Web 2.0 Tool Blog
There are so many tools which I love to use not sure where to start. Our school received two iPad carts this year and I have been lucky enough to have one of them in my room since the first of the year so I will start with Padlet. I used this application on the first day of school with no real instructions needed with the students prior to use. I created a Padlet using my log and I included a prompt for them to answer. We had gone over my expectations of them and the prompt for the students to write about was, “What are your expectations for your teacher and your peers”. I created a tinyurl and posted it on the board for the students to access the web page for this Padlet. This made it easier and quicker for the students to access. Since Padlet does not require a log in for students to contribute, there was not a lot of set up for myself. In this original exercise, the task was as simple as students, bringing up the URL, double tapping to type their response. Since the students did not have to log in, I had to ensure that included their name in the response.
Since I started out with a small expectation and assignment with the student first using a new tool, I believe this alleviated any challenges the student might have had with the tool. This allowed the experience to be stress free for myself and the students and was a simple integration with technology. Padlet allows users to upload links, images or a file. Since I gave the students a sync preview with just simple text our next use of tool we were able to build upon. Many research studies have shown if integration of technology does not go right or has issues, teachers have greater tendencies not to what to use technology. I know have students creating Padlets on various social studies topics. Students were able to contribute to Padlets created on three of the three world’s religions. Students were able to upload pictures or links which helped describe the beliefs.
While Padlet is my simple go to tool, I also love Voice Thread and Thing Link. I have language arts teacher using Voice Thread in their classrooms by uploading a picture and students creating stories based upon the image. Voice Thread does have challenges. For students to use the actual voice piece, they must have a microphone and a quiet environment to record. There is a cost to student license or you can use a generic log in which you could continually change the password. My language arts teachers love it. They assigned each of their classes a different genre to create the story to the picture. The students individually added to the story one by one. So they build upon each other’s narrative.
I know we were suppose to only talk about one or two, but there are so many great tools. I have recently found Thing Link. It can be used as opposites of Padlet or you can have students create your own. Thing Link allows you to have links to various websites and uses various symbols. I have used it a site using a tinyurl for my students to access when I want them to do research. I set up a Thing Link, which just has the web sites which I approve for research. This limits what the students are doing on the iPads and I can easily look and see they are on task.
In using specific tools and understanding the expectations of how we want them to work and what they can do, technology integration can be easy. Using these tools allows greater controls of what our students are accessing on the internet.
In the world of digital media it has become so easy to post our personal pictures to sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr. I am guilty of using Facebook as my own personal cloud storage of pictures. However in doing so I am opening myself up to my pictures of my favorite vacation spot becoming part of a school project. Sure I have a great black and white of the Eiffel Tower and the Emperor Palace in Tokyo, but do I want anyone to have access to them.
Since the onset of digital media and students using the web to research, a struggle has begun of what content should be allowable and what is a violation of copyright laws. Students think it is okay to Google a topic and get any image they would like to use in a project. “Hey, if it’s on the internet, I can use it”. The introduction of Creative Commons in 2001 provides a broader range of digital media which students can use properly. In 2007, Creative Commons expand to have resources directly related to education (Creative Commons).
A tool such as Flickr allows educators and students to use digital images in projects which following the guidelines of Creative commons and copy right laws. Creative Commons allows business and the public to determine how they will allow their work to be used.
After reviewing the various websites in the module, I have learned Flickr can be used to help students distinguish vocabulary words and display math concepts. In my own social studies class, I thought of instead of word clouds on a topic or events why not a picture cloud. The students can then annotated each of the images to provide the importance of the image to the cloud (Richardson, 2010 pg104).
It is amazing how more and more social and digital media sites are becoming part of the educational process. Before I know it one of my pictures may show up for a student to use on a project.
Creative Commons. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://creativecommons.org/education
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. California: Corwin.
Issac, J. (Photographer). (2001, March 25). Infrastructural and Environmental Damage during Iraqi Occupation of Kuwait [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/35483578@N03/5559102272/in/photolist-9teRqU-7wejNR-BDLLN-a8io71-9SnFUu-ac3Nnt-9Z2u9S-9p237w-a7A1YT-9iy9ka-a5WgQ2-dFzVWZ-9hRWXm-9nGjj8-7wr83w-83afMJ-dDY5dV-7GZS3u-7JQPbX-bUo9dJ-7FBJDe-aGd2Ge-aGd2AR-aGd2CD-9YaSuF-82zFdf-9ipWog-YuBeS-Yqb86-9tmgqB-97L9EW-9d8ZVo-9RaM32-bjBHmg-aqMHTX-bjBxPk-dBnwxp-sm7oK-7eiz3Z-bk3vgy-bxXpw2-bxXow8-bxXnBz-bk3vnN-bxXp9X-bxXnXv-bxXp2x-bxXoW2-bxXnzn-bk3vNs-bxXokk
I have been a member of social networking since 2005 when I started back to college and found Facebook was how students communicated to each other. I am definitely of the 1 billion online users, since that day, my husband would say I am addicted to social media (Richardson, 2010, pg.89). I am a member of most social media sites, so I can understand it being overwhelming of where to go for what and where to put items out when. I have moved to a mind shift of using these tools in my classroom. Along with Edmodo, I have a class Twitter page which I use for class updates or retweeting technology ideas with my peers or following humanitarian organizations such as Girls Up.
