Friday, August 5, 2011

Thing Number 11

I finished my Atomic Learning test and got my certificate!
I think that some of my favorite tools are Google docs, Blogger, Phet, Make BeliefsComix, and Polleveryone. I think this experience has changed my thinking in realizing that it is ok to take baby steps (like trying to figure out how to embed something)and that it takes time to get proficient at technology. I did have some unexpected outcomes in the sense that now I am more anxious to get involved in communication with students in other countries. I also want to use technology to give my shy students access to ask questions when they don't feel comfortable in class.

Thing Number 10

I appreciate all the resources concerning digital citizenship on the atomic learning site to be helpful. I want my students to understand that it is their responsibility to be a responsible digital citizen. I think many students think that the internet is an outlet to bully other students and no one will see or monitor their actions. I want my students to understand that using the internet is not just for entertainment purposes but for a serious exchange of ideas that requires etiquette and courtesy for all parties that are involved in the process. I would like to use resources such as Brain pop videos to present this to my students.

Thing Number 9

We need to integrate technology into the objective of the classroom to keep students actively engaged in our curriculum. Students will need to be trained and given structure on how to work in cooperative groups/stations and each group member should be held accountable for their products and their technology devices. If students are not given rubrics, guidelines and monitored carefully then group work/stations can turn into non-productive and expensive endeavors. I liked the simulations on the Phet science website and can see how students could rotate in stations to do the simulations. I looked at the Interactive Science site but found it to be more appropriate for the high school level. Learning Games for kids had some good vocabulary games. I saw several Ipad sites for Science and I think the best way to use them in groups or stations would be for the students to make presentations and present their information.

Thing Number 8

I understand that the Net books provide a way for students to take pictures and make videos as well as other laptop functions. I look forward to having this technology in my classroom but I also feel that we need more tech support not only for teachers but also for the students. I was able to take an Ipad home over the summer and have become more familiar with it. I think technology is integral in our classrooms but I believe that the students need to start learning basic keyboarding and research skills beginning in elementary school. There are time limitations in the classroom and younger students require much more support. Many of my students do not have access to computers at home and have no basic skills.

Thing Number 7

I visited Epals and found a school in Australia that wants to correspond with students that are in my students age group on natural disasters. What a great international Science topic and how appropriate considering the world's current events. Here is the information I found on Epals.

Melissa Petronis - New Zealand -
From: Albany Junior High School | Posted On: August 5, 2011 | Member Since: August 4, 2011
Project Description

We are a homeroom class of Year 7 students. We would like to correspond with students our age, 11-12 years old. For many students their first language is English, but we have a few native Korean speakers as well. As we are hosting the Rugby World Cup this year, we would enjoy corresponding with any countries who are participating in the event. We will also be studying natural disasters and would be interested in areas where they occur - we are prone to earthquakes. We are a very enthusiastic class with a wonderful Canadian teacher!

Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand

I could see using Skpe, Today's Meet and PollEveryone to do a project where students share data and predictions about natural disasters all over the world. I think this has several possibilities for all the students in Houston and in Auckland.

Thing Number 6

I decided to check out Today's Meet and create an account for my class. I like it because it would give shy students a chance to communicate with myself and other students. I also like that it is free and easy to use. The web address is
Ok I was finally able to embed something on Thing #5 and now I am going for my second try.
I visited PollEverywhere and really enjoyed this site. I think students would love to use their cell phones and computers to answer poll questions in class. It would be a wonderful group activity for students to create their own polls.

Thing Number 5

Here's the address for the MakeBeliefsComix I created:
I'm still not sure how to embed the image into my blog. I can see where students would really enjoy using this site to create their own comics for presentations and projects. I found this site really easy to use. I also used Wordle to create a word picture of areas of Science.
Wordle: Science Areas
I think that my students would enjoy using this program to help them with new vocabulary words.
I also think the Mixbook program could be used to create projects that include the such science topics as biomes, weathering and erosion, geological landforms, and body systems to name a few.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thing Number 4

I was able to send a google document and form to my colleagues. I found this to be a very useful and quick way to communicate with others.
Google docs would be a great way to reduce paperwork in the classroom. This is a wonderful alternative to dragging around stacks of papers! Also students would be able to get feedback much more quickly. The Goggle forms could really streamline communication between team members and departments. Sharing documents could also make interdisciplinary teaching much more easy to implement in the classroom.

Thing Number 3

I have used YouTube,TeacherTube and Discovery Education in my classroom. I think that the Blinkx
website would be very useful for streamlining video searches. I could not figure out how to embed a video into the blog even after watching the videos several times. This is why the two video addresses are typed in at the top of this post. I obviously need more help with this and need to revisit it some more.
The copyright video is very useful especially the one to show the students. I think this is a topic of concern for all educators and we need to spend time talking to our students about it.
The PicasaWeb album site appears to have many possibilities for students particularly when it comes to doing projects or presentations.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thing Number 2

I commented on five teachers' blogs from my school and found it very user friendly. I have no problem stating my comments on a public website but I do have concerns about monitoring student comments on social networks. It is very difficult to monitor 25 or more students while they use a social network if the students are not trained on basic computer skills such as keyboarding, proper research techniques, plagarism and social networking ettiquette. I think technology is definitely the way to go but I think we need more support for teachers and students. I liked the Always Learning website because it empahsizes getting students and educators involved in global learning. I also believe the title of the website sends a positive message for all studnets and educators to be lifelong learners.

11 Things -- Thing Number One Creating a Blog

I found this to be a fairly easy exercise.  I ran into a little trouble embedding my avatar but it was easy to do after I watched the video. I can see how this would be interesting for students depending on their level of computer skills. I think it might be best to set their blogs up as a whole class and then allow students to work in groups once everyone has made their blog.