You.Com

This post is for my EDIM 514 Internet Tools for Teaching grad course.

For the final project we had to create a digital resume of sorts. A place that can house all of my information, social media resources I use, as well as a link to any projects I have completed that can showcase my learning.

This was a fun project to work on. It made me think about all of the various websites I maintain a presence on and how I can and should use these more to “put myself out there”. As someone who has worked in the ed tech field for almost 10 years, I have a lot to share. But sharing takes time, and I sometimes wonder if people will like what I have to share. There are so many tools at our fingertips that makes sharing easier than ever before. Slideshare, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, WordPress, Google +, LinkedIn and Mightybell are just a few tools I use to share.

To create my digital portfolio, I chose aboutme.com. I liked the simplicity of the user interface, and the design looks sleek and modern. It allows you to add a number of “apps” so people can easily find you on a variety of social networking platforms. You can also add a bio, contact information, and links to resources.

Most of the projects I have shared publicly for Wilkes are on my blog, so I added my blog as an app, as well as Slideshare where I have uploaded a few keynote presentations. I wish I had more examples of my work to share, but most of it is not online.

I think a tool like this is much more engaging and informational than a resume. It allows you to add your own personality and style to it so people get a feel for who you are and what you bring to the table. It also aggregates all of the websites you maintain a presence on all in one place.

Here is my digital portfolio: http://about.me/ginnywashburne 

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Broadcast Yourself

This post is for my EDIM 514 Internet Tools for Teaching grad class.

This week our assignment was to broadcast ourselves sharing information and/or ideas. The topic could be anything we wanted, and we had a variety of platforms to chose from to broadcast.

I always find it more engaging to present with a partner, so I reached out to the class to see if anyone was interested in working together on this project. I have done a number of broadcasts for work and wanted the chance to help walk someone through it who might be nervous doing this for the first time.

I worked with Kristy Josuweit, a vision teacher based in Pennsylvania. We decided on the topic “Tools for Teaching” where we would each share 3 tools educators could use in the classroom. To broadcast ourselves we used Google + Hangouts on-air. This allows us to broadcast live and automatically creates an archive of the video on your YouTube channel. We promoted our boradcast on Twitter, Facebook, and email to our class.

Prior to our live broadcast, we jumped on a hangout to practice. We walked through the 6 tools we were going to share, and practiced using the screenshare option in hangouts.

The live broadcast went smoothly for the most part. We were both presenting from home and of course our dogs decided to bark at various points during the broadcast. There were also a few moments when the broadcast had a bit of a delay but nothing too drastic.

We had 2 viewers, both from our EDIM 514 class ( thank you Karen and Kevin for joining!!). One challenge that Google Hangouts on-air has is that if you want to see what others are saying in the “comments” section under your video, you constantly have to refresh the page. It’s difficult to do with only one monitor as I have to pull up my Google + profile page and refresh, which means I can’t see the hangout window. Because I’ve done a number of hangouts this wasn’t a big deal, but I remember being very frustrated and flustered with this issue the first time I did one.

We asked the audience to share how they used some of the tools we were discussing and we did have a few great comments that we were able to incorporate into the broadcast. It’s always great to hear how others are using tools like Prezi, Edmodo, Livebinder, Animoto, Padlet and Board Builder in their classroom.

Below is an archive of our broadcast. This is a platform that is very easy to use and allows you to archive it on YouTube. I would use this with teachers as part of a PD session as well as with students so they can broadcast themselves to an authentic audience. It can help them begin to build their digital portfolio by creating a number of broadcasts throughout the year.

 

Enjoy our broadcast!

Attending a Live Webinar

This post is for my EDIM 514 Internet Tools for Teaching grad class.

This week we had to attend a live webinar and document our experience.

I’ve attended a number of webinars and even host monthly webinars as part of my job with Discovery Education so this is an area I am very comfortable with.

For this assignment I attended Discovery Education’s “Exploring Design- The Gateway to the Future”. This webinar provided a virtual field trip opportunity for students from around the nation to learn more about how The Autodesk Gallery (based in San Francisco) depends on STEAM subjects to create new, innovative designs.

