Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Using the Internet Conclusion

I have learned so much in 7 weeks.  It makes me proud to have learned how to implement digital tools in my classroom.  Websites, blogging, webquests and digital stories are user friendly and an easy way to broaden collaboration in the classroom between the teacher, students and their peers.  This will allow an exciting new way to learn this year and I think technology will make students buy-in to the lessons.  This will make them become stakeholders of their education because their attention will be kept and collaboration will deepen their understanding of the objective or lesson.  Collaboration and sharing of knowledge was the key to this class because it helped me learn about technology that I didn't know about and it also gave me an editor when I needed one to provide constructive criticism.  This helped improve my work and allowed me to take a step back and look at my work in another way.  This was a wonderful class and I plan to use what I have learned during these 7 weeks in my classroom and also share my new found knowledge to my peers and administrators.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The New School Year

Starting the new school year is going to be completely different from any other year.  The reason for that is all the tools that I've been introduced to in my classes from my teachers, colleagues and books.  I want to start the year incorporating technology little by little.  There are so many tools to use and you can't use all of them.  But, I believe that technology is the key to changing learning in classrooms.  Especially, in districts with low performing schools.  These are some of the digital tools I would like to use in my classroom this year:
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Podcasting
  • Digital Stories
  • Moodle
  • Wordle
  • More use of Interactive Whiteboards
This is a good start.  I am going to strive to incorporate these to the best of my ability.  The key is to learn as I'm going with my students and if something doesn't work out the first time not to go crazy.  I like control, but I have to learn how to let go a little and let things happen organically.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Creating a Digital Rich Classroom

We read the book Creating a Digital Rich Classroom by Meg Ormiston for my Using the Internet in Education class.  This book was inspirational to me because it made me want to go back to school with an open mind.  It sparked a change in me and a new way of thinking to give my students the best.

My favorite is the whole entire book.  It gave so many suggestions of different resources that can be used in the classroom.  Resources like LibraryThing and Shelfari can take the Read and Respond to the next level.  I also liked how she spells out what would be an ideal classroom in her "Meg's Technological Tools in an Ideal Classroom".  She believes that if a teacher utilizes these tools (correctly) they will be able to move mountains within their class.  They are as follows:
  1. Laptop for the teacher
  2. Laptops for every student
  3. Interactive whiteboard
  4. Multifunction speakers
  5. Voice amplification system
  6. Document camera
  7. Student response system
  8. Stable, wireless, robust network with limited blocking and filtering
I give this book 2 thumbs up.  It is a quick read packed with substance and great ideas. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Digital Story

I love digital stories!  I first started doing them Fall 2010 in my Intro to Ed. Tech class.  I think they bring ordinary projects to life.  There are different ways that you can do them like use Power Point and download into Movie Maker or use Photo Story.  I have done it both ways it's whatever you like best.  Here's a link that will direct you to many different ways that digital stories can be used in the classroom.

Here are some of my digital stories.
Where Good Ideas Come From http://youtu.be/xyZqpOH9Ads
Remix project http://youtu.be/IZUKqvrghqI
College Freshman Advice http://youtu.be/Wf2WMFv93m8
Are Teachers really the Bad Guys? http://youtu.be/fUtmCkozkA4

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I've been working on my webquest the last couple of weeks.  It was a little harder than what I thought, but once I found a groove I was able to get it close to done.  According to Internet Expeditions website, "Bernie Dodge, a Professor of Education at San Diego State University, coined the term “WebQuest” in 1995 to describe an inquiry-based activity that involves students in using web-based resources and tools to transform their learning into meaningful understandings and real-world projects. Rather than spending substantial time using search tools, most or all of the information used by learners is found on pre-selected websites. Students can then focus on using web-based information to analyze, synthesis, and evaluate information to address high-level questions".   I had never heard of these before and was a little scared of what to do.  I had a bit of an issue figuring out what to do as far as a topic, but I eventually had a creative spark.  There are loads of resources out there to help you if you would like to make one on your own.  There also hundreds of webquests already made on any topic that you are looking for.  Here are some links that can help you when you are ready: Questgarden, Zunal and Internet Expeditions.