Monday, August 6, 2012

Tool 11:

1. What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools.

I really like Google Docs.  I have used it in the past, but now I have new level of understanding at how it can be used for interactive writing. not only for the students, but also for professional use when collaborating with colleagues.

2. How have you transformed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom? How has your vision for your classroom changed? Are you going to need to make any changes to your classroom to accommodate the 21st Century learner?

I am really looking forward to having an opportunity to start the year fresh with my students and train them how to use the technology properly.  I am going to need to rotate my students through stations at the beginning of the year, so that they know how each piece of equipment works, how to log on and off of each device and what capacity each device has, at least on a surface level.  

I foresee my classroom becoming much more self directing as a result of having the freedom to explore student interest and the ability to present in a manner that fits individual learning style via technology.  It is very exciting.  I hope that I have the patience to deal with the technological difficulties that we may encounter.  Anything has to be better than what we have been dealing with over the past few years as our technology became more and more antiquated.

3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

I was surprised to learn how many resources the district has on their website and where to find the resources I need within the district resources.  I really had no idea about the depth of resources available to me as a teacher.  I was also excited to learn more about how to set up the Ipad for effective use in the classroom.  I was also surprised how much my own 8 year old daughter took to the new Ipad with the camera to film herself and create videos on all kinds of topics from duct tape to American Girl Doll play.  It helped to bring into focus what potential there is for the use of Podcasts in presentation for students.  It provides an incredible opportunity for student creativity.  I am excited for the new technology in my classroom.  

For your Tool #10 assignment:
In YOUR blog post:
1. Discuss at least three things you would want to make sure your students understand about being good digital citizens.
A. Students will understand how to access safe sites and what to do when they encounter the wrong information/ inappropriate information
B. Students will understand that whatever is written online is equivalent to speaking to someone face to face, so all interactions should be respectful of people and cultures.
C. Students will understand how to share new information without breaking copyright laws.

2. Share at least one of the resources mentioned above or on the Ed Tech website that you plan to use instructionally.
One resource that I liked for teaching digital citzenship was MouseTales on YouTube. First of all, it was made by fifth graders, so it shows students what a powerful tool the internetnet is: kids teaching kids. In addition, it is interactive. Students present situations and then react to them. In order to use the video to its maximum, the teacher will stop after or during each skit and discuss the students' choices. The class at that point could also brainstorm other appropriate reactions in each situation.
I will use the chart provided in 11 Tools as I am teaching Digital Citizenship this fall.

3. Explain briefly how you would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship to your students.
I think in years past, digital citizenship was addressed in the beginning of the year with ONE lesson and repeated reminders. I realize now that there is a lot to teach. I will be teaching more mini-lessons and requiring students to complete more stations on the computers/Ipads than I had previously required. I am just now realizing how much needs to be accomplished. I like the idea of having a chart that tracks students completion of various trainings that I expect students to complete, much like I track Bluebonnet reading. Students are in charge of completing and recording their accomplishments. I will follow the chart and encourage and assist those who are falling behind.

