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We Are the People We’ve Been Waiting For

What it is: We Are the People We’ve Been Waiting For is an inspiring documentary film that explores education in the UK and challenges us to dream of something more.  Big names (Sir Richard Branson, Germaine Greer, Henry Winkler, Bill Bryson, and Sir Ken Robinson) share their experiences with education and offer new ideas for how education can be done.  If you are in the UK, take advantage of the free DVD offer and get the full documentary to share with your students.  Those of us not in the UK can enjoy clips of the film on the We Are the People We’ve Been Waiting For website.  There are several clips from the documentary and each of them will leave you inspired and thinking about how education can be transformed.  The site also features some excellent games for students to play.  The first game is called “The Test You Can’t Fail”.  This little quiz asks students a variety of questions and gives them creative career paths to consider based on their interests.  Many of these your students may not have considered and will give them insight into the places they shine.  The second game is called “Future Me”, it is a Bebo App that lets students predict their friends future.   How to integrate We Are the People We’ve Been Waiting For into the classroom: If you can get the documentary for your classroom, do so.  Be inspired by the documentary as a teacher, but also share it with your students.  They need some inspiration for their education and future.  This film is sure to offer plenty.  If you aren’t in the UK, share the webisite clips with your students.  Challenge them to think differently about education.  At first, they may struggle with this task (the way my students did), they expect that there is one right answer.  This is a sad statement about what education has been up to this point, we have primed them to believe that there is only one right answer with a myraid of tests and worksheets that have told them it is so.  Have your students take “The Test You Can’t Fail” quiz, it leads them through a variety of questions and activities.  Students tell what their favorite subject is, swat or save a fly, order grocery items in order of price, connect a video game to the Internet and TV, choose what to do when they get lost, design a t-shirt, memorize a phone number, and arrange a computer desktop.  When students are finished they are given a list of things they are good at, some surprises (things students may not know about themselves), and thoughts about possible career paths.  It seems to work well, my results were education, computers and IT.  So I guess I am on the right track!  Talk with students about their results. Do they agree/disagree? Were their items on their list that they hadn’t considered?  It is good to dream with students, it gives them aspirations and goals for the future and lets them know that they aren’t the only ones dreaming. Tips: In the “About the Film” Section, students can watch videos and read bios of the students that star in the documentary. Please leave a comment and share how you are using the We Are The People We’ve Been Waiting For in your classroom.

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Adobe Forms Center: Create & Share Interactive Forms

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Character Education, Classroom Management, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Inquiry, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 11-07-2013

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What it is: Sometimes I come across a useful site and think, “how in the world is it possible that I haven’t discovered this before?”  That happened today with Adobe Form Central.  This free web application lets you create pdf’s that are actually web forms that can be filled out directly on the pdf.  Fancy.  Forms Central has a huge bank of templates that you can start with including a section just for education.  These are mostly application, appointment, quiz type forms.  But the best…the ability to create your own custom pdf form! Design items include text fields, date fields, email fields, single choice, multiple choice, drop down menu, single check box, rating scale, file attachments, formatted text, images, and page or section breaks.  When you have finished with the form you can set the form up to automatically email recipients, redirect them to a new url, or include a confirmation message.  You can even collect payments through PayPal (I’ll tell you why I find that feature useful!).  When you are ready to distribute your form you can email the link, embed the form or share on Twitter.  From within form central, you can view responses and save to Excel or as a PDF.  You can even sort responses from within Forms Central.

How to integrate Form Central into the classroom:  The obvious (and boring) use of Forms Central for education is for creating quizzes and tests.  Pass.  I’m not interested in using it that way so the custom feature is where I head.  Form Central is a great place for you to create a guided inquiry form where students can view the current inquiry question and fill in their own lines of inquiry and thoughts as they begin into a new unit.  Answers are collected in one place so that you can go through with your class and discuss options.  This could be a great twist on the ideation step in design thinking!

Forms Central could be used to create customized rubrics that you and your students can fill in.  Again, the great feature here is that everything is collected in one spot!  Students can create and use forms to collect scientific or mathematical data that can be analyzed and evaluated later.

Students can create their own custom surveys for collaborative projects and easily distribute their forms and collect answers.  Our students created their own not-for-profit (LSGW Foundation), because they occasionally host fundraisers, Forms Central would be really useful for collecting information and donations online.  The ability to connect the form to a PayPal account where they can collect donations is fantastic!

The PayPal function could also be used by you at the beginning of the school year.  If you’re like us, you have parents fill out loads of Q&A’s at back to school night so that you can get to know the family and child better.  You could include a short wish-list of items that you would like for your classroom.  Parents could choose to donate monetarily to your classroom fund through your forms.  Forms Central also gives them an easy one-stop place to quickly fill out all of the information online.

Do you host an after school club or tutoring?  Use Forms Central to create your application/enrollment form and collect payment at once.

Have your students evaluate your class using a course evaluation (template), collect feedback from colleagues at a conference where you hosted a session, collect interest for a new offering in your classroom, create a risk assessment sheet…the sky is the limit for what you can create.

One of my favorite things about the start of the school year at Anastasis Academy is the Learning Profile that we create for each of our students.  We survey students to learn about their multiple intelligence strengths, brain dominance, learning style preferences, and interests and passions.  Forms Central would be a really great way to collect all of this information (at least until the Learning Genome is finished!).

Tips:  You may be wondering…why not just use Google forms?  I love Google forms, I really do.  But Forms Central gives options that Google does not.  Those options are appealing to me on a number of levels!  The bank of templates they have to start from is also super helpful when time is an issue.

Are you using Forms Central in your classroom?  Share your experience in the comments below!

Comments (3)

[…] “Adobe Forms Center: Create & Share Interactive Forms” @ktenkely (Cool!) ilearntechnology.com/?p=5045 […]

Do you know if there is a way for all of the students to see everyone else’s responses? I like the idea of having guided inquiry questions for students to respond to while at home, but I think it would be more effective if it is treated more as a discussion between the students rather than just communicating solely with the teacher.

Ely- I’m not sure outside of giving everyone the login so that they are able to view it. The other option would be to go through responses on a class with an IWB or projector.

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