Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tool #11

I must confess; I am not that savvy when it comes to technology, and this whole training has been grinding.  It is definitely too much to absorb, and I will be happy to be able to use at least 3 to 5 of these tools.  One of the the tools that I use now that has been invaluable is the Dropbox.  It is what our department and my team have been using, and it really has worked out well.  I am able to access any file at any time, anywhere.

It is my goal for this coming year to use scoop.it as our gateway to social media.  I would also like to have get more involved with Google.docs since we used it during my Writing Institute training last summer.  I think that we can make this work in our classrooms.  I would also like to use Wallwisher for accountability when it comes to homework and/or any assignment of the day because of anonymity, which allows our students to take academic risks.

Tool #10

To become a digital citizen requires responsibility.  Students need to be taught about the content of what they  view.  Our purpose is to empower our kids to reach out to their peers around the world, to have them become global citizens.  It is not just about protecting them from the bad stuff, the inappropriate content, but rather to have them realize what they have at their fingertips, the power found in global communication.

Students need to understand that not everything on the internet is truth.  By using their critical thinking skills, they will be able to discern what is accurate or valid information and what is not.

One of the skills our students need to learn is how to discern information for validity and how to use keywords to help them narrow search and what sites are valid or appropriate.  Those are the skills we have to ensure our students are learning in this digital world for digital citizen.

The November Learning Page is invaluable to seeking valid information online.  http://novemberlearning.com/resources/information-literacy-resources/

Tool #9

It is critical to tie the technology to the objective because our students need to learn the skills.  They need to be able to know how to research, find valid, reliable information online; how to sort through loads of online information and how to think critically, to discern, and to validate data online.

Students should be held accountable for stations/centers because they need to know what the expectation is.  If our students are assigned a role and they know what is expected of them, they will deliver.  Thus, the expectations set forth are critical.

bubble.us is a great tool where our students can do their own thinking online. This is a great resource where kids can work collaboratively in groups or pairs to create story maps.  I thought that Sir Ken Robinson said it well when he said our kids learn better, more naturally, when they work collaboratively.  One of the apps that can be very beneficial for our kids is Toontastic or iMovie where they can have the visual for their story.

Some ipad apps that are very good:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tool #8

The tutorial device videos were a little too detailed for me, but there was very useful information, particularly in getting students to understand the responsibility of working with our new technologies in the classroom.  One of the tutorials that I found most useful was Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything, "ipads in the Classroom, Managing a classroom set of ipads."  Students must take ownership of the device and come up with procedures on how to handle those devices.  Once rules and procedures are established, students will be able to respect and protect our new learning devices.

There also has to be a way to minimize wasting time in getting started and storing the equipment while working in our classrooms.  I do believe that as long as we establish rules and procedures to follow, set up time limitations, understanding the value of our new learning devices, this new way of learning in our classrooms will be quite engaging.  Plus, we will have established an understanding of protecting our property, our tools.

Tool #7

In a world of technological advances and vast social media, students need a way to communicate with others and work collaboratively with other students in different parts of the state, country, or world.  One very effective way to accomplish this is by having students join online writing communities where they will be able to see different perspectives.

A good website for this is http.//figment.com/
I am not very familiar with the writing communities, but the benefits can be remarkable.  This community of writers allows students to take academic risks.  It also is kid friendly, and so, students will not feel intimidated because they will be able to work with their own peers in a state or national level.  With the advent of End of Course Exam, which requires students to write creatively, these community of writers can prove to be a very good way for students to see what other students around the state and nation are doing, and thus increase the rigor through exposure.

Other websites where students can communicate with other writers and get feedback:


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tool #6

I haven't used scoop.it, but I am now a bit familiar with curating.  I understand that it is the platform for social media and that it may be the new google.  Instead of googling something, we may just be able to scoop.it.  I'm signed up with scoop.it and am following President Obama on twitter through scoop.it.



Twitter is a very effective tool to use in the classroom.  Students are able to follow strands on specific topic or issues.  I have not used twitter in the classroom, but it appears as though twitter is the new way to globally communicate and hear different perspectives from around the world based on a sigle topic or issue.

Wallwisher is a great tool that we were able to use in our Writing Institute last summer.  We were assigned a reading homework used it for accountability.  Wallwisher can easily be used in the classroom by assigning readings that students can summarize, and all they have to do is share with our class on Wallwisher one of their most important sentence in their summary.  One aspect of Wallwisher that is important is the anonymity, allowing students to take academic risks while at the same time holds them accountable for the reading and sharing.

Tool #5


I am including a link to a Wordle that I created on Martin Luther King's Speech, "I have a Dream."  Using Wordle in an English class will be beneficial because my students will be able to see what concepts are inculcated through the repetition of words or phrases.  Many students, particularly 9th graders, get wrapped up in the details.  This tool will be useful to help them understand what is important and what is not so important to understand a text as a whole.


This tool will be quite effective and fun for kids because they are not intimidated when they communicate creating a cartoon or movie.  I can see how our persuasive unit will be much more engaging if our students have to think of what music, camera angles, text, they must include to persuade their audience and set the mood.  Critical thinking skills will be employed in their decision making.