Thursday, July 19, 2012

11Tools, #11: Self Assessing and Reflection

I love using wikispace and blogs, but this is not new. A new appreciation for Diigo and Glogster have resulted from this latest escapade with technology. It is overwhelming almost to the point of a mental shutdown, but this upcoming year there will be more of providing not just the instruction and group practice, with maybe some students getting hands-on work with a 21st century tool, but with all students working collaboratively within the classroom and independently to communicate in a global community. Beyond that, critical analysis of online text and thoughtful appropriate response using digital citizenship is also a student objective before June 2013. First, however, I want to see students using the ipad and itouch apps to become more savvy, responsible and self-confident.
This coming year should involve increasing parent awareness of the increased role of technology in the classroom before the signed consent form is turned in. There is also a necessity to carefully evaluate each student early in the year to determine who is ready to assume responsibility for themselves and the devices before using the internet. Immediate modelling of the class blog, wikispace, Glogster and Diigo, along with group creation of products should occur. Starting workstations probably with math activities will allow me to actively monitor the groups in the following areas: digital citizenship, use of devices, appropriate selection of websites and use of learning strategies that reinforce success with an academic skill. I am really giving some thought to parent "visitation"during workstations, specifically during guided reading groups when it is more difficult to monitor student activity in small groups.

The repeated summer projects resemble scaffolding learning. While I have had Google, Glogster and Diigo accounts (and others that are merely acquaintances) for a year or so now, I am just getting around to figuring out possibilities for using them with second grade students. But, the good news is that for some students the online experiences will be an eyeopening and for others they will be a point for take-off into the clouds, or shall I say icloud?

11 Tools, Tool #10: Digital Citizenship to ipad and ipod. Also, are a few of the sites that might be noted via icons or shortcuts on the ipad desktop. The following are second grade topics identified by the Texas School Safety Center: Personal Safety. Students should be introduced to the non-standard nature of the texts on the internet, not just proper etiquette and being safe, although the latter two are extremely important. I think Easy Tech will help with this, as well as class discussions, community circle conversations and role modeling. However, I think teachers are going to have to get VERY creative with their time in planning and instruction.

Three things I want to teach second graders: cyber bullying, appropriate website selections, and personal safety on the internet. To the parents I want to explain the importance of their child using the internet, and using it appropriately and safely. In addition, it is important that parents fully understand that they have a role in helping their child learn about internet personal safety and good choices as to where the child goes when online. This could be accomplished by adding the internet to the agenda of the September Open House event.

11 Tools, Tool #9: Incorporating Tools in Classrooms

This posting begins with an acknowledgement of the importance for integrating technology into the classroom. Undoubtedly, the internet advances at an astonishing rate, with the potential of being a tool for good or for evil. Creating and using the internet as a tool for sharing and storing valuable and true information can only take place if educators are among the groups out there trying to develop the internet as an important positive learning tool for academic purposes. The act of using these websites in the classroom provides children with the opportunities for enhance learning of content, as well as good and appropriate use of the internet. 
Part of a student's learning requires demonstration of published work meeting the requirements set forth in the assignment given by the teacher as set by the state government's curricula objectives for each academic area of study. The student ought show competency in use of technology tools, as well as creative and informed expression of the academic content.This is accomplished through exposure to online tools and high standards in using those tools.
     There are many websites posted on the 11 Tools training website that are free. Suffice it to say that I will in the very near future (my personal addition to the 11 Tools training)the classroom ipad and either through Dropbox or a photo taken of the website by the ipad place on the ipad screen easy links of fun websites for my students to access. I just know there will be students who can with little instruction manipulate themselves through the website. Once procedures are understood by students, written down in hard copy into journals, practiced in a fishbowl setting and incorporated into two workstations, one for the ipad and one for the itouch, I feel that students could use websites for practicing skills in math, language arts and ESL workstations.
     I found on a Spring Branch ISD link where to get some apps for the ipad and itouch that will be in my classroom the 2012-2013 school year. There are several good sites for geography, math practice and language arts that I will install onto the devices for my students. As I mentioned in an earlier post, and see as apps that can be loaded on the i-devices, I anticipate using Dropbox with my students and am pleased to find an easy way for my students to access the links. In the small-step-approach I plan to use with my second grade bilingual students I hope to significantly utilize the Glogster EDU Premium Multilicense that is/was available through the district in a limited capacity. By November I would like to have my students familiar enough with Glogster as a classroom tool for creating a response to literature or a USA state poster so that at least a small group, if not individual students, can create their own online visual and written responses to learning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

11 Tools, Tool #8: Taking a Look at the Tools

I learned two cool tips for using the itouch: taking a picture of the screen and and creating a direct link on the itouch so students can easily access that site on the internet. These two features will no doubt be used so that students save time when viewing a video. Screen pictures, saved in Dropbox, become instructional tools for me for explaining how to use tools on a website. That same feature becomes a student tool for taking a picture (giving credit to the picture creator) and using it in a classroom project. Creating a project for the life cycle of an insect with complete vs incomplete metamorphosis will look completely different. So could a report on Texas or another great state, or an American hero.

