Tuesday, October 29, 2013

#20Time Makes a Difference #edchat

I've been wanting to write this post for a while, but I wanted to wait until my students really had a chance to get their hands dirty with their projects. I'm glad that I waited.

As part of their 20 Time Projects, my students need to create a weekly blog post that updates everyone on their progress. They can really write about whatever they want, but it should focus on some aspect of their project. As I was reading these blog posts, I came across a student that "figured out" 20 Time all on their own. Here is a post from Connor M's Blog.


 After much research on my genres of music, I have concluded that I will not be able to accomplish my set goal. My original goal was to learn how to play a set 6 genres of music, and the genres of music that I have chosen to play are not feasible goals within the time period that I have until my presentation. I am a very black and white person, meaning that I look at things in success or failure, which is a character flaw. I have come to realize that in this 20 Time project, I thought I was going to fail once I found out how long it would take to learn these genres of music. I was distraught, because I was called the determinator, meaning that with me determination, I could do anything I wanted, but I ran into my failure. 
     Since I was so devastated, I googled 20 Time. After reading up on it, I had a realization. Learning 6 genres of music was my measurable goal, but it's not the purpose. The purpose of 20 Time is not what I can accomplish and show off how awesome I am, it's about how I got there and what I learned getting to where I finish when I give my presentation. I am going to continue to learn genres of music, but I'm going to let go of my goals  of learning to play Blues Improv and Spanish guitar. These two genres will likely take a decade to learn, and I have 28 or so weeks left. I am too novice of a guitarist to attempt to learn two of the hardest genres of music on the guitar in less than 30 weeks. I am finally going to think "gray", which is a big change for me. I am going to fail at my goal for my project, but I am going to succeed in my purpose. 

I couldn't be happier than I am right now with this project. Connor was able to get exactly what I hoped my students would get and he did it on his own. It supports my idea that kids can learn amazing things if they are just given the chance to explore learning on their own. This post just nails it for me and I had to share it with all of you considering doing 20 Time in your classes this year or next.

I also wanted to share with you all of the blogs my students have created for their project. Below you will find their blogs and their topics. If you have a minute, please read one and share your thoughts with them. It would really get them excited.

1st Hour:

Julia B - Photographs of Detroit

Nina C - Creating an EP
Madelyn F - Vegetarian for a year
Emily F - Designing and selling clothes
Olivia F - Designing t-shirts
Kelsey K - Learning Tae Kwan Doe
Elysse K - Designing t-shirts
David K - Learning to Sail
Sorin K - Documentary on Rowing
Brendan L - Becoming a better artist
Gabriel M - Starting a band
Shannon M - Starting a band
Kyle M - Youtube comedy channel
Jacob M - Creating the perfect swimmer
Grace M - Happy-isms
Alexis M - 5 People Documentary 
Griffin M - 30 Projects in 1
Alexandra N - Advice from Broadway
Debra N - Mural in Detroit
Carolyn P - Learning Polish
Elizabeth R - Life of a South Student
Mary R - Mission Trip
Lauren R - Training for a Marathon
Emma R - Metro Detroit History
Michael R - Relay for Life

2nd Hour:

Alex B - Learning Polish

Brenna B - Fashion App
Alyssa C - Writing Music
Matt C - Writing a Book
Anna C - Knitting Hats for Newborns
Hannah C - Suicide Awareness
Grace C - Exploring Metro Detroit
Donovan D -Writing a Book
Megan G - Making a cookbook
Ryley K - Making t-shirts
Jackie K - Teen Book Reviews
Clare L - Going Vegetarian 
Eva L and Veronica S
Connor M - Learning new music and instruments
Maddie M - Fashion Blog
Gennie M - Learning ASL
Katherine M - Mission Trip to Kilimanjaro 
Will P - Living the Bible
Jacob S - Relay for Life
Lucy S - Photographing Detroit
Bella S - Rowing Documentary 
Abigail W - Creating an EP
Gianna W - Movie Review Website 
Callie Z - Greek Cooking YouTube Channel

3rd Hour:

