Tuesday, October 23, 2012

21st Century Biography!

Since I started my new position in the middle school, today, was my first time integrating technology into their assignment.  I went into an 8th grade classroom, where they were assigned to research a person and present their findings.   I was very excited to introduce a few presentation tools and Pinterest to the class.  The students were required to use Pinterest for their research and select a presentation tool of their choice.  I was very surprised most of the students never heard of or even used Pinterest.

First,  I introduced Pinterest to the students.  I modelled to them on how to create an account, add the 'Pin it' button to the bookmark bar, and create a board.  Then, they had to surf the web and pin websites that were relevant to the person they were researching.

Next, I introduced and modeled Spiderscribe.  Spiderscribe is a Web 2.0 tool that will allow students to create a concept map or graphic organizer using 5 different objects, such as: event or date, map, image, word document, or text box.  These objects can be connected together to show relationships. In addition, the entire concept map can be exported as a jpeg and saved into their e-portfolio or in Edmodo. Since this is a Web 2.0 tool, the students have the capability to share their concept maps with other students.

After that, I introduced and modeled Voicethread.  This is another presentation tool that will allow students to interact with each other by commenting on the slides in the presentation.  They can comment by using their webcam, typing, or audio record of their comment.  This is a great tool for some students who are a bit timid to present in front of the class.  This gave them the option to record themselves without that feeling.

Finally, I introduced a template that was created in Powerpoint.  I know what you are thinking, PowerPoint, but this template has a 21st century twist....it's a Facebook template!  The students have to create a Facebook account using this template and take the role of the person they are researching.  This will allow them to post to the wall, create photo albums, create a friends list, and fill profile information accurately.  Most importantly, the dialect and tone must be relevant to the person and for its time period.  Although it is a PowerPoint file, which does not allow file sharing, my co-teacher, made a suggestion to upload the file into a Google Presentation.  This will allow the students to share the Facebook template.  Here is a sample slide of the template.

After introducing all of the presentation tools to the classes, most of the students in the first two classes wanted to use the Facebook template.  However, in the last class, there was an even amount of groups wanting to use all three tools.

Come back and look for links of the completed assignment.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Middle School Technology Integration

Previously, I was working with kindergarten and first grade students in the computer lab.  I was teaching the students mouse skills, keyboarding skills, social networking using Edmodo, digital citizenship, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Paint, Internet Explorer, and identifying the basic parts of a computer and desktop.

Although I enjoyed working with this grade level, I recently applied for the same job, Instructional Technology Integration Coach, at the middle school.  I am happy to say that I will be working with middle school students in a technology rich building.  I will assist teachers on using technology, provide resources and support for implementing technology into their 21st century classrooms.  I am very excited for my new challenge!

As I mentioned, the middle school is a technology rich building, where it is a 1:1 environment.  All students have netbooks and teachers either have laptops or iPads.  Each classroom has an interactive projector that operates like a smartboard, and of course the building is wifi.

The school district was fortunate enough to win a Talent 21 grant, where they were able to spend the funds on technologies which included, hardware and software applications.  The students have been exposed to many web 2.0 tools, such as Glogster, Edmodo, Voicethread, and Prezi.  In addition, they have been exposed to Microsoft Office Products such as Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Publisher, and Access.  I plan to introduce new apps and web 2.0 tools to the teachers and students, such as Livebinders, Symbaloo and many more.

Currently, I am working on creating a middle school technology integration wiki.  This wiki will provide subject area resources for teachers to reference.  It will also provide resources for web 2.0 tools, talent 21 resources, audio and video, digital citizenship, and many more.  I will be working on this wiki on a weekly basis, so that it can be a productive resource.  .

Furthermore, I am working on creating a Technology Integration Request Form using Novell Vibe.  The teachers must fill out this form with detail information about their lesson and how they would like to use technology in their lesson.  Although the form does not look "pretty" in Novell Vibe, the workflow of it is very convenient.  Once I approve the request, it will add the request to my calendar automatically.   However, I am thinking about creating one using Google Forms.

Finally, I would like to implement new procedures on student e-portfolios.  Right now, students save everything on the network drive.  Eventually, I would like to have them save everything on the cloud. This will be one of  my biggest obstacles, but I look forward to the challenge!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Keyboard and Mouse Webmix using Symbaloo

I created a webmix using Symbaloo for my students to practice their keyboarding and mouse skills. They absoutely love the Super Hyper Spider Typer game, Cup Stacking, and Bees and Honey.

I also use Typing Web for keyboarding practice.  This is a free tool where you can (the teacher), create up to 25 student accounts. I created generic user accounts and created tickets for this application. The students have to sign in and start practicing their home row skills. Once they complete a level, the application focuses on different fingers and letter keystrokes. Much to my surprise, my first grade students handled the challenge well!

I would highly recommend trying this application with your students.  You can visit my Symbaloo to see other keyboarding and mouse skill resources.