Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tool 11

Tool 11- Reflection

My favorite tool were the online image generators. I could see how the students would really get into them to enhance their projects.11 Tools has made me want to modify and change up my lessons to integrate more web 2.0 resources into them. I plan on creating a class edmodo and a class blog for next year. I feel that our campus is already using many of the tools featured on 11 Tools and as I work more and more with these tools I am feeling more confident with their use. The students really are more actively engaged in the lessons when they are using the various devices and tools.

Tool 10

Tool 10- Digital Citizenship

Just like we teach appropriate classroom behavior, we need to teach our students appropriate technology behavior. It is important that the students understand the district's AUP and their compliance with the district's guidelines. Our counselors and librarian do teach the students about digital citizenship and cyber bullying. Our librarian conducts mini-lessons on copyright infringement. BrainPop has a great video on cyber bullying and digital citizenship. To convey the message to parents, I state my expectation with regards to digital citizenship in my class syllabus.

Tool 9

Tool 9- Incorporating

It is become more important than ever to integrate technology into the classroom as the expectations from employeers are tech savvy workers. Our students are constantly surrounded with technology in their everyday lives and it is our responsibility to educate them on how to effectively use technology. We need to teach our students to become experts in technology.

I really like the following which I found in the SBISD database:

1. 8th grade SS Jeopardy review flipchart.
2. American Revolution flipchart.
3. Articles of Confederation flipchart.

I also like the Constitution app for the iPad since it shows the document in its entirety.

When using stations, to keep the students accountable and on-task I can use the ActivBoard timer to time them at each station, the students can use edmodo to answer questions from each station and demonstrate understanding of the concept. .

Tool 8

Tool 8- Tools

We have used all of the items for the fall in my classroom. I feel confident in my abilities with all of the devices as I have already used them for various projects. When introducing the devices into my classroom I like to allow the students time to play on the devices and become familiar with the various features. Allowing time for technology recess allows the students time to focus on their project and the content rather than focusing on the device itself.

I did not know about SBISD's technology repository which allows me to search flipchart, apps, etc by my grade and content. This will save me a lot of time in the future when trying to find educational apps to put of the iPads/Pods. I already found some on the database which I am going to download.

I did learn how to set up a free iTunes account which I didn't know you could even do! This is great since I won't have to worry about students downloading paid apps.

Tool 7

Tool 7- Going Global

This goes hand in hand with my tool 6 post and how I plan on using the edmodo community to create and collaborate with a school in the NE part of the US.

I also used skype during summer school for my 4th grade class to meet and discuss hurricanes with a local meteorologist. Taking away from this experience, I could use skype for the students to talk with experts during a particular project. Since it is an election year, maybe we could find a local candidate who would be willing to skype with my class and explain some of the behind the scenes political process of campaigning. I could also try contacting the City of Houston to see if Mayor Parker would be interested in participating in a skype with our 8th graders.

Project Overview:

SWBAT: explain the function of Congress

Timeline: January

Tools: Skype

Students can skype with a Congress member, such as Representative Shelia Jackson Lee to learn about the role of Congress.

Tool 6

Tool 6- Web Tools

Edmodo & Skype:
This past school year I worked with our iCoach and our librarian to create a global collaboration with a sister school in England. The purpose of the project was for our students to compare/contrast the American Revolution with a school in England. To begin the project I skyped with the teacher in England. He and I set up the project together as we collaborated on the project requirements as well and the project objective. After using skype, we both set up edmodo accounts for our students to hold discussions or ask one another questions. My students were a part of 2 edmodo groups, one for their individual project group in which they could collaborate together to create their projects, and a second edmodo group which was their class and the students from England. Overall the project was successful however, most of the students in England did not study the American Revolution in much detail.

