7 Replies Latest reply on May 20, 2010 7:30 PM by Bonnie Feather

    Updates to technology favorites


      Has anyone checked out or used Microsoft Mouse Mischief for PowerPoint?  It seems with a wireless mouse you can have students engage and interact with various presentations.  eschool news ran an article "Free tool lets students participate in class" and the review seems mixed.


      Since  purchasing wireless mice could be less expensive than some classroom response systems.  I am curious if anyone has tried this or is thinking of trying it.


      I also started thinking are there other updates to other technology favorites that you might be using.

        • Re: Updates to technology favorites



          We discussed the Microsoft Mouse Mischief for PowerPoint at work this week. Several of my colleagues thought it looked interesting. We, however, realized that having only 15 mice available would not work well for our classes. I've got classes with 41 students in them - 15 mice will not provide feedback on how well all students comprehend or understand the material. I have used Classroom Response Systems for several years and really enjoy seeing student faces as they realize they know the information taught. I am a firm believer in helping students recognize their understanding of concepts taught in class. I believe Classroom Response Systems are a good way to achieve this.


          Who else has used Classroom Response Systems to determine student understanding? Do you think these work well for formative assessment?

            • Formative assessment with SRS
              Bonnie Feather

              Oh, boy!  I LOVE the Promethean ActivExpression devices to assess student understanding.  Everyone gets to answer every question!  You can answer multiple choice up to 6 choices, and you may assign more than one correct answer (up to 6!)  You may ask True/Fast/Don't know and Yes/No/Don't know questions.  You can use Likert scales for confidence, and other parameters.  You can have texted answers and numeric answers.I think I'm forgetting one other format...


              You can ask "on the fly" questions or prepared questions.


              These devices ROCK!



                • Re: Formative assessment with SRS

                  My students use the ActivExpressions every day in class. The other type of question Bonnie forgot was to "Sort in Order." I use this to ensure students understand densities in 7th grade (we must sort various objects by which is most dense to least dense.) We also use it in classification and knowing the differences between cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and organisms. My students LOVE the Likert scales - many lessons include a question at the end "I understood the main point of today's lesson." Students then rate their own understanding (1 = I totally understand it ... to ... 4 = I'll be coming in for extra help because this did not make any sense.)


                  One of the ways I enjoy using the ActivExpressions is in "Self-Paced Mode." I can enter a series of questions. Students can see the question on their own device - and answer it independent of other students. My students were VERY surprised when they kept getting "the same question." The Self-Paced Mode allows the teacher to set up questions so students MUST give the correct answer before they can go on - or finish the quiz. You can also set up questions to be at various levels. For example ... the first level may be simple addition of numbers 1-5 and 1-5; the second level may be numbers 1-5 and then numbers 6-9; the third level could be subtraction of numbers 1-5 from numbers 6-10; the fifth level multiplication of numbers 1-4 and numbers 1-4; etc. The teacher data is incredible for this questioning format. The more I use it, the more fun it is for me and my students.



              • Mouse Mischief
                Bonnie Feather

                I don't know about the mouse mischief, but I am about to go learn- thanks for the tip, Julia!


                My latest new tech tool is the mini amplifier I just bought on EBay to go with my iPod touch set (at work) and my new (not yet-arrived) iPad.  I have several music apps (Ocarina, Leaf Trombone, Drum MeisterPocket Guitar, Recorder, and Shaker) so I can go "on the road" to classrooms and jam about their curriculum.I can't wait!



                Another tech tool I recently acquired is Camtasia (software)  I tried Jing to create short tutorials, but even with the paid version I could only create 5-minute videos, (I have a hard time limiting myself to 5 minutes) so I went with the big software.  There is a cheaper price for educators if you are thinking of purchasing this software.  It's so easy to create instructional videos of your desktop to answer questions and teach basic procedures to people.  I am not doing much "business apps" training anymore- in favor if integration training, but some people still need to know how to do basic things like emply their email trash can!

                  • Re: Mouse Mischief

                    Bonnie - let me know what you think of Camtasia - I tried it before but felt some of the editing features were limiting.  I use Captivate - and I have been pretty impressed. 


                    In addition- you are continually finding new tools and technology to move you forward.  I would love to spend a day working with you to see how you pull it all together.

                      • Pulling it together...
                        Bonnie Feather

                        Well, I don't know if I DO pull it all together!  I do love finding new things, and I rely on my PLN for much of that.  I am now using Plurk because I have a great bunch of techy teachers there as my friends, and I love learning from them.  Plus, when I Plurk, my post is also posted automatically on Facebook AND Twitter!  I still have to check those sites to glean the great ideas from my techy PLNs there!


                        I learned about a lot of new web 2.0 apps from Kevin Honeycutt at the last AzTEA (Arizona Technology in Education Alliance)conference.  He did the keynote and it was GREAT!  I was bummed that I was training during all of the breakout sessions and couldn't get back to any more of his sessions!


                        I've been playing with Stixy today.  It's a bit like Wallwisher, but I like that you have more characters in a note.  Plus, you can directly upload documents, sites, images, and more.  It looks like a fun place to collaborate in a Project-Based setting!


                        I found a bunch of collaborative sites.  Many were business oriented, but made me think they might be good for older students such as high schoolers or college level.  I'm off to start a new discussion!

                        • Camtasia
                          Bonnie Feather

                          For my purposes, Camtasia seems just fine.  What sorts of editing do you need to do that you are able to do in Captivate?  Perhaps once I have gotten better with Camtasia, I will feel the need to upgrade...