Classroom management ideas are available here and have learned to bring links to my blog so I can easily access them later on. The two links above are probably going to be keeper reference spots. It seems logical to have classroom techies that can help spread troubleshooting know how to other students. Some students are quick to catch on and can responsibly assist others less concerned with being tech savvy. A stationing area for charging and safekeeping are an absolute, as well as guidelines getting the tools from charging station to work stations. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

This is a pivotal place to be, as in making us "go outside and play.... Remember to play nice and don't don't come home with your clothes torn." Where am I going to take my students out to? What are we going to do? How will we do it? When will we do it?

   Content objective -- I have joined and requested to participate in a fairy/folk tale cyber dictionary project. Here is the website: Here is the objective: Given a story with magical creatures, TLW recreate the story using key vocabulary highlighted and defined in a separate entry.
   When you plan to implement -- I would like to introduce this when we are studying initial sounds, narratives, or main idea and important details somewhere in this next school year.
   What tool(s) you plan to use -- A book with magical creatures has yet to be decided upon. I would like to use Storybird to recreate the book, then share it with the Barnstable project in whatever format can be posted on that website. In addition, the following website for additional resources might be consulted:
   A brief description of the project -- The plan is to read a fairy tale or folk tale with a magical creature, then the class compose a modern-day version of the story by first creating a dictionary of important vocabulary that must be defined separately in highlighted form and then used within the story, also in highlighted form. The storyboard will be created within Storybird and shared there, later to be given to students as independent work on KidPix or Kidspiration (really?) through creation of a student-illustrated page containing text of one page of the story, later compiled into one story. In addition, other teachers will be invited to see the students' work through other websites, such as wikispace or a Blogspot.

Friday, July 6, 2012

11 Tools, Tool #6: Using Web Tools to Communicate

Here is a blogspot I created to encourage participants of the upcoming Recipe-For-Success and Seed-to-Plate after school program we hope to start in the fall. I anticipate lots of interaction throughout the year. This could be for the participants in the after school program as well as the classroom teachers and students. I am so excited! I hope the students are too!

I have been working with Diigo for at least three hours now and I still have barely scratched the surface. Suffice it to say that I have applied for an educator account so that I can create accounts for my students to use throughout the year for science and social studies projects, along with reading poetry and narratives that could be part of a unit of study. I am still learning about Diigo and following, being followed. I like being about to capture useful websites and highlighting important information. Previously, for bird studies I would gather information, adding my annotations, using ActivInspire. I would then print out the pages for students to use. It was so much easier than going from computer to computer finding different websites for each student. That sounds so archaic now. I'm not sure how to post or embed anything here to reflect what is to come, hopefully.

I hope to be able to Skype once in a while with other classrooms or experts in a field as a means to enrich my students learning.

Monday, July 2, 2012

11 Tools, Tool #5, Produce with Web 2.0

While I have tagged several sites that I would like to introduce to my students, I would like to encourage them to try Glogster and Storybird for some of their unit projects that must be done in science and social studies each nine weeks. The children can share their work on a wikipage on our wikispace account or hopefully onto a class blog. There is a lot of potential for guiding them into using internet, sequencing work and behavior, being creative, using academic content, and considering work for other audiences.

I don't doubt that many children could do a much better job of creating a  poster relating to an academic area of study. I like Glogster for it's basic idea and ease. As with other sites (it goes without saying), I think students should approach a poster project on Glogster with the prior knowledge of what the objective is and of what opportunities are available at the website. I can easily see my second graders either individually (preferable) or in with a partner create a poster related to economic concerns, civic responsibility, or posters related to good health and gardening.

I used Storybird to create the following story. Students will absolutely love this site. It's easy to imagine the creativity derived from the great illustrations from the website and the ideas the children will come up with. Mimi, Teach Me About My Food by linsleyi on Storybird