Monday, August 6, 2012

Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together

Hoover High School administrators and teachers have attended the Model Schools conference for the past couple of years and have worked hard to increase Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships at our high school. We believe that it is our charge to ensure that our students are exposed to transformational instructional strategies that requires higher level thinking skills that fall in the Assimilation (C) and Adaptation (D) quadrants of learning. Rigor and Relevance Framework developed by the International Center for Leadership in Education below:

We also believe that learning will be enhanced and students more motivated to learn through the increased use of technology in the classroom. We are realistic, however, that all of our teachers will start the Engaged Learning Initiative (ELI) at a variety of comfort and technical skill levels. When Hoover City Schools sent a team to Westlake High School in Texas, they found that this high school was using the SAMR model. This model developed by Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura is an ideal way to think about the levels of our staff in relation to their comfort level when integrating iPads into their classrooms.

Many teachers will be at the Substitution Level. They will just use the new technology as a way to substitute things that they already do with apps on the iPad. For example, a teacher at the substitution level might have their students use Safari to find a website during instruction to enhance a particular lesson. According to Puentedura, no functional change has taken place at the substitution level.

Teachers at Hoover High School will also be at the Augmentation Level. This level requires the technology being used to be a substitute, but there is a functional improvement. The Fashion and Design teacher might use the Fashion Sketchbook app to have the students design a new piece of clothing and then have the student use Dropbox to submit the sketch for feedback. I considered this the Augmentation Level for HHS teachers because of their training and exposure to Dropbox last year.

We will have some teachers who are at the Modification Level. This level requires the technology to significantly redesign the task at hand. An example of this would be if a teacher used Screen Chomp during instruction. For the lesson, a teacher could  write on the iPad and actually record the lesson, make a tutorial, record the process for solving a math problem, flip or rewind learning, send home lessons, etc… The lesson can be sent directly to Dropbox or can be uploaded on webpages or Edmodo. This is a game changer for a student who is absent when important content is covered in the classroom.

We will also have a few teachers who are at the Redefinition Level. At this level, new tasks are created that were previously thought of as inconceivable. There are many great examples of the Redefinition of instruction with technology. One could be that students create their own Professional Learning Network on Twitter by researching and finding scientists, mathematicians, athletes, physicians, etc… to follow and then they independently create learning opportunities that they share with the class through authentic projects and presentations.

So here is where the puzzle has to fit together.

For the Engaged Learning Initiative and our beliefs about Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships to mesh, we have to increase the use of transformational instructional strategies and increasing the Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships through the use of technology. We cannot just focus on the technology. The technologies (iPads) are the tool that we will use to enhance our curriculum and enhance student engagement so that we can increase student achievement. The iPads are tools used to increase Assimilation (C) and Adaptation (D) when students are acquiring knowledge.

It is also our belief that when teachers relinquish some control and allow themselves to be active learners in the classroom and allow students to facilitate more of the learning, student/teacher relationships will improve. When we learn side by side with someone and get to know their interests, their strengths, and their weaknesses, we naturally have a stronger relationship with that person. I cannot wait to learn from the kids at HHS!

Apps for SAMR

Below are examples of apps that teachers can use based on the SAMR model and their comfort level with the ELI and using iPads in their classroom. This is by no means an exhausted list and it is important to keep in mind that based on the activity or lesson, some of these apps could fit into a variety of categories. This is just a quick list for those who need additional resources to get started. We will compile a more comprehensive list as the school year progresses.

Calculator Pro- Takes the place of traditional calculators and graphing calculators.
Pages- This allows teachers to make great slides and visuals with the iPad that are stored in the iCloud for future use and can be used anytime, anywhere. Can add photos and graphs, etc… Look up meanings of words quickly and easily.
iBooks- Allows students to download required novels.
Calendar- Allows teachers to view calendar away from desktop.
Safari- Used to search web and locate websites.
Evernote- Many educators use this to publish notes, create lesson plans, and organize materials for class.
Pocket- Allows teachers to find an article or website of interest and put it in their Pocket to read later.
The Ruler- Measure things in inches or centimeters.
Periodic Table of the Elements- Allows students to have a mobile copy of the Periodic Table.

