Do I consider myseld tech-savvy? Yes (I created this picture about the tech-things happening in my classroom).
Am I enjoying all the things I am doing in my class? Yes.
Is technology part of my classroom and student learning? Yes.
Do I use technology to involve parents? Yes.
Is there more for me to learn and integrate? Oh yes! There is so much more. But the question that keeps coming back to me is; how far do I want to go with all this technology?
The reason I ask is as I was going through the performance task(s) and Assignments of week #5, I was a little overwhelmed by all the online collaborative projects. I know some teachers that are using this in their classrooms and who are quite excited about it. But do I need to sign up to yet another Wiki page?
At the moment, my class has pen-pals in the States. We write to them and they write to us. This has been fun but not overly exciting. I want to beef up this already started project with our pen-pals. This seems like a midway between trying something new as well as globally collaborating.
I am becoming more familiar with VoiceThread and see this as a great tool to share work with others. We have used VoiceThread this past week to record each students reflection on their writing. They choose one piece of their own writing, read it aloud and then shared how their writing has improved. For example, sharing particular strategies they have used in their writing and sharing skills they have learned. Here is the UbD I wrote for this ‘project':
Here are 2 samples of the student’s work:
I shared these reflections with their parents and got amazing feedback. I.e.;
I could open the video easily, and I could enjoy it so much. I was surprised that she could build a story as 3 or 4 parts, introduction, development , turn,and conclusion.
And also, she’s using ! mark in her story. I thought it was helpful to see how she developed her reading and writing skill.
I ‘m sure that all parents would enjoy watching their daughters in the video.
I’m looking forward to sharing more Miho’s works at conference.
This was a great lead into our Student Led Conferences coming up next week. It has given the parents an idea of what reflections I expect the students to be making when they are looking at their work.
Since this was so successful, I will to do something similar for our pen-pals. I will ask my students what they think and what they would like to share with their pen-pals. Maybe it will be a story, maybe a tour of the classroom, or maybe just a book they enjoy reading. I will leave it up to the kids to decide. How exciting!