connecting educators & enhancing learning
CEP 810 Spring 2012-
Two new web based technology pieces that I have begun using this year are Goanimate.com and netTrekker.com. Goanimate is a cool site that allows you to create cartoon videos. I allow my students to use this site to demonstrate their knowledge of key topics in a more creative way. For example in Civics when we discuss how a bill becomes a law I show them the amazing "I'm Just a Bill" video. I then have them look up the key steps that a bill must go through in order to become a law and then have them create their own version of "I'm Just a Bill" using Goanimate.com. They really seem to enjoy this.
netTrekker.com is a resource that was introduced to me this year as well. It really is google for teachers. I can look up a specific content standard that is embedded in the site and then it will run a search for materials directly tied to that standard. I can even narrow it down more by asking it to show me only sources that have games or that have videos. So a search that would produce millions of hits through google is narrowed down to just a handful of actually relevant sources through netTrekker.com.
Joe, I have been playing with goanimate too. It is a great way for students to share ideas, especially those who are not great a getting thoughts on paper.
Encourage students to use social bookmarking sites to take notes and save useful links relating to (your) course content. In the future, they will be able to access their previously saved links and use them as they continue their other educational pursuits. Pinterest.com is a great site for students to use. Students can create "boards," and title them with your course name; For example, US History or AP French.
(This tip was inspired by information learned in CEP 810 Spring 2012.)
I recently started a project with my chemistry students using google docs and ipads. With a partner they need to research a topic in chemistry, contact someone on the community and interview them, and finally teach this topic to the the class using either ShowMe, iMovie or Keynote. The research and interview are recorded in a collaborative google doc and shared with me. After approval they can start using the iPad. These projects must go global, so they are posted online. They like it because they do not have to do any talking in front of the class and they can use technology. I like it because it is very organized, they are learning and they are enjoying chemistry.
It is great that you have found a way to make a difference using the technology.
One site that I have recently used, and loved, is Timetoast.com. I just discovered it last weekend and put it right into my classroom! It's an online timeline, that can be catered to any topic. My 4th graders loved it. We have been reading biographies about African Americans preparing for our February wax musuem. As we started talking about figures from slavery, civil rights, and today, I realize the huge misconceptions we had about who helped whom. For example, some students thought that Martin Luther King ended slavery. Timetoast helped give us a visual timeline of these notable figures.
It is a free site that you set up your account, and can create countless timelines. You can create a single event or make a timespan. In that you can type a paragraph (but characters are limited) and include an image. This showed my students who was alive around the same time and had similar experiences. This would be an excellent way for students to organize their events for US history or world history, country or state projects, scientists, mathematicians, authors, etc. It was very easy to use and helps with visualization!
Great tool! You will see a "Time Toast" in Session 3. :)
Thanks for sharing.
The best trick I have found in using technology in my classroom is to record my lessons. I am a high School band director---and recording my kids digitally and playing it back to them has been very effective. I often post the audio to a password protected student section of my website. From there students will have assignments that are reflective in nature. Recording my lessons also reveal important things about my lesson's pacing and effectiveness.
Using video this way is really awesome. The students learn to critique themselves and can then set better goals for themselves.
The technology Tips and Tricks that I am quickly learning and using often is the dictation option on my iPhone. Instead of typing an email, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard and start talking. Tap done, and your words appear in text. It's a great tool when you are in the car and need to get a message to someone.
I have been recently researching how to best use technology to aid in student editing of their writing. One of the best non-technological ways of editing that I have found is having students read their stories out loud, which clearly highlights grammatical errors. I decided to try to improve this technique using technology. I have had my students type their writings, then copy and paste the text to vozme.com. Vozme then creates audio for the writing. My students can then listen to the audio, while following along on their document, fixing issues that they hear. My students have been very excited with this whole process, and the product has been very good. I look forward to experimenting more with this in the future.
Vozme.com is a new tool to me! Very easy to use.
Thanks for sharing. :)