Tool 2 Blogging and Other Stuff
This blog has cool physics videos
This blog discusses the use of technology in the classroom
Using Picasa I made of collage of my new pride and joy; our grandson, Richard Robert Gates IV, born June 15th.
The copyright and fair use information is something that we all have to stay current with. The secured location clause was new information for me.
Tool 4: The Cloud
I used Google Docs with my campus last year. In being the campus technology representative I was asked to conduct an inventory of all the computers at the students access. I created a Google From and sent it out to all of our teachers. The form included questions that we were asked to respond to in order to gather the data. The staff logged onto to their Google accounts and completed the questionnaire. I then had access to the spreadsheet that accumulated all of their responses. It made my job so much easier, it is a great tool. With that in mind I would have to say that right now the Google Forms is my favorite app right now.
I plan on using Google Forms with our new 6th grade students in August as we collect information about their connectivity at home.
Tool 5: Web 2.0 Tools
It is fun exploring all of the tools that can make the classroom more interesting.
I played with Wordle to create the MYP learner profile below:
Wordle MYP Profile:
A Wordle can be used for many purposes. One example could be as a reflection tool after a unit of study were the students can compile the reflections of their learning. Another example would be to use it to create an anchor chart to help support learning.
Glogster can be used where ever we ask students to create a poster. The free version is basic in what it offers for graphics but those artistic and creative students out there will find a way to enhance its' features.
Tool 6: Web Tools and Discussion Groups
When we were with the November Group in June I think that one of the most interesting tools that was introduced to me was Diigo. I search the web all the time and create bookmarks in my browser. Now I can get to my bookmarks no matter what computer I am engaged with. How great is that!! I now have the Diigo icon on my tool bar and will be working to transfer my bookmarks from my different computers. I will share it as soon as I am done. Oh, that's right, we are never done.
I took a quick look at Cover It Live. I was very sad when our teleconferencing room was disassembled at school. I know that it was not used nearly often enough because of one reason or another. It was just sad to see that capability to interact with experts and possibilities of collaboration disappear. Thanks to this program those possibilities are back. One of the session that I went to at ISTE was about networking and find classroom around the world to collaborated with. The mode of communication could be Skype or a tool such as this. When I get back on my school computer I will post that networking website.
I posted a live event on my Workshop page for our 6th graders to comment on their experiences at the workshops. We will see how it goes.
The tools in this section are tools that help leave that feeling of legacy. The products produced here will be for ever posted. Let's make it count....
Tool 7: Going Global
It seems that I may have gotten ahead of myself when I was writing about the tools in number six. As an ICoach I need to ask teachers to take a risk. Teachers that are comfortable with trying new things and giving their students new opportunities. The Netgen Education Project and the Digiteen Project seem like a really good place to start.
Lesson development in the area is exciting but time consuming. Teachers need support in developing this type of teaching style, Pedagogy changes in so many ways, especially in classroom rules and procedures.
Tool: 8 Looking at the Tools
- The built-in cameras will be a great addition
- The computers access is phenomenal
Our campus started this program last year. Although we will have to wait for the next cycle to see any iPads the impact of the netbooks in the classroom has been rewarding experience.
Part of the device management has been to label the computers and most of our teachers have done this with stickers (they are apprehensive about writing on the computers). The batteries do last a good while so the cords are not an issue right now. I think that the biggest thing is to teach respect for the device and for peers. If a device goes down because of carelessness then that is one less computer for everyone.
Tool 9: Incorporating the Devices
1. Objectives that include the use of technology should have a transparent tie. Students and other teachers need to know that the integration of technology and content are purposeful and in some cases technology is the only path to achieve the objective.
2. If we are looking at creating a student centered environment then the students need to step up to the responsibilities that arise in that environment. The responsibilities of staying engaged and showing respect to the learning process
3. The two interactive website that I chose to highlight are
Thinkfinity - This is a very interdisciplinary site. The partnerships of this site
are very impressive which means that there is some quality here that is worth
PhNet - I have know about this site for a little while. Access to simulations
such as these can be very expensive at the pay-per-view sites. This is a great
resource for hard to learn math and science concepts.
4. The two apps that I chose to highlight are:
Dictionary.com - The auditory component of this app is great. Students can
really hear how a word should be pronounced.
Daily History - This could help students identify cultural characteristics that are
or are not apparent in today's society.
5. I think that podcast are still viable tools in the classroom.
One of the repeated questions in this section was about student accountability in the digital classroom. When students finish a station activity they might need to complete an exit slip and post their learning to a wiki.
Tool 10: Digital Literacy
As a science teacher I have for a experienced the moment when you ask a student why they came to a conclusion only to find out that they have no idea or they do not have the vocabulary to articulate their understand of the process of learning or discovery they just went through. Understanding how you process information and understanding if the information is valid is paramount to live long learning. What good does it do us to call ourselves life long learners if we are not cognitive of our sources and their origin?
I want our students to ask themselves when they are posting or sharing information:
- Do I know this information to be true?
- Is my information accurate and informative?
And on personal post?
- Dose this post leave me with a positive self image?
- Would I want someone to say this about me?
I think that the coolcatteacher wiki has great graphics and links to help teachers address this issue with their students.
I think that to teach digital citizenship we need to make it part of our technology mindset. There could be a rubric or checklist that asks students to be more reflective about their practices.
For our parents, they can be very apprehensive about their child's access and exposure to the internet. As mentioned before we have had students use their SBISB emails for inappropriate behavior during class time. They were given consequences for their actions but do we deny them access to technology after the offense occurs?
Are we to tell the parents that we are always watching when things like this get past us? It needs to be a group effort. Our parent was not upset with us but the student and worked as a team to take care of the situation. I thank that we can use many of these resources to create a digital literacy workshop for our parents.