Tag Archives: technology

Upcoming Workshops & Sessions at FETC 2015

6 Jan

FETC15_eBadge_250_speakerHard to believe that 2015 is already underway… and with that only two more weeks before the National FETC educational technology conference in Orlando, Florida.

It is an honor to be selected as a Featured Speaker for this year’s conference! I can’t wait to present alongside so many brilliant and talented educators.

Here is a list of the info for each of my workshops and sessions. Would love to have you join me!

Featured Sessions:

Digital Village: Using Technology to Increase Parent Involvement
Thursday 1:00-1:40 p.m. – S310A

If it takes a village to raise a child, then this digital generation calls for a digital village. Studies increasingly show that parent involvement is directly correlated to student achievement, behavior and high school graduation rates. By using digital collaboration tools, parents can become an integral part of their child’s education, sharing from their knowledge, careers, and life experience. For students, their friends and family are the best place to establish their Personal Learning Network, preparing for a lifetime of communication, collaboration and digital citizenship. In this engaging session, attendees will examine pertinent research, explore best practices for implementation, engage live demonstrations of collaborative web environments, view diverse examples, and delve into free, effective Web 2.0 tools like blogs, wikis, Voicethread, video-conferencing, collaborative applications and workspaces, and communication tools. Creating an innovative, connected classroom was never easier than when using these parent-friendly ideas. Whether for individual lessons or yearlong initiatives, educators and educational stakeholders will leave feeling inspired to expand the educational experience with a digital village!

Innovative Elementary Writing Instruction for the Digital Age
Thursday 3:20-4:00 p.m. – S320G

With the emergence of Web 2.0, tablet apps, and global communications tools, the art of writing is becoming increasingly vital to our students. Whether it’s translating the concise word choice of poetry to Twitter, the voice of persuasive essays to blogs, or the delicate crafting of an engaging narrative into ePublishing, effective writing is at the heart of 21st century learning and skills. In this eye-opening session, educators learn how to bring out the inner Shel Silverstein and J. K. Rowling in their students through intentional uses of dynamic applications and student-created digital media. Plus, educators learn about free and affordable ways to promote their budding authors by publishing paper and digital storybooks and anthologies. In fact, these activities, projects and practices have already empowered the presenter’s students to win international digital storytelling awards and even pen an Amazon Best-seller! Through these engaging, student-created projects and instructional practices, educators will see measurable improvements in their students’ spelling, grammar, voice, word choice, figurative language, creativity, elaboration and more! With the ideas, student samples, adaptable rubrics and the practical resources they need to get started, educators will rush to integrate their new learning as soon as they return to school!

3D Technologies: A Key to Maximizing Digital Age Teaching and Learning
Thursday 4:20-5:00 p.m. – S230B

Teaching and learning with 3D technologies can improve student achievement, attention, behavior, and more! Learn how three types of 3D educational applications can enhance teaching and learning at all grade levels! 3D design applications allow students to make their mental images a reality by creating 3-dimensional objects and scenes by using programs like Google Sketch-Up and Autodesk Maya. Progressive uses even include augmented reality, virtual environments, and video game creation. 3D printing produces such digitally designed objects in tangible materials from plastic to human tissue. Through its emergence in the “maker” movement, students are engaging an iterative engineering design process firsthand. Finally, stereoscopic 3D is familiar to many students from 3D movies and theme park rides. Whether with glasses or new glasses-free displays, 3D videos and simulations are increasing students’ learning gains, retention, and attention in classrooms around the world. Each 3D technology provides powerful opportunities for learning and develops the essential skills and knowledge needed for success in emerging 21st century fields and careers. Through best practices, practical applications, student-created examples, and true success stories, we will explore the basics of these 3D technologies and how they may serve as the key to maximizing digital age teaching and learning.

Workshops (a few spots left!) – more info and to register:

Lights! Camera! Student Moviemakers in Action!
Wednesday 8:00-11:00 a.m. – S330G

Lights! Camera! Student Moviemakers in Action! is a hands-on workshop that assists educators in effectively integrating student-created movie projects into the K-12 classroom. In this engaging workshop, educators will explore the positive impact of student media creation on meeting the challenges of 21st century learning and the participatory digital culture. They will learn a basic workflow for approaching various types of class video projects with iMovie. Plus, educators will also discover powerful applications of several student moviemaking genres and styles, as well as technological hardware and software tools, that support implementation of the NETS-S, the Framework for 21st Century Learning and the Common Core State Standards across curricular areas. Guided hands-on activities and demonstration in making creative and advanced video types, including stop-motion, time lapse, and stereoscopic 3D, round out this session to make it an innovative professional development experience that educators won’t want to miss. Best of all, they will acquire access to extended resources, reproducible classroom materials, sample rubrics, student-created examples and how-to video tutorials. As a result of this inspiring session, educators will leave ready to connect with their students in creative and meaningful ways upon returning to school.

