Saturday, February 25, 2012

11 Tools #11 Self Assessing and Reflecting

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.
My favorite tools are all of the Goolge opportunities, Dropbox, and the iPad. Diigo is very handy and Big Huge Labs is just fun. And I'm a huge Atomic Learning fan. If I had a classroom, there are all types of activities that could be created with any of the ones listed. For almost any lesson in any subject, students could use the digital tools that they felt would best fit their idea. Choice becomes a given.

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?
Having completed both 23 and 11.5 Things several years ago, I've been watching teachers make changes in their classrooms to include many of the Tools listed in this project. Classrooms are becoming more student led; teacher are becoming facilitators to students as those students used the digital world to demonstrate their mastery of the curriculum.

3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
Not really; in spite of the fact that there's always a little trepidation when beginning something that is not completely comfortable, I was sort of looking forward to working on 11 Tools since it had been so long since 11.5 Tools. It gave me chance to dust off some of the skills from before and add some new ones to my repertoire. Now I just have to practice using them.

11 Tools #10 Digital Citizenship

1. Discuss at least three things you would want to make sure your students understand about being good digital citizens.
Safety first! Students must understand how to be safe users of digital opportunities. They must also understand how to seek help if they feel that their safety has been compromised.
How to - Students must be given the tools to learn to choose/filter what they find digitally. They must learn to check and recheck sources and not to assume that just because it's on the web that it's true. They must be thoughtful digital consumers.
Manners do count - Students must learn the etiquette of the digital world. Just like a face to face conversation, there are accepted web manners that should be observed.
2. Share at least one of the resources mentioned above or on the Ed Tech website that you plan to use instructionally.
There are two I like - Cool Cat has some clever ideas that can be modified for student use (with credit given to the source!) and the Texas School Safety Center is a good, concise resource for all.
3. Explain briefly how you would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship to your students.
Demonstration on a daily basis and reminders as lessons are presented is a part of the 'teaching'. Demonstrations of good and not so good digital citizenship can be done in such a way that is is interesting, clever and still makes a point - use the digital tools to show the students. Also, noting how students express themselves during digital assignments and providing feedback is a way to guide their use.
4. Explain briefly how you plan to share the idea of digital citizenship with your parents.
A class website with posted short lessons and links to information is a quick way to have parents see how digital citizenship is being addressed in class.

11 Tools #7 Online Digital Projects

1.After visiting the resources above, design a collaborative project with another classroom.
Without a classroom, this one is a little tough. However, I'll try to be creative and post a general outline of what might be a start for an English class.
2. Post the following about the project:
a. Content objective
Hmm... something in the writing realm such as editing for any number of traits; this would be a beginning project for online collaboration.
b. When you plan to implement
to be determined
c. What tool(s) you plan to use
For this project, generally asynchronous tools such as Google Docs, Dropbox and Voicethread.
d. A brief description of the project (plan - two or three sentences)
Students write an original work, post it to Google Docs or Dropbox, then other students edit either on the text itself or through comment using Voicethread. The print edit could be done at home; I would probably have the students use Voicethread at school as practice.
e. If you need to find another classroom - We can begin networking with other classrooms right here!

Friday, February 24, 2012

11 Tools #6 Using Web Tools

1. Choose at least two of the tools from the above list. Create an account for each (if required).
2. Use each of the tools you choose to create a sample of how you would use it in your classroom.
3. Embed the sample (preferred) or link to the URL.
Since I don't have a classroom, I' just have some ideas about how I'd put two of these tools to work.
Diigo - The ability to form a group could be extremely helpful for group assignments. A student group or a class could be formed, collect and share information from their own libraries and create a product, not to mention developing material that could be passed from year to year. Creating a class network for either individual classes or all classes for a teacher would be an excellent way for a teacher or members of a class to follow each other. Online assignments such as responses to a reading could be followed and discussed in the network.
Skype - There are so many ideas for Skype. I think a class Skype with an author or authority on a particular topic or reading would be extremely valuable for students in an English class. For example, an ideal and interesting lesson would be to see if Oscar Casares, a current Texas writer, would conduct a Skype interview with questions about his book Brownsville Stories and then Skype interview Sandra Cisneros about House on Mango Street, then have students in groups discuss/compare/create products based on those two books.
Share your thoughts on how you see the tools being integrated into your classroom. How do you see them encouraging participation?
All of the tools listed have many possibilities in the classroom. They give students the opportunity to participate in a variety of creative ways - they are no longer limited to paper/pencil.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

11 Tools #9 Classroom Based Devices

So, I'm still out of order, but still having fun.

1. Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective?
Technology doesn't remove the need for good first teaching and all of the other requirements good lesson development. It's just another way for students to access the information. The accountability may look different, but it's still built in no matter if the product is pencil/paper or web based.
2. Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers?
Students see technology as not only a tool for learning, but something essential for communication and also as something to use for fun. The accountability ensures that they're on task - not just getting lost in playing on the web.
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 SBISD Interactive Database and Thinkfinity because both of those provide ideas that are broader than math/science applications. Many of the activities have methods that students can use to demonstrate completion/mastery. In both sites there are options that can be used in stations by individuals as well as groups, and in Thinkfinity there are also options for home support.
3. 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?
Grammar Up is a really good site; it even has quizzes where students can keep track of their progress. The TED site is interesting and students could respond to a TED talk on a class blog or wiki after listening/watching a TED presentation.
4. What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station.
Students could use the iPad for a small group project; take notes, find reseach, pictures, etc., create a Google doc, file their information in Google Docs and/or Dropbox as necessary, then complete it at home. Everyone has access to what was done in class.

11 Tools #8 Taking a Look at the Tools

I know this is out of order, but I was just having fun going through the choices! I'll go back to #6 and 7 later.

1. After watching the videos/tutorials, list two to three things you learned about the device(s) that will be in your classroom this fall.
I've become such a fan of my iPad. I love the educational apps and the ease of accessing such a variety of apps as well as the fact that you can synch the iPad with other devices. And, BTW - the Atomic Learning tutorials on the iPad are excellent!
2. How do you plan to manage the device(s) in your classroom? Do you have ideas/suggestions that others may find useful?
The size of the iPad makes it a great tool to used handily in a classroom for almost any project; only the imagination limits it- it's so much more portable than even a laptop. Teachers will have to develop class management rules for use and security because iPads will be really popular and the students will find very creative reasons to use them all the time.

Monday, February 20, 2012

11 Tools #5 Web 2.0 Products

1. Use at least two of the tools above to create products. Think about your content.
The photo album came from Big Huge Labs - it can be folded to make a small album.
The mosaic is just fun and students could use it as a part of a presentation.
2. Create a “set” for one of your lessons! Or, consider providing the site as a choice for your students to create products. Make a model for a student created product.
See above; mine are models.
3. Then, embed both products in your blog or link to the products from your blog.
Describe for your readers how you think each tool can be incorporated into your classroom - how you could see the tool being used by you instructionally and your students to demonstrate their understanding of a concept or topic in your classroom.
These tools can all be used by students and teachers to demonstrate concepts in clever, interesting ways and can be saved so that others can see them later as a reference. I'm sorry that Glogster isn't free any more - it's such a great tool for students.