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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