connecting educators & enhancing learning
Have you discovered screenjelly.com? This was actually shared with my class via an adobe direct connect, so I must give Melissa White credit and a big thank you for the tip. screenjelly.com allows you to make a free screencast up to three minutes long. It is very simple to create and then share the screencast as a url or embed it into a webpage. All you have to do is go to the website (screenjelly), select your microphone choice (a headset is better than using a built-in mic since it minimizes unwanted noises), click the red button and you are recording. Of course you should have ready the item you want to show open in another window.
Students could use this along with a slide show to give a voice over on a presentation. It can also be used to make tutorials for students, staff, and parents to teach them computer basics. I used it to create some tutorials for parents on how to monitor their student's web browsing history and other basics that parents should know. Feel free to check them out at http://digicit.blogspot.com/ along with other usable information about digital citizenship.
Here is cool tool to help you create quizzes that you can post to your moodle pages or blackboard for students to access. The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is freeware, and you may use it for any purpose or project you like. It is not open-source.
Here is the link for downloading http://hotpot.uvic.ca/.
I recently used Skype with 2nd graders in conjunction with the unit "Changing Times." Students conducted "firsthand research" by skyping with my 96-year old grandmother who lives an hour away from our school. Each child prepared questions and then interviewed my grandmother, learning a great deal from her responses and stories. We even used a Skype recorder (available online) to record the audio, so that the students could refer back to it later as often as they needed or desired.
After the interview, I had students post reflections, like comparing and contrasting life and their childhoods today with my grandmother's, on the 2nd grade wiki they have been working with all year. It was so meaningful for them to learn this way--as if they had taken a field trip back in time without ever leaving the classroom, to learn from someone who was born before WWI and who rode in a horse and buggy until she was 15, and yet was able to talk about her childhood like it was yesterday.
I feel like these students will remember the things that they learned from this experience far better and for much longer than the things they have simply read in class about past times. The kids are still talking about it, and in great detail. This project helped me become even more aware of the potential of learning from others who live in or are from different walks of life than us—and that through technology, students can interact with people they might otherwise have no contact with—whether it’s students across the state, country, or globe, an expert or professional, or simply an elder in the community who has valuable experiences to share, enhancing and extending student learning in a particular content area.
I recently found a great math game website for K-8. The games are sorted by grade level and concept. I use many of the games with my classroom computers and my interactive whiteboard during Math Workshop.
Well hello to my educational junkies! I would like to share with you a pretty cool website I have used quite a few times in my classroom. The website is called polleverywhere.com . This site allows you to create questions (multiple choice or text response) and allows your audience to answer through text messaging their responses in. This provides you as the facilitator, instant feedback on the information. The audience is able to view the class results. I have used this in many different facets of my teaching including pretesting the audience on a topic or concept and also using it as review before an assessment.
Some potential issues you could run into while using this program would be cellular service. Some students phones are better than others and have stronger signals. To fix this situation, you may need to purchase a signal booster.
What do you do with kids that don't have a cell phone or free texting? You can set each question up so that student's can answer the question from a website also.
What if my school has a ban on cell phone use...so does mine...I talked with my principal and he was completely on board.
All-in-all, its a pretty cool program that my students really enjoyed.