Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tool #11

My favorite tools are in Google. I use blogger to help students learn how to create and post their work online. They are getting really familiar with what embed codes are and love having a digital portfolio of their work in my class. When we get our iPads in March, I cannot wait to try the apps Notability and Educreations Interactive Whiteboard as a new way to get students to share what they have learned in small groups.

My thinking has been in a constant state of transformation for many years now. After going through the ActivBoard trainings, T3 Grant trainings, attending the TCEA conferences, and now these 11 tools, each year I feel I get more and more proficient in understanding what changes need to be made in my classroom. This year I developed a goal of trying to go almost completely paperless, which has been quite a challenge. I plan to continue to grow and stay current on what is out there and feel fortunate to be one of the leaders in my school. I am the ActivEducator for my campus and have been lucky to get a lot of training from the district all the time. I am also very interested in breaking down the walls of my classroom to connect to other classrooms in our school and out in the world.

I was happy and surprised to learn that I am already doing a lot of the things I learned in this training, but also happy to learn even more!

Tool #7

1. Using TodaysMeet with another class in the school.
2. The objective would be to discuss a novel currently being read by both classrooms using academic language. Students would be given a set of sentence stems to use to discuss the book using TodaysMeet. After they have posted their comments, they could read the other students' comments and make respond to them. This could be implemented when we read Nothing But the Truth in the 5th six weeks.

Tool #10

1. Three things I would want to make sure my students understand about being good digital citizens are to be able to discern a good website from a bad one, being able to access credible sources using databases and advanced Google searches, knowing the importance of password security and what cyberbullying is.
2. BrainPop has several lessons tied to digital citizenship that I have used already with my students and will continue to use.
3. One example to teach digital citizenship to my students would be to show them how I do Google searches and use some of the advanced tools and also show them that there are a lot of bogus sites out there by having them go to one to see for themselves. I think the BrainPop videos and quizzes are also effective to use to talk more about digital citizenship.
4. I would like to share some of the blogs I read with parents so they can read more about digital citizenship. I especially liked http://rhondda.wordpress.com/2008/11/05/digital-literacy-and-the-classroom/ and would share it with them on open house night and post on my classroom website as a place to begin. Our school has also hosted several parent nights to discuss things like Facebook and other digital citizenship issues.

Tool #9

1. Teachers should always start with the curriculum first, and then think about what technology tool, if any, would enhance a learning experience for kids. Otherwise, just like students, the teachers can get lost in the technology and loose site of what the leaning objectives are.
2. There should always be an accountability piece included in technology centers so that students can reflect on what they are learning and teachers can ascertain whether or not their students mastered the learning objective. Teachers cannot be everywhere at once to make sure students are on task in this type of learning environment, but will have time later to go back and check for understanding in all the groups.
3. Thinkfinity has a lesson called In the Courts, where there is a series of short video clips for kids to watch. At the end of each clip, is a question that students can answer. Students could answer these questions on a blog page, record themselves answering it using the built in cameras on their computers or iPads, or simply type up their answers in a Google document to share with their teacher.
The SBISD database has tons of stuff for Social Studies that I could use. There are lots of flipcharts already created that kids could use in a small group at the ActivBoards. Kids can record themselves using the record feature found in the tools on the Inspire software to answer questions.
4. Educreations Interactive Whiteboard could be used for example with kids after reading some text to share with pictures, voice recordings, and drawings a summary of what they read or a teacher could create a lesson for kids to look at in small groups.
Playtime Theater could be used to create a puppet show reenacting a certain event in a novel or in history.
5. Students could also use the iPad to watch a videoclip that the teacher has downloaded from Discovery Education and then record themselves discussing that video using the camera on the iPad. The teacher could provide guiding questions for them to discuss.