Thursday, July 19, 2012

ED 554 . . my favorite class!

This class, taught by Steve Knight, has been one of the most useful and inspirational classes I have taken while at Marymount.  Through explorations of numerous new software, I learned to think and approach lessons differently.  We are all looking for ways to engage our students and supplementing lessons with appropriate technology is a great way to meet them where they are! From Photostory 3 to Animoto to learning how to use Screenr, I have been given a good start into the huge world of technology in the classroom.  Thanks Steve . . . you rock!

Cell Phones in school . . . they are already there!

I read the Blog post about five reasons to use cell phones in school at http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2012/07/5-reasons-to-allow-students-to-use-cell.html.  I agree 100% with the authors points about the need for cell phone use in school and I will add one more.  Most students already have the technology right in their pockets so why not take advantage of the available technology and turn it into a positive learning opportunity.   It seems short sighted to restrict this use based on assertions that it will lead to cheating.  I was part of a classroom this year where there was a net book at every desk.  We had rules and yes, watched closely, but we need to embrace that which is in front of us and come up with innovative ways to engage with it!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Welcome to History - My Digital Story

video
I used Photo Story to create my digital story.  I would like to use this story as an introduction to myself on the first day of class. This story will also serve as a model for the students to create their own digital story introduction that will be shared in our class blog.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blog musings-Tiki-Toki

I have been reading blogs looking for some new things to use in the classroom and came across Tiki-Toki timeline:    www.tiki-toki.com. .  Wow!  This free, web-based timeline software could be great to use with  the first week of school "getting to know you" assignment.  Let the students get as creative as they want by creating a timeline of the important events and people in their life.  Tiki-toki is integrated with Flickr so pictures can be added as well as video.  Using custom made backgrounds and colors, students can tell their story with words and pictures and add to it as the year progresses.
This software would also be great to build a timeline in History class as you move through the lessons and events.   The students could each take responsibility for adding a portion as the year unfolds and at the end it could be used as a great review.

Poor PowerPoint

PowerPoint is getting a really bad name and I can honestly say that I will never look at another one in quite the same way again!  What was certainly a standard in many of my grad school classes, and with head hanging down, in my student teaching experience too, has become a lighting rod of criticism as a poorly used prop.  I agree that all too often the power point has taken over the lesson rather than supplement it and they can be awfully boring  . . . but they can also organize information and use pictures, graphs, etc. that are helpful for visual learners.
I am working on becoming a prezi professional.  They are much more exciting to watch but prezis can have the same problems as their cousin, the PowerPoint.  They can take over the lesson instead of supplementing it, although much more readily!   It is going to be hard to give up my presentation friends.  I will keep looking for new ones . . .

Digital Life 102-Lesson Plan for High School

Common Sense Media,  in their 45 minute lesson plan called Digital Life 102 , helps make high school students aware of the role digital media plays in their lives.  The lesson plan starts with the students filling out a quiz about statistics regarding their use of media.  Some of the statistics are surprising, like 4 out of 5 teens sleep with their cell phones either in their bed or right beside it.  The quiz answers will get their attention as will the video of other students talking about how cell phones, computers and social media affects their lives.  The lesson wraps up with the students texting or tweeting! the teacher the answers to discussion questions.  An optional media log can be assigned for students to track their media use for one week.

This seems to be a good lesson to make teens aware of how central digital media is to their lives, although I doubt there is much that will surprise them (just surprises me!)