Sunday, July 18, 2010

:: Tool 11 Reflections

1. I like all of them. In all my blogs I did comment how I will apply them in the classroom. For the beginning of the year I want to plan to introduce this tools to my students as well as talk about the Digital Citizenship expected for the year.

2. I think learning is going to be totally engaging. I am sure that our students will love technology. Nowadays, this is the least that we can do for our students in order to set them ready for their everyday life. It is a must, I am glad the district is coming up with this.

3. Diing, google docs and google reader surprised me. I was not aware of the tool and I find it extremely helpful.

Friday, July 16, 2010

:: Tool 11

I would use brainpop and the lesson plans included in this website:, specifically I like the idea of giving different scenarios to students so they can evaluate and create their own conclusions about the concept, importance and uses of digital citizenship.

I would like them to have clear ALL the components from this chart. In summary:

Literacy: How do you know if a source is reliable? Always keep yourself asking where the information is coming from. How do you know if this is a source that you can trust?

Safety: How can you protect from the web? What are the risks that you can face when using this tools?

Etiquette: Not cyber bullying and also how to share with and help your class.

Learning Strategies: What is what you look for and what is the best format to use?

These components would need to be taught permanently and we should integrate them to our lessons through the school year when appropriate. Students need to experience and see the connections as they get expertize in technology. The same way we build good citizenship by following canons and standards of behavior, the same way we will build digital citizenship.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

:: Tool 10

1. Discuss some of the free educational apps you reviewed.

Weather Bug
It shows live, local weather conditions and forecasts . I also includes National Weather Service
alerts, radar maps with zoom feature, etc.

USA Fact book
All 50 US states facts with description. It tells USA basic facts about the country in general.

Hear Planet
It delivers location information around the world.

3D Sun
It shows images and videos from the Sun in 3D.

There are so many applications that I am sure that everyday I will find something else for our students. I would apply this tools according to the lesson given. For example, when talking about the Sun our Star, they can interact with the I-Phones and find interesting facts.

All this applications could be use in my classroom either during Math or Science time and as a workstation.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

:: Tool 9

For now, I can think of using Jing when students create their projects (power point, video, photo story...) If questions come and I am with another student they can try to see if they get their answer by following a Jing video that can guide them through the steps to follow in order to complete their projects. Basically it will be a tool to make clear procedures.

I am not very sure how would I use Skype in the classroom. I was thinking as a parent link but not all the families in our community have computers/internet. Maybe we could communicate with other 4th grade classrooms in the districts and have students share...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

:: Tool 8

I found this video at Hulu which was easier to use than teacher tube. It is very short but explains clearly the Greenhouse Effect. I could use it as an engagement activity before the lesson.

I also found this video about Destructive Forces. Students can have a clear idea of the meaning of Destructive Forces. I like videos as a preview or closure in my lessons as long as they are not too long.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

:: Tool 7

I enjoyed creating this video. The process of researching about the topic I chose was very interesting. Students will create critical thinking when selecting information and creating their videos. These products apply definitely high level of thinking questions. My only concern is the time, how are we going to include this amazing lessons in our lesson plans? Is the district supporting planning and technology at some degree? Do the directors of each subject (Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies...) are aware of our teaching expectations?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

:: Tool 6

I would like to use wikis with my students to have a Friday reflection of the 3 classes, like a journal where they can share what was their favorite topic or activity of the week in Science/Social Studies.

As classroom we create a Science wiki where all students can comment and reflect on other students work. We could upload their classwork or even a journal sample as part of CCP where they can consume and critique.

As a school we could save time and resources (paper) in our faculty meetings by discussing topics on wikis instead of writing on post it notes or stickers. Our meetings would be shorter and everybody would be able listen/read our opinions which make things easier when for tutorials or another reason we cannot attend the meetings.

As a team, sometimes when we have field trips we could use a wiki to communicate with the team instead of email.

So, to finish I have a question. What is the difference between Google Docs and a Wiki? As far as I understand both are collaborative authorship documents. Please, if you can clarify this to me I would really appreciate it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

:: Tool 5

Two New Websites...

I used the tags: animals protection, nutrition and health.

I loved this tool. I thing it is my favorite so far because it really filters the information and shows very good websites. I joined Diigo because our students can benefit from highlighting important information and making comments about it. A lot of critical thinking!!!

I could use this tool in the classroom by sharing with the students articles about Science and assign students to give their opinion, evaluate other people opinions and why not, creating their own group. Although at the same time I like the idea of creating groups online, I am a little concern about our students privacy. It is a big responsibility for us, teachers, having our students exploring and sharing, joining and commenting in blogs. I hope I am not being paranoid I know that we have to keep our education with the latest technology and I support it. But I would like to get some "online ethics for kids".

Any ideas or resources available? I will check on Diigo but I would appreciate your feedback as well.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

:: Tool 4

I think that both gadgets: Google Docs and Google Reader are helpful in saving time and effort for teachers checking on students work, organizing documents and writing feedback; and for students checking on their work, storing their assignments and organizing their projects in general.

Students have their own space to write and share. Having their documents this way allow them to have feedback from the content area teacher, other teachers and from other students and community interested in general.

In our case, having a classroom that is departmentalized, a tool like this will allow us to share and see our students' performance in all content areas. We could all have a comment about it and reinforce us as a team where students see that we are involved in all what they do academically. Both tools can be used by students and teachers. It personalizes the way we deliver and receive instruction.

Monday, June 14, 2010

:: Tool 3

I created a wordle and a mosaic. The wordle can help students to find author's purpose in a text, they can also criticize and find out what is important for them after writing a document. It is a tool that helps to find the values and purposes in the written format. I could use it for Social Studies for samples of letters of important people to determine their purpose and function in a specific period of time.

The mosaic in this case is a thematic unit on birds where students can identify adaptations. I can use it also to play guessing games. Mosaics can be done in Science to represent habitats, biomes, moon phases, etc.

Students could create this projects and explain them to the class. I think there are many other ways to use these applications. Can you think of some?

:: Laura

Sunday, June 13, 2010

:: Tool 2

About the Personal Learning Network...
I am excited about thinking that our students would be getting prepared for a generation where the communication is beyond boundaries; having access to other points of views from people all around the world is a positive income that would create not only their learning in a specific topic but a deep apreciation and open mindness that would help them to understand their surroundings. Having a classroom like this opens the door to parents, other teachers, students and people that together create a huge community of learners where every single member is responsible of his own learning and teachers would only help them develop that learning or increase their motivation to active participate in the process.

About the commenting advice...
Rewarding comments can entice students to participate more. I think that is related to being humble and acknowledge everybody's thinking. I also agree with making commenting easy but at the same time I like having a filter to stop comments that are not appropriate.

Five blogs that I will be following...
I am following collegues that are close to the number of tool that I am studying now. They are:

Maria Calero
Lisa Calloway
Alejandra Farias
Penne Irving
Rodolfo Martinez

Thursday, June 10, 2010

:: Tool 1

I like creating blogs and avatars nevertheless there are so many options available that by the time when "I finished" I had already spent several hours!!! And still I am thinking about exploring my options :)

I think that our students would love to interact with blogs. I am thinking about Socials Studies for example as a tool to open discussions about a specific topic where students can express their thinking and defend their posture. In Science it would be a great journal to keep their entries about the week.