Do you use Google Chrome? If so, one thing I noticed is you do not get the add on potential that you used to get with Firefox. Back in the day, I used all kinds of add ons. FoxyTunes to control my music. Various weather plugins. Note taking. Web developer tools. Lots of good stuff. Might also explain why my browser took two days to load. Anyway, Chrome definitely prefers a less intense experience. Fewer add ons are available. One thing, though, I miss, is weather. Fortunately, you can get that back with Currently, available from the Chrome Web Store (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ojhmphdkpgbibohbnpbfiefkgieacjmh). With Currently, when you open a new tab, you receive a page of your most visited sites. When you install currently, you get a minimalistic page with the time, date, location, and a weather outlook. You can change the colors, but I kept the smooth black. A simple little add-on, but one I like!
Don’t we all feel like this sometimes with technology?
Awhile back (December 2011 actually), I started discussing my feelings of the fad-of-the-moment in instructional technology, the flipped classroom. You know, you record yourself teaching a lesson, post it to YouTube, students watch at home (*chuckle*) and then in class they work through examples. Yeah, in some cases, that may work, but as I said then:
isn’t this another form of direct instruction? Yes, I can watch an instructional video, but that is probably my learning style. If we continue to preach to teach higher level thinking, is lecture style, even on YouTube, worthy?
So an educator I follow and respect, who shares lots of ideas and resources, James Byrne from the Northeast (and the awesome Free Technology for Teachers Blog) has sort of come out with the same level headed thinking. He as well does not think it does not have merit, but we are currently seeing it deployed everywhere without good planning first. Also the attention to detail and circumstances, like he mentions here:
Furthermore, if you flip the classroom and students come to class having not watched the video lessons, how do you spend your classroom time the next day? Do you let students watch the videos in class? Do you reteach the lesson that they should have watched for homework?
We obviously got the buy in from administrations. I cannot tell you how many Superintendents I talk with who ask about Khan and ask if we do similar things. But we really need to slow down, look through this, and go forward. We may have some buy-in and interest we usually do not possess. Let’s not waste it!
Love this video that originally showed up on Geeks Are Sexy. Sometimes you just need to get in tune with your children or maybe students…try this on a field trip, perhaps?