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Friday
Nov212008

Blogging in the Classroom

I found the information below at http://www.adrianbruce.com/blogging/what_is_a_blog/what_is_a_blog.htm

Blogging - depending who your talking to, reading or listening to, many people have different ideas on what truly constitutes blogging.

1. A 'What's Happening Blog' - most teachers who use blogs use them to tell their class parents what's happening in the class and as an organisation tool i.e. what homework due and when, materials required, when the students need their library bags, how to treat head lice etc.

2. A 'What's Cool & Useful' Blog - many teachers add to their blogs websites and teaching ideas that they are finding successful. They often outline software applications they use as well as embedding Web 2.0 (Read and Write Web for the purests) tools that they use like: Flickr, Pageflakes, Toondoo, Imageshack , Youtube, etc.

3. A 'Personal Thoughts' Blog - many people see a blog as an online diary. A place to record their thoughts and desires about any topic at all. These thoughts are out there for the whole world to see and comment on.

4. A Blog to 'Encourage Conversation and Discourse' - Many edu-bloggers feel that an online web presence is not really 'blogging' until the author interacts with or has a conversation with the world. It is this conversation that is the difference between a webpage and a blog. They also feel that this conversation makes blogs a powerful learning tool.

5. A Blog to 'Showcase Student Work to the World' - when a student writes a poem or creates a piece of art it is often only seen by about five people... the student, the teacher and the family of the child. Blogs offer the opportunity to showcase an indivdual's work to the world and often this has a very positive effect on the quality of the work produced by the student.

NB Blogs can highlight what you are doing in well. They can also highlight what you are doing poorly. 'Worksheet Culture' and the 'Copy and Paste Culture' cannot thrive in a blogging environment.

6. A Blog as a 'Learning Journal' - some teachers are using blogs as a reflection tool for classroom learning e.g. What questions do you still have about .............. after today's lesson.

7. A Blog as a 'Worldwide Collaboration Tool' - you can set up a blog so that everyone in the world with Internet access can see what you are doing and you can work collaboratively with classes all over the world. WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY!

8. The Opportunity to Tell 'Story' - What is the story of your origin? Where has your journey taken you that others may find interesting? What adventures have you had? What insights can you share with the world?

9. The Opportunity to Stand on Your Soapbox - Go on... purge! But be aware that the world is looking on. A blog can be cathartic. It can cause you to reflect but be aware what you write is in the public domain so you had better be ready to be challenged. Many people see this as the way that knowledge is constructed.

10. A Combination of All the Above - As teachers experiment and become confident with using blogging tools in the classroom they eventually combine many of the above ways of using blogs. A LITTLE SOMETHING TO AIM FOR :)

Thursday
Nov202008

Yay! Voicethread . . .

One of my students completed her (somewhat boring) ppt today on the novel she was reading. Before she left class, I showed her how I was going to upload it to the AIG thinking log. While it was uploading to voicethread, she told me that she thought she saw a place where we could click on the slide and use the microphone. So even though I had planned to wait until after Thanksgiving (or Christmas) to start trying stuff like that, I took advantage of a teachable moment. We went through each page/slide and she talked about the book as an audio comment! She loved it! The other students asked if they could keep working on their projects when they come back to see me this afternoon so they can do that too. They are excited about using technology for their learning. They are using some of the technology things I teach/show (like inserting pictures) to better demonstrate their learning/understanding of the content.

Tuesday
Nov182008

Movie Maker / Digital Storytelling

At the webinar I attended tonight, some good links were shared.

At this site, there are lots of how-to powerpoints for digital storytelling, movie maker, close captioning, . . .
http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/matt.monjan/the-bird-house-your-source-for-geekybird-stuff/

At this site, there is information about how to add thought bubbles to characters inside an editable movie in MovieMaker:
http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/justin_karkow/2008/07/02/what-were-they-thinking-getting-inside-character%e2%80%99s-minds-with-calloutsballoons-and-movie-maker/

A Plethora of Presentations for your Perusal
Ok I admit it, I’ve always wanted to use the word “plethora” in a sentence and I’m a sucker for alliteration. Weird right?
Well, my dear friends, over the years I have collected a myriad of how-to instructions and ed tech integration ideas/solutions and put them together into presentations and pdfs. I have tried to tie each presentation back to DE streaming so that you can use your DE streaming library in new and creative ways.
This plethora of presentations is now all in one place! You can find them at the Birdhouse - a page that I’m also maintaining. Please feel free to download each and any presentation and make them your own.
You’ll want to check back often so that you can get the latest and greatest stuff! Enjoy!

Tuesday
Nov182008

PowerPoint Creators

My AIG girls have gone wild over PowerPoint recently. The 3rd grade girls are creating a Math Vocabulary presentation that they will continue to add to as new information is discovered. The 4th grade girls have started creating one as a Reader Response Activity to the novel they are reading. They have discovered how to change backgrounds, add text boxes, add pictures, and add new slides. They are having fun changing fonts and pictures (too much I am afraid). We may even add some sounds and slide transitions. Lydia is even adding some animation to her creation.:) After they work on their projects a few more days, I will post them using voicethread so we all can see what they are working on.
Today while students were working on their independent projects, one of the students talked about how much she enjoyed and looked forward to working on her Math Vocab ppt. She said she really like writing about math and adding things (pictures and animation). :)

Saturday
Nov152008

technology ideas

I have been really excited about technology and new things to try recently. I am realizing that technology can really be integrated in almost anywhere. I was working on a curriculum unit assignment for AIG Certification class (graduate level) and as I moved to the end of the project, I found myself thinking of technology tools I have recently learned about that could be used in those lessons/projects. So I went back and included whatever I could think of that fit.
I was trying to figure out a way to post the powerpoint creations of my 3rd graders on their Learning Log (blog). Emory suggested that I use voicethread.com. I had heard of it but never tried it, so I took his advice (and very helpful handouts) and was able to do what I wanted to do! I even included using voicethread.com in one of the lessons/activities in my curriculum unit today! I see the possibilities of using technology and exposing my students to the technology that is going to be in their futures whether it is a welcome addition or not.