A Game, an Application and a Video...
Well, it seems things are a little slow in my world of occasional teaching… not that I have ANY problems finding things to do. First, a little looksy on Twitter, then some exploring, and, finally, some sharing…
Kids love games, so here’s one that gets them to think…
Cool online social game where citizens compete to make their city the most energy efficient http://greenmyplace.net/ (Unfortunately, in 2014, this game no longer exists, but it was really cool!)
This is dead easy to use…
1) Paste in a bunch of text:
You can cut&paste text into the text box or write your own text. I wrote my own text in this example. It is a good idea to copy your text before you hit ‘go’. That way, you can go back and alter it if you need to. The program takes repeated words and makes those the largest. Knowing this, I copied certain words and phrases a number of times each to get my desired result.
Then I use a Snipping Tool to save my wordle, or you can put it in the Gallery.
2) Enter the URL of any blog, blog feed, or any other web page that has an Atom or RSS feed.
3) Enter a del.icio.us user name to see their tags
Here are some ideas (compiled but not originally thought of by me):
Wordle your resume” (http://wordle.net) to see what keywords are most prevalent
Wordle 4 vocab? Appeals to “visual learners” years later, running across a word, “hey, that was the big word on my wordle!”
This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award.
Certainly, gives a lot to think about…
This guy knows stuff… http://sirkenrobinson.com/
(Plus, the accent is quite nice, really.)
HERE’S A VIDEO I JUST MADE, CALLED “DUNDAS – VALLEY OF DREAMS”
ANIMOTO IN 100-WORDS FOR A BRIEF SYNOPSIS. OR…ANIMOTO IN 500-WORDS FOR MORE DETAILS, AND…
http://animoto.com/education/ to see how you can use it in the classroom.
Just explore the site, already:) You can try it out making 30 second videos, and so can your students. I have gotten the yearly subscription for about $30 and I can make full length videos (10mb song limit). I am going to upgrade (I believe you can do this on a monthly basis)… to get better DVD quality images… I have recently gotten married and plan to have fun making wedding videos over Christmas break. A school I teach in often has used this program for a DVD yearbook and it looked FANTASTIC and the KIDS LOVED IT!!!
The accumulation of resources has got to be one of the worst parts of being an occasional teacher…. I see great stuff every single day. I have stuff for all the grades… one day when I get my own classroom, I’d have a proper place to store it, so we would not be forced to use it as furniture. This is over a year’s worth! It’s like a whole acre of rain forest in my living room!! And that’s only about a quarter of the stuff I have in various locations in my small, I mean, quaint abode. It never fails, though… finally throw stuff out and then arises the opportunity to use it… Hey there, Murphey.
It’s silly, really! Nowadays, there is no need for all this paper. Myriads of relevant and current resources are available immediately for whatever subject… (Google steps up once again)! I’d love to just toss it all, but I know I never will.
Besides, as a supply teacher without access to technology in schools (it is usually locked away), I still use paper:)
Today was one of those days…. a good one; dare I say, fun even?! (Darn, I may pay for this tomorrow!) How many jobs are out there that involve reading aloud and acting and playing in the gym? Okay, so there are many teachers out there, but they are very stressed out right now with the ‘all new and improved’ Provincial Report Card… and the rest of the demands that the World of Education makes on their time….
“Data walls, teacher-moderated marking, T-CLPs, running records, benchmark assessments, numeracy assessments, early literacy observation tools, district review team visits, electronic data entry, pre- and post-assessment tasks, class profiles, mock EQAO tests, SMART goals, Alpha-Jeune, PLCs, LNS, PRIME, CASI, DRA, GB+, OLA, APA, OFIP, IEPs, CIL, PLAB, ONAP, OWA, DPA…. Educators across Ontario are swimming through an ever-growing alphabet soup of new initiatives introduced by the government, school boards, and principals. Many of these initiatives are driven by an accountability agenda with little regard for the increased workload they entail.”
(an excerpt from ETFO Voice Publication, October 2010, Vol. 13 – No. 1, Michaela Murphy, p. 29)
It certainly makes me happy to be an occasional teacher. As great as the stability would be of a full time position at a school that one goes to everyday (like a ‘real’ job, LOL), for now, I think I’ll stick to this…
I mean, really! I get to go to many different schools across the board and teach many different grades. I see many teaching styles and many classes. I see Totally Cool teaching ideas everyday; I see projects kids are engaged in and some they are not. I see varying degrees of technology in action. I see so much! I LOVE it! The variety is something I would have trouble giving up… Sometimes I am a Gym Teacher; sometimes Drama or Art; sometimes Math or Language or French. Sometimes I am the Librarian or the ICT Teacher; other times I am the Science or Social Studies Teacher. I get to sing and play and make art and read stories…. I get to make Learning Fun!!!
