Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tool #11 Assessment/Reflection

1. My favorite tools:
Stupeflix -- have students take picture of their family and create an electronic collage for the classroom.
Edmodo -- use it in the classroom for "social networking" posting comments, questions, problem solutions, etc.
Glogster -- use it for classroom presentations.

2. I believe that it is important for students to take ownership of their learning...working in the ways described within "11 Tools" makes many things possible. I will embrace a couple of techniques at a time and become proficient at using them and add on necessary...

3. I found all the tools that I looked at very unexpected outcomes just a lot of learning and fine tuning to go through.

I am really looking forward to using many tools with my students this year and learning from them as well as them learning from me.

Tool #10 Digital Citizenship

If we want our students to be good digital citizens, then teachers need to take the lead role and set expectations for the students. It is also imperative that the teachers themselves are somewhat knowledgeable with the tools the students are being asked to use; I don't think it is necessary to know all the ins and outs of the device/tool, but to have a working knowledge on how to get the students started and where to get help if need be.

It is important for the students and teachers to understand why it is important to teach Safety and Etiquette to students. We can't just take it for granted that because students have an iPhone, iTouch, iPad, computers, or cell phones that they understand the impact of its misuse or even how it could be misused. Since our students have these devices, it's best for teachers to be proactive and show them how they can be used to their advantage and not just turn a blind eye believing that the students will use their devices responsibly.

The classroom teacher should have a poster in the classroom describing the appropriate way to use the devices; and what is acceptable, not acceptable, and what will not be tolerated. There should also be a poster describing how to properly post to a blog, facebook, etc. It is also important for students to understand the consequences for not following the rules.

Tool #9 Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices

1. The time we have in the elementary classroom to prepare students is getting shorter and shorter. There is so much we need to teach that teachers really need to start working smarter not harder. In the classroom, curriculum integration is the way to go instead of breaking the day into specific teaching periods. The technology devices are good resources to encompass many aspects of learning. Also, students are very familiar with the technology and very willing to work with it. It seems that if we want them to learn, using the devices is the way to go. The devices are not going away, if anything, they are always being enhanced and are more readily available.

2. We still need to make sure that students are accomplishing the skills that are being taught; therefore, holding them accountable in turns helps them become responsible for their learning. It becomes a partnership and not just a one-way street with teacher doing all the delivery. Helping the students become responsible kids, helps them become responsible teenagers, and adults.

3. I really liked the following three sites because they offer grade-level appropriate material. Students can practice skills learned/discussed in class. If the activity does not have a printed assessment, the way to hold students accountable is to have them journal in their notebook and transfer that to a classroom blog -- similar to the way we have been posting on our Blog. (offer printable sheets) (offer printable sheets)

4. The station will be available for students to use to provide practice on Math skills. The devices will also be used for writing blog responses as well as for creating documents and research.

Edmodo, VoiceThread, Stupeflix, Picasa, and Google Apps is another way I see the students using iTouches, notebooks, and iPads to respond and design and create projects.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tool #8 The Tools

I like the idea that we are not being constricted to just one platform (Dell/Mac). It's nice that, for the most part, we are able to interface the equipment.

As I have been working with "Tools" I use my laptop and my iPad. I have not used the iTouch but see it as a scaled down version of the iPad. I also haven't used the Notebook but I like the idea that it is web-based as is the iTouch and focus can be on research; hopefully we won't have problems with the network while working with the technology. It will be like having a small "computer" lab in the classroom. One group of students can focus on one thing with the other group of students focusing on something else.

I can see how use of all our technology is going to really prepare the students to use these tools appropriately. We all have to do our part and keep adding to their "database" each year. We also have to consider that, in some cases, the students are mover savvy than we are with the technology and use it to our advantage.

Tool #7 Digital Projects - Outside the Classroom

I have had experience with "asynchronous" learning -- without realizing what it was called -- while working on my Masters. During the school year, our classes were 50/50: 50% face-to-face and 50% online. I received my Masters from The University of Houston Clearlake without stepping foot into a classroom at the University. My summer classes were all taken on-line -- long distance learning. We used WebCT for discussions and assignments. Also, about 10 years ago, I participated in a technology training through Region IV and we used "Blackboard" in order to communicate and turn in assignments.

Many teachers on our campus use a version of this type of learning when they create a classroom blog and assign students projects to complete and then respond and write about it on the blog.

I learned about Skype a few years ago after my daughter left to college in Chicago. We downloaded it on our computer and we were able to "video chat" with her. I am happy to see that it has vigorously moved into the classroom.

Social Studies Project Using Tools
Local History : This site has a similar project to the one below....

Students will become familiar with the states they need to learn by contacting a school in the state capitol via Skype.

Prior to contacting a school, students will research information on their city/area to share with a the corresponding school. The can design a questionnaire to help them keep track of information gathered.

The class will discuss what information is important for them to know regarding their state and the students can choose questions from the classroom bank or come up with pertinent questions they want to know.

The students will pair up and design a questionnaire that they will use to get information from students from their respective school.

After the information has been gathered, the students will create a VoiceThread and post it on the classroom Blog. The VoiceThread will include images, text, and narrations.

On a U.S. classroom map, the students will keep track of the states from which they have gathered information.

Teacher will assess groups based on their questionnaire, their ability to converse and gather information from others, their blog post, and their reflection of learning upon completion of the project.

Here are some Science Projects that seemed appropriate for our elementary kiddos:

Wonderful World of Weather (Real-Time Data Project)
Whichever Way the Wind Blows (Design a windsock)
The Three Little Pigs (Design an indestructible house for the third little pig)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tool #6 Discussions Using Web Tools

I attended a GT in-service out of district in which the presenter mentioned "Edmodo" and I registered to use it then. He defined it as "Facebook" for you classroom. Something important that he stressed as necessary is to have "rules for posting" so the students understand how to post responses to each other. Click here to link to my edmodo.

I intend to use Edmodo in the classroom setting as a way to have students respond to readings, class discussions, and/or clarification.

I viewed "VoiceThread" and it reminded me somewhat of "Photostory" that I learned when I did the original Web 2.0 tools.

I really like "Backchanneling with Todays Meet" for the classroom because it is "Twitter" for the classroom so the teacher is still in control and can monitor what is being discussed. I especially like the fact that this can be viewed on the ActivBoard; this encourages the students to readily use the tool.

I can see using this tool for class discussions in Math, Reading, and Science. Posing a question and having students respond to the question and, as they become proficient in the use of this tool, respond to each other.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tool #5 Producing w/Web 2.0

I have used Animoto with students in the past, and showed Glogster to the 5th graders this school year for their Science projects. I decided to learn something new -- Stupeflix Video.... I compiled some family photos, uploaded them to Picasa, then to Stupeflix, to create the following video. I would like to use this with the students in the same way; they can take photos of their family members, upload them to Picasa then to Stupeflix and create their family video.

As an example, I will show them this video I made and then create a class "family" video taking photos of everyone in the class, uploading the photos via Picasa and then using Stupeflix to create the video.

I took a look at storyjumper and really like the idea that students can write their own books. In Science, they can have their own inquiries, or they can summarize their favorite book or collaborate with someone else and write a new book as a project. I didn't create anything in storyjumper but plan to use it in class and will create something with the students as a sample, before they create something on their own.