Kathy Muma, Mill Springs Academy

Session 1: Engaging Our Youngest Minds
Kicking It Up a Notch, December 16, 2009
URL: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=572

Angela Maiers discusses how it is important to find out what the student is passionate about and use this to encourage learning. Students have been losing passion in the current educational setting, but by integrating technology teachers can encourage their students' inborn sense of wonder and hold their interest. Teachers should be aware of what a specific student engages in and help him/her explore that interest by using Web 2.0 tools.

My biggest question is how a teacher in a large classroom can focus on a specific student's interest? What about the quiet student who does not express interest openly? How can the teacher measure a child's interest initially in a large group?

Professionally, I could see this introduced easily at our school. With small classes it is very apparent what an individual student's interests are and our laptop program encourages the use of internet tools. Most students with ADHD are extremely creative and talented in the arts and using Web 2.0 tools is a way to actively engage them and keep them from being distracted. Younger students could use cartoons to illustrate what they have learned while older students could design animated videos based on specific interests. Students could form groups based on common interests and produce a group project using Web 2.0 tools.

Session 2: Using Computer Games as a Context for Learning and Social Interaction
Leading the Change, December 17, 2009
Url: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=531

In this session Ollie Bray describes the implementation of a project in his school community in Scotland that uses the commercial computer game Guitar Hero. The purpose of the project was to explore the use of commercial computer games as a way to bridge the transition from elementary school to high school by socially engaging students from both levels with an activity that would maintain a high interest among students. The emphasis was on blending traditional play with 21st century play to engage the students and make learning interesting. The name of the project was Thinking Outside of the XBox and it was implemented in three stages.


The main question that I have about this session is what would be the best way to present the idea of using commercial video games in instruction to school leaders. Who would decide which games are appropriate for all ages? How do the school leaders set up meetings with teachers to plan and implement this idea?

Professionally, this session gave me good resources for the teachers at our school. The idea of using video games in the classroom is one that the students at my school would love because our population is largely ADHD and this approach would maintain their attention. I would like to discuss the possibility of school administrators supporting the acquisition of Xboxes for the 7th through 12 grades. I think it would help transition our 8th graders into our high school program by engaging them in activities with the high school teachers and students. Having a parental showcase would allow the parents of the 7th and 8th graders to meet the high school teachers. Art, music, and drama classes can combine separate activities based on the theme of the game and have a theatrical production. Our technology department can work on helping the students use the computer tools to display their learning.

Session 3: Googlios: A 21st Century Approach to Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
Kicking It Up a Notch, December 18, 2009
URL: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=478

In this session Alex Ambrose exhibited the Google home page and the free google tools offered. He discussed the three steps to creating a personal Google website: choose a name for your site and pick an address; choose a theme and pick a template; and pick a category and give it a quick description. These websites, Googlios, can be used as communication tools, production tools, and publication tools. He pointed out how websites created by both teachers and students can help gear instruction to the current students who speak DSL and are digital natives.

My main question is how to use Googlios as an ongoing assessment of a student's learning and understanding. This would be much fairer than the standardized testing that schools have been using which promotes teaching to the test. How would this be implemented? Who would evaluate the Googlios?

Professionally this session gave me motivation to implement Googlios with our Upper School students as they move through the college decision process. The students could begin in the ninth grade by taking interest assessments and their results can be published on their Googlio. As they proceed through the grades, the students could save websites of colleges that interest them and make notes of the pros and cons of each school. They could keep their College Board website and ACT website on their Googlio for easy reference.


Session 4: Embracing Web 2.0 for the Administrator
Getting Started, December 10, 2009
URL: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=455

Bill Carozza encourages administrators to explore Web 2.0 and pick one tool to embrace. Web 1.0 consisted of static web pages, search engines, and surfing the web. Web 2.0 has expanded the focus on ideas and creativity, including such tools as web applications, Facebook, blogs, Twitter, wikis, and Skyke conferencing. The 2.0 categories are: aggregators, blogging, online applications, photo sharing, podcasting, and social networking. The following are Carozza's recommendations of tools for the educator to choose from:

1. Google Reader (www.google.com/reader)
2. Bloglines (www.bloglines.com)
3. Collaborative Writing with wikis and google docs
4. Photo Sharing such as Flickr
5. Podcasting (garageband/audacity)
6. Social Networking such as Twitter
7. Video Sharing

The main question I have is which tool would be the most useful for the teachers at our school.

The use of wiki accounts could easily be implemented school wide by having every teacher and student create wikis. Students could include their unique presentation by choosing various tools to represent their learning. In Art they could use photo sharing to exhibit their art work. In English, they could create a blog reflecting their opinion of a reading assignment. Video Sharing would be useful in science lab classes as well as in theather and music classes.


Session 5: Using VideoAnt Annotations to Provide "Audience-Based" Assessment to Students' Video Productions.
Kicking It Up a Notch, December 17, 2009
URL: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=445

Richard Beach presents the use of VideoAnt to critique certain aspects of a student made video. With VideoAnt a teacher can leave annotated messages in a column to the right of the video which correlate to markers on the video time line. Everything is saved automatically and sent to the teachers inbox in both a view and an edit format. With the edit format others can make changes to the original annotations and markers. The view format is strictly for others to view, but it cannot be changed. In schools both teachers and peers may add feedback using the edit format of VideoAnt.

Using VideoAnt

Session 6: Probing the Prospects of Paperless Pedagogy
Leading the Change, December 11, 2009
URL: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=438

Session 7: Options for Building Your Teacher Website and Why You Should
Getting Started, December 9, 2009
URL: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=479

Session 8: Parental Engagement in the 21st Century - Leveraging Web 2.0 Tools to Engage Parents in Non-Traditional Ways
Kicking It Up a Notch, October 31, 2008
URL: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=340


My question is how does our school find the time to provide resources and training for parents and teachers?

Professionally, it would help to be able to show prospective families that the school has ways to keep them digitally connected with what is going on in the school community. Parent events, field trips, and major announcements could be posted on the web as a resource for parents.

Session 9: Going Global: Culture Shock, Convergence, and the Future of Education
Keynote, November 30, 2009
URL: http://k12onlineconference.org/?cat=97

Session 10: Teaching Web 2.0 - Everything You Need in One Place
Leading the Change, October 30, 2008
URL: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=349