An Orange a Day Makes Best Practices Stay

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“Who needs apples? What educators need are oranges.” And with that you are probably thinking WHAT???

We had the honor of presenting to a fine bunch of educators including former SMSU alumni from three different school districts this morning, and this was the topic of our presentation. We shared active teaching strategies using Bloom’s Taxonomy’s Bloomin Orange and demonstrated best practices by introducing several Bloom’s Web 2.0 tools that we currently use in our courses at SMSU.

Polleverywhere.com (Bloom’s Understand Category) was used to poll our participants to find out how many of them knew what Web 2.0 tools are. It was an eyebrow-raising moment when we found out that many of them had no idea what we were talking about. Polleverywhere is a great tool to find out what your audience or students know about a certain topic; a way to assess their prior knowledge. It is also available as an app for the iPad.

Other Web 2.0 tools that were shared with this attentive group of educators are:

Kidblog.org (Bloom’s Evaluate Category): “Ultimately, blogging will lead to growth as you learn about yourself, your audience and the world around you…leading to further creativity and profitable insights. As you can see by the examples I’ve shared, creators of great achievements always walk down this line” (Patel, 2012, para.24). So considering this, blogging can be more than evaluating, it is creating and sharing, which is the ultimate educational lesson. Kidblog, sponsored by Scholastic, is just one forum to share about your learning.

Animoto.com (Bloom’s Create Category): Building a community of learners and a positive on-line learning environment is tremendously important for on-line learners. Animoto is a great tool to assist with this. On-line students have been asked to create an Animoto to introduce themselves to the rest of the on-line class. After they have completed this task, they upload it to the discussion board so all classmates can watch it. It is one fabulous way to get to know each other.

Glogster.com (Bloom’s Apply Category): “Poster yourself” is the common tagline for this unique tool. Glogster is a way to express yourself in a poster format. Used in the classroom, it can extend learning and understanding in a different format. In my ELA Methods & Assessment course (can I get a woot-woot?), teacher candidates share about a research-based strategy and “glog” about it to persuade teacher candidates to want to use the strategy in their own teaching and future classroom.

Tagxedo.com (Bloom’s Analyze Category): Using Tagxedo is one way for students to analyze content they are expected to read or have already read. Students choose terms from their assigned chapter that they believe to be significant to them as future teachers. Once their vocabulary words have been chosen, they are asked to create a word cloud using Tagxedo. Our teacher candidates save this image to their Pictures file, insert the image into a word document, then write narrative explaining the vocabulary words they have chosen and WHY these terms are important to them as future teachers.

Challenges from the knowledge gleaned today? These teachers voiced several…

“…time, resources, reliable technology, unnecessary, doesn’t work for my class, fluff…”

Tackle those challenges. Hit them hard. Change the mindset.

We challenge ALL educators to try at least one new Web 2.0 tool in the last half of this school year. Just one. Then in the fall, give another Web 2.0 tool a try.

If you want to learn more about Web 2.0 tools, we suggest following Richard Byrne (@rmbyrne) and Steven W. Anderson (@web20classroom) on Twitter, and also reading their blogs. You will find these two gentlemen to be valuable resources.

Share with us which Web 2.0 tools work for you. …And – if none of the above appeals to you, wait until next week’s blog.

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

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