Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tool #11 - Self Assessing and Reflecting

A few tools that I really enjoyed included Vokis, Wordle, Wallwisher, Make Beliefs Comix, Poll Everyone and Google Docs. I could see all of these tools being integrated in my classes. I'm really excited to try and incorporate these tools into many of my co-teach classrooms. The kids would hopefully learn to appreciate math like I do! Now, I just need a planning period with my co-teachers to get this stuff started!!!!

One of my goals this year, is to help integrate technology into my math co-teach classes more often. It's a tad bit easier to throw in technology use in other subjects than it is in math, but i'd like to change that. Unfortunately, I'm not the most creative person, therefore it's going to take a lot from me to achieve my goal, but it's definitely something that i'd like to work up to!

I wasn't at all surprised by any of the training that I got from 11 Tools. I really enjoyed that it encouraged us to browse the web as well as supply us with numerous, great, useful resources that we could add to our "teacher toolboxes." I'm not as overwhelmed as I thought I'd be with this project, but it did take a while. I even passed the test on the first try!!!!

Wish me luck on achieving my goal this year!! 

Tool # 10 Underneath it All - Digital Citizenship

1. Discuss at least three things you would want to make sure your students understand about being good digital citizens.

Students need to realize that plagiarism is not acceptable. Often times, students simply copy and paste the information they found. Our students need to be taught that plagiarizing is unlawful and unfair to the creators of that work. By informing students of plagiarism, it makes them aware that they shouldn't copy and allows students to challenge their ethics! I'd also like for my students to realize that they can't just pick a random source from the internet and use it as a valid source. Students have to learn that the validity of some sources may not be trustworthy and the information may not be accurate. Lastly, I'd like to make sure that my students are aware of online safety. Students need to feel safe, interact safely with others and use the internet safely. The world wide web can be a dangerous place for young impressionable students, therefore, we need to make sure that our students understand what is expected of them in regards to interacting on the web.

The Ed Tech website had a a bunch of resources that our students could really benefit from such as BrainPOP, Digizen and Cyberbee. Digital Citizenship should be introduced to the students on the first day of school when we are going class rules and etc. Also, the topic could be covered again with parent at open house night.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tool #9 Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices as Tools for Learning

1.Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective?

I think it is important to tie technology to the objective because not only does it help deepen and enhance the learning process but it allows for the lesson to be much more meaningful to the students. Integrating technology without relating it to the objective totally diminishes the value of technology as a learning tool. By having the technology correlate to the objective, it shows students that technology can be used for more than pure entertainment purposes. 

    2. Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers?

    By holding students accountable for their work, we are able to decipher whether or not the students understood/mastered the concepts that we were trying to teach. I have learned from personal experience that holding students accountable for their work at stations is a must. If not, students tend to stray away from the lesson and lose sight of what they're supposed to be focused on. 

      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 really enjoyed MangaHigh and Studyladder. Both websites were very user friendly and could be easily integrated into class via group, stations or tutorials. Another website that I discovered, thanks to Mrs. Fraifeld, was Math Playground. It has tons of fun games that are very educational.
        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 found multiple apps that would be great for basic skill building, something that a majority of our kids could benefit from. Students would use ipads/ipods within groups at their desks. We could hold the students accountable at these stations by having them write a reflection on what they learned or what they did, by answering questions, or by answering a "station" exit slip!

        Wednesday, October 12, 2011

        Tool #8 Taking a Look at the Tools

        For Tool #8, in your post:
        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.
        2. How do you plan to manage the device(s) in your classroom? Do you have ideas/suggestions that others may find useful?
        Being a semi-tech junkie myself, I am lucky to be fairly familiar with the technology that my co-teachers have gotten in their classrooms.

        Because of my versatile co-teaching role, I was/have been privileged, this year and last, with the opportunity to observe and learn the technology habits of multiple teachers. For the most part, students are very reliable and willing to help out when it comes to technology. I have noticed that in classes when co-teachers aren't always available, teachers usually assign a student from each class to help monitor the devices. Students are never allowed to leave class unless all devices are accounted for. 

        Another management technique that I have noticed being very popular involves having the students sit in a manner that allows the computer screens to face the teacher at all times. By having students face their computer screens towards the teachers, the chances of off-task behavior is usually limited. As far as charging the devices, many teachers handle this situation differently. I have noticed that some teachers put up the adapters,whereas others leave the adapters out in the open for students to use as they please.

        In almost all of the classes that I've been to, none of the teachers ever allow items to remain on the desk unless they are being used and a majority of the students have been taught the proper handling techniques. 

        I've found that it is EXTREMELY important for teachers to allow ample time to put up all technology devices. If teachers do not allow for enough time, students rush around hastily and usually shut-down the computers incorrectly. When students shut-down the computers incorrectly, they cause the netbooks to get locked up in the previous users name. By planning for enough clean-up time, we can prevent minor issues that may cause hold-ups for the next class.

        Tool #7 Reaching Outside your Classroom: Online Digital Projects

        1. For your Tool 7 assignment, create a post and respond to the following:
          1. After visiting the resources above, design a collaborative project with another classroom.
          2. Post the following about the project:
            1. Content objective
            2. When you plan to implement
            3. What tool(s) you plan to use
            4. A brief description of the project (plan - two or three sentences)
            5. If you need to find another classroom - We can begin networking with other classrooms right here!

          I absolutely LOVE the idea of using Skype within the classrooms! I love the fact that students can connect to other students across the world and see what they're learning. We always explain to our Math students that Math is the universal subject but we never have concrete evidence to show students. By skyping, we could show them that we study the same concepts and so much more!

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

        I really enjoyed using TodaysMeet! We experienced using it during one of our inservices and enjoyed how it allowed us to continually ask questions without interrupting or worrying about forgetting our questions.

        Two other favorites of mine included Wallwisher, and Poll Everywhere. Both of these tools required simple set-up processes and could easily be integrated into any class, regardless of the subject!

        Poll Everywhere would definitely be a class favorite! It appeals to the students by allowing them to do what they do best, text! On the other hand, Wallwisher allows students to post questions, comments or concerns on a virtual sticky note. It sure beats taking notes the "old-fashioned" way! 

        All of the resources above are absolutely perfect for encouraging discussion in and out of the classroom because it allows every student to voice their opinion in a non-threatening, non-verbal, non-intimidating atmosphere and manner!

        Tuesday, October 11, 2011

        Tool #5 Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

        Wordle: Untitled

         Wordle is definitely a tool that I could incorporate in many of my co-teach classes.

        I can totally see how fun and interesting Make Beliefs Comix would be if we incorporated it into our classes. It could be used to create comics for a multitude of subjects/topics.