Thursday, June 14, 2012


Final 11 Tools Post:

What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools.

Animoto is a great way to introduce a lesson or a broad concept.  It was easy to use and I can see the students really getting impressed by it.  It will be more impressive when they make their own Animoto videos.  I will have them make an Animoto video to go with their research project.  The big research project will have several components, and the Animoto video can be a good introduction or conclusion to their project as they present to the class.
I also liked the many products my students and I can make on Big Huge Labs.  Go Animate will my students and I to make comic strips to introduce topics.  Mixbook is another tool that I really liked.  I can see my more artistically-inclined students making some very nice digital scrapbooks on a variety of topics.

How have you transformed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom? How has your vision for your classroom changed? Are you going to need to make any changes to your classroom to accommodate the 21st Century learner?
After taking the test on Atomic Learning, I am glad to see that I have a fairly good grasp on what it takes to provide an ideal classroom situation for my students to embrace the tools of a 21st century learner.  I will continue to provide an individualized as possible program of learning for my students.  One thing that I see that I need to work on is having my students collaborate online through the use of Google docs.  I am glad that we are getting netbooks and iPads, and with the smaller class sizes we will have next year, it should be even easier to get the technology in the students’ hands.  I am looking forward to implementing what I have learned in this training.

Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
Some teachers around the country and around the world spend A LOT OF TIME on their computers blogging.  There are some very good ideas out there, and it’s certainly worth looking into.  I will take a closer look at other people’s blogs to get teaching resources.  

Tool #10 Assignment:
Discuss at least three things you would want to make sure your students understand about being good digital citizens.
1-They have responsibilities anytime they use technology at school and at home.  These responsibilities are not to be taken lightly, and in order to maximize and get the most positive impact from technology, they are to assume these responsibilities.
2-Being online requires them to be aware of safety issues.  I would want them to know that while technology can have many beneficial aspects, there are also dangers to be cautious of.
3-I would want them to know that going online also requires them to have certain manners, or digital etiquette.  This would be a good time to also discuss online bullying.
Share at least one of the resources mentioned on the Ed Tech website that you plan to use instructionally.
I would use the terrific Brain Pop videos on digital citizenship.  They are well done and concise, yet powerful.  Also, students of many ages really enjoy Tim and Moby.
Explain briefly how you would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship to your students.
I would not isolate digital citizenship into a lesson.  Rather, I would inject digital citizenship into my lessons as appropriate. This is the most meaningful manner of making sure the message gets across.  As I come across a concept that needs addressing, I would bring it in at the suitable time and tie into the lesson that I am already teaching.  Just as technology touches many aspects of our lives, it makes sense that we would bring it in throughout the school day and lessons.
 Explain briefly how you plan to share the idea of digital citizenship with your parents.
Open House is a terrific time for me to discuss the points above, and share with my parents my expectations for my students when it comes to technology.  I would also give them tips to use at home to maximize the use of technology and do it in an effective manner.

Tool #9 Assignment

1.    Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective? If we don’t tie technology to the objective, then we are doing our students a disservice.  The technology used must support the curriculum that the teacher delivers to her students.  The curriculum is the foundation of it all, and the technology tools used must support the curriculum in a meaningful and educationally sound manner.  We should never do things with technology because they are “cute” and not really provide any valuable instructional support.

2.    Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers? If the technology that we use in our classroom does not have student accountability built in, one must ask what educational value it has. 

3.    Visit 2 of the applicable links to interactive websites for your content/grade level.
a--Manipula Math and Manga High

How could you use them as stations? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations?

In Manipula Math, I will have my students go to the Middle School, Geometry section.  While there, they would go to the Thermometer applet and they will manipulate two thermometers.  This would be great support to my lesson on adding and subtracting negative integers.  This site is easy to use and students would keep track of their answers and submit them to me on a paper so I can grade them. 
In Manga High, I found a terrific game for a lesson that I teach on Order of Operations.  Students would compete by shooting at “invaders” with the correct number sentence.  They compete with themselves or with others to raise their scores.
Both of these websites can be done while students are at individual computers or as a single station at the ACTIVboard. 