4. Explain briefly how you plan to share the idea of digital citizenship with your parents.
I will encourage all parents to allow students to fully participate in digital learning. I would like for all students to have an "ALL ACCESS PASS". I will explain my three goals as stated in question number one to parents. I will share the district website and digital lessons with parents highlighting a few clips of videos during the parent curriculum night. I will keep my blog updated, so that parents may see what I am learning, as well as, what the students are learning. I will encourage parents to Follow Edmodo so they can see what their children are communicating and have their own conversations with students about etiquette. I will communicate with parents how crucial it is for students to be able to use the technology, because if they do not learn to use, they will be left behind and struggling in the future. It is not only the future, it is the present.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tool #9 Assignment, create a new post in which you respond to the following:
  1. Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective? It is important to tie technology to the objective, because in the world we live in today, technology is completely integrated. Students need to be able to navigate it seamlessly.Not all students have the same access to the technology at home and many parents today are less knowledgeable than the kids. Some adults are intimidated and therefore will not expose their children to it. School should be a place where kids have access to knowledge- the internet provides it. In addition, the tools available via technology are incredible.
  2. Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers? The more student realize that their actions on technology are tied to production, the more they will achieve. If they realize that free exploration is reserved for after goal accomplishment they will be continue to see how useful the tools are, but also how important time management is in school and life. Some students tend to get lost in their own thinking, so it is important to teach discipline with the use of technology. In the real world if we get lost in our games and searching, we do not accomplish our goals.
  3. Visit 2 of the applicable links to interactive websites for your content/grade level. Which sites did you like. How could you use them as stations? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations? I liked the Learning Games for Kids and Thinkfinity. I will link those to Edmodo and my blog this year. I will use Learning Games for Kids in History. There are some great interactive games in which the students can practice naming the states. I have been looking for a good game for the students to practice state names on the map. This is the best I have found. Students can practice at home or in class in a station and then the results will be reflected in their Regions' quizzes. There are also several other games for students to practice skills and expand their knowledge within various core subjects. I will require parts of the games and then allow for exploration within these sites during station time. I can see kids wanting to go to these in their spare time at home. I will make them easy to find on Edmodo and blog.
  4. List two to three apps you found for the iPod Touch/iPad that you can use in your classroom. What do you see that station looking like? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations? I downloaded several apps for the Ipads. I really liked the Spring Branch list of Apps on the district webpage that is linked to 11 Tools. I found several Apps that will be useful for brainstorming for projects and helping students organize their thinking. They were iBrainstorm, icardSort (not free), and MindMash. I liked Playtime Theater, Puppet Pals. and Toontastic for students writing from various characters points of view and persons in history.Book projects for guided reading/ book club can be organized using these tools. In addition, reflection after studying content in history will use these tools. They provide an opportunity for application and synthesis of knowledge. Screen Chomp seems like a great app for students to upload their work to Edmodo with one click. I haven't tried it yet, but I think I will put in on the Ipads and have students spend time exploring in a station. I liked the Popular Mechanics QuakeTracker, ESO Top100, NASA AppHD, and NASA Visualization Explorer for independent reading for my science kids, who love non-fiction. They are visually rich as well.
  5. What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station. As I said before, students will be using the Ipad for publishing with the keyboards and Googledocs. In addition, students can use the camera to create Podcasts that tell students about what they have learned. These can be published on Edmodo. They could be created for reactions to text in language arts, creating how to videos ( much like YoutTube videos). We will also use the Ipads for quick searches. The Ipads are faster for quick research since the whole log on process is not necessary. Students who brought their own used them this past year for that kind of searching. It will be great during read aloud to quickly look up information. Students can take control and it will free me to lead discussion and thinking.

Monday, July 30, 2012

For Tool #8, in your post:
  1. I learned how to create an additional account for Itunes that is not for personal use. That was helpful. Hopefully, I will separate personal from school use. I also learned that KACE has a district approved list of software to download. That was new information for me. I may have learned it before, but it didn't register with me the first time. I also learned a good way to label each device- Room 300-A, etc...
  2. I plan to label each device as listed above. I will have each student log into each mini and regular laptop in my room at the beginning of the year within the first couple of weeks. That should help with the speed of logging into the computers. In addition, I will teach each student to charge the devices. It will be apart of the logging in station. I will identify a qualified few students to help me manage the charging of the computers to make sure they are properly stored. I will also make sure students know how to shut down and log off properly. That was a problem last year and it froze up many of our devices. We plan to use Google docs a lot which means I am going to urge parents to sign the e-mail waiver. Since we purchased keyboards to go with IPads, students will use them for word processing and editing. With the Dells, Ipads, and MiniDells we should actually be able to make great progress with writing this year and more student collaboration. The most important aspect is going to be to make sure students know how to use the equipment and trouble shoot, so they are not stuck and unable to move forward. This beginning of the year training is going to be essential.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tool #7

I viewed all of the sites listed as possible resources for online collaboration and really only see a way to use Skype or Edmodo practically in my classroom. I used Edmodo this past year and linked both my morning and afternoon classes to each other. I used it in Language Arts for commenting about read aloud. Students from more than one class were commenting about predictions, character actions, etc. The objective was to allow students to hear other perspectives than the ones in their immediate class. This was also helpful because by requiring all students to comment, it forced some students who were not verbal to share their opinions. 
a)     I will use Edmodo again this year, but expand to other Language Arts' classrooms in fifth grade.
b)     TLW communicate opinions and use support from text and life to support opinions
c)     I plan to implement this with the first shared read aloud. We usually pick a read aloud from the Bluebonnet List to do as a grade level. ( Possible with Escape Under the Forever Sky)
d)     We will use Edmodo as the communication tool. The teacher will be essential in keeping the pacing on track. Students will need to be in the same place in the book to make comments that stimulate conversations.
Teachers will start the conversation by posting questions that are open ended to students about the plot, character and themes. Students will be required to post a response weekly. Their responses may stem from teacher prompt or from the thinking of another student. This will not only get students thinking about literature and the world, but will also show them how to use the social media tools as a communication tool. Also, students will be forced to think about how others perceive their written word

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tool #6.

1. I have a GoogleDocs account and I already use it. The document that I created with the help of Sally, Cheryl and Lisa is along the side of the page. I do not like the way that embedded and you cannot see the comments that we made together. I am getting a bit frustrated at my inability to do all of this with ease. It seems that I should be able to insert and embed with no problem. I can see how these tools are useful int eh classroom. I am not sure how embedding them into this blog is that useful. That is causing me more grief than the actual work of learning to use the tools.

