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I have heard so much about Glogster, and I'm excited to try it out in the classroom. I have lower el students which limits independence to a degree, but just received an interactive whiteboard. I am hoping that I can use Glogster on the interactive whiteboard to create whole class posters? These could even turn into parent newsletters!
As a teacher of history, I have always dreamed of making my classroom alive with history. About two years ago, my classroom was graced with a interactive whiteboard, in my case a Smartboard. What a transformation it has had on my classroom! From interactive power points to review games, from action activities for the kids to digital flyovers of battlefields I have found the perfect medium to make my classroom alive! What a joy.
The one tool I want to share with you is creating an interactive battlefield flyover! If you use Google Earth, the smartboard recording option and a little bit of practice you can create a battlefield flyover that will wow your students and enlighten the kids on what it was like. I did this with Pickett's Charge at the battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Now, we all know that it is impossible to recreate the battle itself (do not tell the re-enactors....they bristle at this notion) but we can mimic the actions of the participants and help the students see the dangers that ensue from an uphill march across a wide open space into sure decimation...pretty cool stuff.
This works not only in history class, but in geography and others as well!
I too have a Smartboard in my room and am constantly looking for new ideas and programs to explore. I have used Google Earth, mostly to show students places of the world that are referenced in books or articles we read. We recently read an article about the Taj Mahal and were able to use Goodle Earth to take a look at that area. They were astounded and it led to a great discussion and a desire for further research. I love the idea of flying over battle sites, we cover the American Revolution, and I know that my students would love to see some of the areas that we discuss.
I teach 5th grade, and therefore teach all subject areas. My favorite new Smartboard activity I have found are interactive stories. I place the story on the Smartboard, which we read as a class. We then use the Smartboard tools to delve more deeply into the text, writing our thoughts, highlighting important information, and using other tabs to research supporting details. I have found that using the Smartboard greatly increases overall engagement levels amongst my students on even the simplest of tasks.
I like the Google Earth idea. That would be cool to show on the larger screen. I have looked up my special needs students home addresses on Google Earth and show them their street and their own homes on the map. It is quiet amazing to me that this is possible and they recognize their own home and get excited.
I use my Smartboard to have my students listen to stories read by actors in the famous actors guild. They love when they recognize the person reading the story. I do this on a website called http://storylineonline.net. It may not be age appropriate for every classroom, but it is for my special needs students. They often watch these stories during leisure time.
Glogster Tips and Tricks:
A fellow associate shared with me Glogster.com the other day which is a cool electronic poster tool. Since then, Gloster has done away with their free teacher account that the teachers in our building used to administer their classes. We learned today that if the teacher logs in as a student, the teacher can still view student work for free without having to pay for the teacher account. (NOTE: student accounts are still free).
In my high school Principles of Business class, we have been conducting company research of different sorts. We first presented information using Prezi, and with Wordle.
During the process, we discovered another technology tool called Blabberize. We were able to add images of the CEO's and owners and have them introduce their company using the history and the mission statement found by the students.
Blabberize allows you to post an image and record messages that you want that image to speak. Its a really cool tool and my students loved it.
Try it for yourself at BLABBERIZE.
I just discovered Weebly, an online website maker. I absolutely love it already. I created a classroom website and also included a blog on it. It was simple to create and very user-friendly. I think this is going to be a great personal learning network that parents and students can go to in order to get information, ask questions, or make comments. I also included a tab that give students links to great educational websites and educational games. I would definitely recommend this site if you haven't already used it before.
I try to incorporate technology into my classroom as often as possible. I would love to utilize the computers more often in order to allow students to communicate with others around the globe to help them learn in a new and exciting way. This is why blogs can be so great.
I have never head of VoiceThread, but I am interested to find out more and possibly use it in my classroom!
Thanks for the great link, Lisa. It looks like a valuable resource. I have relied on my schools server and iWeb for the past 2 years. This year I'm at a new school and looking to create a new website. I'm sure Weebly will come in handy for making a general page and being able to share with families at home. I also envision being able to link my googledocs page to include homework for absent students.
One technology that my students will hopefully soon get "hands on" with is computer design and a machine called a shopbot. (http://www.shopbottools.com/mMarkets/education.htm) This link is to their website which has a nice bit about Obama and the need to practical education. Here is a link to our Incite-Focus lab (http://www.incite-focus.org/Home.html) which is the greater vision for our network of small charter schools for students in Detroit. I would love to have students capture their experiences in blog form as they progress this year.
I used Weebly last year during my student teaching year in order to create an online portfolio. I also found it very user friendly, and I can imagine it would be perfect for a class website. I found out very quickly that you can only have two websites while running on the free version of Weebly, but so far I have not needed to add a third site.
One "problem" I had with the free version of Weebly at first was not being able to import videos onto the website. Weebly offers direct uploads of videos from your personal library on only WeeblyPro. However, my friend and I spent hours trying to figure out how to put videos on our Weeblys without upgrading to the pro, and guess what... we found a way around it:
If you first import your videos to YouTube, you may then add the videos to your Weebly page as links. Having these videos linked to your Weebly site will cause your Weebly site to actually place the video directly on the page. The videos will appear on your Weebly as if they were directly imported. This is also a great way to incorporate video technology in your classroom if YouTube is blocked on your school computers, as it is in my school district.