Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mod12: Podcasts and Lesson Planning

Ever since I got my first ipod I have been interested in podcasts.  I have enjoyed all different types of podcasts; language, comedy, international news, how to, and even free audio books!  What I have enjoyed during this Mod is exploring the world of podcasts for educational purposes.  I enjoy using authentic examples when working with more advanced students, it encourages them to use their real life experiences in the classroom.

The podcast that I found is an introduction and brief history of the American Civil War. I think it would be a great introduction to this topic in class.  It could also be used as a grammar exercise for the the past tense. Another way it could be used is to answer a teacher generated question sheet such as a cloze sentences, or writing out specific date or numbers mentioned in the piece.

There are many interactive learning activities to be done with podcasts.  The above mentioned are just a few of my ideas... what are your ideas?!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mod11: eMails, ePals and so much more!

When I first heard about ePals, I was excited about the idea of the opportunity my student would have to be able to "write" to their own personal ePal.  What I didn't realize is how much MORE ePals has to offer.  After exploring the site, I think it is am amazing teacher resource and very user friendly. 

I like that ePals has partnered with National Geographic to create collaborative global  projects.  One of the best thing about these projects is that they are already standard based and they offer suggestions such as how much time you should spend on the project, paring options, modifications, and customizing.  But more important than all those FREE fun suggestions is this (you may want to sit down for this)... FREE LESSON PLANS.  Not only are they free but they have so much detail, and other outside resources to draw from, all right there on the site!...If your heart is now pumping with excitement, you are not alone.  But lets not wait any longer to check it out here!

There are so many other great interactive, tech savvy  applications to take part in.
It is nice that they use a format which all students can participate in form K right through till 12. 

I hope to be able to aid my students in finding ePals, and maybe along the way find an ePal teacher as well!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mod9-2: I wonder if...

King penguins by wili_hybrid
Attribution-NonCommercial License

I wonder if... people know how EASY it is to create a fun comic strip in BUBBLR?!  Well I now know just how easy it really is.  Check it out here I wonder if...!

If I were teaching younger kids this would be used to introduce learning about animals.  It is set up to show the different types of animals.  Each slide names the type of animal shown, a beautiful picture of the animal ( merci FLICKR) and a fun fact that will help the kids relate and even remember some characteristics of each animal type.

I think it would be a lot of fun for the kids to look at.  The pictures are so wonderful, I think it will really capture their attention. 

I wonder if...I will be able NOT to use this in my coming classes.  It was SO easy to make.  All these pictures at my fingertips.  Simple to put together and most importantly FUN to create!

I wonder if... others will enjoy my creation?

Mod9: one, two, three...FLICKR!!!

Antigua, Guatemala by szeke
Attribution License
Creative Commons is an easy to create copyright tool for the common persons documents, songs, pictures, presentations, etc.  

Creative Commons has six different types of license offers for “licensors” to customize how much access they would like the public that is using their material to have.  

I find it more easy to understand the differences of each license in this table I have constructed for you! I should really copyright it!

Monday, March 7, 2011


The world of micro-blogging, 140 characters or less… that is smaller than a text.  How can this tool possibly be useful within the classroom? Although I signed up for Twitter over two years ago, I rarely ever used it, simply because I felt like there was no purpose.  However, after reviewing how useful it can be as a resource and also as a classroom tool, I guess you can say I have seen the “twight”?

Micro-blogging allows for constant, quick interaction and feedback, live!  With the instant gratification sensation that students are constantly exposed to, Twitter is a great tool to feed this sensation.  Because Twitter is never closed, constantly being updated, commented on, replied to and refreshed, by millions of people around the world, someone is surely currently “tweeting” something that your students are passionate about. 

Making learning relevant by using a technology tool that they associate with socializing is essential in incorporating a successful learning environment.  In my future classroom I could see using Twitter for a variety of assignments.    Some of the ideas I found in this presentation really interested me. 
§  Anagram games: posting 5- 8 letters and seeing how many different words the students can create
§  An internet scavenger hunt, with findings posted through links on to Twitter.  This could be used for collecting information on a new topic, the findings could be shared and celebrated the next day in class to kick off a new unit. 
§  Tweeting chapter summaries.  Lets be realistic, we text about our lives in 160 characters or less on a daily basis, students will learn how to summarize chapters in 140 characters as well. 
§  Tweeting with the experts.  Being able to propose questions directly to an expert in the field is such a valuable resource and exciting experience for the students.
§  Creating a Twitter account for historical figures.  For example, George Washington could tweet about his wooden teeth and how it feels to be the first President. 
§  Students can create a Tweet Story.  Each student contributes one Tweet, 140 characters, collaborating in building an original class Tweet story.   
§  Finally, Teachers can post Tweets that need to be revised, students can offer what parts need to be revised and explain why. 

