Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tool # 9 - Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices as Tools for Learning

Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective?
It's important to tie technology to lesson objectives when appropriate for several reasons. Technology can grab students' attention, engage students in active learning and it allows students to stretch beyond the classroom to learn. Technology is an integral part of our world today and classrooms should mirror that world. When we can be more efficient, interactive and creative using tech tools, why wouldn't we?

Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers?
As with all learning, the accountability piece is a crucial part of the puzzle. Having some sort of accountability ensures that the students will be on task and have a concrete way to demonstrate their understanding.

Visit 2 of the applicable links to interactive websites for your content/grade level. Which sites did you like. How could you use them as stations? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations?
Although I don't have my own classroom, I can certainly see classroom benefits to using interactive websites as stations. MangaHigh works well in math classrooms, PhET is a great resource for science teachers and Thinkfinity has something for just about everyone. Record keeping sheets and/or summary sheets describing the learning can work well for the accountability at stations.

List two to three apps you found for the iPod Touch/iPad that you can use in your classroom. What do you see that station looking like? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations?
Slideshark and LiveBinders are 2 great iPad APPS that could be used at stations. Slideshark works like PowerPoint where students can create/view/edit slide shows. LiveBinder allows students to create electronic binders to hold all kinds of information. The products students create can serve as the accountability piece for stations that involve these two APPS.

What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station.
Another way to use an iPad as a station is to use it as a research tool or video maker.With the evolution of APPS the sky's the limit really!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tool #8 - Taking a Look at the Tools

As an iPhone and MacBook Pro user at home, I'm pretty familiar with the functions of the Apple devices already but am looking forward to using the iPad with students.  It's nice to know that the SBISD Ed Tech page has a place to search for APPS by grade level and content area.

Nice to know that the net books can be directly connected to a projector and they have a webcam and an SD card reader.  Makes it easy for students to create and communicate, I can hardly wait!  My Technology Think Tank group will be ready to rock and roll with these devices!

Getting a tech management system in place in classrooms will be important and I have confidence that our students will be more than happy to comply.  Having a visible storage area that can be easily checked at a glance would be my 1st recommendation.  It will also be important to label the devices with a classroom number.  I also like the idea of designating some technology managers in each class to check out and then check in the devices each period.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tool #7: Reaching Outside your Classroom: Online Digital Projects

Here's a potential project for a Spanish I class.

Content objective 
Students will demonstrate fluency with school related vocabulary by communicating via Skype with a class in Mexico to compare opportunities with extracurricular school activities/organizations.

When you plan to implement
sometime after spring break

What tool(s) you plan to use

A brief description of the project (plan - two or three sentences)
Have students prepare statements about school related organizations in Spanish/English (which ever language the class is studying) to share with students from Mexico/USA. 

Use Skype to hold discussions about the extracurricular activities available to students in their respective schools.
Have students write questions to be answered by the other class.
Have classes prepare video responses to posed questions as a culminating activity.

Tool # 6 - Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion in and out of the Classroom

Edmodo is one of the tools I have used with classes. I helped one of our Social Studies teachers get her students started with Edmodo and they've been rockin' and rollin' with it ever since! Looks like there have been some quizzes lately to take online.
The nice thing about Edmodo is that engages all students in an educational facebook sort of way. So you are hearing the voices of everyone, not just the most vocal, outspoken students. It's easy to set up online discussions, homework assignments, surveys and quizzes that students can access anytime they have internet access. There's even an iPhone app for that!
Twitter is another tool that can be of great value in the classroom. I personally use it to keep up with the latest educational news and research. Here's a sample of organizations I follow.
Twitter can be used in the classroom to get real time information about current events. It also offers the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world.  It might be something you could challenge students to use to seek out opposing viewpoints etc.
I continue to find new ideas as I do my research for 11 Tools. I recently learned about Photo Pin on an educator's blog. It's an easy way to insert pics in blogs. There is so much to learn about and lots of avenues in which to learn!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tool #5 - Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

Here are some ideas on how Wordle could be used in the classroom.

