Plagiarism Checker Mindshift

the pilot p-500

Just had a quick discussion with a colleague today that was one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” moments.  He was discussing a recent research paper he had his students working on about the causes of the American Revolution.  He had a student turn in an essay that was pretty obviously plagiarized due to the inclusion of the word “confluence” by an 8th grader.  The Great Plagiarism Mindshift began by him explaining he used the essay in class to show how easy it was to check for plagiarism.  Very informative lesson for students, though one I’m pretty sure they’ve seen in the past.

The real Mindshift occurred when he said “So after that I just posted the link on my webpage and told them it would be there for them to use themselves next time.”

Whoa…

If a tool like The Plagiarism Checker was great for teachers before, how much better is it now?  If a student modifies something they find enough that The Plagiarism Checker can’t find where it came from, then it’s certainly not plagiarism right?  What an amazing use of a tool ordinarily available for the purpose of “busting” students.

By the way, the site he’s using is available for free, here.

PLN Mixchange

Tonight I caught this tweet from @VenessaMiemis. Very simply:

“i am compelled to make you a mixtape.”

My response was: If you do, rip it to mp3, zip it, and upload it to Megaupload.  I was involved a group a couple of years back where this happened.  I learned a lot about the folks I exchanged mixes with and also expanded my musical horizons.  Due to the questionable legality of such an endeavor, Venessa and I decided this could just as easily take place through sharing Grooveshark playlists.  So, here’s the plan…between now and next Wednesday (In time for Thanksgiving break listening) create a playlist on Grooveshark.com of between 10 and 15 songs.  It’s up to you how you select the songs. Some ideas:

  • Songs you’ve used in class
  • A mixtape that you actually had at some point
  • A selection of songs you just personally enjoy
  • Songs related to some chosen theme
  • You get the picture…(and if you don’t, you may have never had a mixtape, which is a tragedy in and of itself)

Once you’ve made your mix, post a link to the playlist on Twitter with the tag #PLNMixchange.  As mixes begin to get posted, I’ll compile a list of them here at The Technorate Teacher.  By the way, as a courtesy, if your mix wouldn’t get a “clean” tag in iTunes, can you let that be known up front, and I’ll mark it as such on the compiled post.

Looking forward to learning some of your musical preferences!!  Spread the word!

The Mixes

@Twilliamson15 – Random mix of tracks

@copernicc’s mix

Severe Weather Project

Just wanting to update you all on my first attempt at a truly Project Based Learning environment in my classroom. I discovered this weekend that one of our laptop carts was unscheduled all this week. I decided it was a good time to grab it for a few days and give PBL a shot.  Our final weather topic is related to severe weather.  For our over-arching topic I decided to pose the question:

Which are more dangerous: hurricanes or tornadoes?

As sub-topics to that primary idea, I generated 11 related questions:

  • REQUIRED How is your group defining “dangerous”?
  • How is each type of storm classified?
  • What is the frequency of each type of storm in the US?
  • What type of damage is associated with each storm?
  • What are considered the historical “worst” storms of each type?
  • What conditions are necessary for each storm to form?
  • What areas/states in the US are threatened by each type of storm?
  • What precautions are necessary for preparing for each type of storm?
  • What differences are there in forecasting each storms approach? How much time is there between formation and impact?
  • What is the relative economic impact of each type of storm on the US each year?
  • What fallacies, myths, or legends are there about each type of severe weather?

Students were in randomly generated groups of 4 to 5.  Each group is required to address how they define the term “dangerous” as it relates to hurricanes/tornadoes.  We also discussed the fact that in an effort to give each storm a fair shake, they shouldn’t go into it with a preconceived idea of which storm was more dangerous.  I want them to defend their responses with evidence, not just go on a gut feeling.