For next school year if time allows (this was an extremely time consuming project), I would like to do a similar project however, I would like to find a sister school in the NE, preferably Boston or Philadelphia. The goal of this project would be to compare/contract the Northerners take on the Civil War versus the Southerners. In addition, I would like a school in a city of historical significance with regards to the revolution so that the sister students may share pictures and real-life experiences from the historical sites in their hometown.

Tool 5

Tool 5- Web 2.0
Wordle: I really like this image generator. I created a wordle below. I like how the wordle highlights the words or phrases used most often. I would like to see a wordle accompany the research paper that the 8th graders complete. I think it would make the writing experience more meaningful as students can see the important pieces of their work.

Glogster: I like Glogster since it allows the students to integrate various web 2.0 tools into one project.

Here is a link to a Glogster project that I have used with my students in the past. It uses Big Huge Labs, Wordle, Bookr, SlideRoll, YouTube, Animoto, and various web 2.0 tools.


Tool 4

Tool 4- Clouds
I created a first day overview document in Google Docs and shared it with my teammate. I am familiar with Google Docs as we routinely utilize it for monitoring students on the ICU list. We have a campus-wide grade level document shared and I can see which of my students owe work and for which classes. I can also modify this document by adding the missing assignments to my students.  I see my teammate and I potentially using the calendar feature as we plan our road map during the upcoming weeks. This is a great resource for teachers to use. I think it is an easy and effective way to share lesson plans and ideas with others in your department. The greatest use of Google Docs is the ability to edit and share out to others. I can also see students using Google Docs with one another when conducing research as a group or working on a cross-curricular project. I also think the students can use Google Sites to create a webpage to feature a project, this may be a good idea to do at the end of the year to showcase our various web 2.0 projects.

Tool 3

Tool 3- Finding On-Line Videos

YouTube is a great resource that we really should have student access to in the district. I realize that there are many inappropriate videos on the website; however there is a multitude of valuable resources that are blocked. I am glad that we have Zamzar to convert the YouTube files into working files that we can show in the classroom, making YouTube a bit more accessible.

Copyright is present in my lessons since my wife is the school librarian ans she is always stressing the importance of using copyright friendly resources. As a librarian she usually discusses the importance of copyright compliance in the classroom and she shows the students a variety of resources such as Flickr Creative Commons, CC Search, RoyalityFree Music.

I added the dropbox ap to my iPad. I think this is an easy way for teachers and students to share files and various resources.In the past, I would upload all the files to the Sweden folder on the server and the students would access them there, this is much easier.

Tool 2

Tool 2- Building PLN

I think it is easy not to create a dialogue when creating a blog. It is easy to provide commentary only versus a stimulating dialogue between writer and reader. I see how this is possible, especially if one is using the blog to convey information such as: test dates, homework reviews, and general information. In order to create a dialogue one has provide discussion in their blog such as providing discussion questions.

Creating comments also is something we need to teach in digital citizenship for our students. They need to understand that comments need to be productive, on topic, and relevant to the blog discussion. This is a good lesson to provide to our students.

I find myself reading more blogs versus interacting through commenting. I see how commenting can create more of a dialogue so I will do my best to start interacting more within the blogging community.

Social Bookmarking:

Social bookmarking sites are extremely useful in the school setting. Students can use a website like Delicious to save/bookmark various websites that they are using to conduct research. What I like best about Delicious is that the students can access their bookmarks from any computer without worrying about saving to the SAN folder.

I also like how you can share your bookmarks with other people. This will help allow teachers to share resources with others in their department. Librarians can also share links through a Delicious account versus emailing a series of links to the teachers (although they would need to make sure that the teachers are familiar with delicious).

I plan on revisiting the History Teacher's Attic blog featured on the 11 Tools website. I like the civil war game featured on the website as well as the various links featured such as the virtual field trips. I also found the post on baby names interesting as it was posted around the time my second daughter was born. It was interesting to see the historical trends in baby names throughout history.

Tool 1

This experience was easy and I did not face any challenges in the process. I am familiar with creating a blog and setting up a voki from my participation in 23 Things several years ago.