Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tool #11 - Self Assessing and Reflecting

1.  I liked Tools 7 and 8.  Tool 7 was useful because it forced me to think about opening up my classroom to other classes and even other buildings.  I will use the adapted CO2 Car Project described in Tool 7 to "reach out."  Tool 8 was useful because it gave me some insight into using the iPod Touch and iPad and how to acquire apps.

2.  As a tech ed. teacher who teaches CAD, I may have been one of the very first teachers in the building to transform my thinking about using technology in my classroom.  My classroom has a technology lab built in, so my room is already adapted for the 21st Century learner and the additional technology devices.  I'll simply make stations for the new devices in the tech lab.

3.  I was surprised at the large number of websites with truly useful applications in the classroom. Just about any teacher should be able to find useful applications for their curriculum. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tool #10 - Underneath it All - Digital Citizenship

1. Three of the most important things students should understand about being good digital citizens are:
  • Do not share personal information and visit only appropriate sites.
  • Respect others on the Internet and be appropriate.
  • Once you post something, it's permanent. Don't post anything you wouldn't want your mama to read.
2. There's a a link to a useful site on the SBISD Ed Tech site called Digital Citizenship. There are a couple of useful "contracts" for both students and parents that emphasize the importance of proper digital citizenship. I will use these contracts to discuss expectations with my students; then I'll send them home for parents to read and sign.  

3.  With students, I would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship by using the Child Pledge for Digital Citizenship I found on the Digital Citizenship site. 

4.  To share this idea with parents I would use the Parent Pledge for Digital Citizenship found on the Digital Citizenship site. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tool #9: Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices as Tools for Learning

  1. Technology used in a lesson should be tied to the lesson's objective(s) so it benefits and enhances the lesson's objective(s) without distracting students from the lesson itself.
  2. Students should be held accountable for the assignments using technology so that they take the lesson seriously and so that the lesson doesn't degenerate into just fun time.
  3. Most of the sites listed in this tool are not applicable to my courses. However, my Gateway students us an interactive site, Auto Desk Inventor, daily on their laptops. I hold the students accountable for their work on this site by having them post their drawings to the teacher drop folder provided by the district ("Poland"). Sometimes my wood shop kids have trouble with measurement. I found an interactive program on Thinkfinity called "Measure Up" that struggling students could use to improve their measurement skills.
  4. Occasionally some students complete projects faster than others. These students could use apps such as Animoto and iMovie to create "tutorial" or how-to videos for future students to use when creating projects.
  5. Also occasionally, some students find the atmosphere in the shop distracting and have difficulty focusing with everything going on around them. These students could use the devices to listen to music while drafting in order to block out the distractions.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tool #8: Taking a Look at the Tools

My wife has an old iPod that she's tried to show me how to use.  I can connect it to our stereo and can usually find my favorite playlist, and I can connect it to the iTrip in the car, but that's about it.

Three things I learned:

  1. How to creat an iTunes account
  2. How to obtain music and apps
  3. How to sync the devices with the laptop
I'll distribute and manage the devices in the same way I manage the laptops from the "cow" and tools in the shop:  with firm standards, high expectations, and an iron hand.

Tool #7: Reaching Outside your Classroom: Online Digital Projects

My C02 Car project is wildly popular with students, and over the years I've tweaked the project so that it is now streamlined and highly successful. So my digital outreach project will use C02 Cars.
  1. Objective: Students will plan and build a C02 Car according to instructions while documenting each step of the project digitally.
  2. Implementation: Spring 2012
  3. Tools: wood, necessary shop power and hand tools, digital cameras, digital video cameras
  4. Project Plan: First, using Poll Everywhere, students will discover the importance of considering such physics qualities and velocity, mass/volume, rate, speed, etc. when planning a successful C02 car. Then students will proceed to plan and build the cars while photographing each step of their progress. Upon completion of the cars, the class will race the cars and determine the most successful plans. Races will be videotaped. Finally, students will make video slideshows to document the project and load their videos to You Tube.
  5. Networking Opportunities: We will share our digitally documented project with other wood shop classes via You Tube, and then follow up with a question and answer session via Skype.

Tool #6: Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion in and out of the Classroom

I've heard of some of the web tools listed, but I'm not very familiar with most of them. These types of things are more conducive to academic classrooms than to lab-oriented courses.

I don't like Twitter or Face Book - especially for use in the classroom.  Having teachers and students interact through social media is just asking for trouble on many levels. Using Blogger could work in some academic areas if there are tight controls and security, but it's not a feasible tool for hands on courses.  Tool Everywhere could be widely utilized IF all students had cell phones with texting.  Many of our students do not have this luxury.

There are a few times when Google Docs might be a useful tool.  Below is a Google Docs document for one of the few group projects I assign in my class.  Students could access this document from home and make changes their group members could immediately see and edit.  This pre-planning from home as a group would take some of the pressure off as the students would have more class time for the hand-on part of the project.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tool #5: Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

There some interesting things out there. I tried out Mosaic - after my wife showed me how to upload pictures to Flickr. I did the Mosaic part all by myself.  I also made a Wordl.
I might use a Wordl for vocabulary with my students.  Also, I didn't make one, but I looked at Animoto and at the video slideshow my wife made, and I think that might work well when my students make presentations of their projects.

Tool #4: Moving Up to the Clouds

I'm pretty happy with the documents I have now, and don't foresee the need to change them using Google Docs, but if I ever have a need to collaborate on a document with a colleague, I guess Google Docs would work pretty well. Most of the work my students do is individualized and hands on, so there won't be much need for collaboration on documents.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tool #3: Finding Online Video and Image Resources

I found a coulple of useful videos on You Tube, but I can't say I'll be spending time searching for videos again.  I might, however, have students create "tutorial" videos that can be posted on You Tube or any of the other Tubes for that matter.  Here are the two videos I found:

Example of Computer Aided Drafting in the Classroom

Example of The CO2 Dragster Project

Copyright and fair use is simple:  if it's not yours,don't use it.

I'm not into the whole photo sharing online thing.  That's my wife's territory.   But I can see how kids could use Picasa when making projects for other classes.

These are some photos Kelley, my daughter, took and uploaded to Picasa.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tool #2: Building Community in the Online Environment

I like this RSS stuff. Checking on all my favorite sites and blogs will be much easier now than keeping up with bookmarks like before. This would also be a convenient way to share articles with colleagues at school - if they are smart enough to use Google Reader.  I also checked out a few colleagues' blogs, but didn't comment.  I comment frequently on some political blogs I read regularly.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tool #1: Getting Started - Creating your blog!

#1 done.  All info. emailed.  Avatar in place.  All is good.