We just completed 2 intense days of technology training for over 180 people (and only half were from our school!). We had several higher education representatives from more than 3 institutions in attendance as well.  It was a fast, crazy, wonderful experience.  I am overwhelmed, not by the information per say, but by the collaboration and teamwork displayed throughout the two days and the learning and personal growth taking place. I witnessed first hand how powerful sharing knowledge is, and how important it is to have time to share ideas and learn from others.  We had more than 17 teachers involved in teaching, and 6 outside instructors who came to share their knowledge as well, not to mention the wonder staff who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this a very successful two days.

The amount of planning, and coordination that it took to have a summer technology camp for educators is daunting, and there are too many thank you’s to be said to mention individuals, so I will just say THANKS to everyone who helped, taught, participated, and worked behind the scenes to make this summer training a wonderful experience for all those in attendance.  The entire team should be proud of their accomplishments and know the ripple effect from this training will continue to change the lives of teachers, students and school districts for a long time to come.

My ideas for the next blog are running crazy!  Let me know what was your favorite class, idea, or moment during the two days!

Posted by: Paula Lenox | August 7, 2010

Museum Box

I came across this wonderful tool via a suggestion by a member in my Duquesne IT Doctoral Cohort (Thanks Tammy!), and again in the most recent Leading and Learning Magazine. I have yet to use this tool, but I believe it has application across grade levels and the curriculum for students to think critically, organize knowledge and learning.  This tool provides a platform for students to create their own digital research projects, interactive presentation or just simply a visual way for students to organize their knowledge.  The power of including not only text, but video, audio, documents, links, images and PowerPoints is something that should be explored!

To get a good understanding of the power of this tool take some time and look at the Museum Box on Stonehenge or the Artifacts on Abolition recommended by the L & L article.

What types of projects can you do with this tool?  Depending on the age and ability level of your students, you can start with simple one layer boxes to get student started with inserting artifacts about any topic you are studying.  Other ideas:

  • Research project
  • Writing assignment to support an argument – make a Museum Box instead!
  • Collection of student learning throughout the school year
  • Historical event presentation
  • Presentation on a Famous or historical person
  • Science concept understanding
  • Geography Project
  • Social issues
  • Artifacts for a debate

This list is just scratching the surface.  Post your ideas or comments to share!  I would love to hear your stories about how you use this tool in your classroom.

Posted by: Paula Lenox | August 6, 2010

Microsoft Who? Meet Google Documents

I have been crazy busy getting ready for the start of the school year and preparing for our second annual Summer Technology Camp for teachers.  I am so excited about the topics, presenters and the abundance of attendees!  I cannot wait.

One of the courses we are offering is titled: Microsoft Who?  Meet Google Documents!  I am looking forward to sharing some great instructional strategies for teachers.  Google Documents is so much more than just a web-based word processor.  There are Forms, Presentations, Spreadsheets and the capacity to upload files of ANY type now!  For today lets just talk about the use of Google Documents – or the word processor tool.

There are many personal reasons to consider using Google documents.

  • Personal productivity – keep all your important documents here so you can access them from any Internet enabled computer
  • Communication and collaboration with coworkers, peers and your Personal Learning Network

There are many positive Instructional Strategies that can be implemented in the classroom with students:

  • Note taking (individual and/or shared)
  • Writing assignments – peer editing or teacher editing
  • Student collaborative project – use to brainstorm and write collaboratively
  • debate
  • getting to know you – start your year with this
  • journal writing
  • Book Review

These are just a few of the ideas you can use Google Document with.  I found a great resource on LiveBinders (one of my new favorite resources).  Click here to Check it out!

Come back soon to find out about the other parts of Google Documents – Forms, Spreadsheets and Presentations!  And, as always, don’t hesitate to leave me a message or share your ideas!

Posted by: Paula Lenox | July 29, 2010

LibriVox

Making public domain books (works not covered by copyright) free in audio format is the goal of LibriVox since 2005.  Volunteers record chapters of books which are released to the public for free.   Students can listen to the files on the computer or it can be put on an mp3 player. Some of  the work you can find include authors such as Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe or James Joyce,  and Jane Austen, to name just a few.

Why audio books?  Encourage the reluctant reader to become immersed in literature, or assist students with reading difficulties, comprehension issues or vision problems who might need the extra assistance provided by audio books.

If you enjoy reading, have students who need encouraged to try new types of literature or just want a change of pace take a look at LibriVox.  If you are passionate about reading, and want to share your talents, join their team and volunteer to read some chapters.

Posted by: Paula Lenox | July 28, 2010

Jog the Web

I often see students searching the Internet using tools such as Google.  Now, don’t get me wrong, Google is an excellent search tool, but the results list provides a tremendous amount of websites and students often have difficulty sorting through the list to find valid, reliable information.  How nice would it be to have a tool that guides students on their search, takes them to websites, you as a teacher have selected and determined to be good sources of information?!  Jog The Web, is such a tool.

JOG the web is best for those project where you want the students to visit specific websites in a predetermined order.  The creator of the JOG can leave questions, or comments with each slide to guide the learning process.  Recently I created a Web 2.0 JOG that I used during a lesson for graduate students.  My ultimate goal was to not only have a quick and easy presentation, but to have a tool that students could use on their own for independent learning or use to review topics after class.

JOG the web, reminds me of setting up a WebQuest for students.  WebQuests can be a powerful learning tool for students to explore a concept independently or in small groups.  True WebQuests support learners as they explore open ended questions to solve an authentic task and develop a rich expertise with opportunities to reflect on their own metacognative processes.

