Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Post #8 Video streaming

Active boards changed for complete the way we teach. The software that comes with the boards is already full of useful tools and functions but a very basic way to use the active boards it's as overhead projectors. I like to complement my lessons with short videos as I think visual learners and all the students have another chance to review a concept, in a different way. However showing a video should be a way to reinforce a concept, not the whole lesson itself.

I tried blinkx as it was suggested and I think it's a good tool. I'm posting 2 videos from youtube as I'm used to work with this website more often.

This video it's about the life cycle of the butterfly.

This second video it's about tornadoes.

Tool #7 Digital story.

This is my first story and it's about the oil spill currently affecting the gulf of Mexico. I plan to use stories similar to this one to prompt students to participate in a discussion. This kind of videos may also be helpful as anticipatory sets. I'll come back later to upload a digital story made on iMovie as I'd like to start using that software too.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tool #6 Wikis

I use the wikipedia everyday! Wikipedia has become one of my favorite websites as it's the easiest way to corroborate a fact, get a picture or get quick information about someone or some place. I learned from the beginning of the wikipedia that it was created by other people and that when something was not truth or a fact was inexact you could contribute providing a different opinion, editing and saving the text. That is called wiki.

Using wikis in a classroom constitutes an excellent tool to make students participate and provide their ideas. In an organizational setting using wikis help the members to share information easily and in real time.

The following video explains how a website: wetpaint may help you create your own wiki and get in touch with people with common interests.

Tool #5

I think the social bookmarking idea is really cool and useful. Setting it up was not so hard however I did not want to have an extra tool bar as they make the Explorer slower, I installed it anyway.

I went for diigo and I was able to find different websites that I bookmarked one about dogs, Yorkshire Terrier grooming tips and another about teaching Math in early elementary grades.

I find that diigo offers a more focused search results compared to most used search engines. Sometimes when googling a word it gives you thousands of results that are not so much related to what you are looking for.

This tool "social bookmarking" makes very easy to locate good websites.

Tool #4

Tool #4 - Google Docs

I really enjoyed using Google Docs and the Google reader! It really represents a powerful tool to be used in the classroom. I was able to publish a document to be accessed by others. I'm now capable of following the updates registered in my preferred websites. In the classroom I plan to use this tool as writing/reading learning center.

Below you can find a video on how Google Docs can be used so you can have an idea on what it is and how you can implemented in your classroom.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tool #3

This tool can help our students to generate a text from a set of ideas. They also can use all of these words to create a text, like setting a brainstorming session. I believe that creating a poster to present words as in a wordle can help students to always remember key words from an already taught lesson. The wordle you can see at the top of this posting was made within seconds, I gave myself 10 seconds to write some words representing what teaching is for me. Below is an example of how I could use a wordle to reteach a concept, to reinforce key vocabulary or to make my students review vocabulary from a lesson in Spanish to English.

Tool #2 - Post 2

I think building an online education community provides the

opportunity to interact with others in a completely different way. Traditional ways may include trainings and meetings; those absolutely require the presence of the people to participate. However, the online greatest advantage is that the sharing of thoughts occurs remotely and at a different pace, there’s no need for all the people to be present at the same time.

Commenting becomes the most important part to make communication flow. Reading comments from others and not replying to say I agree or I disagree causes the interaction to fail. Please write a comment!

The blogs I'm following are from experienced teachers in which I trust and think they are excellent professionals.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Post 1. Getting started!

I'm so excited to know that all these "internet tools" can be used in the learning environment. I often think of how the internet has changed our lives, of how a transformation has happened and everything has evolved to become what is today... I still remember when ICQ began to hit computers around 1998 for instant messaging and file sharing... months later everybody started getting email accounts, hotmail was amongst the most popular... then Napster and music files downloads... MSN messenger became very popular years later... metroflog.com and blogspot became the rule around 2004... Youtube appeared in the scene in 2005, and its content surpasses now the total content of the web!! Then it was the time for Hi5 and myspace... facebook transformed the way we communicate with friends and lately twitter and its messages... I'm glad that besides entertainment all these trends in the internet can be used now as teaching tools and promote learning within our students... I personally started my first blog around 5 years ago: http://rodrigocruz.blogspot.com but the lack of time and the increased use of other social network sites made me stop using it... but here we are... blogging!!! Never imagined it! The following video explains the importance of teaching technology in schools.