Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tool #11

My favorite tools include a blog, interactive journaling, and varied assessments through the use of technology.  I'm excited to incorporate technology as a means of assessment.  I plan to have students create online presentations, blogs, and websites as their finished product for an assignment.

The 11 Tools has introduced me to a wide variety of technology that I can use in the classroom.  This has given me the added support I needed to actually begin using technology in the classroom.  I am always looking for ways to improve the learning environment for my students and this has been very helpful in doing so. 

I am surprised about how much I learned from completing the 11 Tools.  The "doing" part really made the difference.  Because I was able to actively explore and use the different tools, I feel more knowledgeable and equipped to use them in the classroom. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tool #10

One of the most important things that I want my students to be aware of is credible sources.  There is a lot of information on the internet and students need to be cautious about the credibility of the site and the author.  They should also be taught the skills and processes in which to verify the authenticity of the website they are using.  Secondly, I want my students to practice proper online etiquette.  This includes online harassing, accessing inappropriate content, and plagiarism.  I also want my students to understand that the internet is a public place and any actions they take can be accessed by millions.  Their safety and privacy can be at risk if they are careless when exploring the online community.

The resource that I found most useful was Moving at the Speed of Creativity.  I like how it outlines all of the issues involved with moving into a digital world.  

I think the most impactful way to teach students about digital citizenship is to show them what can go wrong.  Although it is a negative approach, I think students will truly understand the dangers and consequences if they are not proactive digital citizens.  I would also teach them by setting an example.  If students see me as a digital citizen, hopefully this will encourage them to be one as well.

Parents play an important role in developing their child's digital citizenship.  I think parents should spend some time surfing the internet with their children.  Perhaps I could have activities in which both parents and students can practice digital citizenship skills such as verifying websites for credibility.

Tool #9

It is very important to tie the technology to the objective to ensure that students are truly understanding the content.  The technology must facilitate the learning process - not to become the goal of the lesson.

I really liked the ideas presented on how to hold students accountable for the technology they use.  As with proving behaviors, there must be some product that allows us to assess and evaluate our students' level of comprehension.  In addition, accountability keeps students engaged and on-task with the assignment.  I will definitely implement some of the methods provided to ensure accountability.

One app that I liked was the Ecology app.  Students can explore different ecosystems and how they impact our Earth.  The app allows students to explore eight different ecosystems.  I could have a station for each ecosystem.  To hold students accountable, I can have them create a concept map or diagram about each of the ecosystems using the Idea Sketch app.  Students can then drop their Idea Sketches into DropBox.

There are so many neat things that the iPad can do which I am still learning about.  Another feature of the iPad that I like is the camera.  Students can create short videos or face time with their classmates.  I can see them using this tool to create tutorials or to peer teach. I also heard about an app called Show Me that I would like to explore and possibly use in my class.

Tool #8

A few things that I learned about the new devices include how to create an iTunes account, how to navigate through the iPad, and how to add the SBISD wireless network.

I think classroom management is essential with the use of technology.  To start, I will create a set of standard procedures when using technology.  These procedures will be posted in the classroom so that students can refer to them at any time.  I will also create an online document located on the desktop of the device.

I liked the idea of having designated technology students who can assist me with taking out/putting up the devices and to answer any questions that other students may have about them.  I would also like to have a lesson on technology at the start of the school year so that students can become familiar with the iPads and netbooks.

I'm very glad that we are receiving these new devices in our classrooms and I can't wait to use them next year.  I'm sure our fabulous administrators are also happy about these new devices!  Thank you, Mr. Adami, Ms. Estes, Ms. Slinkard, Ms. Poteet, Ms. Sanchez, and Mr. Barnes for our new, cool tools!! (And anyone else who had something to do with this new technology that we are getting!!)

Tool #7

I think it would be an awesome experience for our students to participate in collaborative learning especially with another teacher's class.  The collaborative project that I would implement is with Ms. Thorpe's math class about Punnett squares and factoring.

Content Objectives:
Students will apply the tools for calculating genotypic/phenotypic ratios and factoring by creating online tutorials on how to solve a Punnett square problem and a factoring problem.
Students will demonstrate knowledge of calculating genotypic/phenotypic ratios and factoring by developing their own Punnett square and factoring problems (and answer key) for their classmates to solve.

I typically teach Genetics at the start of January so I would plan this in the Spring semester.

Tools I plan to use:
The tools I plan to incorporate with this project include Skype, Jing, Today's Meet, and Google Docs.

Day One: Students will participate in a Skype meeting with Ms. Thorpe's class to learn how factoring is done.  In return, Ms. Thorpe's class will learn how Punnett squares are solved.

Day Two: Students will participate in a Today's Meet to review the concepts they learned the previous day.  They can discuss problems, the procedure to solving both types of problems, and address any questions they may have.  This will work like peer teaching.

Day Three: Students will work in small groups to create a Jing tutorial on how to solve at least one Punnett square problem and one factoring problem.  The tutorials can then be posted on a blog or class Facebook page so that other students can view them.

Day Four: Students will create their own Punnett square problems and factoring problems in a word document.  These will be uploaded into Google Docs so that other students can access them and solve the problems.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tool #6

I am learning so much from doing 11 Tools.  It is really amazing to see all the cool things we can do in the classroom involving technology.  One of the discussion tools that I decided to use was Poll Everywhere.  I love making review games for my students.  Typically, I create games using Powerpoint or an already made template that I find online.  Students then answer the questions using a white board or ActivVote.  However, Poll Everywhere is so quick and easy to use.  Plus, I think kids would be more engaged because they would be able to use their cell phones in the classroom.  I created a simple poll, but I could easily create more polls to make a review game.

The second tool that I wanted to use was TodaysMeet.  I have used TodaysMeet before and I really liked how user-friendly it was.  I also think it is a great way to encourage all students to participate in class discussions.  I know when I was in class, I was very shy to speak in front of the class let alone voice my opinions.  I made a sample class discussion about selective breeding using TodaysMeet.  

So I forgot to post a picture of another important person at NHS.  His name is Quinton Freeman.  He is one of the nicest persons I have ever met!  Thank you for helping me get through my first year, Quinton!

Yes, we are very cool.  Can't you tell by our poses?


Tool #5

I had a lot of fun exploring the different tools available.  One tool that I decided to use was the Make Beliefs Comix.  It was easy and fun to use.  I think this would be a great tool for students to show their creativity.

I made a short comic on Blogging.  Check it out!

The second tool that I used was Storybird.  The artwork is so cute on this site and I think students would have fun creating a storybook.  Here's the Storybird that I made.  

I will need to take some time to actually test out each tool, but so far I am amazed at what is out there.  I've already come up with a few ideas.  For example, students can create a comic strip about Mitosis.  Or they can create a storybook for elementary students about a topic they have learned in class.  I am excited to incorporate these technological tools in the classroom!