20% Project Reflection
March 18, 2014
20% Project Reflection for TECHNOLOGY COHORT: Curriculum in the Cloud. Improving myself and my classroom experiences using technology:
Attached you will find documentation of my learning throughout the last few weeks of this course. My intention was to add to my language arts moodle course which has been dormant for the past year or so. Mary Baradaran and myself were going to work on implementing grammar practice and the study of Greek and Latin roots. Hopefully we would discover websites and ideas to incorporate into our moodle which would teach, practice and enrich our students. I began by bookmarking these sites on my Chromebook. However, when we came across the website www.noredink.com, I scrapped my plans and have been using this in the classroom ever since.
My back up plan was to add to my moodle course with the novel I was currently teaching. I did not attach this to my LA moodle course yet, as I was trying different technology ideas each day in my lesson plans. You will see some of those in my lesson plans and some in my google presentation.
My students are eager to use technology and patient with me when things do not go as planned. They have adapted well to submitting things by “sharing documents” with me. I however, must figure out a better way to organize. I know this can be done, I just have to find some time to meet with my colleagues to be more efficient, as I realize they have mastered this. StudySync was an app I thought might be helpful in this area, as well as aligning some Common Core standards.
Below you will find a journal of my activities I used to grow as a learner in this course.
- spent 3-4 hours with each of my 4 language arts classes using video clips and discussions to raise awareness of our digital citizenship responsibilities
- shared common sense media websites with parents in our team weekly updates
- For the first time in a long time, I formally broached a “media study’ with my LA classes discussing advertising and media. Our focus was on Target Audience, Persuasive techniques, and production techniques.
- Students got in small groups to design their own product (and possibly a logo or slogan). In addition, I “let go” and allowed them to use whatever app or device they were comfortable with to film a commercial for their product. I had just learned about WeVideo, so I had them install it on the 5 Chromebooks in my classroom. Many students were comfortable with iPads and brought their own in or used another teacher’s iPads to film using iMovie. Some of my favorite commercials were done by students who used Animoto. (These were VERY impressive.)
- I am still having some issues finding the recorded commercials and viewing them because not all were easy to share with me, depending on the format. iMovies were especially difficult to find and view from my desktop (projecting onto the screen).
- I also tried using Doctopus. It worked for all my students, the first time and was really slick. However, when I thought I could just upload another document to be shared, I ran into difficulty not realizing that I had to start over again, saving the classes and then generating them for each document I would like to share.
- To simplify in a pinch, as I was being observed that day, I shared a document with my classes and had them make a copy in order to respond and give feedback for commercials I had selected to show them.This was something I hadn’t done before.
- As a part of my Integrated Unit, I am trying to resurrect my once used moodle accounts for Language Arts and reading.
- I shared a set of guided reading questions for LA classes through Google docs. Students are allowed to complete a paper copy or google doc
- Study Sync is something I will try to use for my classroom discussions. Apparently it takes awhile to set up. I meant to add this to my lesson, but never did, and later found out it works on iPads only? (not sure if this is true, but I watched a webinar which was very impressive. I got the notification through graphite.) This would definitely be something to work on for next year!!! Both teachers who did the screencast were really excited about it and made it seem easy to use.
- Padlet seemed to be not as user friendly as I thought it would be at first, but it turned out my students were more adept at using it than I. It is quite simple.
- I really thought I was going to make my integrated lessons focus on vocabulary, but when I found noredink.com, I really didn’t need to look any further.
- I came upon Graphite app flow in the last 2 weeks and feel that could be a one stop shop. I signed up for this site and just got an email today (3-18) that looks to be a “new and improved way of using Common Core Standards and linking to technology in the classroom”. It looks awesome.
- Participated in a google hangout with the other teachers and the media specialists during our LA classes to introduce new books in the media center. Mike Walker, Cathy Heller and Rob Schwartz were the brains behind this one. It took awhile to get it all set up right, fortunately during some prep times, but it went very smooth when we actually did it. We did it 4 times, one for each LA class.