Friday, March 9, 2012

Tool #11 - Self Assessing and Reflecting

1. My favorite tools that I found in the 11 tools include Edmodo, Diigo, Drop Box, my Blog, Animoto, Wordle, and polls everywhere.  I have already played with Edmodo and can' wait to use it as a teaching tool. For my students, I plan on creating several polls with Polls Everywhere to get quicker feedback on how students are picking up on concepts in class.  I think it would also be beneficial to use TodayMeet to get students to participate more in classroom discussion. 
2. 11 tools helped me realize that boundaries are pretty much limitless. I need to help technology incorporate more critical thinking elements in the classroom. I do sometimes worry about the amount of time it will take to teach some of these kids how to properly use some of these 'tools.' But i do see some merit in providing them with parameters and allowing them to pick the technology that best highlights their information for them.  I really need to invest time into creating ways to utilize the tools in meaningful ways so that we all can get the most out of the curriculum and learning that takes place, inside the classroom and outside.  I don't think I will have to make any accommodations to my classroom, just get devices to help us manipulate and practice with all the wonderful tools that are out there.  Otherwise, I have a pretty open mind about what "on-task" means and how to keep the students engaged and having fun so there won't be a whole lot of changes that are needed in class.
3. The unexpected outcomes from the training included my deeper understanding of how all the tools can be used.  I knew of a lot of them, but it really took practicing with them first to help ignite my imagination on how they can be used.  I think I will be braver in trying these cool new tools.  Now, I just need to find the time to plan all the really cool lessons that will incorporate my new skill set. 

Tool #10 - Underneath it All - Digital Citizenship

 3 things I would want my students to understand about digital etiquette:

  • Cyberbullying is not allowed, either inside class or outside class. What you put on the internet affects your real life. It isn't 'imaginary' just because it isn't being done face-to-face.
  • Technology should not be used to do anything inappropriate. This includes but is not limited to inappropriate 'status updates' or blog posts. what you put on the internet is there for others to see. Universities, Jobs, Sororities/Fraternities and others use your social networking sites to gain a feeling about who you are. Make sure your digital footprint puts your best foot forward.  
  • It is considered unprofessional to write a sloppy report, email, note, etc. in the working world, and I will require my students to make the effort to create worthwhile work products using these devices. 
2. I plan to use the SBISD database in my classroom instruction.
3. Students will watch the videos on the Digiteen website and show their understanding of digital citizenship on our class blog
4.  I will share the idea of digital citizenship with my kids by finding an article that talks about the importance of digital citizenship in the work force so that they will be intrigued that cyberbullying and not being a good digital citizen is not just for teens. And that it can affect you long after you leave the classroom. 

Tool #9: Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices as Tools for Learning

  1. I feel it is important to tie the technology to the objective because students are held accountable for their learning, and so are teachers. Also, we can guarantee that we are covering the TEKS and that we have an 'end in mind" as we take our journey. 
  2. Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers? I feel it is important to give your students 'ownership' over their learning and this includes the supplies that are needed to accomplish the assignment. We expect our kids to bring the correct books, notebooks and writing utensils to class. How is that any different than holding them accountable for the stations?
  3. Thinkfinity would be a useful website-based link in my geography classroom. The post card creator and the game "Price of Freedom" links knowledge with web based activities. Students can be held accountable by the quality of the products they create (post cards) and how they perform the simulations. I really like the Tools for 21st Century Learning page. I could give the students options and have them record where they went and what they learned.
  4. App #1 -- Google Earth: We have been doing a project entitled Geopallooza for the past several years where the students planned a United States and Canada tour for a rock band. They could continue with this same assignment but map the route taken by the tour bus on Google Earth. 
    App #2 -- Animoto: The goal would be to have the students produce 30 videos over a multitude of topics. The quality of the completed video would be judged in terms of factual representation and how others could learn from the presentation. At the end of the presentations, students could respond in Google docs or Google forms (in relationship to information learned).What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station. 
  5. there are so many ways that we could measure student accountability through the use of net books and IPads. We could produce open-ended assessments in Google docs or Edmodo. We could use the web cam and voice recorder for feed back on things they have learned or things they learned from other group presentations. As I stated in an earlier post, we can use the Poll Everywhere to quickly access areas that we would need to revisit. they could also us the technology to help aid a finished product that is turned in with a rubric, etc. the possibilities are endless 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tool #8: Taking a Look at the Tools

1. I really like the suggestion to have every student log in to every device as a 1st workstation activity. This is a very proactive idea. And can minimize having to reteach the same thing multiple times and/or losing instructional time dealing with technology snafus. We will also talk early on about using the devices correctly.

