connecting educators & enhancing learning
I am currently working with a group on a project for one of my CEP classes and we used Vyew as a web conferencing tool to brainstorm ideas. Though we had a few technical difficulties, it was very user friendly and you do not need to download anything to use it. It is available online at Vyew.com.
This tool was helpful because we were able to talk with eachother, as well as add files to the main page. There is also an option to show other people your screen, so if you need to show them how to use a program or what a web page looks like you can.
Inviting people to a room was easy, it is just important pay special attention to the time zone information when setting up the room and time. This part is a little confusing, and members cannot get into the room at any other time than what is specified. I suggest leaving the room open all the time so you don't have to worry about it.
There were some technical difficulties, such as issues with the sound qualty of one member. There is a chat window available in the room when needed, but it is not as easy as using the talk and webcam features.
This tool would be great to use for collaborating with colleagues if you can't meet in person, even if you are simply in different buildings and can't find the time to meet face to face. I think any web conferencing tool would be helpful for grade level teachers to meet and plan or discuss, etc. It was very easy to use and required no trianing and little prep work.
In the classroom, I might use a web conferencing tool such as this to set up "meetings" with experts in a certain topic that we are covering, or even perhaps as a way for pen-pals to get the chance to meet if they were far from each other.
During a recent meeting with my CEP group, I remembered using Todaysmeet.com for “backchannel” conversations. It empowers you as the teacher because students are held accountable for listening. Students can provide comments, questions, arguments, answers, …the list of possibilities is endless and dependent on any criteria set forth.
Has anyone used it in a classroom? If so, can you let me now more ideas?
I have been wracking my brain to come of with ways to make a movie work in my class. This would be a great way to keep them involved in thinking about a movie while we are watching it.
One tip I would like to share in regards to the use of surveys is this: It is important to give your participants feedback regarding the survey you asked them to take. I have noticed that when I do this, it increases student interest and participation in subsequent surveys. This is also crucial when doing a staff survey as well.
We recently used Toontastic to create some wonderful stories. The App is very easy to use and gives the children using it information on the different areas of the story.To create a stories the students use a record button, moving their characters onscreen, and telling their stories. A feature I really enjoyed was the ability for the students to add music to suit the mood of the different stages. When the stories are finished users can upload their completed stories toToontube to share with the world.
I recently set up a Technology Use survey for my students using SurveyMonkey. Survey Monkey is extremely easy to set up a survey. Once you have added a question you will have a variety of responses which your audience will provide. I have used survey monkey before and really enjoy the ease of use. This survey allowed me to try rating scale responses for the first time.
I asked my Y5 students to complete the Technology Use survey for me and got 59 responses. I was quite pleased with that number. The findings have been very interesting.
Many of my students have access to a range of devices at home. I would have expected them to be spending a good deal of time using this technology in their own environment. However, the survey indicated that time spent on these devices at home was limited and mainly for carrying out homework. I was also surprised to learn that the majority learn new computer skills at school - perhaps they are not all digital natives.
I found carrying out this survey a very useful exercise, it has given me some indicators as to what I have to introduce my students too at school and some valid insights into how they are using technology at home.
I found an alternate use for SurveyMonkey. I was part of my school improvement team. In order to receive information from parents and community members, I created an online survey in which they could also leave comments. This was an extremely easy tool to use and it gave instant feedback. We used the feedback to create school and district goals for the upcoming years.
Receiving feedback (both positive and negative) is good for shaping and editing current practices whether its for the classroom or the school. I agree that SurveyMonkey is a great tool for getting that feedback. It was easy to navigate, gave many options for types of questions, and made compiling feedback into a spreadsheet a cinch.
Audacity is a free program that easily allows you to create and/or edit sound files. It's an easy way to add narration to Powerpoint presentations (but I have had problems getting Open Office Impress to work nicely with embedded audio).
Creating sound files to accompany required class reading using Audacity, then loading it onto a handheld mp3 player would also be a great way to support struggling readers.
During this weeks lab work I discovered some new Web 2.0 tools and some features of Web 2.0 tools that I wasn't formerly aware of . The first is Ustream (a free video broadcast service) which allows you to subscribe to another users channel. The educational application here would be connecting your students to "experts" in your subject area. Another tip I would like to share is that Slide Rocket (a cloud based presentation tool) allows you to embed Google documents and spreadsheets into the presentation.
Finally, I would like to invite anyone interested to visit my wiki http://minipechakucha.wikispaces.com to answer a one question poll about Pecha Kucha's and to learn more about Pecha Kucha's and discuss educational applications. Hope to see you there!
I'm back to add another tip. Here is a video link to making QR codes using Google URL shortner. Hope you enjoy!
CEP 811 (Spring 2012)
I was trying to think about what to post that most people are not aware of... I recently have attended Response to Intervention training sessions. In these sessions a very helpful website was shared with us, http://www.interventioncentral.org/ . This website has many amazing features that can help a teacher better support a struggling student. For example, there is a program on this website that allows a teacher to create guided notes easily for students. Another real quick example is that there is a program that allows the teacher to quickly create reading comprehension quizzes that students can take electronically. It is a great website that has many free resources and ideas for educators. I think that it is worth checking out.
Prezi is a tool I came across researching different means of presenting lecture material. Prezi is cloud-based dynamic typography web tool used to make presentations. Prezi allows for some unique features not available in PowerPoint or other presentation software tools. It can be highly effective for visual learners: you can add text of varying size/font, images, and even videos. It is a great addition to spice up your presentation, though it should be noted that a little flair can go a long way with this tool.