Learning Technologies: A Final Reflection

Over the past several weeks I have been learning a lot about the various forms of technology that are available to educators. I actually created this blog because of an assignment for my Learning Technologies class. I never thought that I would be capable of understanding and engaging in so many different Web 2.0 Tools and different types of Social Media. All of these tools will enhance the learning environment for students in my class.

As a culminating assignment I was to create a lesson that utlized technology to engage and motivate, as well as allow students to have an authentic learning experience. My lesson was written to be utlized by a media specialist and hopefully one day when I become a media specialist I will be able to use it with my third grade classes. My students will be creating a VoiceThread as the final product. They will be using DIIGO to research a sea animal in groups and then will collaborate together to report about the information that they learned. Check out my lesson on my wiki page, which is another form of technology that I have learned about in this course.

I can’t believe that this class is almost over because it seems as though I have been through a whirlwind of learning! I have learned about so many types of Web 2.0 Tools and Social Media that I cannot wait to start using in my classroom.

 

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Learning Log- Wikis

This week I was asked to investigate and explore wikis for my Learning Technologies Online Course. “Wikispaces is built to work anywhere, anytime. All you need is a web browser and an Internet connection. Members can create pages and spaces without undue restrictions or rules. Wikispaces gives groups the freedom to publish pages that are long-lived, regularly updated, and built by many contributors. We give you the space to both publish and discuss content“ (About Wikispaces.com, 2012).

Wikis used educationally can really promote student collaboration for projects and group work. Teachers are able to create many different pages and discussion forums to enhance the learning within their classroom. Students are able to edit and respond within the wiki by responding to the prompted questions or instructions. Wiki’s can also provide teachers with many resources to pull from that are conveniently located on one wiki page. Here are 3 different wiki pages that I have explored with the content revolving around the school library:

Elementary Library Routines

This wiki was created for elementary librarians/teachers to share their wealth of knowledge and embrace collaborating with each other. Elementary Librarians have shared their routines, curriculum, administration content, and promotions of books. It is stated in this wiki, why reinvent the wheel. Instead of creating content over and over again, why not embrace this social media platform and share ideas between colleagues from all over the world. One of the things that I found most helpful from viewing this wiki would be the overwhelming amount of resources that this site has collected all in one place. From poems and videos about keeping the library organized to information about how to choose a just right book, this wiki is a great resource for librarians as well as teachers who want to become librarians.

PA Librarians

I found this wiki to be extremely beneficial for the librarian who is trying to incorporate Web 2.0 tools and Social Media into their classroom. This wiki page is run by three librarians who are all dedicated to using Web 2.0 Tools and Social Media to enhance their classroom experiences.  All three are located in Bucks County, PA and have many accolades to their names. Down the left side of this wiki there are pages that contain information about different types of social media and Web 2.0 tools including Twitter, Ebooks, Glogster, Screencasts, and Animoto to name a few. When you click on a particular link there is a brief description of the tool, sometimes a video explaining the uses, and articles that are relevant to that particular medium. One thing that I really liked viewing was Karen’s Top 10 Web 2.0 Tools via slideshare. Many of the Web 2.0 tools and Social Media that I have been learning about in class are on her list. I love the ideas and links that are provided within this slideshare and found it to be an extremely beneficial tool when preparing a classroom for a 21st century learner. This site is great for librarians to use in order to learn about the latest technology and ways that other librarians are incorporating technology into their libraries.

Teacher Librarian Wiki

I found this Wiki from viewing my last Wiki page that Karen’s Top 10 Web 2.0 tools. This wiki was one of her suggested sites and after viewing it I can definitely see why. This wiki has a ton of information. Some examples would include: Audio books, Book Trailers or Digital Booktalking, Copyright Friendly Image Sources, Incredibl Books for Librarians, Literacy and 6 Trait Writing, and Social Bookmarking just to name a few. But my all time favorite link would have to be the one title For New Librarians. This link brings you to another wiki page Survival Strategies. On this page it tells new librarians to S.M.I.L.E. or to Seek Guidance, Meet and mingle, Implement practices and procedures, Learn more about, and Extend yourself. I love this acronym and can definitely see myself using it when I become a new librarian. Another nice aspect of this wiki is that it connects librarians to copyright friendly image sources. This will help to allow technology to be enhanced with pictures that match up to the tool that was used. 

VoiceThread

My VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a free and wonderful 2.0 Tool that really helps encourage collaboration. In VoiceThread the user can use pictures, videos, and documents to create a conversation between viewers. Then viewers are able to add their comments to that specific slide, which keeps everything in one place. This allows for feedback for the creator of the VoiceThread, as well as, a chance to exchange many ideas from different people. Another nice feature is that users can doodle on the slide to point out something or show how to solve a problem. Overall VoiceThread is a great tool for educators to use within the classroom.

