Thursday, 2 February 2012

Technology Showcase Jan 27

In addition to presenting at the tech showcase (see post below), I was also able to attend a session on the Livescribe Pen and Bit Strips. I was able to use my pen and get a taste of what the livescribe can do and how it can be used in the classroom. I think it is an amazing tool, but it needs to be used in numbers. No more then a group of 4 can use the pen to its full potential. For literacy, its a great tool for wordwalls, literacy circles, and to assist those students who have trouble processing oral information. Below is a pencast that the presenters Lisa Molnar and Krystal Kay created for us.

In the bitstrips session that I attended I got a bunch more then just bitstrips. Below are some weblinks the presenters shared with us, that are great tools for everyone to use!

This website was one of the coolest discoveries of the day! It is very similar to google docs, but it is a real time document. It's ideal for teachers because the students are given a totally random link (preventing just anyone from joining) and each student that enters is given a different colour. This allows us to see what the students are writing (great for seeing who is contributing in group work) and for assessment!

 Soungle and Royalty Free Music
Are websites where you can download sound effects and music. They are free and are licensed

Is a fun website that a student shared with one of the presenters. It appears you can do a lot with the website, you just have to play around with it.


Technology Showcase- Digital Storytelling

Last Friday, I attended the technology showcase at Brock! I had a wonderful time, I presented on digital storytelling in the classroom As promised, here area list of the digital story telling websites we talked about and many we didn't look at!
A website which allows for students avatars to read written work back to them.

A comic resource for those of us who don't have access to bit strip

Upload your work and record your own voice

Record your voice and manipulate the photos mouth

Digital Storytelling- write your words and upload your drawings

A picture slideshow with running commentary. Upload your photos and write captions about them to tell your story

A pop-up book for story telling

upload a picture and write a blurb describing your photo adventure

Create Cartoons!

Sketch your own comics

Great for the P/J/I

Digital Storytelling website (see post below)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Scribblitt...heard of it?

 Scribblitt what a wonderful children's story website! I created a children's story assignment which I would give to a grade 9 or 10 class using scribblitt. I got to dabble with the tools that the website offered and discovered that its a wonderful and SAFE tool for students to use.
-If your under the age of 13 you need a parents email in order to join the website.
-You are required to create a pen name, which allows your students to keep their personal information safe
-You can choose to post your story to the public library, which only scribblitt members can view
-The website allows you to write a traditional story, an illustration story, or a comic strip
-The website offers pre-writing activities and brainstorming ideas for the students to use
-It even gives you the option to publish your stories and get the "experts" opinions on your writing 

The limits:
-You can only professionally print them in the states
-All of your students would need to create a scribblitt account
-Internet access and access to computers is essential if you want to use it in the classroom

If you would like to check out my scribblitt, it's in the public library under "Children's Story: Unit 3"

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Me and My VAT

My technology class had us link up with a Virtual Associate Teacher (VAT) for the semester. I chose to partner up with Anne Shillolo @AnneShillolo. I joined twitter so I could get my feet wet and start swimming in the social networking world. I made contact with Anne through my twitter account, and discovered that she would often tweet out new blog posts or resources that she found. It was really neat to follow her blog and keep up to date with what she was implementing in her classroom. October became a busy month (report cards) and Anne was constantly keeping her colleagues up to date with new technological devices.  While I was looking for new resources Doug Peterson made a posting about the Brock Students in Zoe's class and our blog posts. It was fascinating for me to see my own materials on his blog. I was so excited to see how he was pushing for fellow educators to take all of us new teachers under their wings that I began following Doug's digital footprint. I began following Doug's blog every day (he makes new posts very very frequently) in addition to following him on twitter. I used many of the sites that Doug and Anne offered in their blogs on my Google Site.  I was so happy to have found such great techno-savy people to add to my list of contacts.

Me and My Virtual Associate Teacher by HollowayKm on StorybirdI will be presenting my experiences with my VAT to my class next Tuesday. I made this short picture storybird to share with everyone. I'll be telling my own story to follow along with the pictures. 

I'd just like to say thanks to Anne, Doug, and Zoe for being so open and sharing what they know with all of us new teachers! 

Friday, 25 November 2011

Google Site

Hello Friends,

For my technology class we had to create a Google Site which could be used a resource. My Google Site, Holloway's History is a resource geared towards an audience of teachers or teacher candidates. When we started creating the site I thought I would like to make a history webpage, but found out that my first placement would be in a World Religions classroom. I decided that I didn't have enough background knowledge to create a website for a World Religions class and instead I wanted to share my resources with the teaching world so they may use them in their own classrooms.

