Seen these around? They’re word clouds and have been circulating digitally and in print over the past few years. What appears to be a technical and time consuming task is more easy than you think (like paste a bunch of words in a text box and click the word “Go” kind of easy).
Wordle’s one downfall – - You can’t “save” your word cloud as an image. Once it’s generated, you have the option to print it or add it to Wordle’s gallery. BUT, here’s the “workaround” …take a screenshot of your wordle (using either your PrtScn key or Snagit
“If you can both listen to (students) and accept their answers not as things to only be judged right or wrong but as pieces of information which may reveal what the (student) is thinking, you will have taken a giant step toward becoming a master teacher, rather than merely a disseminator of information.” -Easley & Zwoyer, 1975
Two of the biggest buzzwords in education: Assessment and Engagement.
We have a tendency to associate the term “assessment” with “tests”. But, it is sooooo much more. If I were to define assessment in layman terms, I would describe is as “putting your feelers out”. While in the midst of a lesson have you ever thought to yourself, “They just aren’t getting it”? Think back to that moment. How did you know your students weren’t “getting it”? Believe it or not, the “how” in this situation is a type of assessment, properly known as Formative Assessment.
Feedback is the heart of formative assessment. When we, the educator, are conducting a formative assessment we are ultimately asking for feedback from the student. Student feedback provides us with information to gauge where our students are in the moment versus where we want them to be. Feedback is essential, it allows us to tweak, modify, or change our pace to ensure student success and understanding. Now– hold that thought.
Our students want to play an active role in their education. They do not want to be passive learners, commonly called the “sit-n-get” approach. Engaging the learners is more than being a great lecturer; the students need to interact on their level and in a way which is meaningful to them.
Making a connection
Begin every class session with a question. Introduce your topic by polling the class on the lesson topic before the lesson. It encourages active participation from your students. It turns the lights on inside their heads. They are ready. You now know where they stand.
Make every student a participant. This where engaging the learner comes into play and can be as easy as having every student raise their hand. Better yet, put a device in their hand.
Clickers have made a successful debut onto higher ed campuses over the last few years. Students can respond in a variety of formats from multiple choice to open-ended.
A free web application, Poll Everywhere allows student to respond to questions mobile devices and tablets into the clickers. Students can respond with their cell phones!
Respond to their responses. You’ve asked the question and gathered the information. You know where the students stand, you have their attention. What are you going to do about it? Take this opportunity to bring in a connection from the previous lesson, start a discussion, start over, move ahead! Their responses can now guide you in a direction that best fits the needs of your learners.
How has your training and knowledge of Google Apps for Education effected or impacted your instruction or work productivity at CFCC? Any impact on your students? What about changes in departmental procedures or organization?
Post your testimonial in the comment section below.
Do-It-Yourself Resources page that provides handouts, material, or tutorials for all Instructional Technology workshops offered here at CFCC. If you can’t make a particular workshop and would love to learn more about it, this is the perfect place to go.
Web tools and applications for learning. These tools range from online note-taking applications to creating accessible multimedia for your courses.
Equipment available for checkout to faculty and staff.
This is all for YOU! The Instructional Technology Unit was created to provide support and resources for the faculty/staff. We want to effectively and creatively use technology both in instruction and the workplace at CFCC.
If you don’t know where or how to get started, have questions, need suggestions… please contact me! That is what I’m here for!
In Fall 2011, CFCC acquired and implemented Google Apps for Education. The primary application utilized is the email accounts that serve as the school email for students. However, all faculty, staff, and students not only have access to its email service but other Google Applications such as Google Docs (the productivity suite), Calendar, and Sites.
A reoccurring theme seems to pop up whenever discussions begin in regards to the benefits of storing files and information in the “cloud”. Security and Privacy. With some legitimate concern, Google has long been plagued with the Big Brother syndrome. They are watching our every move and selling our information to advertisers.
It’s your content, not ours. Your Apps content belongs to your school, or individual users at your school. Not Google.
We don’t look at your content. Google employees will only access content that you store on Apps when an administrator from your domain grants Google employees explicit permission to do so for troubleshooting.
We don’t share your content. Google does not share personal information with advertisers or other 3rd parties without your consent.
We sometimes scan content. And for very good reasons, like spam filtering, anti-virus protection, or malware detection. Our systems scan content to make Apps work better for users, enabling unique functionality like powerful search in Gmail and Google Docs. This is completely automated and involves no humans.
As far as security goes, Google goes to great lengths to protect our information. Law firms, Fortune 500 companies, and other higher ed institutions use Google Apps to store their files and information.
Many of us (educators) have turned to TedTalks to supplement our lessons with media rich content. In case you’re new to Ted.com and their axiom “Ideas worth spreading”, TedTalks is a free online video collection of inspirational, informative, and sometimes comedic speeches from inspiring voices around the globe.
The next stop in the evolution of Ted.com has led us to Ted-Ed ”Lessons Worth Sharing”. Building off the TedTalks premise, Ted-Ed pairs an educator with an animator and together they turn a TedTalk into an interactive and engaging lesson. Once the lessons are developed and posted, anyone has the option to “flip” the lesson, that is, customize it to meet the needs of your learners.
A great example is How Simple Ideas Lead to Scientific Discoveries