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 :)

Tool #4 - GoogleDocs

I used GoogleDocs quite frequently last year as a part of the ICU initiative. I have not really used it beyond that other than for a graduate class assignment. This year we will be meeting as an administration team to staff students weekly, and the idea to have our student staffing form on GoogleDocs came up as an easy way to share it with each other. I will be creating the form on GoogleDocs so that we can easily document our meetings. 


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tool #3 - Online Vids and Dropbox

So I had no idea that TeacherTube, SchoolTube, and KidsTube even existed! I really enjoyed exploring SchoolTube, and I liked this site the best out of the three because it is divided into two separate sections for teachers and students. I mostly use YouTube when searching for videos, and I was even able to use YouTube this year for our "Anti-Bullying" assembly to broadcast a former Landrum student's testimony about bullying. I have included her video below. In searching through SchoolTube, I found some neat videos posted by other schools showcasing their career days. Mr. Pratts has asked us to coordinate a career day this year for our staff and students, and it was fun looking at the creative ways in which other schools have organized their career days. Below is a video of career day that took place at Floyd Middle School in which they had 8th grade students research a career and present their research to peers, teachers, and families.

In regards to copyright, I think we often take it for granted that it is easy to reproduce and use copyrighted material in our classrooms. Site your source, and ask for permission when necessary! It's the law!

Dropbox is a neat tool I can use to store my information over the web. I'm excited to begin using it.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tool #2 - Blogging with Others…

I opted to Google "school counselor blogs" for this tool because I was curious to find blogs related to my profession that would offer new ideas for me to use this upcoming school year. I have recently become highly addicted to a website called Pinterest, and I was excited to see that Google directed me to a Pinterest user named Danielle Schultz who happens to be a School Counselor extraordinaire and blogger! #winning She has a plethora of ideas on her Pinterest board that I'm excited to explore! Here is a link to her board - http://pinterest.com/schcounselor/school-counseling-ideas-school-counselor-blog/
Also, here is a link to her blog - http://www.schcounselor.com/
I have subscribed to Danielle's blog, and I can't wait to put some of her ideas into action on our campus! After posting my first comment on her blog, I returned to Danielle's Pinterest board and found links to other blogs which she subscribes to. What a great way to start developing my personal learning network!

Michele :)

Tool #1 - And we're Blogging!!!

Yay! I created my first Voki and my second blog! While I am not new to Blogger, I am excited to use this blog to learn about the 11 tools we will be focusing on as a campus this upcoming school year! I realize that I am starting a little late in the game, but better late than never! Let's build this toolbox!

Michele :)