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. http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/5487831/FrostwoodFifthGrad
  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.