Tools for the classroom

Saw this post by Christopher D. Sessums on the tools he had experimented with his students in one semester. I counted tools, just to name a few:

  • the Google suite: docs, spreadsheets, reader, scholar, ….
  • journaling: Blogger, WordPress
  • concept maps: Gliffy, Bubblous, Wisdomap, and MindMeister
  • media/presentation: Audacity, Jing, Prezi, VoiceThread, Wordle

and many more …. you should read the posting and be AWED 😛

how i wish i can experiment some, if not all, of these tools with students back in school 🙁

50+ Web 2.0 Ways To Tell a Story

if you’re an EL/CL/ML/TL/any other language teacher and seeking ideas to “web2.0” your language classrooms, check out this resource put together by Alan Levine. the idea’s not too difficult:

  1. Outline a Story Idea
  2. Find Some Media
  3. Pick a Tool to Build Your Story

change the tool as often as you like and you can plan unlimited ways (use a different story prompt, coupled with different media, and when more and more tools’ made available) of getting students to tell/write stories the whole year round (:
if you need an example of how it can be done, take a look at Alan’s 50+ Ways to Tell the Dominoe Story.
enjoy (:

Footprints …

The title of Will Richardson’s latest article on ASCD reads “Footprints in the Digital Age” (first saw this article mentioned in Anne Davis’s post. Thanks Anne for highlighting the article). As I read through the online article, the following sentences resonated:

  • (As) a consequence of the new Web 2.0, … (we) are becoming increasingly woven into the fabric of almost every aspect of our lives.
  • … like it or not, social Web technologies are having a huge influence on students …, even the youngest ones.
  • … like it or not, social Web technologies are having a huge influence on students …, even the youngest ones.
  • One of the biggest challenges educators face right now is figuring out how to help students create, navigate … the Web and helping them do this effectively, ethically, and safely.
  • The things we create are searchable to an extent never before imagined and will be viewed by all sorts of audiences, both intended and unintended.

And the recurring theme on the importance of teachers’ leading/scaffolding appears in the following sentences:

  • … we may find opportunities to empower students to learn deeply and continually in ways that we could scarcely have imagined just a decade ago
  • … they’re doing all sorts of things with online tools that, for the most part, we’re not teaching them anything about.
  • Our teachers have to be colearners in this process, modeling their own use … and understanding the practical pedagogical implications … technologies and online social learning spaces.
  • (educators should learn that) transparency fosters connections and … (willing) to share our work and, to some extent, our personal lives.
  • … still needs the guidance of teachers and adults who know them in their own practice.
  • … students have the potential to own their own learning—and we have to help them seize that potential.
  • Younger students need to see their teachers engaging …
  • Middle school students should be engaged in the process of cooperating and collaborating with others …, just as they have seen their teachers do.

And the ending paragraph reminds us to be a lifelong learner in ICT if we were to teach and prepare our students for their future lives:
“But to do all that, we educators must first own these technologies and be able to take advantage of these networked learning spaces.”

iBreadCrumbs – archiving and sharing your research journey

saw this new online tool mentioned in Anne Davis’s post and thought it’s a nice tool to try out, and best of all, you get to share your findings with other users. something about the tool:

iBreadCrumbs is…
A Social Network for Researchers
to Share Recorded URLs, Track Websites,
Review Notes Online, and Encourage
Online Collaborative Research.

to find out more, visit the site now!
2 things that came to my mind before i actually try out the tool:
1. the dynamicity of the www can lead to the fast outdating of our research. for how long would such a research ‘history’ be useful and how much would it benefit other fellow users?
2. organising makes info more mearningful but it takes effort and time as well if we were to review the list recorded by the tool and strike off sites that we deemed not useful. not sure if this would be too overwhleming.
will try it out soon 🙂