Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hello TCEA!

I'm so excited to have the opportunity to attend TCEA again this year. I always learn so many new things and have a chance to introduce my students to new technology tools. We flew in last night and we are starting in our very first workshop bright and early!

The first workshop I'm attending is 'Give Kids the World'. In the first five minutes, I've gathered that it's all about collaboration, which is something my kids and I love! Dr. Howie started out by discussing how important it is for kids to collaborate with others around the world. Some of the skills he believes are required for students to be successful in the 21st century are leadership, information literacy, communication skills, critical/inventive thinking, use of 21st century tools, and personal attributes such as ambition and time management.

Here are some different things we discussed throughout the three hour session:
Read Around the Planet
  • Read Around the Planet matches teachers up for video-conferences between schools for students to share projects.
Web Conferencing
  • We discussed a variety of web conferencing resources on Caisefiles wiki. Check out a list of web conferencing tools here.
Global Education Conference Ning
  • This ning is centered around the Global Education Conference and has a lot of resources available.
iEARN (International Education & Resource Network) - "Learning with the world not just about it."
  • This site is all about collaboration! It provides links to several collaborative projects spread out over 130 countries, 30 languages, 40,000 educators, and 2 million children.

  • This global community can be used as a free tool or can be purchased. For no cost, you can create a teacher profile and get 30 free student email addresses to use in the collaborative projects. There are several collaborative projects including global weather, digital storytelling, maps, national disasters, and more.
  • I really like how detailed the projects are. They include lesson plans, detailed instructions, along with standards they are linked to.
  • This site is financially funded by IBM, National Geographic, and Microsoft which allows ePals to help teachers connect with others around the world for free.
7 Tools Students Can Use to Manage Group Projects
  • This blog entry comes from the 'Free Technology for Teachers' blog.
  • It includes links and information for the following tools:
    • Pegby
      • A board you can set up task cards under three columns: pending, in process, done. You can invite friends to join your board.
    • Teambox
      • You can use team calendars to add dates, upload files, and collaborate about team projects with your team.
    • Enter the Group
      • You can enter a project in, add details, and add people to your group.
    • Todoist
      • Helps you manage tasks and set up deadlines. You can create projects and assignments and prioritize projects. You can also integrate Todoist into your gemail account, in iGoogle gadgets, and as an extension on Google Chrome. It is a sister service for Wedoist.
    • Trello
      • This site is for individuals and groups to manage tasks. It is set up as a virtual corkboard where group members can pin task cards. Group members can be assigned tasks and you can arrange task cards into columns like 'to do', 'in progress', and 'completed'.
    • Wiggio
      • This collaborative tool is used to schedule virtual meetings, manage events with a shared calendar, create to-do lists, assign tasks, poll your group, and send emails/texts/voice messages.
    • Ta-da List
  • Skype Premium (7 day free trial) is a paid Skype service which allows you to videoconference with more than one person at a time. It includes group screen sharing and group video calling.
  • Skype can be used to connect with classrooms around the world and go on virtual fieldtrips.
Global Nomads Group
  • This is a paid service that helps you connect with schools internationally.
Flat Classroom Projects
  • This site helps you connect with other classes around the world through collaborative projects. It is designed mostly for middle and high school classes.
Sites Like Etherpad (Realtime Collaborative Text Editing)
  • PrimaryPad
  • TitanPad
  • PiratePad
  • Today's Meet
  • We've used some of these tools in my classroom to have collaborative discussions about a read aloud without disrupting the read aloud itself. With 25 students on it at one time, it became a bit frustrating to them to have their text accidentally deleted, or even to know what color was their text. I can see using it for group projects though. While students are working on their netbooks, researching for their group project, they can have collaborative discussions on TypeWithMe to keep in contact throughout the research process. If you set up the rooms to be available for over a week or so, students could also collaborate at home. I will be trying that out next week!
Google Docs Project
  • You can share Google Docs, allow other users to collaborate and work together on your document, or even share documents through email or via a link.

Here are some collaborative projects we discussed:

This I Believe
  • Students get into deep discussion and thought about what they believe. Possibile Idea for Elementary Classrooms (via my friend Lynn): What about using this at the beginning of the year? Instead of writing a classroom constitution, what about writing believe statements for our room, what do we believe as a group?
  • This site includes lessons to lead kids, step by step, to understand their beliefs.
  • We listened to the neatest podcast with a kindergartner who came up with a list of 100 of his beliefs for the 100th day of school. His story is available here.
My Hero Project
  • Students can share stories, essays, art, and short films about their hero. This site includes an educator guide to help guide you through this project in your classroom.
  • We actually do a biography project where we end up having a wax museum for parents and students to attend...thinking maybe we might switch it up to a Hero Museum so we can integrate this project...
  • Use photos to tell a story, collaborate with others through comments, and more. The educational version does cost money. However, the free version allows you to post three voicethreads at a time.
Wikis: - Some examples of great Wikis
Page99Test "One Moment to Grab You"
  • Belief: If I read page 99 of any book, and I am compelled to read the next page, it's a book I should buy.
  • Check out privacy policy and district privacy policy before using..
Creative Commons

Glogster EDU

Collaborative Writing
  • Storybird - Students can write a story and print it.
  • ZooBurst - Pop Up 3D book...used in many ESL classes

Here are some great online magazines involving education and/or technology. Take a moment to check them out!
Fast Company

Dr. Howie has all of his materials on his website, including the presentation for this workshop. All of his files are licensed under Creative Commons. As long as you keep his name on them, you are free to use them in your own classroom! Have fun exploring!
Twitter: hdiblasi

Until next time...

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