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Good afternoon everyone!
Two sites that I like to use to incorporate technology through language arts are http://www.readwritethink.org/ (read, write, think) and http://storybird.com/ (storybird). I love teaching language arts to my primary students, especially if it is fun, creative and hands on! These are two really great websites that have ideas for interactive learning. Students in any grade can benefit from storybird, which is a program that students can use to digitally publish their poems, stories and other types of writing! It will make students feel proud and excited about the writing process :) Enjoy!
Set up a private wiki for yourself! Use it to keep track of websites and online resources beyond book marks. Make different pages for different aspects of your life (parent, educator, student) or by interest topic (bread baking, quilting), or whatever you choose. It makes it easy to share just what you want w/ other people too!
I agree with the endless possiblities that Voice Thread provides in the eduational setting. I have to agree that a drawback to living in a Web 2.0 world, is that face to face interaction is sometimes limited or eliminated due to technology. I find it hard to make sure I incorporate the appropriate amount of technology in my classroom, while still allowing students to learn how socially interact face to face.
I recently learned about using Wiki's in the classroom and found is one way that I have been able to balance this. Specifically, I assigned a group project for my World History students, assigning groups to a specific dictator of WWII. I created a Wiki space for groups to share information, ideas, to do lists ect. for completing their group project outside of my classroom. Wiki spaces allow for students to collaborate on documents, without the hassel of emailing links or invitations to documents. Now students can use technology, but still have to interact face to face to complete the final project.
Have you heard of Kerpoof?? I discovered this site a few months ago when working to implement digital storytelling in my classroom, and I still cannot believe how well the site engages my students!! As an educator, you can sign up for a FREE account for your classroom. Then, by simply typing in a list of ID names for each student, every child in your classroom will also have an individual account as part of your classroom account.
Through Kerpoof, students can create digital stories using backgrounds, clip art of people and objects, their own drawings, word bubbles, and text boxes. Students can also use the website to create movies, drawings, pictures, and cards. For younger grades, the "Spell a Picture" tool helps students develop spelling skills. I have also used Kerpoof drawing tools for students to summarize a topic we are studying (for example, Solar System or Tall Tales), or to illustrate their vocabulary words. For more ideas on how to use Kerpoof in the classroom, check out the suggested lesson plans on their website - http://www.kerpoof.com/teach?c=lesson_plans.
The three best things I've found about Kerpoof...
1.) It allows for an authentic audience for student work. Students can publish their creations to class message boards (which can be moderated by the teacher), talk about their work in a class chat room, and share their work with the Kerpoof public. Any creations can also be saved to the computer or sent to an email address to share with family members!
2.) The more work that students complete on Kerpoof, the more "Koins" they earn. These Koins can then be spent in the Kerpoof stores to buy new characters for stories, pens for drawing, music for movies, and other goodies. My students get so excited when they see their Kerpoof bank account increasing for every page they add to digital stories. Talk about motivation!
3.) Safety. Moderators check stories, drawings, etc. before publishing them. The website automatically does not let students type inappropriate language into stories, and it deletes last names when it recognizes that a student has typed their first and last name.
CEP811, Spring 2011
My tip is using delicious.com
A basic use for this tool is saving bookmarks for access on any computer. Most people use the bookmark tool on their browser to save websites for future use. For along time I did the same thing. The problem was I had a computer at home an at school. Without using that computer, I wouldn't have access to my bookmarks. When working at home I would always need a bookmark off the computer at school. Besides the basic intended use for this tool it can be used for other purposes. For example, it could be used for a resource page or a "for more information" link for a variety of audiences. Finally, it could be used in a classroom. The teacher would put together a variety of bookmarks for assignments and games. The page can be made public and students would be able to choose an activity off the page. This is really helpful with younger students, making it easy for them to get to the game they want to play. The link could also be sent home and students could work on assignments or play games.
I was explaining the Stair Design creation that we have to make in PowerPoint and a friend of mine said that they had seen something similar, but for a Jeopardy Game. Buttons were created in columns under different headings and each button had a points value on it and each button lead to a question.
I thought this was a really clever way to use the Stair Design idea and would be really great for a substitute teacher. It would be really easy to set it up and have the substitute run a class game or if a computer lab is available have partners play against each other.
Another way that I thought to utilize this concept, but for my younger grades who couldn't really read any of the Spanish, was to record my voice over a picture and each time the child clicked on the picture they would hear how to say it. I'm constantly struggling with ways to make sure that my students are still hearing Spanish when I am absent and there are so few substitutes who can speak Spanish. This is a really great way, that can be transferred to other languages or even other subjects.
This is a wonderful tool that can be used by all ages. I have seen it used with kindergartners who drew a picture and explained it and fifth graders to explain a long division math problem. Going along with the digital storytelling idea: I happen to fall in love with Storybird. The illustrations are already there, you just add the words. It is wonderful for telling a story based on pictures or already having a picture in mind and having to find the right pictures. Such a neat website!
I have yet to use this in my own classroom, but for our assignment we had to create one. As I was creating it, I started thinking. My mind was racing of various ideas and ways to use this. So I started wondering...has anyone used a wikispace in their classroom? How have you used it? My thinking was that it would be a wonderful discussion forum. It could also be be used for groups projects and for groups to collaborate. My school is really big on centers. I was thinking it could be a wonderful center. It could have a historical picture and the students could collectively write a story. From a mathematical perspective, students could write word problems and allow others to solve them. Wikispaces can open a whole new realm of communication within a community. I can't wait to experiment and see where it goes!
One tip I recommend while using Explore Learning online simulations, is providing students with the study guide provided for the simulations. My suggestion though, especially if students are working individually or in small groups, is to break down the study guide into smaller steps and scaffold the activity and task using Cornell Notes. This helped clarify the directions and break them into manageable chunks allowing students to work through the tasks in more of a checklist manner as opposed to reading an overwhelming list of instructions to complete the task. Additionally, this helped with assessing and evaluating what students turned in since it provided more structure and guided students to document what needed to be showed.