Podcasting for Test reviews

Hey everyone I hope all is doing well. If you have read my previous post about how to create a podcast then you know I have experimented with my class with podcasting. I know most of you all have heard of a podcast or some of you all do it already. Some of you are wondering why I am doing this and how do I do it and all. Well I am going to tell you. I was sitting around wondering what is a way to be with my students at all times. You know what is something you can do to stay relevant after your students have left your classroom. Well I thought of it in podcasting. You know I think that I have succeeded in what I was wanting. I started to use the podcast just to see if my students would use it. To my surprise they have and it has been great. Along with the social media project this has been one of mine and my students favorite ways of staying in touch. I have noticed the students that are using both have really improved their test scores. When asked if they enjoy the podcast they say that it is really nice to see that I care enough to do it for them. They have also responded to I wish all of my teachers would do something like this, and I would too. I hope all of you have had a great year, and continue to inspire the students.

Social Media Revisited

Most of you that have seen or read my blog post about social media know I am all for it being used inside and outside of the classroom. I have experimented with my classes this year using Facebook and twitter as my tools of choice. As I planed out my move to use Facebook it was with caution especially with the legislation going on in Missouri about social media and teachers. I pondered how I could reach my students on Facebook but still be professional. My first thought was to create a fan page of myself, in which my wife discussed with me it, could come off being arrogant creating a page for myself. Plus this page wasn’t for me it was for my students. I did however finish with a fan page, one of “Mr. Dunn’s Class”. I was very excited to tell my students about my Facebook page that I had created but I didn’t at first. I did tell my colleagues about it and they seemed to enjoy the idea and wanted me to keep them informed as the year would go on. I kept my page a secret from my students for the first couple of weeks teaching as I always had, and using the first test a s a gauge on how I could incorporate the page. It was no big surprise when my students didn’t perform very well. Like years in the past they have told me I didn’t know about the test and all the other things a teacher hears as an excuse. So the next day I polled my students to see how many had a Facebook account, not to my surprise 98% of my students had one. I thought to my self: “this is perfect.” So i introduced them to my page and to “like” it. I told them I would have class updates and so on on the page. After the first night I had about 28 of my 150 students to “like” me. All of them coming to me and saying they remembered their folder, and thought it was really cool that I would post things for them. By the next couple of days I had almost 50 of my students who “liked” the page. All along I would post little updates to see if they would notice or remember. After about a week we were ready for our next test. The night before I posted some random facts about what we had gone over and asked them some questions as well, you know just your basic review type questions. I was fairly astonished at the results of the test the next day. Although I only had a couple of perfect scores, as a whole but my classes performed better than the last test. I spoke with some of my students who “liked” the page to see what their thoughts were about it. Most of the responses were the same. Because they are on Facebook so much seeing my posts were a reminder they had a test and needed to study for it. It also gave my students and opportunity to reflect on what we had learned. Since then I have used this method for pre-tests and I have noticed that I have had steady test scores from my students. The conclusion of my study is that Facebook can help your students to remember if something is due the next day. It also can be used as a good tool for assessment. Especially if you are to ask questions to your students out side the classroom and it will keep then engaged while they are at home.

Steve Jobs

As most of you are aware Steve Jobs the founder of Apple has passed away from his battle with cancer. I am proud of the accomplishments of Steve and the Apple corporation. If it were not for him we would not have the personal computer, and we certainly wouldn’t have one in our classrooms either. This man was an innovator and an icon in the technology industry. He helped us to think outside the box. He took us to new levels with the iPod, then the iPhone, and now most recently the iPad. Without these innovations our classrooms would look like they did 30 years ago. Without these our students would not be captivated and in awe when we as teachers showed them new things. Steve thank you for all you did, I hope that the company you founded will continue it’s success without you. We have truly lost one of the most important people of our time.

A little update

Whew, am I tired. This year has been a complete blur to me so far. We have implemented new evaluation standards in the state of Tennessee, and we are in our second year of Professional Learning Communities(PLC). It seems that my job will never slow down. I am writing this post because my blog has gotten cold as of the last few months, only because lack of down time for me to write. I will have to say I love our PLC meetings it gives me an opportunity to collaborate as teachers in our subject or related subjects. I think it is imperative that we as educators need to bounce ideas off each other to benefit our students.

One great thing our school is doing is the single lunch schedule, some schools might have had this in place for a long time but we have been at it our second year now. I really love it. To those of you who do not know how the single lunch schedule works it is like this. Our entire school population is let out for lunch at the same time. Yes, it can be chaotic but it is a controlled chaos. Our students go to eat but there is also a great opportunity for the students to get extra help, or if they need to make up a test or any assignment they have missed they can come to my classroom and get the help they need. I have had plenty of students to take advantage of the opportunity. This is a positive step that our school has taken toward intervention. This is also a great way for teachers to get to know their students on a more personal level, and as educators know if a students doesn’t care until they know you care.

Sorry for the absence.

Hey guys,

Sorry for such a long absence, at my school we have a new head principle (who is amazing by the way), new race to the top guidelines with new evaluations, and new PLC guidelines that we have all implemented this summer. So far this school year has been the best one I have ever experienced, but I am so busy. If any of you have anything that you might want me to review please send me a message.

I have been toying a little with podcast’s, and a Facebook page, and implemented teaching with my iPod touch. I will try and get more post’s up as the year goes on. Please continue to support this site by getting the word out. Thank you to all my readers you are very important to me.

TED

TED is a website that is full of videos with people discussing what they are passionate about. This could be great for a teacher to get inspiration on a subject or a great way for students to learn from the experts in a specific field. I encourage you as an educator to look at the videos they have to offer. This could also be a great way for you to use this as a professional development tool.One of my favorite videos is Emily Pilloton and her talk titled “Teaching design for change”. This is a wonderful presentation about her work in Bertie county North Carolina. Not only has Emily changed the schools in Bertie county but the entire community as well. Please take the time to look over TED and see how wonderful it really is. 

Teacher of the week!!!

Hey every one, I am excited to announce that my awesome students nominated me for teacher of the week through 105.3 WOW Country in McMinnville, TN.  Here are my winnings.
 

I am now in the running for teacher of the year where I could win a laptop.

Thank you Daniel Jenkins and my 4th period class!

Check out Kindle books? Yes!!

Today, in a press release Amazon stated they will now allow digital copies of books to be checked out and be read on the Kindle device. I think this could be crucial for all libraries especially the school library. Now the school librarians will not have to worry about losing a certain book or having it damaged. Also, if the book is in high demand there would be no limit to how many copies people could check out. This could be great for the next “Twilight” like books. On the return date the book would automatically be deleted from the device so you wouldn’t have to worry about taking a book back. Not only will you be able to check out the books for your kindle, you can also use it for you Kindle app for the iPad, iPod touch, or Android phone.
In the press release, Jay Marine said,   
We’re doing a little something extra here,” Marine continued. “Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.”



Paper books are now becoming a part of the past, and I am a firm believer that our school’s can benefit from this technology. The cost could be lower which could help out school budgets with cash strapped schools. I applaud you Amazon you are making headway toward the future of readingKindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 6