Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tool # 11

1. I have several new favorite tools to access. The one I see myself using regularly is Google docs. This year will be a year of learning and collaborating as we move forward with the iCoach model. Due to campus commitments, together time will be limited and Google docs will allow us to collaborate without having to meet face to face. I will also use Google docs to support me as I work with teachers. I will also use the Daily Notes app on my iPad to keep important meeting information. As I support teachers, I now have a clearer understanding of apps and websites that are available to support content.
2. I must say that my horizons have certainly expanded now that I have completed the 11 Tools. I see myself referring to this information regularly as I work with teachers to plan lessons. The key take away is that the technology must fit the objective instead of the other way around. 

3. The biggest surprise for me was how easy the applications/sites were to use and navigate. I have seen others use sites such as Animoto before, but always thought it would be much more complicated than it actually is.

Tool # 10

Three things I would like my students to understand about digital citizenship are:
1. Appropriate use of technology - this includes the proper use of copyrighted information found on sites in order to avoid plagiarism or copyright violation.
2. Appropriate use of social media sites such as Facebook & Twitter - students should have an understanding of the digital footprints they are leaving and the permanence of posted information. Discussions should also discuss the importance of avoiding such things as bullying, and providing too much personal information which can put them at risk.
3. Credibility of information found on the web. Is the information found personal opinion or is it indeed researched, credible information.

Wes Fryer's blog  - Moving at the speed of creativity will be a great resource.I have also found Alan November's books to be great resources with example sites to use for educating students.

Digital citizenship needs to be an ongoing discussion in each classroom by each teacher. Each time we use technology as a resource in the classroom, discussion of appropriate use should be re-visited. However, as each assignment unfolds, there will be opportunities that arise and must be discussed immediately.

Digital Citizenship discussions must be ongoing with parents. This might be accomplished via monthly parent meetings, newsletters, school and teacher websites, or at curriculum/parent evenings. It must be ongoing.

Tool # 9

1. When planning a lesson, one must first determine what the objective is and then determine how to achieve that goal. The technology can be the tool used to achieve this outcome, or it can be used to demonstrate the learning that has taken place. If the technology does not support reaching that goal, then it can become a distraction. Ultimately, our goal is to first and foremost be sure that students can demonstrate their understanding/application of the knowledge.
2. The accountability component to a workstation is critical for the teacher to determine to what degree a student has met the set objective. In a station activity the teacher is not always right there to monitor the level of understanding and/or compliance. An accountability component allows the teachers to assess understanding, and adjust accordingly.
3.I visited the Thinkfinity site, and found many interactive applets that will be useful in supporting middle school math objectives. I particularly liked the applet that uses seating at linear vs rectangular table arrangements to explore perimeter. Students could explore arrangements that create rectangles with the greatest and least perimeters and they could also explore area as well. The voltage game with batteries brings an application to the use of positive and negative numbers. The second site I visited was Manipula Math. The applications for demonstrating the Pythagorean Theorem would be useful in helping students understand that the sum of the squares of the legs equals the square of the hypotenuse. Both of these sites would be great for students to use in stations so they could explore and draw conclusions. The accountability component could be for the students to write a brief description of their exploration and the findings, or the student could answer some pre-planned questions.
4. Everyday Mathematics - Name that number would be an iPad/iTouch app that math teachers can use in stations to support the understanding of the order of operations while using problem solving skills. In math lab classrooms, teachers can also have students use the app - Math Drill Lite to help students visually work on facts. This would allow students to build understanding using visuals. The teacher can use the iPad/iTouches as part of a station rotation that allows students to review previously learned concepts. The accountability piece could include having students share number sentences they created, and for the Math Drill Lite, students could demonstrate understanding using visual representations of the facts that they create or that they used while practicing with the app.
5. Teachers could use the iPad or iTouches for students to research a topic and then share information with other students in the classroom. In other words, they explore and help other students develop understanding of a concept. Students could also take turns developing a course study guide by taking notes each day using a notes app.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tool # 8

I have been using an iPad for the past year, so I have set up an iTunes account, have downloaded apps and have created Google docs to use during classroom observations. It is very exciting to see the Netbooks, iPads, and iTouches being used in the classrooms. Throughout this past year, I have seen students in elementary classrooms become very excited when it is their turn to rotate through the iTouch station. However, many times, the students were using apps that did not coincide with the content (using language apps during math stations). Although the teachers have shown the students the apps each should be using, without an accountability component, students were able to avoid doing that content and to play with apps they found more interesting. So, I would encourage teachers to incorporate some sort of accountability to determine student learning or understanding from the assigned app.

The Wacom device to be used in art classrooms is something I have not seen or used, but it looks as if it will be quite a fun tool for the art teachers to utilize in their classrooms. It is nice to know that more training can be accomplished through Atomic Learning.

Tool # 7

Objective: Using data collected students will analyze and synthesize the data to make predictions and generalizations about the relationship between a person's height and the measure of person's arm span.

