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Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 2010

So many things are happening with computing in the clouds.
Google Docs
Voice Threads
and the list goes on!

Monday, July 12, 2010

11 Tools- Reflection

Finished! I want to say that the Atomic Learning 21st Century Skills Assessment was interesting. I liked most of the questions but did struggle with some of them partly because I was trying to multi-task on IB things which was not the best idea (hindsight is so valuable).

Question 1- I will use Glogster for creating a multi-media poster which really seems more valuable that a traditional poster format. I will also have my various classes maintain a blog, maybe a wiki, to help each other with different technology tasks.

Question 2- I've always loved technology but worry about equity/access among students. This year I am excited to know that will be less of a problem. Now I just need to make sure I take as many risks in learning and trying new tools as I expect my students too!

Question 3- Unexpected outcomes... working more collaboratively with many other peers that I often don't have time to network with and finding some tools that will make my job easier not harder. :-)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tool #11 Digital Citizenship

This is a huge topic and very critical for teachers to understand and then to find the best ways to continually model internet safety, especially with social networking, and also with understanding copyright and plagiarism. These would be the three things I want to keep working on with my students: Internet safety, validating quality/point of view of a website, and plagiarism.
Most of the MS students I taught last year felt it was OK to accept friends that just asked to be a friend or give phone numbers, etc. on social networking sites. They also struggled with how to identify a quality website and then how not to plagiarize. They often would tell me that they had changed about 10 words so it was OK. We worked on using Noddletools and annotating our references which helped. This year I will utilize the SBISD resource list from the Power to Learn pages, ITSE Nets Standards, iSafe, and CyberSavy Teens to name a few resources.
I work with a great group of teachers that have the students best interest at heart and together we can set some consistency in our approaches vertically across grade levels as well as in our own content areas.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tool #10 Mobile Technology and Apps

I am devoting the weekend to playing with the hand-me down iPhone at our house. I have an iTouch that I got mid spring and didn't use much. During my trip to Europe I watched the students use their iPhones and iTouches for most everything. They really were useful and handy for more than just listening to music, audiobooks, or watching a movie.

After playing with several apps on an iPhone and an iTouch, I really liked Dragon Dictation since there are many times that I want to make a note of things or record something and have to go back and type it or write it later. With Dragon Dictation, the app takes your voice message and turns it into text. Yeah! (It'll help with some of those dyslexic moments as well.) I liked seeing Skype, Geo Locator, as well as many others. There are so many apps to look through. I saw quite a few interesting ones that were under $3 as well.

Since so many students already drag their mobile technology around with them I think it is wise to find ways to honor their use in class. I agree with Marialice Lindig about working on how to monitor appropriate use; but if it isn't a bad thing to have your mobile tech device in class then things will settle in. I'm sure there will be some good discussions on classroom management and mobile tech devices this year. I think I'll let my students create the management tools and help set boundaries- it usually works better if they have ownership in the creation and management of issues.

Tool #9 Jing and Skype

Jing and Screencast-
One of the biggest things my students and I get frustrated with is having short, detailed tutorials for the different programs and tasks they utilize. By taking advantage of Jing and utilizing up to five minutes of video time on Screencast, my students can create their own tutorials for various programs and tasks. (This would even be great for teachers learning new technology tools, etc.) I think it would be really empowering to create your own tutorials and even create lessons on topics of interest for students.
Over the past five years Skype has been used around our house. Using it to connect with other teachers, schools, students, and just interesting folks throughout the world will encourage greater understanding of various cultures, procedures, techniques, and current events in others lives. I think the uses are endless especially if turned over to students to generate ways to connect to others. I'm looking forward to this year!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tool #8 Video Resources

I use lots of video clips as a resource to learn skills and techniques in technology. Also, videos and video clips are fabulous ways to consume lots of others work to generate ideas and clarify limitations or range of possibilities.

Here is a video from YouTube that shows one way to create a stop motion animation. My students create a 30 second stop motion animation as a major project. This one is called: Deadline the Making of.

Another very simple stop motion animation using children's plastic letters is below. The ABC Song.

Since my students are responsible to design and create an original stop motion animation it is important that they have access to a wide variety of stop motion formats. Luckily the web is a great resource. (The biggest problem is things being blocked by the district on YouTube. It limits my ability to differentiate to students needs if I have to show the video clip to everyone at one time and they can not access it when they need it.) No matter we have found lots of options with a bit of creativity all things seem to work out. There are many other clips and full videos that can be watched and provide a great starting place for consuming ideas/projects then critique them and begin to create their own projects.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tool #7 Digital Storytelling

Over the past two years my students and I have worked on iMovie and podcasting off and on. This year it will become a more integral part of my classes.
Since I am a Mac person and have access to both macs and pcs, I will make sure students know how to utilize both formats. I didn't have much trouble creating a short video for this task- the hardest part was deciding what to do and what music to add.