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

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tool #4
So glad to be using Google Docs for some departmental paperwork.  Excellent means to provide confidential information without using so much paper and toner.  Saves us money!!  And time!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tool #3

Love the ease of YouTube for finding video, but you really need to preview everything.  I like having kids see what other kids are saying, but they often forget about some language issues when posting.

I hope to use Dropbox to video my seniors about their experiences looking for colleges, majors or job training that aligns with their interests and skills.

As usual, copyright laws are a mess and very hard to decipher.  I like the fact that many new sites being used, such as TurnItIn.com have filters that scan for it.  That makes it easier for the kids to see their mistakes and fix them.  My own kids have found this very helpful, especially when mom isn't around to check and edit!

Choosing a College Major

Good video to watch when thinking about your job interests and what you might look for in a college major.  It is important to weigh many different factors when making this decision.

Applying to College #1

Here is a video of some very basic steps when thinking about applying to a college.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tool # 2

I had a similar experience using Blackboard for grad classes several years ago and really enjoyed reading the comments of others. I think sharing thoughts and ideas opens us up to greater experiences. I know it is often a huge step for some people, especially those who are such private individuals, but I think the rewards can lead to greater self-awareness. Just knowing that others in my expanding circle of NHS friends have similar interests as me(gardening & reading!)makes me glad that I was lucky enough to land here!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tool 1: my first blog

Wow, how cool is it that I have started a blog!  I am excited about how this is going to work and how it might lead me to explore the world of blogging a little more.