2. I am trying to use Wallwisher to create a page, but apparently I created an account with my email and I do not remember doing this. It must have been several years ago. I am waiting for them to get back to me to reset up my account. It is not working.

I can see using it as a place for us to brainstorm, much like we already do with post it notes. We need more technology in the classroom for it to be really effective as an interactive tool. I think it would be great to have students working on a unit in history and to be able to post their questions, comments. It would also be great for a read aloud as a sound board. That way we would not have to wait for everyone to come up to the board. They are both effective, but Wallwisher will be a bit more permanent.

3. TodaysMeet is super easy to use. I would love to use this in my classroom. It is a super easy way to have a conversation while a discussion is going on. It requires multi-tasking, but I think most kids are doing this in their heads anyway. What a super way to do this! I will put a link to todaysmeet on here. There is not need to link to my page, because you can put a time limit on the amount of time you want to keep your meeting open. I think it is a great simple way to get more kids interacting. The meeting could stay open for a few days. You could even use it as a daily reflection place, much like a blog, but it is less permanent and pertains to only that lesson/topic. I like that it is more temporary.

4.  I checked out CoverItLive.I do not really see a place for it in the elementary classroom- maybe Olympics.  So much other stuff is very unpredictable if live.  So, I will not be using it in the classroom unless someone can convince me otherwise. Plus, there is a fee for using. 

5. Poll Everywhere is also easy to use.  I can also create a poll in Blogger as one of the gadgets.  I guess the nice feature of Poll Everywhere is that it can be accessed from several places, but on a blog, all I would really need is the Blogger feature. The poll feature would be great to use with predictions about events that students predict in a book.  It could also just be used as a human interest to connect with students- Polls for plans, favorite activities at field day, etc... There is a Poll on this blog that I created with Poll Everywhere.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tool #5
  1. Here us a link to the Wordle I created to use at the beginning of the year as an introduction to fifth grade. Students could use as a platform to ask questions in a letter to me about fears/expectations/goals/hopes. It would also be a set for students to use to create a Wordle about themselves. It would be a good model. I had one problem with Java. It installed, but not completely, so I am not sure how the Wordle saved.
  2. I created a book in TikaTok which is a really cool tool.  I think each kid could easily set up his/her account using school email address.  It is very simple and even lets you use story starters.  I would definitely use this with fifth graders.  I think they would have fun creating fiction stories using the prompted story starters.  It would help with the organization of the story.  In addition, they can create their own totally open ended story without prompting. It is very user friendly.  I highly recommend this site.   I saved the story, but I am not sure how to embed it into the blog.  It is 11 pages  and I haven't figured out how to condense it.I will add it when I figure out how. I tried StoryJumper, too.  I created a story in there, too hoping I would have the option to embed in my blog.  To be honest, I liked TikaTok better.  I was unable to embed StoryJumper, too.  In the process, I did figure out how embed my Wordle and recreate my Voki and then embed.  
  3. I set up Glogster account, but I haven't made anything yet, because I can't decide what I want to use it for.  It could be really cool for Regions projects in the fall.  Students could embed all kinds of information into the document- from pictures to videos, to audio, to text.  I may make a sample Texas Glogster poster.  I spent some time looking at really cool Glogster pages.  I searched, top 100 Glogster Posters.  It has great potential especially for fifth graders who are researching and can create more complicated projects. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tool #4 post:

1. Create at least one document in Google Docs and share it with a few others on your campus or within your department. It could a team member, a department colleague, or another teacher with whom you plan a collaboration. Ask that person to comment or chat and real-time edit the document with you.
2. Create one form in Google Docs and send it via email to at least two other people and ask them to respond.
3. Briefly discuss how you can use the tools in Google Apps with your team or department. How can you incorporate Google Apps as a tool in your classroom? Which tools are you excited about using with students?

1. I have created a couple of documents and am waiting for responses to this document. I have used google docs with students, but was not aware that they could have me make edits to their work. I also did not realize that all drafts of their documents are saved as they are corrected. I will need to see how this works as I receive edits back on my documents.
2. I have some issues using google docs with printing. Sometimes the documents will not print properly. If anyone has any tips for avoiding this, I would love to hear them. I have problem solved by having students e-mail me their documents in rich format, so that we could print them from a computer that was aligned to the printer. Again, if anyone has any tips, I am all ears. Does anyone use it regularly in their classrooms. I would love to know, so that throughout the year, I can contact you with my questions and we can problem solve together. IA m willing to be a resource for you as well.
3. Google docs will be great for sharing presentations with teammates. We can each add our page rather than having one person create the whole thing. It could be a great a time saver. I hope we remember to use this in the fall and save our documents here. How much space do we get?
I am excited to use the google docs more with my students and provide edited copies to them. Most kids have a hard time editing their work and this will be a helpful tool.
4. I just had some live editing with Lisa and Sally C. Google docs is a really great way to work on a document with someone who is in another room or another computer. You can live chat about a document and watch someone edit while working on a piece with them. WOW! What a fantastic tool. Love it!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

This is the video I spoke about earlier.  Let's see if it works.  It is a great addition to the Constitution chapter in American History.

