Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What's Different? What's the Same?

by Shelly Blake-Plock

Looking for input from all of you, this afternoon.

School's been back in session for most of us for a couple weeks and I'm interested in knowing "What's Different? And What's the Same?" at school this year.

For me, it's very different. I'm teaching virtually and have been teaching from my dining room, a nearby cafe, a room at the public library, my car (I was parked)... right now we're using Tungle to set up online tutoring sessions. At the same time, working with kids is working with kids and even in the virtual realm much is the same -- from the humor to the concerns to the excitement to the doldrums.

So do tell... how are things different for you this year? And how are they the same?


  1. *This year I'm teaching 3 preps for the first time (French 1, 2, & 3).
    *My district did away with groupwise and adapted google apps for education for all teachers and students.
    *Although I had a class set of iPod touches and 5 iPads last year, this year I am trying to use google apps and iPods together go as paperless as possible.
    *Our district will also begin rolling out 1:1 in January and I hope to be one of the teachers selected for the 1st phase (1/3 of all HS teachers).
    *I am more committed than my first 2 years teaching to incorporating technology in a meaningful way so that students are engaged, motivated and learning.

  2. In case you are not familiar, G-Whizz is a great way to do all things Google on the iPad.


  3. This year my math classes are more student centered. I'm using the flipped model to create an environmet of independence and using Edmodo for communication. Most of my day is spent working one on one with students or working with them in small groups. I'm no longer the sage on the stage. When you walk in the door of my classroom, students are working on laptops, collaborating on projects, and assisting each other with math problems. Those who are gifted are free to move ahead and those who need a slower pace are free to take their time. My classroom is 80% paperless. By the way, I teach 5th grade.

  4. I work online with pre-service teachers to explore Internet tools they might use in their own classrooms. One thing I have found that is the same so far this semester is that many students have not considered all the possibilities of using blogs for academic purposes. Another thing that is the same is that they find Voice Thread to be an exciting tool with lots of potential.
    What I have found different is that more students have experience using some of the tools we explore. As a result I am slowly but surely developing alternative mods, so that students familiar with one tool may choose another.
    Another difference for me is that I now use Window Live Movie Maker with a direct link to YouTube to record videos for the class instead of uploading to Blip TV or Podomatic. This saves me time.


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