Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Educational Value of Comics - Pixton

A web 2.0 tool that will allow you to create, publish, share and remix comics!

Pixton is a global community where people of all ages create, publish, share, and remix comics - without having to draw! Example of a Pixton™ comic promoting literacy. Students are assigned to remix the comic, correcting all spelling and grammatical errors.

Here is one a colleague made regarding our upcoming senior banquet. Nice job Mrs. Landry.

The Educational Value of Comics
The comic medium – the art of combining words and images – is a powerful form of visual communication, and when placed in an interactive learning environment, becomes an invaluable tool for teaching and learning.

Pathway to literacy
Instantly capture students’ attention and motivate them to learn, using a familiar medium they understand.

Building skills for the future
Accelerate reading and writing, spelling and grammar, conflict resolution, storytelling, and creative thinking.

Collaborative environment
Foster peer-to-peer interaction. Make sharing easy and effective.

Visual learning
Reinforce your lessons through the associative power of words and images.

Lesson Bank
Share and exchange authentic lessons with other educators. Browse by subject area, level, or region. A great source of ideas and inspiration.

There appears to be a school version that does more but costs money, however there is a 30 day trial.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nine Reasons to Twitter in Schools

The May edition of Tech&Learning Magazine came today, the cover "How to Spend Your Stimulus Bucks, link to online magazine. There was an interesting article on Twitter. It touches on several of the reasons we talked about in class yesterday. The cover also shows the Intel Classmate we reviewed in class last month. Sign up for a free subscrption, this will help you stay current with technology topics.

Twitter in Plain English

Nine Reasons to Twitter in Schools
TOGETHER WE'RE BETTER Twitter can be like a virtual staff room, where teachers can access in seconds a stream of links, ideas, opinions, and resources.

Twitter can be like a virtual staff room, where teachers can access in seconds a stream of links, ideas, opinions, and resources from a hand-picked selection of global professionals.

With Twitter, educators can actively compare what’s happening in their classrooms with others on different continents. GPS-enabled devices and advanced Web-search facility allow searches that tell you what people are tweeting within a certain distance of a location, so if the other side of the world isn’t your bag, you can stick with your own patch.

Excellent teachers reflect on what they are doing in their schools and look at what is going well to maintain and develop it, and at what needs improvement in order to make it better. Teachers on Twitter share these reflections and both support and challenge each other.

Twitter is a great medium for sharing ideas and getting instant feedback. You can gather a range of opinions and constructive criticism within minutes, which can help enormously, whether you are planning a learning experience, writing a policy, or putting a job application together.

Twitter helps you stay up-to-date on news and current affairs, as well as on the latest developments in areas of interest like school leadership and technology.

One of the best things about training days is the break-out time between sessions, when teachers can get together to talk about what they are working on or struggling with. Twitter enables users to have that kind of powerful networking capacity with them all the time. It’s just a matter of finding the right people to follow.

Trust the people you follow. Hone and develop the list of people whose insights you value. Once your Twitter network grows past a critical mass, you can ask them detailed questions and get back better information than a Google search would generally provide.

Expressing yourself in 140 characters is great discipline. You can become better at saying what needs to be said in your professional communications with less waffle and padding (even without txtspk).

Twitter is anything but complicated! You simply visit and create your account. A little light searching using key words for your areas of interest will soon yield a list of interesting people to follow. There are plenty of Web sites offering advice on getting started and how to avoid a few common beginner’s faux pas. Your biggest challenge is likely to be getting the unblocked on your school network if your main use will be at school.

Here is a the tool I used in class showing how to manage your tweets.
TweetDeck is your personal browser for staying in touch with what's happening now, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook and more. ...


Summary/Reflection - due 5/13

Reminder as discussed yesterday, please submitt the following:

Summary/Reflection, please email to me by next Wednesday.
1. What have you learned in this course?
2. What tools did you try?
3. Share a technique or lesson you tried with students?
4. What would you change about the course?
5. Are you interested in an additional technology course? - If so what topics?
6. Any other thoughts?

This was a great session and I enjoyed working with all of you and watching you integrate Web 2.0 tools into your classroom and personal life.

Keep up the good work!

Social Bookmarking - using Delicious and Diigo (web highlighting)

As a follow-up to last night class on Social Bookmarking... and a few other topics

Delicious, Keep, share, and discover the best of the Web using Delicious, the world's leading social bookmarking service.


Another tool covered in class was Diigo - Web Highlighter and Sticky Notes, Social Bookmarking and Diigo is a powerful research tool and a knowledge-sharing community.
Diigo V3: Highlight & Share the Web! Social Bookmarking 2.0

More on Google Google Apps for ePortfolios
How to create an electronic portfolio with GoogleApps (by Dr. Helen Barrett) (includes Dr. Barrett's GoogleDocs & Page Creator Tutorials PLUS Google Sites) ... I thought this looked interesting...

Monday, May 4, 2009

And the learning continues.....

This class will be ending soon but there will always be new and innovative tools to use with your students, I hope you continue to expore Web 2.0 long after this class ends. Last month a few of you talked about using Facebook and I wanted to make sure I showed Ning, a social networking tool that could be configured to support any topic.

What is Ning?
Ning is an online platform used tp create your own social websites and social networks (more)

You can create a Ning Network for your own class, group, project, or event: Ning has a trial program for grades 7 -12 students (ad-free).

7 things you should know about Ning

Here is an example of classroom 2.0 ning .

This summer I will be attending NECC (National Educators Computing Conference) in Washington D.C. They now have a NECC Ning, a community network around the conference.

I also use and teach classes on SMARTboards and belong to the SMART ning. Ning is similar to a "facebook" application and you can create one on any topic. When you start or join a ning it will allow you to expand your personal network and connect with other educators or topics of interest.

These are just tools that allow you to make connections and expand your community so it becomes an integral part of what you do in the classroom. We need to teach students to use these tools to expand their learning outside of the classroom.

Will Richardson blogged this week that we have to be able to model these connections for students to understand them in ways that are meaningful to our own learning practice.

I hope you continue to expand your learning long after this class ends.