Monday, July 19, 2010

11 TOOLS Reflection

1. What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? My favorite tool was Digital Story Telling. I thought that this tool was very user friendly. I would love to have the kids create a story from the summer to share within the first few weeks of school. One of my other favorites was image generators, specifically word clouds. A word cloud could be created in the beginning of the year to verbalize their goals for the upcoming school year.

2. How have you transfomed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom? I think a lot of my barriers relating to technology have been broken. I had a lot of fears when it came to using some of these tools in the classroom. Most of the fear was related to the unknown! The most fun part will be explaining to the kids that this is a experience that we will learn and grow in together!

TOOL #11

With great power comes great responsibility! Responsibility on the part of the teacher and that of the student. I have been worrying about the safety of the students since this adventure began. I guess you will have to use the age old theory of gradual release. I would NOT feel like I had done my job correctly unless I began educating with the resources in tool 11, which is odd because it is our last tool! Like other aspects of life, it is impossible to hover and protect as they begin to explore technology on their own. All we can do is try our best to prepare them!
My three top priorities for digital citizenship would be:
* Treat others with respect (through commenting and other interactions)
* Never give out personal information
* Do your best work (edit) before publishing to the world!!

Before I begin teaching about digital citizenship I would access the students' prior knowledge and hear out their ideas about citizenship. Many of the best practices we use for classroom citizenship would overlap to the virtual world! Then I would use: BrainPop; Cool Cat Teacher; and Digiteen Digital Citizenship.

TOOL #10

My kids will have access to iTouches in January. Each classroom will have 5 of them! I can't wait to share some awesome apps with my kiddos! Also, I have a feeling that my kids will be able to share some with me as well! Some of my favs are:
HearPlanet- a tour of famous places
USA FactBook Free- facts about the 50 states
Planets- info about the planets in our solar system
I envision using my iTouches and various apps in a number of ways. I would like to use them in math workstations, free play time, spelling practice, and research to name a few!
The fact that they are mobile allows the kids to not only move around the classroom, but also they could take them to other parts of the campus as well!

TOOL 9

Skype and Jing! I don't have any experience with either of these applications! Skype seems to be a little more involved and need a few more bells and whistles. Jing seems like a more reasonable option for my classroom. I think Jing would be a great way for students to keep up with a pen pal class! It would also be a fun way for kids to learn about the world outside of their own world. I think it would be a great way to expose our students to other cultures. Virtual field trips would be an outstanding way to utilize Jing. And as always, I'm sure my kiddos would have a million other ways to use this tool!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

TOOL 8

Now this tool will REALLY be helpful! Videos are such a great way to capture our students' attention. And obviously videos help make subject matter come alive. I don't know how to "embed" the video, so I'm going to try a hyperlink instead. As with some other assignments from 11 tools, I have found it difficult to "produce on command". When I am actually in school mode using these tools will make more sense and I won't have to rack by brain to come up with relevant topics. Anyway...my first video is a song about photosynthesis. I found it through Blinkx and it is a YouTube video. I always find that the kids remember things better when put to music! I did encounter buffering problems and the video stopped OFTEN while I was trying to preview it. Also, my internet connection must be slow today because when I was searching the pages took a really long time to load. And I found it annoying to listen to the M&M commercial each time I previewed a video. Is there a way around it? Probably not though, because advertising is what makes it a free website, right? My second video is about bullying. I think videos are not only a great way to talk about academic subjects, but social subjects as well. I like this video because it helps the kids to identify with the emotions they may be feeling. Also, junior high kids made is, so it shows our elementary students that big kids are having some of the same problems. Then it shows them how to turn it around!

http://www.blinkx.com/watch-video/lachman-photosynthesis-respiration-song/AhlQS3l7jpcgkh1N5rYjog

http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=168567&title=Bullying

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

TOOL 7

I really like this application! I did it on my Dell, because I don't have a Mac. I am about to celebrate my Wedding Anniversary with my hubby of two years, so I made a tribute to our special day. I can see the kids using digital story telling to recount their adventures of field trips, reader's theaters, field day, class parties and much more. The key would be having the pictures accessible to the kids. And again, modeling first and then working in small groups.
video

Monday, July 12, 2010

TOOL 6

So Wikis seem to be a lot like Google Docs. I guess that the difference is that anyone on the web can view your wiki and only those invited can view google doc?

I like the idea of using Wikis for book reviews! My kids toyed with online book reviews through Scholastic last year, but this allows for more freedom!

I also think you could use a wiki as a fun way to solve a mystery or scavenger hunt, of sorts!