Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tool #6: Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion in and out of the Classroom

I created a Skype account (Skype name is avilesf126141).  Skype is described as an easy way for teachers to open up their classroom to "meet new people, talk to experts, share ideas and create amazing learning experiences with teachers around the world."After reading this description of the Skype service, I immediately thought of how much fun it would be for my students to talk to experts and share ideas.  I plan on taking full advantage of this feature as a post learning enrichment.  

I also created an account on the online social networking site Twitter.  Twitter enables its users to create and read text based messages up to 140 characters long.   I plan on using Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news and information about topics I am interested in.   I am currently following the Discovery Channel, Steve Wozniak, Spring Branch ISD, MacWorld, Fountas and Pinnel,  Bill Gates and the US Department of Education.  I can't wait to read what Fountas and Pinnell are up to!!  ;)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tool #5: Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

I signed up for Animoto Lite to create free 30 second videos.  Animoto is designed to create cool video pieces from photos, video clips and music. My first thought was to use Animoto to introduce a specific genre of reading (i.e. Classic Tales).  An introduction to a reading genre using an Animoto video full of pictures of story characters is bound to get students excited about upcoming reading.  

Make a video of your own at Animoto.

I visited the Wordle website to learn how to generate a word cloud from text. The clouds highlight words that appear more frequently in the source text. The word cloud can be printed out and used before, during, and after reading to highlight specific word families (i.e. past tense words ending in "ed").

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tool #4: Moving Up to the Clouds

I created a Google Doc titled 2012-1013 SPED Students.  I shared this document with the SPED team.  We should think about replacing our current SPED student info. spreadsheet with a Google Docs version.  This would help keep one accurate form instead of different versions. 

I've inserted the Google Docs in Plain English video (just for practice).

Tool #3: Finding Online Video and Image Resources

I visited YouTube, TeacherTube, SchoolTube and KidsTube.  Out of these four sites, I found SchoolTube to have the most to offer.  The user interface and structure of the site made it easy to explore and find videos.  The site offers videos created by students and teachers about everything, and the site offers the opportunity for teachers to share lessons, projects, and ideas with other teachers.   Using the site students can see what other students around the world are doing.  

I found the two videos below using SchoolTube.  
The video below contains basic information about the Singapore Math program.  Check it out!

Do you ever forget how to spell the word do?  Check out this video!

For more Kindergarten Sight Word Songs, visit http://www.heidisongs.com/

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education video was helpful for explaining fair use of material.  Basically, the Copyright Act of 1976 states that we can not use a quote or copyrighted material without permission or paying a license fee.

I created a Dropbox account and added some files to the box.  The YouTube video What is Dropbox? gave a very good description of the advantages of using Dropbox. We can use Dropbox as a "magic pocket" a single secure place for all of our stuff.  Classroom teachers can create a classroom account that you could sign into on all of the devices in the classroom. Students would then have access to the Dropbox to see images and projects that have been created.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tool 2: Building Community in the Online Environment!

The 10 Ways to Increase Comment Numbers on Your Blog article was an interesting read.  This will take some time to get used to and master.  I’m not one to leave comments on a blog since I’m not comfortable sharing my thoughts publicly.  I visited a few blogs and signed up for both a Diigo account and the Google Reader.  I am a news junkie so I know I will enjoy the Google Reader feeds. 
I plan on visiting the http://www.appleinsider.com/ news site and have subscribed to the site’s feed on Google Reader to get the latest news and rumors about my favorite technology company.