What have I learned?

Widgets,

Edmodo,

Edublogs,

Animoto,

Paint.NET,

Blogging,

Google Reader,

Diigoo,

Tags,

Embedding Videos,

Links,

Audacity,

SnippingΒ  tools,

Zamzar,

Word 2010,

Toolbars….

And so much more!

In seven weeks, I cannot believe how much I have leared from both the resources we have intereacted with and from my peers and their blogs. This has been a really great, collaborative learning experience and there are so many resources that I just can’t wait to try out in the classroom! Two months ago, I wouldn’t have heard of, let alone used over half of the above list… We really do learn somethings new everyday!

Thanks for all the feedback and I will certainly continue to use this space as a learning and teaching resource πŸ™‚

Jess πŸ™‚

The Magical Classroom

Ok, so I realise this is very clearly an advertisement ploy from SMART Technologies, but I actually think it demonstrates the endless possibilities of IWB’s in the classroom- bringing the outdoors in, the world to us, the past to the present and bringing the dull to life.

I think it’s really successful in provoking thoughts about how IWB’s could be used in the classroom. How have you used an IWB in the classroom? I’d love to hear some of your wonderful ideas πŸ™‚

Until next time,

Jess

 

How private are privacy settings?

About a week ago I received a comment from a stranger who I assumed was from Romania as their email address was something like freeiphoneromania@yahoo.com. The comment was written in broken English, saying how impressed they were with my blog and asking me to reply letting them know how I made it and what themes I used etc. I must say, I was a little taken back. From what I gather, this comment was either spam or from a stranger, which caused me to question the privacy settings on edublogs. A couple of days after this, I received another comment, from an additional unknown email address, saying a similar thing, basically just asking me if I could inform them of how I created my blog.Β 

I believe this poses to be a real threat to edublogs in the classroom, it got me thinking… How easy is it for a random, non educator or student to create an edublog? I certainly would not be happy as a teacher or parent if my child/student was receiving comments from strangers on their edublog…Β 

Does any one know if there is a way to make your blog private, so that only selected people can view it? Or does this defeat the purpose of a blog?Β 
Any thoughts???

Until next time,
Jess πŸ™‚

Paint dot NET

After browsing through the different picture editing tools, I decided that I wanted to give Paint.NET a go! I downloaded the program (which was only a very small 3.5 MB) and began editing straight after it had finished installing. I decided to edit another pic from my holiday to Bali, a personal favourite, that was taken as I did the high ropes course at the beautiful ‘Botanical Gardens’, which is south of Kuta.

I had a play around with effect and text and decided that i wanted to keep this picture simple. There are so many ohter effects and tools on Paint.NET, some that I am still exploring.

THUMBS UP

– It’s free

– It’s an offline editing program, which means you can use it anywhere that you can use your computer

-It’s only a very small program that takes up basically no space on your hard drive

– It is set up so that all of the existing picture folders on your PC automatically appear when you select open- no having to import folders into the program

-Fairly easy to navigate – many basic and simple to use features as well as complex features to add fine details

THUMBS DOWN

– I found it quite confusing to download, with several adds, it is difficult to find exactly which Download button to click. This could be an issue inΒ  the classroom, I would think that the teacher would definitely need to download and install this program, to avoid students clicking on any of the many harmful adds.

– Quite a few of the features are not parallel with features used in Microsoft, i.e students would probably take a little while to get used to using the program, as they would need to figure out from scratch how to use certain features that they use differently in Microsoft Programs.

 

Overall, I think it is an excellent FREE offline program for editing and manipulating pictures.

Give it a try!

Until next time, Jess πŸ™‚

Animoto – Easy as 1…2…3!

After reading Zena’s fabulous post about Animoto, I decided to give it a go!

