Saturday, March 3, 2012

#11 Reflections

My favorite tools have been Wallwisher and Diigo. I am working on including them with the new six weeks unit on economics. It will be great to have the student's feedback on the content and novels we cover in the classroom. We use Google Docs all of the time so it works great for us in the classroom.

I think I have been lucky to have the PTL iTouches and Macbooks in my classroom for the past three years. It has allowed me to at least become comfortable with the idea of using technology in the classroom. We have made it a goal to try to have at least on of of LA/SS projects each six weeks to have a choice of products. Of those products, we have worked hard at having at least one technology-based. I have been hesitant to trying new programs but this experience has helped me move out of my comfort zone and try something new.

#10 Digital Citizenship

The three things I would like to stress to my students about digital citizenship:

a.) acceptable use of intellectual property.We have been working on citing sources and taking notes properly.
b.)evaluating websites & effective searches. Earlier in the year I gave my students a note sheet on the information by Alan November. As we have gone along this year, I have continued to have them refer to their note sheet to help with research.
c.) safety & security.

I will use the Brain Pop videos to help reinforce the proper use of technology. At the beginning to the year, I plan to spend a week on the basics of digital literacy. When we do our first major research project in October, I will spend several weeks modeling proper research skills including evaluating websites and citing sources. We use our web page as the main way to communicate with parents and I will post the notes from our class discussions.

#9 Using the Devices

It is important to tie the technology to the objective to give students choice especially during projects. With almost every project we do in language arts/social studies each six weeks, there is some point they are using technology. In addition, students need to be aware that they are accountable for their learning even when using technology. They are either taking notes, answering questions or working on products. I have also tried to stress to my students that the computers/iTouches are just a tool and that they still need to think about the information they are learning.

Most of the links to interactive websites focused on Math and Science but I liked the Thinkfinity site and StudyLadder. There were some interesting lessons on the Thnkfinity site for our study of inventions. I would probably make a question sheet for the students answer as they work through the simulation or write a journal entry about what the learned, etc. The map games on StudyLadder could be used as a test review.

We used the app in our classroom a lot. I also like the Brain Pop, Cultures, and Goggle Earth. We have 23 iTouches in our classroom for the PTL grant so we would rotate the devices around the room. Usually we do half & half (16/16).

#8 The Tools

Almost all of the information on this section was a review. We have iTouches in the classroom that were part of the Power to Learn grant three years ago. In addition, we have a Macbooks in our classroom as well. Mrs. Smetek and I have been very luck to have an opportunity to have these devices in our classroom.

We try to be vigilant about the care of the devices. They are used at least 2-4 times a week. There are set rules about the use of the technology in the classroom and we have gone over the district's expectations as well. The devices are numbered so we can assign them to a student if needed. This has worked well for us so far and after three years, our computer are all holding up pretty well.

#7 Online Digital Projects

There are so many great things out there for social studies and I would love for my students to reach out to another classroom around the world. It would also be neat to collaborate with our fellow sixth grade social studies class downstairs. We need to have our students share ideas and opinons with each other since we are usually reading the same novels.

Classroom: Downstairs Sixth Grade
Objective: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the political aspects of culture and how they relate to the novel, "Hunger Games" by participating in an on-line discussion on Wallwisher.
Details: In some on my mixed Cesit classes, the students were discussing aspects of the books while working on scrapbook projects. I thought the students would love discussing the book and the characters with our classroom partners downstairs. We would use the Wallwisher during next year's unit on political influences on society.

#6 Web Tools

 I already use Google Docs in the classroom. The comments feature is great when we edit writing assignments and the students love it when peer editing. I have used the Today's Meet at a teacher in service this fall and I might use it in class. I activated a Diigo account and a wallwisher account.

 I saved one of the articles we are going to use for our economics unit in Diigo and I am going to have some questions for the students to comment on as they read. I also started a Wallwisher account (Mrs. Kenny's Wall) to get some feedback from the students as they read their novels for this unit. I wish I had done this while we were reading the Hunger Games.

This will be great for those students that tend to shy away from participating in discussion in class. They are able to share their ideas and opinion in a non-threatening environment. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

#5 Web 2.0 Tools

Here is a word art from ABCys! using the economic vocabulary words we are studying this six weeks. I tried using Wordle but the code wasn't working correctly. The poster is related to one of the new novels we are reading this six weeks. 

We have used Animoto and Big Huge Labs in the past on our culture project. We have used Glogster at least twice this year. I love the posters the students have made with it but the network has been spotty. Our students have also used Presi this year since many of them already know how to use it. 

#4 Cloud Computing

I use this particular tool quite a bit with the kids. We figured out early on that with the Macbooks, most students wouldn't be able to access their pages documents from home. We spent time converting to Word then emailing the assignments. Now, all word processing in our classroom is done in Google Docs and the students share their work with us.

This leads me to the two minor problems I have with it. If someone knows the answer, please pass it along.

1. The student documents will continue to show up on your homepage until they delete it. I have shared documents from three years ago!
2. The chat feature is pretty cool but I learned about the feature when I observed students making inappropriate comments and focusing on the chat rather than working on the assignment. Is there a way to disable it? I would like to control when I can use it.

#3 On-line Video and Image Resources

1. I have used You Tube videos on occasion but this was the first time I have use Blinkx. I thought that was very useful and I will definitely be using in for instruction again.


I loved these growing up and I would like to have the students write their own "Fractured Fairy tales."

3. The video was catchy for the kids. This is something we are constantly working on it class.

4. I created a Dropbox account a few months ago. I moved family pictures into it to share with my brother and sister. I like how you can control what you let other see. It would be good to use as a place for students to place their work.