Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tool #11

Personally, I like the Google Docs and see myself using it weekly.  Such a timesaver to change from always attaching to an email.

For my department, I really like the applications to be used on the iPad and the ease of using the Netbooks for so many things in the CoTeach classroom.

The expanding technology available to teachers and students just keeps growing and it is so important for us to keep up with it so we prepare students to use as much as they can in taking the next step to their future after high school.  Colleges and the workplace are becoming increasingly digital in all aspects, from online applications to online classes.  By exposing the students to appropriate uses of technology now, we help them find a familiar path once they leave us. 

Tool #10

Digital Citizenship is so important for kids to understand.  In this age of texting, Skype, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, kids have put themselves out there digitally for the world to see.  They do not always do it with the idea of safety and security in mind.  Cyber bullying also is a concern.  I see the importance of continually stressing the need for students to maintain personal security and privacy when engaging online with anyone.
I specifically encourage my students to carefully screen any emails from unknown sources, not to give out social security numbers, passwords, account numbers, etc while online, and to consider anything they put on a live feed as an open window into their life.  They need to learn to respect the power of technology and realize that everyone on the internet is not trustworthy.

I like the iSafe Fact Sheet for its simplicity.  I am a stickler for having my kids write down passwords and keeping them in safe places when we apply to college, for financial aid and SAT/ACT.  I want them to know the importance of privacy, so I always turn away and let them handle passwords without looking over their shoulder.  Even though they trust me,  I want them to know that no one should have that type of access, no matter how well you know them or trust them.

Tool #9

Any time a teacher can tie an objective to a real life application, students are more likely to buy in to the activities.  By using technology, they can explore, try, fail, try again, all before turning in their finished product.  It also helps the kids who have a fear of failing in front of others.

Accountability can vary according to the classroom and the individual student.  Many can handle the blogging, saving, picture capture, etc, but others may need a hard copy of an outline to fill in.  Some may just need to show the ipad screen to the teacher for conformation.  Teachers know their students and can adjust how they make each of them accountable for their work.

I like Thinkfinity and Studyladder as sites for kids with learning issues and even my Lifeskills teachers can use some of them for their students.

I love the portablilty of the iPad for me.  I can meet kids anywhere in the building and show them college prep sites, application tools, look up majors or specific college information, without having to go back to my office and waste time. Having a visual reminder on screen is better than just a passing reminder in the hall.

Tool #8

The netbooks are a great tool for helping students with reading assistance through the Read, Write Gold program on the network.  When a test is available electronically, students who need the reading assistance can use headphones with the program to work at their own reading pace.  The availability of the webcam on the netbook is nice for the Skype option.

Since I don't have a classroom, device management is very simple.  I do like the idea of responsible, knowledgeable students being given the opportunity to manage the devices for each class period.  Once the initial instructional use is given, I can see things running smoothly with minimal teacher reminders.  Kids usually want the cool things to work, so they take better care of them!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tool #7

Since I work one-on-one with my students, we can use Skype to talk to counselors at colleges of interest, people in the community who work in a specific field, and others in online communities who have similar interests. Since many of my students need a personal connection to take the next step, this is a great tool to introduce them and encourage them to take that first step beyond high school.

Tool # 6

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Wallwisher looks awesome.

I like anything that allows the kids to be expressive, especially when they are usually quiet and reserved!  Many have so much to say and loads of great ideas, but just don't want the attention a classroom discussion brings.  The ability to post and respond without being face to face is especially nice for these kids!  Love it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012