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25 August 2013

Global Read Aloud

   Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Calling all readers to the great global read aloud. If you have not heard of this yet, be sure to check out the global read aloud site which outlines this fabulous program. The program is grouped by grade levels so each reads a book designated for their level. The book for the K-2 group is Marty Mcguire by Kate Messner. I can't wait to share this story with my class and have some interesting discussions with other schools around the globe.  This is a great way for classes to connect with other classrooms around the world and participate in dialogue and genuine conversations about books. Click on the links below to learn more about this program and the book.

   HI All,  I am guest blogging over at Rachel Lynette's Minds in Bloom site. Be sure to hop on over to read about using Bucket Fillers in the classroom.

13 August 2013

Final Reflections- Thing 23

   Well, I have finally reached the end of my Web 2.0 Class!! Along the way, I learned, discovered, been challenged, and shared many ideas. Some days I just wanted to throw in the towel and say not another blog post!! ARRGH! All in all, I really did enjoy all the "Things" and found the course so much more worthwhile because it was so hands-on.  By becoming active participants within each Web 2.0 tool we got to see how each tool works and if we want to try and use it in our classroom. Sometimes, things work, and sometimes they don't. That's the fun of trying different ideas out.

I anticipate trying many of these tools in my classroom this fall.  I know it's not easy to continue....we get pumped up after attending a class, webinar, or taking a course and then ideas fall to the wayside as we plow into our school year. I sincerely hope to try many of these ideas, and I know I will. A great course!! Thank you! As I begin to implement some of these tools, I'll blog about it and see how it rolls.

12 August 2013

Evernote - Thing 21

    I haven't much used Evernote in the classroom so I cannot say for sure if I would use it. I do use it sporadically for writing down notes and ideas for my blog when I am on the train. I do like that you can take pictures and embed directly to your blog. This link will take you directly to an interesting post - I think it sums up how I feel about Evernote at this point - I am sure I am not utilizing it to its' capacity, however I wonder if it is just another organizing app in a long list. At some point I will have to choose the best one for me, and I think that is what is most important. We try out these different apps and we pick the one that best utilizes our needs.

A blog written by Rob van Nood provides some great insight into using Evernote in the classroom - here is link to his blog. After reading Rob's blog, I am going to give Evernote a shot in my classroom and try to set up digital portfolios for my student's.  When I return to the classroom in September and set this up, I will blog about it and let you know how it goes.

11 August 2013

Google Drive - Thing 20

Google Drive can make your life so much more efficient. Forget sending out multiple emails to colleagues or sending email attachments. Streamline your efficiency and create a document in Google Drive and easily share it with whomever you like.  The document can be edited in real-time so everyone can see the updates as they are happening.

Three ways to use Google Drive in your classroom

 1. Have your class set up a form to create a survey of some sort. Within the Google Doc form, click Create, then Form. It will then take you through some steps to set up your form. Once that is done, share it and your class could then collect the data from the survey and create a spreadsheet of the responses.

2. Another way is sharing ideas with others. Create a spreadsheet and have co-workers fill in the spreadsheet with their responses/ideas. As I have done for this course,  I created a spreadsheet for this particular "Thing 20" so all course participants could fill-in the form and we would then have a sharing of some great first week ideas of integrating a Web 2.0 Tool the first week of school. Here is a link  to that document.

3.  Sharing a file with another person. Because the file is editable and each of the "shared" participants can add to the file it is immediately updated. This would be great for sharing resources for a topic of study.

However you use Google Drive, I am sure it will make your life even more efficient.

