Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tool #11 - Self Assessing and Reflecting

1. What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools.
I particularly like TodayMeet and Poll Everywhere. I would use TodayMeet to post an open-ended question about a high interest current event topic and have students comment. Poll Everywhere would be a great way for students to give their input on a topical question and then be able to see the results from their entire class.

2. How have you transformed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom? How has your vision for your classroom changed? Are you going to need to make any changes to your classroom to accommodate the 21st Century learner?
I have come to realize that I need to adapt my teaching style to the reality of a digital world that my students and I now inhabit. Most of all, I will have to step back and allow students to experiment with various digital tools to showcase their learning. I also need to give ample opportunities for students to collaborate with students locally, and globally, and to reflect on their work and that of other students.I will need to reconfigure the space in my classroom in a way that facilitates the easy use of technology. I will also need to allow students to suggest innovative ways that we can incorporate digital tools into learning activities.

3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I was surprised at how user-friendly most of the tools are and how readily I will be able to incorporate them into my lessons. I was also amazed at the number of sites that are available to educators. 

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.
A.) I would want them to know just as we want them to become responsible citizens in the real world, we also expect them to be responsible members of the digital world.
B.) I would want them to understand that certain sites must be blocked for their own safety.
C.) I would want them to realize that the Internet offers a staggering amount of information and that by practicing good digital citizenship they can access reliable sites that will open the world to them.
2. Share at least one of the resources mentioned above or on the Ed Tech website that you plan to use instructionally.
I like Common Sense and Digizen as they seem user-friendly and easy to incorporate into a lesson.

3. Explain briefly how you would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship to your students.
I would first want to access prior knowledge by asking students to define what is meant by the term, "citizenship". I would ask the question, "What makes someone a good citizen?" From here I would move into how these ideas coincide with digital
citizenship. I might ask them to list what they consider the characteristics of a good digital citizen and share out their ideas. We could then watch a video that explains digital citizenship.
4. Explain briefly how you plan to share the idea of digital citizenship with your parents.
I would post information on my website, or blog for parents to see. This information could include an embedded video and relevant supporting documents. I might also have students take home a hard-copy document for parents to read and sign. 

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? 
    It is important because without some tie-in, technology exists as a separate piece that has no relevance to students and does not support the stated learning objective.
    1. Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers? Accountability is everything when it comes to technology use, I think. High school students are reaching adulthood soon and they must learn the importance of their work and being accountable for its completion.
    2. 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 like Thinkfinity, especially since it has so many National Geographic Tools. I also hope to investigate TenMarks further to use in my classroom. I have never employed stations in my classroom but I look forward to this. I would hold students accountable by having them produce a product and/or answering relevant questions that demonstrate their learning.
    3. 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 will definitely utilize iTunes, ShowMe, and Toontastic as these are all creative apps that allow students to exhibit their learning in novel ways. Stations work best if there is adequate space in the classroom to create stations. As our classrooms are rather crowded, I would have to remove some existing furniture and free-up space for a certain area dedicated to technology tasking. One method to hold the students accountable would be a sign-in sheet for name and time on-task, or an electronic log-on that does the same thing.
    4. What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station. Students could use the iPad to access video clips or primary and secondary documents I have embedded into a Google Doc., they could then answer relevant questions, or write their impressions. I can also see students looking at designated geographic map sites as part of the introduction to a new region.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Tool #8: Taking a Look at the Tools

    I discovered that the Notebook is very similar to the laptop I have been using and that I will be able to interface with it without much difficulty. Also, I learned that the Notebook has a webcam feature that will enable my students to use Skype effectively. I am new to the iPad but, I have found that it is quite user-friendly and fun to work with. The touch sensitivity takes some getting used to but, the device is very intuitive and well-designed for quick access.

    I like the idea of assigning a student as a classroom technician who is responsible for removing the devices from the storage cabinet each morning and placing them in the designated spot in the classroom. It seems that developing classroom technology rules is similar to developing classroom rules: you should establish routines and expected behaviors and enforce these rigorously on a daily basis.

    Tool #7: Reaching Outside your Classroom: Online Digital Projects

    The students will be able to communicate and interact with students in a high school classroom in Taiwan.

    This will be done in the Spring semester while we are learning about East Asia.

    We will Skype as a tool for synchronous learning. We will attempt to answer the following questions:

    A. How pervasive is American culture among the youth in Taiwan? What aspects of American culture are
         most popular?
    B. How do Taiwanese students feel about the United States in general? Positive or negative feelings?
    C. What is the general attitude about the People's Republic of China? Friendly or unfriendly?
    D. What do students think about the future of relations between Taiwan and the P.R.C.?
    E. Are Taiwanese students concerned about the increasingly close relationship between the U.S. and
        the P.R.C.?  

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

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

    I used TodaysMeet to post a question that students would answer after reading an article on a content-related topic. This program is  ridiculously easy method to quickly get electronic feedback and to create a conversation in the classroom.

    I used Poll Everywhere to create an open-ended question about India that students could reflect on and comment about by using their iPhones, iPads, android devices, etc. and post. This is another easy way to elicit student feedback and create a discussion in the classroom.

    Tool #5

    I went to Wordle and I created a wordle on Hinduism since we are currently studying South Asia and today we focused on Hinduism. I captured the wordle image and here it is:

    I also created a three panel comic strip using MakeBelieveComix. I really enjoyed this program and I can see where students would find this a novel, entertaining utility.