Friday, November 27, 2009
"Blog" stands for web log. These blogs can be used in any way, such as by sharing personal stories or objective information. Blogs can be a great addition to any classroom. Teachers can use blogs for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. The blogs can contain information about what the class has been learning. Pictures would be very beneficial to include. These pictures could be of bulletin boards or progress on projects students are making. Another part of the blog could be announcements pertaining to the class or the school in general. Teachers can set up the blog and make the posts by themselves, or they can get the students involved. Students could take turns writing the posts at the end of every day. This would be a great way to get the students involved with technology and also to help them reflect on the happenings of the day. To set up a blog, start by clicking here to set up a Google account. (image: iclipart.com)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
YouTube is a very popular video website. Many people probably think it is just a site for entertainment. However, there are many educational reasons to use YouTube. For example, students can view historical videos, such as presidential inaugurations. For older students, YouTube can be used to view lectures at various universities or from various events. Specific searches can be done in the education channel on YouTube, which is shown here. YouTube is a place where teachers can share things they have been working on so others can use their ideas or videos. There are simple educational videos for younger grades, such as "Ocean Animals," shown here. It is a series of ocean animals with a short assignment at the end to look up information about one of the animals. Another great idea is having students get involved in the process of making videos that can be posted on YouTube. They can research about a topic and put the information together in the form of a video. Students really enjoy videos being brought into their school time. It can get them more interested in topics and create excitement to learn. There are truly many ways that YouTube can be incorporated into the classroom. (picture: screenshot by Brandi Mantz; video: YouTube by littlemir)
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Computers have become a very important part of education recently. Having computers in classrooms is very helpful for both teachers and students. They can be even more beneficial when each child has their own laptop to use. Students can have the opportunity to look up information they do not know or understand. Students could also respond to polls given by the teacher. This is a very quick and easy way to get survey results, and it is fun for the students to see work. Another way computers can be helpful in the classroom is if students do not like asking questions in class. By using something such as a backchannel, students could post questions anonymously, which would encourage students who are embarrassed or afraid to ask questions aloud. Having computers at school for every student provides many great opportunities for everyone in the classroom. For more information on the computers in in the classroom, read the article Laptop Computers in the K-12 Classroom. (image:flickr.com by vorburger)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I was introduced to the software program Inspiration in class. It allows students to have an interactive experience while they learn. I believe this program would be a beneficial alternative to traditional worksheets. I think children are more likely to learn when they can digitally manipulate things, as they can be more engaged and have more fun. Another aspect of this program that I really like is that there are two different versions: the traditional Inspiration, and Kidspiration for younger students. I really like having the option of choosing which program best suits the class. This software program is something I definitely want to use in my classroom someday. To learn more about Inspiration, go to its website (http://www.inspiration.com/). You can even download a free 30-day trial version. Here is an example of what one educator did using the Kidspiration software (flickr.com by kjarrett).