Thing 7c – Google and Portfolios

I found a post on Instructify that talked about online portfolios. The two programs they mention is Google and Carbonmade. We have an online system at school that the kids can use to create a portfolio. That online program is somewhat limited for my students. Our students will want to show off the technical aspects of what the have done and they will require a system that allows links to outside services, the ability to embed media like photos, videos, flash etc.. I will have to evaluate both Google and Carbonmade to determine if they will meet our needs.

On a different but related topic I may have a solution to a problem I have been facing. This class has introduced many wonderful services and tools. It is easy to spend hours experimenting with these services and tools. It has become a stressful task that I feel obligated to complete. the problem is there are just to many to try and not enough minutes in a day. I think I may create a series of lessons where my students spend time with these tools and creae apresentation for the class. We will see if this helps me with this task. My ultimate goal is to teach my students about these tools and have them use them in future projects. This may just work. Stay tuned for updates.

Thing 14 – Voice Threads

I selected this tool because we had a discussion in class and no one seemed interested in using this tool. I believe that this tool would make the creation of slide shows or media presentations more interesting for the student. I will test this next week in my Junior class. It will allow the student to personalize the slide show they create. I will post the end result of one of their projects.

Thing 8 Wiki Overload

I checked out Viki Davis’s blog about Wiki’s and some of the examples of her students work. I feel like I have been reborn with a completely new briefcase full of tools to teach with. It is extremely overwhelming to me. I am tempted to stop taking this class and just focus on how I am going to use these tools in my lessons. Enough of that talk. Here is my review of a few of the Wiki’s I liked.

Math 12V Outcomes Portfolio

I liked the idea of using a Wiki as a way for the students to create study guides. I also liked the clear instructions and rubric that explained what they were to do and how grading their project would work. I can see me doing the same thing for my 10th grade class. My students will be taking two exams to get certified as an A+ technican and this will help with their studying. It can also be used and expanded on by next years 10th grade class.

Westwood Schools Computer Science

This is a great Wiki and offers a lot of ideas for creating Wiki assignments. I teach Computer Science and there are many entries for a variety of lessons.I liked the twitter projects and some of the tools that were introduced like Jott. You have to check out Classtools. A great selection of free tools for the teacher or the student.You could spend hours on this Wiki. Great Job!!

FHS Wolves Den

This Wiki has some good examples of students using voice threads to present various historic events and people. I just did a project with my students regarding web 2.0 tools and they wanted to see how students use voice threads in a project. They will see these examples next week. This Wiki was created by Jenifer Barnett. She is not updating it anymore by has provided a link to her knew wiki. That site is great as well. She has a page called Web Wardrobe. Check it out!

I have to stop now. I need more time in my day to see all that Web2.0 offers.

Thing 17 – Podcasting

I am excited about exploring the uses of Podcasting in education. I have had an interest in this subject for quite a while now. Prior to this class I have been reading about podcasting and subscribe and listen to podcasts on a weekly basis. Most of the podcasts I subscribe to are related to fishing of fly tying. These are two of my favorite hobbies. I listen to podcast primarily in my car and before I go to bed at night. Recently I have added educational podcasts to my Google Reader and I have found that they are very informative and entertaining as well.

One podcast that I have enjoyed is called the Tech Teachers. This podcast can be subscriber to in the usual manner by going to their website and looking for the RSS feed icon. You can also subscribe to this podcast through the ITunes store. Both the teachers offer insite to new technology and do so in an entertaining way. Try it by clicking on the link above.

Educational Podcasts are available in great numbers. You can use google to find them by searching on”educational podcasts”. This will bring up a number of links that will send you directly to podcasts and also offer links that have directories of podcasts. Check out this link to Edutopia and see what I mean.

Caution if you travel the information highway!

We all have heard the term hacker. You hear it at school from G2 and I, from articles on the internet and even in movies like Die Hard with a Vengeance. It may be one of those things you hear and then say “It will never happen to me”. I hope not but you live in a time where you spend time on a computer every day. The odds are against you unless you are cautious of what is going on around you. Check out this article” Google confirms Gmail phishing attack” .

Thing 5 – Getting started with RSS

There were many posts that I found interesting and useful. The one I found that I am highlighting in my post is “Useful information in and out of the classroom”.

This post has a link to a chart that compares Wikis, Blogs and Google Docs. We are working on that in the K12 class and I am also working with Blogs and Google Reader in my class at school.

Thing 4

One of our assignments was to read other teachers blogs and create a post with our comments. The blog I found most interesting had a Post titled “Why I Don’t Assign Homework”.

For the most part I agree with the author. I don’t assign as much homework as I use to because it was a chore to get many students to complete it. I also found that there was a lot of copying going on and may students did the bare minimum to get the assignment done. The homework went from a learning experience to a pain in the neck for both me and my students.¬† When I do assign homework it usually requires them to think about what we discussed in class and give me some feedback on the topic. I also give the students more time to complete it and typically give them a lower grade if they get it to me late. For those student who don’t make an attempt to complete it, they get a zero. When we review the homework it is done as a class and since we are usually dealing with opinions, those who didn’t finish still can participate in the learning experience.

Most of my homework assignments require commenting on a post or performing a short task and using email to send it to me. I am trying to steal a few moments that¬† most students spend in front of a computer to think about what ever we talked about in class. It’s still early in the year so time will tell if this approach works.