Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tool # 8

I have learned how to set up and sync my iPad from my computer and also how to use Dropbox to get content on to the iPad.

Classroom management of the devices is very important.  I have a lot of experience in this already because of the 16 Macbooks I have had in my classroom for the past two years.  I have used a sign-out sheet for the devices and also assigned certain devices to students.  I also have strict rules about eating and drinking near these devices and a procedure in place for how they will be taken out and put away each day.  I really like the idea of creating my groups of experts in the classroom to troubleshoot problems that will inevitably arise.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tools: #6

Here is a link to a VoiceThread I created: Boston Massacre
I can see how this could be a useful tool for discussing a political cartoon or other image in social studies.  I think students would be more engaged using this tool and be more careful in what they post as comments knowing that others will see it.

Here is a link to an Edmodo Account I experimented with.  Edmodo for Vergult
I have not actually used this for my classes this year, but would love to set up all the assignments for the next unit I teach in here to see how it goes.

I have used TodaysMeet several times over the past two years to have a discussion on a novel.  I also created a Flipchart presentation for using TodaysMeet for the Technology Blitz last summer.  I love this tool because it helps me evaluate what everyone contributes AND everyone must contribute.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

#5: Web 2.0 Tools

This is a wordle of the Declaration of Independence.  It would be a great "hook" into a lesson about this famous document.  Students could use this to discuss what they think the document is really about by looking at the larger words which are the ones most repeated.
Wordle: Declaration of Independence
Go Animate is very fun and easy to use.  I created the one below: obama+interview by marianne.vergult

I will most likely use GoAnimate to have my students write a debate between the Loyalists and Patriots during our unit of study on the American Revolution.

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

Tool #4: Moving Up To The Clouds

I have already used Google Apps extensively in my classroom.  All of my students have a blogspot where they post their digital products.  We have also used Google Docs to write and share and collaborate.  This is an amazing tool and has revolutionized how we do work in the classroom.  My favorite part is that kids can no longer lose their work and have access 24/7.  The collaboration possibilities are endless and being able to comment on their work online saves so much paper!  In their last writing assignment I was able to use the revision history to check on how much revision they did and also when they did it.

I recently developed a Passion Based Learning Project using Google Docs and when the entire school decided to use it, sharing the document was a snap!  I also learned how to import all the email addresses from Skyward so that I can quickly share documents with all of my students as well.

Tool #3: Online Video and Images

Discovery Education in an invaluable resource that I already use all the time in my classroom.  I have put video links into flipcharts and downloaded many videos to my computer.

Here are my two videos:

Copyright and Fair Use:  It is very important to know the laws on these issues and also to know where you can find resources that are available to use without violating the laws. I did not know that as long as students/teachers are publishing content to a secure location (walled garden, educational network or website that require passwords, etc.) they can pretty much do whatever they want – as far as creating products for instruction or to demonstrate learning.  The free online tool is very helpful and I will definitely tell my students about it.

I already have a Dropbox account, but have not used it much in my classroom because there are so many other places available to save/share work like in Google Docs.

Tool #2: PLNs

This is an amazing way to stay connected to other educators outside of your local area.  There is an enormous amount of information and lists of tools/apps to discover.  The advice on posting comments was rather obvious, but I liked the idea to teach my students how to post appropriate comments since many of them are rather clueless about how to do this correctly.  I have some fear about publicly sharing my thoughts on certain subjects and plan to share only what is not too controversial.  I like because it showed me some really cool iPad apps to use in the classroom.

Tool #1

I have used blogger and voki before in my class and at a summer tech camp.  All of my students this year have blogspots and avatars as well.  I love this technology and made a goal this year to have my students post their digital creations on their blogspots.  I  have had some success in doing this, but we often run out of time to post all of their work.  We have also run into glitches when it comes to posting documents from Google Docs, but that is another story for another day.