For determining their final project, I used the Pick or Stick strategy that I learned at NMSA2010.  Each group leader came up and selected a notecard.  On the notecard was a project idea.  The group leader took that card back to the group and they discussed whether they would stick with that project, or pick another one.  If the group decided to pick another topic, they were then “stuck” with whatever topic was selected second.  Project opportunities were:

  • PowerPoint (thrown in as a bone) x 2 notecards
  • Glog through Glogster.com x 2 notecards *we have not yet tackled Glogster in class so I wanted additional Glogs as examples for when we do, as well as students familiar to help other classmates*
  • Jeopardy Game with questions/answers from their research
  • Skit: Meteorologist explaining Hurricanes and Tornadoes to young children
  • Skit: “Old Fellers” shooting the breeze about severe weather
  • Children’s Book
  • Skit: Insurance adjuster’s discussing cost of insuring properties in hurricane/tornado prone areas *not surprisingly this one was returned in each class*

Today in class, on a whim, we had an impromptu discussion about the difference in Damage Cost and Total Economic Impact of a severe storm.  I also got to discuss Creative Commons images with some of my students as they began their projects.  We shared resources that would be useful for each group…and it was an amazing day of learning in my classroom…two more days to go! I hope to have some examples to post of student work after Monday.

NMSA2010: Top 10 Google Alternatives

“Getting FREE of Google’s Grip”

MY THOUGHTS IN ALL CAPS

Howie DiBlasi http://www.drhowie.com PRESENTATION WILL BE POSTED TOMORROW APPROX. 5PM

Presentation came out of conversation with Will Richardson, David Jakes about whether Google has too much power.

1) Thunderbird – alternative to Gmail…open source, ACTUALLY AN ALTERNATIVE TO Outlook Express…

2) 30 Boxes – Calendar software

3) Netvibes – Alternative to Google Reader…DEFINITELY AGREE WITH THIS ONE…LOVE ABILITY TO MAKE A PUBLIC RSS FEED PAGE

4) Zoho Office Suite – Alternative to Google Docs…lots of other options…has a database…Howie says there is better presentation software…Good chance Google will purchase this one…

5) Peepel – Alternative to Google Docs also…free…but maybe not forever…THIS IS THE ENVIRONMENT WE LIVE IN WHEN FOLKS HAVE TO MONETIZE…

6) Bloglines – Google Reader

7) Zimbra Collaboration – Google Docs…free for 60 days…then have a server edition that can be purchased…

8) ThinkFree Online – cell phone alternative editor for docs and spreadsheets

9) OpenOffice.org – Alternative to Google Docs/Spreadsheets

10) Flickr – Alternative to Picasa…have an education edition…NEED TO LOOK INTO THIS STILL…

Top 5 Search Engines of the Past 60 Days

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Bing – has purchased Yahoo’s technology, so there are similar results…using about 80% of the technology
  • Ask
  • AOL Search

Yahoo and Bing provided 3 million + results for British General Thomas Gage…Google 178,000…AOL Search 92,000…Kids still can’t sort through all that

Need to discuss Advanced Search with kids…DEFINITELY A BIG DISCUSSION TO HAVE…

Use “only search from this domain” to put in country codes and get results from only that country…AMAZING THOUGHT *SMACKING FOREHEAD* FOR NOT THINKING ABOUT THAT ALREADY…

Google Advanced does have Creative Commons search…

Powered By Google means they pay Google for a percentage of Google Search technology…Bing has paid for a high percentage of Google’s Search Technology

Wolfram Alpha

FactBites – search through encyclopedias…more specific than Google…includes Encarta, Wikipedia

Quintura – Kid safe searching, with word clouds of related terms

Clusty – gives you clustered search results and their sources…categorized search…recently renamed Yippy and modified some

Web’s Best Search Engine List – many of them no longer exist…

10 Best Search Engines of 2010…Reader Favorites…relevant, uncluttered, good results

  1. Cuil – now defunct…
  2. Duck Duck Go – gives summaries of the articles, not first words
  3. Ask
  4. Clusty…recently renamed Yippy
  5. Webopedia – looks at specific technology items and terminology for non-technical people
  6. Yahoo
  7. Bing
  8. Mahalo – pay people to edit and sift through search results and rank them…claim better results due to that…
  9. Google – people need to know about Wonder Wheel and Time Frame
  10. The Internet Archive – WayBackMachine and Podcast hosting

