Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tool #11 - Self Assessing and Reflecting

1. What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools.
Google Docs and Flashcard+ are great tools I plan on using regularly.  Creating flashcards for vocabulary practice has been very helpful for my students.  I plan to combine Google Docs with Dropbox for our next project.  Google Docs greatly enhanced collaborative learning and growth during our "Mind Maps" project.

2. How have you transformed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom? How has your vision for your classroom changed? Are you going to need to make any changes to your classroom to accommodate the 21st Century learner?
My thinking has not been transformed, but reenforced.  Technology makes learning fresh and exciting.  Students become more engaged and more motivated when I hand them an I-pad.  My vision has changed in the sense that we can go beyond our classroom.  I have shown my students videos of other students, outside of Texas, who are making presentations of units that we study.  It is fun to see that we have the so much in common.  It would be fun to Skype one of these classrooms.

3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I was surprised how much we are already using in my classroom and I was excited to learn about new sites.  I would love to have students to create an Animoto project of their favorite unit for review at the end of the year.

Tool #10 - Underneath it All - Digital Citizenship

Discuss at least three things you would want to make sure your students understand about being good digital citizens. 
Students need to understand plagiarism, personal security and cyberbullying.  I showed a valuable video about plagiarism that our department chair shared online.  

Share at least one of the resources mentioned above or on the Ed Tech website that you plan to use instructionally.
I plan to use the presentations from Cybersmart teens and Common Sense.  I think the students will enjoy them and have a better understanding of digital citizenship.  Also, I can assess what they know and what I need to further explain.

Explain briefly how you would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship to your students.
Students will use I-pads and netbooks in the classroom to research "digital citizenship".  They will write an expository essay explaining what it means and how to conduct themselves on the Internet.

Explain briefly how you plan to share the idea of digital citizenship with your students' parents.
As part of their "digital citizenship" project, students will create a digital contract that they and their parents will sign.  Technology development and use changes frequently, so "digital citizenship" will be an ongoing discussion as it pertains to each of our projects and courses of study . 

Tool #9: Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices as Tools for Learning

Two web sites that have been effective in my classroom are and the

I have students work in groups to create a jeopardy template for review of Antigone.  It was easy to check because they had to provide the correct answers.

As for the vocabulary workshop, it has greatly improved scores for the students who utilize it.  It is easy to evaluate because the site gives the students a score when they finish a section.

I feel it is important to tie technology to learning objectives because it adds excitement to the lessons.  My students don't feel like they are working when they visit these sites.  They feel like they are playing.  They have created their own jeopardy templates for review.

Tool #8: Taking a Look at the Tools

1.  A couple of things that I learned in the videos were how to sync the ipad to my laptop, and I learned that Spring Branch has a repository for apps.

2.  Management is key, but having guidelines for students to follow and procedures in place will help students know ahead of time what is expected of them.

I don't have any major suggestions other than keep trying things and playing with the technology.  Using it regularly is the key to making it a routine part of your classroom instruction.


I watched the entire video, but since I use my own iPad regularly, I am quite familiar with how it works, and there was nothing new in the video to learn.

In order to appropriately manage the iPads in the classroom, we will first review and discuss the rules regarding technology posted in the Student Handbook.  We will generate guidelines regarding how to share the iPads. We will also discuss how to care for them appropriately.  We will have elections for "Technology Teachers" in each classroom and those elected will take charge when there are any technolgoical difficulties or questions regarding iPads

Tool #7: Reaching Outside your Classroom: Online Digital Projects

TLW collaborate with Mrs. Jasek's 10th grade classrooms via Skype regarding ideas they have to improve STARR essays.  This project will be implemented in mid-February in order to allow enough time to reflect on the other classroom's ideas and implement their ideas to several practice essays.  We will be using Skype and Google Docs.

The Plan:Before Skyping another classroom, we will brainstorm what has been successful in our STARR essays and what we believe needs more work.  We will then type that information into a Google Doc, which will have our class ideas and the ideas of the other classes added to it.  We will then call Mrs. Jasek's 10th grade classroom and will discuss what obstacles we encounter with writing and will solicit their ideas on how to improve upon them.  We will also offer advice to them and answer their questions.  Finally, we will type one practice essay per student into Google Docs, which will be edited and commented on by a member of the class with which we Skype. 

In December students from my different class periods used Google Docs to create "Mind Maps" for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  This tool enable students to complete the majority of their projects online.  They met in the classroom for 15 minutes to put the projects on posters for presentation in the classroom.  It was a fun and efficient.

Tool #6: Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion in and out of the Classroom

Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion

Poll Everywhere is a fun tool because students can use their cellphones in class and they can express their own opinions.Poll Everywhere

Wallwisher seems like a fun tool to use to encourage discussion.  It would allow students to contribute ideas quickly.  I think it would encourage some students who don't normally participate to engage in the discussions.

Tool #5: Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

Wordle: A Tale of Two Cities
Leslie's Tale of Two Cities quote created in Wordle

This is an incredibly exciting tool to have at my disposal.  It is sure to reach the more left-brained among my students (i.e., visual learners).

And adding an Animoto video ...

Animoto video

Making an animoto video would be a great way for students to summarize text in Language Arts.  It could be fun to have groups produce one act or scene for each play.  They could highlight the main points and provide captions.  It could be a nice way to review.  Animoto is fun and relatively easy to use.

Tool #4 - Google Docs

My students used Google Docs last week to create their "Mind Maps".  They were working in groups and they put their section of the project in the cloud and they were each able to edit and contribute.  This was a great help and time saver.

Tool #3 - Videos

One of my favorite video sites is  There are famous speeches from plays and movies.  I plan to use the video from Julius Caesar next six weeks.  I also love YouTube and I have attached the video of Mr. Darcy's proposal from Pride and Prejudice.  Streaming video found through XBMC is my family's favorite.

Julius Caesar: Marc Antony's speech (

If the link does not work, then copy and paste the URL above into a separate Browser window.

Pride and Prejudice: Darcy's Proposal

I learned that the laws of copyright in education are not "clear cut".  This was new to me.

I can keep assignments in my DropBox account and edit them from someone else's computer even when I don't have my laptop.

Tool # 2 - Personal Learning Networks

I chose the option to create a DIIGO account.

I love the concept of building an online community to share teaching tools and other classroom ideas.

I plan to visit "The History Teacher's Attic".  It looks interesting.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tool #1

This is my first task in "11 Tools".  Thanks to Karen Justl for helping to walk me through it.  I am excited to use technology in the classroom!  I went to Voki and created a character.  This could be a lot of fun for my students.