Module one was great revision for me. The YouTube videos really showcased the excitement WEB 2.0 tools can bring to the classroom. I have really enjoyed incorporating Google Apps into my teaching. I would highly recommend teachers to join Google Plus and join communities that interest them. Below are some of the communities that I belong to.
- Google Apps for Education
- Educational Apps for Kids
- Google Apps in Education
- Gamification in Education
- The Chromebook Community
This year I am aiming to incorporate Google Hangouts into my classroom. I have established connections between other Year Five classes and we hope to connect soon. Our aim is to share our work (providing students with a real audience outside of the school community) and encourage the students to provide feedback in the form of three stars and a wish.
I am currently using WordPress for my professional blog and my class blog. There are many fantastic blogs out there, take a look at the list on the side of my blog. This is the second year that I have used a blog in my classroom. The students really enjoy reading the posts and leaving quality comments. Their parents also enjoy seeing and reading about what is happening in the classroom. Click here to view my class blog.
I have joined Twitter and I am a big fan. It is a fantastic tool to share your thoughts as well as to gain great ideas and tools from others. I have recently began using Twitter in my classroom. The students have started by recording ‘tweets’ on the whiteboard in our classroom in preparation for signing up to Twitter. I would like students to tweet a reflection sentence at the end of a lesson. E.g. ‘An isosceles triangle has two equal angles and two equal sides #maths #yearfivestfelix.’ The hashtags (#) will allow students to view all of the tweets posted by students in their class and which subject it relates to.
In Year Five, we are constantly using Google Docs. Below is a list of benefits I have observed as students have used Google Docs.
- Collaboration – pairs, groups and whole class
- Eliminates the hassle of saving files and loosing them
- Students are motivated to work from home
- Instant feedback from the teacher and students are able to quickly modify/edit their work
- Documents can be easily shared to the students
The students enjoy using Google Docs to record their research and write a range of texts. They have also created their own Google Form to send to to other students to fill out in order to collect data as part of a Maths activity.
I am also interested to use Google Forms as an assessment tool using Flubaroo.
Animoto is a great tool for teachers and students to create videos to use in the classroom. It is simple to use – simply upload your photos to create a video. I also enjoy using YouTube to create videos as well as use the videos on YouTube as a ‘hook’ (introduction) to excite students about the lesson.
I am currently interested in using these tools to create videos in order to flip my classroom. I would like to start small and flip one of my Mathematics rotations.
Bubbl.us and other mind map tools can be really useful for students to use in the classroom. There are also many Chrome extensions that allow students to easily create mind maps. Prezi is a great presentation tool which encourages students to present their information in a creative way. It is also a great tool for teachers when presenting to parents/staff etc.
I didn’t realise Picasa was connected to Google Plus and I have never used the web albums before. It would be useful for students and teachers to search creative commons images and easily create movies/collages. Students make take photos, upload them and add text. Then share them with others. Take a look at the collage I created below.
I have never used Delicious or Diigo before. I chose to use Diigo (click here for the Chrome App). I can see many benefits, especially saving many useful websites. I think it is great that it allows you to share your bookmarks. I also save bookmarks to my Google Chrome account and on my links list on my professional blog.
I really enjoyed commenting on blogs from the blogs list. It’s great to make connections with other teachers and share our knowledge.
I can see the benefits of an RSS feed and I now have a clearer understanding of what it is. I’m not sure if it would be useful in a primary classroom, I think it might be more suited to secondary classrooms. My students have access to everything they need via our class blog.
Which of these social and professional networking tools could enhance learning, both in my classroom and beyond it, and how?
- Scootle can enhance learning in the classroom as it provides resources that are linked to the Australian Curriculum.
- Facebook provides many pages that are related to teaching that provide useful information and resources.
- Twitter is enormously beneficial for teachers to broaden their PLN as well as for students to share their learning very specifically due to the character limit.
I have created a Wiki in the past which provided students with links they needed to complete a task. I now find it easier to provide the links via a Google Doc, QR code or bit.ly. An advantage a Wiki has is the commenting feature, however the students comment on our class blog.
This year is the first year that I have used a Google Site for my class. each student has their own page on the site. They use their page to upload homework, assessments and class work. I am also hoping to link their Drive to their page so their work in Google Drive can easily be seen. To do this, the students will create a folder titled ‘Year Five 2014’, share it within the CEO and then insert it into their page.
Completing this course allowed me to gain an overview of my existing knowledge as well as introduce me to new tools. I am also now able to assist and encourage staff members in completing the course.