Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tool #8

Netbooks - I learned that Netbooks run Windows 7. I'm not familiar with Windows 7, so that's a bit of a concern for me. They have a webcam, which I think is cool. I assigned a group video project for Huck Finn and we could use the Netbooks for that.

iPads - I learned that I need to create an acct with iTunes to be able to manage the apps with the iPads in the classroom. My own personal iTunes acct won't work; I will instead have to create one with SBISD. I also learned there is a place on the SBISD EdTech website where I can go to search for different apps based on content and grade level.

Management - My concern with the Netbooks and iPads is that there won't be enough to go around. I can see the kids fighting over who gets to use them when. I mean, even if we split into groups, if I only have 4 iPads, that's like 7 kids in a group. I think a class set might be more helpful.

Tool 7

I created an Edmoto acct for use in this project. I would like to be able to collaborate with other subject area teachers about ways that English overlap with other content areas.

I'm thinking about setting up a collaborative effort with Ms. Boyd who teaches history. She and I have a ton of the same students - she in history and me in English. I'm thinking we could create an Edmoto site and all comment about whatever we're learning about. My students are reading Huck Finn and her students are learning about the Civil War. Both Ms. Boyd and I can give the students prompts and students from both classes can respond. The objective would be to get the students to see that some of the themes in literature hold throughout history. We would implement this whenever her schedule allowed. I think it would be easier for me to structure my class to coincide with her history timeline so that we're studying the same material at the same time.

Tool #6

One of the tools is Blogger, which I've already got a profile on it, as you well know. I don't know that I would use Blogger in class. It seems more like an open diary than a classroom tool. No offense, Tool Creators.

I created an acct and a Poll on Poll Everywhere. I don't know that I would use this in my classroom. I'm already so against cell phones in the classroom that I don't know that I would encourage more cell phone usage. Plus, we already have the ability to poll with the Active Votes.

I also created an acct. on Twitter. You can follow me @MsLaurenShelley You may have some grammar assignments. Twitter, I'm actually interested in using because I think I could make a grammar thing out of it - like get kids to post example sentences of grammatical concepts we learn in class. I like that it's only 140 characters, so that encourages brevity. It might be a way to get the students interested.

I saw an Edmoto on Donya's tool page. I like the idea of them being able to have an in class discussion via the web. It would be a way for them to share their thoughts in a little bit safer environment. Also, it takes away the fear some kids have of not being willing to share out loud in class - everyone would have to post. I might use Edmoto before I would ever use Poll Everywhere.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tool #5

I would probably not use this myself, but my students might. They could create projects this way.




I created a book in TikaTok. I would never use this ever. I think this app was kind of juvenile. Also, it saved as a PDF file, which I am unsure how to link to this blog page.

My Book

If this link doesn't work, I have this as a PDF file. I'd be glad to email it to whomever is checking this blog. I better get credit for this Tool.

Tool #4

I've never used Google Docs before, but I just might do it again. I can see it as a way to share documents with my colleagues and have them respond and make changes. I think it's a good way to be able to have multiple people access and edit the document.

As for my classroom, I think that it would be a way for us to consolidate notes - like all students could add to a document. My only concern is what would happen if all these kids had access and some little trouble maker comes in and deletes everything? I would like to have power of veto over the kids editing capabilities.

Looking over the Google Apps, I would use Google Docs and YouTube. I might use the Calendar App if I were more of a long-range planner.

This is two of the four tools I've now thought could actually have some practical application to my classroom. Let's hope this trend continues?

