This course has been a difficult, yet great learning experience for me. I hadn’t had enough exposure before this course to the concept that the internet can foster collaborative learning among learners who connect with each other. Therefore, learning more about wikis, blogs, google docs, voice threads, and pod casts, has taught me that the computer isn’t just for one-way learning in which someone reads information put out there by others…but rather that one can dialogue with others in different ways about almost anything. The next steps for me would definitely be to pick some of these tools that I have learned about, become more proficient at them through practice, and teach them to my students by using them in some of the units that I teach. I am glad I worked through these “things”, and I enjoyed doing this over the summer when I had the time to pursue this type of learning. This experience has made me less timid to try new things with the computer.
July 28, 2009 by jpb13 · No Comments · Uncategorized
Wow! I really love the idea of this because, in my opinion, it has a purpose. Once school starts, I would never have time to just social network to see what my friends are doing, so I haven’t gotten involved in Facebook, etc. However, the idea of social networking with other Social Studies teachers is exciting to me. I looked at Ning and clicked on Social Studies. There was an explanation of a project that a class had done called “People and Culture – the Way We Are” which shows how a class communicated with a class in another country to find out about them by email, and then created a digital history to show what they learned. I also clicked on one of the groups called “I Teach Social Studies” which looked like a great way to share ideas and learn more from other teachers in my professional learning. I think I am going to join Ning. I could see how this type of networking could be very helpful to me.
July 27, 2009 by jpb13 · No Comments · Uncategorized
I just read and looked over an article from “Successful Teaching” in my reader. The article was about “20 Places to Find Curriculum Ideas and lesson plans online.” The author gives 20 sites that are good for teachers to explore over the summer. One site I looked at was PBS Teachers. At the Social Studies convention this year that I attended, I went to a seminar about using more PBS in the classroom, so this Successful Teaching Article made me remember to look up the number my school is registered under and use it to explore short videos for generating good discussions in the classroom. I looked at a short clip on “digital trash” which would be an excellent video to show that I know would generate good discussion. I looked at another site call “Shnoop” that also looked interesting, and it had some good topics about ancient history. Now I know I will remember to start using more PBS in my classroom since I saw so many good videos on the website.
July 27, 2009 by jpb13 · No Comments · Uncategorized
I didn’t have a great experience with Pageflakes. I tried to get the template of K12Learning but couldn’t do that, so I used someone else’s template who had managed to get the k12 template. Then, I started trying things and had more success. I did add an RSS feed so I was glad about that, and I edited some of the flakes. I am not sure if I would use this in my classroom or not. It didn’t seem to be that useful to me for the amount of trouble it took to set up….seems to be just a “gathering place” to put all your favorite lists and info. It would support my professional practice by helping me with planning of things to do list and reminders to do them and the calendar would also be useful. I would also use it to bring in updated feeds. All in all, I don’t think I would use this much. Maybe I just need more practice working with it in order to be more proficient at it.
July 20, 2009 by jpb13 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized
I really enjoyed exploring Google Docs and thinking about all the ways I could use it in my classroom. Instead of using paper and copies from the copier, students could look to see on a document I create, what I expect them to do for their current events for my Social Studies class. They often lose copies of papers I ask them to keep in their binder all year, so they could look at the document on Google Docs if I shared it with them.
As far as presentations go, the “power point” aspect for presentations is very easy to use. Students could add slides to include new aspects of ideas to study for tests, and all of the students could look at these slides and revise them. It could be a great way for students to coach each other and include ideas for studying for a test by added items to the presentation slides.
The spreadsheet could also be a collaborative tool for projects. One project where it could be used is when I require students to do a trip budget to an imaginary country. Students could add various budget line items to the spreadsheet as they get totals for air travel, hotels, shopping costs, food costs, etc. and I could look at one copy instead of 81 copies of student budgets. The spreadsheet columns would work well for budget categories. I enjoyed using Google Docs and could see myself using them in my classroom.
July 19, 2009 by jpb13 · No Comments · Uncategorized
At the moment, the only way I can think of using podcasts in the classroom is to let students use podcasts to verbally publish their research on something. If students were divided into groups with different topics, they could produce a podcast to inform other groups of their information.
July 14, 2009 by jpb13 · No Comments · Uncategorized
A Youtube such as the one in my blog about Constantine could be very useful in my classroom as an introduction to a unit in ancient history. I didn’t like teachertube as much…it was very slow and I didn’t find many good ones.
July 13, 2009 by jpb13 · No Comments · Uncategorized
I looked at both youtube and teachertube for youtubes on topics I teach. I think the appropriate use of youtube for teaching purposes would be great except that many of them are very short compared to the dvds and videos I have ordered that go with the units I teach. However, the youtubes could be a good introduction or a good review for some of the topics I teach. The teachertube, on the other hand, tried my patience waiting for some of them to start. They were also a little disappointing because some of them were lectures by other teachers that showed power points. This I wouldn’t want to use. I think I would rather use youtube because it seems faster and more efficient. However, I need to spend more time exploring teachertube. Here is a good example of a youtube about Constantine.