Twitter is also a great tool to develop an educator’s professional career as well.  The networks created within the Twitter community are great resources.  As this article explained, Twitter is like a more social RSS feed.  People are constantly posting new information that you can filter and read for knowledge, quickly.  Twitter has many filtering options similar to an RSS feed. 

Twitter has already made strides for educators and in the classroom with students.  I am just excited to implement the Twitterverse into my classroom and professional life for fast paced knowledge at my fingertips. 

And I also LOVE this

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mod6: RSS... Reading @ Super Speeds

When I cam across this blog post, I thought to myself "wow, this would have been very useful for my other grad class", and just as I finished thinking about how helpful it would be, I also realized that using this web site, and others like it would have lowered my grade.  Why? Well, the teacher was not as forward thinking as those tech savvy teachers we have been encountering during our blog searches and the teacher wanted everything on paper.  This assignment was stressful and boring, both for us creating it, and most likely for the teacher grading it.

The unit our group was creating was based on habitats which is exactly what this post is about.  Entitled, "Draw that Habitat", the admin of this blog did a fantastic job of explaining how teachers can use this tool, and also how to change its usage based on how many computers you have available, etc.  Check out this post here.  Like I said in my comment, I like that this tool incorporates a familiar character which most young students would have watched on their own TV during recreational times.  Incorporating a fun recreational character into the classroom and learning environment may led to a more enjoyable and meaningful learning experience for the student.  

As I continued reading ilearn technology I also realized that  this blog is great to have in my RSS.  This blog is a great idea generator for topics in the classroom.  ilearn technology basically spells it all out, which is a huge time saver, and its all on the web, which makes it fun for both teachers and students.  

I know RSS doesn't stand for Reading @ Super Speeds, but after learning more about why and how to use it, I think it is a proper re-name.  I am very excited about using my RSS feed to stay more informed on a very general level; news, technology, teaching, travel blogs and more.  But I like that I can read my RSS on a broad level, or only specific blogs.  The versatility of this tool is exciting and I think will help me as en educator stay educated and up to date.  

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mod4-2: A Facebook-like teaching tool...ahhhhh!!!

While reading about Ning in our text my blood literally starting pumping.  My brain started buzzing just thinking of all the ways it could be used.  I, like many other people, am quite addicted to FB, and just thinking that there is something out there that can be used professionally is simply EXCITING(for lack of a more appropriate term, you will see this word a lot in this posting)! 

I did a few searches and clicked on the ones which had a decent amount of members (100+).  I found a 

few accounts which sounded really interesting, but kept running into roadblocks like the site was inactive or it was being re-modeled or it was private.  So I spent a good amount of time on two sites which are very popular and FULL of exciting information.

The first is classroom20.  With over 50,000 members you are guaranteed some sort of activity to be happening.  This Ning site is "social network for those interested in Web 2.0 and Social Media in education".  The site has a very familiar feeling to which made it easy to navigate.  They have a group feature which focuses on special interests.  One group that caught my eye was "cell phones in education", how exciting is that?! I read through some of the postings, and was thrilled to see how some schools have already implemented the usage of phones into students everyday learning.  There is also a post about the discipline in the school, and the steps they take if students abuse their privilege.  I only took a few minutes to view Classroom 20 but what I did se made me excited to be a future educator during this time.  This site alone made me feel as if implementing technology into the classroom is completely do-able, and is ALREADY being done... EXCITING!

The second site I checked out was eflclassroom2.0.  I also spent some time checking this site out and was once again excited.  I found a forum on teaching and stereotypes.  There were a lot of interesting discussions going on and some interesting links worth spending your time on checking out.  This site also has a large amount of members, although it seems like there is one main person who is doing most of the contributing, while the other members are  participating by adding information and thoughts to the main idea.  The layout of this network was much more busy than what I am use to, however, it had plenty of links which could bring you to other social networks to keep completely connected. 

WOW! talk about a new world opened up! This is SO EXCITING.  I am really looking forward to using this on a daily basis... it gets my brain thinking and excited about surfing the net... unlike FB...which now, seems... kinda boring.