Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thing 13 - Reflection

Out of all the sites I’ve encountered during the “Thing” classes, I have found that Blogger, Wikispaces, and Voicethread have been my favorite, and the ones that I either use the most already or will be using and implementing into my teaching. Blogger is a great way for me to share my learning and thoughts with other educators, and even parents too. I haven’t used it yet with my students, but would like to next school year and still have to figure out how to get all my students onto Blogger with accounts/passwords. Wikispaces has probably been the most beneficial to me as it allows me to share information on events in my classroom as well as give me a place to set up projects for my students to access and even collaborate on. I can set up student passwords to my classroom wiki making it quite user-friendly and practical. Students are able to add to the wiki or even have discussions under the discussion tabs! I have not used Voicethread yet in my classroom, but will be looking forward to using it with my students as a place to share poetry or other subjects being studying while giving them a place to comment and share thoughts about their classmates’ created works. This site is also practical because I can add users to my account so that they can comment either through audio or texting. I am sure my students will love this online communication and feedback on projects that we pursue in the classroom!

Many of the Web 2.0 applications that I’ve learned about have been shared with colleagues because we have taken the “Thing” classes together. This is great because we can discuss practical uses within our school and classroom! I have shared some applications with students, such as podcasts and podcasting, online videos, and Google Maps as I post to my classroom wiki. Twitter has been a great way for my students to be introduced to a popular social media network as I have set up a classroom Twitter account and have embedded it to my classroom wiki in which we often post whole class comments.

Twitter has also been a great way to create a PLN! Following other tech-savvy educators and experts has been a wonderful way to stay on top of all of the new and innovative technology strategies, tools, and techniques that top educators are using all over the world. Even with this class coming to an end, part of my life-long learning will come from my Twitter PLN, changing me as an educator and how I learn. Twitter has also helped change me by allowing me to share my thoughts and ideas with others as well…something I was only able to really do with the small group of colleagues that I work with everyday. We expect our students to learn and collaborate globally, and I now too have taken that next step to learn from others around the globe.

Learning about Web 2.0 applications and tools to use in my classroom has been an awesome experience and has and will help me to be a better teacher/guide in helping prepare my students for what the future has in store for them!

1 comment:

  1. You have learned well grasshopper! Your Web 2.0 journey, however, continues.

    I'm so thankful to see you put into practice what you've learned. Very often teachers have the "WOW" moment, but go no further. The hardest part, as I'm sure you've discovered, is to find a way to 'integrate' (I've grown to hate that word, BTW) these tools into your daily practice.

    It is also helpful to have colleagues that you can meet F2F in addition to your online PLN. I'm not sure why that is, but I guess as humans we're wired for actual in-person interactions with others.

    I admire your idea to get students blogging. I'm just not sure that Blogger is the tool of choice. First of all, your students have to be old enough for a google account. You may want to find another platform. Perhaps your PLN can help you with this. I remember a lot of "buzz" about Edmodo. I haven't tried it, except maybe to create my account, but maybe it would be a better fit than Blogger.

    Good luck! And thanks for hanging in there for the entire ride. I'll see you on Twitter, if not in person