Archive for October, 2010

UTC 11 Share your Vision

Posted on October 10, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Fran Mauney

We had our first official meeting for UTC 11 (really about our 4th meeting) last week and we’d like to see if you can help us with a few things. 

1.  UTC 10 survey results commented about having more skype, blogs, podcasts, tweets, about the conference…….. maybe have a few overflow rooms for popular sessions……… can  you wrap your brain around this and give feedback about the best way to do this?  Will you ask your professional learning community how we can best meet the needs of the teachers that attend?  That would be huge.

2. What topics do you think we need for next year?  Our theme is “What’s Your Vision?” spinning off the point that Hall made last summer about the lack of a shared vision……Will you tweet about this, post on facebook or ask your plc?

3. We have 4 big solutions to make this year’s conference better: 
a.  no long lines when you enter the building……. just grab a registration form, card and return the form to us with our card number on the form.
b. extra parking down the road at the athletic fields, I’m checking on buses to transport from there
c. shorter time to get your credit from the conference (new program was written for that) GCSD teachers will have a shorter wait getting points uploaded to the portal.
d. hopefully, less crowded rooms if we have more presenters and overflow rooms (we need YOU to present)
e. food tables spread out and colored coded tickets for different food choices.

Using the professional learning community mind-set, could you share ideas about ways to make the conference better?  Add your comments to this blog. I look forward to hearing from you and if you’d like to volunteer, let us know.

What is your vision for UTC 11?

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Peer Tutoring Like Never Before

Posted on October 6, 2010. Filed under: Mathematics, Middle School |

by Tim Cushman

There is a large body of educational research on the value of peer tutoring.  See The Access Center’s research on peer tutoring for math and other research on best practices here.  Why don’t teachers us the approach more often?  There are many answers to that question but I think that both sides would agree that one of the challenges is getting the right pairing of students for effective peer tutoring on a consistent basis.  One teacher in California looked beyond his classroom walls and to the Internet to address this issue. is the work of Eric Marcos and the students of Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, California.  The students use screen capture software to create tutorials about what they are learning.  The videos are then reviewed, and if needed, edited by a math teacher.  Since the videos are social by design, their is an incentive for the student instructor to do their best since they are creating for and receiving comments from an audience of fellow middle schoolers worldwide.

Your students can create their own tutorials and submit them to Mathtrain.  Need screencasting software?  Jing from Techsmith, CamStudio (open source software), and the screen recording tools native to both Promethean and SMART software are all no cost options.

Mr. Marcos is to be applauded for this venture.  He has created a means for getting his students to reflect on their learning in a way that a math journal never can.  He is also making a contribution to the greater educational community in the process that we all benefit from. 

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    The School District of Greenville County – Instructional Technology Department


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