You need to take a look at a JOG to truly understand the power of this tool.  Take a JOG with me through WEB 2.0 ideas! (click on the link).

After you take your JOG, come back and let me know what you think!

Posted by: Paula Lenox | July 23, 2010

Linoit

Linoit is a great tool to use in the classroom, similar to wallwisher.  You start with a blank canvas that you can select a background for, then you can post stickies, upload pictures, documents, make links to other websites.  I started this one to highlight our Summer Technology Professional Camp (August 11 & 12, 2010).

I

As a classroom teacher you can use this as your message board for your class, you can use the calendar for reminders and there is a feature to set due dates and receive email reminders if you want.   I do like the visual nature of this web tool and the ease of use and set up, it took only a few minutes to get started!

As with any web2.0 tool make sure you only post information you want people to see and do not post private information.  Linoit has a decent FAQ page and I found some great ideas and got a better understanding of the tool by reviewing it.  After reading their protocol, I recommend using this setting:

set the publicity “Public” + unchecked “List on Public Canvases” checkbox
- They won’t be listed on the Public Canvases on dashboard and the Popular Canvases (http://linoit.com/public/popular).
- Users and guests can see the canvases with the canvas URL (give this out to your students, group or parents)
- Canvas URL can be modified by changing canvas name (incase you did not like your first canvas name).

I think this is a tool you can find many uses for – perhaps you can use the same list of ideas here as with Wallwisher?  I wonder which you will find more useful?  We should have a “Throwdown” technology style!

Posted by: Paula Lenox | July 22, 2010

Wallwisher

Wallwisher is a web 2.0 tool you can use in your classroom for a multitude of activities.  It is essentially a web page where people can post their thoughts, ideas, concerns, likes, dislikes in a sticky note.  Wallwisher limits your sticky to 160 characters, so your comment must be succinct. You can log in with your gmail account, so you don’t have to create another account and try to remember your username and password!  Below is a demo wall provided by Wallwisher.

What are the applications for a program such as this?

  • To do list
  • KWL charting
  • Categorizing or create a venn diagram
  • Collect feedback
  • Have student post questions
  • Debate
  • Scavenger hunt for photos representing a math/geometry concept
  • Student book reviews
  • Student pledge on Earth Day
  • 100th day of school activity
  • Post goals for the year
  • 97 things to do before I graduate (bucket list)
  • Post websites or resources for student projects

This list is of course just a short list of suggestions.  Please let us know how you have used Wallwisher in your classroom, I would love to hear from you!  There are many more ideas to come!

Posted by: Paula Lenox | July 21, 2010

iEtherpad

Are you looking for that classroom tool to keep your kids on task while in the computer lab?  Collaboration in the 21st Century workplace is more common than you might think.  EtherPad is one of many great tools (we will look at others this year!) you can use in the classroom.  Like Google Documents, EtherPad provides your class with a forum for collaboration, but it takes that collaboration to a higher point by providing a chat window, and color coding what student types in what information, you get a clearer picture of what students are on task, who has a solid grasp on the topic and who might be missing the boat.  Multiple people can enter text into the window and you see instantly what others are typing.

What caught my attention was the ability to review the timeline of what was typed into the pad.

So what is a teacher to do with a tool like this?

  • Think – Pair – Share – group students in pairs and have the anonymously debate a topic and come up with a resolution
  • Small group discussion
  • Creative writing  assignment
  • Class story
  • Share taking notes and post to a class wiki (Scribe)
  • Share note taking from Content area textbook

This is just a handful of ideas, I am sure you can find other ways to use this tool with your class.  Stop back and share your experiences!

Posted by: Paula Lenox | July 20, 2010

Quizlet

Imagine you have access to hundreds or thousands of created flashcards to study with or you can create your own flashcard sets to share with your students.  Quizlet lets you do just that.  With a free account you can create fun powerful study tools for your students.  

Quizlet gives you five ways (modes) to study:

  1. Familiarize
  2. Learn
  3. Test – short answer, matching, MC, T/F
  4. Scatter – matching game
  5. Space Race – race the clock

As a classroom teacher you can create flashcard sets for your students, providing a quick easy way to differentiate instruction in your classroom (create sets for remedial work, on target work and advanced work).   You can monitor the work and progress of your students.  If you don’t have time to create a class set you can find sets created by other teachers.  Students can create their own sets as well.

What sets are already created you ask? Well, let me give you a few ideas (this is a VERY incomplete list by the way ):

  • Books (Animal Farm, Beowulf, Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mocking Bird etc.)
  • Music (CLassical Music, Jazz, Piano, Music History, etc. )
  • Visual Arts ( Art History, Artists, Sculpture, etc.)
  • Authors ( Dante, Dickens, Homer, Poe, etc.)
  • Literature ( Essays, Fiction, Manga, Plays, etc)
  • Parts of Speech ( Adjectives, Grammar, Nouns, Verbs, etc)
  • Languages
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Health Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Earth Sciences
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • History, Countries, Regions, Cities, Civics, etc.
  • Standardized Tests (GMAT, GRE, LSAT, Driver Ed, ACT, SAT, AP – Bio, English, Chemistry… etc)
  • Professional and Careers

Ok, I think  you get the picture!  This is a great resource for teachers of all content areas, and all grade levels!  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Posted by: Paula Lenox | July 8, 2010

VACATION

I will be taking a short vacation from blogging and my project 365.  I hope to enjoy my week at OBX and catch up on my 5 graduate classes.  Check Back after July 20 for Day 16!  I hope you are all enjoying your summer.

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.