Where the blogging for kids?

After reading one of Dayna’s posts about blogging, my mind started ticking …. which of my blogs posts are making waves. One of my more popular blogs was about Kiddle, you know that cool search engine that allows you to give some autonomy to students over their learning. It was so popular that my blog post was picked up by a teacher (my mentor’s coworker) at my first prac school, when she introduced a Year 5 Geography lesson whereby all information was to come from Kiddle search! Wowwweee, talk about a PLN Highlight. This got me thinking, if I can reach out to the crowd with a few gags and the odd piece of good information, I wonder how my future students would go blogging? I think it’s something that deserves serious discussion, after all, blogging is tapping into the higher order thinking of Bloom’s digitally. So are there are good sites out there for students to start blogging? Kidblog advertises itself as safe and simple; there’s a couple of box tickers already. Thoughts? Is it worth pursuing, particularly in literacy subjects?

Advertisements

Technology and the RAT

It is with unprecedented interest that blog posts amongst my followers, and those I follow, like tahlianciol, have this week focused on the R.A.T. framework. The R.A.T. framework is an acronym for Replace, Amplify, Transform, and can be measured in unison with the SLIC (the themes of an event, and another acronym standing for Student Learning, Instructional Method, Curriculum goals) model to determine how effective ICT has been in a lesson. The goal of using digital technology successfully in the classroom is to amplify and transform learning. Too often digital technology is used simply to replace what happens in the classroom with ICT when we should be as educators trying to amplify (enhance) or transform what is happening in both the student learning and teaching pedagogy. As I look toward the second chapter of my learning journey in ICT, I was pointed to the RAT app which gives an overall picture of what your lesson might be gearing itself towards. While by no means a cutting edge app that will make its way to the home screen of your smartphone, it nonetheless give you a good perspective of whether or not your lesson really is using ICT to enhance the learning of your students in practice.

A class website

I have seen in my previous prac school the use of weebly to create a class website. I think this is a wonderful idea. Each KLA has its own dropdown menu indicating Term 1, 2, 3 or 4, and each lesson, or a good proportion of lessons are written into the weebly for use during class time, or for a continuation of work at home. The weebly includes links to websites required for Maths investigations, video links of teaching,  online resources used during teaching, and each lesson is dated and accompanied with the required learning outcomes. It is simply maintained by the class teacher for the purpose of her own class. I just think this is a super idea and one that instills professionalism and pride into your teaching. If we can exert this presence in the classroom, it would be hard for the student to not recognize your genuine want for them to be successful.

In promoting their ICT, weebly specifies what it can;

  • Easily create a classroom website & blog
  • Manage your students’ accounts
  • Accept homework assignments online
  • Keep your parents up to date

I’d love to know if there are any other website creators out there, particularly ones that are on par with weebly’s functionality and ease of use.

 

 

We’re in the news!

I came across this beauty ages ago while trying to convince someone that I’d done something that I hadn’t really done. Yes, yes, naughty Mr Clancy. There wouldn’t have been any malice in it, trust me.  It may have been Mum and Dad actually and I was trying to prove that I was making a difference in the world, rather than just partying and wasting money. Fodey is a newspaper clipping generator and allows for you to title your own newspaper, date it, and then add in content and even pictures. Yep, the perfect alibi!  It’s also a great tool of differentiation, in case you don’t intent to use it for the aforementioned purposes, to add a bit of creativity to those literacy lessons that sometimes bring out groans of disapproval in the classroom.Take a second to read the clipping below, which I generated just for the USQ EDC3100 community of bloggers a moment ago!

newspaper

Maths Bloom’s Taxonomy

Can I just start off by saying I prefer saying Math, not Maths. Maths is such an awkward word and for a nation made famous for dropping ‘er’ of every noun possible, it surprises me nobody had cottoned on to this shortened variation. Anyway, spread the word and join my revolution! Now, let’s continue talking Math.

Engaging children in Math can be done using a number of frameworks. During University lectures last weekend, we were instructed on the value that Bloom’s Taxonomy offers teachers in tapping into the higher order thinking of children, seen as valuable in ensuring the fostering of critical thinkers and engaged learners in a constructionist environment. While the taxonomy would be nothing new to any of you, a modified taxonomy that encompasses how one might engage students in the digital age or at least engaging students with the aid of ICT was presented to us. Right now I am engaging into the material learned in the lecture through justifying its importance, ironically in ‘evaluate’, one of the higher order thinking skills of Bloom’s Taxonomy, it suggests ‘blog’ as a possible digital verb. I wonder how much students would enjoy blogging? Cue, an opportunity for students to blog on a class blog like wordpress, or blogger awaits. Higher order thinking, check; Engagement, check; Learning Maths, uncheck … it’s Math, check 😉

I love it when we get such amazing literature in schools and I know it will be something a lot of people will take interest in. Take a look at BloomDigital and let me know your thoughts. I for one will be smashing the living daylight out of these from this day forth.

What do you think about BloomDigital?

 

Independent Spelling Tests

I was scouring through my teaching bookmarks folder this afternoon and came across a link that didn’t ring too many bells. Upon opening it, I liked what I saw; see there’s always a reason I bookmark urls. I have no idea who to give credit to as the bookmark was 15 deep in a list of about 45, so I’ll take 100% credit for it now. The website, Spelling City, is an interactive website for spelling lists. Now this is fantastic news for teachers because I have yet to see a spelling test take place without a student asking, “what was number three again” or “I missed one and I don’t know which it was”. If you haven’t encountered those questions before then an opportunity to run a PD on giving spelling tests beckons for you! As the teacher, you can type in you list of 20 weekly spelling words (I am going of prac experiences here) and assign the task to be done at any time; perhaps a pretest on Monday, and the spelling test proper on Friday to gauge improvement. Upon logging onto the list, each student is met with your twenty numbered spaces for the spelling of words. Once the student clicks their curser into the rectangle, an automated voice speaks the word, then gives the word in sentence form. The students can then go ahead and click into number two, and the process repeats until the test is done. There is also a ‘say it’ option for the word to be repeated, and a ‘sentence’ button for the word to be used in context again. All results are sent straight to your account allowing for privacy of results. Hopefully there were no spelling mistakes in here so you’ll give this ICT your due konsideration, considaration, considirash, your due diligence.

8174026600_d79cb3c4e2

Padlet; brainstorming just got a lot more interactive!

Want to add some interest to your next brainstorming? Today during our lecture, actually more a touching of base than a lecture, we used an app called Padlet. Until tonight I had never hear of it. Padlet allows any number of users logged into your session to simultaneously share, using what Padlet themselves coin ‘a piece of paper’ or ‘real-time wiki’. With around twenty people online tonight, users were able to post questions from different locations across the globe onto the ‘piece of paper’, or alternatively images, videos, documents, and text in real time. While in theory, it acts in a similar method to google documents, it is much more visually appealing.

10939805765_6d2b2e616d

Going forward, I can only think of this as a wonderful resource for teachers, with class brainstorming, word of the day practice, group work for researching information, general sharing of information, and a plethora of other possibilities. I’ve locked this in and it will be my ‘go to’ app for adding an ICT edge to brainstorming.