Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tool #11
I like the tools that teachers and students can use for productivity. I like for students to have choice on how to demonstrate mastery of a skill or concept. Students are motivated to learn when they have choice and are able to use their creativity to show learning.
Reflection: I was a little apprehensive about beginning the 11 Tools after hearing some negative things about it for the past several years. I found it very informative and enjoyable. I appreciate the tutoring videos and found them very easy to follow. I was glad to have had the opportunity do complete the training at my own time and at my own pace.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Three things that I would like students to understand about being a good digital citizen:
1. Just because you read it on the internet, doesn't mean that it's 100% accurate.
2. Speaking through blogs, Facebook, etc. should be treated as if you are speaking to that person/group in person. People are more inclined to say inappropriate things when not in a face-to-face situation.
3. Once something is typed, posted, written, it is there Forever.
I looked at many of the videos from Moving at the Speed of Creativity.I found the Frontline Story "Growing Up Online" very interesting and informative.
Students, parents, teachers , and administrators need to be open concerning digital citizenship in the schools.
Students today live in a very technology rich environment. It's only natural that their learning would include these tools. If our goal is to make each child a global and life-long learner, we have to include the tools that they utilize on a daily basis.
Middle school students will feel that if they are not being held accountable for the learning, then it isn't important. Non-accountable time with technology will be translated into free-time/electronic recess.
I reviewed Manipula (Math), Thinkfinity (Social Studies), PhET (Science Interactive Stimulation) and MangaHigh. Either of these websites could be used stations, small or individual practice or review. Students could be held accountable by having them journal or write an exit ticket on how they applied their learning to a specific classroom task.
iPods and iPads can be used in the classroom as a station or resource. Students can use iPods and iPads to browse the internet for information and clarification. The only limitation that I have found with iPods and iPads versus a computer is the lack of Flash.

I have been familiar with the iPod touch and iPad. I am able to add and delete apps as well as manage my iTunes account.
Classroom management of devices is crucial. Teachers need to have a specific policy and routine as to how and when they are used and returned. We had several instances last year of devices turning up "missing" at the end of the day or week. It's almost impossible for us to investigate, locate and return devices to the teacher. Unfortunately, once they leave the classroom, they are seldom found and returned. Teachers can and should have classroom helpers, but the responsibility ultimately falls on the teacher to be accountable for the devices. Teachers also need to have a plan if and when a substitute is in the classroom for a day or long term assignment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I really like the idea of online digital projects. Many years ago, we used paper, envelop and stamps to write pen pals to other students in other cities and states. Collaboration with other students from different states, cultures and countries would offer all students insights that couldn't be gained from textbook-based lessons. Many of our students have a very narrow perception of the world and different cultures. Using technology, students and teachers have access to resources world-wide.
I can readily see the usefullness and benefits in Social Studies and Science.
Some ideas:
Students can link to other countries participating in the Summer Olympics.
Students could link with other students in areas of the world with particular current events happening (earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fires, etc.)
I was surprized on how many of the tools in #6 that I was at least familiar with. I have had very limited experience with Skype, Google Docs, Twitter, Today's Meet, and Blogger. I specifically looked at Twitter, Diigo and Edmodo, since those are somewhat new to me.
I created a wallwisher, since I was unfamiliar with them. I think that wallwisher would encourage those kids to post ideas and opinions that maybe aren't always willing to share in class. It's a very non-threatening form of sharing.

I also created a Today's Meet