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By Instructional Technology on 1/28/2010 1:28 PM

I was just looking in our aggregator (web tool that pulls together LPS teacher sites, including blogs and wiki’s) and saw this page:  https://lenskib5.wikispaces.com/message/list/Read+Alouds .  I find this fascinating on a couple of levels.  First off, 716 comments is incredible.  That in and of itself is commendable—that’s a lot of thinking, reflection, and metacognition.  Then I noticed the views—I’m not a great mathematician, but there seems to be a 1:5 ratio from posts to views.  That means kids’ work and thoughts are being reviewed at a tremendous rate.  For example, I noticed that the instructor has posted some prediction prompts from a text.  Not only are kids predicting future events, but they’re seeing each other’s predictions.  Now I suspect that they’re reading not only to find out about their own predictions, but to see if their peers’ predictions will come true.  That has to be a classroom of engaged readers. 

By Instructional Technology on 1/21/2010 9:03 AM

Last week Dan Maas and myself had the pleasure of working with the LPS K-12 Leadership team, which consists of building principals and district administrators. Their task was to revisit the TPaCK model and then evaluate the four following scenarios through that lens. Using sticky dots, they were to place the classroom described in the appropriate domain. Our team only had 30 minutes to run the exercise, which unfortunately cut down on our opportunity to debrief and  subsequent whole group discussion.  Still, we were told by many that this was a valuable framework through which to consider technology integration in their buildings. As you may know, LPS has a district-wide initiative, Inspired Writing, at each building that is connecting netbook technology with process writing in Language Arts classrooms. Our results so far have been impressive, and we’re looking to extend that demonstrated effect. 

By Dan Maas on 1/19/2010
Dr. Mark Warschauer is a professor at the University of California, Irvine, and author of a number of books about the use of laptops in classrooms.  He visited Littleton this month as part of some research.  He was interested in visting some of our schools because we have over 3,400 netbooks in use today! 

Dr. Warschauer first visited East Elementary to observe the 4th and 5th grades and then he went on to Hopkins Elementary where he visited the 5th grades.  All are 1:1 netbook equipped classrooms.  He has promised to write us with what he thinks of our work. 

But the story in LPS can't be told just by visiting two schools.  We have netbooks in use for writing at every school in LPS.  So I think Dr. Warschauer would enjoy hearing from students about your views on the Inspired Writing project in your school.

Students, please share your thoughts on this question from Dr. Warschauer:...
By Dan Maas on 1/15/2010
So, as a former science teacher, I always crindge when a software vendor shows me some great way for kids to learn the Periodic Table of the Elements.  I never made kids memorize the table but rather always felt that the kids needed to understand how the table worked and could use it effectively.  What do the symbols mean?  What information does it convey?  Why is it arrayed the way it is?  What can you tell about the properties of an element based on its placement?  Software that helps kids memorize stuff is always low on my list.

So when Randy Stall first remarked to me that Mr. Genson's 8th grade science class at Powell Middle School had created a wiki for the Periodic Table, I have to admit I crindged.  Flashes of reciting the properties of Oxygen appeared in my mind as I tried to guess how a wiki had been used to advance "knowledge-level" work.  But, I put my instincts aside...
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