Thursday, 8 September 2011

Working towards a Digital Classroom

This workshop covers a variety of tools that teachers at UWCSEA have available to use in the classroom. Some of the tools are based on the internet and others are part of the software available on the student and staff laptops.

We can classify digital tools according to which aspect of learning they best support. These main groupings of tools are...
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Collaboration and Communication
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Creativity and Innovation


These ideas are part of the NETS (National Education Technology Standards) framework which provides articulation of how we could use technology in the classroom from grades K-12. The other two aspects of the NETS framework are Digital Citizenship and Technology Operations and concepts.

Below is an evolving list of what we could use at UWCSEA Dover:


Blogger

A classroom blog can be an important part of your classroom practise and can be used in lots of different ways. Generally a blog is good if your are showing unique pieces of information over a period of time. The material can be sorted using tags, which highlight the key ideas in each post.

Blogs can be a weekly class summary completed by students, an immersion language site, a record of what is happening in class to communicate with parents, or a way to differentiate and extend more able students. Individual student reflective blogs will eventually be on a similar, but different school based system called Mahara.

Basic instructions:
  1. Visit the website http://blogger.com
  2. Sign in with your Google Apps username and password eg. abc@gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg
  3. Create your profile, which describes who you are, perhaps Mr Smith.
  4. Then click to create a blog
  5. Choose the name of your blog and you can choose the specific URL address.
  6. Then choose the theme. This can be changed later
  7. Once this is complete you can write your first post. Think about adding pictures, videos.
  8. Then go click on the B icon at top and back to settings, permissions to invite people to your website. 
  9. When viewing your website you can type view after the URL at see a very nice interface of your posts. eg http://doverdlc.blogspot.com/view/

Babelwith.me

This is a simple chatroom website, which allows you to create a private room for your students to discuss a topic or issue. You create a conversation in Babelwith.me and then share this link with students. When a student navigates to the link, they will have to enter a name to participate. There is also some simple language translation aspects of this site, which students might like to experiment with.

Try this link to see an example of how it works. http://www.babelwith.me/WuHrf

Skitch

Click here to download the program to your laptops. You can also give students this link if you would like to use this in class. This is a relatively new piece of software.

This application allows you to take screen shots and then annotate, add text and export the image or very quickly to your desktop. It would be really good in Science, Humanities, Geography where students could find a picture or diagram from the internet then add some ideas and export the finished image back to their notes or desktop.