Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Voice Thread

Working with this program was a lot of fun. I could see many different age levels working with this project and really enjoying it. I could see myself using it in many different subject areas. It would be a great way for children to describe, for example, pictures of the life cycle of a plant. I think it would be neat for students to create easy lessons for their classmates to view. I believe one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. Not to mention, kids love to hear there own voice! Similar to the the storybook project the end result of this project is very rewarding. I also think that it would be a great way to share classroom activities with parents.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Panraven Story Book

Working with Panraven was fairly easy. I found that inserting the photo's and text was not difficult. I would have liked to expand the narrative of the photo's but of course was limited by the text box options. That was okay I simply tried to think of exactly what I wanted to say about each photo. I know that I would use this program again. As far as for a classroom I think that it would be useful to allow students to create a narrative of either a place the class visited or create a "story." The resulting book was quite rewarding in that the pictures and layout were something to be proud of. I could see a class really liking the outcome of their work. Younger children would perhaps do best working in a group with the teacher or an aide but I think an older class say fifth and up could work with this program on their own.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Flickr Slide Show

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

While working on this project I was able to visualize several useful applications for the classroom. A teacher could possibly use this to help explain class projects. Having a step by step example visualized would be useful. I could see this working in a differentiated classroom giving the teacher the opportunity to allow students to return to the slide show for help or further explanation. This would eliminate the teacher having to explain procedures several times.
While I feel like this tool would best be utilized in a classroom of third graders or above I think it would be fun for teachers of younger grades to create slide shows for their students to remember field trips or class parties/events.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sense of Place Poster

Making this poster was a really fun project. I was challenged to look through my collection of pictures and find ones that were really indicative of where we live. In Kodiak we are surrounded by water. We smell, taste and hear it every day. That's why I chose so many pictures of the ocean and beaches.

I was intrigued by the idea of using this in the classroom. I could see how a teacher would be able to let his/her students use this as a way to communicate to communities outside their own classroom. This would be a great way for students to show a "pen pal classroom" pictures of where they live. It could also be used to document fun classroom events and make posters for parents to see what their child's classroom did each week and or month. Thanks Skip for introducing us to such a neat tool.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Digital Video

I had a lot of fun making this video. I really don't think students would have a hard time creating a video like this. The movie maker was very easy to operate. I had a bit of difficulty timing my overlays just right but with the atomic videos and our class time I was able to manage. In fact, I was quite proud of myself for figuring it out. One of the things that this class has really impressed on me is that technology doesn't have to be intimidating. I don't think I want to learn HTML code just yet but playing around with the built in tools on my computer has proved very rewarding. I plan to make up a Christmas slide soon as all my other classes are over. I hope you enjoy the video I made.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Favorite Time of Year

We are fast approaching the end of 2008. I can't believe that this year has gone so fast. Looking back over the last ten months I am reminded of all the memories that were packed into this year. My first child turned 8 this year and became an awesome helper to me around the house, he became my right hand man when his dad is at work. My second son Caleb learned to read. I was able to watch him go from sounding out letters to reading books. There is such magic in that.
My husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage and were able to spend 10 days in Hawaii just us. We reconnected and remembered how much we love and need each other. We also fell deeper in love with our children as we reflected on how much joy they bring to our lives. We came back missing them which I thought was exactly how it should be.
In August our baby girl turned 4 and we have officially turned the corner from the road of toddlers to.....I don't even know what they call the ages between toddlers and pre-teens. Wait, I know "Hold on for dear life because the roller coaster of life is about to really take off."
As the year comes to a close I hope we all can remember the memories that we made and look forward to the opportunity to share with each other the simple, everyday events that make our lives so rich.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

PowerPoint As An Instructional Tool

I just finished my assignment! Wow, Skip I can see how you would feel nervous about doing this assignment by distance. Reading some of the other students entries from the blackboard examples made me wish that I could of been in class. Even if only to see and hear the other students. I hope I wasn't the only one pulling my hair out. Thankfully, I was able to make it through and I didn't loose much hair......or sleep.
Now, as far as using PowerPoint as an instructional tool. I found that as I created each slide I needed to think about each action that needed to be accomplished by the end of the instruction. Sometimes, it was difficult to put into words where I needed my student to go on the screen. Action arrows and call outs really helped to direct attention. I can see how having a lesson saved and ready to play would really help students. In a differentiated classroom, where a student may need extra help, a lesson such as this could fill that need.
I could also see it being used as a reinforcement for a student that is ready to move beyond the basics. Some students are very technology wired (ha, ha) and would benefit from this hands-on approach.
I know that I could find myself using PowerPoint to teach lessons and to provide continuing instruction for various subjects. PowerPoint is an amazing presentation tool and can be applied to many different areas of instruction.