Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tool #11: Self Assessing and Reflecting

1.  Although I have used Wallwisher and Poll Everywhere periodically during the past year, I really enjoyed digging deeper into how they can be used on a daily/weekly basis. I like the idea of having a Poll Everywhere question on the activboard at the beginning of the day or math/science lesson where the students can respond to an open ended or multiple choice question. I'm going to use the Wallwisher more on my classroom blog much more this year as a way of letting the students post 'stickies' as responses to each other's answers to my question.

2.  I can see now that I have a lot more planning ahead of me this year with the additional technology resources that we are going to have available, although I believe that this planning will be fun and exciting for me, now that I have learned about these new tools. I've always had the vision that my classroom should be more technologically involved, but I now know that I have a lot more to add to that vision. 

3.  I was pleasantly surprised at the number of apps and resources that the SBISD website has available for us to use. I was also surprised at the ease at which it is to embed some of these resources into a blog...I'm looking forward to incorporating a lot of these tools into my own classroom blog this year.

Tool #10: Underneath It All - Digital Citizenship

1. I believe that the main thing that I would want to make sure that my students understand about being good digital citizens would be to not believe everything they read on websites and not to use the first piece of information that they come to when researching. Another topic that I would bring up would be understanding the appropriateness of the information that they are placing on their websites, facebook, twitter, etc., that future employers or higher educational institutions would be able to see (leaving digital footprints). The last main topic would be teaching how to appropriately share information with others so that the wrong people end up with their information.
2. I did like the "Mouse Tales" YouTube video ( I found on the Ed Tech website for a way to show how to be a safe and responsible technology user. It didn't appear to be to 'childish' for my fifth graders, and it did a great job of modeling the incorrect and correct ways to be responsible with certain classroom technology tools.
3 Using information from the website,, I would use a lot of the following topics to 'teach' the idea of digital citizenship to my students: digital ethics, cyberbullying, commenting responsibility, leaving digital footprints, and validating sources. I discussed a few of these topics in #1 above.
4. I would tell the parents of my students that the most helpful thing that they can do at home to promote digital citizenship would be to model for their children the correct way to use technology.

Tool #9: Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices as Tools for Learning

  1. It's extremely important to tie the technology to the objective that you are teaching because in the students' real world outside of school, technology is completely integrated in just about everything that they are involved with. We need to continue to include new technology into our lessons because it is constantly changing and evolving, so much so that devices that they are proficient in right now will most likely be obsolete in the not to distant future.
  2. Our students need to be held accountable in their stations/centers because they need to realize that there should be something accomplished and/or produced at the end of their work. There should be a goal involved for the students so they know what the expectations are.
  3. Two of the links to interactive websites that I liked were Thinkfinity and MangaHigh. The Thinkfinity activites were great because many of them had a lesson plan format for the teacher included in the activity, which included questions for students, assessment options, and the NCTM standards. I believe that I can easily include links (or I can embed them, if possible) in to my classroom blog. I would like to try to include more MangaHigh activities this year because they do great job of keeping track of what each student accomplishes, along with being able to give them goals to shoot for. If I include links to these two interactive websites in my classroom blog, they can easily use them as stations in my classroom.
  4. A few of the iPod/iPad apps that I found for classroom use were 2DOKU, Everyday Math, and Create a Graph. I can see each of these working very well as stations in the classroom: the 2DOKU app would work great as an extension activity, while the other two would be excellent as regular stations that each group could revolve to.
  5. I plan on having my students use the classroom iPads for creating podcasts (using the camera), producing items in Google Docs, researching science/math topics, using YouTube/SchoolTube, etc. The uses for these tools are numerous and will grow throughout the year.

Tool #8: Taking A Look At The Tools

  1. The two main things that I learned from the tutorials were the setting up of the itunes account and the syncing of the itouches to my teacher laptop. As I was watching the tutorial, my 12 year old daughter heard what they were saying and told me that she already knows how to do all of this, so she gave me her own tutorial on how to set up itunes. It was a lot easier than I had thought. I was also not aware that all of the itouches in my classroom would be synced to my laptop, although now it makes perfect sense, since I would only have to download something once to my laptop, then sync it to the rest of the itouches.
  2. I plan on getting each student device named before school begins, then have each student practice logging in to each device within the first few weeks of school in order to knock out any bugs that may occur and to have them well versed in the login procedures.

Tool #7: Reaching Outside Your Classroom: Online Digital Projects

  1. After visiting the resources above, design a collaborative project with another classroom. Besides the many uses of Edmodo that our 5th graders participated in last year, I found the "100 People: A World Portrait" project ( after searching through one of the listed sites. The objective of the project is to contribute to the website's world portrait by having students celebrate someone in their own community through photography and writing and share information about their own part of the world...they're basically trying to show a portrait of the whole world by showcasing 100 people. The assignment for each student or class is to nominate or photograph an individual who has inspired the student and is a citizen of the country in which they live. They also need to provide a written description of the individual's age, gender, nationality, religion, and language, plus an explanation of what this person has done to inspire the nomination. This would be a great language arts project, either having each student nominate their own individual or have the entire class vote on and contribute to providing the information about one individual.

Tool #6: Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion In and Out of the Classroom

  1. I created an account for Wallwisher and Poll Everywhere.
  2. I have used Wallwisher in the past in my own classroom is a great tool for getting responses from students while they are at school and at home. I had a lateral thinking puzzle on my classroom blog ( where they were given a question and they had to post yes or no questions to me regarding that question. Then I would post back to them on the same wall as a yes or no. They loved being able to see the other student's questions/responses. I also created another wallwisher for this blog that I will probably include this year ( am having trouble figuring out how to embed this into the blog, so the link will have to suffice.
  3. I embedded the Poll Everywhere question above and linked the Wallwisher walls in the #2 above.
  4. I can really see both of these tools being used in my classroom blog to encourage participation at home...possibly being part of their homework (they would have to respond/post X number of times per week). I saw first hand how the Wallwisher site brought a lot of students posting that I wouldn't normally hear from in the classroom. I'm also thinking about creating a Poll Everywhere question to place on my activboard daily as a beginning of the day warmup activity.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tool #5: Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

  1. I used the Wordle tool last year as a way of letting the students know who I am and as a way for them to show me who they are. Each student made their own Wordle showcasing things that they want me to know about them...we then printed them and displayed in the classroom. The sample one below can be found at I also created an Animoto video about myself to show my students at the beginning of the year. I can see me having the students use Animoto to show what they know or have learned about different science or math topics throughout the year...the free videos are only about 35 seconds long, so it would be easy to show everyone's in class. 
  2. Wordle: attleson Try our video maker at Animoto.
  3. (see embedded tools above)
  4. I explained above how I would use these two tools in my classroom. I plan on trying out some of the storybook tools when I have a little more time because I feel that the students could use those to create non-fiction books about their science topics, or fiction stories using certain math concepts.