YouTube - Thing 19

    I currently use YouTube in the context of searching for a "how to" video- since I am a hands-on person, I find a visual explanation is much easier for me to understand. For this Web 2.0 Class, we had to search for a few different videos. Two of the videos had to relate to education. I am particularly interested in how to use Symbaloo in my classroom so I searched for a "What is it" video and found this particular video. It gives a good, basic introduction to using Symbaloo. Here it is for you to have a look:

The other video I found was a Livebinder -  "what is it and how to use it" video. I found this helpful as well as I think this would be a great way to organize lesson plans, units etc. and get rid of all the paper! Yes! Here is this video:

I also had to search for a student-produced video. I found this one done by first graders. It was done over 3 years ago - which shows how behind I am!! It is so great! I loved hearing the enthusiasm of these first graders and they set out to show that anyone, even 6/7 year olds can do a podcast! I have embedded it here as well to give you a bit of inspiration to try podcasting if you have not as yet:

YouTube can be a yet another great tool in your belt for not only a teachers PLN but for student uploading of videos as well.

09 August 2013

Twitter - Thing 22

I have been on Twitter for about 3 months now, but I still consider myself a lurker.  I read alot of my follower's posts, make some comments, and do some tweets, but I still have not amped it up yet. I participated in my first chat last weekend - and I tell you it was something.  Just trying to keep up with the tweets is a bit daunting.  I have to admit though, it was fun. I loved reading other comments coming in thru real time and trying to quickly type mine in as well.

Building a personal learning network (PLN) is very important. No where will you find real-time learning than through social connections. Twitter is a great way to become engaged - learn what others are doing. Start slow, connect with a few, read what they have to say, and before you know it, you will be commenting, retweeting, etc. If you are interested in connecting your classroom with another, Twitter is a great place to find a connection. Tweet with your class - why not!! I am going to have a Twitter account for my grade one class this year so we can connect with others, share what we have learned and let our families know what we are learning in the classroom. No need to make it an extra part of your classroom day - it should be incorporated as part of your classroom teaching.

Below are some links pertaining to Twitter:

Here is an awesome easy to follow guide on using Twitter in the Classroom from Langwitches Blog.

Here is a link to educational hashtags from Cyberyman. Find one you like and join a chat. It's a great way to see what other teachers are doing that maybe specific to your interests.

Here is a link to 35 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom. There are some great ideas and can be tweaked for any year level.

Tweet away!!

06 August 2013

ScreenCasting - Thing 18

   We've all been hearing plenty of information on the flipped classroom as an innovative way to teach students that may not respond to traditional classroom teaching or even as a way to differentiate your teaching. Screencasts make this easy to do. There are quite a few apps out there that allow you to easily create a screencast and upload or embed into a blog post. Even better, students can do the teaching and have them upload it to their blog. Using Educreations allows you to turn your IPad into a white board. Students can use this for peer-to-peer teaching, explanations of a topic learned, summary of a lesson - the list is endless. Here is a link to some examples of screencast apps and a brief description of each app. Here is another link to more screencast apps and a good explanation of each I found on Pinterest.

I could see using screencasts many ways in the classroom. I like that the students can embed their video into Kidblogs so others can see their explanations and offer comments.

I will be implementing this awesome tool in the fall with my first graders. My brain is already spinning the many ways it could be used. Here is a my very brief hand at using Educreations. I think it's best to have a pre-written script so you are not fumbling over words.

02 August 2013

Podcasting - Thing 17

   As I plod along in my Classroom Web 2.0 Tools online class, I am amazed at all the tools I do not know about for creating a more innovative classroom.  I understood what a podcast was, but never thought about using it in my classroom. One can find many podcasts on all sorts of topics on iTunes. After scrolling around a bit listening to different podcasts, I then typed in Google to see how other teachers were using podcasts in their room. What I found was amazing. From broadcasting a topic to reading a story to telling about their daily learning, the children were the ones doing the creating and speaking. Classrooms were creating their own podcasts and uploading them - another great example of sharing your classroom via social networking and breaking down the walls and having your students realize they are creating digital footprints for the world to view.

I am already thinking of how to best utilize podcasts in my classroom this fall and will continue to search the web for other classrooms already using this fabulous tool and the ideas they have implemented.