Featured Post

Crocodoc

What it is: Crocodoc is a new online tool that is quickly becoming a go-to application in my technology  toolbox.  Crocodoc lets you easily share and review documents online including pdfs, Word documents, and PowerPoint slides. It is as easy as 1-2-3 1. Upload the document from your computer or a URL (no registration required!). 2. Mark up the document using the built in highlighter, sticky notes, strike out, and text. 3. Share the unique URL of your Crocodoc with others. This is an easy way to collaborate on projects, edit student work, and critique written works.  Since Crocodoc was released last week, I have used it to share numerous documents with my students, edit a technology grant, send a lesson plans to teachers with notes about how to use them, and added my suggestions to a PowerPoint presentation.  It is SO easy to use, and since it doesn’t require registration, it is perfect for the classroom. How to integrate Crocodoc into the classroom: Crocodoc is sure to become a favorite in the classroom setting.  Students can submit their work to you using Crocodoc.  You can add notes, highlight, and edit the document and “send”  the revisions back to the students.  Share documents with your colleagues using Crocodoc, this is an easy way to collaborate on lesson plans, educational articles, and presentations.  Students can use Crocodoc to collaborate on group projects.  It is simple to go back and forth on a document adding notes, text suggestions, highlight, and strikeout. Many free e-books can be viewed as PDF files, upload the e-book to Crocodoc and share the URL with students.  Students can highlight and add virtual sticky notes to the text as they read.  If you teach using PowerPoint slides, upload the presenations to Crocodoc to share with students who were absent.  The absent student can review the presentation, add notes, and type questions that they may have about the learning. Tips: Crocodoc is free to use, there is no registration or sign up required.  Each document is stored securely and given a unique URL that you choose to share.  Crocodoc also offers premium pro accounts for documents that need to be password protected, priority tech support, and searchable document histories.  The paid option has some nice features, but the free option should handle everything that students and teachers need it to. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Crocodoc in your classroom.

Read More

The Future We Will Create: all the in-between important stuff

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Anastasis Academy, Apply, Character Education, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Inquiry, inspiration, Middle/High School, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, TED Talk Tuesdays, Understand (describe, explain), video | Posted on 20-03-2013

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2

A few years ago I watched the documentary TED: The Future We Will Create.  Being a fan of TED talks, I was curious to learn more about the behind the scenes of TED talks and how the conference came to be.  I had heard snippets here and there that the TED conference was like a boys club…you had to have money and “be” somebody to get into a live event.  The documentary pulled back the curtain a little on the intentionality of the way that TED conferences are set up.  They are intentionally packed with entrepreneurs and successful people from various walks of life to bring together change makers.  The actual speakers may not be well known (at least not prior to the talk), they have a limited time to speak, and they share an inspirational message.  But TED isn’t really about the talks, TED is really about the talks that happen in between the talks.  It is about those serendipitous moments that happen when people are exposed to a shared inspiration and then have opportunity to dream about it together.  The magic is in those moments when people with different perspectives come together and share their thinking from that unique vantage point.  It is really about the in between moments, that seemingly empty and unimportant time.  TED does something else that I wasn’t aware of, they offer one TED speaker a “prize”.  Only the prize isn’t really a prize (not in the way we typically think about prizes), instead it is that this person gets to make a wish.  They get to cast a vision and a “what-if.”  They get to challenge the audience to solve a problem that matters to them.  Then comes the incredible part- these people actually use their unique gifts and talents and perspective to help make it so.  World changing.  A future that we create.  Together.

 

As I was pulling together resources for our current inquiry block about “sharing the planet,” I came across several fantastic TED talks that could act like a catalyst for deeper thinking and additional curiosity.  As I watched each video, I kept thinking about the behind the scenes, the in-between talks that aren’t documented.  The change happening as a result.

Then it hit me, we could do this at Anastasis.  We could watch these talks together, and then allow for the in-between talks.  We could be intentional and let our students engage in the discussion, the serendipitous moments of one thing leading to another, and another.  We could give our students time to just talk and wonder and discover together.  We could narrow it down to 3 or 4 TED talks and provide our students with serendipitous in-between.  We could open up the opportunity for our students to come up with the “wish” or challenge that the others would work to make happen.  We could empower our students to go through this same process and then watch them use their unique perspective, gifts and talents to find solutions and dream up new possibilities.

I’m excited to try this.  I believe that we are in the midst of genius every day at Anastasis.  These kids are really incredible.  I want to see what unfolds when we offer just a little inspiration related to our inquiry and then give them some space to just explore and talk.  I want them to see that when hunches collide, BIG world changing ideas happen.  I want them to understand that they are world changers.

Has anyone else done this with students?

I think that this will be a starting point.  For now we will watch talks.  Next year, I would love to have our students plan their own talks.  I want to invite the best-and-brightest from around the world to come listen to our talks.  I want to provide the in-between moments where change is enacted.

Stay tuned…

Comments (2)

Thanks so much for the behind the scences of TED information. That puts such a different perspective on how the video can be used. I love the idea of trying it with a class. Very interested as to how it goes and the chatter you observe from the students.

YES! I did TED talks with my 2nd/3rd graders this year. The 4/5 class did it as well. It was an amazing experience. My reflection on the process can be found here: http://bit.ly/Y5lZWo

I actually have an idea to collaborate with another school – feel free to contact me if you’re interested.

Write a comment

*