Blog Search Engines

Book Search Engines

Game Search Engines

Human-Powered Search Engines

Image Search Engines

Invisible Web Search Engines…lots of things Google does not search, this helps find some of that info

Map Machine from National Geographic

Web of Trust – add-on that warns about risky websites and content

Kathy Schrok’s Guide for Educators

Weebly for building websites

Edmodo – social learning environment

PrimaryPad – EtherPad clone…has graphics built in as well…

AMAZING OVERVIEW OF TONS OF SITES TO DIG THROUGH FURTHER IN THE NEXT WEEK OR SO…THANKS HOWIE!!

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NMSA2010: Digital Footprints

MY THOUGHTS IN ALL CAPS

Presenter: Steve Johnson @edtechsteve

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http://edtechsteve.com

Mentions his website is created through http://wix.com

Steve is a teacher, started in kindergarten then moved to 2nd grade for 4 years…taught in Vass, NC JUST A FEW MILES FROM WHERE I GREW UP!!

Moved into tech facilitator role…moved from K, to 2, to 5, to middle…found out he loved the kids at all levels…now teaching in Concord, NC.

Steve does have a book out now: Digital Tools for Teaching DEFINITELY WANT TO PICK THIS ONE UP

Now discussing Prezi…then adding ideas from the session into today’s Prezi VERY COOL USE OF THE TOOL TO RECORD WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE SESSION

What is a digital footprint?

  • Information posted online stays there for eternity.
  • Footprints: things you leave behind, show’s where you’re going/been, not permanent, unique to you, choices/different paths
  • Tattoos: permanent, representative of you, stupid adolescent decisions, draws attention, painful, can get rid of but takes work/expense, deliberate/purposeful

LOVE THIS COMPARISON…THIS WOULD BE AN EXCELLENT ACTIVITY TO GO THROUGH WITH KIDS AND DISCUSS THE DIFFERENCES AND WHICH YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE IS MORE SIMILAR TO

After discussing footprints, we’ll discuss positive publication on the web…

Bulletin Board Video…followed by 5 word summary activity.

REALLY HARD TO SUMMARIZE IN ONLY 5 WORDS…STEVE SHOWED THE VERSION WITHOUT THE CREEPY OLD GUY AT THE END WHICH I THINK IS BETTER FOR KIDS, BECAUSE HE ALMOST DISTRACTS FROM THE POINT OF THE VIDEO

  • This will follow you everywhere
  • Think before you post
  • Once posted, no more control
  • Once out, can’t take back
  • Chilling consequences of Impulsive Acts

How do we handle information online going viral…ask kids if they’ve ever experienced it or had friends who did, and how did they handle it…

Anything you post online is retrievable, searchable, cached somewhere…if someone knows how to find it, they can…The real way this happens is not from someone searching deep down through your stuff…it’s a friend who sees it and shares it beyond your circle…

Steve acknowledges that this is a scary part of the discussion for kids, turn the conversation to the positive opportunity of what you can do on the web that you WANT people to see…

Sharing Digital Footprints video…LOVE USING THIS ONE WITH KIDS AS WELL…ALSO USED IT IN OUR PARENT INTERNET SAFETY NIGHT PRESENTATION…

SIDE NOTE: I LOVE HOW FOCUSED THIS PRESENTATION IS…STEVE JUST SHARING HOW HE DISCUSSES WITH KIDS THEIR DIGITAL FOOTPRINTS…DEFINITELY WILL BE ABLE TO GO BACK AND USE THIS IN CLASS AFTER THIS SESSION…

