Tools I wish I had used… maybe next year!

As the end of the year approaches, I am finding myself reflecting on the year happy with the results I have achieved with my students.  The highlight for me has been watching them develop their techno-toolbox that they will be able to use in highschool or when they return to their home schools for grade 8.

That being said, I often think that I could do more.  I know it is silly but I really want to incorporate all those great tools into my classroom.   Therefore, I have decided to make a “Next Year

” list:

1) Animation on the ipad – I have been playing with Sock Puppets and PuppetPals on the iPad


.  I love the ease of use and the ability to easy add your own images to the app.  Many of the online tools for animation are too complex or require a lot of patience (and bandwidth).  These apps quickly and easily create high quality animations that I can upload to my webpage or input into an iMovie.

2) Facebook/Edmodo – I love social media but am not yet using it enough in my classroom.  Being a grade 7/8 classroom, it is hard to balance the minimum age requires of Facebook and the reality that all of the under 13’s in my class use it.  Therefore, I’m going to try Edmodo.  It won’t be something that the students are already using but I guess that it is better than nothing.

3) More Mac – I really want my students using more Mac tools – Garage Band, iPhoto, and iMovie.  I haven’t quite figured out what some of the applications will be but I really want them to be using their easy options.

4) Authentic Blogging – again, I’m not really sure how this is going to work.  I really don’t want to make the students write on a blog that nobody is going to read but see a huge value in them reflecting and writing for the world to read.  However, as I have experienced, that is easier said than done.  Linking up with other congregated classroom might be one way to foster a writing-reading relationship that makes the experience authentic – but will this just get tiresome?  Who knows.

What are your tools that you want to bring to your rooms next year?  Any ideas that you haven’t explored quite yet?



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