The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent Cypress-Fairbanks school district.







Monday, August 16, 2010

Animoto Video Introductions

Free for Educators! Simply fill out the form here and enter your school website and you get a confirmation code to use this site for FREE (it may take a few days to get your code, so do it NOW in time for Day 1 of school!). It's the best ever--easy as heck to use, and best of all, YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MUSIC! Animoto has an extensive list of music that have been pre-copyright-approved so you don't have to hassle with finding royalty free, licensed for reuse, music files. Of course, you should use either your own images or images licensed for reuse. Try Flickr (you can search by "creative commons license" in the advanced search option).
I have attached a video I created in a little over an hour and most of if was because I got picky about pictures. I can't help it! Anyway, it would be a great idea to use one of these to introduce yourself to your students instead of A)not introducing yourself at all or B) just talking about yourself. They'll respect you more if you use their media--a music video! The style and transitions are all done by Animoto; you just upload pictures and/or video and pick what music you want. Voila! Enjoy!


Here's the link from Animoto's website. Mrs. Julizza Holub

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Facebook Interview with Amanda Tanton

Have you been wondering how a subject-specific Facebook page experience might be?
Amanda Tanton is the Geometry team leader at Cy Falls High school. The team had mixed feelings about the launch of the page and were uncertain about some of the details. The fact is, if you're living this way already, you'll have no problem! If you haven't done this before, watch this video to clear some of those nagging inhibitions then team with someone to help you start one. Have a great time!



You may share this blog or you can share just the video with this link.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Twitter for the classroom

Part of the question from many has been, "What's the use of Twitter? Why do I care what's going on every single minute of your life?"

Professionals and educators alike have ways of making every trending tool into something extremely useful. Twitter has essentially created an education highway. Twitter users are tweeting articles, news, tutorials, resources, and ideas amongst a host of other useful information. Tweets have evolved from, "Sitting outside taking in the sun" to "Perseid Meteor Shower lights up August skies later this week. Ask your Q's about meteors from our expert, Thurs 3pm ET http://bit.ly/9GADUJ" (Tweet from NASA today).

If you really want Twitter to work, pick people you want to learn from to follow (and of course some fun stuff along the way). If you know and respect someone and follow them on Twitter, the chances are that they follow someone they respect as well. Do some research. See who they follow. Within an hour or two you can be following the top experts in any field of expertise. Why are you NOT on Twitter? You can be learning the same information as your mentors at the exact same time. How amazing is that? When in history was information available like this to everyone at once in 140 characters or less? Take advantage.

Educators and classrooms are taking polls, creating searches, and voicing their opinions. You want to create some self-motivated learners? Have you not been looking for a way for your students to learn without you there? Does it really only have to be about your subject? Do you want them to get excited about learning? Let them use their cell phones...it's technology (surprise)! Shed some light on this tool called Twitter that your students have already been using and coach them on how to make it useful. Teach them.

As a teacher, I know I have said of myself, "I am a life-long learner." Now I say, "I am a life-long learner all day long." Can we help our students learn how to do the same?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Facebook Survey Information

This survey was conducted at the end of the school year last year and our Facebook page launch occurred at the end of February. I've shared these results with training groups, but here they are again for your reference. 159 students across all levels (Algebra I through Algebra 2 Honors) took the survey.

Does the Facebook page get you talking more about math?
34.6% said Yes

Did becoming a fan encourage you to spend more time thinking about math now than you did before?
40.9% said Yes

Have you gotten homework help on Facebook (from the teacher or another student)?
68.8% said Yes

Have you forgotten about homework or a test and were reminded by Facebook?
53.9% said Yes

Do you feel more freedom to ask math questions because of the Facebook page?
35.1% said Yes

Do you feel more incentive to do better in this class more than your other classes that are not on Facebook?

44.8% said Yes

Would you like your other classes to get Facebook pages?
92.7% said Yes

I believe that any positive response is a win for educators. We are here to reach them and Facebook provides a way! This is their space, and they don't seem to mind that we're in it, in fact, they want us there. I am glad to see that even with the limited amount of time we had to experiment, the students still felt it was a good thing--I am looking forward to what transformations will happen in the classrooms that are beginning to make pages this year! Good luck and way to go!

