Category Archives: Web 2.0 Applications

Web 2.0 Online Course

I have completed the WEB 2.0 Online Course offered by the CEO. Below are my reflections of each module.Google Plus

Module One

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.

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.

Module Two

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.

Module Three

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.

Module Four 

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.

Module Five

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.

Module Six 

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.

Picasa Collage

Module Seven 

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.

Module Eight 

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.

Module Nine 

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.

Twitter

Module Ten

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.

Final Reflection

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.

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Stuck in a Rut?

It is so easy to get stuck in a rut, both in our personal lives and in our teaching. It’s safe, comfortable and what we know – change is scary and it’s easy to adopt the thinking ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. However, as teachers we can’t get stuck in a rut. We owe it to our students to ensure that we don’t and that we continue to provide exciting and relevant learning experiences. So how do we do that?

  • Be active on Twitter. Share your ideas, resources you have found, other tweets you have found useful and connect with other professionals.
  • Search for web 2.0 tools to use and integrate into your lessons in meaningful ways. Be brave and give them a go!
  • Be on the look out for relevant and useful apps for your students to use on iPads.
  • Pin things that appeal to you on Pinterest and upload your own images.
  • Subscribe to blogs, read the posts, post a comment and share it on Twitter.

The internet, Twitter, blogs and Pinterest make it so easy to find great resources and get inspired. However, it is up to us to actually implement them in our teaching.

How do you stop yourself from getting stuck in a rut?

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Stuart Miles / Freedigitalphotos.net

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10 Useful Web 2.0 Tools

I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting web tools that have the possibility to be used in meaningful ways in the classroom. They do not only provide the opportunity for learning to be fun, but inspire students to show creativity and enthusiasm in the classroom.

Here is a list of some great tools that I have either used in the past or that I am excited to use in the future!

Animoto

Turn your photos, video clips and music into a great video. A great idea to brighten up your blog posts and best of all, it is fast, free and easy!

Wordle

Wordle is a word cloud generator. It can be used by students as an activity, as a display in your classroom or a whole class activity at the beginning and/or end of a unit.

Prezi

A great communication tool to present your ideas in an exciting and new way. Useful for any presentation, from staff meetings to introducing a topic to your students. Click here for an example on a previous post.

StoryBird

Easily create stories ready to share, read and print. Create one to share with your students and challenge your students to publish their stories online.

timetoast

A fun and interactive way for students to create timelines.

Issuu

Students can create their own online magazine as an activity or an assessment.

Xtranormal

Students are able to turn their words into a 3D animated movie.

ToonDoo

Students can create their very own comic strips to illustrate their knowledge.

Go!Animate

Teachers can create a video to explain or reinforce a topic and get their students to illustrate their knowledge on any topic. Click here for an example on a previous post.

Photo Peach

Easily create interactive slideshows with your photos.

Have you used these tools before?

Have you come across any other useful web tools to use in the classroom?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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The Benefits of a Class Blog

I have admired a number of class blogs over the last couple of years (see the links on the side of my blog for some great class blogs) and they have inspired me to start my own class blog when I have a class of my own. Click here for a previous post about class blogs.

Take a look at the following inspiring YouTube video.

There are many benefits of a class blog, including:

  • they are easy to set up and they are user friendly
  • students are motivated
  • students are encouraged to read and write
  • they encourage discussion and collaboration
  • a community of learners is fostered
  • there is an instant audience
  • interesting websites can be provided to your students via links
  • images can be included to appeal to visual learners
  • they may be accessed anytime and anywhere
  • students gain an increased feeling of ownership
  • authentic learning takes place
  • they allow students to connect with other classrooms all over the world
  • it is relevant
  • a strong connection between home and school is encouraged

Kathleen Morris has written some great posts about blogging that are definitely worth checking out. See here, here and here for some of her useful blog posts and resources.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you thinking about starting a class blog?

Can you think of any more benefits?

Do you have a class blog? Share your link below!

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21st Century Teachers

We are constantly hearing about 21st century students, so what does that mean for teachers? What is a 21st century teacher?

I believe that we need to be;

  • continually learning
  • open minded
  • open to discussion, collaboration and sharing
  • reflecting and evaluating
  • supportive of other teachers
  • preparing our students for their future

In order to be the best teachers that we can be for our students and achieve each item on the above list, we need to take advantage of all that we have available to us, including;

  • Twitter: Be an active participant – tweet useful ideas, websites and thoughts, retweet great ideas you like, build up a library of resources you have discovered because of twitter. See the purpose tab on my blog and this post.
  • Facebook Pages: There are so many useful facebook pages which share amazing ideas and are dedicated to teachers. ‘Like’ my facebook page and have a look at the facebook pages that I am following to get you started. Maybe even start your own facebook page.
  • Pinterest: Sign up to Pinterest and ‘pin’ all the images that inspire you. The ideas and creativity out there is amazing – I guarantee that you will be hooked and see something you have never thought of before. Click on the Pinterest link on the side of my blog to get you started.
  • Blogging: Sign up to teaching blogs that you like so you receive an email each time they write a post, take a look at the list on the side of my blog for some great blogs. Be inspired, read comments and join in on the conversation. Maybe even start your own blog to share your ideas and inspire others.
  • TeachMeets: Attend TeachMeets whenever you can to hear what teachers are doing in their classrooms and to share what you are doing in yours with technology. See the previous blog post.

Be inspired and have fun! Use the great ideas you find and implement them in your classroom and then let other teachers know how it went.

What are you doing as a 21st century teacher?

What is a 21st century teacher, to you?

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TeachMeets

A few weeks ago I didn’t even know what a TeachMeet was, now I have attended two and presented at one. I have become a huge fan and can’t wait to attend the next one!

TeachMeets are fast, entertaining, educational and they are open to everyone. They began in the UK and are now spreading all over the world.

TeachMeets are friendly meetings where teachers get together and present great ideas and what they are doing in their classrooms with technology. The whole idea is to network with other teachers and learn from each other – isn’t that a fantastic idea? (It’s definitely more exciting than the usual staff meeting!)

While you are at the TeachMeet, use the correct hash tag (e.g. #tmsydney) to comment on the presenters as they present and share their great ideas with your Twitter PLN.

So what are you waiting for? Jump on board and get ready to be excited about teaching with technology!

WARNING: the excitement is contagious.

Click here to find out when the next TeachMeet is being held near you!

Have you been to a TeachMeet? What did you enjoy most?

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May 19, 2012 · 8:39 PM

Classroom Blogs

Ever since I have joined Twitter I have been not only introduced to the idea of classroom blogs, but also to the amazing potential that they can have for student learning.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the 21st century requires students to possess a new set of skills. Learning needs to be more digital, informal, online, mobile, networked and multimedia and a classroom blog achieves exactly that.

Classroom blogs allow us as teachers to reinvent education in a way that engages, empowers and educates all students.

Classroom blogs have the potential to allow students to find their passion and develop passionate life long learners. They also allow teachers to demonstrate bold digital age leadership and unconstrained vision.     

Watch this youtube clip of 10-11 year olds explaining why they love to blog in the classroom:

Here are some great classroom blogs that have inspired me:

Click here for a link to a fantastic blog a couple of my peers, Zoe and Mel, created as an assessment task explaining more about classroom blogs, including where to start, KLA ideas, a list of benefits and much more.  

Click here for another fanatstic blog post by Kathleen Morris which provides ideas for getting your own classroom blog started.

Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano has also written an incredible series of posts on her Langwitches Blog, which provides amazing information for all bloggers, new and old.

Do you have a classroom blog?

Do you know other inspiring classroom blogs?

What are your thoughts on classroom blogs?

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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