5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 29, 2009 3:56 PM by blancaedu

    Thinkfinity users - contribute your thoughts?

      Are you a Thinkfinity user?  Thinkfinity trainer?  Would you be willing to contribute your thoughts to a third-party study commissioned by Thinkfinity?

       

      Thinkfinity rocks.  Outstanding content, and lesson plans, aligned to standards.  Credible content partners, professional development and network.  www.thinkfinity.org is a website for which I can accurately use the word "awesome."

       

      Verizon Foundation commissioned The Rensselaerville Institute to complete an assessment of the results and impact to date of Thinkfinity. When researcher Kristen Heinz contacted me to ask questions about Thinkfinity, I turned out to be an unusual respondent.  I told her about Intel Teach, how Teach professional development is complementary with Thinkfinity content and resources and similar in a train-the-trainer approach.  She's like to hear more.

       

      Care to share your thoughts about Thinkfinity in general, and/or Thinkfinity and Teach?  Kristen gave me permission to publish her contact information to you as Intel Teach Senior Trainers.  That way, you may choose to contribute to the study (I'm not sharing your personally identifiable information with Rensselaerville Institute).

       

      To connect for an interview, email:

       

       

       

       

      Kristal Heinz

      Senior Program Manager

      The Rensselaerville Institute

      kheinz@rinstitute.org

        • Re: Thinkfinity users - contribute your thoughts?
          tdiener

          NYIT is the "sponsor" of both Intel Teach and Thinkfinity in New York. I'd be glad to participate in this study.

          • Re: Thinkfinity users - contribute your thoughts?
            glen_w

            Steve,

             

            I have been a Thinkfinity user for a LONG time. I find there are many good tools and ideas for use in my science classroom. I will contact Kristal and offer my services in an interview, survey participant, or beta tester (if they have need of that anymore .)

            • Thinkfinity
              Bonnie Feather

              I have also been a Verizon Thinkfinity user and trainer since the days of "Marcopolo," its previous incarnation.  It has grown throughout the years and it is one of the greatest resources on which I train teachers.

               

              Verizon Thinkfinity is a wonderful resource for Teach participants when they are looking for interactive and engaging resources as well as reliable educational information to include in their unit plans.  The (now) 9 Content Partners and the materials housed at their sites are high-quality, and the sites are advertising-free.  They are linked to standards, include web links and offer options for lessons integrated into a variety of content areas for teachers and students.

               

              I have already participated by sending in ideas, but I would love to hear more here from trainers who find that VT integrates well with Intel Teach (R) programs.  How have you found that your trainees use it?

                • Re: Thinkfinity
                  blancaedu

                  Hi Bonnie,

                   

                  I too come from the early Marco Polo days and still refer to it when people ask if they are connected. Like you, I refer Teach participants to the resources on TF because they are standards based (in NY we also have thinkfinityny.org with NYS standards aligned content). I find that my teachers in the beginning stages of adoption find the engine easy to navigate and empowering, in terms of being able to "use" technology. As of late I am also including (and encouraging) using TF to help students become more self directed by showing how students can use the resource to find content to help THEMSELVES. I am finding that teachers really like that added piece.

                • Re: Thinkfinity users - contribute your thoughts?
                  blancaedu

                  Hi Steve,

                   

                  I shared my information Kristin, thank you for letting us know. In terms of Thinkfinity, I feel that including TF as a shared resource not only with staff but with parents and students is important. Not only does this fabulous resource contain information that is  content specific and relevant to classroom instruction, but in terms of addressing the needs of parents (how can I help my CHILD?!) it is EASY to use. I've always included Thinkfinity as a resource simply because I can think of no other resource (except for Curriki) that allows a teacher to find lesson plans that they can learn from. Sometimes teachers in a course need specifics on what makes a good lesson, period. Besides using the Intel Teach unit plan index (which is exemplary of course), examples are hard to find. Lesson plan training is not always given at a school level except for maybe when there is curriculum writing (and then not everyone is a part of the process). Often in my experience this is just something that is expected of teachers to know. For teachers who have been around a long time, it is hard to envision what other resources are available, especially if they fall on the left side of the technology learning curve. I think TF is a good first step in introducing quality material to include in a lesson plan.

                   

                  I also use TF as a resource in training teachers on interactive whiteboards, especially since the interactives are such a good way to introduce whiteboard features. I use the Venn Diagrams and the Maps to show how one can use these tools to collect assessments and then "snap" the completed product into the interactive whiteboard software.

                   

                  B