Tag Archives: technology integration

Tech Integration Post #7 0f 10: Using Voki’s in Social Studies

After covering The United Nations, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and The Convention of the Rights Of The Child in our social studies classes this term, I successfully used Voki’s with my students to demonstrate their knowledge.

Here’s an outline of what I had them do:

Assignment Steps:

  1. Visit www.voki.com
  2. Click on the create button in the top left hand corner
  3. Next, customize your character by gender, hairstyle, and clothing
  4. Once you are happy with your character click done
  5. Now it’s time to add the voice of your character.  I would like you to make your character talk about important points you have recently learned about the United Nations
  6. You can either record your own voice or use the text to speech box.
  7. Once you’ve selected an appropriate voice for your character click done
  8. You can now publish your work – click publish
  9. You will be prompted to name your work: Use firstname and UN in capitals
  10. If you have not already created an account you will need to do so now – use your @mrlister.co.cc email address and DO NOT use your last name
  11. Once registered choose medium sized voki
  12. Copy all the text in the box labelled “For Most Sites Use This Code”
  13. Once you have the code for your Voki visit the following Google Document and paste your code under your name – http://bit.ly/hsohIT

Student engagement levels were particularly high during this assignment and I received some thoughtful responses.  Here’s an example…

 

AC_Voki_Embed(200,267,”40fb56fdc05aa7ceb3bed7e9b22763a8″,3150442, 1, “”, 0);
Get a Voki now!

 

Tech Integration Post # 2 of 10: Using Google Documents As A Collaborative Classroom Tool

Use a Google Document spreadsheet to facilitate a collaborative class assignment.

Example: Social Studies

Learning Outcome example : B2 – compare Canadian society with the society of another country

  • Design a spreadsheet which compares Canadian society/culture against other societies/country throughout the world.  See template example Canadian SS template PLO B2
  • This example compares Canadian culture to other countries throughout the world
  • Once the spreadsheet is created, publish the document as a web page.  See image below

  • Google returns a very long link to the published document.  Use a URL shortener to shorten the link.  See instructions for Bit.ly below
  • Students then enter the (shortened) link into the URL window at the top of their browser.  They will be directed to the spreadsheet
  • Students are now able to access, create, and edit the document.
  • Your students are able to access and interact with the document at one time making it a truly collaborative effort.  Sit back and watch the document create itself.
  • Once the document is complete it can be used as a revision tool or may be used again in another subject such as math when covering data analysis and graphing.

Bit.ly
Copy and paste the link Google gives, to publish the website, into the Bit.ly website.  Click shorten.  Bit.ly will return a short, and more manageable, URL such as http://bit.ly/9pQV.  I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s much easier to remember the shortened URL.

For those looking for an introductory lesson for the their new class next school year, a great way to get to know your class is to have them fill in this spreadsheet together: Class introduction spreadsheet.

Post # 1 of 10: Turning Journal Writing or Free-Writing ‘Online’

There are several ways to turn the process of journal writing or free-writing from an ‘offline’ activity to an ‘online‘ activity, all of which are simple to achieve and easy to manage.

Use one of the web2.0 tools below to start a classroom blog.  For more advanced users, use the tools below to create independent blogs for each of your students.

Here’s a list of commonly used blogging tools:

  • Kid Blog – designed for each student to have an individual blog within a classroom blog created by the teacher
  • Edu Blogs – designed for each student to have an individual blog within a classroom blog created by the teacher
  • Blogger – designed for individual blogging
  • WordPress – designed for individual blogging


How to set up and use the blog for student learning:

  • All the above blogs are set up in more or less the same way.  Some are designed to be use as individual blogs while others are designed for groups of blogs to be created and administered by a teacher
  • All blogs need an email address to register, and you’ll be prompted to select a title for your blog.
  • My advice is to keep the blog title simple and easy for your learners to remember.  A blog title such as “Technology Trooper’s Of 21st Century Learning” may not be the best title because in order for your learners to access the blog they’ll have to type something similar to the following into the URL box in the browser, http://technologytroopersof21stcenturylearning.wordpress.com
  • When choosing a blog title keep it short and sweet
  • You’ll also be asked during registration for a username and password.  Both pieces of information are required to access, manage, and control the blog once it’s live

