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Leadership Day 2009

Dr. Scott McLeod of the blog Dangerously Irrelevant put out a challenge for all edu bloggers to write a post related to effective school technology leadership.  Below is my contribution to Leadership Day 2009: I have found that the biggest hinderance to effective school technology is not a lack of funding, resources, or technology.  The biggest hinderance has been teachers who are unwilling to learn something new.  For me, “life long learner” describes the ideal teacher.  There are many reasons teachers find not to learn to use technologies to increase student learning.  They may be overwhelmed with duties and tasks currently being imposed on them by administration.  They may have lesson plans that they created 20 years ago that they have become so attached to they can’t imagine adjusting or scrapping them.   They may have inadequate technology support so even when they do use technology, it never works properly and they throw in the towel.  They may believe that they don’t have time in the curriculum to add “one more thing”.  They may believe that they don’t have time in general to learn something new.  All of these issues need to be addressed, but at the heart of every teacher needs to live one thing.  A desire to learn.  Excellent teachers need to be constantly learning, and modeling that learning process to the students they teach.  They must be willing to adapt their lessons and teaching as the world changes to properly prepare the students they teach.  For effective school technology implimentation, administrators need to change the culture of the school.  They must nurture and encourage teachers as learners.  They must ensure that teachers have the proper support so that when they do learn to use a new piece of technology, it is working consistently.  I believe if administorators truly transformed the school into a rich learning environment for teachers and students, the technology use would naturally begin to fall into place.

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Death in Rome

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, History, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 20-10-2010

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What it is: Death in Rome is an interactive history experience from the BBC.  The game takes place in the year 80AD where Tiberius Claudius Eutychus is found dead in his apartment.  Students must put their sleuth skills to work as they investigate clues scattered around the room to solve the mystery.  They have until dawn to crack the case.  In addition to clues in the room, students can “talk” to modern-day experts for additional information, and interrogate witnesses.

How to integrate Death in Rome into your curriculum: Death in Rome is a fantastic exercise in critical thinking, reasoning, and deduction.  Students will learn about ancient Rome, using clues to solve a mystery, and find out how engaging and interesting history can be.  Death in Rome would make a great partner activity.  Students can work together in teams to solve the crime.  When each team has cracked the case, they can share the strategy they used and the clues that tipped them off to the solution.  If you don’t have access to a lab setting, solve the case as a class using a projector or interactive whiteboard.  Students can take turns at the board acting as investigators and leading the investigation.  As the game progresses, those students at their seats can make note of the clues and offer conjectures as to what the clues reveal about the death.

Tips: Because of the subject matter, this game probably isn’t appropriate for students under the age of 10.  I recommend playing through the game yourself to decide if it is appropriate for your age group.  Older students will enjoy playing investigator!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Death in Rome in your classroom!

Comments (2)

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, ktenkely, Beth O'Connor, Thomas Baker, Teresa Heithaus and others. Teresa Heithaus said: @ktenkely Thank-you for the link on Death in Rome. Has my wheels turning! http://bit.ly/9oM1KQ [...]

[...] iLearn Technology suggest ways in which the game might be integrated into your teaching: “Death in Rome is a fantastic exercise in critical thinking, reasoning, and deduction.  Students will learn about ancient Rome, using clues to solve a mystery, and find out how engaging and interesting history can be.  Death in Rome would make a great partner activity.  Students can work together in teams to solve the crime.  When each team has cracked the case, they can share the strategy they used and the clues that tipped them off to the solution.  If you don’t have access to a lab setting, solve the case as a class using a projector or interactive whiteboard.  Students can take turns at the board acting as investigators and leading the investigation.  As the game progresses, those students at their seats can make note of the clues and offer conjectures as to what the clues reveal about the death.” [...]

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