Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tool #11

Here we are.  The last post.  Thank you, Jesus.

Honestly, we should have time to focus on a few during the year and get professional hours.

My favorite tools I think the students will like are Storybird, Thinkfinity, Animoto, and Edmodo.  They will like the alerts I can send to their phones.  I already have a lesson for persuasion to use early in the year.  We will use Storybird.

I've kinda been using technology and pushing myself because I know I am weak on this compared to other people.  Age has nothing to do with it.  I like the more creative aspects of technology and of course, the Internet.  One thing I can do different is Skype with Jan Marie in the library.  I plan to get the 11th graders to read to one of the language arts classes at one of the feeder elementary schools.  I just want to keep them engaged and keep them challenged, which I do every day, all the time.

What I found is that I like doing technology.  It's just that there's not time for everything.  The change isn't so bad.  Other teachers shouldn't be scared of it or reluctant.  One just has to find his or her starting point, set a few goals, and don't worry about being perfect.  But technology isn't everything.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tool #10 Digital Citizenship

First of all, I tell all my students that what you have on your Facebook or voicemail can be checked my future college counselors, potential supervisors at a job for which you apply, teachers, administrators, and other students.  You leave your "digital" footprint that cannot be erased.  Sooooo, watch yourself.  Students have been kicked out of colleges for saying negative comments.  A good rule to go by, I tell my students, "If you have to think twice about it or if you think you couldn't say it in church, then don't say it, print it, embed it, or type it!"  Use your common sense, and don't be a follower.  Plagarism is something we already talk about because they must cite their sources, even photos and videos.  I plan on being much more tough, and I won't let my students have second chances.  Students need to understand feelings can be hurt, and students are breaking the law if they cyber bully.  Learning to use technology is supposed to be helping society, not hurting it.

I found many of the videos boring.  So, I don't know what I 'm going to show them visually.  But the day before we go to the lab to register for Edmodo, we are going to do an interactive group lesson.  They are going to have to create this.  First of all, they will have to think of behaviors they know they should do and ones they should not do.  They will write these on cards and mix them up.  They will be different colors, so each group will pass theirs clockwise to the next and each group will have to do these and put them together so they match.  Since I teach 11th grade, I think they know what to do already.  Teachers can use the "Read-Only" feature on Edmodo if they do something they know is wrong!  Ha ha for us!

The parents sign the students' forms, so hopefully, they have read the standards.  But if a student starts acting up, I can restrict them and then call the parent about it.  I'm covered because the students know.  I don't have a hard time with parents as long as I have an equal assignment their child can do.

Tool #9 Using Technology in the Classroom

Using classroom devices will be helpful if they are used at the right time.  For example, using the iPad is useful for people who don't have phones.  I have been letting the students use phones for research, typing papers in Google Docs, and writing text poetry, for some examples.  To be honest, I have a number of websites I like to use already, especially for review and resources for the students to check.  A new one I think to be useful is Thinfinity.  I think for my class, that one is the most useful because it has lots of information.