M3 Learning Log 2 – Google Doc: Favorite Social Tool

To my surprise, my favorite social networking tool so far is Twitter.  I haven’t made many posts myself, but I’ve really enjoyed searching and seeing what everyone else has to say and share; at least for the means of professional development or education related.  I’ve been so against Twitter since people first started talking about this tweeting tool to share their pointless status updates;  I never gave it a chance to be anything other than digital noise.
I like being able to create various lists to sort the topics I want to follow.  I’m not a news person, I should be, but I can never make myself watch the news or read a newspaper (paper or digital); I’ve always seen it as depressing, negative information.  This goes for following politics as well.  Going into education, I know these are things I should be more informed about, and Twitter helps me follow more education based news and politics, so its a nice platform to slowly get into the habit of following the news and politics.  The 140 character limit makes posts short,sweet, and to the point.  If it intrigues me, I easily click and find out more.
There are so many organizations and teachers that are posting interesting articles, lesson ideas, thought provoking questions/comments, or just fun tid bits to follow.  It makes professional development fun and easy, whether your trying to find information, share your own experiences, or get feedback.

July 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm 2 comments

M3 Learning Log 1 – iGoogle

For my iGoogle page, I kept the Home tab for personal pages and links, and created an Education tab to link my various PD websites and resources.  I have added Twitter, Google Reader & Docs, To Do List, Diigo, my blog, Flickr, and various education news links.  I also made a recipe tab just for fun 🙂

I haven’t used this feature of Google before, and I can see myself really getting use of this.  We’ve been discovering so many new tools in this course, even ones that help us organize (Reader, Diigo) but they are still separate sites that we have to go to to see what is going on.   iGoogle takes all those great sites and rolls them into one.  I can see the most recent Twitter posts and click for more information, while at the same time see if anyone has made a blog post that I want to check out, or a news article that catches my eye.

As a teacher, if my class has a blog and twitter account, this is an easy way to stay updated on what the students are saying without having to go to each page separately; it takes some of the work and time out of it.  With the chat feature it provides another way to communicate with other teachers or students who have questions on homework when they get home.  Being able to share and collaborate through some of the gadgets, could open another window for resources, video sharing, book talks, etc.  I think my favorite part is the simplicity of having everything all in one spot….we should have done this in module 1!

July 8, 2011 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

Digital Storytelling – Who are YOU?

I took a little bit of a different approach to this project.  Its not as much instructional, but more of an introduction piece.  My digital story is a tool I can see myself using in the upcoming semesters to introduce myself to the students where I’ll be interning.  Previously, I’ve printed some of these photos and given my brown bag speech to the students, but the photos are so small and slow to get passed around.  Once students saw the photos I had them hooked with boating and skydiving and conversations just sprouted from there.  It gave me an oppurtunity to create a connection with them and feel comfortable with who I am…when I invade their classroom once a week.  With this video, I can see the students immediate reaction as they all view the film together.  I would be there to answer an questions and continue the conversation so I don’t think I would lose the human connection.

I noted Indicators from CCPS ILA 2nd grade curriculum in the film as I’ll be interning in 1st or 2nd grade this fall, but I believe it could be used for any elementary grade level to inspire students to write a brief introduction of themselves.  I really liked the article we read “Digital Storytelling Finds Its Place in the Classroom” and how the students were excited to share about a place they enjoyed and felt comfortable; this project helped the students learn about each other.  I think this would be a great introduction in the beginning of the year, possibly before school even started to have parents start collecting photos/art work.  The script could be written and reworked to fit their growing personalities.

June 28, 2011 at 10:36 pm Leave a comment

M2 Learning Log 4 – Screencast: Shooting Take #32

Holy Moly!  Making a screencast is harder than I thought.  Not in the respect of hit record….hit stop, but WHEN to hit those buttons, where to move my mouse so I don’t see it squiggle all over screen, and how to control my voice.  I kept having to restart my screencast for various mistakes, each time angry that I hadn’t tried hitting pause earlier so I wouldn’t have to start from the very beginning.  I also started without writing down my script, figured I know what I wanted to say and could just wing it.  Not so much.  That only lasted two takes.   And for the mouse, I wanted to keep it over the pause button so I was ready because ALT-P just doesn’t work for my unskilled typing fingers, but then I needed my mouse to click through my various tab examples and show where I was instructing users to go to.  It didn’t take forever to make, but it definitely took a lot longer than I was expecting.

June 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm 1 comment

M2 Learning Log 3 – Flicker Slideshow

I created the set ‘Where in the world is Geometry.”  With the Common Core slowly being released, this could fit into several standards depending on the elementary age level you are working in.  Within the Common Core, you could focus on the Geometry domain from K up to possibly 5th; here a lot of the objectives are to identify and classify using properties/characteristics.   This slideshow could be used to show students how geometry is used and displayed in every day life.  Properties could be discussed and noted into the photos, or students could leave comments about what they see.  Click ‘Show info’ to view sample questions for each photo. Students could also be given the assignment to take some of their own photos to share with the class in their own sets or as a class group, etc.  In grades 3-4, you could also look under the Measurement and Date domain, under the Geometric Measurement standard; here students will have to recognize the geometric properties in order to perform the correct calculations and explain why their answers make sense. Some of these photos could be used in various word problems by simply noting a dimension or angle measurement.  As a teacher I could post these problems, or students could interact by writing their own problems (showing they understand the connection between properties/procedures) for other students to solve; as well as posting their own photos with accompanying problems.

June 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

M2 Learning Log 2 – Flickr Galleries

I created a Flickr Gallery to cover the States of Matter.  Photos show either a solid, liquid, gas, or a combination of the states.  I could see using this gallery in science class to either introduce the science/chemistry unit or more likely to get students thinking about the properties of each state and how to describe them.  Science (experiments) require a lot of observation skills and I found in my internship this past semester that the 3rd graders had a lot of trouble finding adjectives to describe what they were seeing, feeling, smelling, hearing, etc.  (no tasting was allowed for that experiment!)  I think these photos could be a good way to have students think about the words to describe these characteristics.  What words could you use to describe how the slime feels….and ‘slimy’ doesn’t count!

June 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm 1 comment

M2 Learning Log 1 – A vision statement

I just finished watching the youtube video “A Vision of K-12 Students Today.”  There was a quote in the video “If we learn by doing, what am I learning sitting here?”   Shortly afterwards they were all holding up the white boards with “Engage Me!” written on them.  Its scary to think about how many paper copies of worksheets have been passed out to document the students doing something in class……but the quote is true, are they really learning anything?  Most of those worksheets are filler time.  We as teachers need to find new ways to connect and communicate with our students in a language they understand and want to take part in.  Its a huge challenge for teachers with students who do have access to computers at home, and even a larger hurdle for teachers with 1 or more low SES students.  But how do we incorporate technology into the classroom on a daily basis when there are only 2 computers for the entire class??

June 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm Leave a comment

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