Sunday, December 21, 2008

Twittering Away

Last week we launched a lightening speed attack on two French classes (grades 8 and 10) armed with a couple of dozen iPod Touches. The kids, needless to say, were over the moon with excitement.

We spent the first session having them create Twitter accounts and then using TweetDeck so that all the messages were displayed on the big screen at the front of the class. The teacher soon had conversations going in French asking the kids questions and talking about their answers as they displayed. The students were working in pairs and it wasn’t long before I noticed one student using her French/English dictionary while her partner keyed in the answers. The ability for students to respond simultaneously kept them focused and working hard.

How else will we use them? This morning, as I waded through some of the 385 feeds stacked up in my reader, a blog post by Wes Fryer mentioned Tony Vincent’s blog. Learning in Hand is “an educator’s resource for using some of the coolest technologies with students.” Tony has been doing a ‘twelve days of iPod Touch’ series and has got me thinking about more ways to incorporate the uses of iPods in class. I’ll spend some time today reading his posts and looking at his delicious bookmarks for iPods.

Some of the possibilities include:
- having the kids Tweet questions from home and get help from fellow classmates or their teacher
- create flashcards (there’s a way to view PowerPoint slides that I need to find out more about)
- involve students who are away sick by having them Tweet
- create and access podcasts

How would you make best use of these devices in your classroom?

Photo used under Creative Commons by .....dotted.....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Free Clip Art

I have not been blogging much recently although my mind often turns to thoughts of blogging. It's time to pull back a little and refocus. Twitter has been a great distraction. My RSS feeds rose to over 500 unread.

Wishing you all a wonderful winter break, if you're in the northern hemisphere.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Save a Tree

In a Twitter post this morning Jeremy Davis tweeted to Will Richardson:

teachtech @willrich45 because every time we present without handouts, the luddites get angry

That’s not a bad thing. Let's create a little cognitive dissonance.

I tell workshop participants that I give “Workshops that keep on giving”. Teachers can return to my wiki and see what I’ve added weeks or months after the workshop. They’ll find lessons I’m using with my students, slideshares that explain new resources, links, videos and more.

They can subscribe to my Delicious account and keep up with the resources I add daily. Or add this blog to their RSS feed.

Is all this more valuable than a handout of the PowerPoint presentation I gave? I hope so.

Miss Baker, encourages her students to get out of the sandbox on her class blog Extreme Biology. Teachers need to hear this as well. They need to feel the discomfort that comes with taking risks. Do you feel more gratified when a lesson you’ve taught a dozen times before goes well or when you’ve tried something entirely new and it is a success?

So learn something new. Stop grumbling. Get out of the sandbox. Save a tree!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Book Giving Time

Visit The Globe and Mail online for book reviews including One Hundred Reasons to Read Books, the best of the past 12 months, according to The Globe and Mail's reviewers.

Just trying out Screedbot. It's a fun little scrolling application.