Changing Our Vocabulary as Technology Integration Coaches

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Changing Our Vocabulary as Technology Integration Coaches

This Tuesday afternoon, from 1-3 pm, I’ll be sharing a poster session at the ISTE Conference in San Antonio on the topic, “Changing Our Vocabulary as Technology Integration Coaches.” The basic idea is that non-techy terms are important when we want to win the hearts and minds of parents as well as other teachers in our rapidly changing digital information landscape. It’s easy to intimidate or confuse someone with acronyms, when it comes to educational technology or almost any other field. If we can avoid jargon when we talk about media products students can produce to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of concepts, it can help others open their minds to new possibilities instead of being closed off.

Here is the image I’m using for my actual poster in the session. It’s also available as a PDF file. Feel free to use and share this if it’s helpful to you – The hand drawn graphics are part of the “Mapping Media to the Common Core” website and framework.

Changing Our Vocabulary for Technology Integration

These are the paragraphs I’m including in my forthcoming eBook, “Mapping Media to the Common Core: Volume I” on this subject:

Acronyms and jargon can easily confuse and turn-off someone with whom you’re having a conversation. The names of the media products in Mapping Media to the Common Core were deliberately selected to avoid confusion and the “intimidation factor” which can set in when people start using “techy terms.” Instead of using the world “blog,” talk with other teachers about “interactive writing.” Instead of talking about making a podcast, talk about creating a “radio show.” Instead of talking about a specific tool or platform like AudioBoo for recording student voices and adding a related photo, discuss the value of creating “narrated art” together.

All of the media product terms in the Mapping Media framework are worded so they are neither device nor platform specific. While the author is an enthusiastic proponent of using iOS devices (iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches) to create media products as well as Google’s free web tools like YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger, teachers and students do NOT have to use Apple computing devices nor Google’s web services to create the media products in this framework. Whatever your hardware, software, and connectivity options may be, the author encourages you to “use them well” and help students create multimedia products which can become part of their digital portfolios. Adopt a technology use philosophy similar to this sign in the instructional technology consultants’ hallway in Saskatoon Public Schools, Saskatchewan: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.


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Document Field Trip Learning with AudioBoo

As a free audio service with free smartphone apps for both iPhone and Android, AudioBoo is an ideal platform to use on a student field trip to document experiences with both audio and images. This morning I accompanied my 3rd grade daughter’s class to the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City, as a parent volunteer. In advance I created a 1 page flyer for other parents who might be interested in also using AudioBoo with their student group. (Also available as a PDF.)

Documenting our Field Trip with AudioBoo

The version I shared with parents already had the userID and password for the free AudioBoo account/channel I setup included.

Here is an “AudioBoo board” of eight photos and audio narrations our group created today at the History Center.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture WITH accompanying audio narration is worth one thousand! Behold, the power of “narrated art / narrated photos!”

Chicago-area elementary art teacher Tricia Fuglestad used AudioBoo with her students on a recent field trip to the Chicago Museum of Art. She also live-tweeted their trip! Check out Tricia’s post about the experience, their AudioBoo channel and this AudioBoo board of their field trip experiences.

Also check out the awesome 69 second video Tricia created afterwards, “Musical Tutorial of AudioBoo.”

Musical Tutorial of AudioBoo from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

Field trips can rock, and so can mobile technology tools like AudioBoo! Our experiences today reinforce how important it is to REGULARLY challenge students to talk about their learning and even record/share their thoughts digitally. These are skills our students need to practice to develop, and many aren’t doing this enough now! Technology can be a powerful amplifier, and field trips with smartphone-wielding parent volunteers can provide ideal opportunities to use tools like AudioBoo to deepen as well as extend student learning.

Oklahoma History Center Field Trip

Oklahoma History Center Field Trip

Oklahoma History Center Field Trip

Oklahoma History Center Field Trip


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