Sunday, August 8, 2010

After 11 Tools: Reflections

WOW! I can't believe I am done. Ween I began this process I was overwhelmed and didn't think that I would be able to apply many of these things on a PK campus. Boy was I wrong! I learned so many new things. Many of these things I had heard of but I either hadn't actually used them or fully understood them. Even though our students may not use these tools I certainly will and will assist teachers in using them as well. Some of my favorites for my role as the SIS were Google reader, Google docs, wikis and since getting a new bookmarking and tagging. Additionally, I plan on utilizing video resources more for the staff development I do with teachers. The most unexpected outcome for me was the digital storytelling. I hear that was the hardest tool ad that lots of people struggled with it. That is the one I think I enjoyed the most. Although I became frustrated when I could not get it to upload I turned to my techy fiends and they were able to help me. I think this was a very valuable staff development.

Tool 11: Digital Citizenship

This was a very important tool. We cannot continue to teach our students of today as we did yesterday. Their world is not the same as it once was and we have to teach them how to good citizens in today's world. Just like it shocks me to hear someone say to me "I don't text" teachers can no longer choose to simply put students on a computer with a CD Rom and say they are teaching technology. Here are some important lessons that teachers need to teach all students:

1. We have always taught children not to talk to strangers. Now we must do the same with the Internet and it must start in PK. We must teach children about keeping information private and how to protect themselves from early ages.
2. We have always taught children to be nice to each other and that words hurt. Cyberbullying and netiquette are equally as important if not more important when you think about how many more electronic transmissions occur between children today. Additionally, when something is in writing and a person cannot see body language or hear intonation it is much easier for someone to misinterpret someones message.
3. We encourage children to try new things. Some children may come in more technologically savvy then we are and other may be reluctant (as some of us may be). We must encourage them to try new things with technology and experiment. None of us can afford to be left behind and technology is changing rapidly and opens up the world to all of us.

We are living in exciting times and must throw out our old ways of teaching and teach our students using the technology of today...and tomorrow.

Tool 10: Exploring Mobile Technology and Apps

I do not have and ipod, itouch, or iphone. In fact people look at me like I have two heads when I tell them I don't even have an ipod. My 13 year old son got an itouch for Christmas and all my experience (as frustrating as some of it has been) has been through him and his device. I will say that it has an amazing amount of features, most of which he doesn't even use. This is what has made me leery of moving to the iphone (although numerous people tell me I would LOVE it). We will be getting itouches to use in our classrooms with our pk students and I am excites about it. I was able to borrow his itouch and experiment with different apps. Some apps that we will be able to use Will be include iCanWrite, memory cards and comic touch. With our young students it may be at times be challenging to find apps, but giving them opportunities to learn how to interact with the devices themselves will benefit them as they advance through school and are able to use them in a variety of ways.

Personally, I will probably be upgrading to an iphone after the first of the year and look forward to downloading the 80's hair band song game app :)

Tool 9: Sharing Information Through Jing & Skype

I played around with Jing and think it will be very helpful for myself and other teachers, however I have not figured out exactly how it could be used with PK students in the classroom. I look forward to collaborating with our teachers to see how we may be able to incorporate it.

I also played around with Skype and look forward to using it when my husband is out of the country later this year. We had already discussed learning about Skype to keep our family connected, but had not yet done so. Now I am much more familiar with it and can see how it can be incorporated into the classroom. This would allow us to communicate both professionally with other teachers across the world and with students being able to interact with other students across the world. I am REALLY looking forward to seeing how we implement this on our campus this year!

Tool 8: Video Resources

This is a wonderful tool for all students especially young students with limited life experiences and second language learners. Two videos I found helpful are:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tool 7: Digital Storytelling

I have never used photo story before, but it was awesome! I can see using this with the students and parents. Teachers can even use it to share what is going on in the classroom with parents and making DVDs to send home.

Tool 6: Wikis

Wikis are a wonderful tool that I never really understood before this tool. Now that I understand them better I can see so many different uses for them both inside and outside of the classroom. Although, i think there would be limitations as to how our students would use wikis due to there age, they could use them to gather information. For teachers this is a wonderful way to continue professional growth and sharing in addition to collaborating more effectively on projects such as team and school newsletters and the such.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tool 5: Tagging and Social Bookmarking

I absolutely loved learning about this tool. Having just bough a new computer at home I have struggled remembering and finding all of my favorites to transfer them from the old computer to the new computer. Problem solved! I joined both groups with the hopes of becoming most adept with Diigo in the future since it seems to have more possibilities. Two new sites I found were:
Both had some wonderful ideas that can be utilized in the classroom.

Tool 4: Cool Google Tools

Google Docs is the answer to one of the many of the problems I have faced in my role. Finally here is an easy way to collaborate on documents without having multiple versions floating around and making things more confusing than normal. Google Reader answers question about how to follow blogs when I am short on time. Instead of having to go to multiple blogs or web sites to catch up when I am short on time I can go to my Google reader and see what is new in one place. This will help teachers to stay on top of information quickly and easily as well as make collaboration on documents much more effective for our campus.