Ends with a discussion of How Can you Show Creativity, Well-Roundedness, and Communication Skills through your online presence? This part of the presentation usually takes about 45 minutes but Steve says if you’ve got an hour and a half, the kids will often fill an hour and a half…

Now sharing a few tools that will allow students to publish online and practice positive online interactions

Digital Portfolios

Weebly – fast, free, website creation…free educator accounts…can create up to 40 student accounts for free…each student can have their own unique URL…can create moderated blogs, just not moderated pages on Weebly…so if students have their own sites teachers have to be diligent in their monitoring…no easy way to export a weebly site either for carrying on beyond middle school…

KidBlog.org – set up a class blog in 20 seconds or less…way to have kids start publishing online…comments from an authentic audience are what really keep kids interested in blogging…All Visitors can read student post…Teacher must approve posts before they appear…Anyone can comment, but all comments must be approved by teacher…DEFINITELY GOING TO HAVE TO INVESTIGATE KIDBLOG FURTHER…LIKE THE OPTIONS MENTIONED

EXCELLENT SESSION FROM @EDTECHSTEVE…GOING TO HAVE TO PICK HIS BRAIN FURTHER ON ALL OF THIS…

NMSA2010: Winning the “This is Boring” Battle

MY THOUGHTS IN ALL CAPS…REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS ONE, ROOM IS PACKED!!

Presenter: David Shepard

Math teacher from a Lexington, KY. Also used to be a science teacher, asst. principal, principal…now pursuing life-long dream of being a substitute teacher.

PD is a lot like teaching but without the hassle of the kids.

Daughter Kelly is also presenting with him, and she is a 7th grade science and language arts teacher.  Both from Kentucky, and plugging the 2011 Conference in Louisville.

We hear: Kids come to middle school and they come to an intellectual wall…we need to go back to junior high schools…there are a bunch of systems destroying middle schools and going back to K-8…Dave is tired of us getting blamed for it.

Middle level kids have a bunch of different learning styles.

It’s time to teach to their minds, not from our minds.

Traits of Middle Level

  • Don’t take yourself too seriously
  • Flexibility
  • Passion

RateMyTeacher.com – Go there and see if you’re on there. Kids are going to say “he’s boring, this sucks, this is stupid” because EVERYTHING is boring even level 395 of the latest Xbox game after they’ve mastered it.

Latitude, Flatitude round and round…Longitude, Longitude up and down

Learning Culture

  • Organization Culture
  • Instructional Culture – if this piece is dull and boring we have lots of problems…be less boring
  • Assessment Culture
  • Relational Culture

Songs in the classroom: The Atom’s Family

Tom Lehr

 

Bet you can’t write a country & western song about the Periodic Table…there it is…Kids need to sing as often as they possible can…

Photosynthesis Song…Big Bang Theory song with lyrics…Columbus singing “Wow I discovered America…No, ya didn’t, no, ya didn’t, no, ya didn’t”

If you know it you can show it, get an A on it…If you know it you can show it, get an A on it…Beyonce

Daily Objective

Middle school kids don’t need to guess where you’re going with something…post it even if it’s obvious “Today all students will learn…”

Do our kids separate the word learn word from the word do?  “Today all students will do…” Keeps them from misunderstanding what they’re going to learn and do to learn those things…

Take roll…but ask students to name a president…have a name on a sticky note that “wins” and give them something like homework pass, 5 pts on quiz etc NOT SURE I GO ALONG WITH LAST PART…BUT PERHAPS IF IT’S ON SOMETHING THAT’S NOT HAVING A GREAT IMPACT ON GRADES…

Learn to say the phrase “I’ll come back to you…”

Recent research that suggests light switch flipping can cause issues with students with Tourette’s, ADHD, Autism…WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE SPECIFICS OF THIS ONE…ANYONE KNOW??