2. I plan to have a sign out/in clipboard so that I can keep track of which student used which device. I will number each of the laptops and the Ipads. That way I can located what student used which device. It will be their job to plug them back in correctly. I definitely plan to use them in small group activities where one person from each group will 'sign-out' for their device.
I plan to use them in small group activities.

Tool #7: Reaching Outside your Classroom: Online Digital Projects

Content objective: Examine benefits and challenges connected to globalization including increased global connectivity and loss of local culture by connecting live with a classroom or student's relative in a Asia, Africa, or Australia/Oceania.

When you plan to implement: After the STAAR exam when we have a month for a group project that enriches this pas year. 

What tool(s) you plan to use: Skype and/or Edmodo. I have already used Edmodo to get ideas for the classroom. I have connected with some teachers under the Social Studies topic

A brief description of the project (plan - two or three sentences): Skype with a classroom of either a relative of one of my students that lives in one of these regions listed above OR connect with a fellow teacher through Edmodo that also teaches either AP Human Geography or World Geography at another high school and is interested  in connecting students.   I can group the kids according to the region/country of their choosing (depending on how many people we can connect with). If I have more than one group throughout my periods than they can collaborate through Google docs or Edmodo. Class groups will come up with three questions each that relate globalization and its affects on their local culture. They can then take their responses and make them into a visual presentation using Animoto, Wordle, Flickr, etc. It can be one giant technology project where they collaborate with students from other cultures and look for the themes of globalization, diffusion, and acculturation. 

Tool #6: Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion in and out of the Classroom

Poll Everywhere on Control of Kashmir--click on the one you agree with to see results.

Create your own sms poll at Poll Everywhere

Using Edmodo, I created an assignment where my students will read an article I have linked to the website and then comment.
Dowry Deaths in India

I am so excited to use these in the classroom. The Poll everywhere is such an easy way to get a quick response from the students. and it would be really easy to use in Edmodo for a quick assessment of information.

I am extremely obsessed with Edmodo. My husband used Facebook for awhile to lead class discussions but it has such a bad connotation of 'friend'ing your students (even thought that wasn't what has to happen to share on Facebook. I think having a social network that is specific to the classroom is such a great idea. It really facilitates discussions from all students and gives some anonymity to some of the quieter,shyer kids that wouldn't normally add to classroom discussion. I can't wait to use this with my students. I can see so many different possibilities, weekly discussion boards, projects, inner/outer circles, ett.

Tool #5: Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

Animoto on China

Animoto can be used in the classroom to make simple and unique projects more exciting. A picture is worth a thousand words and can really bring together the heart and culture of a group of people. The students can use them to enhance projects and I can use them as introductions into new units OR as a way to beef up an existing lecture.

Wordle on Globalization

  Wordle: Globilization

Wordle is such a cool concept. I love that you can take any document and plug it in to find the words that stand out the most. This is so useful in history and geography. Imagine comparing two documents in Wordle. You would instantly see what words hold the most significance by the fact that they are used more frequently. You could take excerpts from different historical documents or speeches and enter them into Wordle (compare Nelson Mandela's speech after his presidential win to that of one of Gandhis or MLK, JR.). The possibilities are endless for both the students and the teachers.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tool #4: Moving Up to the Clouds

taken from Google website

1. I have used Google docs before so I was somewhat familiar. I am happy that the format is pretty user friendly. It reminds me a lot of Word so it was easy to create a table, etc.  Although I teach Geography, I also am the head girls soccer coach. And while I can use this in the classroom, it is also helpful for my coaching responsibilities. I used Google documents to make my varsity soccer roster/information sheet. It is an easy way to share the information with my assistants and allow them to add/change things as needed without sending attachment after attachment. It also makes it easy to access from anywhere. I can see limitless opportunities to use this from personal to profession situations.

