OETC Day One – Afternoon

My first day at the 2014 OETC is coming to a close, and it’s been an overall motivational and uplifting experience.

I can’t praise Kevin Honeycutt enough for his keynote (and his afternoon session that was a continuation of it).  I think his tagline on his website (kevinhoneycutt.org) explains his overall theme the best:

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He celebrates the natural curiosity and entrepreneurship of kids, and how we as teachers and/or parents should celebrate these things.  We should encourage students to develop skills and talents that they do well, but also teach them things that may not come as naturally to them.

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More specifically, he repeatedly iterated the idea that students need to be aware of the “digital legacies” they continuously are adding to and modifying as they interact online.   Along with digital literacy and netiquette skills, Kevin offered multiple free resources that are available to teachers and students to develop 21st century skills.  (Link available here to his list of tools and resources)

He is a great advocate for students and their development, and believes that students should be able to utilize their strengths to develop their own creative ideas that they can use to create their own businesses.  While I’m sure his background in art and music may influence this a great deal, it is a mindset that is fresh in the K-12 education realm and is somewhat rare.

Thank you Mr. Honeycutt for encouraging me to continue doing things that challenge students and motivate them to be creative, innovative, and responsible in today’s digital world.

Become a Sensai of Classroom Management with Class Dojo

Class Dojo

Use any device (now even Android compatible!) to manage classroom behavior.

Move over, Mr. Miyagi – Behavior management in the classroom just got an upgrade.  Actually, Class Dojo has been around for a while now, but a recent upgrade has made this easy-to-use app available to Android users as well as iOS.

Class Dojo is a tool that teachers can use to manage both positive and negative behaviors of their students within the classroom.  A teacher sets up his/her classes, decides what positive behaviors will be rewarded, and can begin using the program immediately in the classroom.

Wax on, wax off

Class Dojo works using a point system, where positive behavior exhibited by students is is awarded with a point.  Negative behaviors, on the other hand, result in a student losing a point.  At any given time, a student’s overall behavior breakdown can be accessed and reviewed to summarize how he/she has behaved in class in a given time frame.

When students are awarded points, the teacher can select one or more students (all of which can be done from a tablet, PC, Mac, or smart phone (Android or iOS), and what behavior is being awarded.  If the Class Dojo class screen is projected, the student(s) receiving the reward are instantly recognized in a pop-up on the screen, along with a satisfying chime to let the class know what behavior has been noticed by the teacher.  Alternatively, a teacher could review the points at increments during class, or at the end of each class to recognize students for their positive behaviors.  Additionally, Class Dojo automatically sends out reports to parents each Friday, given that you have entered email addresses for your students beforehand.

In my own experience with 5th graders, I have noticed that Class Dojo does a great job of focusing on the positive behaviors of students, even when negative behaviors are occurring at the same time.  With many reward/punishment systems, the positive and negative consequences are not connected, and many students receive more attention and recognition for doing things “wrong,” although they may be doing many more things “right.”  Class Dojo summarizes both together, and students can receive more attention for the positive decisions they make in the classroom.