Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tool #11-Reflection

In working through the 11 tools, it seems daunting to undertake the addition of technology to the classroom.  Since I did not grow up using these devices to learn, it is quite unnerving to have the added responsibility of teaching a new curriculum.  Although today's students are familiar with most of this technology, they are not necessarily acquainted with the use of the technology to learn.  It will be a challenge to teach myself the technology and the various uses it will have.  I am looking forward to seeing how this technology will transform my classroom.

Tool #10 Digital Citizenship

The things in which students should be proficient  regarding digital learning are copyright laws, safety in online collaboration and the appropriate use of educational technology.  Due to the accessibility  of online information , I notice a great deal of plagiarism in essays and research. Students would literally copy and paste entire assignments.  I tried talking to them about the importance of citing sources and paraphrasing works of others.  I also shared with them Noodle tools to help students in citing their resources. (I also set up limits on what could be quoted)   I think that online safety is especially important as "social networking" becomes more pervasive in our students' lives.  Students need to know how to act appropriately online as well as advocate for themselves if they become victimized.
In teaching my students about digital citizenship, I would use Atomic Learning's courses on "netiquette," "online harassment" and "avoiding plagiarism."  I would also plan mini-lessons for each of these videos early on in the year to allow students time to process and practice with these important topics.
A letter would be sent home early in the year explaining all of the technology and expectations for students so parents would be aware of what students will have access to.

Tool #9

1.  Technology must be tied to the curriculum to avoid off task behavior.  Technology is not being used as entertainment.  It is a means to an end:  learning.
2.  Students must be held accountable for the technology to preserve the technology.  It is the equivalent of the textbook.  A book or an Ipad is provided for student use.  If it is not handled appropriately, the technology will not be available.  Again, students must be made aware that the technology is not a toy; it is a learning device.
3.  Museum Box looks like it will be a good site as it is interactive.  History Buff allows students to access primary resources for research purposes.

As I am new to technology, this is definitely a work in progress.  I am eager to try to implement the Ipad into my curriculum.

Tool #8

After viewing the videos about the incoming technology, I learned that the netbooks will have audio/visual "recording" capabilities such as a microphone and webcam (useful for Skyping!).  I also learned that the students will have to log in with their own credentials (unless the teacher pre-logs in for them).  This will require planning for the times that the students forget their log-in information. However, it is helpful that students passwords are their ID#'s which makes it hard to forget. 

If I were to be in charge of classroom technology, I would devise a system based on my students' needs.  I would like to first build capacity in my students to be responsible stewards of the technology.  I know that technology cases are being provided to our teachers, so I would devise a method of having technology taken and replaced from the technology cabinet (if the activity calls for a loose-structure for the technology--like research). I would also assign one person from each grouping of tables to be in charge of the technology for that table. So, if they are using Today's Meet, the name would be Table 1, etc so I would know from whom the questions are coming.

It is going to require some time and experimentation in the beginning.  Teachers will need to be organized and perhaps a bit more aware of time.  Teachers will also need to share methods  that work in the classroom.  As students are more exposed to the technology, responsible use should become second nature.

Tool #7-Online Digital Projects

Content Objective:
Given internet tools, primary sources, and collaboration, students will be able to create a presentation over life in the 1920's analyzing music, art, literature, and cultural norms by working with a partner in an English class to evaluate 1920's literature and how they explain the changes in the US during that time.

late October/early November

Tools used:
Today's Meet, Google Docs, Glogster, Weebly, Blogger, Diigo.

Students will be assigned on a one to one partnership with a student in a same grade level English class. They will use Diigo sources provided by the teachers to create a presentation explaining how the piece of literature they were given demonstrates the historical time period.

English III class 

Tool #6

Today's Meet is a creative way to have students discuss potentially controversial topics in the classroom.  Linked is a conversation with peers discussing how this could be used in the classroom.

Poll Everywhere could be used to start discussions to link past events with current events.  Choose a favorite president and discuss why you like this person.  What characteristics appeal to you.  Looking at current candidates, for whom would you vote?

Both allow students to think about current events and formulate opinions about current topics based on historical knowledge.  It encourages participation in class by allowing students to voice their opinions.

Tool #5- Producing with the Web

Wordle: Untitled

The above is a Wordle.  It allows students to create word clouds that use high frequency words.  It familiarizes students with new vocabulary related to a specific topic.

I intend to use blogging as a current events forum.  This fall I am going to find current events-such as the presidential election-and have students respond to outcomes.  The Supreme Court is ruling on Texas' Top 10% admissions policy.  This is something that could have a direct impact on our students.  It will help them keep up to date with what is happening in the world and allows them to formulate educated, informed opinions on topics such as elections, gay marriages, amnesty.

Tool #4 Google Docs

Google Docs is a useful classroom tool.  It allows students to share writing, information, ideas within a class or across classes.  First period is able to collaborate with sixth period, etc.  It enables students and teachers to delve deeper into topics by broadening the knowledge base.  Students are able to receive feedback on ideas and work immediately from teachers and other students.  I am looking forward to experimenting with Google Docs and DBQs this fall.

Tool #3 Embedding video

I use this YouTube video to introduce the review of 8th grade curriculum.  It gets the students' attention and activates prior knowledge.  (I tried to embed the video, but could not access the code.  Therefore, I linked the video.)

Discovery Education also has excellent  clips to enhance student understanding of historic topics.

Both of these sites are good to show students primary sources.  All of the clips need to be cited and this models appropriate use to students.  It is important to help them navigate and use the internet responsibly.

Dropboxes are useful so that assignments/lessons/videos can be open to anyone who has the link.  Materials can be edited by others and it eliminates the need for external storage.  Dropbox is accessible anywhere.

Tool #2 Building a Community

I am uncomfortable about participating in blogs and PLNs.  When engaging in discussions with team members there is a certain amount trust and comfort.  Publicly commenting on others' work or thoughts is a bit more daunting.  The written word can be misconstrued.  There are, of course, some aspects of a PLN that are enticing.  It does open a door to new teaching techniques.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tool #1

This process was relatively simple as long as someone walked me through it.  I am not as nervous about using technology, but currently find it time consuming not only for me, but for the person I need to provide support.