Saturday, June 23, 2012

Free Ed Icons

Pick up your set of free educational icons over at Smashing Magazine. After downloading the free zip file, I went ahead and added the icons to our school communication system. These will look great and help draw attention to various news articles on the home page!

Show Me How

Illustrated instructions are the coolest. I recently stumbled across Howtoons, a website full of comic style project instructions. Not only are there great graphics, but each one is downloadable as a pdf.
I could see these as great supplemental projects for middle school students. Both for the advanced student who needs something extra to do and as an additional way to engage the slower learner who has trouble responding to a traditional textbook. Because the illustrations are not step by step instructions, students will need to interpret and evaluate. They freely allow for an experimentation mindset. 
They could also make great handouts or take home pages for elementary students. In fact, I will probably try a few out this summer with just my kids!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Blade Runner

What would happen if I sent helicopter robots out with the cross country team?

Read more about Joggobot.

Class of 2012 History In Rap

What events shaped the lives of this year's grads? Flocabulary revisits some of the major events through rap. This would be a great idea for a yearbook staff to compile.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A New Look

During the last couple days of school, I decided to rearrange the computer (again). Basically the rectangular room went from a long room to a wide room by moving my desk from the short end to the middle of the long side.
To prevent students from feeling alienated across the wider expanse, I grouped the computer tables to the left side. The right side is designed for group meetings with a projector connection for student laptops, whiteboards and cabinets.
Of course any physical redesign must be tied to the way the class works or else it's doomed to fail. With the addition of a group meeting space I plan to make more use of cloud collaboration. More of class time would focus on the organization and decision making with personal time being dedicated to carrying out those plans. I also plan to use the space for student presentations.
Essentially, every business uses the concept of a board room, staff meetings, and planning sessions. I want to incorporate those processes into the business classes.