An edublog about integrating technology into the classroom.
And the winner is…
I’m getting ready to head to wine country for a little vacation but before I go, wanted to wrap up some contests, announce a winner, and announce another iLearn Technology give away.
Thank you to all who entered the iLearn Technology Starrmatica classroom giveaway. I was overwhelmed with comments, tweets, Facebook comments on my fan page and people filling out this survey. I can’t thank you enough! I put all of the entries into a spread sheet and then used Random Number Generator to choose the winner. The winner is…
For those of you who entered the Grade Trac contest, thank you so much! I will announce those winners when I am back from vacation.
In the mean time I have another stupendous give away (I am full of them lately…lucky you guys!). I have ten 100 survey2go credits to give away!
First a little about Survey2Go. As I mentioned in the Grade Trac post, although we would all LOVE to be paperless, that just isn’t the case for most of us yet. Survey2Go bridges the gap by offering the convenience of the paper we are already using, and the online automation of organizing the data.
Easy Survey Creation
Easy copy/edit features to build new surveys from existing ones.
Visual interface makes it easy to select and modify your custom survey format on a question by question basis.
Upload pictures to include in your questions and answers.
Uses Standard Office Technology
Use your office scanner/copier; no special special scanner required.
No software to install or manage; you just need an Internet browser.
Fast, Accurate Results
In most cases, results are ready for your review the next day or sooner.
Automatic response evaluation for all multiple choice questions.
Easy, fast, consistent process for summarizing write-in questions of any size.
A variety of survey result reports and tools to meet your needs.
Trend reports across same surveys
I can’t tell you how many stories I hear of technology being used for weeks at a time for surveys. This means that while student surveys are being conducted, no one else can use the technology for *ahem* learning. Anyone else see the problem here? Why are we using technology for throw-away tasks like student surveys when authentic learning opportunities could be happening? Silly! Survey2Go is a great solution, the survey still gets completed, the results are automated, and the computer lab stays open for learning. Not only does Survey2Go offer the ability to take a paper survey and automate it, you can have a school survey where half of the students use paper and half of the students access it online. Regardless of how students (or teachers, or parents) take the survey, the results are all automated and organized in the same space. Brilliant!
So, can we all agree not to occupy our technology with surveys when we could be using it for authentic, hands-on learning experiences and creation instead? Survey2Go is a great way to free up technology for meaningful tasks while still collecting necessary data.
If you or your school is interested in Survey2Go, leave me a comment about it below. On April 15th (2011) I will announce 10 winners. Be sure to use an actual email address in the comment form so I can get in touch with you.
What it is: What makes technology SO great is the way that it can make life (and teaching) more productive and fun. Over the years, I have found so many ways that technology can make reading more rewarding for both kids who love to read, and kids who dread reading. Today, I created an “Extreme Speed Booking” website for @michellek107′s class at Anastasis. I created the site quickly using Weebly, an awesome WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) website editor. Drag and drop website building is where it is at! The idea behind the site is to introduce students to a variety of books and form classroom book groups. How does Extreme Speed Booking work? A whole lot like speed dating. Students spend a little time with each book and then rate them accordingly with “I want to read more”, “Interesting”, “Not for me”, or “I’ve already read”. Students can also make a note of how interested they are in reading the book (maybe a 1-10 scale)? This process introduces students to a variety of books, genres and authors. Students may come across titles and authors they wouldn’t otherwise find. It also helps teachers form classroom book groups that are of high-interest and investment to students because they had input.
For our purposes at Anastasis, I created the Weebly website with a link to the “look inside” on Amazon. Because all of our students have an iPad, this was the simplest way to get the book preview into the hands of the students. Don’t have technology? No problem! Just make sure that you have enough copies of books so that each student can sit with the physical book during the Extreme Speed Booking sessions. If you have classroom computers, you can do a blend of both.
Explain to your students that they will have 2 minutes with each book. During that time, they can choose to read the introduction or first chapter, read the book jacket, or flip through and look at chapter titles and pictures. The goal during this time is to discover whether this is a book that they would like to read. It is okay if it isn’t a book they would want to read…the goal is to find out which book they are most excited about. After the two minutes is up, sound a bell that signifies it is time to switch. Before they switch, students can quickly make a note of the Title and rate the book. Continue on until students have had 2 minutes with each book. Collect the notes students have made and formulate book groups based on interest in the book.
I’ve added a few extra pages to our Extreme Speed Booking website including places where students can explore other books that they may like to read (Shelfari and Book Wink). I’ve also added a form that book groups can fill out as they are reading. The form gets emailed directly to the teacher. Our students will probably be blogging quite a bit of reflection about their reading. I thought it might also be useful to have a place for groups to answer questions, make comments, or update their teacher with their progress as a group.
@michellek107 created a Google form for her students to fill out while they are speed booking. Great idea! She is so smart. This will make it easy to collect all of the responses in one place to form groups.
Suggestions for books:
Choose books from a variety of levels, make sure you have a few book options for each reading level in your classroom.
Choose a variety of authors and genres, this is a great way to expose students to authors and genres they don’t normally seek out on their own.
Set up classroom computers with some book trailer videos from a site like Book Wink…this is a great “introduction” to a book or genre and acts much like a movie trailer.
Choose a variety of books from ONE author. After students have completed reading in their smaller groups, they can come back together and do an author study as a whole class; each group contributing something a little different.
Choose a variety of books from ONE genre. Students can read books in the smaller groups but discuss common features of the genre as a class.
Choose a variety of books on a similar topic. Students can read books in the smaller groups and then discuss the different character perspectives, author approaches, etc. This would be really neat to do with historical fiction, Holocaust fiction, etc.
Use non-fiction books that reinforce topics and themes that you are using in other academic areas.
Use biographies of presidents, change makers, authors, etc. Students can learn about a specific person in the smaller reading group and share what they have learned with the larger group later.
Tips:Extreme Speed Booking is a lot of fun with tech, but equally doable without tech! If you have access to a 1-1 tech environment, or can reserve the computer lab for a round of speed booking, you can use my technique above. Weebly makes it very easy to do this!
If you haven’t already, check out Shelfari and create a virtual bookshelf of book recommendations for your class or school. You can see our Shelfari shelf for Anastasis below. If you teach 3rd-12th grade it is worth checking out Book Wink!