Discovery uses Livestream as their platform for these field trips. I find Livestream very easy to use. If you are watching this with a group of students, Livestream allows you to pause the video and discuss what you are seeing, and then play the video again when you are ready. There is also a chat window that allows the students to ask questions or make comments. There was also a Twitter hashtag that students and/or teachers could follow during the webinar. I do find it hard to follow a Twitter hashtag when I’m trying to watch a Livestream unless I have a dual monitor situation. If I was watching this with students in a class, I could have them monitor the Twitter feed on an iPad.

There are many ways this type of broadcast could be incorporated into the classroom. This easily allows for students to virtually travel to new places, providing real-world learning experiences. Teachers could watch a webinar of an author talking about a book they are reading, or a scientist talking about a new species they discovered.

Students could also broadcast themselves in a webinar format to share information with their peers and even the community. For example, if students are learning about global warming, they could host a webinar that educates their community about how to conserve energy and reduce waste. It’s a great platform to leverage that gives students a real audience beyond their classroom. When you give students an authentic audience, they are more engaged and motivated to ensure their work is good.

 

Integrating Social Media Into the Classroom

This Post is for my EDIM 514 Internet Tools for Teaching course.

Subject/Grade: Middle School Social Studies

Unit: Revolutionary America- Britain vs. the Colonists

Goals and Objectives: Through this unit, students explore the events that led to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War and explore the essential question: Why did the colonists risk their lives to fight for independence from Britain?

In order for students to experience a social learning environment, Edmodo will be used to pose questions, foster discussions and share resources with one another.

Details:

As students explore this chapter, they will discuss the readings and share resources with one another in a class Edmodo group. At the beginning of the unit, the teacher will share the Edmodo code with the students so they can join the group.

Each day, there will be at least one post by the teacher. It could be a question, poll, quiz, or request for information. (See screen shots below). Students will interact in Edmodo as they learn about the events that led to the Revolutionary War.

Edmodo 3 Edmodo 2 edmodo 1

 

 

 

Evaluation:

There are two main ways I would evaluate the use of Edmodo. The first way would be to track the activity by the students to see if those that were more active ended up scoring better on the end of unit assessment. The second way I would evaluate this would be to give students a quick survey that asks them about their experience using Edmodo and how it helped them to learn from one another and engage in the unit.

Twitterthon

This post is for my EDIM 514 Internet Tools for Teaching course.

This week I chose to participate in a “Twitterthon” where I spent time actively sharing on Twitter and following new people. Since I have been out on maternity leave I haven’t been active on Twitter so it was nice to spend the week taking time to share and finding new educators to follow.

The first thing I noticed this week was the unfortunate side of Twitter. The minute I actively began tweeting again, I received a number of spam messages through tweets and direct messages. It didn’t bother me much as I have been on Twitter for a number of years and I’m used to the spam. But I can imagine for an educator new to Twitter this could cause them to not want to use this platform.

What I really like about Twitter is the ability to share any resources or ideas with your PLN. In order to find things to share, I went into my Feedly account which I use to follow a number of educational blogs. From Feedly you can tweet the blog posts you are reading. There were a number of posts I shared this week that were either “favorited” by others or retweeted (see image)

Twitter 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also spent some time finding new educators to follow. I started with the “who to follow” feed that shows up on the left side of the page. There were several great educators I found that way. I then went to some of the more active educators I follow to see who they were following and added some that way as well. Lastly, I went to my followers and added those that had recently started to follow me. I think it is important to reciprocate and follow those that follow you (unless their profile looks like they are would just be tweeting spam and are not legitimately interested in the same things you are).

I have tried Tweetdeck but for some reason I prefer good old Twitter.com. I also used the Twitter app on the iPad which I realized for the first time how much I liked it vs. looking at Twitter on my computer.

