Monday, June 21, 2010

11.5- Thing #11.5

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey? My favorite find was Screencast-O-Matic. I've been wanting to find something this simple to use for my students and you found it for me. So excited.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? Just like with the original 23 things, these 11.5 have definitely assisted me. I love using technology in the classroom. I am not the know-all, but I still wish others on my team felt the same way about technology as I do. The Library2Play just helps me find more ideas and tools I can use to be the best teacher I can be.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? Screencast-O-Matic hands down. SO EXCITED about it.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? I love the set up the way it is. I like being able to work and explore at my own pace without having to sit through meetings.

11.5- Thing #11

I definitely agree and disagree with the various ideas about digital citizenship. Most of what I disagree with seems to come from people (not sure if they are all teachers) who are not being very realistic. How can we expect students to be digitally responsible if no one shows them. It doesn't matter whether students are using technology or hard copy resources. Expectations should be explained, modeled, and practiced both guided and independently. They must be shown that 1 resource is never enough, how to decide what is important information based on their assignment, how to compare the information as that will help them determine ranges or whether there is no way a fact they found could be true, to use their own words and not plagiarize, and to cite their sources. Kids, I don't care what age, will not know how to be responsible like this if the adults around them don't take the time to show them. This obviously means that we need to devote the time to show them. 1 lesson will not be enough. This is a continual process that will learn from and build on for the rest of their lives.

11.5- Thing #10

I joined a virtual world, named an avatar, learned to walk and sit and talk and then explored. I used one of the free sites: Frenzoo. I wasn't that into it. I'd rather talk with people in person. That's one of the reasons why I don't like to use the phone, but that's just me. I know my students have experience with virtual worlds because they have shown me in the classroom and they communicate with each other through the virtual world as well as in person because they will tell each other to go to a specific room or place in the world. I can see how it can be used education wise and how it might give some students a bit more confidence, but I am just not that excited about it. I don't plan on using this Thing in my room unless my students are really into it and then I will because of them.

11.5- Thing #9

I think Slideshare or another similar site is useful, but I don't know if I'd use the word important. This can allow for collaboration or just sharing of information. This will also help students share with others who may not have access to Power Point. Useful, allows for sharing and collaboration, but I still don't know whether this can be classified as important.

11.5- Thing #8

I really like using Screencast-O-Matic. I know my video is not the best, but I want to keep it on my blog so I remember how truly easy it was to use even without any prep. I didn't rehearse or play around with the site before I did this so I could really tell how easy it was to use and whether my students would have difficulty. There was some squeaking here and there, but I didn't use fancy equipment either. I just used my district laptop with its own internal microphone which is good since I won't have to worry about extra equipment for my students. I'm really excited. I had tried Jing before and didn't like how I had to download the software and my computer wouldn't let me, blah, blah, blah. I totally recommend Screencast-O-Matic!! I will be able to have my students do this to model technology skills, to evaluate web sites, have a screen shot of a poster or photo and have students present info., editing skills...I can't wait to use this in the classroom.

11.5- Thing #7
This video is about lonely animals which happen to be endangered. I will definitely be able to use this for earth day where I usually have students focus on endangered animals and what this means for our planet. (PBS- NOVA)

This video will go along with our study of ecosystems and adaptations found through Hulu- National Geographic. Students can then create a web sharing what they feel is most important.

Additional sources of videos that I use: still love Discovery Education (aka United Streaming).

11.5- Thing #6

iTouches/iPods are so easy to use. There are so many apps that are appropriate for students/the classroom that ARE free. I just went to a district tech session with an apple rep as the presenter. Unfortunately, I was completely bored during this 6 hr. workshop because I really did know how to do everything for this presentation. To make the day worth it, we received a handout with tons of apps for the different subject areas (all free too) AND I won an AWESOME door prize- a rockstar so now I can have 4-5 iPods connected and turn them into a listening center. Depending on your class or the time of year, you will need to download what you want on the iPods or provide certain choices and then let the group decide what to listen to (music, audiobook, podcast,...). If not every student has a device, partners or group work will do. Just like with literature circles in the classroom or experiments, every person in the group can have a specific duty: leader, recorder (voice or text), getter... You can even, depending on what the assignment is, switch devices and have groups build on what the previous group did on the device.