Can you draw a conclusion about what we may be interested in by looking at our Wordles?
Fourth Grade students played an elapsed time game called Bedtime Bandits. Below are the awards various students earned from this game.
I just stumbled upon the coolest website! It's called Exobotics. You click to send parts of a robot to a building machine. Once the robot is complete, you can move your mouse around the page and make your robot move. You can't actually send your robot to someone else but I am thinking that combined with a screen capture tool, kids would love creating a robot an making it move around the page while they are recording the movements.
I was first introduced to the Build Your Wild Self website from Twitter. This website will engage children in a land of make-believe, allowing them to become a new kind of wild creature by adding their different animal features to a boy or girl body. It also includes animal sounds that bring another layer of enjoyment to the process. Below are some pictures of Wildselves that first graders created today.
On Wednesday second and third graders at AES wrote their first blog post. In their posts you will find many spelling errors. The purpose of the first post was to allow them to get their feet wet.
The second graders are going to be discussing famous Americans in Social
Studies this nine weeks. For their first post they were asked to write about
the most famous person their know. Most of the second graders wrote about sports persons or entertainers. It will be interesting to see what their
thoughts are after researching some biographies from the SOLs. Perhaps it is my mind that is closed but I am not sure any of today’s stars hold a candle to those of history. Here is a livebinder containing links to Quia pages that highlight historical figures that the Virginia SOLs focus on. All in all, however, I was very impressed with their first posts.
The third grade posts were to discuss whether or not there was a relationship between government and being a good citizen. This may have been too difficult of a question to ponder at the beginning of the nine weeks. I probably should have started off with an easier topic. Even so, some of the students seem to see a connection and I was pleased with their first responses.
To read the first attempts please visit one of the two links below:
A colleague shared this site with me. If you have something on the ballot in your state and want to have more information, go to ballot pedia which explains the initiative and lets you know who is paying for and against this. This is another method of wikis and collaborative writing playing a role in more open government and transparency. Students could run a student version of this sort of blog, or -pedia sites on all kinds of things.
One of the blogs that I follow often is written by Larry Cuban. Larry is an instructional technologist that is currently working as a professor. He has classroom experience as well as division leadership experience. Every year Larry writes a blog entry about the future of education. Larry and I agree on so many points about technology integration.
Many people see technology devices as saving the world from outdated and old world instructional strategies. They believe that the traditional classroom will disappear like the dinosaurs did. Students today will not learn without the use of digital devices. It's unfair to keep technology from our kids.
I am an instructional technologist. I am a teacher. I LOVE being an educator.
When I started out in my profession computers were just on the horizon and I was hoping that the storm they promised would never reach my classroom. I fought against technology! Then, after being forced to attend a NTTI conference by my principal, I decided to try an experiment. I planned out a technology integrated lesson. The students with which I was working were difficult to motivate, even though they were only second graders. School was not someplace they really wanted to be. However, after that simple lesson which was no more than showing some images on a computer screen, my students started asking that I use the computer more.
I signed up for a Think.com account and had my students doing something akin to blogging. The more technology I stated using, the more they wanted. Slowly my mindset began changing and I started looking for more and more ways to integrate technology and digital devices into my classroom.
That was 13 years ago. Since then I have earned my NETs*T certification as well as a Educational Specialist degree in curriculum and instruction focusing on instructional technology. I have a Masters in educational leadership and administration. Both my Masters and my Educational Specialist degrees were earned through distance learning. I worked hard and I achieved a great deal but I truly beleive, as does Larry Cuban, that online learning will never replace the traditional classroom in the K12 setting. Kids crave face to face interaction with their peers and their teachers.
I do like the fact that in addition to standardized testing and attendance being a means to determine a student's progress, the use of social media postings and participation in discussion boards should also play a part in assessing a student's understanding. I also agree with Larry Cuban that mobile devices will make a student's bookbag much lighter. It will be more cost effective for local school divisions as well.
The future holds promise that technology tools will make differentiation of instruction easier but they will never replace the good ole fashioned school room.
Larry Cuban too sees a place for technology in schools, but agrees that it does not radically change the face of the 'place for education', and says:
'...by 2023, uses of technologies will change some aspects of teaching and learning but schools and classrooms will be clearly recognizable to students’ parents and grandparents.'
Breathe easy my teacher colleages. We are not obsolete!
ReadWriteThink from Thinkfinity has updated the interface of Printing Press. I love these changes!!! Use this tool to create a newspaper, brochure, flyer, sign or poster. You can
select from a variety of templates, customize your text, add photos/images,
print or share via email. Works in progress can be saved to your computer and worked on at a later date. Also features a plethora of lesson plans to go along with it. It's very easy to use.
One idea would be to allow students to create a classroom newsletter which you could then link to your classroom web site.
_Hi, my name is Melanie Lewis. I am an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Amherst County Public Schools,
located in the beautiful state of Virginia. I LOVE my job! I get to
work on my hobby, anything that has to do with computers. I get to work
with teachers and students, and I am definitely a people person. Plus,
I DO NOT have to give grades. Wonderful, huh? Let me know how I can help you better integrate technology into your classroom.
ACPS' 1st computers
I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it. ~Jason Ohler