I can’t quite believe my first Masters course has gone by so fast. I haven’t even minded doing 6 hour Saturdays. I fell much more confident and capable in my knowledge and skills.
Let me address my goals for this course.
How to use my BLOG in different ways in my classroom for student learning and to make it fun and engaging for the kids.
My Blog over the last year has really been the main tool in my classroom. It is where I put notes, resources, videos, homework, calender my events etc. I could not function effectively any more without it. However, my Blog has mostly been a one-way communication; from me to my students and parents. Since I have started doing more flipped classroom stuff, I am getting students to explore things online and post comments on the blog for each other to feed off in order to further their understanding. Student posts needing to be approved is still a little restrictive when I want them to be constantly feeding off each other. I need to be online much of the time to approve comments as they come in. Even though I still use my blog in the same way, I have started incorporating podcasts and screencasts more as a tool. My pechakucha I will make into a screencast for parents to view on my homepage.
Before I used the school blog, I used a wiki to keep my materials on. I really like the idea of the collaboration between students and teachers. It is much more of a two-way affair. I would love to be able to have my students being more of a contributor to our class resources and I feel a wiki is a more effective way of doing this.
The advantage of a blog is the time and date stamp for classwork and homework, which allows students to find missing work when they are absent.
So at the moment, I am still contemplating the most effective, least confusing way for students to make our classroom more collaborative….still one of my ongoing goals.
How to make more professional use of Twitter.
I have made a few interesting contacts since learning about the #tag and how it works. I tweeted for some project ideas for one of my classes and received some useful feedback. I am also getting useful information on “Doing the Flip”through #flipclass.
How to keep the world of the internet manageable for my needs.
Diigo has been a real help for keeping all my useful websites quickly available from any computer, something I hadn’t done on a personal level before. Two years before I set up a Delicious account for the math department as a collective collaborative place to put resources. I have found the organization of Diigo somewhat easier to use.
Netvibes has been useful to keep up to date on comments on blogs for our course. RSS is still something I have not delved into very far. There are some websites that I do want to get updates for, so setiing this up is still something I want to do.
What is podcast and how can I use this to engage students in their learning?
Carey, Patrick and I had a blast doing our podcast of the “Monty Hall Problem” It was fun learning how to use Garage Band. As an IB Math teacher, I still struggle to see where this would be a useful tool in learning. Any ideas anyone has….I’d love to hear them!
Screencastomatic is a much more useful communication tool for mathematics. I have switched from using Active inspire video software to Screencastomatic. It is so quick and simple to use. I now wish we had more tablets, ipads or wacom tablets so students can play more of a part in creating resources for their class and classes in the future. I hope someone is out there listening to that request!!!!!
To feel less overwhelmed by the amount of resources out their, how to refine my search, storing and updating skills.
As I mentioned before Diigo and netvibes have really aided my organization of the common resources I use.
As Carly mentioned before about the right tool for the job; I feel I have more of a handle on some of these ideas. I can see the distinct advantages between a Blog versus a Wiki. I fell I have my IT organization under more control and don’t feel I waste as much time as I used to accessing sites and resources from the internet.
My next goal would be to start to work collaboratively with teachers and students outside of school. I might use Twitter to throw that idea out and see what I get….just another fun thing to look forward to. My desire to learn is greater than ever, and I suppose that IT integration really is life long learning. As tools change, so will how we use IT in the classroom. I would like to be able to pick one new idea and integrate it into the classroom each year. And I suppose this will be a never ending goal….that’s OK by me 🙂
I just want to thank all my classmates for making it such a fun environment to come into each week, and a BIG thanks to Steve.
Steve, I think you designed a great course, aimed it at precisely where we are and need to be. I cannot think of anything else I would want to know at this time. Now, it’s all about exploring with these ideas and growing as an educator….so thank you so much for this opportunity.