Posts Tagged ‘KET’

ISTE Review

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

We sent our young man off to school this morning. For the first time, he was quite excited to get back into the routine. I think the summer was a little too long, if that is possible. He was ready to see his friends. Hope all of you had a fun and productive summer. We had a lot going on the past three months, so there wasn’t much down time.

One highlight of the summer (besides the gardening project, MultiMedia PD event, and all the fun workshops in schools) for me was that I finally made it to ISTE! San Diego was lovely, too. While the temps were in the 100′s here in Kentucky, it was a pleasant 65-75 degrees there. I came home to the shocking, oppressive heat.

It was the largest and most fantastic conference I have ever experienced – a little overwhelming at times, but I sure learned a lot. Here are some of the tricks and tools I learned about (many of you may already know about these, but they were new to me).

Want a more secure passcode setting on your iPad? You can create an extended passcode. The default simple passcode has four digits, but you can choose many more digits and they don’t have to be just numeric. Here’s how:

SETTINGS>GENERAL>PASSCODE LOCK>SIMPLE PASSCODE (turn off – if you already have a passcode, you will need to enter it in order to get in to change it). Then you will be able to enter your new passcode and have access to all keyboard characters.

Also, the volume switch can take a picture so that you can have more stability. Don’t forget the grid option as you compose your shot.

Cool Free/Affordable Apps/Sites:

  • zite: customizable content by topic. It creates your own personal “magazine.” One stop for all the articles you like and suggestions based on your interests. Kinda like Netflix is with recommending videos based on what you watch. FREE
  • flipboard: a personalized magazine of all things shared with you (facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, youtube, etc.) FREE
  • notability: great for storyboarding, has audio capability – said to be the best notebook app out there. You can handwrite notes, annotate pdf’s, sync with your dropbox, advanced word processing, audio recording, media insertion, library organization.
  • paperport: a lot like notability, but limited in options. Still very good, audio, shareable files, freehand note-taking, etc. FREE
  • FotoPlanet: tons of creative commons photos
  • iAmJazz for iPad: direct a jazz band. FREE
  • appshopper.com and the App Shopper app: see a list of freebies, organize your apps wish list, get updates when they go on sale, keep track of apps you own with push notification to automatically sends updates to your device. Track price drops. Display the current top 200 apps. Sync app with website. FREE
  • Team Shake: puts a group of people into teams for sports or any other reason. It’s random, so there are no questions of favoritism.
  • Group Games: provides team building, ice breakers, and other game ideas. There is also a Group Games Guide for Facilitators and Teachers that’s more directed toward P.E., drama, outdoor games.
  • Formative Feedback for Learning: allows for collaboration between teachers and students (or other groups) in conference setting. Uses camera to play back video that can be marked up by students for feedback.
  • Apps Gone Free: a website that lists the best free apps of the day. It’s based on Pacific time, so one has to be aware of that. It’s recommended that you check the price in the app store before installing the free app because vendors’ prices can change at any time.
  • Garage Band: a portable podcast studio and don’t forget about the different amps you have to choose from.
  • TodaysMeet: allows for comments and follow up information after a workshop is conducted. There is an option as to how long (up to one year) you want to keep the “room” active. FREE
  • Idea Sketch: mind map, diagram, flow chart, etc. for storyboarding. FREE
  • Yogile:   free acct for sharing photo albums via email – keeps up to 30 days and is password protected
  • Comic Life: sketch storyboard with images  to make a comic strip
  • Fotobabble: iPod touch or iPhone only – instantly share narrated slideshow with others, includes photo editing capabilities and filters.
  • SonicPics: for Narrated Slideshow – snap photos, narrate, and share

 

Other Awesome Organizations and Resources:

Taking It Global is a non-profit organization cased in Toronto and Ontario that provides an online social networking community that deals with global environmental issues and gives youth a voice in how to make a change for their futures. They claim that this social network came out prior to myspace and facebook. It’s really a very cool organization and the resources are free for all.

  • The education component supplies  a virtual learning platform, PD, global learning programs, and database of curriculum-linked resources for all content areas and levels to teachers.
  • More components include live international events where students are taking action to save the forests in various locations around the world. The current focus is Borneo. http://treadlightly.tigweb.org/ and  http://dfa.tigweb.org/
  • They also have an app: http://www.commit2act.org activation code: INSPIRE

Special Event on Sept. 22, 2012:  International observance of the moon. Sounds pretty cool.

