Monday, June 27, 2011

Flickr in the Classroom...

Statue of Liberty by Mark Heard
(2007, November 13). Statue of Liberty. Mark Heard's Photostream.
Retrieved June 27, 2011 from

     Although I have never used flickr or explored on it prior to taking an online class, I have heard many wonderful things about Flickr and the endless possibilities in the K-12 classroom.  After some thought, I think that I could use Flickr in various ways in the classroom.  From a Social Studies aspect, I could use Flickr to have the kids find photos of famous US symbols that would be used to fuel research about those particular symbols.  An example of a photo of a Statue of Liberty that I would use for my S.S. lesson is shown here.
     I would also use Flickr as a Writing lesson. I would have the kids pick a couple photos first based on different topics. Then, after the pictures are chosen, I would then introduce the lesson which is based on a writing piece and the kids would need to create a story from the pictures they chose.  So the illustrations would drive the writing, instead of the other way around.  Images from Flickr could also be used to illustrate poems that we are reading in class as well as poems that have they created on their own.
     Lastly, another exciting feature I found while googling Flickr was that their is use of third party Flickr applications to produce classroom products such as Motivational posters, Magazine Covers, Movie Posters, Flickr slideshow, and Mosaic Makers.  I definitely plan on diving more into these features as options for classroom use!  

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Wikis in the Classroom

After completing a group assignment on creating a wiki, it opened my eyes to the benefits of using wikis in the classroom.   When I began this assignment, I honestly wasn't very open to the idea of a wiki being a useful resource in the elementary classroom.  I like the idea of a wiki as a means of communication with parents and as a place that kids can view as well.  But since I know that not all my students have internet access at home, I am  at a loss as how to use it without outside classroom time access.
However, I did come across this site and found it to be very useful as means of many wiki ideas.  One area I am still confused on with a wiki is its difference between a website.  I currently have a website for my classroom which includes everything that I have seen posted on wikis and blogs.  So, I guess it is safe to say that I don't foresee myself using a wiki in the classroom since I have a classroom website that I use diligently throughout the year.  However, I am open to ideas if I am missing a difference between the two???

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Social Bookmarking- accounts

I think using social bookmarking as a professional tool would be highly beneficial for not only the teachers on your team, but also any teacher in your building or district wide in your grade range. I know that I constantly reference my delicious account when teachers are looking for websites. Up until I started a webpage, I was going to solely use my delicious account for website access.  When I find a website that I think my kids would benefit from while I at home, I place it on my delicious account until I get to school.  Once at school, I can open up my delicious account and favorite the sites that I added for the kids to use.  
If I was still in the technology position, my plan would be to create a delicious account for the school. I would make the username and password accessible for all staff so that anyone could add links at anytime for everyone to use! This way staff will have access to the valuable resources that teachers find everyday but are to busy to share most times (or just plain forget by the time they see another colleague).  I also think a lot of teachers want to incorporate more technology into their everyday curriculum but lack the resources.  Having a delicious account for all the teachers in one building to use would eliminate teachers not knowing where and what sites are beneficial for students and for their own professional purposes as well!


Here is the link for my pageflake- Flakes make the best friends!

I made it on a MAC and everything looked great, however when I accessed it on my PC, the RSS feeds weren't coming through!!!! Hope it works for you :)

RSS Feeds????

RSS feeds interest me, but I am not sure I am seeing the “real value” behind them. I already have so much going on in a day and read a lot of information that it seems EXTREMELY difficult to keep up with reading RSS feeds! I do think RSS feeds are fascinating in that they are constantly keeping you updated but it is an overwhelming amount of information coming through. Although, I must admit, I got slightly addicted to subscribing when I found something even remotely interesting. I am pleased with some of the feeds I joined and now I just need to make it a priority to keep myself up to date with those feeds and the significant information they are providing me with. One aspect in google reader that I liked was the ability to organize the feeds I subscribed to. This will make it much easier to access the blogs, feeds, etc that I find important in my teaching life and to separate the others I subscribed to as a personal preference.
 Any suggestions for how to use these with Elementary kids or as an access points with parents??

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Student Blogging Project- "Podcasting is Power"

The project that I found while searching for student blogging projects started as blogs but eventually turned into podcasts that were created from the reading groups in this classroom once a week.  The blog was truly an inspiration on how podcasts and web 2.0 tools can be used in the classroom in effective ways.  This also showed me how kids are "sponges" when it comes to learning and adapting new technologies/information. After the kids learned how to create their podcasts, thanks to the step by step checklists the teachers created, the student groups continued to create their own podcasts and eventually had them posted on itunes for others to learn from.  This exercise is a true depiction of students teaching students reading!  OUTSTANDING JOB! This has given me a very positive and enthusiastic outlook for the next school year of something I definitely plan on implementing with my 2nd grade students (even if it just to podcast something they publish and post for only parents to hear.. it will be a start) I will be borrowing the checklist to create tho! Thanks so much to the Always Learning Blog!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Read/Write Web

The Read/Write Web is what drives a lot of lessons and everyday learning.  For example, I went over to a friend's house the other day and saw her 13 year old son, doing his homework with a website open that was helping him solve his math equations.  Where was that when I was growing up and struggled with geometry and higher level math courses???  It's amazing how much these kids know and how they can find virtually anything on the internet but can't find anything in their rooms?? haha...  Where there's a will, there's a way at its finest!

I see Web 2.0 as a guiding force in my classroom and I would like to continue to keep that drive when I begin teaching 2nd grade.  I am sure that there is a plethora of tools available but I just need to learn how to make them manageable in a classroom with 2-3 working computers with low-average computer literate students that still needs to put math, science and language arts at teh forefront.   I am optimisitic that I will integrate the smartboard in numerous ways and I am sure with researching the web and with the help of this class a lot of resources will become known to me and utilized.