Mystery Skype as part of Student Life @FVSofColorado

March 3, 2017 Leave a comment
Technology is part of our daily lives, but the use of technology also means learning to use the tools responsibly. That’s why Fountain Valley School takes the time to discuss digital citizenship with all students.
Responsible use conversations start as soon as students enter FVS, and these discussions are spearheaded by Director of Digital Communications Laura Fawcett, Director of Technology Bryan Bolding, and Library and Technology Educator Toni Olivieri-Barton. Freshmen tackle technology questions during the Chapter One program, while sophomores discuss netiquette in student life meetings.
Juniors work with the Hawley Library staff, including Olivieri-Barton, to explore technology issues further. They discuss plagiarism and copyright issues that they will face in high school, college and life. This semester, the staff wanted students to focus on another aspect of digital citizenship—actually practicing these skills.
That’s where the popular Mystery Skype game comes in … a game introduced to FVS by Olivieri-Barton. It’s a video-conferencing game where a mystery guest connects online, but the students do not know where he/she lives. The students develop yes/no questions to determine the guest’s location. As with researching, students start with a large idea and ask questions to make the idea smaller.
During the call, students can use Google Map and Wikipedia to search out answers. They use their communication and problem-solving skills to find the correct location.
“Mystery Skype is a great way for our students to practice their 21st-century skills of communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration,” Olivieri-Barton said.
It’s also great fun to solve the mystery.
“The Skype call was a fun experience,” said Hannah Mancuso-Buxton ’18. “Using investigative skills and geography to have an activity was something quite new. It was an event that was out of the ordinary in a good way.”  mystery skype with Juniors.jpeg

The Law of Subtractions by @MatthewEMay

February 13, 2017 1 comment

Just finished the book “The Law of Subtractions” By Matthew E. May.  My husband had bought it for me a while ago, but I just got around to it.    I love the simpleness of it.  There are 6 Laws of Subtraction.

  1. What isn’t there can often trump what is.
  2. The simplest rules create the most effective experience
  3. Limiting information engages the imagination
  4. Creativity thrives under intelligent constraints
  5. Break is the important part of breakthrough
  6. Doing something isn’t always better than doing nothing

In each of the chapters they also highlight business people who have used the law of subtraction in their work.  This is a great book for anyone to think about what can we do without and how does doing without make our lives better.

What is Tech in the Classroom?

January 23, 2017 Leave a comment

I had a co-worker ask me this question.  I was a little surprised because I think the teacher does use technology in the classroom, but still didn’t know what it was?  Tech in the classroom can be any number of things.  It could be the teacher using PowerPoint, or Prezi or a video to teach a point.  It could mean students doing papers on Google Doc or present with PowerPoint or Prezi.  It could mean that students are researching online or creating a video.  I think teachers need to model, but more importantly students need to create.  There is a great quote I read somewhere: “Learning isn’t consumption, it is creation.”  Find was to get tech in the classroom so all have access to it and let the students lead us to new ideas.

Technology in the Classroom

January 16, 2017 Leave a comment

On January 3, 2017, faculty gathered to learn about technology. The group of Toni Olivieri-Barton, Library and Technology Educator, Stéphanie Kimlicko, Department Head/French teacher, Nathan Eberhart, French/Spanish teacher, Dorothy Strehl, Learning Services, Rafael Muciňo, assistant head of school, Dr. Susan Carrese, Global Education Director, and Zoe Schmidt, Spanish teacher, presented on innovative ideas that they learned from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference that was held in Denver during the summer of 2016. There were inspiring ideas around project-based learning, video producing, and using Twitter to name just a few.
Olivieri-Barton facilitated an activity where all teachers decided themselves where they are in the Technology Integration Matrix which was created by University of South Florida.  Afterwards, teachers attended or led sessions demonstrating innovative ideas from our own classrooms.  Kimlicko and Xiaohong Teng demonstrated how they use the website Seesaw to have students “turn in” assignments.  Kimlicko mentioned how she has cut down on paper use in the classroom and Seesaw allows students to record themselves so she can hear pronunciation of French.  Dave Brudzinski, Math teacher, demonstrated how to do a QR code scavenger hunt as a review in class. Kat Baker, Science Teacher, reviewed how to design an object for the 3d printer in the library. Eberhart present on Kahoot, Quizizz, and Quizlet. Olivieri-Barton discussed global projects and demonstrated the use of BreakoutEDU a gamification idea big in education right now. Bryan Bolding, Director of Technology taught a session on Google Drive and another on iMovie and our Green Screen. Muciňo taught about Augmented Reality and Google Voice and Google Forms. Lauren Kelly, English teacher, showed how she uses Google Classroom for turning in assignments. Deb Prantl, Dean of Programming/Department Head/Math teacher demonstrated how she uses Interactive Whiteboards in her classroom.  Jed Haupt and Penny Steele, both history teachers, reviewed some global Primary Source websites and how to incorporate Google Maps into history.


Tech Tools (weekly)

January 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

#screentip in #word

January 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Here are the steps for getting a popup of information within a word document.

1) Make sure screentip function is turned on
     a. file, options, general, check box for “Show feature descriptions in ScreenTips”
2) Highlight whatever you want the screentip to be attached to, click insert, click bookmark
3) Insert name for bookmark (whatever you want just no spaces), click add
4) Make sure the word/phrase is still highlighted and hit Ctrl + K to open insert hyperlink box
5) Click “Place in this document”,
6) Click the bookmark you just created
7) Click “screentip…” and type whatever text you want to pop up in that box
8) Click Ok until you are back at your document and then you are done
Thanks to Alex Dedrick for researching this.

Make Just One Change @RothsteinDan @LuzSantana20 @rightquestion

December 21, 2016 Leave a comment

I had been introduced to the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) once before but the second time I hear about it many educators suggested that I get this book.   I am so glad that I did.  How QFT works is the teacher only comes up with a Question Focus.  This is not a question and it is not a statement with any judging in it.  It could be as simple as “immigrant rights”.  The students then take five minutes to right down questions about the Question Focus.  The rules for producing questions are:

  • Ask as many questions as you can.
  • Do not stop to answer, discuss, or judge the questions.
  • Write down every question exactly as it is stated.
  • Change any statements into questions.

During the question producing time, do not give hints on what questions might be good.  Students can be reminded of the question starters “Why, what, how” which lead to open-ended questions and “when, where, who, is, can, do” which are closed-ended.

To improve the questions, students look at the questions to categorize them into closed- or open-ended questions.  A close-ended question can be answered with yes or no or with one word.  An open-ended question requires an explanation and cannot be answered with yes or no or with one word.  Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of asking open- and closed-ended questions. The students then can change questions from one type to another.

Prioritize the questions. Choose the three most important questions.  Students should be able to say why those are the three most important.  Then discuss what the students will do with the questions.


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