Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2Thing #4 YouTube

Teacher created videos that are shareable with other teachers reminds me of having Promethean for sharing of ActivInspire creations. The sites are a time savings for teachers and a potentially valuable resource for not only actual lesson videos, but also ideas for teachers' future creations. As an aside, I lack created videos, but with a webcam on the "to buy" list, the process will be more familiar. I was unable to upload an Animoto video to YouTube. Suggestions? I think older students could have fun adding annotations to their videos, as well as experiment with psychological effects of different types of audio on a video. Student-created pieces are a bit more multi-dimensional than some of the other sites for those reasons. The process is more involved and complicated, in general. Probably, student pieces would work well for a small group, and then shared with other students. Here is the only video I have (argg...for now), with annotations and an audio swap. You can catch it also at the beginning of the blog from last summer. Thank you to those who commented about uploading YouTube to this blog. I am working through some kinks on the video. I notice there are some time issues when doing audio swap and modifying annotations during the audio swap process. The saving process is quirky. These notes will help when my poor memory falls short. What is seen below is not the same video that I have edited. For some reason the edited version is not the same as the this one, from the video page.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2Thing #3 Skype

My brother used Skype a few years ago with family located in the UAE. It was a real saver, especially playing chess together. In the classroom there is much potential. I read the 50 Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom and found it very helpful and inspiring. Edublogger offers ways to perhaps network with other classrooms around the world. I have heard of middle school pilot programs in south western Louisiana with areas of England where social and geographical issues were worked on to resolve issues of erosion and other like concerns. Rather than debates or conversations on issues, the students worked in their local communities on similar geographical concerns and then discussed the steps each took to resolve the problems. This entailed using science, social studies, writing, math, graphs, charts, and much, much more. I think a similar project on a local issue could be used in elementary school, on a smaller scale, for a civic project benefiting the local community.

2Thing #2C Bookr

I love Bookr. Students could create a character analysis of a fictitious or historical character, solve math problems or explore a science concept using this website. The published books could be added to a teacher's student's wikispace to be shared with the rest of the class, etc. Students could also use their books while giving an oral presentation of a topic. VERY nice!

Monday, June 14, 2010

2Things #2 cont

Voki is fun, I suppose. I think students can use images and text to enhance a presentation. The video on TeacherTV was fairly interesting and informative. Here is a Voki character I created. I would like to investigate the possibility of finding additional facial characters to use. My Voki character is seen above. You can hear what she has to say about the summer 2010.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

2Thing #2b

Students who work on Glogster may find it, I think, much more exciting to create posters for school. Opportunities for creativity are plentiful. Students will have to know where to go get accurate resources and how to import them successfully. That shouldn't be too difficult, and if it is, a student can merely go to another location to find something similar, or create their own text by quoting a difficult to handle location. What might be more difficult is for students to know when and how to narrow or broaden their topic so that a glogster poster is manageable. No more goes the thinking that "once I glue this, that's pretty much it!" Students can move items around and redo them at will, which means they probably need to know more about time management and doing what NEEDS to be done, not what is just fun guised behind needing to finish the project. I think this is something I would like to try with students next year.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2Thing #2

I like WordSift, but with caution. I pasted in Texas's treaty for independence from Mexico and immediately found links to Anna Nicole Smith in Texas. Not a good call, I am not sure how I would prevent this from happening. Preview text, prevent student independent control? I really like the Visual Thesaurus. The introductory reading on WordSift rightfully notes the value of this site for use with ELLs. This site makes it easy to help students sort through valuable and unnecessary information. It is a great way to build vocabulary and develop concepts. But, how would students take notes from this? And check the validity of an entry? It seems like accessing information is easier, but now time has to be spent validating it.


2Thing #1 - The video for how students can access information via Internet is interesting and a bit overwhelming. I worry about some students lacking sufficient technology in their homes and families. We have to start somewhere naturally, but for some children it will be like a home where the parents do not speak English, or in this case Internet. I also worry a bit about the ADD students because there is an abundant amount of information to sort through and connect together in almost too many ways. There is a flood of information to make contact with and many opportunities for students to become creative in connecting to it and with it. Librarians, let's just use elementary school librarians, are certainly a group of educators that can be an excellent resource for students and teachers, especially if from their repertoire of ideas a student can make use of one, then another for learning, thus limiting that feeling of being overwhelmed. But can an elementary school librarian do it alone? One shouldn't have to. Teachers have a role in building up ideas and resources for use, but, it goes without saying, secondary to good first teaching. However, that teaching is significantly enhanced by opportunities to employ Internet resources to gather additional information and to make use of it for presentation purposes, enhancing learning, demonstrating understanding, etc.