Saturday, November 26, 2011

Do 2nd Graders Get Twitter?

Yes, they do. I was overwhelmed when I read this post and then heard the students themselves speak about how Twitter has helped them. They really understand Twitter and the value of posting comments. Students also speak about how Twitter is helping them to become a better writer. Listen to their reflections by accessing this post: They Really Get It! These students are convincing, and perhaps listening to them will help convince you to open a Twitter account and begin to use it in the classroom with your students. If you are on Twitter, follow @grade1.

When you go to the post, be sure to click on the play button in the Twitteracy area to hear the students speak. Also, note how the Livescribe pen works.

Image from Aviva's blog 
By the way, the teacher who maintains the blog you will visit is Aviva Dunsiger. As time permits, scroll through and read other posts on her blog: Grades 1 and 2 At Ancaster Meadow School to learn more about exciting tech projects that Aviva does with her students.

Please be sure to leave a comment. What did you learn from hearing the 2nd graders discuss Twitter? If you visited the Grades 1 and 2 At Ancaster Meadow School further, what interesting discoveries did you make about how tech is being used with the 1st and 2nd graders?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cool Xtranormal Presentation Used to Reflect on Course Learning

This presentation was created by a student and faculty member at the University of Regina in Canada. I hope it motivates you to use digital storytelling tools such as Xtranormal and GoAnimate!

Social Media & Open Education - Interview with L. Bechard
by: bechardl

Saturday, November 19, 2011

One-on-One Computing Classrooms are the Future According to School Administrators


If you are preparing to be a teacher ready for the future, you need to read this article,

Survey of School Administrators Explores Digital Classrooms, Major Challenges

 The article reports on a survey of a large number of school administrations (e.g., principals and superintendents) of whom more than a majority, 63%, asserted that 1:1 computing classrooms with teachers as coaches is the wave of the future. How prepared are teachers for this possible eventuality? What should schools of education be doing to ready teachers for effective technology integration? What should school systems do to prepare teachers through professional development activities? Read the article, and weigh in on the situation. Post a comment. Do you think it is an overstatement to say one-on-one computing, meaning every student to have a device (e.g. tablet, laptop), is an eventuality? If not, then why not?  Do you think school systems can afford to go 1:1? Do you think they should?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Using Technology Successfully in the Classroom is a Mindset

Saw this slide show on Slide Share, and thought it was worth sharing with others. It makes several points about using technology in the classroom. We are reminded that the use of the technology is a mindset and not a technical skill. There are points made about problem-based learning, inquiry learning, and backwards design. The visuals help carry the message, so look through the entire presentation. Leave your comments. Did the presentation inspire you in any way? Did it deepen your appreciation for technology as supplementary to learning? What point was made about the use of technology as a mindset?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Teacher Tech Vids

Image from Teacher Tech Vid site
Just found this new site, Teacher Tech Vids, with videos for learning how to use a variety of Web 2.0 tools. What I like about the site is that the tutorials are arranged by comfort level: beginners, intermediate, and advanced. Tutorials are included for learning how to use such "beginner" (labeled "Newbies") tools as Animoto, Glogster, TodaysMeet, MS Photo Story, Timeline Creators, Google Earth, Wikis, and Word Clouds. Under the "intermediate" level (labeled "Developing"), there are tutorials for VoiceThread, Google Docs, Google Forms, SlideShare, Website Creators, and Skype. For "advanced" tools, there are tutorials for Twitter, Prezi, and UStream. The site is fairly new. Bookmark or save the site as favorite, or subscribe to it. You will want to check the resources on the site now and into the future. Take a look and let us know what you think of the site, and what tutorials you found useful for not only your own professional development, but also for use with students for them to learn the ins-and-outs of specific Web 2.0 tools. What Web 2.0 tools do you think still need to be included on the site? Suggestion: follow the developer of the site, Steve Johnson, on Twitter at @edtechsteve.

47 Alternatives to Using YouTube in the Classroom

Image from Bryne's blog 

As many of you know, I'm a fan of Richard Byrnes's blog, Free Technology for Teachers. He recently updated his information on alternatives to YouTube. Who can complain with 47 alternatives to YouTube? If your school does not allow YouTube or you are simply looking for a host of video resources for enriching classroom teaching or your own professional development, take some time to explore the wealth of resources offered in the Byrne's blog post 47 Alternatives to Using YouTube in the Classroom. Be sure to post back here what you find most valuable among the 47 resources. Some are probably ones you have already used, but others are likely to be new, especially with 47 choices offered.

By the way, if you have not already bookmarked or saved as a favorite Byrne's blog, now might be the time to do so. He often updates his blog with excellent resources for educators. Explore what he already has on the blog as well as follow the blog as he posts new information. If you are on Twitter, you can follow Byrnes at @rmbyrne.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Still Not Sure about Twitter for Professional Development

Check out this Prezi about Twitter for professional development and about social media in general. Let us know your thoughts after you view the presentation.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Resource for Finding and Creating Web Quests

Image from
The site "Best Webquest. com" offers not only a directory for finding quests by subject area and grade level at its portal page,, but also provides a host of resources for finding out about webquests.  Take some time to explore the table of contents of web quests: The About Web Quest page explains the origin and principles behind webquests.  You'll also find this page helpful: Criteria for Assessing Best Web Quests. The information on it will help you in creating your own webquests. However, also be forewarned that despite the merits of the Best site, there's also some commercialism on the site. For instance, if you want the website's designer, Tom March, and his employers to evaluate your webquest, in general or for possible inclusion on the site, there's a fee. Naturally, avoid that component, but explore around the site to deepen your understanding of what are the principles behind effective webquests. Check back here to let us know what you find and what you think of the site or other sites you explore through the links provided.

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