For a teacher to admit that he does not know what he is teaching about is almost sacrilegious. As a technology teacher, sometimes you cannot possibly know every feature and function of every program you teach. Scratch is a visual object-oriented computer programming application that allows students to create their own video games. I decided to implement this program in our Advanced MC Tech knowing full well I have not used it enough to be able to teach it to my students. However, I knew that this application would interest my students and thus far has proven true. With limited experience using the program, I decided to let the students teach each other how to use the application. Using video tutorials from Learn Scratch, as well as collaborating in class, my students are learning to program using Scratch. It has been highly successful so far with my students teaching each other and using outside resources on the web to learn even further. It also has been successful that the Scratch community allows members to download scripts of projects. Handing over the teaching reigns to my students has proven successful and I cannot wait to continue to learn from them.
Hallelujah! I have been requesting such a program for someone to design, and I am so glad Edmodo has added this feature to their website. I was going to ask my computer engineering friends to create a simple application that will allow us to poll students and be able to graph it out in a simple and effective manner. With my groups already created, I can now just ask simple questions and surveys in class with the ease of Edmodo. Thank you, Edmodo! I cannot wait to use this for my classes and staff.
This is an open invitation to the computer programming geniuses to come up with a solution to my following dilemma. Can someone create a “Google” like capability to find every account I have created on the Internet? I can only imagine how many accounts I have created in the vast web. From silly accounts on useless websites, to financial sensitive accounts such as my IRA. It would be an engineering feet to be able to create such a program. For user friendly purposes, can you make the program provide a simple interface where we can decide to delete or keep the account. I would be willing to pay good money for such a program. Who is with me?
With so many tools on the web these days, filtering which are the best for technology integration is quite a task. Currently, there are hundreds of web 2.0 companies touting collaborative tools for the “new” classroom. Often as educators, sifting through this madness can be daunting. Fortunately many bloggers and ed tech enthusiasts have offered some great advice. From my experience, these following websites and software applications are providing the best options on the web today.
Animoto – Turn your photos & videos into pure amazing. Animoto automatically produces beautifully orchestrated, completely unique video pieces from your media. Fast and shockingly easy.
Big Universe – offers children’s online books with high quality. If you would like full access to the website you do have to pay, however, the free available books are worth using in your class. The quality is second to none.
Ediscio – Create your own flashcards and share it.
Edmodo – Private social communication platform built for educators and students.
Etherpad – web-based word processor that allows people to work together in really real-time.
Google Sketchup – software that you can use to create 3D models of anything you like.
Read, Write, Think - offers a wide array of standards-based lesson plans that meaningfully integrate Internet content into the teaching and/or learning experience. The lessons are written for the teacher but include student-ready materials such as worksheets, interactives, and reviewed Web resources.
SchoolTube – education version of YouTube. Simpler and more efficient than TeacherTube.
Scratch – Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web.
Scribd – the best document viewing on the web. More popularly know as iPaper.
Slideshare – Upload and share powerpoint presentations and documents for everyone to view.
Snag Films – This is an excellent open source (legal) film sharing website that allows you to show educational documentaries in your classroom. It has an array of topics that include national geographic videos, historical biographies, and international films.
Udutu – online learning simulations made easy.
Visuwords – Online visual dictionary. This website provides a spider web connection to words
VoiceThread – Powerful new way to talk about and share your images, documents, and videos.
Yudu – Read and publish online for free from anywhere. Explore the Library to find magazines, newspapers, eBooks and more.
Zoho – Create, edit, and share your presentations online.
This free4techteachers.com publication showcases 12 essential web-based programs that can be integrated to your everyday classroom. I was pleased to see many of the programs we are currently using at our school. Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration
Here is my link from Edmodo.
Every generation seems to have a moniker that defines their period of history. With the proliferation of web technologies, I want to coin this generation as the “Remix” generation. In the dictionary, remix means to produce a different version by altering the original product. With the advent of web 2.0 technologies, our generation of youngsters are creating and expressing themselves every second of the day. However, the way youth are creating and expressing themselves more often involve some form of remixing someone else’s artistic creation. I don’t want to undermine their creativity by slamming the idea that these kids are simply copying someone else’ work. I rather want to identify the combination of the simple availability of web technologies and the sudden rise of user generated content as the new form of expressing oneself. The ease of creating media such as podcasts, YouTube videos, and “Photoshoping” a picture have given youth an opportunity to articulate themselves in new ways. With the demand to produce “professional” masterpieces, youth are quickly altering original masterpieces to produce new creations and inventions. This idea is not knew with rap moguls such as Sean “Puffy” Combs remixing music to produce multimillion dollar platinum albums. However, this time around it doesn’t take millions of dollars in capital to produce albums, but a simple laptop with multimedia software. Although remixing may sound uncreative, I actually beg to differ by stating how original some remixes truly are. Youth enjoy taking a picture and altering it to become a new image. Youth enjoy creating videos by adding images, music, and clips of other work. Youth enjoy podcasting about other people and ideas. This old creative art form of remixing is taking a whole new concept with more web 2.0 technologies that are becoming readily available. I for one cannot wait to see what youth continue to create when a new technology allows one to manipulate an old existing product, art creation, or technology invention. Copyright infringement beware…
If you would like to better understand the new role digital technology is impacting youth culture and how our students are finding new ways to learn, check out the series of videos produced by PBS called Digital Nation. Very insightful information on our digital youth culture. Check out the video clips of Henry Jenkins, USC Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts.