Monday, April 28, 2008

Bloom's Taxonomy Narrative

I got this from my MT Cadre workshop. I think it explains the environment we have been working to create for the last two years in TILT.

Compare the old Bloom's to the new Bloom's.

A dynamic learning environment

Bloom’s Taxonomy and the World Wide Web are two pieces of a puzzle that forms a dynamic learning environment. With them in place, the remaining two pieces, the teacher and the student, will be changed. If the teacher creates a constructivist or inquiry-based classroom environment, then both teacher and student must behave differently to take advantage of the learning opportunity it affords.
The student

In an inquiry-based classroom, students are not relegated to the traditional desks in straight rows. Students are not empty vessels waiting to be filled. They assume an active role in which they must locate, evaluate, organize, synthesize, and present information, transforming it into knowledge in the process. (Note the distinction here from Bloom’s definition of knowledge — see below.) Students work collaboratively with classmates to explore a problem. This makes it possible for each student to come to his or her own understanding of a particular topic as he or she constructs knowledge. This environment is focused on the learning and is more student-centered than the traditional classroom.
The teacher

If the classroom has become more student-centered, then what does this mean for the teacher? Is he or she no longer necessary? Of course not. In fact, the teacher’s role is just as important as it has always been — if not more so. With a knowledge of learning styles and of Bloom’s Taxonomy coupled with access to the wealth of resources provided by the World Wide Web, the teacher works alongside the students. Teachers scaffold learning so that students can assume a more active role in their own learning. This means that lessons are in fact more carefully constructed to guide students through the exploration of content. Teachers’ instructional arsenal contains a greater variety of instructional techniques and knowledge of instructional design. Their role has evolved from the limited didactic form of lecturing once held as the standard view of an effective teacher.

Attention to Bloom’s Taxonomy does not mean that every class period must be optimally designed to place students in inquiry-based roles. Teaching requires that we constantly assess where students are and how best to address their needs. This may mean that on certain occasions it is necessary to lecture. In the long run, it means that the teacher balances methods of instruction by providing opportunities for the students to take some ownership of their learning. It means that it is more likely that various learning styles will be addressed. And it means that we may not hear the dreaded question Why do I need to know this? so often
Final thoughts: A Bloom by any other name

Benjamin Bloom did his work long before the advent of the "Information Age," and some of his terms conflict with the way we often talk about the Internet. It has become common to say that what students find on the Web is only information, and that they have to construct knowledge from that information on their own. If Bloom were devising his taxonomy today, he might call the first level Information instead of Knowledge.

Perhaps the point to remember is that it doesn’t much matter what you call it, as long as you teach it. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a convenient means of talking about higher-level thinking, but other taxonomies could be (and have been) designed with different names for more or fewer levels. If your students are analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating, they’ll be able to decide for themselves what to call their ideas!

(excerpts from

Thanks Daren for sharing!

Community Walk: Explore Billings!

CommunityWalk Map - Welcome to Billings

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Classroom 2.0 in VoiceThread

Digital Storytelling at Burlington

This is a digital story that I have also posted to the Burlington Elementary website. It was a lot of fun to create and if you haven't tried digital storytelling - well - you should!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

TED Talks: Is Creativity Killing Education?

Sir Ken Robinson talks about the future of our educational system and how we are educating our students to not be creative. This is a very compelling argument for supporting creativity in students. Why am I sharing this?

The Revised Bloom's Taxonomy lists Creativity as the highest level for knowledge acquisition and learning.

21st Century Skills
includes Creativity and Innovation.

Montana State Standards for Technology Integration includes Creativity and Innovation.

We know that technology has a vast collection of tools for students to create and be innovative. When we change our approach from teacher-directed to student-centered - which is true technology integration - not only are we allowing students to construct their own knowledge, but we are also supporting the use of tools for creativity and innovation. Although this video is a bit long...I thought it was worth watching and worth sharing.
To watch this video, visit TED Talks (an excellent resource).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Are We Keeping Up? A Quick Look at Emerging Technology

Recently posted on the Internet was a top 100 list of E-Learning Tools. I quickly scrolled down the list and was amazed at how many we have explored in TILT. In TILT, we have a great advantage - time to explore or at least be exposed to new technology.

I hope that as you look through this list, you are encouraged by the level of awareness you are at for emerging technology in education. Of course there are going to be tools on this list that you and I have not had the opportunity to explore yet, but how cool is it to have a place where we can see what is considered emerging in the area of E-Learning.

Tell me, how many on this list have you explored? How many on the list are you at least familiar with? (I use or have explored 50, I am familiar with 96)


Using Excel to Create Posters: Video Tutorial

If you have not had a chance to check out some of the great videos available through TeacherTube, here is one that I think you can use for yourself, your students or clubs and activities.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Donor's Choose

For those of you with creative ideas in your head about how to use some sort of technology in your classroom but have been disappointed because you can't seem to get your hands on it, this site is for you!! Donorschoose allows teachers to make a proposal that they would like to see funded for their school. Then, other people around the country read your proposal and decide to help you fund it. It is an amazing system. I was able to get an ELMO funded for my classroom. I am very excited about this website because I see it as a way to gain and give back to the education of students around the nation. Check it out!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Contest Winner! Tom Stahley

Congratulations Tom for sharing a most spectacular gadget. I want to go out and buy one! The Meade MySky looks like a great tool to have along camping! You can get a guided tour of the night sky just by pointing this baby at the stars. It incorporates GPS technology, audio and video to help you learn about what you are pointing to in the sky. Just point and shoot to learn about planets, stars and constellations.

Now here is a technology that gets me revved up!!

Tom wins a $25 coffee card from City Brew.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Creating A Post in Blogger

This is a post to remind you how to create a post.
(Warning: video takes a long time to load)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Contest: Share a website or tech gadget that revs you up!

Give me an example of a technology gadget or website that really gets your heart racing! It can be one that you use for teaching, learning or for personal use. The most original (humor is always nice), thoughtful response will win a $25 coffee card to City Brew!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Using VoiceThread in the Classroom

This is an example of how VoiceThread can be used in the classroom...keep your eyes on this site to see how our 5th grade classroom at Poly Drive Elementary is using VoiceThread!

Using GPS & Google Earth for Science Scavenger Hunt

What a great day yesterday was! Tom Stahley, Denece Lord, Doug Van Zee and I created a scavenger hunt and posted our results onto Google Earth and created a .kmz file that we can share with others.

Integrating Technology into the Science Classroom:
The objective of our scavenger hunt was to identify signs of chemical weathering, oxidation, biological weathering, abrasion, and frost wedging.

We created a worksheet that contained the items we needed to find. Once we discovered an item on our scavenger hunt list, we recorded a waypoint into our GPS, recorded it on our worksheet, and wrote a short description of what we were looking at. We then took a digital picture of the item.

When we finished collecting data on all of the items on our scavenger hunt list, we came back to the Lincoln Center and entered our data into Google Earth. We collaborated to create a .kmz file so that anyone could see our efforts. If you click on the .kmz file, it will open in Google Earth and show you our placemarks.

We are in the process of creating a teacher resource document and tutorials for this classroom project. Watch the blog for those in the near future!

GPS Scavenger Hunt Photos

Technology Use in the Classroom