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Monday, March 12, 2012

11-Tools - #11

I have learned some interesting things during this training.  I plan to save this site as a bookmark to revisit some of the sites I've visited and may want to go back to.  I particularly like Googledocs, Prezi, Voki, and Blogger.  We plan to use a lot more blogs next year as classroom participation grades.  We will also use Vokis this year when students do an online presentation of an artist or researcher.  We already use Googledocs and Prezi on a regular basis.

I realize that we need to be constantly aware of new technology in order to keep up with our students progression in the 21st century.  I will continue to be open to learning new programs and new ways to get the students more involved in their learning.

The biggest surprise for me was that I thought it would be harder for me to do this training. I tend to need processing time for technology and I felt like I picked this up pretty quickly.  Maybe I am growing?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

11 Tools-Lesson 10

1. The 3 things that I think are crucial to explain to kids this age regarding digital citizenship are:

*overall safety ( posting personal info, meeting new people, etc)
*taking care in what is posted ( once it's out there you can't take it back-bullying, etc.)
*Plagiarism in use of research


2. We have used I-safe, brainpop and other resources when talking to our students about this during 6th grade tech classes.

3. The best approach we have found is to teach is initially in isolation, to address the topic, but revisit it over and over again where appropriate to refresh the initial learning.

4. Parents should be encouraged to view the same sources we use with the kids and also can attend parent seminars given by tech aware parents or teachers regarding computer safety.

11 Tools Lesson 9

1.Technology is such a wonderful tool to enhance learning.  It is, however, important to focus on the objective in order to not just get lost in the "coolness" of the technology.  Without a clear objective for the students, they may end up wandering aimlessly and never obtaining the information we want them to obtain.

2. The reasons mentioned above are the same reasons we need to tie students to accountability. It is easy for them to get sidetracked (either intentionally or unintentionally) without clear objectives and accountability.

3.The websites listed that I like the best are Thinkfinity and Study Ladder.Many of the other sites seemed very juvenile and finding higher learning objectives was not an easy search. I could see setting an objective and accountability in small stations using either one of the online quizzes or a teacher designed one.

4. Ipad apps that I love are TeacherPal, as a way to organize and group the class.  Any geography sites such as GeoTracker or National Geographic Country Search, I also love the kids being able to download any books or novels on their Ipad.  Often the school selection is limited and this opens up a world of options for them.

5.  I love the easy skype and camera abilites of the Ipad.  This could so easily be used in a station, or in a reading group where a teacher cannot be present, yet it still needs to be monitored.

Friday, March 9, 2012

11 Tools-Lesson 8

I love the snap photo and video options on the Mac Books.  I can see student groups using this for project checkpoints and progress, or filming their progress.  I also love the idea of being able to sync apps to the I-pads for students.  I would use this with Geography practice and extra challenge programs for GT kids or kids done with work early.

Management has been a big issue for us with our school COW.  My teaching partner and I have always been somewhat strict about sign out and checking them for sign in, but can't necessarily rely on other teachers to have the same system. I love that these new devices will be ours, and thus, tracking improper use will be confined to our classroom only.

11 Tools Lesson-7

I plan to use blogger, google docs and skype to have an ongoing conversation with Southwest Academy in Sharpstown. The 9th grade World Geography teacher has lots of great ideas that can be added to our World Cultures class. We are aiming to do this in the spring, with the objective of expanding my 6th grade students' interest and knowledge of Geography. Lessons might include Geography games and quizzes, as well as brief summaries of different parts of the world.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Classroom Discussion Tool #6 part 2

Google Docs is fanstastic!  We use it all the time as a means for kids to have ongoing work that they can do in the classroom or at home. No folder issues, no saving issues, no need for a memory stick.  They can share with us when done, so no issues logging into their accounts or printing email.  We love it!

Here is a copy of a press release one of the "Toy Companies" from our economic unit shared with us via Google Docs

https://docs.google.com/a/springbranchisd.com/document/d/1sP0qfkjnWN9qlmMYtWIO-ORmsIKO22Yj13ip28doa0U/edit

Discussion in the classroom Web Tool #6

Really cool way to get discussion started.  I always like to see kids' feelings on a topic before we get started.
Sometimes it can be answers to commonly held myths, or sometimes it can be just a general overview of the classroom demographics or feelings.

Check out this link to some poll questions leading up to our religion unit

http://www.polleverywhere.com/my/polls#!/my/polls

Friday, February 17, 2012

Response to Tool #5

We use Prezi all the time to teach new content.  The kids enjoy the different format, and the optical tricks keep them interested.  My teaching partner actually likes it better than I do, but I am trying to become more adept in it. I LOVE Stupeflix!  It is easy and fun, and I use it all the time for content intros.  We have taught and encouraged our kids to use both of these programs when doing different presentations.  They will have the option again when they teach their classmates government.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

11 Tools Lesson 5 -Check out These Cool Tools!

PREZI- About Gross Domestic Product (GDP)  http://prezi.com/a3wm8pefv46v/gross-domestic-product-gdp/


Stupeflix About Goods and Services               http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/zEuXS1Sa4P/

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Google Docs- Step 4

We use Google Docs all the time on our campus.  It is how we manage our ICU students, as well as our team's management of students not turning in homework. Recently, with the distribution of our new Ipads, we have started sharing great apps among our whole staff via google docs.  We are all able to and responsible for adding to it and updating it.  In addition, we use the google form tool to manage our CESIT rosters and sign ups for staff breakfasts, etc.  We use it all the time.

Because our students are doing so much between school and home, we are trying to get them to use google docs exclusively.  It eliminates the need for a memory stick or being able to get SBISD folders off the server at home.  It is also something totally accessible on the netbooks, where as the various servers (Sweden, etc.) are hit or miss.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tool 3- Creative Commons

I like the idea of using either Picasa of Flickr with Creative Commons to guide students with image choice.  Google images is far too broad and often, (depending on the search) can bring up inappropriate images.  These sites are a much better way to give "controlled freedom" to kids' picture choice.

Tool 3- Fair Use

Having talked to our students in the past about using things for educational purposes, I was somewhat familiar with the Fair Use policies and rules.  My basic rule of thumb is....if you plan to use anything for "money making purposes," it had better not be copyrighted.  If it is strictly educational, not to leave the classroom, and only a small piece, it's usually okay.

Tool 3- Videos

I really love the Purevideo site, as I frequently use youtube videos and can't stand the ads!  I also was really psyched about the Downloadyoutube, as usually only having RealPlayer on your computer will allow that.
I am not the hugest fan of teacher tube.  I find a lot of their stuff to be low quality or dull; I have always had more success with youtube.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Blog Post- Tool 2

I like the idea of a blog becoming an extension of a web page/social networking site/email.  It can be a valuable tool for communication between colleagues, students and teachers, and students and parents. One of our largest time consumers is email questions from parents, often for the same issue.  Imagine if they can just post on a blog and perhaps answer each others' questions.  This is the way of the future and I can see it being very valuable.

Visiting Other Blogs -Tool 2

I visited other SBISD blogs in similar instructional areas because I know we are consulting about the same curriculum.  There was some interesting information, but most users are new, so the "advancement" of the information was limited.  I know I can get more information as I spend more time visiting blogs and discerning through the information.

One blogspot I intend to visit regularly is http://kronkeblog.blogspot.com

Monday, January 2, 2012

Beginning of 11 Tools-Step 1

It has been really fun and so easy!  Karen's directions are really easy to follow.  Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can.  Voki is so cool!  Never knew it existed, and now I will use it more frequently.