Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tool #11 - Reflection

There are so many tools that I have learned to use, but I think that some of my most favorite tools would have to be Edmodo, Wordle, and TED. There are so many ways that I can use these tools with our students, and I am excited to begin exploring the options. Also, I am so proud of myself for finishing up this professional development course, and I am excited about all of the wonderful educational tools that I learned to use on this journey. I'm glad that we were pushed to do this as a campus regardless if we are in the classroom on a daily basis or not. I have heard teachers throw around some of these educational tools in meetings, but I never had the time to explore what they are all about. I feel like learning about these tools will allow me to better connect with our teacher and students because now I know what they are using in the classroom to support instruction. 



Tool #10 - Be a good DigiCitizen!

Three things that I would like for my students to understand regarding internet safety are:
1) Don't believe everything you read on the internet
2) Do not disclose personal information on the internet
3) Beware of Facebook

The chart of resources on the SBISD website are very helpful. The resources are categorized by grade level, and are easy to navigate through. The website contains valuable information that we can share with our students about being good DigiCitizens. I plan to incorporate this information into our counselor presentation when we talk to the students about Cyberbullying.

It is important to convey to students that the right thing is not always the most popular thing, but we should always strive to do the right thing no matter what!


Tool #9 - Got Tools?

Students should always be working towards a purpose, thus the importance of having objectives listed in your classrooms on a daily basis. The purpose of having these educational tools is to engage learners and evolve with the changes in education year after year. The tools are supposed to be used as supplemental materials that will help our learners reach their academic goals while having fun. We have evolved into a technologically driven society, and we must keep up with the needs of our students. Holding students accountable for their learning with or without these tools is nonnegotiable. One of the apps that I look forward to using to connect with teachers and students is Edmodo. I created an account, and I am in the middle of setting up my profile to better connect with students and staff. Another app that I have become addicted to as a result of tackling this professional development course is TED. Below is a video of a 12 year old genius named Thomas Suarez who developed apps for the IPhone. What a find! He is my current idol...


Tool #8 - New Tools and How to Use 'Em!

I am so thrilled to hear that our students will have access to all of these very cool technological devices. I was aware that our teachers and students would be receiving I Pads and I Touch gadgets, but I wasn't aware that they would also be receiving MacBooks, XBox 360s and HP Touchscreens! How cool is that? Since I am not in the classroom, I will not have to worry about managing devices, but I do believe that teachers will have to be firm regarding the guidelines and expectations for use of these devices. We are very fortunate to be in a district that is a strong supporter of incorporating technology into classroom instruction, and I feel like our students deserve to be exposed to devices they may not otherwise have access to. Using these tools will undoubtedly make learning fun and interesting for our students when used appropriately and managed correctly.

Tool #7 - Skype away!

I personally use Skype frequently to stay connected with my family members who all live outside of Houston. I am fascinated with the fact that we are now able to connect with others face to face via the web. We have come so far with the power of technology! There are so many different ways that I can use Skype with our students; however, I would like to use it as a part of our career day this year. I have many friends who live in other cities/states and who are working professionals doing some pretty interesting things with their careers. I think it would be a great idea to Skype in one of my friends for the career day and have him/her set up online at a booth to talk to students as they visit. I imagine this would capture our students' attention because it would be a unique way of linking them to a cool career via Skype. We will have to see if it works! Stay tuned....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tool #6 - Let's Have A Convo!

In preparation for an LMS Career Day this year, Poll Everywhere and Wallwisher are great tools to begin brainstorming ideas for the event and gaining feedback from staff and students regarding what they would like the career day to look like. I created an open-response poll on Poll Everywhere and a Wallwisher bulletin board to begin the conversation about having this event on our campus. Michele:)

Tool #5 - Web 2.0 Tools!

The first Web 2.0 Tool I played with was Animoto. I can't believe I've never used this tool before! It was so much fun, and I can think of several ways I will be using this awesome site professionally and personally! I created a short (very short due to my free trial) video documenting our sandcastle field trip last year. Our students had so much fun, and we ended up winning 1st place. Mr. Bautista teamed up with Northbrook Middle School so that we could enjoy this day at the beach with our creative students! Thanks, Mr. Bautista! Check it out!
Try our slideshow maker at Animoto.

The other tool I have always been curious to try and finally learned to use was Wordle. This is such a neat way for staff and students to express their ideas related to a topic. I really enjoyed playing with the design and colors. I can see how this would be a fun tool for students to use in the classroom! I present to all of you - my counseling Wordle! Ta-da!

Wordle: Counselor

Michele :)