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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tool 11 - Self-Assessing and Reflecting

I have found this process of 11 tools very welcomed.  Although I am very hesitant about technology, I can really see a lot of benefits to using it effectively in the classroom.  I think it can do a lot to encourage participation by all students.

One thing I am going to start using every day in my classroom is the tool - Poll Everywhere.  I am going to use it with my warm-up activity first thing when the bell rings.  I know the students will like having a reason to use their cell phones to vote on which answer to the warm-up problem is right.  I also really liked Google Docs and I plan on using that in May when I have the students working in groups on a stock project.  It is a good way for the students to communicate without actually being together in the classroom.

11 tools has made me more aware of the vast variety of activities that can be done on the Internet and things that can bring lessons alive in the classroom.  Even though I teach math, just getting to show maybe a lesson from Khan Academy would give the students an opportunity to benefit from the Internet.  I also see using some online features like tracking stocks and doing company research in class being a really nice, educational feature.

I know I still have quite a lot to learn about using this new technology effectively in the classroom, but I am looking forward to the journey.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tool 10 - Underneath it All - Digital Citizenship

There were several things I looked at and listened to on Atomic Learning that I will share with my students when we start working online in the classroom.  One was Creative Commons.  I liked how Creative Commons gave people a way to copyright their creativity that they post online.  This was a very informative presentation and it would be something I would talk to students about.  It is the other side of plagiary.  It protects students from having their ideas and designs copied and someone else taking credit for their work.

Another thing I would like to make students aware of is Cyberbullying.  We would spend some time discussing this concept and what to do about it if they should find themselves feeling bullied online.

And finally, I liked the idea of putting together an Internet safety poster that discusses things that will keep students safe online.  I would have it displayed in the classroom and we could refer to it throughout the year if students forget about the rules on how to be good digital citizens.

As for how I would share digital citizenship with parents, I would have lessons posted online so parents could see for themselves the lessons that their children are learning in class.  I would also be quick to direct parents to resources that I have found to help them keep their children safe online.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tool 9 - Incorporating Classroom based devices as tools for learning

It is important to have the technology support the teaching objective because that is what the main purpose of using technology in the classroom - to help the students learn better and retain more information.  The devices give students a way to have a hands on experience with the objective, where they are interacting with the device and learning the objective the teacher has presented in the classroom.

Teachers would want to hold students accountable in  their stations because that is the only way he/she can see if they have done the activity and if the objective has been learned.  That way, he/she can either go back and reteach the objective or move on to the next unit in the curriculum.

There were several sites that I found interesting and I would like to bring into the classroom.  One was Manipula Math, which helps use curriculum in a very hands on way.  The other site I found interesting was Interactivate.  It also had some real hands on exercises for students to work on in stations and follow up with an activities sheet.

I also looked at several IPAD touch applications I would like to use in the classroom.  One was A Factor Tree, which would give students practice picking out greatest common factors and doing factor trees.  The other site I liked was AlgebraPad2, which gave students practice adding and subtracting algebraic equations.  Both these sites had activities the students would play and they could then print out their score at the end of the activity for the accountability portion of the center.

I am not sure what other ways I could use the devices other than to maybe have the kids journal is Google Docs at the end of the lesson and have the whole class edit the document.  Then we could print out the document and they could have it available as review when it came time to studying for the semester final exam.

Tool 8 - Taking a look at the tools

When I was watching the tutorials about the various tools that are going to be in the classroom, I learned many new things.  One was about syncing the devices to the teachers laptop.  The question I have concerning that is how will that work with teachers that share classrooms?  I share O200 with Ms. Lipp.  Will the devices be synced to only one machine?  Will there be a way to have the devices synced to two laptop machines?  I also learned about downloading apps to the IPAD.  I am assuming this is like downloading apps to a cell phone.  I will have to work with the IPAD in order to feel comfortable doing this.

Also, sharing a classroom will also require some collaboration on how the devices will be managed as far as numbering.  I liked the idea of numbering them by the room number and then either a letter or a number.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tool 7 - Reaching outside your classroom

For my collaborative project, I would like to have the students work with other groups in the classroom for a month.  I would like the students (groups of 3 each) to research some stock investments and pick 5 stocks they would like to track over the course of May.  They will see what type of profits they would have made if they had invested $10,000 with these 5 companies.  I would like the students to use Google docs to communicate with group members as well as communicate with other groups within the classroom.  Students can sell stocks that are not doing well and buy other companies that might be doing better.  They can seek advice from the internet sources like Fidelity, Charles Schwab, etc.  They can also discuss ideas on Google docs with their groups and classmates.

The goal will be to make the most profit at the end of the 4 week period.

Tool 6 - Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion in and out of the Classroom

I played around with Today's meet and I can really see how this could be helpful in the classroom.  A teacher could let students ask questions that might pop into their heads while he/she is lecturing.  As the questions pop up on the screen, the teacher could answer them and continue with the lecture.  It would also be a great way to check for understanding based on the type of responses you are getting from the students.

Wow. What a slick thing!  This is just like using the expressions or votes on the activeboard, but the students could use their own cell phones.  What fun and VERY interactive!!!

Tool 5 - Producing with Web 2.0 Tools!

This is a video I created on Animoto.  It was very easy and fast to do.  I can see this would be a lot of fun for students to use for projects in classes like science and history.  I am not sure the best way to use it in a math class, but it is a slick tool to have.

I experimented with Wordle.  What a fun activity!!  I can really see where this could be used in the English classrooms with vocabulary or famous quotes from various books and authors.