Two Types Of Blogs And How To Use Them:

1. Teacher creates one blog for the entire class and creates content and learners to comment and respond to

  • There are numerous ways to use a blog as an ‘online’ writing tool
  • In its basic form one blog is created, a class blog, and the teacher acts as the administrator of the blog
  • As an introduction to blogging, perhaps the first half of the year, you set the content of the blogs and your learners respond to your posts
  • A post can be defined as content you create and insert (post) into your blog
  • Content can be text, images, video, audio, or a file

See example below:

2. Teacher creates a class blog and then creates individual blogs for each learner in his/her class.

  • This technique is regarded as blogging in its pure form.  Learners generate their own content for their blog.
  • Students comment and interact with each others blogs as well as the teachers blog
  • Students also comment and interact with blogs of other classmates

Administering The Blog:
I realize it’s super important to monitor the content that is posted on a class blog or an individual’s blog.  All of the above blogging tools offer a variety of security options to make sure inappropriate content never makes it to the live blog.  I prefer to select the option which enables all comments go through the teacher to be approved before they are posted to the blog.  This ensure the blog represents the school and all its students in the best possible way.

See example below:

Content Ideas For Your Blog:

  • Respond to a picture – How does the picture make you feel and why?  Create a story around the picture.  Create a personality for the person in the picture based on what the person looks like
  • Post a video from YouTube and ask learners to response.  What is Shane Koyczen saying about Canada? Use examples from the poem to support your thinking
  • Post a debate question from idebate.  Split the class into two groups, for and against, and have them post on their initial views followed by their responses to others comments on the blog
  • Use the blog as a math journal for personal reflections and word problem examples.

8 Ways To Keep Current With Technology and Technology Integration In The Classroom

8 Ways To Keep Current With Technology and Technology Integration In the Classroom

  1. Create a Personal Learning Network (PLN) and use technology as a method of communicating, collaborating and sharing ideas.  Your PLN may be local: educators in your school, nearby schools, or district wide. Alternatively, you may also decide to develop a virtual or global PLN using social networks such as Twitter , Educator’s PLN, Classroom 2.0, or for Canadian content CEET.
  2. Use a social networking tool such as Twitter to communicate with other education professionals.  Twitter is a micro-blogging web2.0 tool where education professionals share ideas, resources, ask for help, and provide opportunities to collaborate.  Updates, or Tweets as they are known, are restricted to 140 characters.  Therefore communication is to-the-point.  To find education professionals already using Twitter follow the link: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AmdX57Dqx0tEcE1fWkU1QlMwU2dxRGFibmhsOFoyYUE&hl=en_GB
  3. Participated in Twitter chat such as #edchat – a weekly discussion about education issues at 4pm PST on Tuesday’s, or #teachertuesday
  4. Use an RSS reader such as Google Reader.  An RSS reader brings all your favourite blogs to you instead of having to go out to the Internet to view them.  Once you’ve subscribed to some educational technology blogs, you can share your feeds with other educators.  My Shared Google Reader Feeds
  5. Take advantage of social bookmarking.  Social bookmarking tools such as Diigo and Delicious allow users to store their bookmarks on the web, which makes them accessible from any computer with an Internet connection.  Additionally, these tools allow users to share bookmarks with others.  In other words, if you find a great resource site and you’d like to share with your PLN you can do so with one click of the mouse.  A very powerful tool in the PLN arsenal.
  6. Participate in Virtual Professional Development (VPD).  Sometimes as educators we need to take control of our own learning because our Districts are unable to provide differentiated professional development for all teachers.  With this in mind, I’ve found workshops, webinar’s, and webcast’s covering a wide range of technology related topics everyday of the week.  Here is a link to view upcoming events.
  7. Join and participate in technology Ning’s, Wiki’s, and blogs.  These spaces are kept current by educators who believe technology integration should be the norm and not an add on.  Here are links to my technology Ning’s, Wiki’s, and some excellent technology blogs.
  8. Take some time to share your ideas with other teachers in your school.  Soon you’ll be learning from them.  Sharing and learning with and from others educators makes it easier to keep current with technology and technology integration in the classroom.