For your Tool #3 Assignment:
  1. The video above is supposed to be a link to Youtube for "I'm Just a Bill" that I have used before in my classroom.  I was trying to embed it into the blog.  I was not able to make it a hotlink.  I will try again in a new post.  
  2. I had some trouble with teachertube and school tube.  I did not find it to be very user friendly.  I do not anticipate using them very much. 
  3. Instead,  I will go directly to Discovery Education for support for history and language arts.  I found several language arts links that I will be able to use in teaching my language arts curriculum.  I will be teaching mini lessons about grammar and punctuation and there are some videos I will embed into my lessons.  I think linking some to my Edmodo page make sense, too.  This is a short clip about punctuation.
  4. I went to and discovered that there are several videos that I could use to support the reading that we do in history and tie it in to LA with the novels we are reading.  I could get really individualized and download various support links for different novels that students are reading.  The hardest part about reading historical fiction is having enough background knowledge to follow the story and notice what pieces are of historical significance. I find that most of the time the kids ignoret he history and just read the plot.  They would notice and learn more if they had a but of the history.  I can't teach it all, especailly when students are reading various novels.    This will be a great tool to support what the students are reading. THis particular link is about the depression and riding the rails.  It reminds me a bit of Bud, Not Buddy, but I found that Cynthia DeFelice has a  novel called Nowhere to Call Home that directly relates to this video.  I discovered a great site called that lists several novels/book based on genre and historical period in time.  I will be using that site again.
  5. No. 3- I was not aware of the re-purpose and add value part of the copyright law.  That video was helpful for me to understand how to re-use pictures and make them useful for others in a different way.  
  6. I created a Dropbox account and added some documents into it.  I also added it my phone. It will be useful for times when the SBISD server is not available.  I can access my documents easily from there.  I am not sure how I will use it with the class. I will see how my colleagues use and copy the ideas that I like.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tool #2

1. I visited several blogs and added several links to my blog as you can see in the bottom right corner of this page. I commented on The Innovative Teacher about BYO- Bring your Own Technology. To summarize the article was discussing the benefits of students bringing their own technology to school and the infrastructure needed for it to happen successfully. This year, I experimented with this since we figured out how to access the network and I found it to be very useful. The kids felt more in control of the technology and were more apt to problem solve since it was their own technology. Read the article if you are interested. It was pretty interesting. Let me know what you think.

In addition, I will be following on Google Reader the sites that I added to my blog. I decided that if I found them useful, others might also want to know what I am reading on my own.

2. I have decided at least so far, that the blog might be something I want to use for professional purposes. I will see where 11 Tools leads me with this blog, but at this point, I do not think the kids will want to follow it. When I looked at other teacher blogs from other schools, most of them were set up for the purpose of talking to other educators and professionals. It would not necessarily appeal to children the way I am headed right now. I will stick to Edmodo for the children right now.

What stood out from the commenting advice was that we need to invite people to comment on our site and leave specific guidelines about commenting. I have yet to do that, but I plan to add that to my site. Many people just read what others are saying and do not comment. Since I have had a blog and use Edmodo with my class, I have noticed that I get the most feedback when I pose a question after my opinion like, "What do you think about...?".

I had no problem sharing my thoughts publicly, which should not surprise those who know me if you are reading my blog. I form opinions and am not afraid to voice them. I can see, though, how a blog would give people a voice who do not like comment in front of their peers. I see it in the classroom when I pose a question on Edmodo. Students who I do not hear from in whole class discussion are able to voice their opinions very clearly and sometimes very strongly through written communication. Through writing on a blog, complete thoughts can be written without interruption of thought from others. That is one difference that I can see from sharing successes/ challenges with other teammates. However, when communicating face to face, there is immediate feedback, which is often needed when discussing a problem. I understand why so many communities set up live chats to create that immediate feedback from peers.

3. A site I will visit often is . It is a blog inspired by Katie Wood Ray. Justt this week Gary Paulsen posted some writing tips. It is full of thoughtful writing ideas and reflective comments from other teachers. You can access it from my blog at the LIVING link. Check it out and tell me what you think. ( I just invited you to post if you didn't catch that.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tool #1

Today, I created a blog.  I enjoyed creating the Voki.  I would like to edit mine and change the voice since it sounds like a boy. I am interested to see how I will use this as a tool for my class.  I will link it to my Edmodo page and link Edmodo to this.  I look forward to adding to it.  I have used a blog before, but I did not use it as much as  I would have liked to use it.  I hope that I find this to be a more useful tool in my classroom.