However, social bookmarking is somewhat new to me. I have used a tool called Symbaloo. I have found this site to be useful to store my bookmarks of websites. Symbaloo is a better organization tool and easier to use than standard bookmarks. Within the site, I have different pages based upon a topic and it is set up as my home page and I have it as an app on my phone. I can access my bookmarks everywhere. I have even created webquest page using Symbaloo. The reason I like this tool is the format. Symbaloo is laid out like an iPhone, the bookmarks look like apps on a phone. I really prefer this visual.
When I looked through Diigo and Delicious, I found the sites to just look like any other web site. I do like the usefulness of these tools in research. When tagging a topic or making a list in these sites it makes research easier for someone to find material they need or to be continually updated with new information. Joining these sites’ communities allows user to share ideas on topics with others. This new idea of “folksonomy” (collaborating on-line) allows more information to be shared (Robinson, pg. 91). We are no longer limited to the materials in a library or what has been catalogued in a media center site. While these two tools are great for research with the abilities to annotate, highlight, store and collaborate, I believe I like to receive and share information in a different format. As far as a news aggregator I love the shortest of Twitter where I can get a short bit of information and dig deeper if I want to know more or a more visual layout with an application such as Flipbook.
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Thousand Oaks: Corwin.
Wikis or Blogs what is the difference?
Before reviewing material and investigating the difference between Wikis and Blogs, I thought they were basically the same just different wording. Being familiar with Wikipedia, I saw wikis as a blog but just for information. I now see a purpose for wikis in education from various directions. After reviewing Kathy Davis‘s blog and her Flat Classroom Project. I see wikis as a global collaboration site. As a social studies teacher and with a background in travel having my students working with other student around the world to solve real world issues, I see wikis as the venue for this type of collaboration.
Along with being a collaboration tool, wikis are a tool to build digital citizenship and resource tools. Richardson states “Give students editorial control can imbue in them sense of responsibility” (Richardson, 2010, pg.61). I have never been a fan of Wikipedia or allowed it as a research tool. However, the use of wikis can be used to teach students proper use and what must be validate in Wikipedia in research. The use of wikis allows greater understanding of Wikipedia and how and when to use it (Richardson, pg.59).
In my classroom along with building global collaboration with wikis, I would like to use other ideas I reviewed. My classes have used QR codes to create digital time lines, the idea of using QR codes embedded into a wiki as a scavenger hunt for review as used in Jennifer Barnett’s classroom is an idea I am quite interested in. This integrates technology in various forms and is student centered. Vicki Davis’ student’s study hall is also an easy integration of technology and student centered and driven. What greater way then having students to create something that serves a purpose and meaning to them and their fellow students and can improve student achievement.
So after much review, there is a difference between a Wiki and a Blog but both have a purpose in education.
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. (3rd ed.). Thousand Oak, California: Corwin.
Module 3 Blogging
I have never been much of a blogger or reader of blogs prior to starting the specialist program. My only venture into blogging was a family RV trip a couple of years ago written from my dog’s point of view. Apollo’s Great Adventure (Evans Heath, 2011). While travel log is not necessarily what educational blogs generally focus on I can see how something of this nature could be adapted in my classroom. In my own mind, I have also seen blogs as one directional, someone writing their thoughts almost like a diary. In reviewing the material in Richardson’s Chapter 3, I have a greater understanding of how, when, and why blogs can be integrated into a classroom.
In my development as an Instructional Technology Specialist, I read Richard Byrne’s Free Technology for Teachers blog as my go to resource for information. I read this blog on a daily basis and share tips with my peers at school. Byrne’s post about “21 Century Teacher” is a reflection how blogs can be written. While being a source for information, Byrne also voices his opinions on the latest trends and topics, sometimes in a comical manner.
Blogs can facilitate learning in various forms. Teachers could use blogs as a class portal, resource site, or a collaborative space for discussion. Blogs can be one directional with teacher providing information or thoughts or the teacher asking students to be contributors. What about weekly class bloggers? Blogs can even support differentiation with providing different types of tools and assignments for students.
As we focus more and more on the Common Core Literacy Standards in Social Studies, blogs do have their place. Blogging develops and teaches research, organization and synthesis in writing (Richardson, 2010). As we gear our students to be 21st century learners and citizens, they are able to work and learn collaboratively this can be easily be guided through blogs with students around the globe. It is his connective writing which enables student work to be share outside of classroom and provide more meaning to the writer and the reader. This outlet which allows students to reflect on their own work, provide thoughts, and feedback to others is a powerful tool. Others commenting and providing insight to a blog post further allows the author to have feedback to their writing. This also allows the writer to reflect on their own thoughts and develop in their critical thinking. Blogging gives the author a bigger audience to their writing and a greater meaning. The comments others provide to a blog validate to the author their writing is important and has value. This feedback will guide the author to continue to improve and strengthen their thoughts. These responses show meaning and purpose to their writing
As fast as our world is changing, learning is evolving with two new blogs being created every second. (Richardson, 2010).
Richardson, Will. (2010) . Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
Evans Heath, C. (2011, June). [Web log message]. Retrieved from apollosgreatadventure.blogspot.com
Byrne, R. (2013, April 9). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.freetech4teachers.com/
Christa Evans Heath