Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hello SBE!!!

Hello SBE! I am so excited about being an SBE bear this upcoming year! I will be your new icoach (short for interdisciplinary coach). Because this is a new position, we will all be learning together as to what my role on the campus will be, but either way, I am delighted to receive the opportunity to work at SBE! I can't wait to meet every single one of you!

P.S. In case you're wondering why my 11 tools might look a bit different from yours, it is because the tasks have changed since last year, which is when I completed my tools.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

After 11 Tools: Finally I'm done!

I think by far my favorite activity was using the PhotoStory program. An enrichment project I have been thinking about would be assigning a group of students certain shapes and then having them make a video with PhotoStory they can show the class to demonstrate all they know about the shapes assigned to their group.

I think I've transformed my thinking in that now I can see using many of these tools quite regularly. Whereas, before I may have thought they were too difficult or time consuming. I truly believe in that these tools can greatly impact student learning. Overall, probably the most unexpected outcome was that I did not dislike creating my blog as much as I first thought I would... and "I didn't dislike" is all you're getting out of me. :)

P.S. I really hated how Blogger does not leave two spaces between a period and the start of a new sentence and even if you did put the two spaces, it would change it to only one space! It just felt so wrong!

Tool #11: Citizens Unite!

I think I would have a lesson at the beginning of the school year about citizenship in general and then on another day I would go into the concept of digital citizenship to make the connection between both concepts. I would explain that one pertains to the students' actions on the internet and other to students' actions in general. Furthermore, I would want students to gain a deeper understanding of three key points.

The first is the notion of cyber bullying and how it can cause serious harm to the person being bullied. Some kids have gone as far as to commit suicide because they were being cyberbullied.

The second notion about being a good digital citizen is that they need to make sure to use resources found on the internet wisely and document where they are getting their information. Just because something is out on the internet does not mean that they can steal the idea and not grant credit where credit is due. The other facet of this point would be to ensure that students know that not every single piece of information from the web is accurate and that they have to be discriminating when it comes to getting information from the internet(or any form of media for that matter) and take it at face value. For example, look at Fox News or the Weekly Standard.

The third concept I would want students to understand about digital citizenship is the notion of doing your part to keep yourself and those around you safe. Just because you can put all of your information out there on the web, does not make doing so a good idea. If they know any of their friends are doing things like displaying pictures or giving out their full names and address, they need to alert an adult because it could potentially lead to deadly situations. Students need to know that the internet can also be a dangerous environment, so they need to keep their wits about them and refuse to diclose private information with strangers just as they would in real life.

Tool #10: Steve Jobs Doesn't Need to Worry About the Economy

There are so many educational applications (apps) out there that it can be overwhelming. Just as is the case with videos and websites, before a teacher assigns an app for students, she must go through it and ensure students will be able to use it appropriately. I looked at some math games that started off with easy addition and subtraction problems, but then continued to multiplication and division. Students in first and second grade would not be able to do all parts of these apps. In other words, even though new technology is readily available for use in the classroom, teachers still need to continue to prepare and plan for good teaching to happen in the classroom.

I looked at Soduko made by Mighty Mighty Good Games. I love this game because it really gets the brain going and works on the students' spatial and reasoning abilities.
I also looked at the Abacus application. The abacus has been used by people for thousands of years and Apple has just brought it to the 21st century. Students can use it to practice many math concepts such as counting, multiples, odd and even numbers, etc. Overall, the new devices students will have available to them in the classroom are so interesting and such a novelty for many kids that they will greatly impact student learning and will ensure students are being prepared with the technology of a modern world.

Tool #9: The Skype is the Limit

Screencast can help students because they can communicate with eachother about a project they might be working on by sharing their thoughts and giving feedback to one another. Jing could also be used by a teacher to help show students a step by step process of a certain activity or program on the computer that they might use and then they can see it on Screencast.

Skype can also be used in the classroom in many ways. Many classroom teachers use the notion of pen pals to help students improve their writing. Through Skype, students could actually have a video conference with their pen pal and see what they look like. Other possible ways to use Skype in the classroom is when learning content through themes. For example, if students are learning all about Califonia, the teacher could get in touch with another teacher in California and the students can interview the real people from California... or Australia or wherever else you might imagine. Mediums such as Skype can give students an authentic means of learning. In fact, I use Skype on a regular basis to talk to my friend that moved to Australia this past year. Without Skype, we probably would not have been able to keep in touch as much as we have done. I love Skype!

Tool #8: I'm Just a Video. Yes, I'm Only a Video...

Videos have been in the classroom for many years. The only difference is that teachers have thousands of videos readily available for use in the classroom through websites such as YouTube and Hulu and now there is no need for teachers to have the physical video/dvd to show in the classroom as long as they have a computer. Having thousands of these videos available is an extremely helpful tool for teachers because it greatly adds to the possibilities of teaching various content. In turn, students benefit because they are engaged in their own learning, their interest in learning reaches maximum levels and they retain more information.

The first video I found can be located on TeacherTube and it is called Unpack Your Adjectives originally aired on School House Rock! I know I learned so much growing up from watching these videos.

The second video came from YouTube and it might help students learn the number twelve. It is embedded at the bottom of my blog.