2. I shared a quiz with my geography team members. South Asia Quiz

3. I can use Google Apps with my WG team as we share documents instead of e-mailing and making multiple hard copies.we can also make correct corrects and revisions of each others assignments instead of having to email them and wait for them to change it, etc. I can definitely use the forms for a quick assessment of my students knowledge. I can also have them use it in the classroom by providing the link for my students to go to respond to a classroom activity or reading. I can also incorporate the form function to introduce a new region and peak their interest and raise their concerns. It seems like students feel like it is more "official" when they fill out a form online rather than a paper packet. I am excited about using all of these tools with the students As Google Apps gains momentum, I won't have to teach the kids how to access it, which cuts into the time of actually doing the project. Because this is fairly new, many of the students do not even know how to log in to their accounts.

Tool #3: Finding Online Video and Image Resources

1. I have used youtube, discovery education, and some other online video sites for years. So I decided to look at Blinkx. I think it would be really useful when trying to do some current events stuff in World Geography. I wish there was an easier way to search for regions as we don't necessarily talk about global news, per se, but more, global news as it pertains to the region we are covering. 

2. I, also, looked at teachertube, kidstube, and schooltube. I find all these sites useful. I think it would be hard to keep track of cataloging the videos unless I did a good job of chronicling the ones I find useful onto my SAN somehow. In my teachertube research, I did find some good reviews for map exams, like this one about the 50 states and their capitals. 50 States and Capitals Song . I also found a helpful tutorial that I could put on my website (or blog) for my students who need help using Google Earth . I definitely could also use this to give notes over regions, create my own notes, or have students do something similar for a project. We could even 'voice-over' a region as we 'flew over a specific region/country/city/landmark on Google Earth. I think the kids would love it. 

3. I think that some of the laws that follow copyright infringement and fair use are a bit difficult to follow, but if I am using images or information for education purposes only, I guess it is acceptable.  I get confused when I go to the creative commons area as to what images I can use and how to copy them. I did LOVE that it shows you on a map where the photo was taken (so useful in Geo). I hope the more I work with Flickr, the better I will get at it.

4.I had a Dropbox account from our professional development with Terri. So, I just logged into it and created a new folder entitled World Geography notes. It is an easy way to upload all of our classroom notes (powerpoint/ACTIVboard) and let the students access them from home.  I went ahead and added our most recent notes over Hinduism (hence the picture of the Holi Festival above)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tool #2-Building a community

  1. So far, making my blog has been exciting!
  2.  I have used Diigo before in one of the educational technology summer workshops. I, also, went to a shifting literacy class with Karl Fisch as the presenter so I am already a follower of The Fisch Bowl.  I have enjoyed building and  participating in an online community. I had fun perusing my colleague's blogs. One site I found on Diigo  that I can't wait to use in my classroom is the Google Earth Blog. Here you can find some classroom ideas from Google Earth, including some very unusual findings. I can't wait to use some of the ideas in my classroom. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tool #1-Starting the Blog and making my Avatar

I found the Tool #1 experience easy up to this point.Creating a blog and a voki were not that difficult. And, I do see the merit in having a blog for your class. Although, I think many of the same things can be done on your school website. I also think my problem with blogs is the same thing I struggled with every single time I started a diary when I was little. I start out with good intentions but simply can't find the time to keep it up so I end up with one or two entries.

As for doing the 11 Tools, I hate that we keep getting reminded that we need to do them.I know!! But right now, I am starting soccer season and between that, preparing my class for the STAAR test in World Geography (in May), and taking care of my 9 month-old during baseball season (as my husband is a baseball coach)...this teacher is VERY swamped.

And so, I WILL have my 11 Tools done by March 19. I just might do the next 10 until Spring Break. I hope you understand. Thanks  :)