My Trip to Bali…

She was right, it was so simple and quick to use, making a high quility video, with music and animations at the click of a button (literally!) The website, is layed out in a really simplistic way and it took me more than 60 seconds to make an account. The pictures I choose,Β  (which I uploaded off my computer) were processed within a couple of minutes, I was then prompted to choose a song from the animoto library, I clicked the next button, and my video was created in about 2 minutes! I would say the downfall of this tool is the fact that to make any video over 30 seconds, you must subscribe (at a fee). I understand that they are a bisiness, like and other and therefore need to make money but I a just a little unsure as to whether schools would invest money in a picture story program, when they can use others, such a Windows Movie maker, iPhoto, Powerpoint etc for free. On the same note though, it is much quicker and of a higher quality than other free programs and does not require students to spend hours making a video, hence leaving time for other things. Animoto could be used across the board in a classroom, forΒ  presenting photo’s relating to unfamiliar subjects to students, excursion and special event pictures, and of course for video (which is another feature of animoto) either created by students or off the internet.

I would definitely suggest using this program, when I begin full time work at a Primary School, as I think it is a great, student-friendly tool… I guess it would just depend on the school’s outlook on technology and obviously the funding available.

Until next time,

Jess πŸ™‚

Glogster EDU

I have been waiting to start using some of the wonderful resources we have learned about so far in the classroom and I today decided to use Glogster for an assessment task for students in my grade 5 practicum class. They are currently doing independent inquiry research projects, in which they are studying a celestial body (of their choice) in our solar system. My mentor teacher had initially planned to have students present their projects in Word or Publisher, but after showing her Glogster, she allowed me to create a class Glogster account so that students can use Glogster to present their projects! I excitedly logged on to the computer to create a class account and discovered that there is a Glogster EDU site, which is created especially for teachers! The beauty of this is that there is a free and premium (paid) option, therefore catering for all schools, regardless of funding. The EDU accounts also have much higher privacy settings, making all profiles and Glogs automatically private. The kids were sooooooo excited when they found out that they were using Glogster for an assignment! It turns out that for many students, Glogster is a site often used at home in their free time! I love seeing kids passionate about learning and I think this really succeeded in achieving this πŸ™‚

Until next time,
Jess

Technology saves the day!

Well, now that I have started placements, I have finally been able to observe how much technology is being used… I was so impressed when I arrived! Each student has their own netbook, which they are encouraged to and have completely personalised with their own cursors, backgrounds, photos and screen savers and both classrooms have an IWB which they make full use of! I feel so lucky to be in such a small class of only 12 students which utilises technology so well. On only my second day, I was given the chance to introduce glogster and free rice to the kids in an IWB lesson and they loved it! It is so amazing how quickly they caught on, some of them were showing me features that I hadn’t even discovered after only about 15 minutes of using it, they really are the technology generation! I think it’s really positive to see students so comfortable with technology, trying new things, sharing and helping each other to use new programs/tools and not being afraid to make a mistake.Β 

After discussing the use of technology within the school, with my placement teacher, she explained to me that it was in fact technology that saved their campus from being closed down! A couple if years back, the school was struggling to get numbers at this particular campus and were told to come up with a proposal/strategy to give the campus direction and thus boost enrollments. Their proposal was to become a leading ICT School, which focussed on integrating technology into all areas of the curriculum through the use of netbooks (which are provided to students for no fee) and IWB’s. After being accepted, the proposal was put into action and is now what attracts students to the school (along with the beautiful environment, chickens and veggie patches!). I am so excited about the many possibilities I will have for the next week and half at this school and will be sure to inform you of any other interesting/useful things I discover! I feel like I could’t have asked for a more fitting school at this time in my course, as it is giving me every opportunity to put what I am learning in EST into action! Thanks, Deakin πŸ˜‰

Hope placements are going well for everyone πŸ™‚

Until next time, Jess

IWB’s can be used for…

Was just having a bit of a browse on google about the different ways IWB are being used in classrooms across the world and found this site, with lots of useful links and thought, ‘how appropriate for my blog!’Β 

http://www.shambles.net/pages/staff/intwhiteb/

Hope you find something useful for your rounds!

Explore away!Β 

Jess πŸ™‚