Powerful Technology Centers for Elementary Students
Wednesday 12:00-3:00 p.m. – S330D

Whether for reading groups, Daily 5, math activities, or creative projects, centers are an ideal way to provide differentiation, independence, and discovery learning in the elementary classroom. By integrating easy-to-implement technology activities into these centers, every student, from kindergarten to fifth grade, can enhance their learning experience while developing progressive technology skills. In this interactive session, attendees gain first-hand experience of six progressive Independent Technology Centers. Each hands-on center provides samples, ideas for extended applications, how-to tutorials, adaptive lesson and rubric templates for K-2 and 3-5, as well as time to experiment with the tools. Plus, the session will provide best practices learned from successful implementation at several elementary schools that are making substantial gains on standardized testing while still promoting technology activities that develop creativity and critical thinking. With practical tools, resources and hands-on experience, attendees will leave confident and inspired to successfully develop 21st century skills and deep learning of the standards through these powerful learning centers.

A Coming-of-Digital-Age Story

13 Mar

A Coming-of-Digital Age Story
By Nancye Blair Black
Performed by Laney Blair

Used to be, learning at school was a bore.
Textbooks and textbooks and textbooks. Snore!
In class, teachers would talk, students would hear.
It was the same old story year after year.

Until one day, our principal suddenly appeared
With a class set of computers. The students all cheered!
Our teacher showed us what these new tools could do.
We played fraction games. We Skyped with the zoo!

And then it was our turn. She turned us all loose
To research and learn about a topic we choose.
I tried simulations. Collected data, too.
I emailed an expert. Read cutting-edge news.

Next, it was time to share what we’d learned,
To demonstrate knowledge and mastery earned.
In front of my classmates, I started to doubt,
But then all of a sudden, the words just poured out.

I showed them my slideshow with media galore.
My friends clapped and asked questions and begged me for more!
My teacher joined with them. Could this really be?
That along with my teacher, now a teacher was me?

It was hard to believe, but the message seemed clear;
My work mattered enough to see, read and hear.
And if sharing my ideas could matter to you,
All this work would actually be worth it to do!

So, I darted online to blog on my day.
Would the rest of the world really care what I say?
I posted my project as my global debut.
Other teachers and students were soon commenting, too!

And now, I can’t count all things I can share;
I’m an author, filmmaker and scientist extraordinaire.
My voice makes a difference. I now know it’s true….
And technology helped me to share it with you.

Re-envision Technology Integration in your Classrooms

25 Jan

With all of the advances in technology tools and 21st century learning strategies, it can be hard to both keep up… and to nail down just what ideas are the most important. My latest article in NAESP’s Principal magazine aims to help you do just that.

Technology Integration for the NEW 21st Century Learner

You can read it online here.


You can view the full color PDF of the article here.

I would love to hear your thoughts, feedback and implementation ideas as we work together to use technology to make a difference in our schools and in the lives of our students.

Transforming Technology Integration for 21st Century Learners

9 Apr

Thirty-five years ago, the IBM 5100 and the Apple I circuit board were released, ushering us into the age of the personal computer.

Twenty-five years ago, computers began to enter the classroom… in the form of The Oregon Trail on the Apple IIe.

Fifteen years ago, teenagers took a break from typing their term papers to use a home cordless phone to “page” a school friend… and wait endlessly by that same phone to see if it would ring.

And five years ago, the iPhone, Wii, and eventually netbooks were released, changing everyday use of technology in and out of schools.

This fall, our kindergarten classrooms will be filled with children who were born that year. Children who only know a world where they have access to more information, games, and applications while playing in their car seat with their Mom’s cell phone than they often have when they enter the school’s doors.

These are not the same “21st Century Learners” we’ve grown to know over first decade of the new millennium. For these students, simply watching video and images during lessons, playing a multiplication Internet game, or even taking turns at an Interactive Whiteboard is no longer enough.

These new 21st Century Learners are highly relational and demand quick access to new knowledge. More than that, these students are capable of engaging their education at a whole new level. With the world literally at their fingertips, these students need us to re-envision the role of technology in our classrooms. In a revolution that began as academic technology use and turned to teaching with multimedia technology, we now need a new transformation to teach through technology.

So, what does that look like? For one, we must increasingly put the technology into the hands of students and trust them with more progressive technology objectives. Moreover, we must transform our pedagogy itself to prioritize student discovery, collaboration, and creation. Finally, educators must establish Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) to support their own learning and innovating. In this way, we will ensure that this next generation will not only thrive at our schools, but shine on assessments, establish the problem solving and technology skills needed for successful careers, and become the lifelong learners and innovators we desire to mold.

Are you an NAESP member, you can read this blog and link to others here: http://naesp.org/blog/technology-21st-century-learners
If you are attending the NAESP 2011 Annual Convention, you can join me on Sunday, April 10th from 12:30 to 1:45 PM in Room 13 to find out more as we explore strategies and success stories for Transforming Technology Curriculum for 21st Century Learners.

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