connecting educators & enhancing learning
It just occurred to me, despite reading and exploring the many online apps and links in the lectures, that most of the sites I use are considered to be part of the CLOUD. As Homer Simpson would say, 'Uh, Doh!" sometimes I am slow on the uptake. I've used Voicethread and Wetpaint Wiki now for two years and love both, but it never dawned on me that they were part of the Cloud. My file cabinet in my brain has sorted it under the category of 'things I don't have to carry or ship overseas.' Oh, yeah, that's part of the cloud, huh? Lol at myself.
Mary, I had the same kind of Homer moment! I kind of had a vague idea of what "the cloud" was but didn't realize how much I was already utilizing it until we looked in detail at what it meant.
Today I learned about cloud computing. Although I am still a bit "cloudy" on the subject, I have become a bit familiar with Google docs through classwork. I really would like to experiment with a project in my classroom using Google docs or to add a link to my Literacy Ning with Google docs for further collaboration between teachers in my district.
I have also learned that I have use the cloud "unknowingly". By using email for storage, Google Docs, and several other programs, I was actually using and saving in the cloud. We have been using the cloud more to store music and pictures at home, thus freeing up space on computers for programs and software we like to use. I am learning more all the time, but I like how quickly the cloud reacts to what I need it to do. I also gained some information about using the cloud for a business and the different levels of service.
I am the same way. I feel kind of stupid knowing and using Google doc's etc. and not realizing it was being saved on a cloud.
Voicethread is truly a godsend. Why didn't I know of this before? This summer, I gave my students the option to submit their small assignments either in handwritten form, or MS word, or in through a voice recording. For the voice recording, I encouraged my students to use Vocaroo (check out www.vocaroo.com: a VERY convenient way to record your voice online, and send someone the link) to record their assignments in spoken form. However, for group projects, there was no way by which different members could record their voices separately, and put them together.Voicethread makes this possible in a snap! I will definitely have a group project with Voicethread this coming summer. I am sure my students will LOVE it!
Although I have become very familiar with Google dos, blogs, calendar etc. There are other resources for cloud computing that are becoming popular for education. Check out Microsoft's cloud options for your school. http://www.microsoft.com/education/en-us/solutions/Pages/cloud_comp...
I recently did a project introducing Google Docs to my Intro to Computers class and they really enjoyed it. The basic curriculum of the class is to teach Microsoft Office, however I like to supplement it with other things. I had my students research Cloud Computing and write up a summary using Google Docs. They also had to compare and contrast Google Docs to Microsoft Office programs. Along with the document, they had to create a 5 slide presentation using Google Presentation about Cloud Computing and a small Spreadsheet showing the compare and contrasting elements. While, it may sound kinda dry reading about it, the kids actually really enjoyed it. They had fun exploring Google Docs and understanding the good and bad of Cloud computing.
I like the learn by doing approach. Did they present to the class? As a whole dod the class have a preference? Probably depends on the situation as it does with me. I still find google docs limiting and frustrating when it comes to formatting.
Google Presentation Popcorn
Remember getting together with your group and discussing a topic to take notes on and present to the class? In the past you would either be given a sheet of butcher paper or an overhead to write on. I put a new twist on it with my AP environmental science class using google presentations. In each chapter of theor book there are case studies discussing various environmental issues. It can be tedious to read them all on your own. I broke the class up into groups and assigned each group a case study to build a presentation on. They had to have a coer page and then two slides per group member. Each slide needed a picture and text explaining the problem and possible solution. When they were don they needed to share it with me and then present it to the class the next day. They really got into it and wanted to learn more about since I told them there would be a Q and A after their presentation.
I actually was thinking about trying to do something like that in my class now that I have been exposed to Googledocs. This sounds like a great way to go about doing presentations. Were there any setbacks that occurred?
After going through session 7 about mobile learning and cloud computing, I decided to dig a little bit deeper. From the reading I found out about VoiceThread.com, which is a web-based multimedia site. Through this site you can create slide show presentations, embed images, videos, etc. Currently I have my students do projects involving Windows Movie Maker, PowerPoint, Prezi, and Go-Animate. The problem that I have with WMM and PP is that when my students go home they may not have compatible versions or they may not have the software at all. I have been looking for a good web-based site that can allow my students to create their presentations from home (and collaborate from home) without them needing the additional software. In an urban district it is hard enough to have a class where all the students even have access to a computer at home, let alone have the software that you need them to have. I hope to explore this site some more over the next couple of weeks and possibly try it out with my classes.