Benna A - Designing her kitchen

Olivia B - Organizing a 5K
Miranda B - Doing something scary each day. 
Paul B and Reilly P - Designing an App
Elise B - Book for Teens
Emma C - Photo mosaic of South Students
Natalie C - Vegetarian Cookbook
Lillian C - Designing an App
Luke D - Entertainment Website
Maddie D - Book Drives
Natalia E - Adopt a Grandparent
Matthew G - Learning Javascript
Lilly H - Learning Guitar
Parker I - Learning Polish
Ella K - Learning and teaching Yoga
Mary K - Writing a Children's Book
Leonie L - Creating a Waterproof Camera Cover
Jennifer M - Writing a Book
Ben M - Salvaging Furniture
Allison M - Learning ASL
Hailey M - No Processed Food for a Year
Lindsey R -Learning ASL
Max R - Building a Computer
Madeline R - Student Guide to Grosse Pointe South
Spencer R - Spencer's Banjo Adventure
Ethan S - Game Design
Garrett W - Creating a comic book
Evan W - Learning Japanese 

If you have any thoughts or ideas for me, please leave them in the comment or send me a tweet at @TheNerdyTeacher.

Have a great day everyone!


Monday, October 14, 2013

eBeam Review

Editor's Note: This product was sent to me for the purpose of a review.

I wasn't quite sure what to think of the eBeam when I first opened up the box. For $699.00 I was expecting something really awesome. I was not let down one bit. Here is a quick video that explains what eBeam does.

I'm a guy that travels from time to time and I'm usually presenting about the awesome tools I use in my classroom. Sometimes, the setup for my presentations are not exactly what I would like them to me. eBeam is a perfect solution to that problem. 

I was able to set this up on my TV monitor in seconds after I attached the USB to the computer and downloaded the software from the disk. I was shocked out how quick the response was and how accurate it was as I navigated my desktop with the eBeam stylus on my TV screen. It was flawless. 

For districts looking to enhance their classrooms, meeting rooms and other media aspects of their school, the eBeam is a perfect fit for the teachers and staff that need to be mobile from room to room. Many teachers have to travel from building to building or room to room in their district and this would be the perfect tool to give to these teachers to ensure they have the same access to the technology they need no matter where they end up. 

Here is the eBeam on my TV in the basement

System Requirements:

Here is the pen for the eBeam that worked like a charm. 

This was very responsive the minute everything was plugged in. 

The battery pack is an add-on. It keeps your room wire free.

For some, the $699 price tag is going to be too much, but there is tremendous value in this type of purchase. For the presenters on the go or the teachers moving from room to room, this is the perfect device for attaching to projectors or TVs to give an interactive touch to the work they are doing. I can't wait to hit the road and use mine. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The IPEVO Interactive Whiteboard System #EdTech

(Editor's Note: IPEVO sent me this product for the purpose of a review.)

I am always on the lookout for new tech that can help teachers in my district and districts around the country. One of the main issues with new technology is that it is usually too expensive for classrooms or the price is right, but the quality is not there. The IPEVO Interactive Whiteboard System is a product that is the right price and of great quality. 

One of the things I love most about this product is that it was so easy to set up. After downloading the software onto the computer, I just needed to connect the camera to the laptop and angle it to the screen. 

This graphic showed me exactly the best placement for my laptop and the camera. It only took me a couple of minutes to set it up correctly. Once I got it, I was able to mark exactly where I set it up so that I can quickly place it in the right spot each time I need to use it. 

Here is what one setup might look like in the classroom. 

The wand was very easy to use and the response was very quick. It took little time to get comfortable in using the wand as I used it as a mouse on the desktop and to annotate pictures using the IPEVO software. 

The system does come with a ceiling mount adapter if you have your projector mounted. You will need an USB extension if you are running from the ceiling all the way to your computer, so please keep that in mind if you purchase the system. 

Here is an example of the annotation software for the IPEVO Interactive Whiteboard System

Another possibility to consider is the mobility of the system. It can easily be packed up and shared with other teachers looking to add an element of interactivity to their lessons. Other systems can be too large and impossible to share. That is not a problem with the IPEVO system. For schools that are looking to save dollars, this is a great option to consider. 

Here is a look at everything you will get when you order the IPEVO Interactive Whiteboard System

System Requirements:

  • PC
  • Microsoft Windows 7, 8, Vista or XP
  • Dual core CPU 2.0 GHz or higher (2.4 GHz recommended)
  • 1 GB RAM or higher (2 GB recommended)
  • Mac
  • Mac OS X 10.6 or higher
  • Intel Core 2 Duo CPU or higher
Overall, I am very happy with the IPEVO Interactive Whiteboard System and recommend it to teachers out there looking to add another tool to their teaching tool chest. I have used other IPEVO products and have never been let down by a single one. For a great price of $149.00, teachers can add an element of interactivity to their lessons and allow students to take the stage to share what they know. Feel free to email me with any questions and to check out IPEVO's website for more great products.