Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tool #11

1. I like the communication potentials of Skype for the classroom. I will continue to use this tool to collaborate and plan this campus's ongoing residency with Dr. John O'Flahavan.

2. I need to add this to the list of tools I have available to me as I plan my instruction so I can gain and share information with my students. As with any tool however, I need to be judicious with its use and determine if it is the most effective way to support and extend my students thinking. I will not need to change my classroom, within my current setting I will not be receiving any additional devices to use with my students.

3. No, there weren't any outcomes that surprised me.

Tool #10

1. I would want my students to understand that they need to be careful before they put any personal information on the internet. I would also want them to know that not all information they find on the internet is true. I would also want them to know that the same rules for copyright and plagiarizing apply on the internet as well.

2. I really liked the BrainPop videos, and I would like to use these to introduce my students to digital citizenship.

3. I would teach digital citizenship every time my students use the internet. The students need to learn good habits when it comes to using the internet. We would discuss how to be safe online during whatever activity we were planning on doing.

4. I would want the parents to be sure that their kids are being safe online and to suggest that they reinforce this while the student is at home. This could be presented either by sending a letter home or by discussing it at a curriculum night.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tool #9

#1. Ultimately, technology is a tool for learning, not THE learning. No matter what tools the teacher is using we need to remember what we are teaching. We still need to be responsible for the information our students are learning. We need to make sure that we use the technology because it is relevant and it will enhance the learning, not because we feel the need to use technology.

#2. I think students need to be held accountable 100% of the time, which would include stations/centers. In a workshop setting, the teacher needs to be able to work productively with small groups. The students need to be engaged in purposeful activities to enhance their knowledge of the content or provide them with additional opportunities to practice and gain fluency in the knowledge.

#3. Since I only work in a small group setting, students are engaged in actual reading work the entire time. They have opportunities to use these devices within their center time when they are in their classrooms.

#4. I am hesitant to use apps on the iPad/iPod Touch with my students because the students tend to focus on playing a game rather than the concept behind the learning. There is an abundance of phonics apps out there that are little more than glorified phonics worksheets. Shooting at letters isn't any better than circling a letter on a worksheet. These apps can be far less useful than time spent reading and learning how letters and sounds work within authentic text. Apps like ABC Long Vowel Words and Phonics Genius offer no instruction, forcing kids to either guess or just practice being wrong over and over again.

#5. I could see a student using these devices for research. If we were reading a book on volcanoes for example, these devices could be handy for the student to research background knowledge on the subject. Unfamiliar subjects come up often during reading, and students would be able to get the information they need quickly.

Tool #8

As an intervention specialist, I am not receiving any devices for my classroom. I know the classroom teachers and other specialists are excited to have these devices available to support their students' learning.

Tool #7

Again, within an intervention setting, I would not be able to dedicate time to this purpose. However, as a classroom teacher I could see many opportunities for students to engage with a larger learning community.

A. Content Objective: TLW engage in discussions with other students about books they are reading within book clubs in order to enhance their individual comprehension.
B. When you plan to implement: In a classroom setting, I would plan to implement this in late fall once classroom procedures and routines have been established.
C. What tools you plan to use: Google Docs and Skype
D. A brief description of the plan: Initially, I would need to support my students in the use of dialogue journals as a response to reading. Once students understood the expectations of this form of a reading response and had seen a variety of models, then they would be paired with another student in a different class to "dialogue" with via Google Docs as they read their book. Skype could eventually be incorporated as a way to create virtual book clubs as the students reading the same text discussed the book at various intervals.
E. Other classrooms: Since I cannot do this, that isn't an issue for me. If I were to do this, I would look to do this with a class in a different setting (location) to increase the opportunities for unique perspectives to add to the group's thinking and conversation.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tool #6

I have used both Google Docs and Skype to plan and reflect on our ongoing residency with a national consultant. We have used Skype to connect the consultant with the classroom teachers in order to brainstorm and plan for the exploration lessons designed for their students. This year, we will also use Skype sessions to debrief our next steps after each of his visits. In addition, we have used Google Docs to share our thoughts and responses to the residency with our colleagues in order to bring closure to a visit.

Both Google Docs and Skype facilitate ongoing communication between our campus/literacy team and the consultant. Skype, in particular, has helped to streamline the communication and planning process and eliminate the time delays in planning that typically occur via email.

Tool #5

As an intervention specialist, I work only with students who are struggling. Our time together is limited, and I need to dedicate as much time as possible to actual reading work.

In a classroom setting, teachers and students would have more time and flexibility to create these types of products. Wordle, for example, could be used to articulate key words and important ideas from a text, but I would expect my students to provide the content, rather than allowing them to copy and paste.

Wordle: Allington

I would not recommend for the purpose of reading because it does not enhance or deepen the reader's understanding of what they have read. It could, however, be used to advertise a time period being studied in social studies, a geographic feature, or some other concept that would allow students to reflect their own learning using the poster.

Tool #4

I definitely see opportunities to use Google Apps to create graphic organizers. I have used Google Docs in the past, and I love being able to collaborate in real-time. It is much easier than back and forth emails. I had never used Google Forms before, but it was very simple and user-friendly. It is much quicker to use than Word if I ever need to create any kind of form in the future.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tool #3

Due to the nature of small group reading instruction, I have limited opportunities to use video streaming with students. However, I have utilized YouTube on a variety of occasions to plan and present a variety of staff development presentations. Below are introductory videos on earthquakes and pioneer life. I might share these with my students prior to reading a book on the subject. These can be helpful to build background knowledge prior to reading.

I found the copyright videos very informative, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't learn a few things. I never knew there was a parameter on Google Images that finds images available for reuse! I will also be sure to look at some of the other sites mentioned instead of defaulting to using Grab from now on.

I've had a Dropbox account for the last 2 years, and it has become a valuable resource for document sharing across a group of teachers who are hundreds of miles apart. 

Tool #2

I found several interesting blogs throughout this process. I visited The Fischbowl and read several thought-provoking articles and commented on one as well to keep the discussion going. 

I also went to Technology Tidbits to learn about several new ways to integrate technology and education. Hopefully, I will find an opportunity to use these tools further in the classroom.

Visiting my co-workers blogs was a new experience to me. The public nature of commenting is not very concerning to me, but just a new experience. Ms M's Blog was very helpful! She often guided me through this whole process! Thanks!

Mrs. Rabel's 4th Grade Class Blog is very well done and enjoyable to read! 

Hopefully forming a PLN will pay off for me in the future and prove to be a vital tool in my instruction. I can see how over time it will definitely add to my knowledge in my subject area. Thanks for reading!