I know there are many days that aren’t like this, but, today, all is well. In fact, I choose to begin each day thinking it will be Fun… or, at least it won’t kill me (hopefully).
Today’s kids think nothing of being ‘on-line’ most of their lives; computers and technology are second-nature. Many of our parents and even their parents have gotten on-board at varying paces. But, I fall somewhere in the middle. Though I have caught myself firstname.lastname@example.org after being asked for just my name;)
I suspect my lack of know-how in the organizational department of information has to do with the times I grew up, which are directly related to the advance of technology…
The first computers I remember using were the good ol’ commodore 64s – with 64K of memory, I’ll have you know!!!
Load, “Frogger”,8 and, voila…..
I asked for Frogger and I got Frogger! (Note: I didn’t actually ask, I commanded. It was the times before fancy icons made know-how less important, and why when it all goes wrong, many of us don’t have a clue what to do, other than kick the darn thing!)
And, of course, Atari… it’s hard to believe that these were cool graphics!
From there… the first Nintendos, and Segas… I could play them and kick my brother’s friends’ butts because, unlike nowadays, you did not need an engineering degree to master the controls; could battle like a pro.
Gone are the days where a computer filled a room (not that I remember those days). Now there is more memory and capabilities in smaller, more affordable devices and technology is for everybody, not an elite group. Technology is advancing at supersonic speeds.
Today’s children know a lot of “stuff” about these here computers and technology in general. But, what they don’t know, and need guidance and TEACHING of (both from teachers AND parents) is critical literacy and problem solving skills. I am not getting into the debate whether all this technology is good or bad for our children because it is moot – it is here. We are in ‘full on’ technological times. Technology can be both beneficial and harmful, depending on how it is used.
So, we teach them how to use it (or they teach us, perhaps). We teach them the same morals and ethics and values. We teach them manners. We teach them Maths and Language. We teach them Art and Music and Dance and Phys. Ed. and Geography and History. We teach them but we teach them differently. We adapt (albeit, some slower than others), we change and we grow with the young people we teach. We guide them. We learn with them how to find, sort and sift through all the information out there. We help them to be critical; to ask questions; to treat others (on- and off-line) as they wish to be treated. It’s all there, just as it was, but different, and if anything, it is more critical we communicate early to get them on the right path for success.
AFTER ALL, THE JOBS OUR YOUTH WILL DO IN THE FUTURE, LIKELY DO NOT EVEN EXIST YET!!
I need a way to manage all the cool stuff I come across in that never-ending, all-encompassing place, called World Wide Web... or at least a bread crumb trail so I can find my way back to reality.
My toolbar is full; my desk top is full; my 'read later' list on Twitter is miles long; Emails are saved for later; the emails of links I have sent myself clutter my inbox; my bookmarks are also out of control!
There are so many fun and useful tools out there that I love and so many coming out each day. I find myself adding them to one of my over-filled lists mentioned above, and then forgetting about them until I bravely try to sort out my mess.
My technological footprint is a giant out-of-control blob of unorganized chaos! What I need is to wipe out my entire existence and start over, a re-do, if you will... but from what I understand, there is no going back. Once one has imprinted themselves on the Internet, one is there, immortalized forever. So, what can I do?
I'm serious... There must be an App For That - the one that organizes your computer existence with the click of your mouse. The 'Pro' version, by the way, might organize your real world life too:)
See, this is me going just a little bit buggy!
I am an occasional teacher with the HWDSB. I am relatively new to participating in this Great Technological Revolution. I have done a few blogs on Posterous and glogs on Glogster, but I am enjoying the flexibility of Wordpress. I have learned to just dive right in. Even if you manage to mess stuff up, there is always help available (erm, right, PLN?).
At first, I was a Twitter skeptic, but as soon as I joined and became part of a PLN, the rest, as they say, was history:) I do find myself having to just turn it off and ignore it though, as there is just so much relevant information. You gotta get the balance right between Social Network and f2f connections! At least it qualifies the claims on our resumes that we are life-long learners!
I have used the tagline, "Come Learn With Me..." to invite you into my learning process. I realize that we are all learning together in this Brave New World; in our Web 20, soon to be 30, classrooms (well, I don't have a classroom, I have always been learning and collecting ideas in other people's classrooms - my online experience is a natural extension of that, I guess).
Anyway, my Blogs will be about Education in the 21st Century (no, duh, whose isn't?!). I also have an interest in Bullying and how Social Networks could and should be used for good. Since, I am rather fond of cooking, I may also sneak in some recipes, perhaps on a Recipe page (ooh, clever!). I will Blog about MY experiences with learning and share some of the neato resources I come across.
I also welcome any suggestions for being a better blogger, as I am fairly new at this!
Enjoy your quest for knowledge, and ALWAYS BUMP IT UP:)
Nicola Schneider, Occasional Teacher, 13 years