Facebook Quotes from Cy Falls Students

Thank you, Kara, for compiling these! Here are some of the responses from our survey this last school year.

Questions asked in the survey:
Do you have any thoughts and ideas on how using Facebook or other sites can further your education?
Do you think using Facebook can help you learn math?

***** Why Facebook? *****

“I’m always on Facebook or the computer in general and I think having this easy access helps with the hint and various things they post on Facebook.”

“You can easily interact with your peers on a network that you spend so much of your time on but instead of gossiping, you will be learning.”

“It gives me quick, easy, and resourceful information.”

“People are on Facebook 24/7. Putting a math page on there give people an easier route to access math help.”

“Yeah, I think maybe we can have sort of “tutorial” sites/powerpoints on Facebook. Like there’s School Wires, but I never get on that. I always get on Facebook. So it’d be easier for me to access everything through Facebook rather than School Wires.


***** Facebook Supports Classroom Instruction *****

“Teachers can put extra information that they didn’t have time to say in class on Facebook and help the students.”

“Provide links for homework and online reviews.”

“They should post other links to helpful sites.”

“By reminding of homework or assignments.”

“More homework reminders and other helpful resources could be posted. If the Fan Page showed up on my Live Feed for Facebook more often, I might go to it more often.”

“Reminders help students to do homework and study for assignments they may have forgotten about. Also, group discussions can help work though difficult problems.”

“Giving help on homework and reminding us about tests and quizzes.”

“Send reminders for the test and put some fun math games links.”

“They could post more links on homework help.”

“Posting homework for each day.”

“Links to videos of online lessons, a posted calendar, and reminders for tests or any other assignment.”

“Once the page gets established, I think it would be a great place to get homework help and to post more challenging problems and maybe even an archive of all the past homework worksheets to student for a quiz or test.”

“Extra math homework/quiz explanations, along with math-related jokes and riddles.”


***** Students get Extra Help on Facebook *****

“Students that have an aptitude for the class that you have difficulty in can help you on homework or re-explain math principles.”

“It helps with discussion.”

“Get help from other peers and teachers.”

“People can help me with my problems.”

“You can ask questions to friends.”

“You have any questions you didn’t ask in class you can ask them on the page now.”

“Homework help.”

“Getting help and asking questions.”

“Some people aren’t bold enough to express their questions and it’ll probably help those out there not outgoing enough to fully absorb the lessons in math.”


***** A few Benefits from using Facebook *****

“It helps me become more involved.”

“Using Facebook or other sites could further my education because it adds interest to the subject.”

“They can further enhance the learning ability since it is extra practice for the class.”

“Coming up or looking for Geometry math games. That relates to our current unit. So that we are able to learn, have fun, and help you get ready for test and quizzes.”

“Facebook for me, has always been a reminder and/or help in the lessons we have been learning. Always receiving knowledge was my initial use for this side, yet now that this page was made, I have been urged to progress in my learning of math, spending more time in study. I have changed for the better, not retrogressing back to the receiving end, yet I am giving help and tips to others in need. Now if I can only say the same about my other classes lol.”

“Keep going. Its important that you extend any forms of education on social networks.”

“Facebook can make math interesting, and also arouse the curiosity in kids, which would hopefully inspire them to, on their own time, go deeper into the world of math and learn more for themselves.”


***** Ideas from Students on how to extend learning with Facebook *****

“Maybe some networking groups that put together interactive videos to help people.”

“Some ideas that might enhance the students’ mind into engaging in one’s school subjects will be providing the daily lesson. For example, for Geometry, someone can do a couple of sample problems, and step by step re-teach to those that don’t understand the subject.”

“Post daily review questions with the answer posted on the following day, along with how the problem was solved.”

“I think some parts of the lessons should be on the discussion pages and make it easier for us to study and interact with the teacher who can help us at home.”

“Post the lesson on Facebook so that a student can study or look over them if he did not understand the lesson that day.”

“Notes posted up on the Fan Page would be helpful, and the actual work to get the answers.”

Sociable