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!

Tool #4

I just created and shared my Google Doc and Google Form.  I anxiously wait for my colleagues to respond.  I think the Google Apps are neat and I will definitely use them in my classroom.  I have already used Google Docs with my science colleagues.  We created a 2012-2013 Road Map Calendar and shared it with one another.  It was nice for all of us to view and edit it simultaneously.  As for using the apps in the classroom, I think it would be a great way to do electronic quizzes.  It would also be a great way to have students upload their science papers so that I can view them at home and edit them electronically.  The tool that I am most excited about using with my students is the Blogger!

Tool #3

The websites that I find most useful for my content area include Discovery Education, YouTube, and Jing (I can create my own videos for students.)  Discovery Education has so many wonderful videos about any science topic that you can think of! I have used this site for video clips many times.  YouTube is great because you can find scientific demonstrations.  I also enjoy using Jing.  I can record myself working science problems which I can later post on my classroom Facebook page. One website that I plan on using more is TeacherTube because these videos are (hopefully) classroom safe.

Two video clips that I have shown in my classroom are embedded below.  The first one is about selective breeding.  The students really enjoyed watching this video clip!

After showing the Belgian Blue clip, one of my students found a similar video about a Whippet dog and posted it to the class Facebook page!

As teachers, it is important to practice fair use and copyright laws when using online images and videos because we are constantly using outside resources.  After watching the copyright videos, I learned that as long as our use does not impede or interfere with the sales/market of the resource then it is considered fair use.  This includes using a small amount, using a source that is a well-known fact, and using the resource in a transformative way (altering a song into a parody, etc.)

I currently have a Box account (which is similar to DropBox) set up through the NHS Biology Department.  Thank you, Quinton, for setting this up because it is extremely useful!  It allows us to upload, download, and edit documents from other teachers.  It's also useful because I can access the account from anywhere.  I would like to set up an account for my students so they can access homework assignments and print them out at home.  It would also be a great way for students to turn in electronic homework assignments.

Since I'm already posting videos, I might as well post some pictures of my wonderful friends at NHS.  I am grateful that I went through my first year with these people!! They are amazing!

The Cool Science Team (missing a few people)


Vanessa is English but is very much a part of the Science Family!

My favorite group ever!!!! And of course, sweet Kylie in the background.
Jo Morgensen - The Best Mentor in the world!  She has helped me tremendously and she always makes me laugh just like in this picture!

The nicest Chemistry girls!

Tool #2

So my excitement continues as I build my blog and my PLN.  I created a Google Reader and am currently following three sites:

I will definitely find these useful when creating lesson plans for next year and I hope that my fellow science colleagues will find them useful as well.

I enjoyed reading about the commenting tips.  What I found most useful was how to invite more people to comment on your blog such as asking questions and asking for feedback.  It was also a good reminder to remain humble and gracious when blogging/commenting.  Besides Facebook (which I keep pretty conservative and low-key), I haven't had the opportunity to share my thoughts publicly.  I find it exciting because I know that I will learn so much from networking with others.  Blogging is definitely different from sharing my successes and challenges with a teammate.  It is reassuring when you can relate to others so building this network will be very beneficial.

A website that I plan to visit in the future is http://learningismessy.com/blog/.  The blogger presents some controversial issues regarding today's education and a different approach on pedagogy.

What I think of blogging so far....It's not as hard as these boys think!!

Tool #1

I was very excited to create a blog.  I found the experience very simple and fun.  It was nice to be able to choose from a variety of different backgrounds and layouts.  I also liked making my Voki.  My only issue was putting my Voki onto my blog, but Quinton helped me right away! I can't wait to be able to connect with my colleagues and students through my blog.