Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tool # 11: Self Assessment and Reflecting

This has been a journey. I created a Prezi to show what tools I liked the most. It is very simple but I will continue to play with this so I am can show my students how to best utilize this tool.

I plan on teaching digital citizenship at the beginning of the school year. I would like to get Edmodo up and running in the first few weeks of school. I will also have to educate parents on the uses of Edmodo. This will be a place to post assignments, upcoming events, discussion questions, helpful links or websites, and even videos for students to view. It will be a place teachers and students to communicate with each other. It will be very important to set clear guidelines.

It will take some practice and planning to make all this happen in the classroom. I think starting with a few tools and then adding on will be the best way for me to accommodate the 21st Century learner. I also think teachers will benefit from collaborating with each other as grade level teams and across grade levels.

I look forward to the challenge!!!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tool # 10: Underneath it All- Digital Citizenship

There are 3 things I want students to understand about being good digital citizens. These are from the National Educational Technology Standards for Students.

1. Teach students how to practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
2. Teach students to exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
3. Teach students to demonstrate personal responsibility for life long learning.

I think that Atomic Learning has some good resources that can be used in the classroom. I also like the ISafe website. It is important for students to know what the district policy is for Internet use in the classroom. Brain Pop had several videos on digital citizenship. I have included the link for one of the videos below.
I would start teaching digital citizenship very early in the school year since technology in the classroom is a big initiative.

I think the school should inform parents of the district policy for Internet use. I would also follow up with grade level meetings and/or classroom meetings.

Friday, July 8, 2011

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

1. Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective?

Students today do not know a world without cell phones, computers, Internet, and so on. Technology is important but the bottom line is technology doesn't teach. Teachers do! The technology tools we choose to use in the classroom will not work unless teachers have a strong understanding of best instructional practices and classroom management. It would be a waste of time showing the students a cool web tool without solid lesson plans, expectations, modeling, guided practice, and a way to assess. Teachers must know what they will be teaching first; the technology piece is a way to get to the desired outcome. Teachers must sharpen their teaching skills and then use technology for a little help.

2. Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers?

Stations are a way for students to practice and apply with they have learned. What is the point if students are not held accountable for the time they spend in a station? Students need to know the expectations and guidelines before they go to a station. This is the time for them to show what they know. It is also a good assessment tool for teachers. Teachers can see who needs more help and who is ready for something more challenging.

3. Visit 2 of the applicable links to interactive websites. Which ones did you like? How could use them in stations?

I looked through several of the websites. I liked Study Ladder and Thinkfinity. They seemed to have more literature and reading games than the other websites. I think games have a place but students who struggle with reading need to be reading. I would be selective on what games I would allow students to use and they would be held accountable by having to complete a graphic organizer or reflection after they complete the station.

4. List 2 or 3 apps you found for the IPad/IPod Touch that you can use in your classroom.

Many of the apps that are free are the lite version. There are several geography and map skill apps that are okay. They are GeoPlay, ShakeEmUp, and USA Free. I see these being used for social studies. Students could be held accountable by having to create some type of technology project based on what they learn in playing the games.

5. What are some other ways to use the IPad/IPod Touch?

I like some other apps that are not free. These are Lit2Go and Tales2Go. Students are actually reading books and poems. I also like Penzu. This is an online digital journal. Teachers can create an account for the students. Then students can respond to literature they have read with the teacher and other students.

I also see the IPad being used to create presentations. One tool I like is Prezi. It is like a PowerPoint only more spiced up. Prezi is an online presentation tool that takes the audience from idea to idea in a nonlinear way. Students get to be creative on how they create their presentation. It also forces students to organize and prioritize their information. Students must really know the topic they are studying so they can choose what key words and images will best convey the information they are presenting. The account is free for educators. The website is
http://prezi.com You must then click on the Student/Teacher Licenses in the yellow box.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tool # 8: Taking a Look at the Tools

I am excited about the devices that will be in my classroom this fall. I received an IPad before school let out for the summer. I attended one of the classes on IPads during Teacher U in June. I learned how to sync the IPad to ITunes and set up my district ITunes account. I learned how to find free aps for use in the classroom. I have been playing with it all summer and want one of my own!
I also learned about the netbooks and how to use the webcam that comes with this device. Very cool! I don't know if 4th grade will be receiving the netbooks or not, but I certainly hope so!!

Classroom management will be first and foremost before anything else. I know most students will know how to use the devices but they will need to be taught how to use them properly in the classroom setting.

I plan on doing the following to manage the devices in my classroom.
1. Model how use the devices using the Elmo. ( whole class)
2. Model in small groups how to use the devices.
3. Create classroom rules and consequences( if not used correctly) for using the devices.
4. Assign classroom techs ( students who will be responsible for the management of the devices).
5. Mini lessons how to use the devices in workstations as needed.

Ready for Tool #9!!!

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

I will have 2 classes for language arts/social studies in the fall. I plan to use the tool Edmodo so both classes can communicate with each other about novels they are reading in book club.

a. TLW use Edmodo to facilitate an online book discussion about a novel being read in class by responding to questions posted by the teacher.
b. I plan to implement this in the first nine weeks of school.
c. Edmodo
d. I will teach digital citizenship before allowing students to use Edmodo. I will model how to have an online book discussion. Students will then respond to questions posted by me. I also plan on using links and video clips ( author interviews) for students to view and respond to. Assignments can also be posted for students to complete; such as writing a poem based on the character traits of the main character. They can turn in the assignments on Edmodo. Students can also respond to polls and have discussions about the results. At the end of the novel, students can post their critique of the book.
e. Once the classes get this going, I would like use Edmodo to communicate with other students at my school and throughout the district.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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

I created accounts for a few of the tools that were listed. The first one is Wall Wisher. This was easy to set up. This would be a different way for students to post responses to books or any other reading in the classroom. I like that it can be manipulated as well, so you can categorize responses on the ActivBoard. This can be added to a classroom blog so students can respond at home.

One of the other tools I liked was Edmodo. I attended the class at Teacher U this summer on Edmodo. It sparked my interest in learning more about this tool. This was created out of the popularity of social networks. It is a safe social network for the classroom. Teachers can create a class group for students to join. The teacher can post assignments, homework, class notes, and grades for students to view. I am not sure about the grades part. I would have to research this more. Students can safely post comments on Edmodo to other peers in their class. I see this being used at home for discussions on homework and other assignments. The teacher would also have the opportunity to teach digital citizenship before students would be allowed to join the group.

I am now ready for Tool #7.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tool # 5: Web 2.0 Tools

Create your own video slide show at animoto.com.

Animato is great and super easy. I created this video slide show titled "Around the World". This could be incorporated in the classroom in so many ways. Students could create slide shows for social studies projects. I could also see them creating mini biographies on themselves. This could also be used by book clubs to create a slide show on a book they want to share with classmates. The possibilities are endless with this tool.

I used Big Huge Labs to create a trading card using a photo of my nephew. Again the possibilities are endless with this tool. This could be used in social studies and language arts classes. Students could use this tool to create magazine covers, trading cards, etc. describing a book they have read or a topic/person they have researched. This is also quick and fun.

Image hosted @ bighugelabs.com