“Look! I’m Learning!” A Story of Digital Learning Success is a full length film about a new revolution led by kids that tells a much larger story inside the experiences of early elementary teachers that go ‘one-to-one’ using mobile learning devices with their students, forever transforming teaching and learning in their hometowns.” Screenings are available in Oct. The film will be available on youtube in November. Saw the trailer at the conference but you can take a look at the site, too.

If any of schools are looking for ways to get extra funding, FundingFactory seems to be a good place look. It’s green fundraising. No one has to sell anything, schools just collect and ship unwanted inkjet/laser cartridges, small electronics, and cell phones to FundingFactory to earn points that can be redeemed for technology, equipment, or cash.

TeachersFirst is a free repository of resources.

The Science Bank is a free library of humane science products (realistic modules, DVD’s, CD-ROMS, mannikans in multiple quantities) that are available for loan in the science classroom.

This was the line for the PBS booth, which is in the left of the photo.

Also, wanted to give you some PBS updates:

  • NewsHour: Student Reporting Labs connect “6-12 after school programs to local PBS stations/journalists to produce unique, youth-perspective news reports on national issues.”
  • Women and Girls Lead is an interesting resource about issues women and girls face.
  • Recommended films for the classroom (part of Community Classroom): Wham! Bam! Islam! and FUTURESTATES (short films and gr. 9-12 lesson plans)

Again, check out this crazy line of people waiting to get in on the PBS goods. I believe there were well over 100 people in line. The booth was basically a block and folks were lined up two aisles away! Go PBS! It was great to see and talk with these folks that I have emailed or spoken with in teleconferences.

KET Updates:

We have quite a few new resources and announcements coming soon. There have been a lot of interesting and fabulous developments over the summer. You will be hearing more about:

  • Formative Assessment PD
  • Think Garden
  • The Social Studies Arts Toolkit
  • PBS LearningMedia
  • New KET Virtual Physics Labs
  • New Distance Learning Courses
  • and much more!

Have a terrific start to the new school year, and, as always, we look forward to working with you.

An Invitation from Congressman Yarmuth

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Congressman Yarmuth is a huge supporter of keeping the arts in the classroom. He is working to insure that we have the funding and content that we need to continue providing students with this valuable experience that can last a lifetime. Here is a video of Congressman Yarmuth speaking on the House floor about the importance of support for the arts in education and communities.

Research as shown that students of all ages (esp. from birth) exposed to all disciplines of the arts have a greater success rate in school, careers, and lifelong learning than those who are not. We must keep the arts in the classroom. There are many creative and valuable ways to teach art across the curriculum. Students discover the human condition in all content areas when the arts are incorporated into lessons. It is apparent in our daily lives that we relate to and retain concepts that tap into our personal experiences and emotions. Art does that for us. But I know that schools are strapped for cash. I understand that teaching with the arts can result in the need for more funding.

With all of this in mind, I want to share with you an opportunity that I don’t think you will want to miss. Congressman Yarmuth is inviting you to take part in some opportunities that can empower your continued focus on the arts in your classroom. School arts educators, arts organizations, museums, libraries and other organizations with research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities are all encouraged to attend these details “>exciting workshops.

Session 1: Funding Opportunities in the Arts and Humanities

[August 24, 2011, 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM at the Louisville Science Center]

This session is intended for grant writers, development directors and those responsible for securing funding for arts and humanities programming within your organization. You will learn about federal grant opportunities in the arts and humanities from representatives of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and Institute for Museum and Library Services as well as state opportunities from representatives of the Kentucky Arts and Humanities Councils.

Session 2: Arts and Humanities in Education

[August 24, 2011, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM at the Louisville Science Center]

This session is intended for school educators, teaching artists and those responsible for arts and humanities programming within your organization. You will learn about opportunities for educators to enhance the study of the arts and humanities in the classroom from representatives of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Kentucky Arts and Humanities Councils, Kentucky Educational Television and the Fund for the Arts.

Register by CLICKING HERE.

