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I enjoyed reading your post. My school district does not allow students to bring in any form of technology. If a student is found with a phone or Ipod, it is confiscated and the student receives an after school detention. I think it is interesting to hear that some school districts are using phones as a tool because they figure the students have them anyways. I wonder if more schools will begin to use cell phones as tools in the classroom as more opportunities are made available to cater to the needs of several types of students.
I work for an SES. Most of the time we are trying to get the students to quit using their phones under the table and mentally work through problems, mainly math facts. However, I have used cell phones to be used to aid in homework help and research. The students use one computer between several all of them during any one hour of instruction, and it makes it easier just to pull out the iphone or Droid and look it up. I think this would be a great way to incorporate cell phone use in the classroom.
This is what I did in 5th grade:
I used a wiki (wikispaces) for guided reading. First I split the class in to small reading groups according to ability then I gave them the appropriate reading books for each group. Each group had to collaborate on a summary of the book which was to be presented on the main page of the wiki. Then I set them discussion questions that they completed using the discussion forum onthe wiki.
This task was done in class as well as for homework and lasted 4 week. All instruction and responses were done on line.It was a very challenging task initially as they were not used to learning this way, however once they got into the swing of it they really enjoyed it.
Because the all the groups were on the same wiki, but on different pages, all students could see what the other groups were doing and took ideas from each other and was therefore a form f peer teaching.
Mr. Commeret's comparison of being caught between two worlds that of 'old school' versus 'the way it should be' struck a chord. I am more of the dreamer who wants to build, but needs a clock with a longer reach. I'm also a dabbler of 'what can I get into next' and explore the software or method to see what works, when, and how.
I've used wikis as a way to present information (lecture) to students, and I use a number of technologies to demonstrate concepts.Voicethread, Quia, Email, (Student initiated Facebook),
They also use facebook with each other. Last week my intermediate learners told me how they had discussed a homework assignment in my class on facebook, and then were shocked the next day to find out one of their discussion partners had not turned their work in. I’m not on this facebook with them. I do have one for students, but student join after they graduate to network with each other.
I've recently introduced Blogs to my classroom and the kids are loving it. Right now they are reading Guilliver's Travels and their assignment is to summarize the story in a timeline framework. They get to figure out how to divide up the story and then write about it. They also must include a picture to illustrate the summary each time. They love the tech and the fact that they get to design how it is set up.
One of the areas I'd like to get into is screen casting. In my recent stair on Compare and Contrast I used audio for accessible learning. My teacher reminded me that reading the text could be improved if I used a more animated tone than I had. I had concentrated on reading the text slowly for my ESL learners, but I also needed to animate the expression in my voice. A few of my slides would be better understood if I could use a screencast in addition to the animation. This is one technology I’ll be exploring in more depth.
I also need a clock with a longer reach! There are so many things that I want to try, but time just does not allow for it right now.
I too was told my stAIR would be improved if I used a more animated tone. I too tried to speak slowly and clearly for students that may need the extra help with reading. I guess I will have to work on this also to combine the reading with more excitement, but keeping it clear and concise.
I am not currently in a classroom, but I do like to use Google Docs for the collaboration functionality. It has been a real asset being able to work together on the same document at the same time. I can see many uses for this also in the classroom, but just have not had the chance to utilize this yet. I also would like to utilize video capture in the classroom. It would be great to be able to video record lessons in the classroom to help students and also with all of the budget cuts. One example would be for dissections. Because of budget cuts, these are becoming a rarity because we can not afford samples for dissections, or they are limited and students need to share them. With video, we can still show these dissections and can even do close-ups with better detail than what the human eye can sometimes see. This allows the teacher to show these on a big screen for an example ahead of time, or if played out right, the teacher could do these dissections with the students on the big screen while the teacher actually works the lab and helps students one on one. Video also allows for classroom flipping, which is something that I am interested in, but have do not have my own classroom at the time to work on it.
In my classroom, I have been able to implement several face to face instructional strategies. We use our SMART Board several times a day. We use it in the morning for student check-in, and during our morning meeting for calendar math. We also use the board for instruction, mainly literacy and math. It is used during whole-group instruction, as well as independent activities. My students love using the board, and it truly makes instruction more interactive. One example of technology used for explanations is teachertube. There are so many instructional videos on there that make learning fun and interactive. One form of technology I would like to implement in the future are clickers. I think even kindergartners could use them, and is an interactive way to ask students questions and track their understanding throughout the lesson.
TeacherTube is great (especially if your school blocks YouTube). I also really like United Streaming for explanations. They have videos on just about everything (it's particularly good for science). The drawback is that your school/district has to have a subscription to it.
I'm jealous of anyone that has a SmartBoard. I had one in my first year of teaching and loved it. Since switching districts, I don't have one but I've been working on grants to get one. There are so many cool things that you can do with it especially games to make learning more interactive for students.
Howdy, the interactive white board is truly a marvel! I have a question, how do you use this for check in? Do the kids do there own attendence? As for clickers, I have added them to my budget for next year, have you researched various types? Is there a best option in your mind?
One thing that I use that my first graders love is Eggspert. This is a click-in system that I use for all sorts of things but most commonly review games (questioning and answering). We have done review Jeopardy for math and teams of students work together or they send up a representative for their table group (every student has to come up at some point). I usually make an interactive PowerPoint for the Jeopardy game that I project on the board.
I would like to also try to have my students do a blog. I'm just concerned about the time it would take out of the day because of their very limited typing skills (I've been asked on many occasions "how do I 'erase' this letter?"). I might have teams of students write a weekly blog for parents about what we are doing in the classroom.
One of my upper el colleagues who used to teach 1st participated in a nationwide kids weather blog where kids all around the country reported their weather on a daily basis. I've been trying to find this but can't (maybe it's been discontinued). But I think this could be really cool because we have a yearlong science unit on weather.
After reading and watching videos about face-to-face instructional strategies, I realized that I already implement several strategies using technology such as interactive white boards, document cameras, blogs, videos, etc. I typically use videos to demonstrate a particular strategy before and after I teach that concept. However, I never thought of videotaping my lesson of the material and making it available to students that are absent or need to review. By making the material available to students and parents, this could eliminate the questions I receive because students may have missed the lesson or need to refresh their memory. I also hope to set up a Google account for our team next year so students can use Google docs and Google presentations to create their projects and presentations. This will increase collaboration and also allow students and teachers to use project time more effectively and efficiently.
Your post just made me think that video taping your lesson could also help all of us self-critiques what we could do better.