Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tool #11 Reflection

1. I have many favorite tools! If I had to pick only one it would have to be Edmodo as it completely transformed my classroom this past year and will continue to do so in the future! I love Prezi and Animoto  for presenting. I look forward to creating another Blogger to use for my students as well.
I am hoping to let my students create math tutorial videos to upload to a class blogger this year. Last year I created many tutorials we used edmodo to view, but I want to let the students to be the creators this time around!

2. This past year I was very set on integrating more technology into my classroom. I believe I was pretty successful doing so, however, it was not enough! I am looking forward to incorporating new tools into my classroom and letting my students explore and dig their own tunnels to find the treasure of math comprehension rather than just sticking to one highway!

3. There was nothing that was unexpected. As I mentioned I was lucky enough to have been a part of the T3 grant so I have actually heard of alot of the things before. However, as always there are new things poppinfg up everyday and I am excited to change the way I teach!! : )

Tool #10 Digital Citizenship

There are many things that are important for our students to understand about digital citizenship. Three that I think are especially important:

1. Nothing is a secret on the internet. What you post can and likely will spread to many people. Don't write anything you wouldn't mind sharing with anyone you meet or don't meet!

2. Understand how to differentiate between reliable and not necessarily reliable sources on the internet. Anyone can post anything they want on the internet thus seeing is not believing. Teaching digital literacy is crucial!

3. Understand why and what SBISD acceptable use guidelines are.

I found the brainpop videos to be useful for helping my students learn about digital citizenship. I would not have much time to set aside for talking about this so a brainpop video would be very helpful!

I also think it would be good for me to set the brainpop videos up as an edmodo activity to be completed at home with the parents. The students and parents can then take the quiz together and email me the results!

Tool #9 Incorporating Technology

I have found that many of our students see technology as a chance to play rather than learn. This can have its advantages and disadvantages in a classroom.  I have many times technology thrown into a classroom just to have it in the lesson rather than it be an integral part of a lesson. With education currently trying to transform it is crucial to not just throw technology into a lesson but rather plan it to align with your objective and TEK you are teaching as to ensure it benefits the students.

It goes along with this that students must be held accountable when using technology in a classroom. Since many students at my school only see technology as entertainment they may not realize the benefit or the purpose of the activity they have completed that day without taking the time to do some kind of reflection. This also helps students stay on task. As mentioned in the blog many times while students are working on a station using technology the teacher is pulling a small group or doing one on one work with other students. Since the students are not being directly monitored there must be some form of accountability check to ensure they stay on task and focused during the time they have to use the technology.

I really enjoy using MangaHigh in my classroom. The 'games' on this website are actually very fun yet truly utilize skills the students are learning in my class. I had several students ask to come play MangaHigh after school or during lunch this past year!

I also enjoy some of the resources on Manipula Math. One in particular I liked was on ratios of area and side lengths. The applet available here are pretty specific, thus would be helpful ways to let students see a concept they are struggling with from another point of view.

Many of the apps listed as free  in our database actually had a fee, so I did not get to look at many of them. I liked the Freddy Fraction game for students having difficulty with conversions, however there were times when multiple answers were correct and one was counted incorrect.

The MathSnacks App is noce to have as well. I have used MathSnacks in my classroom before and it is great to have the app rather than having kids go to the website to search!

I look forward to using the Ipad as a way for students to record themselves showing how they worked through problems and then sharing it with others!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tool # 8 The Devices

I have been lucky enough to have been selected to be a part of T3 for the past years. Thanks to this grant I have had 8 MacBooks in my classrooms as well as other pieces of technology. I do not feel that I have learned anything from this tool that I did not already know about the technology. The only new thing I saw on the videos was how to find the searchable database for apps and other SBISD approved things.

Having had this technology in my room these past few years I have found having a routine which regularly includes the technology helps greatly. My technology has a designated area in my classroom in which it is used. My students know it is not allowed to leave this area without permission. I also have this area set up as to my students are facing the wall, thus the computer screen is displayed where I can see it at all times. This helps keep students on task!