Mix and Match activity…I’ve Got/Who’s Got…Presidents/Quotes (I still don’t understand why my wife won’t let me invite Monica and Paula over for dinner/Clinton)…Periodic Number/Element…Kids need to talk with each other…

Science connection for Abraham Lincoln…think he had Marfan Syndrome…

Stick or Pick: More activities than you have time for during a unit…write activities on index cards…divide kids into groups…give me a group leader…group leader takes card back to the group…if group doesn’t like it, return it, get another card, but then you’re stuck with it…NOT A BAD IDEA…LOTS OF PROJECTS THAT COULD BE ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THIS KIND OF ACTIVITY.

You must get this many points for the test…if it’s 100, MC questions might be 4 points, constructed response might be up to 50…Kids do math in their heads and determine if they want 25 MC questions or 2 constructed response…

Using cards for math…black are positive, red are negative…show two and tell them what operation to perform

Higher Order Thinking Questions

  • Justify your answer
  • Why does it work
  • Why does it not work
  • Explain that to the class
  • Prove it
  • Does it work in all cases?
  • This _____ is better than _____ because…
  • Why did _____ do _____?
  • The reason this event is important is ______
  • I agree/disagree with the author because ______

Run off six of these on bright colored paper…tape them to the wall in your line of site…you’ll use them more often…

I’VE DONE THE SAME THING WITH A NOTECARD AND A STRATEGY I’M TRYING TO WORK ON…LESS OBVIOUS FOR THE KIDS BUT A GOOD REMINDER FOR ME TO FOCUS…

The Thinking Cube – Questions on each side, why or why not, where will I use this…etc…students have started calling it The Cube of Death.

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Teacher-N-Teacher: Connecting Teachers to Support STEM Education

MY NOTES IN ALL CAPS

Presenters: Davilla Riddle, Rebecca Lawson, Karen Jones

We’ve come a long way from the early days of the Internet.  Rebecca is discussing the beginnings of online collaboration, back when dialup Internet access was 15 cents a minute.  Discussing the role of Kidlink in forging collaborations between teachers.

A GOOD NUMBER OF FOLKS IN THE ROOM HAVE ALREADY DONE COLLABORATIONS IN THE PAST…COLLECTING INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT TOOLS WERE USED.

Digital Tools can help connect classrooms

  • Nings
  • Wikis
  • Glogster
  • Email
  • Blogs
  • Skype
  • Edmodo

There are tons of ways to get students involved in collaborations: Skype, Animoto, etc…DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF TO JUST THE TOOLS YOU’RE ALREADY USED TO…

NETS Standards

  • Demonstrate creativity and innovation
  • Communicate and collaborate
  • Use technology effectively and productively…not just for what you want to use it for

Types of Collaborations

  • Teacher to Teacher
  • Classroom to Classroom
  • Multiple Class Projects
  • Rebecca: We think we’re they’re all by ourselves…Related Arts teachers in her district began emailing all projects, presentations, activities to each other after creating it…IT’S ALL ABOUT SHARING!!!

Discussing the Middle School Portal with Richard Varner…and the way he used the portal to connect with scientists at Goddard Space Center and discussed how science fiction moved into reality.

ePals

Davilla connected with a school in New Mexico through ePals. Sent emails through ePals and then sent PowerPoint presentations about their areas.

ePals makes it easier to discuss seasons, time zones, and language similarities and differences worldwide.

When trying these things out, call them a “pilot” and it gives you a lot more freedom THAT’S ACTUALLY VERY TRUE…I’LL KEEP THAT IN MIND FOR THE NEXT HAIR-BRAINED SCHEME I COME UP WITH!

Participant sharing: LEGO Engineering Challenge…Scratch Animation collaboration students from Ohio spent 2 days teaching studetns in Kentucky how to use Scratch…eCybermission…Authentic Learning Experiences not just performing for the teacher.

Don’t let your imagination and creativity die at the feet of NCLB…YES, OR RACE TO THE MIDDLE/BOTTOM/CELLAR/OTHER NEGATIVE PLACE IT MAY TAKE US…

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