Even though I have been “Tweeting” for a few years, I didn’t experience as much interaction with my PLN as I would have hoped this week. I think some of that is due to being on maternity leave, but I do think it takes a while to really see the benefits of Twitter. In order to increase interaction with others, I recommend participating in chats like #edchat or #denchat, as well as replying directly to your PLN’s tweets to develop strong relationships with them.

I Knew I Wanted To Be An Educator When…

This post is for my Internet Tools for Teaching course.

This week we had to create a digital story using a cell phone. All of the images and videos were captured with a cell phone, and I used iMovie on the iPad to create the video.

This was my first time using iMovie on the iPad. Previously I had only used it on my computer. It took a little getting used to as the interface was different, but it is very user friendly. I then sent the video via email to myself, and uploaded it to my YouTube account.

It is now easier than ever to create digital stories. Although these are short, they can be incredibly powerful. Students have access to cameras and recording devices on their phones, making creating a digital story easier than ever. Digital stories give students a voice, and people resonate and connect with stories.

For example, students could create a digital story on bullying. They could take pictures and video of students pretending to bully other students, and then using a tool like iMove or Movie Maker, they could talk about the importance of stopping bullying and add a song in the background.

Digital stories allow students to create something new and share it with the world.

Here is my video. Enjoy!

Mobile Phones in the Classroom

This post is for my Internet Tools for Teaching master’s course. This week I had to interview educators who have used or are using cell phones in the classroom. I’ve always been interested to find out more about how they are being used as an instructional resource in the classroom and how educators deal with challenges that occur.

For this assignment, I interviewed Mark Case– a high school physical science teacher at Southern Guilford High School in Greensboro, NC. I also interviewed my long-time friend Shane Sweet, a high school Health and Physical Education teacher in Alpharetta, GA.  Here is a summary of how they use cell phones with students.

How they use the cell phones:

  • Mark:  Students use phones to access Instagram and twitter to work on homework, share ideas, work on projects that are due in class. Students use a variety of text quiz sites to take a quiz. They get alerts for tests, and projects by signing up for Remind 101. They use their phones to photograph experiments, make video lab reports, look up information from the internet, document their work.
  • Shane: I use them as a extra resource. Most of the health textbook/material is outdated so I am always having to come up with new stuff. I mostly use it for the internet. I use QR codes to help them find the site.

School Policy:

  • Mark: Our school does not have enough bandwidth for students to use WiFi so data and connection is on their own. The official school policy is no cell phone usage, but I have gotten permission from administration for students to use them for class purposes. My policy: a phone on TOP of the desk is a tool. A phone below the desk is a toy. I confiscate all toys and return the to parents. I don’t care what the reason the phone was below the desk, it is a toy and it is taken. “I was just checking the time” does not cut it. Too bad, so sad. Parents will be mad.
  • Shane: Our school policy is that we have a flipped sign saying technology NO or technology GO. This is supposed to tell the students when it is acceptable to use them on assignments and when it is not. It seems to help but it is hard to remember to keep flipping the sign.

Parental Involvement and feedback:

  • Mark: I have several parents that have signed up for the Remind 101 text alerts and now follow on the twitter back channel. Every parent that does so loves to know what is going on.

Challenges:

  • Mark: The big problem is students trying to take advantage of the policy and use the phone for a variety of things other than class. I take them when they abuse the policy. Then they fight and come up with a host of excuses. There is no where near enough bandwidth to use wifi.
  • Shane:  slow internet,  finding apps. Not everyone has one, some kids don’t have smart phones. Theft. Keeping everyone actually working and not sidetracked or on a game.

What they have learned: 

  • Mark: I have learned that I have a LOT more to learn how to use technology in my class especially a BYOD policy. Schools are NOT ready for this policy yet. They have no good way to police and monitor school work is being done.

I think Mark said it best- often times the more you learn, the more you begin to realize you have so much more to learn. Using cell phones in the classroom with students isn’t easy, but as you can see it can be a powerful learning tool. With the right guidance and policy, cell phone use in the classroom can empower students to take ownership of their learning and can promote a more personalized learning environment.