Saturday, July 28, 2012
1. What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools. I love the edmodo which gives me a communication device not only for my classroom, but with other SBISD teachers without invading their e-mails. I think Wallwisher will be a great way for my students to exchange ideas about the books they are reading. For example, I will assign my students the task of reviewing Bluebonnet books upon completion with the goal that every student reads enough Bluebonnet books to be eligible to vote on their favorite during the Bluebonnet breakfast. Storybird is a great tool for students (especially reluctant writers in that it gives them visual prompts to prevent "writer's block" or hesitancy to begin due to an inability to formulate ideas) and I found it one of the easiest programs to use. I will have students use it early in the year to create a book based on simple ideas. 2. How have you transformed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom? How has your vision for your classroom changed? Are you going to need to make any changes to your classroom to accommodate the 21st Century learner? The classroom environment will change as the Ipads will need a designated area with space. My classroom environment will focus less on students' desks and more on comfort zones whether that be at tables, cushions or wherever creative thinking is maximized for each student. The learning will shift from whole group centered to greater time spent in small groups and individual projects. Also, outside of the classroom can be greater utilized whether it is to take pictures, collaborate with other classrooms or just to allow learning outside where students may feel freer to express their ideas outside the confines of four walls. 3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? I felt there were more useful tools for younger learners such as my third graders than when I completed 23 tools and 11.5 tools. I still feel disappointment that some of the programs are not available unless you pay for them, but I have reluctantly accepted that many are out to "make a buck". I wish the district could provide more of these services but it does look like based on comments during the tools instruction that such efforts are being made. I also hope that these tools will allow my students to communicate more with other students in the district, around the United States and around the world. I am thinking of having my students put together a project where they try to communicate with as many countries that are represented in the 2012 Summer Olympics as possible. I think this will be an engaging way to open their minds to discovering cultures and places around the world.