Tuesday, August 7, 2012

TOOL # 11 Self-Assessing and Reflecting

11 Tools
1. The amount of tools presented was over-whelming yet exciting.  I did like the Prezi and Today's Meet. I think both of these tools would be a great way for students to respond in science before, during, or after a lab or discussion. I also liked the possibilities of Edmodo, BigHugeLabs, Glogster, Mangahigh, and TenMark.  In each new cite, I could see the opportunities for use in the classroom.  However it will be my job to wade through all these options and find the one that best fits the objective I want my students to master. The idea will be to start small and grow.

2. I have used technology for years when it was available and appropriate.  I have always found it fun, engaging, and challenging.  Eleven Tools has introduced me to a large variety of idea and options to use in my classroom. the addition of these devices will allow me to use technology on a more consistent basis.  Lesson planning will definitely change with the addition of technology into my available tools. Daily plans will soon embed some form of technology into each and every part of a lesson whether it be a beginning set, knowledge acquisition, assessment and reteaching or extending.  As our world continues to increase its use of technology, I will have to learn to implement new ideas using technology to continue to meet the needs of my students as they prepare for their futures. Along with planning for technology, I must also consider the physical aspects of my classroom. Will individual desks still be important? how can I facilitate the use of technology without it seeming to be a small group at desks?  Another consideration will be time. How can I best allow for this type of dynamic learning?

3. The most unexpected outcome for me was the vast amount of technology out there for use in the classroom.  I appreciated that someone had narrowed the field for this assignment. As I completed each tool I was grateful to see that I was familiar with some but I also realized how much I had to learn!

TOOL # 10 Digital Citizenship

11 Tools

Being a good digital citizen requires a student to be able to make appropriate decisions for his or her  own safety as well as others. Since students will be using many different devices often without direct supervision it is very important that each student be aware of the dangers as well as the appropriate way to use these tools. 
The three things I would most want them to understand and practice are:

  1. Keeping personal information just that personal. I would include proper use of messaging and emailing here because sometimes we give out personal information inadvertently such as telling the name of our school.
  2. Discussion of ethics and etiquette and then practicing and monitoring such values.  These practices should be incorporated in the class rules and discussed as part of the school district's acceptable use policy. 
  3.  Students also need to learn to be responsible for posting and creating appropriate material to share with others and also using technology appropriately and productively.  This includes proper citing of information as well as researching using reliable resources. 
The Brainpop lessons were generally very good and tended to generate conversation about cyber-bullying, digital etiquette, and online safety .  I also liked the resources available on NetSmartzKids. Using either NetSmartzKids or Brainpop would be a great way to teach digital citizenship. 
Showing the video and then having classroom discussions would be the best way to start.  I also think the class should create a set of Cyber Rules to be used and discussed regularly.  

Back to School Night would be a good time to begin informing parents about our new devices and their child's venture into digital citizenship as well as the possibilities it presents.  This will get them excited about their child's upcoming year. Keeping them updated through newsletters throughout the year will also be helpful.

TOOL # 9 Classroom-Based Devices

11 Tools

  • The learning objective should always drive instruction and practice.  Incorporating technology into our lessons should be with the intent to evaluate an objective. Therefore, when using the technology in a work station the students must complete some kind of meaningful activity, product, or reflection as evidence of learning. 
  • We have to be sure the work is meaningful and not considered play or free time. Rubrics and blogs can be useful in quick evaluations of learning. Students should consider work station time important and relevant to their learning.   Independent work now comes in many different forms.  Work stations involving  technology should be planned with the same rigor and relevance as traditional assignments; therefore, accountability is imperative. Students should be very aware of expectations before the assignment.
  •  I found several interactive websites that would be great to use in a math or science center/workstation.  PhET appears to be a good site for science interaction.  I would have to investigate it further before using it as a work station.  It also has possibilities for instructional use. Storyladder would be a good station for science vocabulary words.  Mangahigh and Ten Marks are both good options for math because they are state correlated, but teachers will still need to review to be sure the objectives match. I also like both of these sites because of the good student and teacher feedback.  
  • The Idea Sketch app for creating a concept map was great.  We do a lot of notetaking/concept maps in science and using this app would be really useful and engaging as well as fun. I also found the app, A Factor Tree.  This was great for reviewing finding the LCM and GCF in fractions.  Ecosystems was another app I found could be used during our Organisms and Their Environments units.
  • If a product is not the outcome then using some kind of checklist/rubric/blog for students as they complete activities would be a great way to keep them responsible for their own work at each station. 
  • Another way to use the Ipads would be to video projects or reports and then present to the class.

Tool # 8 TOOLS

Tool 8 was very informative.  I learned how to set up a new I-tunes account and then how to set the settings so that only the apps I wanted to sync went to the student computers.  I appreciated the classroom webpage  and finding Apps information.  Atomic learning is amazing.  These are great tutorials for all.

Classroom management of computers is essential if you want to avoid wasted time and energy trying to figure out what's wrong with a computer.  Foremost is teaching complete respect for the computer itself and that it is part of a learning community not a personal belonging.  Since some students are more capable than others with the computers so they might tend to make setting changes that confuse others. While making changes, for instance making the screen larger by removing tool bars, isn't unacceptable, each person needs to undo all changes before shutting down.  Community rules should be established and the students themselves should monitor each other.  I have found it helpful to have computer captains in each group.  I also assign a specific computer to each student.  Having a sign out sheet might also work.  I also have computer custodians that check to make sure all computers are in their places, shut down and charging at the end of each day.  If a student has a problem with a computer they are asked to write the problem on a sticky note, along with the computer name/number, and put it on top of the computer.  The custodian brings these notes to meet at the end of the day.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

TOOL # 7 Online Digital Projects

11 Tools
Project collaboration with Geneva Winfield

Students in 5th grade will participate in an Online Digital Project.
In December the students will work in paired pairs between an ESL and a Bilingual classroom on a Solar System Research Project. The content objectives will be expository writing, narrowing topic, determining questions, and understanding science objectives based on the solar system.  Students will complete research by reading non-fiction materials including online and hard cover print, participate in labs, watch videos, as well as blog and SCYPE about their findings. Tools being used would include Google docs, Glogster, Blogger, Edmodo, and SCYPE. Each member of the group will compose an expository writing and each group will present a "Glogster" product as evidence of learned information.

I know my students will be so excited about this project.  Using these types of methods will keep them focused and engaged.