Friday, August 10, 2012

Tool #11

1. I found an App called IMovie that I would like to try. Kids can make movies and movie trailers and record themselves. This could be used for research projects and they could make "book commercials." Also, I never really understood the notion of a cloud and now I get it. I love that we can create things, store them in a central place, and share each other's creativity. I am especially excited about using Prezi as a presentation tool to capture my kids' interest. 

2. My thinking has changed a lot. I've always resented that we were expected to use technology, but not taught how to use it or what was out there. Younger teachers grew up with technology and adapt to it quite easily. For those of us with more experience (i.e. older! :)), it's not as easy. I feel much more comfortable using some of these tools in my classroom. Several of my assignments will change this year. I will need to meet with my team and brainstorm our ideas together. 

3. I love my IPAD that was issued to me at the end of the school year. My son helped me figure a few things out, and I have used it a lot! I even found an app that helps me keep organized with appointments and deadlines. It has been great. I used it during my GT training and it was fabulous. There are still a few kinks I'm working out, but time will help. I've taken pictures of bulletin boards, room layouts, and things that I've wanted to do in my classroom. It's so easy to have it beside me when I'm working on classroom projects and not have to keep running back to my computer. My unexpected outcome is that I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. I am usually overwhelmed by anything technological and while I am still confused on a few things, I know I can come back to this site to get help when I need it. It really opened my eyes to so many things out there that I didn't know about! There are so many more apps to explore. Thank you!

Tool #10

1. Three things:
Law:   Ethical behavior on-line. Kids need to know that downloading music that hasn't been paid for is inappropriate, as well as laws regarding copyright and plagiarism. Students need to understand that there are legal issues involved and it's not just adults being uptight!  
Security: Students have to learn that they cannot share passwords or login IDs. They  also need to understand that they never put their full name on the internet. This would also include information that could identify them, such as their school name, city, or names of favorite,  or local teams.
Manners: Kids need to understand that when they are using social networking, their words have a "tone." They are expected to be kind and polite and that all interactions should be positive and respectful. 

2. I love Brainpop. It has wonderful videos regarding appropriate use of technology and safety. I plan to use this when I introduce these issues.

3. In 5th grade, we learn about US history. I would start with the concept of citizenship in the US and why we obey laws and the purpose of these laws - to keep us safe. I would move from that concept into digital citizenship. There are certain laws that we obey to keep us and others safe in the digital world. I would have the kids brainstorm a list of safety laws or rules and then collaborate the teams to come up with a list of guidelines for us to follow as a classroom. This would also include what to do if they come across inappropriate content, tone when connecting with others, and plagiarism, and copyright laws.

4. I would encourage the parents to have discussions with their children regarding technology. I will send out emails telling them about our lessons and the decisions we have made as a class (from #3 above) and encourage parents to enforce the same type of expectations in their home. Foremost, I would encourage parents to keep electronics out of bedrooms and in a common area where they can be monitored. Kids are even able to communicate on their hand-held games and accountability for communication rules should be there as well. I have had to take up games because of rude messages kids were sending each other on a bus. I think many times, the parents just don't know what their kids are up to!

Tool #9

1. I think these tools are fantastic - I've learned a lot during this training. However, I think it's important to keep in mind that technology is not used just for technology's sake. The use needs to fit the curriculum and the objective. The project/outcome/time spent needs to benefit the child in terms of their understanding of the teaching. Curriculum is enhanced by technology, not technology replacing the curriculum.

2. Accountability is a necessary evil - kids have to be kept focused. Some tend to get on a computer and lose themselves in the "fun" and lose focus on their objective. I had one student last year who was so obsessed with the bells and whistles on his program, he forgot what he was doing. Even after several meetings and "check ups", he didn't finish the assignment on time and didn't follow all the directions correctly. His failing grade was hard for him and his parents; he learned a valuable lesson. I think one way to keep them focused is to hand out the rubric with the assignment. Expectations are taught with the lesson. I like the idea of making screen shots of some of their activities and emailing those to me.

3. I really like Thinkfinity. It has a section for the American Civil War that contained great resources for doing research and connected directly to our History Alive program. In also included interactive maps and creative assignments with additional links to assist the learner - how to create presentations, digital brochures, etc. I also spent some time browsing Learning Games for Kids.It's a fun site with games that develop vocabulary - one of our key objectives in 5th grade. It included analogies, word meaning, context clues, and synonyms and antonyms. It also have fun state quizzes. It would be a great link to add to my blog so kids could play with it at home.

4. Ibrainstorm has a lot of potential. Kids can share sticky note thinking in a book club or when preparing for a writing assignment or research assignment. Futaba looks like fun - kids can work in groups of 4 and use dropbox to transfer words between each other. This would be especially good with ESL kids to build vocabulary skills. Mindmesh was another interesting app. It would be a good app for all kids, but especially for those GT outside of the box thinkers. They can create a presentation using photos, text, and drawing.
Students are held accountable by saving projects or taking screen shots and emailing them to their teacher.

5. Other uses - students work in teams to create multi-media projects. I've heard of an app called ITalk - haven't researched it yet, but kids can add their voices. Running records could be recorded. Books can also be downloaded for book clubs - which extends the selections I have available in my classroom. IBooks can be tagged and marked with sticky notes as well.