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Monthly Archives: November 2015

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No Internet? No Problem!

As much as we would like to think that here in the US we have everything we could want or need and that the internet is a right and a necessity.  However, there are a lot of folks with out internet. According to a recent Pew Research survey roughly 15% of Americans do not have internet, and of those 25% are from families that make less than $30,000/year.  This becomes even more relevant when you work in a school that has a high Free and Reduced population.

In my school we are moving to a 1:1 Laptop program that will let students take their assigned laptop home.  This is a great idea, but for those kids that do not have internet at home this only meets their needs half way.  There are options for cheap internet such as the Comcast Internet Essentials program that offers cheap internet, but sometimes it is not cheap enough.  So what can we do?  One option is to set up assignments that can be done offline.

The video below is one that I crafted for our staff.  There are many, many types of lessons that could be done offline, this is just to present one option.  Hopefully it will inspire people to think of the non-connected, how to design lessons that are accessible to all and have discussions about best practice.  Feel free to add your ideas and thoughts below to help this conversation grow.

15% of Americans don’t use the internet. Who are they?

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Let’s Mix it Up!

Mix logo

I have recently convinced the folks in out IT department to add this free add-on to PowerPoint not only for teachers – which is where you would expect to see it, but for students as well.  Why for students?  Well a little background first:

Office Mix allows a PowerPoint to be designed much more like a teaching tool – and is perfect for flipping lessons.  It lets you add questions, polls, open responses, discussions, video and audio of yourself, screenshots and screencasts.  With these tools you can take any teacher-centered presentation and make it much more interactive and interesting.  In addition you can design it to be mobile-device friendly.

So why for students?  Why not!  We are using it in class to have students present their findings on a particular topic, but rather than standing at the front of the class and work through a presentation they are teaching the class about their topic and checking for understanding at the same time.  And as all educators know, you lean way more by teaching than you do by sittin’-‘n-gettin’.

To learn more visit the Office Mix site and explore the possibilities.

Make it a good one!

Alex