In my VoiceThread, Social and Collaborative Media in the Classroom, I have focused on Blogs, Twitter, and Skype, and their educational value in the classroom. Please enjoy and feel free to make comments 🙂

Learning Log- iGoogle

I have never heard of iGoogle before and I have to say that I love it! I am very glad that we are learning how to utilize it during this module. I am the type of person that needs to stay organized and this newly set up home page really allows me to stay up to date with all of my important social networking pages, as well as access other trending information easily.

iGoogle is an organizational Web 2.0 tool that can be set as your homepage. Users can then create their iGoogle page to match their own individual needs. You can add many different gadgets to you page, as well as pick from various themes. Gadgets are the boxes that appear on your homepage. The gadgets that I have chosen link me to certain websites. Above is a screenshot of my iGoogle homepage.  Each user can pick their own gadgets and these gadgets can be arranged in any order that would suit them.

I think that as a teacher I could use iGoogle as an organizational tool for my blog, email, teachertube or youtube, united streaming videos, or any other website or social networking sites that I may need throughout the day. I can also keep track of documents that I create in Google Docs and keep track of what’s trending in education quickly by looking at my Twitter. Instead of having to type in the different address, I could have one specialized location for all things that I use throughout the day and it would save me a lot of time. I look forward to learning more about this organizational tool and plan to utilize it in my every day teaching.

Mixbook: A Web 2.0 Tool

Mixbook is a Web 2.0 tool that allows teachers or students to create scrapbooks, cards, story books, yearbooks, or even calendars. In this program students or teachers can upload photos to create their product. Then this can be published for others to view as well as printed (for money) to have in the classroom as a memory.

I have created a Mixbook introducing students to the way that the library is organized. Using the Maryland State Curriculum I have made this anticipatory set tie into the curriculum. (2.0 Locate and Evaluate Resources and Sources: Students will be able to follow an inquiry process to identify, locate, evaluate, and select resources and sources in a wide variety of formats to meet the information need in an ethical manner. (AASL 21st1) B. Locate and Evaluate Sources 1. Locate and select sources to meet the information need. a. With guidance, identify the sections of the media center and the attributes of the sources located within each section. Grades 2-3) http://www.mdk12.org/share/vsc/vsc_librarymedia_grpk8.pdf

 I would use this anticipatory set to get students excited about what they will be doing in the library that day. The students will get to give their own ideas about how a library is organized and then we will have a discussion about Melvil Dewey and his Dewey Decimal System (DDS). The Mixbook then introduces the objective of the lesson which will be to learn the different sections that are in the library. I would plan to take the students on a tour so that they can see the different numbers and types of books in that section. I would have some books out so that they can visualize the types of books in each section and we would have small discussions about the different books. Over several days I would allow students to draw pictures of the different types of books in each section and then I could add their pictures to my Mixbook. This way students would be able to take ownership of their learning.

My Mixbook: Finding Books in the Library

Flickr Slide Shows

3.0 Find, Generate, Record, and Organize Data/Information: Students will be able to follow an inquiry process to find, generate, record, and organize information relevant to the information need in an ethical manner. (AASL 21st 1)

1. Use specific sources to find information.

a. With guidance, use keywords and text features to help find information within a specific source.

Above I have cut and pasted the specific curriculum content standard that I have chosen to focus on, but the original document can be found here. I have created a Flickr Set that supports this content standard by taking pictures of different types of Text Features within a History text book. Students need to be able to decipher between different text features in order to choose a specific source. This will them help them to organize their information and decide what is relevant by skimming and looking for text features.

I would use this Flickr Set as an introduction to Text Features. Students may be familiar with some of these features, but not all. Before I want them to find information within a specific text, I would like them to understand what they are looking for within the text. I feel that this introduction would work best with second or third grade students in the media center because they are just beginning to learn about using text features. I feel that this would be a good review for students who are in fourth and fifth grade, and that I could go deeper into the discussion within the pictures with this age level. The idea of using this Flickr Set in different ways for different grades is interesting to me and I think that that is a perk to using Flickr because you can differentiate between the content and the discussion that is shared. I am excited to use this new technology resource in the classroom and hope to become more familiar with it in the future.

The book I used:

Dallek, R., Garcia, J., Ogle, D.M., & Risinger, C.F. (2008) American History: Beginnings to 1914. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell/Houghton Mifflin Company.