Sunday, August 8, 2010


#11 The tool I enjoyed the most was creating a Photo Story. I was surprised how easy it was to create one. The kids could pick it up very quickly and share their knowledge with others. We could let the kids do the teaching! One lesson that popped up in my head was a unit on Heroes. In second grade they do a heroes study. The kids could create a photo story with great pictures of the people we are studying. Once they take control of their learning the knowledge really sticks. Plus they would love to share their work with their peers.

This experience has transformed my thinking about technology by making me bite the bullet and explore what it has to offer. I sometimes have difficulty with change because I want to stay in my comfort zone. This has allowed me to come out of my technolgy shell and explore.

One unexpected outcome was that I should not fear technology but embrace it. I now have a solid platform to really explore and learn. After all, this is the future of education.

#10 Almost There

Whew! I am glad I know a little about this one. I have had the opportunity to play with my itouch a little this summer and have really enjoyed it. Some of the free apps I have added are:
Dragon Dictation, Baby Flash Cards, German Tutor and iRewards.
Dragon Dictation does require a small microphone and lets the kids dictate into the iTouch and the app writes out what you are saying. I have found that a lot of the kids mumble and so the dictation can be off on a lot of words.
Baby Flash cards is just a simple vocabulary app I tested on my 13 month old. It shows pictures of foods, animals, colors, etc. A little too young yet to get much out of it but I can see the bebfits for babies and kiddos a little older.
German Tutor is an app that teaches basic German vocabulary and phrases. I am German and I used to be pretty fluent. However, I am so rusty from lack of use that I have forgotton so much. This is a great refresher course and I have used it with my 6 year old, who is just beginning to learn some of the language. The apps also come in Spanish, French, and many more!
I know the kids love the hands on appeal of the itouches and it is a great motivator!
I cannot wait to see it in action this year.

Tool #9

#9, #9, #9
I had heard people were getting viruses from Jing, so I stayed away from that one for now and just focused on Skype.
Skype would be a great way to get kids to interact with one another across the country and globe. You could have online book clubs, weather talk, take and virtual field trips.
Personally I would love to experiment with an online book club. I love reading and often times when I finish a book I have a lot of questions I would love to discuss. I can only imagine how involved the kids would get, especially with popular book series like Diary of Wimpy Kid and Harry Potter. Kids could have amazing discussions about how they interpret and connect with the stories. And, it is not limited to a grade level or reading level!
I will definitely try to implement this in my personal and professional life.
Tool #8
I am using You Tube to embed two videos from School House Rock. These songs will help my kiddos remember the information through song. The ones I chose were " How a Bill Becomes a Law" to help with 5th grade government objectives. It is a simple retell that the kids can understand.

The second one I chose was Naughty Number 9. This video helps students remember the tricks to remember multiplication of the 9's through song. I remember this from when I was a kid. The tricks they give you are great and the kids will remember them!

Tool #7

Creating a Photo Story
This is a great tool for the kids to research and play with new information. I can see kids using this to research and share with their peers.
I created a Photo Story of the teachers at Meadow Wood. A lot of our special Ed students have autism and short and long term memory issues. This photo story would provide a visual to the all the new teachers and office staff they will encounter throughout the year. They will be able to put a name to a face and hopefully get to know MWE!!
Here it is:

Tool #6

Tool #6
Wikis are a new idea for me. I really did not know what they were until now!
I looked through some sample wikis and found one called Grade One Classroom Wiki.
Students created a story and used it to share and collaborate with other first grade classrooms. Here is the link below:
I also thought you could create one for special ed teachers when you have a student that you need to collaboarte about: For example, without naming names, describe the kiddo and ask for suggestions from your colleagues. I always get ideas from my peers, someone always sees a way to think outside the box or in a way I never would have thought.


Tool #5
I browsed Diigo and Delicious for resources to use in my special education tool box. I found 2 great resources that offer tips, tools, links and resources for kids and teachers in special education. It will be a quick reference when we need to try a new idea pr strategy with our challenging kiddos.
The two I have included were: 100 Useful Tool for Special Education Students and Educators and Do2Learn: Educational Resources for Special Needs Students