO STRONGLY! I THINK THAT WAS AN ELEMENT MISSING FROM OUR SDE’S ARRA REQURIEMENTS… AND IT’S A CRITICAL PIECE. THIS IS SUCH GREAT INFO FROM JULIE…. NOT JUST INFO, LESSONS LEARNED AND TEACHING PHILOSOPHY STUFF TOO…

You can’t expect to do it all at once
– one thing that disappointed us was that (at the time) no one was promoting Moodle and had created anything
– it is so hard today to stick out our necks, because there is still that fear…. someone else has probably done something better
– we didn’t have models of Moodle use, to learn from other people

I NEED TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT REMOTE LEARNER’S SYSTEM FOR SHARING CURRICULUM BETWEEN MOODLE SERVERS

I was fearful initially that someone would micromanage my curriculum, tell me not to use the “topic” format for Moodle
– that never happened

Our administrators know there are many paths to get to the same place

None of my Moodle pages are finished, I work on them every day

Our Moodle site is locked down for the protection of our teachers and our students
– for today only, I have opened up guest access to one of my Moodle courses

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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