1. What is important on your school campus? Copy and paste your schools mission and vision statements into Wordle and find out.
2. Self Reflection; If you where to write a story about yourself, what would your Wordle say?
3. Current Study posters. What is curricularly important in your class this week? Create a Wordle that visualizes that.

Here's my Wordle. 

Animoto allows for images, video clips, text and music to be used to create a video. Students and teachers can use this tool to jazz up any presentation.

Here's the Animoto video I created.

Tool #4 - Moving Up to the Clouds

Below is a link to a form I created in Google Docs. Feel free to answer my survey at any time!

11 Tools Survey

Google forms make it easy to survey and collect data from teachers on campus. I created a Google form when we needed to know what types of training teachers wanted on ActivInsire and other Activ devices.  Google Docs make collaborating with colleagues seamless. Two heads are always better than one and with Google Docs, there are no emails flying back and forth. We can capture the best ideas from everyone in one place in real time! I introduced my Tech Think Tank students to Google Docs at our first meeting and they loved it! We are communicating through a Google doc in between meetings. I look forward to continuing to use the forms and documents in Google Docs with these students!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tool #3 - Finding Online Video and Image Resources

This is a fascinating video on Whole Brain teaching in an Algebra I class.

After viewing this lesson, I had to get some more info on this Whole Brain Power Teaching thing. So here are the 6 basic features demonstrated.

I found both of these videos on YouTube and it was very easy to embed them. Discovery Education also has lots of videos that would be great to incorporate into lessons.

Still playing with embedding videos so here's a link to Slope Dude , a video I found on teacher tube!

Next I wanted to see if I could embed a video from Discovery Education. I was able to do it by first downloading the video. It landed in my documents in the download folder.  To embed it, click on the 'insert a video' icon and navigate to the download folder in My Documents to select it. So the moral of the story is - if you cab download it, you can embed it!

Copyright and fair use regulations...Glad to know there are exceptions for teachers and students!  As long as we repurpose and/or add value to a copyrighted piece we can use it for educational purposes. Also if we are using a legal copy or reproduction of a legal copy AND can answer YES to each of these questions below, we are within our rights. 
Will the copyrighted work be performed or displayed in 1) the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a 2) non-profit institution in a 3) classroom or similar place devoted to instruction?

I have a Dropbox account and shared a folder of 8 files with the MHS staff as part of our Jan 3 staff development. All of the MHS teachers should now have a Dropbox account! I use Dropbox when I am collaborating with colleagues o presentations.

The Eiffel Tour is one of those great landmarks in the world.  Here's a pic I downloaded from a Picasa Web Album using Creative Commons.  Just wish I could claim it as my own!  

There are so many high quality photos on Picasa that could bring imagery to the classroom.  I'll start here from now on when searching for pictures!

Check out Photo Pin for a super easy way to get free pics (Creative Commons) on your blog.   

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tool #2 - Building Community in the Online Environment

Finally set up Google Reader, I've been meaning to do that for awhile!  I'm currently following the 2 sites below. They have all kinds of technology ideas to investigate.
Make that 3 sites I'm following on Google Reader. Just learned that when you 'privately' follow a blog, it will be added to your Google Reader automatically! So now I can see the updates on my blog dashboard (Reading List) or Google Reader!
And one last thing I'm really interested in staying on top of...best APPS for my iPhone 4s.  So far the one I rate 5 star (that not many seem to know about) is CARDS and it's a free app!  You can design and send a card from your iPhone 4 or 4s without ever leaving home!  A high quality card actually is mailed through USPS for $2.99 on you Apple account.
I'm going to check out these apps described on the link below soon!
It's amazing what you can learn from others just by browsing around the web.  I'm okay with going public with blog comments and hope to get some feedback on things I post.

Tool 1 - Blog with Voki

Well I'm officially blogging!!!  The set up was fast.  I spent most of my time playing with all of the design options.  I enjoyed playing with the Voki but it took me a moment or two to get that pretty girl posted! I'm now looking forward to moving on to Tool #2 but that doesn't mean I won't come back and play some more with my design!