Summer Reading

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tool #11

I have dabbled with many new tools and know that I have just touched the surface. My favorites so far are animoto, storybird and google docs. I also really like Skype. I think that all of these could be used in many ways in the classroom to make create more rigor and relevance with content. They allow for a lot of creativity and individualization.

These tools will definitely allow the teacher to place more responsibility with the students for their own learning which is the way Spring Branch is heading. I think the tricky part will be really choosing the right technology for the content- not letting technology drive instruction but content. Some of the tools are very catchy and it would be easy to get caught up in the tool rather than the content.

An unexpected outcome for me as been how easy it is to use many of these tools. Now the tricky part will be to go back and get more familiar with a few to begin with and really use them to help students access curriculum.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tool #10

The three things that I would be most concerned about would be:
-not giving out personal information
-never downloading anything without permission
-cyber bullying

I like the Brainpop and NetsmartKidz tutorial and also the I-SAFE lessons tailored to each grade level to use for instruction on digital citizenship.

I would use these tutorial periodically to reinforce the idea of digital citizenship with students. I would also include parents on some of these sessions and have q and a sessions with them. I think the I-SAFE lessons in Spanish would be particularly effective

Tool #9

It is important to remember that content is first and technology is second. When you know what you are going to teach, then you begin to think about the "how"- maybe technology.
The next thing to think about is student accountability. If we do not hold students accountable, it will be easy to turn stations into busy work that have nothing to do with objectives, thus reducing the rigor and relevance.

I like the Fractured Fairy Tales and the Construct a word on Thinkfinity. The first is very good for a genre study on fairy tales. It really allows for creating a fairy tale and the second would be good for a station on word work.

I liked the Study Ladder activities, especially those associated with reading genres. There were some really interesting ones that could be integrated with social studies.

Tool #8

I learned how to set up an iTunes account and download an App. I like the fact that there will be protective screens for the iTouches in the primary grades. I also like the feature of taking screen shots by holding down the sleep/wake button.

I like the idea of having a classroom technician who is responsible for the equipment. They would be responsible for any problems and as such take ownership of the technology.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tool #6

I already have an account with several of these tools. My favorite is Skype and I have been using this both personally and professionally. It's a great way to keep in touch (and cheap). I've also used it to meet with other educators in different aspects. We've worked on conference planning and professional development. It's a great way to meet with people from all over the world.

Another tool I've started using is Diigo. I think this would be fun for students to use when working on projects and research. It will also be very helpful for me to use with graduate work.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Microbes on Storybird

I've been playing with some of these tools. Two that I've used are Animoto and Storybird. They are easy to use and have multiple ways to incorporate them in the classroom and also in coaching. I like the 30 second Animotos because it really makes you try to be concise and find images that reflect the message. I like Storybird because it provides artwork but allows students to use it in a very creative way instead of just filling in blanks to finish a story as some of the other tools use.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tool # 5

Create your own video slideshow at

Tool #4

I like this tool because I am very bad about having multiple versions and drafts of documents and it all becomes overwhelming after a time.  I am working on a presentation for IIC's but want to get more info before I post it and share so I am going to go on to Tool #5 and come back to this.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Go Get It

Tool #3

This was a fun task.  I enjoyed viewing the different sites but got stuck on YouTube.  As a coach, I feel a lot of my job relates to motivating teachers and helping them to see that they can do it, can take risks and make it work.  I love motivational videos and sayings so I had fun viewing these on YouTube and thinking of ways I could use them in training sessions.
As for copyright and fair use, I'm still a bit confused.  I will need to continue to read about this.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tool #2

That was a lot of information to absorb!  I feel like I have to read everything and go to all the sites and before I know it, time has gotten away from me.  It took me much longer to go through Tool 2 and  I feel like I've barely skimmed the surface.  I visited the sites listed and especially liked Educator's PLN.  I subscribed to their site.  They had great videos, especially the surfer dog!  I think this would be great for teachers to see and think about how it could relate to their perceptions of their students.
I already have a Diigo account and now have created a Google Reader account.  Creating the account was easy but I had a bit of trouble attaching sites.  I called on my tech expert ( who else but my son) and now have several sites attached including Jensen-Learning, the Learning Network, IES  What's New, Read Write Think, and TED Talks.  I now know what an RSS feed is!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tool #1

Creating the blog was easier than I expected.  I had fun working on the avatar but it took me a while to attach it. I wanted to give it a UK voice buy my son said it really should reflect who I am!  Oh well.