4.    List two to three apps you found for the iPod Touch/iPad that you can use in your classroom. What do you see that station looking like? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations?

The Elements is a great app that my students can use to complement our chemistry unit study.  It is a terrific resource full of information for each element.  Students would complete an activity sheet for the element that they are working on.  With that activity sheet, they would complete and “element medal” that they could wear home. 
The Atomic Structure app is also a tool to bring in to my chemistry unit.  I always introduce the unit by doing a lesson on atoms and their structure.  This app fits right in!  I would let my students play with their iPads first and learn about the parts of the atom.  They would complete a diagram which labels the parts of the atoms would be submitted to me. 

5.    What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station. I plan on using these as research tools.  My students each create an independent research projects.  The iPads would be a great tool for them to use as they take research notes on their index cards.  The note cards would be sorted out and compiled into a research paper. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Tool #8 Post

1.    After watching the videos/tutorials, list two to three things you learned about the device(s) that will be in your classroom this fall.

** I did not know that Netbooks can connect to a projector.  I am glad that I can do this so that I can project and have students project their netbooks to the class as a whole on a much larger screen.  The small screen of a netbook has always bugged me so I am glad to know that this is a feasible solution. 

**I learned about the Dell Webcam Central on the Dell Netbook.  This will help my students and me to take still pictures or videos.  We will have many features and settings to choose from.  There is even a timer for pictures!

**Regarding the iPads, I am glad to know that content from the iTunes store can be downloaded DIRECTLY to the devices without having to sync the devices to the teacher laptop.  I always thought that all syncing had to be done directly through the teacher’s laptop. 

2.    How do you plan to manage the device(s) in your classroom? Do you have ideas/suggestions that others may find useful?   I will have clear, definite guidelines about how all technology is handled in my classroom.  Since they are expensive tools, we will make sure that students understand this.  No iPads and netbooks will be used on the floor.  Students will need to be at tables when using these tools.  No food or drinks around the tools.  Of course, I will model this for my students. 


Tool 7 Assignment
1.    After visiting the resources above, design a collaborative project with another classroom.  
I will be using The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education and doing the project called:  Human Genetics—Is the dominant trait most prevalent?
2.    Post the following about the project:
a.    Content objective:  The Human Genetics Project is an Internet-based project which will enrich a student's learning experience through "Unique and Compelling" applications of instructional technology. In particular, this project taps into some of the exciting applications of the Internet in education by having students collaborate in large numbers across great distances to "pool" large amounts of data. By participating in this project, students also have the opportunity to interact with experts online, use an online asynchronous discussion board to discuss project-related topics, and publish their own work to this project web site.
b.    When you plan to implement –Will try for the Spring semester.
c.    What tool(s) you plan to use—
*Recording data in surveys, analyze and draw conclusions, making final reports.
A brief description of the project:  Participants in this project will:
  • Survey phenotypic traits of classmates and schoolmates.
  • Compile data with students from around the world.
  • Analyze data to determine if the prevalent phenotype is the dominant allele.
d.           If you need to find another classroom - I have five different classes of students.  Since I teach a different group each day, I will have my five groups collaborate with each other as well as contribute to the project as a whole.  

Monday, June 11, 2012


Tool #6 Post:
The first tool I chose was “Today’s Meet.”  I have used this in the past when as an ACTIVTrainer, I helped facilitate a meeting in the district.  We were teaching about tools for teachers to use in their classroom, and this was one of them.  In order to model the tool, the presenters used Today’s Meet and had participants give input through live stream.  The class discussion was led through Today’s Meet and when people wanted to contribute verbally, they did that as well.

I would use Today’s Meet in a class to enable my students to make comments and give input.  The more shy students could ask questions during the lesson, and they could do that through Today’s Meet.  I would keep up with the discussion and be able to see how my students understand the lesson based on their responses.  I can then adjust my lesson accordingly. 

