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on using voice thread …

voicethread2i really like the idea of using video with sound to allow students to become more aware of their presentation, speaking, and grammar skills.  i noticed it when i did the voicethread with Korn who didn’t realize how he really sounded until he heard it played back to him — “that’s me?”

i would like to use voicethread and/or some other video to have students present some of their papers or project in class to give them this awareness.  it seems that when kids read their papers aloud, they tend to find their corrections much more frequently than when read silently.  this skill is so important for my grade 11 english skills students who struggle with writing and grammar so much.

voicethread1

additionally, i think they need to develop their speaking/presentation skills and this could be done in a safe environment where they are able to view themselves privately on their computers or as a class so others can give feedback.

finishing course 1 …

I’m still dealing with filtering and making sense of all the tech information related to education.  And I’m trying to constantly find ways to use technology in my classroom with my students to make their learning more interesting and simplistic.  Since we started with blogging in this COETAIL course, I realized that I should have been more systematic with my students by asking them to blog from day one.  Right now, my students are still writing in response to prompts that I put on our class google apps site, which works to some extent but is limited in that it does not allow them to create their own personalized blog where they can “publish” their writings and reflect on their work at school or on their daily experiences.  Doing so seems much more beneficial yet still simplistic.

As for what I got out of the first course beyond being more enthusiastic about blogging for my students, the discussions around tech ed sites have definitely made me consider their usefulness more for my own personal growth as a teacher and for my students who are constantly updating themselves and moving along with the new tech trends.  Admittedly, sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the new trends and information online, but I remind myself–constantly–that it is not a race to an end.  Instead, I think it’s better to just realize that it’s an on-going learning process and so just enjoy it.

For my final unit plan, I talked with a few teachers in my special needs department about blogging across grade levels, since we all teach an English Skills class in the high school.  I thought this would not only get the students going on their own blog, but, more importantly, get them to learn from each other in a more formal manner than just running into each other in the hallways.  With this sharing, the younger students could also ask the older students questions about their courses to better prepare them for the following school year.

keeping up

after all the facebooking, tweeting, and reading on technology these past few weeks, what stands out for me?  in other words, which topics or issues keep turning in my mind?  i noticed that my desire to keep up with all the latest apps and news has been a bit overwhelming that i sometimes just shut it all down.  instead of reading one more online story or checking my twitter account again, i have to now just walk away from my computer and go do something else.  i play with the issue of getting too engrossed in knowing all the latest apps and tools and this worries me because sometimes i feel that i’m losing my ability to focus and listen to people, to do simple, mundane tasks such as taking a walk or doing laundry! :-) Continue reading