Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tool #11 Digital Reflection

  Favorite tool was Stupeflix and Edmodo, and I think Wallwisher too.  I could see putting alot of the safety videos and emergency operations info on google docs, videos (safe practice-fire extinquisher),  safe chemicals and their use in the building, fire safety best marshall requests etc.

 While I do not now have a classroom, it is quite the paradigm shift to see where education is going with the advent of all these wonderful tools.  Definitely opened my eyes to the wealth of possibility out there and while the need for good first teaching will always be of paramount importance, using the tools and devices allows students to springboard from there.  Already I have seen teachers in our building changing the way they teach and embracing the new tools and devices available to us with great gusto.  It is very inspiring.

In terms of unexpected outcomes, I was surprised at how easy the tools were to navigate, and I think with more digital literacy,  as I am a second language digital learner, I will become more fluent with time and practice.  Only by using the tools and becoming fluent in their use will they be greater ease of use.  The more I used them, the more intuitive I became in exploring other apps and their use.

Tool # 10 digital citizens

1. Teaching kids how to be responsible cyber citizens is critical as so much can happen in a digital world that is unsafe for kids.  Three things I think students should know is not discussing personal info on line, that e-mail should be used for school purposes on school projects, and to be careful with instant messaging, not talking to strangers.  There needs to be continuing discussion of cyber bullying and how to deal with it. Keeping user names and passwords confidential is important too. Being critical thinkers and learning how to discern true/false information gained at online sites is important as well.

2. Using the Mouse Tales on You Tube to show primary students how to be cyber safe is a good resource. There are many resources that SBISD has highlighted, such as OnGuard Online which has many games and videos to teach cyber safety with. Instructionally, I think it would be good to show students how easy it is to figure out from personal information shared online where they are.  Sometimes live demos are more effective than a lecture.

3. I would have the students get into groups of four, and make teams of two.  One team share some facts, information off line, and the other team could show how they could figure out where they live, go to school etc.  Then I would show the video from OnGuard or NetCetera that challenges kids about being online.  Seeing real examples, no matter how outlandish is a valuable tool for those who need a hands on experience.

4. There are several approaches I would take with parents. One would be to share the idea of what is expected of our students as digital citizens during open house night.  I would also have several websites, such as the OnGuard site, or Living Life online, for parents to explore as well as handouts for those who would prefer that approach.  Having a contract with parents that asks them to monitor carefully from home on how digital tools are used would safeguard homework practices.

Tool # 8

I had not realized that all of the iPad, iPod Touch, Netbooks etc. could be synchronized and that the classroom teacher could manage information and download to each device.   I learned about the SBISD respository for Apps and the ease of finding just about any app for any subject area. Setting up an iTunes account is also part of this process.

In the beginning, students need to be taught clear guidelines for use and care of all the tools. If this is continually modeled, I do not think it would pose a problem. As for managing the devices I think it will be of utmost importance to have a sign out system in place for their use in the classroom away from stations, and that they should be interchangeable among the collaborative groups.  I think it would be important to have a student helper "Tech Captain" to help keep track of the devices each day, to report on any problems and to put them back into cabinets to store at the end of the day.

Tool #7

If I had a 5th grade classroom for instance, I would collaborate with another 5th grade class at MDE or perhaps SBISD/out of SBISD and create a Social Studies lesson revolving around the TEKS on government and how this country elects its leaders. I would create a survey to show votes for President prior to campaign debates and post debates around the current political election.  Students could post a video outlining the merits of their candidate and send it to the other classroom.  After viewing, they could send their videos on their candidates and in some sense set up a debate of the attributes of each candidate.  Students could Skype the campaign staffers from their candidates politcal headquarters to get real feedback/facts. They could Skype to each others classroom and do a mock debate.  Students could make a Stupeflix with a campaign ad to send each other. After both classes viewed each others debates/information, they could hold an election (via survey)  to see how their candidates fared.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tool # 6

Using Edmodo to post survey's as a means to gain opinion seems a good option.  See my example below on my Edmodo Home page.This would be a great classroom set to intro a lesson--gather information, analyze the results.

I also tried Stixy -- which is basically an electronic bulletin board for a sticky note...great for staff meetings, parking lot issues to come back to...check in techniques.   I could also see it used in the classroom as a means to support Book Talk groups,  they could post their comments on a page as they move through the chapters and then post for classmates to see. For a better review, see the link below from a fellow educator.

Tool #9

1. It's important  to tie technology to the objective to help expand and enrich their learning.  Many times there is an epiphany that happens using the various media that might not have happened using books and paper.  I have observed many classroom examples of taking the TEKS to a whole new level adding just one app to the process.  Kids enjoy having a choice to build out their learning.

2. Holding students accountable for work done at stations/centers is important because there will be greater participation and it helps to engage them in the process. Using a rubric to help them create a product, or using open-ended /close sentences to document what they've completed.  I like the idea of using a web camera or a voice recorder for them to report and explain what they've done. Kids love to "report"-be on stage!

3. I liked MangaHigh--especially the pyramids and penquins site for numbers.  Great station practice for mastery and content practice.  I also liked Thinkfinity because there are some great apps like ABC Match which would be great for our Beginning and Intermediate ESOL students.  Students could be held accountable by using Station options and signing their name, include screen shots of activities, have a list of activities and then they can bold the ones they've done.

4. At the district data base for approved apps,  I found two for ESOL primary/intermediate students. It was called ABA flashcards for Actions and ABA flashcards for Things you wear. I would set up a station with a menu of activities on learning words both visually and auditorally. Students could be held accountable by using Station options and signing their name, include screen shots of activities, have a list of activities and then they can bold the ones they've done. They also could use ScreenChomp to create a video to share something they've learned or want to teach another student.  AudioBoo is great for recording their voices and how they sound learning English words.

5. I've learned about some clever ways to use the iPod Touch/iiPad on the TCEA recommended iPad Apps. There was a great Handwriting app called Alphabet Tracing. Another one was Puppet Pals and Sock Puppets which would be great for two ESOL students to work together on building a dialog on explaining the water cycle, or how you greet someone, or how to do a math problem.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tool #5-Part 2

Wordle: Safety first

This might be a fun way to review all of the many safety items we must go over each year..has a little more pizazz than a Zzzzzzz...zzz....powerpoint.  Takes a bit of practice to give highlight to the main words and not use too many.  For this I just copied a document I'd written for an in-service last year. As far as classroom ideas,  kids could create their Math vocabulary wall words, or their Vocabulary study words,  this could be used as a visual way to look at 50 states facts, or science  themes.  Great fun!

Tool #5-Part 1

Great motivation for students to take a project all the way to graphic/video interpretation and then share globally with a wider audience. This would really help them focus and sharpen their topic to share.  In terms of differentiation, this could motivate kids who are more artistic, who like to show rather than tell, or kids who enjoy the satisfaction of seeing their work published.   I could also see using this tool as a means of doing some of the staff training for safety that we do through out the year.  Super tool, really enjoyed using this one!