Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tool 11

Yes!  I have finished the 11 Tools activity!!!  Go Me!!!
I think my favorite discovery was Stupeflix. and  I think I will have the students make a comic strip about their first week of school.  It would be a great way to discuss the rules for technology and a quick project to get the students engaged.  What fun!
I have already started incorporating the 21st century classroom ideas into my daily lessons.  Being a part of the T3 grant gave me a head start.  The MacBooks were a great addition to my classroom.  After completing the 11 tools, I discovered new resources that I can use in my class.  I am definitely going to try Edmodo.  My goal is to make technology flow naturally into my lessons.  It will be a challenge, but what a joy when technology use in the classroom becomes second nature, and it is considered as necessary as a pencil. Technology shouldn't be something special and limited in numbers that we pull out for certain assignments, but just another tool we use to help students achieve their personal best.

Tool 10

My favorite "Cool Cat Teacher " advice was when she discussed that digital citizenship was helping the students to live safely and civilly in the digital world.  BrainPop had some nice videos about blogging and email and chats. I think it is important to continue to discuss with your students about how to be safe and participate in the tech world.  Copyright with CyberBee is a great resource for helping the students understand the rules for using information, images,and videos from the internet.  Digizen also has a good video about digital citizenship.  All of these videos are on the Power to Learn site from the district. I think the students need to know that there are appropriate ways to address or post a comment on blogs and how to post a negative comment without being offensive.  They also need to be reminded about appropriate language used in messages and limiting any personal information when dealing with on line sources.  To help inform the students about digital citizenship, I would start with a conversation about what it is means, and then I would make connections to their lives.  I would also show some of the video clips I mentioned earlier in my post.  It might be helpful to send these digital citizenship links to parents in the first day of school packet.  Teachers might want to discuss this topic during the school open house.  Digital citizenship is a topic that must be revisited often in the classroom.  Just quick reminders after the initial lesson would help to keep the topic fresh.

Tool 9

It is important to tie technology to the objective because, I feel, that it gives the lesson a sense of purpose.  You aren't just using technology to use technology.  You are using it as a means to an end.  You have set a goal for learning and technology is just another way to achieve that goal.  We need to hold the students accountable for their learning.  So, creating reporting methods, or checking in documents help the students document what they have learned, and they serve as a checklist of goals met for the lesson. It helps the students to connect technology to learning.
I liked the Thinkfinity and The Learning Games for Kids sites.  Of the two, Thinkfinity would work well in my class.  It is divided into subjects and grade levels.  The activities were colorful and fun.  I think my students would enjoy using this site. These types of sites could be used as a bonus activity for finishing work early or as a review of certain concepts.  I would have the students write about what they did on each of these sites using a google doc as a way of documentation.
I liked Animation Creator Lite and Animoto.  Both of these sites could easily be used to help students create projects to enhance their learning.  I also enjoyed Google Books.  Creating stations with these sites would help reinforce concepts taught in class, or you could use them as an introduction to a unit.  Either way the students will enjoy the technology.

Tool 8

After  viewing the tutorials for the new technology, I learned that I need to open an ITunes account.  I also learned where to find district approved apps, and I learned how to down load free apps.  I am already familiar with the MacBooks because of the T3 grant.  Having used technology for 2 years in my class, I suggest creating rules for the use of the technology and discussing these with the students before beginning any project.  Using a rubric for each project also helps the children to focus their work.  Giving students ample time to create projects can be a problem, but I have found the students respond well to a set time schedule.  All in all, I have enjoyed using  the technology I received through the T3 grant.  I look forward to receiving additional technology in the fall.

Tool 7

I think that having my students do a collaborative project would be fun.  The objective could be  something like---The students will create a video project discussing the cause and effect relationships of the dust bowl and how the dust bowl changed the lives of the people living in that region.  The students could use primary resources and compare them to the characters in the novel Out of the Dust.  It would be great to work with another language arts class or even a science class.  Using Skype and Google Docs would make the project easy to control.

Tool 6

I have used Google Docs all year, so it is already one of my favorites.  I now have an Edmodo account, and I am practicing using it.  Here is the link to my practice poll.  I made it very basic because I was just experimenting.  I will be using Edmodo in my classroom this year. I can see this as a great way to keep the kids involved and enjoying learning.  I know they enjoy google docs, so I will continue using Google Docs in my classroom. .

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tool 5

Here is the link to my comix project.
I had a tough time with the link stuff. I wanted to embed it in my blog, but I couldn't get it right.  Making the comix was easy and fun.  This could be a great project in school. My favorite was Stupeflix Studio.  Easy. Fun.  Easy to embed.  What more can I say.  Easy.  The kids would love it.  They could make a comix strip was a new concept in class, or make a movie to review a book.  Great potential.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tool 4

Google Docs.  I have used Google Docs this year and loved it.  It is very user friendly, and the students became comfortable with the program the first time they used it.  The only problem was when they realized they could chat with each other while they worked.  Deciding on a few basic rules before each project started was helpful.  That way the students knew when they were allowed to use the chat feature and when they weren't.  I enjoyed being able to edit their papers while they were typing.  I had fun typing over their mistakes, and the kids enjoyed trying to out type me.  We also shared our iMovies through Google Docs.  It was a better way to watch and store the videos.  All in all, Google Docs is great!!!

Tool 3

I am still confused as to the copyright laws.  I watched the video, but I was distracted by the poor singing.  The singer was very hard to understand.  The other video was just a tool to see if you were in violation of the copyright law.  There is a lot of information and rules, but I would like a yes or no answer.  The entire world of copyright is very vague.  I would like some more information on how to credit a source when you use it on your blog.  When I went to the free sites, even though they said they were free, the pictures all said you could be in violation if you selected this picture...  confusing.

I found it tricky to embed videos.  I tried several sites---CNN---Discovery---YouTube---TeacherTube---and Blinkx.  My favorite one was !  The site was easy to navigate and very user friendly.

On to Tool 4.

Tool 2

I visited Classroom 2.0, Edmodo, The Fischbowl, and Technology Tidbits. The were interesting, but I think Edmodo was the site I liked the most.  Commenting on other peoples sites was also fun.  Tool 3 is next, so I will see how it goes.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Well, I created this blog and a Voki.  The blog site was easy to make.  I found the Voki very limiting.  It would have been nice to have more choices.  I probably took too long to create an avatar.  I spent a lot of time looking at all of the options.

I watched all of the videos that Karen posted, and they were very helpful.