Monday, August 9, 2010

Wow! (Reflecting on 11 tools)

I can't believe I'm done. Some of my favorites...PhotoStory, blogging, Jing and Skype and Wikis. I think that one of the tools I will use with a project for students will be PhotoStory. I found it to be easy to use and so it should be easy to teach and the students can learn to manipulate it to their liking as well as present in written form(as I will make that a requirement).

As far as transforming my thinking about the learning that will take place in my classroom...well I am now less fearful of the unknown (technology...)all that is out there to teach with and from. I know I have much more to learn, but I am anxious to do so because it will assisst me in meeting the varied needs of my students and help to prepare them for tomorrow's world.

Unexpected me just the thought that I was able to take this course, learn so much, share and reflect all from home and at the pace and time that I chose has absolutely drawn a "wow" from me . It goes to show how advanced technology has become and how much learning we must continue to do.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Digital Citizenship...(tool 11)

In these super advanced technological times it's not possible to just allow students on to technology sources without guidance and instruction. Students are no longer just completing a prescribed program that goes in steps that the teacher assigned. Students are now able to access just about anything with the use of technology. I believe that three important lessons in digital citizenship that I will provide to my students are the importance of digital literacy; helping them to understand that technology involves finding information effetively and processing it to learn the unknown. I will also teach safety when using technology since it is of utmost importance when children are involved. Another lesson I will provide will be on etiquette, teaching them the rules to follow and the expected behaviours when working in the digital world.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mobile Tech. and Apps (tool 10)

While I personally don't own any type of I "equipment" ; ) I'm looking forward to learning how to use them as classroom tools. After reading about them and all of the available applications that students can work with , they seem like a great way to meet kid's diverse learning needs and styles. I did borrow an I phone from my sister and she shared/showed me a couple of organizing apps. It looks fun and not too difficult. I am looking forward to taking a staff development training on using these pieces of new equipment we will be receiving.

Jing and Skype (tool 9)

This section of the 11 tools made me think of "pen pals" from the days I was in school. I had like 3 and just loved getting their letters, pictures, posters and all the stuff that we shared with one another. I guess in the world of technology it could be called E-pals? I can see both of these programs being useful to students (especially older ones) for exchanging information, but especially for having access to experiences and knowledge outside of the classroom area.

Skype is a great tool! We use it to stay in touch with our family outside of Texas and the US.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Using videos as resources... (tool 8)

I have used video clips more and more frequently to introduce or review concepts with students. The ActiveBoard makes it easy to incorporate these resources into lessons. One video clip that my students enjoyed last year was on photosynthesis. I found it on YouTube.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Digital Storytelling... (tool 7)

I created a very simple Photostory video using some pictures from a vacation we took a while back. I found it easy to use and I believe it is an entertaining way to allow students to demonstrate and share material they are learning. I remember a presentation by a couple of coworkers who shared Photostory in a staff develompment session. One of the projects created by a student was following the lifecycle of an insect. It was fabulous. I know that students will enjoy using this tool, and what I like best about it is it's lack of difficulty.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wikis (tool 6)

It seems that Wikis have endless possibilities for the use in the classroom. Learning about it made me think about the times when students are collaborating in group projects and how sometimes they ask one person to be the "keeper" of the material that they have worked on so far. Needless to say, sometimes that material gets lost. Wikis is a great way to keep their learning projects, responses to assignments and all collaborative work in a secure place and accessible to everyone. I suppose like most of the tools that we have been learning here, the one way to make sure it achieves the desired purpose is to spend time with students going over the process of creating and using Wikis and the rules and expectations of sharing and collaborating on them. Looking forward to experiencing more with this.
Hope everyone is having a great summer. We are off to our vacation destination this week, so this blog will resume upon our return. ; )

"Tag" (tool 5)

I browsed through both tagging programs...delicious and Diigo. I found this particular assignment a little harder than the others. Here are two links that I tagged:

They are both sites with a variety of ideas for teachers.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Googling... (tool 4)

Some of these Google tools were absolutely new to me. They also seem pretty easy to work through. The Google Docs seems to be a good way to share information with others and it's neat that when you chose who to share with , you can also allow them to edit. I have set up my google reader with 5 11 Tools blogs that I am following. Time to move on to Tool 5.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finally... (tool 3)

After putting it off for quite some time I have completed tool 3. In keeping with the "summer" imagery and theme of my blog...I created a Wordle on fun things I am doing (or want to do) this summer and also an Animoto short video. Wordles look great for getting kids to expand vocab. and use mind maps. Animoto seems like a fabulous tool for presenting projects and/or writing descriptively (especially if they use their own photos). The pictures in my video were courtesy of istockphoto/animoto.

Create your own video slideshow at

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Connecting...(tool 2 )

I wish I was as fast as some of you moving through these 11 tools. As I stated in my first post, I had created a blog on cultivating the love of reading in children (especially third graders). I knew that by blogging about it I would have a chance at connecting with others that held the same interest, but more importantly, that had more ideas to collaborate on the topic. So it was an attempt at a PLN. I believe PLN's can be a great resource because you can reach out to more people in order to share and gather ideas about important and relevant topics on educating our little ones. I am already enjoying reading some of the suggested blogs on the 11 tools page, as well as some of the ones written by colleagues (campus and district).
The tips on commenting remindend me of when we hold conferences with our students about writing, projects etc...We can't just say simple things like "good" or "I like it" because students gain more learning with specific feedback about what they are sharing or working on. I think we can take a similar approach when commenting on other specific. I commented on the following blogs...
The Little Blogger that Could
The Blooming Blog
4th Grade Tech and Ed
Summer Thoughts
Using Technology in the Classroom

Thursday, June 10, 2010

So I begin...(tool 1)

Here is my first post. I'm pretty familiar with blogging in a personal form, as I follow 3 blogs online and have even created a couple on my own. Unfortunately I've been unable to maintain them because life in teaching and, especially in mommyhood, require my total presence. It will be interesting using it as a teaching/learning tool. One of the blogs that I created before was to network with other third grade teachers on ideas for teaching kids to love reading. I'm looking forward to working with this program with my students. The one challenging part was creating the Avatar as the voki site is slow and kept logging me off.