I would REALLY appreciate a Google App that would grade my papers for me...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tool #3

I visited both TeacherTube and YouTube and searched for what we're currently studying in class - Huck Finn and Devil and Tom Walker. YouTube had way more videos on both subjects. TeacherTube didn't even have anything for Devil and Tom Walker. I would be much more likely to use YouTube, as it has more information, but you definitely have to wade through some videos to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I also went to SchoolTube. It says to type in your school name, but I couldn't find our campus on the website. I do like that the SchoolTube videos are all obviously students completing projects. They, too, had nothing on Devil and Tom Walker, but they had several videos on Huck Finn. I could probably steal some project ideas from checking out more of these videos. KidsTube had no search results whatsoever for Huck Finn so I didn't spend much time on that site. As for Discovery Ed, I've actually used videos from that site before, so I didn't visit it for the sake of this assignment. I went to the Blinkx website, but was very unimpressed with their search results. The first half-dozen results for Huck Finn had nothing to do with the book - it was just some dude fishing. WTH? I did like the layout of the site though. Probably the cleanest and easiest to read of all the video sites.

Looking around these websites has made me think that having some sort of project where the students must create and post a video is not that unreasonable (esp. here). The kids might actually get a kick out of looking up videos online and trying to create something better. This is the first of the three tools that I've thought had any potential relevance to my classroom, so I appreciate that.

As for copyright and fair use, I learned that it's not a violation if you are using it for face-to-face teaching. That's good because I constantly copy material from my Princeton Review resources to use in SAT class. I suppose it's good to know this is merely an ethical violation as opposed to a legal one.

Finally, I created a Dropbox acct. for Terri's HEAT lesson, so I didn't do that again here. Picasa I couldn't figure out how to work unless I downloaded the program, which I did not. My impression of Picasa is that it's a picture sharing site. I don't really plan on taking pictures of my classes or sharing them. If anything, I would think this is something with more applications to the students. But really, if I'm having the students create and post something, I like the idea of videos much more than pictures.

Enjoy my embedded videos. One each from Huck Finn and Devil and Tom Walker - both from YouTube. (Having the instructions on the 11 Tools website as a video itself drove me nuts. I'd much rather have instructions I can read. I have no patience for watching videos. The thing that really bugged me was that I watched this entire video and it's about how to embed a Voki, not a video.)



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tool #2

I enjoyed visiting my co-workers blogs. This tool made me check out what my colleagues are doing and see their progress. Also, I like it that my co-workers are leaving comments on my blog. I feel like I'll take the entire exercise more seriously if I think people are actually reading what I post.


I don't know if this counts as a PLN, but I visit webenglishteacher.com all the time. It's a favorite of mine. There are always a ton of resources to beg, borrow, and steal. I also visited CoolCatTeacher but I had a difficult time reading the interface. I couldn't find what I was looking for easily. Then I went to the Educator's PLN blog. The whole interface seemed cluttered to me. I spent some time on the Forum part of this webpage, which I found much easier to navigate. Should I ever get iPads in my classroom, the Forum on this blog had several good ideas for useful apps in the classroom.

Finally, I've never had a problem sharing my thoughts publicly. I know this can sometimes get me in trouble, but with the added quasi-anonymity of the blogosphere, I feel like I'm even more ballsy in what I will say.

I liked The Learning Network blog. I got that website from visiting Donya's blog. I will probably visit this one in the future since it has a daily news quiz. I will most likely use this resource next school year when we write the Current Events essay in the fall.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tool #1

L.Shell has a blog.


1.    Write a brief post about your experience to date.
This isn't my first time using blogspot. I used to have a blog, so it's not that hard creating and posting. I was using blogspot like 6 years ago, though. The website has certainly changed and become more advanced since I was a frequent user. 

2.    Did you find the experience fairly easy?
Blogging, yes; Voki, no. Fortunately I was working with other teachers who had already completed theirs, so I had direct instruction. It would have been much harder to figure out on my own. 

3.       Did you face any challenges?
It must be said that the biggest challenge is time management. My students aren't going to read this blog and I'm not sure how creating a Voki will ever actually benefit my teaching, so I guess the challenge I face is seeing the relevance of this activity. I've spent nearly 2 hours on this project so far and it's just Tool one. That's two hours I could have been grading. Just saying. However, I shall hold out hope that the 10 remaining tools may actually provide more direct application to my classes. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012