eClicker Presenter- Allows you to turn your iPads into a clicker system.
Calculator Pro- Allows all students access to a scientific calculator.
Readability- Allows student to reduce the distractions from web sites and other web page. Basically takes all of the photos and adds, etc… off the page and makes it a clean documents.
Doceri- Allows teachers to turn their iPad into an interactive whiteboard. You can change colors of the writing, fonts, use work as PDF as well. Can edit and change later and add to web site or Edmodo to ensure it is clearn and correct for posting.
Calculator HD- This is a calculator with scientific functions, but also students can place a notepad beside the calculator and take notes on the screen.
Flashcardlit- Dictionary that also has bell ringer activities such as a word of the day. Has the ability for students to hear the words pronounced, they can share words, they can see trending words, etc… Very interactive.
Dropbox- Allows you to interact in a variety of ways and increases organization and storage of documents.
Facetime- Student can interact face to face from anywhere to share and collaborate.
iStudiez Pro- This app is specifically designed for the organization of student’s lives. Allows students to add assignments, tests, etc… into the calendar and set up reminders.
iA Writer- This is another app that reduces all adds, distractions, etc… for students to just read content.
Word Cloud- Students can brainstorm ideas and use this app to develop presentations.
Paper- This  app is used for presentations, brainstorming, or creating interactive storyboards of materials.
EasyBib- Students can enter the name of a book or use the scanner function to scan the bar code and the app will give them the MLA and APA citation for the book.
Mental Case- Online collection of flash cards. Students can add images, audio, video, or just written notes.
Evernote Peek- Allows students to import their notebook from Evernote and then record the information that they want to remember. Then the student uses the cover of the iPad to unfold a section at a time to reveal clues and then the answer to the question.
Voice Thread- Allows multiple students to add comments in audio or video format to a file such as Powerpoint.
Alge-Bingo- This app develops algebraic equations solving skills through playing a Bingo game. This game takes you step by step through the process of learning how to solve the most basic equations through multi-step equations.
World Atlas HD- Students can have interactive maps at their fingertips and use these to enhance understanding of the world around them .
Fashion Sketchbook: Allows students to design clothing with their iPad.

iMovie- Student can create movie trailers based on content.
Aurasma- Allows students to capture a still image (ex. poster) and use the iPad to then create a video to do with it. Later if other students hold up their iPad to the still image, it will play the video created by their peers.
SAT Vocab- This is an app that provides interactive practice for SAT vocabulary that can be used as a bell ringer activity.
Pedometer- Allows students to track not only their steps for the day, can use a GPS function to map their route for the day, tract the calories burned, etc…
Khan Academy- Can be used to reinforce or supplement instruction. Videos are available for a multitude of topics. Students can watch in class and have discussions about material.
Screen Chomp- Teachers can write on the iPad and actually record the lesson, make a tutorial, record the process for solving a math problem, flip or rewind learning, send home lessons, etc… This can be sent directly to Dropbox or can be uploaded on web pages or edmodo. Perfect for posting for students who are absent.
iMathematics- This is a multifunctional math tool that can be used as a calculator, has graph paper, is interactive like a white board, etc…
Twitter- Students can post about class topics and can follow teachers for classroom updates etc…
Edmodo- Educational Facebook- Teachers use to post assignments, class notes, etc…
Annotate- Allows students to annotate a PDF file. They can highlight, draw, mark or add audio clips to their notes. They can email this to themselves as well.
Audio Boo- Allows students to record audio clips on phone or iPad, add a photo, map location and caption and even post to Facebook or Twitter. Students could use this to enhance field experiences around the school or even enhance experiences on field trips.
Algebra Touch- App that allows student to work equations in an interactive format and checks for accuracy.
Reading Trainer- Teachers students how to train their eyes and brain to read and comprehend text faster. Great for ACT and SAT test prep, especially for slower readers.
Shakespeare Pro- Complete works of Shakespeare. All works can be cross searched for anything.
Math Formulas- Reference Guide- The app contains over 100 math formulas at a high school level. Most formulas have examples for ease of understanding.
Bloomberg- This app is the most trusted source for financial information brought to you iPad along with tools to help you analyze the world’s markets.
Spacetime- Powerful graphing calculator with 2D and 3D graphing.

iBooks- Teachers can create assignments, activities, readings, etc… and push them out for the students to read/use. Students can also create iBooks as assessments and presentations about the current content.
Khan Academy- Students can watch videos on content and then present or teach class. Teachers can use these videos when flipping the classroom. Classroom discussion would center on what was learned outside of the classroom.
Twitter- students can develop their own PLN and can learn content and bring new ideas into the classroom from those who they are following on Twitter.
ShowMe- Teachers can use this app to flip the classroom, record teaching and place it on Edmodo or twitter for further study, etc…
Coach My Video- Allows coaches, physics teachers, etc… to shoot a video and then slow it down to watch form, etc…
The Elements: A Visual Exploration- This interactive app lets students explore the elements as they never have before.
Molecules- Allows students to manipulate 3D renderings of molecules.
3D Cell Simulation and Stain Tool- Students learn about cells and their structures in a 3D tool.
Magic Piano- Allows students to play pieces on a spiral and circular keyboard, follow beans of light to play pieces, play alone or travel back in time and play with historical performers across the world.

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