During the fall, and through the use of a Google spreadsheet and Skype, students will share data among Algebra 1 classrooms throughout the school. Once the data has been collected and generalizations about the relationship have been made, students can share their findings with other Algebra 1 classrooms throughout the district.

Students will collect data within their classroom for each student's height and arm span. (Teachers must determine the unit of measure to be used.) Once the measurements have been taken, students will enter their group data into a Google spreadsheet. Data from the spreadsheet can then be graphed by class period, then by teacher, and then by school. The graphs for each classroom may be created by hand, but data collected from a compilation of a teacher's classes and the school-wide data will be easier to graph using Excel. Students will analyze the data for trends and make predictions.
Once the data has been analyzed and generalizations are made, students can connect with other classrooms or schools via Skype to share their findings.

Tool # 6

While attending the ISTE Conference I had the opportunity to participate in numerous sessions through the use of a Backchannel. I see this tool being used in many staff developments and in the classroom setting. The Backchannel provides participants the opportunity to ask questions, and provide input throughout the session/lesson. Prior to ISTE, I had never experienced a Backchannel, but I immediately saw the uses and enjoyed having the opportunity to add to a session, while gaining insights of other participants at the same time! 

Twitter is another tool that I am beginning to explore and I also had the opportunity to experience it during the ISTE Conference. By following tweets of the ISTE participants as well as those in SBISD, I was able to see tidbits of information from sessions I was unable to attend. I can see this being used among SBISD iCoaches, teachers, and learning communities we create. At its highest level of use, I can see students summarizing and sharing learning within an established classroom community. 

I have also created a Diigo account. This is a new tool for me, and I am still in the learning stages. I have joined educational groups of interest and am currently exploring the other aspects. Diigo is going to be a powerful tool for me as an instructional coach, but also for students to use to organize their bookmarks, important information and a multitude of other things about which I am still learning. 

Tool # 5

Create your own video slideshow at
I created an Animoto to create a set of multiple patterns for students. Students may then use Animoto to create a mathematical pattern of their own. Here is my Animoto - what patterns do you see?

I then created a Wordle using the vocabulary from the first six weeks of 8th grade math. If students have a copy of the Wordle, they can highlight the vocabulary words as they learn them. Teachers can use this as an introduction to the class, or students may create their own Wordle using vocabulary they learn during a unit or a grading period.
Wordle does not allow embedding of code, so I am pasting my creation below.

Tool # 4

Google Docs are going to be a valuable tool for us as district coaches. It is going to be critical for us to continually communicate with one another to maintain a common goal/focus and Google Docs will allow us to stay in touch with one another without having to wait for a formal meeting. Creating and sharing forms is quick and easy! Teachers will also be able to use documents with their students for group projects and to generate discussions around many different topics. What a great way to get input from the students!

Tool # 3

I visited You Tube, Teacher Tube today. Both of these sights will be useful for teacher use, but I am amazed at how long one can spend sifting through videos to find ones appropriate for use in the classroom. After much time spent searching, I found this video on parts of the circle and their relationships that would be appropriate for a quick introduction in 6th grade math. Here is the circle video:

This video would generate discussion as to the meaning of probability.

I'm very excited that I have now learned how to embed video into my blog.

Fair Use - I learned that it is okay to take part of something and change or add to it. I loved the video for students and I think this will help them clarify acceptable use. The link for teachers that leads teachers through the questions is also something we can share.
Picassa can be used by the students to add visual support to their presentations, and I could see them taking pictures in math class and then use the pictures compared to the actual objects to determine things such as scale factor.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tool # 2

Building a PLN is something I am looking forward to as we begin to integrate content areas and technology more directly. I think the PLN is going to be critical for all of us as instructional coaches. With only one coach assigned per campus, we will need to pull on the strengths of each member of the group. Working together is so much more powerful than working alone.
As I read the article on commenting on blogs, my own reservations about publicly commenting on blogs were expressed. I, too, hesitate to share comments on a blog when I have to register. I also hesitate to comment, but I now see the value in being a contributor as well as a taker of information and I will try to comment more frequently. I learn from other's comments, and I need to remember that many times, I have something of value to add to a discussion. This is something that I think all of the I-coaches in SBISD will need to remember as we build our PLN .
In completing this tool, I commented on 5 other blogs. I recently also set up a Diigo account and joined some groups. I am definitely still a novice when it comes to Diigo, but I think it is going to be a useful tool for me as I continue to expand my learning network.
I plan to visit the Diigo group Classroom 2.0 regularly to learn more about the practical application of technology in the classroom.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tool # 1

Thank you, Karen, for taking the time to help us get started on this 11 tools. I really enjoyed learning how to create a Voki, and add it to my page. I would not have known how to add it to my page without your step by step instructions. Now that I know what "adding a gadget" means, I think I will be able to do it on my own. The explanation that the Voki is code and not an image was new information for me, so I am definitely learning as I go along.
I think this tool would be fun for students, and I can see a teacher using a blog in the classroom as another tool to check for understanding. Another use would be to have students research a particular piece of content and share their learnings.
Thanks for this new cool tool!