Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tool #11 - Self Assessing and Reflecting

1. My favorite tools include  Prezi and Skype. I would like to move my students out of thinking that Power Point is the only way to share their ideas with others in a presentation. Other technology applications such as Prezi and Animoto can expand my students' tool boxes with additional ways to create ways to share their learning that is more interesting than the static way that Power Point presents ideas. Skype is a great way to open up the classroom to the outside world. Even using Skype with another Spring Branch school to exchange ideas will encourage students to expand their thinking beyond the walls of Memorial High School.

2.   This training helped me expand my world with educational applications and saved me a lot of time that I would have spent finding and researching the best options. This 11 Tools training has expanded my collection of choices for students to use as they communicate with others, explore the answers to their questions and share their ideas.The interesting thought about my students is that many are involved in technology areas such as Facebook, looking up things on the internet and typing in a word processing document but have little or no experience with other aspects of technology. That is the new poverty when students lack those skills. Being fully engaged in technology enriches their lives and gives them equality with others when looking for a job or in post-secondary school.

3.  There were no unexpected outcomes of this training. I knew that it would be helpful and it forced me to spend the time exploring and practicing the new technology.

Tool #10 - Underneath it All - Digital Citizenship

1.  There are so many things that students must understand to be good digital citizens. One important aspect is that students have to protect themselves from predators and cyber-bullying. Students feel helpless when anonymous individuals are harassing them and must know what to do. When contacted by others, students must understand that all that is "said" may not be safe and how to evaluate who they are blogging or contacting through e-mail or Facebook. We want to encourage them to safely explore websites and be in contact with all of the other people on the internet who can enrich our students lives by opening a window into a world of new ideas, new discoveries and divergent views on topics.

Students must also know how to evaluate information on the internet for its accuracy as they explore the outside world of information and ideas. Lastly, students must follow the rules of computer etiquette and honor copyrights. They must give credit to others for their ideas and pictures and not take the credit for themselves.

2.  One resource for instruction that I found to be very useful is the Cyber-Bullying lessons. In today's world of technology, harassment is happening too often. This resource will be available when/if needed.

3.  To teach digital citizenship to students, teachers must model it themselves. Giving credit to the creator of pictures, videos and other products on the classroom flip-charts is the first step. Including requirements for copyright credit and back-up research to check the accuracy of one web site should be included in the rubric for the assignment/project. Reviewing the technology contract signed by the students and their parents is another step. I believe that the teacher's job is to prepare the students for their post-school technology experiences. Enforcing the guidelines will make students more aware of them and as they practice being good digital citizens, they will continue their good practices after they finish my class.

4.  To share the ideas of being a good digital citizen to parents involves reviewing the technology contract at Open School Night and through e-mails. Inviting parents to come to a showcase where students show their digital products will show parents that being a good digital citizen is essential to success inside and outside of the classroom. Every parent wants the best for their child and preparing students for future success will be welcomed.

Tool #9: Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices as Tools for Learning

1.  Technology must be tied to the objective for several reasons. One reason is that everything that students do in the classroom must be tied to the objective and TEKS. Students must understand how what they are doing ties to the curriculum and that technology is not "play-time." The second reason is that it makes technology more applicable to the students' preparation for life after your classroom. Many students now use technology for social reasons only (texting, Facebook, etc.) but do not use it to learn and analyze concepts or for sharing their understanding with others. In the world of "I have a job" our students will be using technology for sharing technology and business ideas and not just socializing. We are preparing our students for their future and that future means technology as a tool to explore and exchange ideas.

2.  Students must be held accountable so that they stay focused on the task. It is so easy to get off track when the window to the world is open. If unsupervised and not held accountable, students tend to go into the "play and socialize" mode of operation. If held accountable and supervised, students will stay on task and explore and exchange ideas according to the rubric or guidelines for the work-station.This improves their productivity.

3.  The two interactive web pages that I found to be the most useful are pHET and Thinkfinity. Both sites have quality instruction and interactive web labs that can be used to supplement the hands-on labs done in the science classroom. These sites can be used as a work station so that students can practice what they have learned in a fun and game-like atmosphere. The visual nature of the sites will help to cement the concepts because students see their mastery based on the results of their efforts. For each work station, I can hold students accountable through reflection, a rubric, taking screen shots of their final success and/or questions answered on a  Google doc.

4.  The aps that I liked for I-Pad 2 include the Vernier ap and the Flash Card ap. The Vernier ap has opportunities for students to collect data and analyze the data using graphs. The Flash Card ap gives students a way to cement their understanding of the concepts by creating visual products to help them review. The station would have the I-Pad 2 along with the directions and the students (alone or in a team) would work using the ap. The accountability piece could include opportunities for self-reflection, the chance to ask or answer questions on Google doc, filling out a rubric to self-grade, recording a video of a team discussion of what they learned, and taking a screen shot of the final product.

5.  Other ways to use the I-Pad 2 as a station could include Skype where they are communicating with an expert and also use it to view a video from Discovery to round out their understanding of the TEK.Another idea could include an evaluation with questions that students answer at the end of the unit to evaluate how much they mastered the concepts and how the lessons matched their needs.

Tool #8: Taking a Look at the Tools

Based on viewing the videos, I have learned the following information:
1.  Net books: I have observed the parts of the net book, how to use the web-cam video and picture options and where the pictures and videos are stored on the net-book.
2.  I-Pad 2: I reviewed how to link into I-tunes, how to set up the application pages and how to sync devices.

Managing devices in my classroom:
1.  Label all devices with clear markings so that check-out and check-in will be quick and efficient.
2.  Spend time going over each device with students. Every student may not be comfortable with the device and it will save them time from hunting around to try to figure out how it works.
3.  Create/encourage experts in the class who can trouble-shoot problems before the team needs to call the teacher.
4.  Use teams of students and work stations so that as many students as possible are using the devices at the same time.
5.  Create an environment where students are accountable for their devices and want to take care of them. Guidelines for care and clear consequences for unacceptable behavior will help to create this environment.

Tool #7: Reaching Outside your Classroom: Online Digital Projects

I will contact another Physics teacher in Puerto Rico.

Content Objective: Students will demonstrate their understanding of physics concepts in class and engage in a lab where they will teach the students in Puerto Rico Physics class.

Implementation date: March 2013

Tools: Skype using the new classroom, I-Pad 2, students will demonstrate a lab in the unit we are on for students in Puerto Rico.  There will also be a judging sheet with a rubric.

I would like to set up a judging event where both classrooms use Skype so that my students can show their lab and students in Puerto Rico will judge them.  This is a great way to set up a line of communication between students in different parts of world and to show students in both schools how much they have in common. This is a win-win situation for my students.  I am asking a friend I know from Puerto Rico and who is also teaching Physics to collaborate with me.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tool #6: Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion in and out of the Classroom

TodaysMeet is a great resource to get immediate feedback from the students if there is a quick question to ask or a KWL (What do you Know, What do you Want to know, What do you want to Learn).  It allows students to be engaged and use their cell phones.

Poll Everywhere is easier to create and it also allows students to engage in quick questions using their cell phones.  I really like this tool.  Students will be so hooked on using this tool because they can use their cell phones.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tool #5: Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

Wordle is a great tool to show my class.

Stupeflex is wonderful to create a video from pictures.  It is a great resource to use in the classroom for students to create a video of pictures to illustrate what they have learned in Physics.