Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jing Project

I wanted to show an example of how I used Jing already with my school to show how to use the GoodSearch that I set up. Please click on the link below to view the example.

This can also be used to have students show their work and what they have created. Teachers can also use Jing to send video clips to students that were absent on how to do something that they missed while they were out.

IM? I Who?

I have set up an example of how students may use instant messaging at home to to work on a project. I used g-chat but many other platforms are available. Most platforms offer ways for you to send files, images, or even voice messages which can be very helpful in an educational setting. For instance students working on a project could send pictures back and forth easily on what they may add to their project. Students could also send screen shots of their work to the teacher for them to look at quickly if they set up office hours and could then chat in real time with them so that a problem may be solved faster than if it were done through e-mail.

Some businesses already use chat in their work to allow workers to collaborate easily so why not use it with students?

Wiki Wiki WaWa

So after researching a little more about wikis, I think I am going to try to use one at the beginning of the year to have students collaboratively write our science safety lab rules. This will engage the students since they will get to take part in a project that they will be able to see from home as well. I must make sure to have all of the signed permission forms back from the parents before we begin. If a student's parents feel uncomfortable with their child participating, they will complete a poster of safety rules that I had used in previous years. Since thr0ugh AACPS we are required to have password protected accounts, I have taken three screenshots of my page with what the students will be doing.

Science Rules for Before a Lab

Science Rules for While Completing a Lab

Science Rules for After Completing a Lab

One feature I really like about using the wiki is how they can now upload images and videos. I thought about maybe having the students create a story with pictures on a unit that we are studying by creating a wiki. This way it will be a class story and not written by just one person or group.

An example of a wiki that I found very interesting is here. I plan to try to make one similar to it so that I can post documents that students can receive from home if they are abesent. I use as of now for posting homework but it can not hold many files which the wiki could. I also like the idea of sharing outstanding work with others through the use of the wiki.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Podcasting Examples

The following are just a few examples of how podcasting can be used in the classroom.
  • I teach Science and so for my first example, I looked at one of my classmate's blogs and saw her great example of creating a podcast through Blabberize for math. After I saw how she used it, I decided to use a song that one of my students made this past year (that she adapted from a website) and "Sammy" my dog helped to create the video for me. I plan to also use this podcast next year when I teach the order of the planets and to have my students create podcasts of their own songs.

The other cool thing about the blabberize site is that as of now you can not save the video on your own personal blabberize space but also can download to a video form as I did so that you have a copy in case something is wrong with the website. On the site, you can also browse for podcasts that were already created as well that span a variety of subjects and are allowed to share them as well. Below is another example of a podcast that was found on blabberize about space made by a student. For this one, I embedded the blabber using html.

  • An example of how to use podcasts in Math is from Is All About Math! This is a site that has different lectures using cartoons about Math. Another example of using a podcast for math is a news release which I find to be much more interesting.
  • For Foreign Language classes, ESL classes or for other speech classes, podcasts can be very useful and powerful. Hearing how words are spoken correctly and fluently can only help reinforce what the students are learning. This article shows how adults that are trying to learn English as a second language can greatly benefit from podcasts. It also has two links at the bottom of the page that can be used as resources.
  • For Language Arts podcasts can be used in so many ways. The ways listed in this can also be used in many of the other content areas. This site has a dozen different techniques and ways to use podcasts. My personal favorite was the "conversations from the past." I plan to change it though and use the name to have the students have conversations with past scientists. I think what I am going to do is create an example of a podcast of where I interviewed a scientist and then later have my students create podcast where they are interviewing someone that they would not normally be able to as a skit. The students will then be able to share their podcasts with the class. I plan on using the audacity software that is free and we have on our computers at school to create this.
The following sites have some very good general information and are designed specifically for educators
  • Podcasting: How To - This site has everything you need to know about how to create a podcast. It also has more advanced techniques.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blogging In Science

This past year, I created a blog for my students to use as an extra credit assignment. Before the students used the blog, they had to have their parents sign a permission slip from the county and had to make sure they were following my rules. On every one of my posts, I restated the 5 main rules so that the students were always aware of them. I have include a few pictures of the site since I am not allowed to take you directly to the site since it is password protected.
This is a picture of my first post for last school year. In every post, the students had to comment about the post and then respond to others' comments to receive the points. The students interacted with students from my other classes as well.
The blog was a hit during the middle of the year with the most comments left at 43 but died down towards the end of the year. Since it was extra credit, some students did not find it necessary.
This year I am going to have it as an option for homework/classwork instead of written at times in a way to motivate more discussion from the blog. I also plan on extending it by having a few guest bloggers. Since we are not allowed to let others into the blog, I am getting around it by sending an e-mail to the speakers about when the students have questions and posting them myself onto the blog.
This is a picture of the rules that I had written down before every post.
The final picture is an example of comments that were written down for the first blog. It is blacked out in one part to hide information.
When the students went back to later comment on others comments, many asked questions that I waited and hope that other students would ask. I always waited until the end of the month to answer the questions in hope that other students would answer them for me.

I look forward to learning more about the blogs in this project so that I can adapt how I use them in my classroom. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please let me know!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Podcast...the future of lectures?

Podcasting is a new way that we can record and publish audio content so that others are able to listen to it at anytime. For Podcasts to be successful in your classroom, you need to have a microphone, speakers, and audio recording software to create it such as audacity, etc. Many podcasts are used as subscriptions using RSS. In the classroom, podcasts can be used with students for:
  • Creating advertisements
  • Story telling
  • Listening and repeating stations
  • Creating and recording songs

Instant Messaging in the Classroom

Many students in this day and age are already way ahead of teachers and other adults in the classroom in regards to technology. Many students use Skype, AIM, or other instant messaging as a ways of communicating with friends outside of school so why not use it in school as well as a way to enrich the educational culture?

Instant messaging is one of the simplest forms of communication from two or more computers. It is when messages are sent back and forth from two or more people in real time. They are usually text but recently some have been used for audio and video purposes as well.

Some educational uses of instant messaging can include asking other students or the teacher for help when they are at home, having collaborative projects or researching with students in other classes or schools, virtual guest speakers, etc.

What are Wikis?

Wikis are pages that allow anyone that visits the page to become an active participator. They are very similar to blogs but also have many differences as well. One major difference is that anyone can go back and edit part of the page, even if they are not the one who wrote that part earlier. The wiki is used mainly as a collaboration project since of this far more open structure. Wikis also usually are pages that are hyper linked together instead of just having different posts entirely on one page. Wikis are great for students in that they can be used for collaboration for instance as a jigsaw activity about different parts of what students are studying.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What is a blog?

What is a blog you may say? A blog is like a journal online, only it has the capacity to be much more powerful. It is a website that is ordered chronologically with newer posts (paragraphs or messages) at the top of the page and older posts below.

In my opinion, the most powerful part of a blog is the ability to let others comment on your posts. Some blogs do not allow this feature but the vast majority do. These comments may be used for feedback, questioning, or just plain commenting about the post.

Blogs allow for great discussion on many different topics and through various means. Blogs can virtually be worked on at any time as long a "blogger" has internet connection and a computer.

Blogs can be used in school for collaboration, discussion, or even scaffolding students.