I was recently introduced to the joys of Poll Everywhere. It was used in a presentation by Matt Brash, a technology consultant from the Ottawa Catholic Schools as a tool to engage learners in any setting. Naturally, as I started to investigate, I got more excited about the possibilities.
Essentially, it enables the user to solicit information from a crowd without specialized tools or counting hands for “yays”/”nays.” Audience members can text their ideas to a free number or use the online platform to fill out forms online.
Once you set up your polls (and you can do this anonymously & without signing up) you can present them on a projected screen (or not!). If you’re using Powerpoint for your presentation, PollEverywhere will even provide downloadable slides of each question or “Poll.”
I can’t get enough of this fantastic podcast. When I first started listening, my knowledge of economics was shakey at best. After listening for 4 years, I can understand conversations about quantitative easing, discuss the global impact of cotton subsidies and can identify the “new” ways to hit the top of the pop music charts. The bite-size 20 minute segments twice a week make listening manageable.
This year I asked my grade 12 Challenge and Change students to use analyze an episode and apply a socio-/psycho-/anthro- logical lens. They ate it up like candy. Many have become obsessive listeners. (assignment here: Plant Money podcast analysis.)
This show from NPR is representative of all that is good in public radio. Clever reporting, heartbreaking and heartwarming storytelling and the delightful charm of Ira Glass makes this the best hour on radio ever week. Don’t let the name of this show turn you off, Canadians. These stories are stories of humanity, not just Americans.
bonus: sometimes they have David Sedaris read his stories. *squee!*
The Story Globe is an awesome resource for a geographer like myself. I use it for my Challenge and Change class.
Here are two of my favourite episodes.
#1: Nummi (Episode 403) – if someone had said, “Here’s a really great podcast about a car manufacturing plant, it’s awesome!” I would have laughed in their face. I believe I did (sorry, @gduncanclark). This episode is a testament to the outstanding journalism and storytelling I’ve come to know and love with This American Life. It is a fascinating (and awesome) episode.
I can’t say enough about my favourite website, Sociological Images. This site is curated by Lisa Wade, a professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Numerous other academics contribute to the ever-growing bank of social scientific reflections on the world around us.
I didn’t know I like astronomy. I have @Failedprotostar to remind me daily that space is cool.
Love Ottawa? Love Local History? Love Art? Love local Ottawa artist and amateur historian, Andrew King.
Russell Tarr @russelltarr – This British Ex-Pat in Toulouse, France exemplifies the marriage of History and Technology in the classroom. He loves “sharing creative ideas on Twitter & offending Mr. Gove [British British Conservative Party politician, the Secretary of State for Education].” He can also be found on Tweets as @activehistory and @classtools.
Megan Valois, @msvalois, is a local Ottawa teacher extraordinaire. She considers herself a “21st century teacher/learner.” Check out her Twitter feed or her website at meganvalois.com for great ideas for History and English as well as differentiated instruction, assessment for learning & #edtech!
The Good Doctors:
I’m pretty lucky to know some very intelligent people who have the degrees (and peer reviewed journals) to prove it! Beyond their talents in their respective fields, these Drs are also fascinating and humourous folk. Check out @thejennye (Canadian History, Women and Sport), @postWarHist (Canadian Cold War Military History) and @mittenstrings (Canadian Literature) for musings and links to amazing places and discussion about historical and contemporary issues.
The program allows people to log on anonymously or through an account. The Wall-owner can include images on the wall – perhaps an opportunity to annotate? You can also print out the contents of the wall for sharing in hard copy.
You can also add images from your computer or using a laptop camera.
Ways you could use this in your classroom
1) Collect information during student inquiry
2) use “layout modification” to force entries to be ranked in order of posting, and use as a debate
3) use as a Graffiti wall or as part of a jigsaw activity
4) Share links and ideas on a topic
5) Ask students to contribute personal connections to a historical theme – example: How is your life at home different in 2013 than when you were 5 years old?
A colleague introduced me to a neat tool called Today’s Meet. It allows students to ask questions, make comments and get clarification from a presentation. The beauty of the site? It doesn’t require someone to log into the site and the shared link is memorable. The wall owner can set the duration of time the link is “live” to prevent access to the wall after an activity.
Students can debate with each other using this venue and thus becomes an alternative to Twitter.
The transcript option allows the presenter to save the Room after a discussion. It saves in chronological order and there’s an easy copy & paste function.
One of my student teachers* introduced me to Taylor Mali. I find myself returning to his work again and again, both for content and for writing inspiration. His works of slam poetry are insightful and humourous.
How do we change the style of speech that has pervaded our culture?