Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tool #10 Digital Citizenship


1. The internet and the tools we have are incredibly valuable for our learners. They can also be a source of wasted time and even worse, dangerous for our students. In my opinion, the most important things to teach are responsibility, safety and respect. Students must understand that there is an important purpose in conducting themselves this way. We want to be able to collaborate globally and continue to use these tools to our advantage. Students should be educated to understand that with these resources come much responsibility and the need for a respectful safe environment.
2. ISTE' s NETS-S and NETS-T offer standards for students and teachers. This site offers a way to evaluate the skills students and teachers need to operate safely and productively in a digital environment.
3. I think modeling good digital citizenship is the first step. But we must also explicitly teach these skills. So I would begin with examples and non examples of good digital behavior. We would have discussion about why this is appropriate or not and what the student is risking by engaging in behavior that is in appropriate. They should come to realize that there are short and long term consequences when you misuse the resources. Through discussions and discovery, they should come to the conclusion that they are limiting their opportunity to take part in these desirable learning experiences.
4. I would share this with parents throughout the school year. We should set expectations and clearly explain the reasons for these guidelines with the parents in our handbooks, at back-to-school night and at conferences. Parents should understand the risks involved with opening their computers and devices to the children at home as well.

Tool #9 Classroom Devices

  1. When writing your objective, you should determine what you want your students to learn. You need to specify the technology because the "how" is also part of a complete content objective. These engaging devices increase the learning so we should be thoughtful about which ones are appropriate resources and plan for them from the beginning.
  2. Students must be held accountable because these devices hold many temptations. A student will wander off the learning path without proper guidance, even when you are not using the internet or a digital device. It is extremely important that we maximize all the learning time we have with our students. Parameters and expectations should be clear.
  3. I visited Thinkfinity.org. I liked this site because it was like a warehouse of many other educational websites. From there I found http://americanhistory.si.edu and www.readwritethink.org. Both of these sites had information that would be useful in stations. The history site could be part of a research center. Students are currently expected to do research on a specific topic using a variety of resources. Accountability is built in with the fact that the student must produce a deliverable . I also liked Mangahigh. This is an excellent site for a station as it offers a gaming environment that allows them to compete with students beyond their school or city...highly engaging! And it provides different levels, students progress at their own pace... differentiation! The accountability with this station is built into the site as teachers can view student progress. 
  4. Two apps that appeal to me are Screen Chomp and Digital Dice. Screen Chomp is a screen casting app that turns your iPad into a white board with a recording feature. This is such a wonderful tool for our second language learners. They will gladly record and re-record their mini lessons in a nonthreatening environment to be shared later. The production of language here is what will accelerate their language acquisition. It is also a wonderful way to cement learning of the content. The dice app is just a simple way to have students engage in math activities. "Race to 100" is a simple way to practice math facts with a partner and a pair of dice. For either of these apps, I would have 2 students working as a pair with one device. In both instances, there must be a deliverable for the teacher. With Screen Chomp it would be the finished minilesson produced by the student. With dice, they would have used paper to practice the math facts as they race to reach a certain total.  
  5. What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tool #8 Learning about the devices

I learned quite a bit about the devices that are in the classrooms now.  I learned something very simple about my netbook... I never realized that the volume control was at the top left of my keyboard.  That is handy!  Also, you should also try to power down completely to reboot your itouch/ipad before submitting a trouble ticket.  And I also found it interesting that we can't remove some aps but they can be moved to a folder to save space on the device homepage.

As far as managing the devices, I have heard that is is very important to label them.  Perhaps stickers or writing on the devices with permanent markers.  Also assigning a technology manager would be important as would training the students to respect the equipment.

Tool #7 Curriculum Writing Project


Our objective is to align the High School Geometry curriculum with the current math TEKS. This project is a collaboration between specialists from across the district.  We are currently working on this project and it should be completed by Summer 2012.  We will use the technology tools DropBox and GoogleDocs to share documents and collaborate on the project. The tools have been very useful to simultaneously work on a variety of documents. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tool #6

What great tools for encouraging online discussions!

 I have created a Today's Meet room so that we can record conversations at trainings and meetings.  Our department can then have a printed record of all the "backchannel" that was going on between us!
http://www.todaysmeet.com/11tools


And I also started a twitter account.  This is a great way to communicate with teachers that want more information about ESL or Dual Language.  You can follow me at @mssalvac

For some reason the code did not work in that last post.  Try this link.

School Wordle

And here is my Wordle.  I think this would be a great tool to use as an ice breaker in the beginning of the year. Or a set for students to try to determine what a reading will be about. It would also be great to have them create poems to review readings and then create wordles about the poems.


 <a href="http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/5209493/School_is" 
          title="Wordle: School is"><img
          src="http://www.wordle.net/thumb/wrdl/5209493/School_is"
          alt="Wordle: School is"
          style="padding:4px;border:1px solid #ddd"></a>