The 2011 Education Challenge

Posted: December 7, 2010 in Plans
Tags: , , , , , , ,

As I mentioned in my introductory post, I have issued myself a challenge for the upcoming new year: to use a minimum of one new technology per week and write a review about the new sites I use. To date, I’ve reviewed websites that I’ve been using, and if you’ve been following along you know how limited that is… because as of my last post I’m out of technology that I currently use in the classroom. Good thing it’s December.

I’ve decided it’s time to come up with a plan. I teach in a high school, and next semester doesn’t start until January 31st, and the month of January will mostly be spent on review. I have quite a few ideas for various tools that I can use for review:

  • I intend on introducing Headmagnet to my students. Headmagnet creates virtual flash cards for your students that will help them to predict what they will forget. I haven’t used them yet, so I can’t provide a full review…. but if it works the way it’s supposed to the implications for students could be amazing.
  • I’m also currently brainstorming ways that I can use Google Docs as a tool for review.
  • Once the exams are marked I will be using Markbook (for the first time, though it is far from a new program) to compile my students marks. Other teachers at my school seem to either love or hate this program, so I’m curious to see how easily it works.

Once my new classes begin at the end of January, I have a lot of ideas of new ways to integrate web 2.0 into my classroom.

  • I will be setting up and using Edmodo for each of my classes. I think Edmodo has exciting implications for students and teachers and I know that my students will enjoy using it.
  • One of my upcoming courses is very conversation-based. To that end I plan on using kidblog to have them post blog entries and discuss each other’s thoughts and ideas. I’m still thinking about how exactly this will work, if anyone has any thoughts on how to introduce blogs to my students I’m excited to hear them.
  • I will be having my senior students create e-portfolios using powerpoint. Again, I’m currently working on the logistics of this and researching articles and blogs on how to do it effectively. My thoughts right now are that I might use this as a culminating task at the end of the year.
  • I’m working on finding another teacher who is willing to collaborate with my class on group projects using Titanpad, Scribblar, or Google Docs.

That’s where my ideas stand for now. None of them are brand new or revolutionary, but they are all new to me and I’m excited to see the results of this challenge.

I’m looking for suggestions of new tools to use with my class, feel free to leave me a comment! I will be reviewing all sites that I use with my class and updating this blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

  1. Nicole says:

    I gave my students the options to create ePortfolios this semester. Some of them were excited by the idea. They are using GoogleSites and “implanting” GoogleDocs on their pages. Just another alternative to powerpoint.

    I also think Wallwisher is an awesome way to do brainstorming with the class.

    These are some of my technology reviews/ideas: (though you can probably skip the first one).

    I’m really interested in digital writing and how its different from paper-based writing (in the writing process, not so much the design), so I can’t wait to hear about your experiences with all of this new ed tech.

    • I just read your post about e-portfolios using google docs and I’m going to consider it as an option. My school takes issue with GoogleDocs because students have to have a google account, which is unfortunate but I’m working on pushing for change on that one.

      I’ve seen Wallwisher before, but hadn’t considered it for classroom use. Thanks! I’ll add that one to the list. 🙂

  2. Shana Ray says:

    Hello! I look forward to reading about your journey of using new technology in your classroom in 2011 and educating others on your findings. I am the marketing manager for another Education 2.0 company and our product – Collaborize Classroom is an online learning platform that is free for teachers. I would love it if you could add us to your list of educational technology to try!



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