This week, it’s time to take a breath, look back at the whirlwind of activity and dig a little deeper. The cool thing about learning about so many sources is that I get very excited to try all of them! Of course, there is no feasible way to really try all of them in a manner in which they will really get tested. I’m glad to have this week to try some out with depth and get to know some of these tools.
One of my all-time favorite tools is Edmodo. I have used Edmodo for disseminating information and as a mode for students to turn in assignments. Digging a little deeper, I have been experimenting with polls and quizzes in order to check in individually with each student. I like how the whole class can be sent something, or individuals, or even small groups. The middle school teacher also uses Edmodo, so I hope my students learning this tool will ease their transition to middle school. I’ve discovered different views in Edmodo, for example the progress view, that facilitate quicker assessment from the teacher’s perspective. Badges can be made and given to students for any reason a teacher imagines. I thought a good class job would be for a student to create badges. Fun!
Onto Evernote. Edmodo is good for keeping track of what students are working on, but not necessarily for viewing the artifacts. I’ve set up Evernote on my laptop (web) and on my iPad. I’ve set up a main notebook for myself and one notebook for each student. As students finish steps in a project, I can scan in their artifacts for each step of the way. We have conferences soon. My hope is to be able to show a virtual folder with student examples to the parents as we meet. I can also send a note home with the link (hopefully) to those families that don’t show up to conferences. As I get more comfortable with Evernote, I envision that I can have parents check work at home and see how their students is doing. Most families have a means to connect to the Internet in our village. This tools merits continuous experimentation. It is not a quick learn as it is a complex tool.
In my classroom, we are writing a short autobiography. We are using iMovie and domo.goanimate as the two tools for the end project. Students are learning how to use a digital camera and blend images of themselves and pictures (photos or hand-drawn) to tell their story. The pictures will be scanned into iPhoto or taken with their computer camera (and possibly a green screen) They will be using GarageBand to create a unique music piece to accompany their story. This project is allowing them to test out writing in a digital and differentiated manner.
Our group wiki page on digital storytelling is nearly complete. I really appreciate the brainstorming session on the different tools available to publish a story. One tool my students really enjoy that I learned from this brainstorming was domo.goanimate.
Diary, I am glad to have a week to really dig deeper into some of these tools. Other tools I really want to explore are tucked safely away on my diigo for the future. At the end of this week, I get to go to ASTE which I’m sure will fill my diigo with even more tools and toys to play with. I can’t wait!