Holloway's History can be used to enhance student learning in the classroom because it is a site where resources can be found in one place. Under the resource tab I've listed a variety of websites which have been created by Canadian teachers and approved by the Ministry of Ontario.  In addition, to these sites, teachers will find resources which I have already used like time toast and story bird to enhance student learning. These types of websites can be used as a teaching tool, but they may also be used for student based projects! Lastly, I have listed some resources which I have gathered from other teachers (and their blogs)who are up to date in technology, namely Anne Shillio and Doug Pete.

Holloway's History does have its limitations. Being new to technology, there are many more resources out there which could be included in the site. In addition, I have not had a chance to try all of the websites in a classroom setting. I have looked at them all, but have not practiced each and every one which makes it impossible to give an accurate depiction of the websites. Furthermore, I am new to teaching and though I am proud of the lessons and the lesson plans I have created, they may not meet everyone's needs. Lastly, the lesson plans are geared toward the World Religions Class. As I teach more classes I will make sure to update the site, but for now it is limited to World Religions material.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Ed Talk: Teachers Teaching Teachers

I wanted to make sure everything was set up for my live and interactive session so I grabbed my head phones and logged on at 8:30 to make sure I was in the right place for my 9:00pm chat. Even though I was all set up I missed the first 10 minutes of the web chat, I could see what people were typing but I wasn’t receiving the video feed. I had to log off, close the chat and log back on in order to receive it, but eventually it worked. I think perhaps joining the chat before the video feed was even set up may have hindered my ability to receive it. Just goes to show how even though we can be prepared we may still hit a road block, but there are always things we can do and we must try again.

I was following more of what was being said in the chat room because it was difficult to read the chat and listen to the webcast speakers because we were often talking about two different topics. A lot of the time the chat would have moved on while the webcast people were still fixated on the subject. For the majority of the chat, the webcam speakers focused on creative commons and open educational resources (OEP). There was a large focus on the legality of taking images off the web without the permission of the photographer. We had a session similar to this in my technology class and I mentioned that it isn’t just students who aren’t siting their images, it is teachers as well. My classmates and I discovered that we don’t set an example for our students as we often take images off the web without citing them. It is a very important concept that needs to be looked into by teachers before they take these images off the web.

The most interesting part of the conversation for me was the talk about a Peer 2 Peer (P2P) class which one of the members had taken. It is a class that taken online through interactive chats and its focus is peer learning. It was a 7 session course, which has all of its materials available online to look at. The class had a variety of teaching techniques including seminars, discussions and teacher led discussions. The best part of this course is it allows teachers to take control of what they are learning. The ideas of the course come from the participants themselves. They build the course together, instead of having someone else come in a lead it. It sounds like a great idea and opportunity for people to learn in a safe environment.

I found the Ed Talk to be some-what useful. The topics discussed were interesting but I was hoping there would be more talk about technology in the classroom and what tools they were using. There were some websites which the mediator Paul Allison provided me with at the beginning of the chat when it was just the two of us. The NWPDigital Is website is a collection of ideas, reflections, and stories about what it means to teach writing in our digital, interconnected world.  The other website provided was the Peer 2 Peer website which was discussed in detail in the above paragraph.  

The Ed Talk was intimidating for me. I’ve only participated in a few live sessions and all of them were with my classmates. This talk had a group of teachers who all knew each other and met for this session weekly. They enjoy the session because it gives them the freedom to express their thoughts openly, gather more resources, and share their stories with fellow teachers across the world.  It’s a great space to have open communication between members who are seeking to learn more. The drawback to this online learning session is that often topics being discussed don’t relate to where you are teaching. I found this when the teachers were talking about badges in America. This is not taking place in Canada, so I didn’t know what they were talking about and found I wasn’t contributing.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Time Toast: Milestone Lesson Continued

After I gave the class a brief introduction to the Milestones of Islam through my Story Bird (see previous post) I showed them a made up timeline on time toast which went through the three Milestones in Islam: birth, marriage and death. Once they were able to grasp the concept that this timeline was not real and did not depict my life, they were very interactive and engaged. They really liked the photos that time toast allows you to upload. I provided the class with a graphic organizer which told them the three milestones and listed any important ceremonies within those milestones. The students were responsible for providing the details of the events.

After sharing my timeline with them, I had the class create their own timeline where they used the text and the information on their note. They had class time and were responsible fore completing the timeline for homework if it wasn't finished. It was a great lesson, which they had a lot of fun with. I loved it because I was able to explore two different technological tools in the classroom and both were met with success!