Archive for February, 2011

Deleted review from friday :(

Posted: February 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

Not sure where my review from friday has disappeared to, but I’m trying to locate it.

In the meantime, check out this list of emerging technologies from Wikipedia.

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I know I’m a bit behind on the technological curve on this one, but I don’t have an iPhone. Many of my friends and students do, so I get to mess around with them quite often, and I’ve been on the fence about getting one for awhile. Things like this make me lean much, much more to the iPhone side of the fence.

Google translate takes voice input and it translates it for you in up to 50 different languages? That’s amazing! As a language teacher this makes me unbelievably excited (it might even make learning a foreign language cool again!), and as a human being who travels frequently I can see the many applications dancing before my eyes.

Well done, google… again.

TED talks

Posted: February 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

If you haven’t checked them out before, I highly suggest that you check out the TED talks. There are a variety of videos there on almost any topic imaginable. I’ve downloaded one to use in my class tomorrow, and I’m excited that my students will have the opportunity to hear from some of the most intelligent and influential people in the world.

Take a look! No matter what subject you teach, I can guarantee you that you’ll find something useful.

The technology: Cellphones

My impression:

I’ll admit a bit of trepidation when I was considering this idea, but I’m glad that I finally decided to take the plunge. This little experiment has been, by far, the most well-received of my tech challenge. Almost all of my students have a smart phone, and those that don’t are very familiar with how to use them and were more than willing to share with a friend for the activities.

Classroom management with the phones was (and still is) a bit of an obstacle, but I’m going to stick with it because I can see the benefits and enthusiasm in the students.

Possible uses in the classroom/ Lesson ideas:

  • Students can use their cellphones to access websites like StudyBlue (you can read my review here). One activity that I tried this week was to have students create flashcards in StudyBlue for their friends on a concept that they had learned (I teach french and used this as review for grammar. Each student was responsible for one verb tense that they created flashcards for and shared with the other students). They then worked in small groups, reviewing the material together and using the flashcards to assess their knowledge.
  • I used PollEverywhere (look for the review on PollEverywhere next week when I’ve had a chance to really try it out) software during lessons to ask students a question about the material. They texted the answer and I could display the data right away, so I knew if they got it.
  • I haven’t had a chance to do this yet, but I think I might try and use voicethread next week for some digital storytelling, allowing the students to use their cellphones to comment on the material.

Where can I learn more?

Some of the ideas for this post came from this blog

Rating:

5 stars. I’ll be doing this again and integrating it slowly with my other classes.

This week I’ve decided that I’m going to try things a bit differently. Since it’s the start of a new semester, it seems to me to be a great time to bring out some new rules…. so I decided to try allowing my students to use their cellphones in class (against school policy- shhh!). It’s entirely possible that I may get in a lot of trouble over this one. However, I’ve opted to live by the saying “it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission” in this particular case because 1) it’s something that I’m willing to defend if confronted about it, and 2) I don’t think anyone will confront me about it anyway. I’m a bit of a rebel though, I’ve been letting my students listen to ipods for years (again- against school policy)

It’s very new ground to me, so I’ve had to establish some rules with my classes. I opted to start off with only one class to see how it goes, and so far it’s been going well. We’ve had a few little bumps along the road, but I’m generally happy with my decision and I think I might introduce the idea to another class next week.

Look for my full review of the experience on friday!

My favourite education blogs

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Websites

I wanted to take a bit of time today to point out some other fantastic education technology blogs that I frequent. There are so many fantastic educators out there who are good enough to share their knowledge with the rest of us. Take some time to check them out!
Larry Ferlazzo

comPOSITION

Chris Atkinson

Gary Stager

Teacher Reboot Camp (Shelly Terrell)

21st Century Principal

The Innovative Educator

Free Technology for Teachers