connecting educators & enhancing learning
GREAT TOOL for INSTANT SCREENSHOTS and short SCREENCASTS
I've been introduced to "Jing" (www.techsmith.com/jing/) and it's a really neat piece of software to take a picture or create a short video (max 5 minutes) of what's on your screen. It can be shared instantly over the web, email, IM, Twitter or your blog.
Best of all: it's SIMPLE and FREE (only if you upgrade to Jing Pro will it be $14.95/yr).
Check it out as there seems to be real value for using it in an educational setting! Commenting on projects, home work, documents; adding a visual and audio component to instruction etc. etc.
I was given an assignment in CEP 810 to create a personal learning network. I used Glogster to do so. I have never heard of Glogster, but what an amazing site! The next day I took my new found technology straight to the classroom. I was teaching a small group math about geometry and the various shapes. I decided to have the students create a "poster" on Glogster. The students were given the task of creating an animal using shapes (much the like tanagram animals we created earlier.) The students used the various shapes to create an animal. The students had to include the various shapes they used (and how many) in different text boxes. The students had a ball and i enjoyed watching them let their imaginations run wild. I have also seen glogster used in a literacy block and making a "poster" for a character and used in writing to model a "how-to". The website is so neat and lends itself to every subject. I look forward to continuing my use of it in the classroom.
CEP 810 SS11
In teaching French (or you could even use it for history), this is an awesome , interactive classroom tool! It's a 26 gigapixel picture of Paris, and you can scroll around from an aerial view and identify monuments and landmarks throughout the city. You can zoom in a lot and the picture still stays so clear because of the size! For use in the classroom, I suggest having students take turns driving the computer, pick out landmarks, and say a little but about them--perfect mix of culture, history, and language! If you need to, you can brief them on the assignment beforehand, and let it be more of a prepared presentation. Students love it (as do I)!
The Fun Theory is an initiative of Volkswagon that is dedicated to using fun to promote positive change in human behavior. You can see some of their experiments and case studies here: http://www.thefuntheory.com/
I always try to incorporate fun into my classroom, learning, workspace, and my own professional development. This initiative just confirms my belief that fun DOES work, and people do respond to it. It's a good challenge, too, to take an exercise, a lesson, and figure out how to make it more fun, and then see your students behavior change for the better.
In my current class (CEP 812) we are suppose to hold a group meeting on some type of online conferencing forum. Our group has chosen to use Vyew. It is a free internet program that does not require you to download any type of software to run the program. When I first started playing around with the program I was not a fan! I could log onto the site and enter a room but could not be an active participant in any of the sharing or contributing in which it allows you to do. After my partner did some research we discovered that it was because I didn't have the current flash player downloaded on my computer. Once I did that 40 second task, I was able and ready to go contribute.
This program allows to to do video recording, free phone conferencing, you can add screen shots, files and draw directly on the material you are all sharing. Although our group has not "formally" met through this site yet I feel that after playing around on it, it is an easy, useful tool to collaborate online with colleagues and group partners.
The tip I would like to share is for Geography/Social Studies teachers. In the past my students have struggled reading maps and with learning cardinal directions. A tool that I have recently incorporated into my map lessons i Google Maps and Google Street View. As a class I showed students how to look up addresses. Then I demonstrated how they could virtually walk down the street using the Street View option. We used the program in an assignment where students had to describe how to get from one place to another using cardinal directions.
I have also used the Street View function to show students what it is like in other cities and countries. It is like taking a virtual field trip. My students loved using this and they even ask if we can use the program more often.
Happy Teaching everybody!