Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tool # 11: Self Assessing and Reflecting...

Wait!!  You're finished?  But there is so much more out there!!

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 have found a tool called  It’s a collaborative website where students can put documents they have created, pull in videos they find that are related to the topic, pictures, and can write sticky notes about what needs to be done, or leave messages for other members in their group.  I can create the hives using the school issued email address, and assign the groups.  I can also go in and see how each group is doing and leave them a message with my feedback.  I think I will try this out when we are working on our famous Americans.  I can assign groups to research a particular person, and they can collect all of their online resources in their “hive”. 

My other favorite tool is the makebeliefscomix.  I think my students will enjoy using this Web 2.0 tool to create character conversations from their books, or they can use it to teach about something they have learned.  Because they don’t have room to write a whole lot, reluctant writers will enjoy this as much as Susie Storyteller.  (Actually, this tool might aggravate Susie Storyteller because she won’t have enough room to write all that she wants to say!)

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?
I am not quite so resistant to the technology---in the past I have felt that I have had technology pushed on me, but it wasn’t really enhancing my teaching or the students’ learning.  That is changing.  I see how I have been using it in my own learning, and can see ways to apply it to a second grade classroom.  We teach them how to use the features of nonfiction in a book, and now that is transferring to webpages such as  We watched bird cams in the spring, and they learn quite a bit about the behaviors of birds—such as they figured out the times of day that we would have a better chance of seeing the eaglets eating verses when they would be dozing.  Last year I had a group that presented a lesson using the Activinspire software and there was a high participation rate for that lesson presentation!  I think one of the stumbling blocks in my room now is that there are differences in the devices.  I have some of the Asus eee’s that I got with the Power to Learn grant, and my students last year hated using them because they weren’t reliable, or they were difficult to work with (for example, changing the size of the screen accidentally).  Now it’s going to be what sites can they use on the iPad verses what sites will they need to use a netbook for.  Writing book reviews/reports are not the mind-numbing activity they used to be.  When the students know that they can record themselves either using the itouch or the flip cam after they write their script and practice it three times (hello writing practice, and reading for fluency!  Heh), most can get write to work, and want to produce more than just one!  They think about what it sounds like, and make necessary adjustments (details, expression, speed).  There is definitely more freedom to use the devices in my room---they used to be taken out for one lesson at a time then turned off when we finished.  Now we leave three or four netbooks on all day for easy access.  I do wish my itouches would hold more of a charge.  I used to go for a week at a time before charging, now some have to be plugged in after just a little bit of use.
Definitely need to incorporate the digital content more.  Students are using it more and more on their own, and why should they have two different lives---one with technology outside of school, then they don’t get to access it while they are at school?  With my age level, they see it as entertainment, it’s my job to show them how to use it for the quest of being a lifelong learner.
Even Mickey has joined the digital age!

3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I am very surprised as to how fast I got hooked on the iPad that was issued to me at the end of the school year to use for the summer.  It took me a while one afternoon, but I figured out how to put secondary google calendars on the calendar, so I can access the calendars without actually having to have a laptop in front of me.  I used it during my internship at SBEC---the middle school and high school students wanted to know what books were on their school’s reading list…bam, pulled it up using Safari while I was standing in the middle of the fiction section.  Is such and such book here?  Bam, I pulled up the online catalog under library resources and checked for availability, all without having to run back over to the computer at the circulation desk.  Took pictures of book displays and other things I did, emailed them to myself so that I could include them in the documents that I have to turn in each week.  I had scoffed at people that talked about not being able to live without their iPhone.  Hmmm.  I wanted a piece of jewelry for graduation, but maybe…

I don’t know about it being an unexpected outcome, but I have definitely learned that if there is something that I can think of for my students to create, there is probably a way to do it in a digital format!  I noticed one of m teammates was curious about the time lapse drawing used in a video and she found an app for doing that.  That is the next thing to play with---after I finish my grad school papers and the G/T book study that I am doing for my update hours…  :P

Now that it's finished, it's party time!!

1 comment:

  1. Bam...You are done. Congrats on completing your 11 tools blog. I enjoyed reading about your journey of learning. I hope you enjoy having your tools next year. Good Luck!