Sunday, March 28, 2010

Technology Blogs That Deliver

Kelly Tenkely writes two blogs that I am really enjoying the first is ilearntechnology and her second one is Stories of Learning. Both blogs are about sharing information and ideas with the education world at large. The first deals with technology and tools that are out there and how they can be integrated into the classroom. The second blog is about successes in the classroom. Things teachers are doing in the classroom that is working.

ilearntechnology won one of the edublog of the year in 2009. It is a very rich site. I found Fotobabble on the ilearntechnology site. Fotobabble lets you connect an audio recording to a picture and then embed it into your blog or page. What a cool concept.

Integrating it into the classroom - vocabulary (pronunciation); word walls; character development; setting; story starters; science and math concepts. I can also imagine an online scrapbook of classroom activities to share with their parents.

The 2nd blog Stories of Learning is meant to inspire teachers to try new things and find new ways to integrate technology into the classroom. One of the stories I read was from a teacher who was using to "Kill a Mockingbird" in the classroom. She had her students take the characters and built a facebook page. The students made comments as if they were the characters, they also used twitter for comments from the characters. Puts a different spin on reading a classic.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

EFL Classroom 2.0 - Where One Teaches Two Learn

EFL Classroom 2.0 is a social Ning that is filled with unexpected delights. I loved the Baam games on the site. I used one as a template to make a library game for my students. I can't wait for them to play it. (I'm waiting on a piece of equipment to get here.)

As a library media teacher finding fun activities is a critical piece of the learning structure. My students are always talking about their electronic entertainment - video games, tv, movies, dvd. I believe utilizing a game format is one way to reach them - learning masquerading as entertainment. I believe games provide amusement & repetition to make learning "fun".

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Applying Technology Tools

I have been playing with new pieces of technology and how it would look from my perspective as a librarian. One of our 6th grade teachers asked me to come and go over the research process with the 6th graders. This was a piece of collaboration on their Famous Scientist Project.

I went to after seeing one of the 1st Grade teachers' site. She assured me that it was easy! It was and I was able to put together a page that works.

On the home page I put buttons with live links on some resources that would be beneficial for home and school.

The 6th grade page is a specific page devoted to using the Big6 approach and applying their assignment. I have linked specific resources to this page that would help them in their research. I used two tools that are fast becoming favorites - Web Poster Wizard part of and that Kathi shared with us Saturday.

The teachers page are a couple of links that I liked and could see as being valuable to others. One of my favorite finds this week is the Fletcher Elementary Web site with links to many educational games. So I started a game page. I would encourage you to go through the games and bookmark the ones you like directly.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An Art Mystery

Eduweb is a company that utilizes todays technology in optimal ways to make learning memorable. I think this quote from their website says it all.

"At eduweb, our goal is to develop the most engaging and effective online learning experiences possible. To this end, we engage in research to better understand learning theory, learner preferences and engagement, and educational outcomes."

One of their interactive experiences is the "Case of Grandpa's Painting". It uses a playful way to compare artists and talk about color, composition, and perspective in relationship to specific artists.

I am going to use this piece when I talk to some of my students about the Dewey Decimal Section - 700-799 Art & Recreation.

Monday, March 22, 2010

SimplyBox - Corralling Websites Visually

I love my technology class. What great tools we are learning about. One is Simply Box. You can set up an account for free. Sadly you cannot set up an account on a Safari browser.

For people who are visual this tool lets you take a picture of the logo or page and drag it into a box of like items. See an example on the student resource page that I made for my 6th graders. Check out the link Famous Scientists. This is an example of a public box.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kids Games

Two of the teachers at my school told me about a great tool for building a classroom website- It is pretty easy, you will have to play with it some.

While working to put together a website for my library students I found a website with a collection of some great educational sites for kids, parents and educators. The site is Fletcher Elementary School. I was very impressed with the collection of educational games that Mrs Haney put together for her computer lab. If you go to the links you could bookmark the sites directly and customize your own collection.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Some More New Tools

While searching on the web for some tools for my classroom I found some real treasures for both tools, blogs and websites. They are all great reads filled with information to stimulate the creativeness of all the awesome readers out there.

One of the blogs I came across is Choosy Homeschooler. At her site I learned about Web Poster Wizard You can build a page with links and images for a class project or assignment. Lots of flexibility. The one I built is Teacher Tools all the links are live.

Alexander Street Press is Show casing their collection of resources in honor of Women's History for the month of March. Usually access to their resources is by subscription only.

The American Indian Education site maintains a phenomenal hotlist of links to resources.

Integrating Technology in the Classroom focuses on tools and technology. Another site with lots of educational games is ABCreative Teacher Resources I really liked the game Ghost Blaster.

One of my favorite blogs is Two Writing Teachers They challenged everybody to write a slice of life, each day for the month of March. What an amazing challenge. I am working on meeting that challenge by writing about my life with our dogs at One of the challenges they extended was using the slice of life writing in the classroom. As luck would have it Upstart is featuring bookmarks called My Life. My story. They also have a free activity guide to download.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Adding Tools to Your Classroom Tool Chest

I was searching for additional sites with random name selectors when I came across Free Technology Toolkit for UDL Universal Design Learning focuses on the need for multiple approaches to meet the needs of diverse learners.

Many students struggle to learn in the classroom for a number of reasons. Countless teachers, parents, and medical technologists have worked to find and develop tools, machines and strategies to help these learners succeed in the classroom. The down side is often these solutions are expensive or complicated. The Free Technology Toolkit for UDL has found some great resources that can be used to benefit many students.

Another fabulous site that I found by accident is I Learn Technology an edublog about integrating technology into the classroom. So many great posts about things and sites that can be used in the classroom. I loved many of the science and math sites that they suggested readers explore.

The third site I found is a ning called Classroom 2.0. It is a community for educators using web 2.0 and collaborative technologies. They make a point of welcoming and supporting beginners in this learning journey.

These three sites have a wide selection of great tools. I hope you will add many new tools to your classroom tool chest. I really enjoyed exploring them.