Module 4: Practice Embedding (Part 3)

I found this presentation on Slideshare. Slideshare is an online site where those who have created slide presentations can post them so others can enjoy them. It’s been referred to as “YouTube for PowerPoints” because users can create a profile, follow others, and “like” and make comments on presentations.

This is “Groovy Grammar! Interesting ways to learn grammar!”  Author Shelly Sanchez Terrell shares 29 slides with ways to make learning grammar not just interesting , but also fun. None of them are, “Open the book and copy the sentences.” I love to teach grammar, so I would use many of these ideas.

 

Slideshare has many possible uses. In literature class, I could have students write and illustrate the story elements of a recently read novel. The digital images and words can be viewed by others as a summary of the novel, and I can assess the student’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as their understanding of the story elements.

 

 

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Module 4: Practice Embedding (Part 2)

This Vimeo video is a wonderful collection of snippets highlighting the amazing athletic skills of my all-time favorite San Francisco Giants player, shortstop Brandon Crawford.

Brandon Crawford – Home from Gina Chiechi on Vimeo.

Vimeo is a video sharing website similar to Youtube, but it’s commercial-free, so it’s even better in a school setting because there are fewer distractions for students. Teachers can be less concerned about inappropriate pop-up ads, too.

I could use Vimeo to have small groups of my 6th graders deliver a “newscast” for our school. Student reporters can take turns sharing current happenings, announcing up-coming events, and presenting a student or teacher special interest report. My students would benefit from developing skills in research, note-taking, expository writing, and public speaking in addition to developing technology skills.

Module 4: Practice Embedding (Part 1)

This interactive image was created using  ThingLink, a digital poster tool that enables users to put interactive elements directly on the image.

The human heart is the main organ of our circulatory system. It moves oxygen-rich blood from our lungs to our entire body. Oxygen-poor blood is returned to our lungs so that waste products, like carbon dioxide, can be released. The human heart is fascinating!

 The Heart’s Purpose & Function, by Ron Burke

For my 6th grade science class, I can create Thinglinks of different aspects of earth science. When we’re studying volcanos, for example, I can place interactive elements over specific parts of a volcano diagram that would contain a pronunciation of the term, definitions, explanation its function, or a video clip showing the volcano erupting. This would aid students understanding of how volcanos operate.

Module 3 Reflection: Create Your Portfolio

I was excited about the idea of starting a blog; I’ve thought about setting one up for my class for a while. I think it’s great to have a place to share my learning with colleagues, and I like having the opportunity to learn from them. Then, reality set in. Using WordPress.com was far more complex than I could have imagined! It is not at all intuitive and made me stress-crazy! My 22-year-old son, who was required to struggle through setting up his own website for a college class, had difficulty helping me. It made both of us stress-crazy! I still can’t get my tagline to show up, even after changing themes. And I’m not sure if my categories are going to connect right. I’ve learned that I still want to set up a website/blog for my 6th grade class. I’ll be able to post events, homework assignments, announcements for parents, and much more. I’ve also learned that I definitely will not be using WordPress.com for that endeavor – it takes way too much work.  Life is too short to use frustrating technology!

Module 2 Reflection: Lay the Groundwork

The tools chosen for this module:

  • Cloud Storage Bin: I have accounts for both Dropbox and Google Drive. Our group leader Theresa set up a Google Drive folder for us, so that’s what we’re using 🙂  I prefer using Google Drive because my school district uses G-mail. It’s very convenient to move between the two applications. I already have folders set up for each subject, professional development, parent information, and clip art. In addition, the storage is unlimited and free.
  • Backchannel: Voxer was chosen for the group; I really don’t care for it. Because I don’t own a smartphone, I do not benefit from the ability to instantly hear the messages others leave. Listening to a string of messages on my computer is inconvenient for me, and I’m not an auditory learner. I’d rather have a private Facebook page that I can visually skim for information that I need.

Module 1: Taking Stock

  1. My biggest concern/challenge with technology is simply being able to keep up with all of it. I get overwhelmed by all the possibilities, both good and bad. I feel like I never have enough time to fit technology use in to an already-busy day. I know a lot of this has to do with the fact that I’ve been teaching 2- grade combination classes for the past 7 years, so my time has been a lot less flexible.
  1. “Why Bother with Technology?” The most relevant  reasons to me why technology is worth the trouble:
  • It develops the skills students will need for work and life in the 21st My job is to make sure my students are ready to move on to the next grade level and, eventually, college or trade school. I need to be able to use current technology in order to help them be prepared for their next challenges. I need to get caught up!
  • It increases student engagement. Too many of my 11-year-old students stay up way too late at night (11:00 or 12:00!) and are not alert enough in class. They also seem to have short attention spans. When we have lessons where they’re actively involved, they are much more attentive and able to learn. Interactive Notebooks have made a huge difference in my language arts program, so finding ways to incorporate technology seems like an additional way to ensure engagement.
  1. I’m very interested in using Edmodo for making a class website. I’ll be able to post daily homework and announcements, store documents for students (because I’m tired of hearing, “I couldn’t do it because I lost the paper.”), and provide a safer-than-Facebook place for students to interact for homework help. My district got a Google account for every student last year, but I didn’t use it very much. I’d like to become far more proficient in how I can use Google Docs for student assignments and individual writing portfolios.
  1. “How to Implement Technology” Two tips I believe are most important for my successful use of technology:
  • Step 1: Get Clear on the Reason – If I have a sound reason for using a particular tool, the class is more likely to be successful.
  • Step 5: Do Test Runs – This is something I’ve failed to do too many times. I’ve ended up really discouraged and not wanted to attempt another project for a while. The suggestions in this section helped me see how important it is to do a test run. I wish someone had told me this before!
  1. “The Q&A Section” – I learn about a variety of locations for royalty-free image sources. We’ve previously only used Google Images to put in projects.
  2. “Tool Categories” Two categories that are especially interesting to me:
  • Image Making – I am not an artist. My students learn this very quickly, and most appreciate the fact that I, at least, try. I would like to improve my ability to create somewhat attractive visuals.
  • Interactive Posters – Student groups could show their learning by making an interactive poster to share with the class.

 

Note – The above graphic credit:  High school clipart 39004529 (clipartpanda.com)