it’s been a while

It’s been a really long time but I’m back. Part of the reason why I’m back is because I started using Dragon dictation for Mac. I’m the first to complain about this program but I thought I should give a try in hopes of overcoming my frustrations with it as means of modeling how to use technology.

Since September, we have done a lot with technology in our classroom–many of the assignments are not new, many of them are similar to things I’ve done the past year but I thought I would share:

-we started the year by using http://www.bitstripsforschools.com to create a comic showing our classroom expectations. Our expectations this year were based upon “The Definite Dozen”–a set of expectations created by American college basketball coach for her team.   It’s a unique set of expectations because it focuses on students managing their own behavior.

–The first day of school my students used the iPads to create a Sock Puppet show demonstrating the routines that we have within our classroom. We quickly  shared these animations by projecting them onto the screen. What was amazing about this, was that it was an extremely meaningful assignment for them and it took less than 15 minutes from start to finish. In my opinion this is the beauty of the iPad in education–quick, easy, fun lessons.

-also on the first day of school, we jumped on the Q. R. Code bandwagon. To do this, I used http://www.weebly.comto create a website that would be linked to the codes.

-We talked about  infomercials: there structure and the descriptive language used to sell products. We watched a whole bunch of thems: the Shamwow, the Magic Bullet, and the Slap Chop were among the few that we deconstructed. From there, the boys used the descriptive language and the structure that we pulled from these infomercials and created their own using Puppet Pals on the iPod. We then shared these animations on our classroom blog.

–My students have all signed up for an Evernote account. All of our writing we are collecting within Evernote. The beauty of this is that were able to share the writing amongst each other simply and easily. Also, it allows them to have a digital portfolio of all the writing so that they can see their progress they’ve made throughout the year. In addition, we hope to use this as a way of teaching them organization and  management in the digital world.

–We signed up for Quadblogging last year. I really have an issue with using blogs unless they become a truly authentic writing experience. To truly do this, your blog needs to have some readers. This is Quadblogging comes in. You’re in a group of four, with schools spread out from all around the world.    The best part of this experience so far has been sharing our work and also comparing the differences and the similarities between our classroom and those classrooms in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

–Edmodo is the hub of our classroom. We’ve been using Edmodo to post assignments and share what we have done with the rest of the class. In addition, we have used this website to begin teaching the concepts of digital citizenship and online social skills. I hope to share a lot of these lessons and ideas on my TLLP blog  in the near future.

So. There you have it. My first blog post done using Dragon.  So it really wasn’t that hard but at times it was frustrating. I hope to use it some more.

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