The second tool I used was Wall Wisher.  It was very easy to use.  I created a fancy wall and asked my students “What do you already know about the Digestive System?”  This would allow my students to post their virtual sticky notes and I would gather prior learning in my students.  This could be managed very easily.  For example, I could have the wall up on my ACTIVBoard and while I am taking attendance or going around helping individual students, the rest of the class could be going on the Wall Wisher wall and adding their input. 

Both of these tools facilitate the learning process and add another layer to my lessons.   I encourage everyone to give them both a try! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tool #5 RESPONSE: 
There are so many possibilities in the classroom with these tools! I used both Animoto and Big Huge Labs to make my Medical School Video and my Marie Curie Motivator poster. The video could be used as a set to introduce my lesson on medical school. The poster could be printed and added to my SPIRAL Wall of Fame. It could also be used as an example for students to make their own posters or any of the other products available on Big Huge Labs. There are many options for both teachers and students!
TOOL #5 Assignment Here is my Motivator Poster of Marie Curie. I made this using Big Huge Labs. It will come in handy during my unit on chemistry.

Check out my Tool #5 Animoto Video!

Try our video maker at Animoto.

Tool #4 Post


Briefly discuss how you can use the tools in Google Apps with your team or department. How can you incorporate Google Apps as a tool in your classroom? Which tools are you excited about using with students?

Google Apps can be used with my SPIRAL team.  This is a great place to collaborate on documents that pertain to the entire team, such as schedules and team forms.  In my classroom, I can have students work on Word-type documents or PowerPoints and they can each contribute.  It would also be easy for me to check over their work and see their progress.  Students can work on projects individually or in groups, and I would be able to see what they are doing at any time.  I am eager to have my students create documents.  Specifically, I can have them make forms and put their answers together.  

I can also have them work on spreadsheets and input data and then put the data together and make reports from the data.  Finally, I can have them make drawings or posters that can be used as part of an assignment or project. As part of the evaluation process, I can also have a way of tracking the work history of my students as individuals or in groups and see the process in action.  There are a myriad of possibilities on Google Apps.   

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This is the perfect video for my students when we learn about the elements and the Periodic Table!  Let's see how many students can memorize it...
This video will be useful when my students explore diseases of the Nervous System.

Tool #3 Post:
1.    Visit several of the video hosting/streaming sites mentioned above. Share with your readers which sites you found most useful for your content and why.
I love using YouTube in my classroom.  I have found so many wonderful educational videos that I embed in my flipcharts.  Because YouTube has such a huge following, I am always finding neat videos that are perfect for reinforcing concepts I teach in my classroom.  I use Zamzar to convert them and then I have the video saved and I can use it as much as I want.
2.    Using any of the video resources mentioned above, find and select two videos that may be useful resources in your classroom.   I have added two videos to my blog. 
3.    Articulate what you learned about copyright and fair use. What was new to you?
I was glad to read that copyright law is very complex, and there are no easy answers.  The best thing that I can remember is the mnemonic “Harry Potter Can Fly.”  This will help me remember better.
H=Homegrown
P=Public Domain
C=Creative Commons
F= Fair Use.

4.    Create a Dropbox account and add some files to it.  How could you use this tool in your classroom?  My students do medical research projects.  Each one chooses and researches a topic related to medical science.  I can use Dropbox to have my students find data and share it collectively here.  This would be a great place to keep medical science images and have them accessible to all the students.   


Tool #2 Response Post 


I visited 5 of the science and history blogs and found lots of resources.  For example, I found a neat virtual trips link on one of the blogs.  Some of the blogs have a lot of traffic while others don't.  Some bloggers have not posted in many weeks, and others post much more regularly.  


I enjoyed a discussion about the politics of education and I even contributed my opinions, though somewhat hesitantly.  Quite honestly, I prefer face to face conversations and posting things that I know others will read isn't necessarily my favorite thing to do. Being anonymous certainly lets people go of their inhibitions.  


I plan on visiting this blog regularly because it has lots of useful ideas for teachers of science.
http://www.historyteachersattic.com/