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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

After 11 Tools: Reflections

My favorite tools? The image generators; Wordle, ImageChef, and Big Huge Labs, for creative thinking and imagination, especially with poetry and writing. The video resources are great, I plan to work with students to create our own videos in class by documenting moments throughout the year. Bookr is another app I would like my students to use in science and social studies for creating their own books. Of course, GoogleDocs, Reader, Blog, and Wiki, I've started using and plan to continue to use during school.

My thinking has changed after this training because I am more aware of, and more knowledgeable about the resources that are available. I have also learned that it's just as important how these resources are made available to students, with digital citizenship a major role. I plan to be able to incorporate technology in the classroom more when we receive our new equipment in the fall.

Surprises? I kind of knew what to expect, learning technology is a commitment that requires setting aside time for training. I had the perfect opportunity to do this because, we're remodeling downstairs and the computer room was the only place to seek refuge! Also, my kids are grown and out of the house and my puppy is now a dog. I spend too much money on vacations and these workmen need to be supervised...see what I mean?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tool #11 Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship is an important aspect of teaching the curriculum and will become even more important as technology permeates our lives. The Digital Etiquette video on Brain Pop, Internet Safety on BrainPop, Jr., and CyberSmart Young Kids are appropriate and necessary tools for the beginner 21 century learner. As with any social issue, students must be taught how to make good choices, and it is the teacher's responsibility to make sure Internet policies are being reinforced at every grade level. This blog has been a tremendous learning experience for me, especially on commenting and posting. If specific guidelines are not taught very early and continued each year, the result of exchanging and sharing student information could take a very wrong turn.

Tool # 10 Apps on iPod touch, iPhone, iPad

On a flight from Houston to Dallas, my husband and I were entertained by a passenger who shared his iPhone obsession with us, proving more than once, there's-an-app-for-that! By the time we returned to Houston, my husband replaced his company BlackBerry with, you guessed it! The iPhone! One app that seems a little addictive, and a lot of fun, is the free Words With Friends, a crossword game that can be played with up to three players.

Next year my class will be getting five iPod touch devices. I can't wait to see my classroom transform into students who are still having fun, but are technologically challenged! For starters, the free puzzle apps I'll use are Fling, Fuzzle, and Christmas Fuzzle. They have different levels to challenge all learners by reinforcing logic and problem solving.

Lumosity designs games for improving and exercising the brain. Games I've chosen to use are free and are categorized for strengthening different brain functions. For example; Speed-Speed Match-information processing; Memory-Memory Matrix-spatial recall; Attention-Lost in Migration-focus; Flexibility-Word Bubbles-verbal fluency; and Problem Solving-Raindrops-arithmetic. The Lumosity has a good website with scientific data about certain games that promote training the brain.

There are many other free apps, such as, USA Factbook for social studies, and Bird Watching for our Purple Martin science unit. I would be content to start with the freebies first, collaborate about others, then later investigate my purchasing options.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tool # 9 Using Jing and Skype

I have not used Jing or Skype in the classroom before, but capturing an image, map, or video, using Jing, would certainly add clarity and understanding to messages and assignments. The video tutorial was very helpful, with a simulated practice session. Skype can be used for students to chat with other students from different areas, or teachers with teachers, or teachers with students. Skype could also be a more economical way to invite guest speakers into our school or classroom. Skype Mobile is offered for certain Verizon phones, but I'm not sure about this feature on Apple mobiles. I am looking forward to exploring this option and inviting members to Skype with in a virtual reality classroom!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tool #8 Videos-Solids, Liquids, Gas

I bookmarked this series from YouTube,They Might Be Giants, but also wanted to post it for quick referencing.

Tool # 8 Video of The Coin Song

This is very cute! Using songs or music to make connections is such a great way to make learning fun! I'll use this video from YouTube as a sing-a-long activity for identifying the names of coins and learning the value of each.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tool #8 Video Resources

I would use this video to teach the basics about using a digital camera. Presented from a child's perspective, students relate better to peer role models.http://yollisclassblog.blogspot.com/p/learn-how-to-shoot-great-digital-images.html