Sunday, September 15, 2013

Students! Assemble!

I am a superhero fan.  I love the comics, movies, action figures, costumes, and most important, I love the story behind the hero.  I like Ironman, but I am in awe of the brilliant Tony Stark.  He has an idea, and retreats to his lab to research and build with J.A.R.V.I.S. to create the next great technology masterpiece.  I like Batman, but my favorite scenes are when Bruce Wayne and Alfred or Lucius Fox are researching, brainstorming, discussing strategy, and testing the newest tech tool.  These men are mere mortals, but they don’t believe there is a limit to the possibilities. Awesome. I understand that Iron Man and Batman are fictional characters, but we all need a little superhero to push ourselves and believe that anything is possible, because it is.  This is a lesson I want to teach my students with the support of 1:1 Chromebooks.  In education, teaching and learning should lead to Common Core Standard assessment, but should start with student ideas and choice.  As learning missions take flight, we decide the best learning path together.  We research, we collaborate, we strategize, we create, just like Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne. Once the mission is complete, we celebrate our success.  Finally, we reflect and set goals for our next mission, just like other superheroes do. I feel honored to lead my superheroes on their daily missions.  We are fortunate at Merton to have Chromebooks, Smartboards, document cameras and iTouches to enhance our learning experience. I just remind them that it is the operator with the brilliant mind and thoughtful heart who is the superhero, not the device.

Thank you to my fellow tech geeks @chris_reuter, @chadkafka, @dkapuler, and @MisterMinor for sharing resources and my passion for superheroes. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Chromebooks Have Landed

What a wonderful Friday in Merton, WI.  At 10:12 A.M., the Chromebooks landed in Room 121.  My class used Chrome and Google Apps on netbooks last year as 5th Graders, but Chromebooks are a right of passage in 6th Grade at Merton.  My students immediately became one with their Chromebook.  It was a beautiful thing. Once they discovered a few things, they started to share their gems with classmates. After a few minutes, they went to their Google Drive and started their writing activity in Google Docs.  I was pleased that they remembered our discussions from last year, and why we have 1:1 access in our classroom.  We focus on learning outcomes.  Our tasks have purpose and tie closely to our learning targets.  Luckily there is always room for the 4C’s and fun in the process.  The graphic by Bill Ferriter can help educators take the focus off the shiny tools, and put them back on the learning outcomes. The tools will follow, and so will the students.  
One of the ways we start conversations and find answers is by connecting with classmates, PLN's and global communities via Kidblog. My students will be posting their first reflection next week. Please visit and comment often. Our connection to a greater audience and your comments motivates my students to write more than ever. We are always looking for other classrooms willing to connect and create together. Mrs. Reuter's Class Blog

We ended our day celebrating our week of learning and our Chromebooks. We discussed how we will model digital citizenship as we explore our Chromebooks over the weekend. What a great week! I’m so proud of my students.