Last month a coworker asked if I would be a guest presenter at her daughter’s school. Each child in this 3rd grade classroom had the opportunity to invite a guest. I accepted the invitation, met with her daughter and we planned a presentation of animoto and wordle. Two of my favorite tools.
We started with animoto. Due to CIPA I couldn’t allow this group of students to create their own animoto videos, so we decided to do a class video. I allowed my coworker’s daughter to choose the topic. She chose rain forests. I pulled up my schools.clipart.com account and typed rain forest into the search engine. The students then took turns selecting images from the hundreds available. I saved those images and we imported them into Animoto. The video was created while the students worked on their next project- Wordle.
Our next project was wordle. I have posted on wordle more than once. It is one of my favorite tools to use with students. They love using it, it is very simple and quick to explain, and they can customize to their hearts content. Since they were down to their last few days of school, I gave them the topic of summer. They creations they made were wonderful. For 30 minutes, you could have heard a pin drop.
This is the one thing I love about technology. Once the kids get into it, they become completely engaged. I would love to hear how you have used either (or both) of these tools in your classroom.
In education, we deal with a ton of data. I can’t begin to count the number of hours I have used excel spreadsheets. When I was in the classroom, my whole gradebook was in excel- everything calculated for each standard that I taught. My first year I spent countless hours editting cells to show first name last name; last name, first name; first name middle intitial…. you get the idea. I wished for an easier way to do that for each and every kid. Now there is one.
Kirk Longhoffer posted on his blog about Magic/ Replace. This tool will let you reformat large amounts of data. See this video to understand. It could literally save to MANY hours of formatting time!
I found a new site today that I wanted to share. Web 2.0 Wednesday Challenge introduces a new web 2.0 tool each week and then offers a challenge for using it in the classroom. You can join in where they are to become eligible for “wordwide fame”, or just make it a personal challenge and start at the beginning challenging yourself along the way.
When our year first began nearly a month ago, I asked teachers at my school to complete a survey about their technology knowledge. One of the questions asked about Web 2.0 tools. I dare say out of a staff of over 60, only 3 seemed to have heard the term. Today was our first inservice since our initial week of inservices, and I did a short presentation on Delicious. It was our staff’s introduction to Web 2.0. I heard mixed reviews of the session, as I knew I would. Some were very excited about being able to share websites so easily, some were still intimidated by the fact we were using computers, but that’s ok, everyone has to start somewhere.
We are going to try to link up everyone in our building who has created an account. It should make sharing resources much easier. While I am excited about the fact that so many want to use Delicious, I am more excited that even people who are intimidated about jumping into using technology in education are willing to try it.
I posted last week about my world being turned upside down at school. I went from being the computer lab teacher to a true technology resource teacher with the addition of a new teacher and the change of space required to accommodate a new classroom. This change was met (like most changes) with some resistance. Teachers gave up a 45 minute lab time, which means a 45 minute plan time each week. I hope that teachers soon see that this means that I can spend more time helping the teachers become more familiar and comfortable with using technology in the classroom.
So while, we didn’t land on the moon, I think Delicious became “one small step for teachers, one giant leap for our school community.”
If you are not on Delicious, I would encourage you to sign up. If you are, add me to your network! My name on Delicious is 259lcox.
For those of you new to the world of blogging, it is common for blogs to post only a picture on Wednesday- hence the title “Wordless Wednesday”. Here is this week’s picture: