Thursday, July 26, 2012

Using Web Tools

I actually already use a lot of online social networking tools so I enjoyed learning about more that are available to me. In my previous district, I used Edmodo quite a bit to facilitate discussion among my students on topics that we were studying. I also use sites such as Pinterest to bookmark ideas for future lessons.

I explored Diigo.com and found that it was very much like Pinterest. I was able to create lists in order to organize my bookmarks and then could bookmark the sites that I want to refer back to. I particularly liked the fact that I could use the "sticky notes" to make annotations of things I wanted to remember. I plan to use Diigo to organize resources that I want to use for my units of study in PreK.

Example of Diigo (My goal is to create lists of each unit of study)

I also have been becoming more comfortable with Blogger. My goal this year is to create my own PreK blog to serve as a weekly newsletter. Parents can use it to find out what we worked on throughout the week, as well as what we will be focusing on in the near future. I also plan on linking educational websites on my blog that parents might find helpful.

Mrs. Mahabir's PreK Blog

Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

Well, I have to admit, I have a lot more exploring to do with these websites. Many of them I think I could use as a teacher tool to engage my students in learning . Some are definitely easier to navigate than others.

Plant Parts

First, I created a Prezi about plant parts. I found the Prezi at times hard to understand (maybe I am just challenged; I'm not sure!). The presentation did not come out exactly how I planned, and given the choice, I would probably use PowerPoint as an alternative. However, this could be due to my lack of familiarity with this program so I will definitely continue to practice with it.

Animoto: Plant Parts

I also created an Animoto video about plant parts. I really like this site and the fact that they give educators the opportunity to upgrade to a plus account. This site was very easy to navigate through and created really nice videos. I can definitely see my students using this website. Student work can be photographed and compiled to create a video on a certain topic. This is also a good tool to use when preparing for open house.

I can't wait to explore the rest of the sites in more depth!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Using Google Docs

Using Google Docs is a great way to share documents. I am very excited to be able to use this tool as an additional way to collaborate with the teachers on my new campus. Below is a picture sort of living and nonliving items that I created for my PreK students. I can't wait to be able to share this with my new team!

Living vs. Nonliving Sort

I also created a form that would allow teachers to give input on their favorite online resources for students. A master list of all responses could then be easily complied to aid teachers in their use of instructional technology.

technology survey

I am very excited to begin using these tools within my school, my team, and my classroom!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Using Videos While Respecting Copyright

I love using Discovery Education as well as the YouTube and TeacherTube websites. I have found and used great videos from all three. The one thing I have learned over the years is to always preview the content first. As a first year teacher, I was discussing with my Kindergarten class the concept of "tall tales". I decided to show my class a Discovery Education cartoon video on the story of Paul Bunyan. Although I did watch some of the video, I did not preview all of it. Well, as it turns out, it shows Bunyan as a small boy walking out of the water with his bum showing. Wouldn't you know, that was the one thing from the video that students noticed?! Note to self: Always preview the video first!

Here are some great videos that I have used in the past with my students.
I used this video with my 2nd graders to help them remember the basic needs of animals. We also made our own video (based on the song) for open house.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

This is a video from Discovery Education. It retells one of my Kindergarten students' favorite books, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

As teachers, copyright plays an important part when we are contemplating using videos and/or images as part of our teaching. One thing from the "11 Tools" blog that I did learn is that when using say a copyrighted video, it cannot be the majority of your lesson. It can only be a small portion of the lesson, used to get the point across, such as an Engage or Elaborate part of the lesson.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Creating a PLN

Wow! There is so much information out there that finding and reading different blogs could become a full time job! I am very excited to begin building my PLN. I like the fact that I now have a way to organize all the blogs that I would like follow. Although I had heard of live feeds before, I have never actually tried it out until today. As far as sharing comments publicly goes, I think the most important thing to remember is the power of one's words. It is even more important when you are posting a comment where the person cannot see your expression or hear the intonation in your voice.

I am very excited to continue my blog searches, but unfortunately these little people around me want dinner. :) I can't wait to check out the following blog to get some more ideas for my new PreK class!

Mrs. Miners Kindergarten Monkey Business
Well, I have managed to create my blog with only a little difficulty. I got the blog set up with no problems. Creating the VOKI took more time and I actually had to have my 12 year old help me. She, however, is very knowledgeable and helped me create my avatar in no time. I think she actually enjoyed it since I am usually the one helping her with her homework! :) Now I am just waiting to get my blog up and running on the wiki!