Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reflections in the Technology Pond

I have really enjoyed the process of going through the 11 Tools. I was familiar with some of the programs that were introduced but i also discovered some other ones. I enjoyed learning about making your own Wiki page. I think it will be a great tool to use with our faculty. I also found some new things to do with my I-Touch in the classroom. I will definitely try to implement some of these tools in my classroom. I teach Pre-K so some of these tools are beyond their age level but there are many different ways to implement other tools such as Photostory, MovieMaker, and even Wikis. I was quite surprised by the tagging websites and how easily they make it to find information. Overall, this has been a wonderful experience.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tool #11- Privacy, kids, and the web

The world has changed drastically since we were in school. When I was in school if you didn't want something to be known you simply didn't tell someone. It was much easier for me to have a private life because there wasn't a long paper trail behind anything I said. Sure there was still rumors and notes, but rumors died and notes could be torn, lost, or burned.
Today students must be made aware that everything they post on the web is no longer their property. As much as we'd like to copyright photos and other such items, the truth is that once something is out there in the web cloud it's very hard to get it back. Within seconds it is available to not only your friends but to the entire school, district and many other places you never intended things to go to.
I would like students to understand that being a good digital citizen requires you to:
a. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Rumors are easy to start and there's always proof with text messages, emails, and photos if you happen to be the culprit behind them.
b. There is no such thing as private online (this includes your Facebook page). If you don't want something to be known about you then don't post it. It could come back to haunt you years later, say when you're interviewing for a job.
c. Don't believe everything you read online. It can be hard to distinguish credible websites from those that are not. That's why you should read everything with a grain of salt and online rely on credible websites for information.

Tool#10- The I-Revolution!!

I was lucky enough to have an I-Touch that the kids in my classroom could use. They loved it! I showed them how to use it and they took it and ran with it. I stored all of my music files on it, so no more searching through endless amounts of CD's. I could play any song I wanted or the kids wanted within seconds. I also had books that corresponded with certain songs. On the I-Touch I created a folder specifically for the books. The kids would play the music by themselves and read along with the books.
There was some great apps that I found along the way. When we were learning about the zoo, I found an app where the kids could match the animals to their sounds. There was apps for math, language arts, science. Even just using a simple drawing app allowed the kids to practice their letters and numbers. It was amazing because the kids were having fun and learning about technology as well as the curriculum.

Tool #9- Jing, jang, jong!!

Jing and Skype are tools that can be used to instantly communicate what is on your screen with your students. You could have tutoring sessions with several students at a time on Skype and share your your screen or what your looking at with them using Jing. Schools can hold faculty meetings where everyone can share their ideas using Jing. You could also have a district wide meeting with everyone and allow everyone to participate using Skype. The possibilities are endless as to what Jing and Skype allow us to do.

Tool #8- Who needs a VCR???

The first video I chose is a Sesame Street video from Hulu and it talks about nature. Sesame Street is a great tool that is age appropriate for my classroom. The kids are familiar with the characters and Sesame Street discusses many different topics. The second video is a video that enforces how kids should treat each other.

These videos can be used to start family conversations about topics the students are learning in the classroom. Parents can go into my blog and watch the videos as a family and they can be involved with their student's learning.

Tool #7- A Story for the Ages

I started using a Flip camera in my classroom. It was the best thing ever! The kids loved making and being in movies. I had the kids film themselves and ask each other questions. After the kids would write a book they would then read the book and videotape themselves. I would plug the Flip into the TV and instantly the kids could watch themselves and their classmates reading on TV. At the end of the year, I compiled a short movie to show the parents some of the different activities we did in the classroom and also so they could see how much progress their children had made.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tool #6- Wiki-what??

A wiki is the bulletin board of technology. Wikis can be used as class projects where a theme is added to throughout the nine weeks. Students learn about a particular subject and then add facts and figures to their wiki or to a class wiki. It can also be used for small group projects. Students can each work independently and work on their wiki as a group. This is especially great for students who are involved in many after school activities or for students that have to work.

It can also be a great way for teachers to communicate with parents. If a party is coming up and she needs to coordinate who will bring what. Teachers can also use wikis to help students teach each other. Students can research a subject and create wikis. The teacher can then use these wikis to supplement her teaching thereby having greater students interest and investment.