Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tool 11 Final thoughts

1. What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools.

The IPad- its great for debate, and I plan to require my policy debaters to use this in actual rounds next year
2. How have you transformed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom? How has your vision for your classroom changed? Are you going to need to make any changes to your classroom to accommodate the 21st Century learner?

I understand that tech is a part of every classroom, and can unite students rather than separate them if used correctly and sparingly.  I think my classroom is fairly prgressive when it comes to tech, but I will have to monitor more closely what is done, what kids are doign online, and realaize that its pretty fast-paced out there.


3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I did find myself liking some of the tool links like wrod sift and some others.  I se more how these can be more educationally useful that I had first thought.

Tool #10

3 things kids must know about the digital age:  1) People lie, and are seldom who they claim to be- the cute lonely 15 year old girl could be a 60 year old pedophile in reality; 2) Computer coversations should not replace real  conversations with real live people; turn off the screen and go and talk to real people.  and 3) whatever you type, whatever pic you take and post, will be there forever.  It will follow you forever.

I think the TEA I facts are useful and I would like to quote from ths when this subject comes up in debate. I think I woul dtecah some of these digital citizenship tips by using humor and the activ board to demonstrate what I mean.  Tell a story or tow of a teen in a rgrettable situation because of stupididity rrgarding tech would also be useful.

I would also stress these tips to my debate parents, and encourage them to find out what thier children are doing online.

Tool # 9

Its key to tie tech to an objective, because it is the best way to see how tech can help achieve the objective, not become the objective itself.  What good is it to create an inventon that lets us text messages instantly all over the world, if our messages are empty and meaningless?

Students must be held accountable for stations/centers because the most frightening thing about tech is the amazing way it can suck time from everything else, and you can get lost in some worlds and get nothing done.  The goal is to produce soemthing, not just get through the next level of a video game.

I mentioned earlier several sites that I thought  were useful, such as the wall wisher, a nd word sift.  If montored, students will be able to get something valuable out of these appsAs I said earlier, I touches can used as timers and they have apps for judge paradigm, estimating what it would take to advance at tournaments, and also useful for downloading various debate-related podcasts.

We continue to search for ways to use Ipads and Touches in debate so that we kill fewer trees and can be better organized.. Again, check out for more blogs on this subject.

Tool 8

The I-Touch we were given could prove useful as a timer, finding podcasts to download that relate to debate ( I was not aware that it cold do this previously) and looking at you tube videos.  One useful thing here is that you tube and others have a lot of high school and college debate rounds that have been taped and put online.  They are good for flowing drills and argument creation.  No need to re-invent the wheel.

We have used I-Pads for awhile now in debate.  In fact, check out and read about how to use I-Pads in debate- my students wrote the book on it!

Tool 7

I would like to get with another debate classroom in another part of the country (perhaps a more isolated area such as Alaska- we met some debaters from ALaska at Nationals last year) using Skype just so we could start a discussion on next years debate topic.

The objective would be to create affirmative and negative positions after collaborating on what the topic contains and how to approach it.  We would then do our own research and share this with each class room.  Also, we can have individual students either perform live or video themselves and send these videos to our sister school for practice evaluation.  Ultimately, it would culminate in an online debate between the two classes, with all participating and judging the event.  Might be cool!

Tool 6 Time

Created a wall for debate-  Can't wait to tell the debaters about it!

Also, got a twitter account, # Cecil Trent, and I pln to get this out to the debate kids, so they can follow my posts whenever we go to tournaments.  I think Twiiter is great, I follow a few poeple on it myself, and as long as it remains completely profesinal and never personal, then it will be great for debate, since we always want updates on who is debating who and how each team is doing at a particular time, as well as another way we can find each other when scattered out over several tournament venues.  I thnk this as the wallwisher might be great ways for debaters to keep in touch and make them feel more a part of the team, even if they do not compete as often as others on the team.

Web Tools Tool #5

Looked around Animoto and Word Sift:  Really liked Word Sift- thoght it was neat how it could turn some phrases into cartoons/images, and when inputting the single word debate, it came up with some great stuff.  It could lead to everything from a discussion starter in class to a potential T-Shirt design for the debate team!  Thats soemthing we are always debating over, no pun intended. 

Animoto seemes pretty neat, but I dont take many pics and debeat is not a very visual medium, but I could see where some speech students might want to use this to make some of their presentations more memorable, esp.  when they want to combine still photos and video. 

We will see!

Tool 4 Cloud Mining

Sharing Docs is pretty familiar to me- I often share documents with debaters as we prep for tournaments, and funneling information to the right places is a vital part of what I do as a debate coach.  I do not want to be in the business of writing arguments for the students, but finding and sharing documents, as tool 4 teaches, has been very helpful and I think it is something I will practice and get better at doing.
Here are links to some videos, I have used in my classes previously.

Steve Jobs address to graduates---

Young Girl givng speech at the UN-

These are discussion starters.  As to the dropbox, I cannot reveal the access codes, but we use dropboxes extensively for debate.  We share all argument files using that method, and I can even download and grade assignments by using the dropbox.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tool 2 thoughts

Read a few other blogs.  I really like Stefan Bauschard's blog out of Harvard Debate.  He keep up with changes and trends at the college level, which is helpful to those of us teaching high school debate.   Also highly, which has multiple links to blogs from high school debate coaches, as well as relevant news on national circuit debate tournaments, current topics, and upcoming competitions.   I feel tha sharing yur thoughts does put you at risk, especially on debate chat boards like  It's no longer anonymous, which is good, so one must be responsible for what one types.  Aslo joining onoine networks can be entertaining and perhaps even enlightening. Debate people should encourage friendly debates and discussions!

Monday, March 19, 2012

First Thoughts

Welsome to my first post.  I hope to discuss the world of debate and it relation to technology innovation, multi-media, and education.  I think blogs can be a great addition to the debate world, unifying it and creating places for chat and discussion.  Debate is the best game in town for any high school student; it can teach them vital critical thinking skills, persuasiveness, the ability read and process material quickly, and to write at a mich higher level than their peers.  I hope the 11 tools exercises can help this become reality as well.   We will see!