A perfect example of teaching core areas with the arts is in the new KET resource, A State Divided: Exploring the Civil War in Kentucky Through Images. This free, online, educational resource “includes 15 images related to the Civil War in Kentucky, ranging from medals and photographs to portraits and weapons. This sampler was produced as a partnership of the Kentucky Historical Society and KET. The goal is provide images of artworks, artifacts, photographs, and source documents that can be used to teach social studies and arts and humanities.” There will be more added to this collection in 2012.

 

In other arts news, The KET Social Studies Arts Toolkit is now being tested by teachers around the state, but we will be adding collections from this prototype to KET Teachers’ Domain.  The first collection, Arts in Renaissance, has recently been added.

You really should also check out Reel Visions, a KET series that “highlights the efforts of talented filmmakers living and working in the Commonwealth, providing Kentucky filmmakers a broadcasting outlet for their work. Each season features a variety of experimental, documentary, and narrative films ranging in length from one minute to twenty-five minutes.” It’s yet another way to inspire and tap into the creativity of your students by allowing them to expand their learning using their own personal perspectives and experiences.

Of course, KET has an abundance of arts programming and resources for everyone, whether you are a teacher, a student, a parent, an art lover, or a curious member of your community.

Happy new school year! Let us know if you have any questions, suggestions, need resources, or would like a visit from your KET Education Consultant.

The Colors of Our Lives

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

I am blessed. I have several artists in my life. The walls in my home are adorned with an eclectic mix of visual art that has been given to me over the years by my friends and family. The iPod connected to our surround sound stereo is playing beautiful, experimental, and profound music most of the time. We read often. We write often. Together, we enjoy theatre and dance. Our son has various musical instruments strung throughout the house. He recently saved his money to put an electric guitar on layaway at our local music store. If you come to visit, a musical instrument is not far from reach.

"The Rift" by Monica Taylor

I have no idea where I would be if I wasn’t surrounded by art. I certainly doubt that my life would be as rich, colorful, or adventurous without it. All disciplines of the arts mark our time in history. We can better understand the past by studying the art forms of the times while embracing the human condition that is driven by emotion. Today’s art is no different. Today’s artists can’t be forgotten.

Research has shown that implementing the arts in education across the curriculum improves student performance in school, including retention rates and increased test scores. I see on a daily basis how important the arts are to lifelong success. Creativity is everywhere. I don’t know of anyone who has succeeded without it, and learning how to channel that creativity is empowering. Exercising artistic talent expands the mind. It also allows a different and effective approach to teaching and learning. For some students, it is the highlight of their school career. For others, it’s the beginning of a new life. Tomorrow’s artists cannot be stifled.

Late last week, I received a call from my good friend and favorite artist. She is a high school art teacher in Indiana who was teaching in the perfect creative environment. The school had a team of art teachers that offered classes in photography, pottery, 3-D art, drawing, painting, music, dance, drama, and others that I can’t remember right now. Last week, she and other art teachers received a pink slip by mail due to the declining focus of arts in the classroom. To me, it is heartbreaking. As an extremely talented artist and teacher, she will find a new venue to grow her gift (hopefully, that will happen in another classroom). Her students, however, are the true victims of this decision made by school officials. They have produced some incredible art. Some of which is included in my own collection. The students participate in the Empty Bowls project to end hunger. How rich is that?

My niece and nephew’s school tossed out the arts when they learned it was no longer being tested in the Interim Reform period. The kids are so sad. They really enjoyed and looked forward to art class. Both are very creative and talented in visual art. They will be fine, though, because they have a family that supports the arts and caters to their talents. This is not always the case.

We are fortunate that our son’s district has not removed the arts from the curriculum. I am happy to learn that Kentucky’s new core standards will eventually bring back the arts. Anyone who has studied teaching and learning must know that the creative exercises in the brain are what keep it active. Stifling that breeds failure on so many levels.

Though the tone of this post is a little blue, I have a strong hope that the arts will once again be a strong component in our education standards. I am so proud that KET has dedicated hours and hours to the arts. Our teams have produced many brilliant arts resources for teachers, students, and individuals. The KET Arts Toolkits are being aligned to the social studies standards. Learning history with art? What a great idea! Take a peek when you have a while. You will definitely want to linger in the fascinating world of art.


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