Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Scratch and wix.com - new programs and ideas!

I have been lucky enough to have a technology learning person come to my school to show my students some fun animation programming and a flash webpage builder. Of course I learned as much as the students have, and have seen some really cool uses for it in all subject areas!

We have been learning about Scratch. Scratch is a downloadable program off the internet - free I believe - and it is a fun way to bring animation and programming together. You create "sprites" and put them on a "stage" and program them to do actions. It is really quite cool. We have done etch-a-sketch, pong games, and we are now starting to do interactive quizzes. I am doing a History 10 and 20 project where they create a 10 question quiz on the unit they are working on, as a pre-test for their tests coming up. Really neat!

Also, the other program that he has been showing us is wix.com - a free (you can make only so many sites though) - flash website/page builder. I have started to make a To Kill A Mockingbird page for ELA 20. I will share the site so far - it is under construction so be kind!
But the neatest part is that you can create your own widgets, insert videos straight from youtube, etc. He did most of his work with grade 4-6 kids with this program online, but I used it myself, so it is definitely possible to use it with the older kids as well.
The younger kids created small webpages about whales, and sent home the links to their parents - really cool!
My idea, is to create my TKAM site that kids can go to and find their assignments - paperless novel study!!! Other colleagues can use it too as a resource page!
It is a bit novice and limited but works well for a quick gathering of information.

"It's easy people! All you have to do is try!!" -Mrs. Stratton

A few videos -technology in the classroom

Here are two videos I have come across in the last few days that I thought might be worth sharing:
Top ten tips for using technology in the classroom

Why Integrate Technology into Canadian Classrooms?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Media Literacy 101

Media Literacy 101

Students have more information in the last 30 years, than in the last previous 5000 years which means if we follow this trend, that the information supply will double every 5 years.

We need to be "opening the windows to the world", and inserting more technology and more open-ended assignments by infusing technology into our curriculums.
-Media is the 5th element of language and curriculum. We see this in our viewing and representing strands of literacy in Saskatcheawn curriculum.

-We need to develop in our students/children:
Knowledge, critical thinking skills, values (such as empathy), communication skills, and information management skills

Media wants to evoke emotion - Kids need to be aware of triggers

Kids are media...
  1. Consumers
  2. Creators
  3. Distributors of Content

If parents want a good start on how to keep their kids safe when they are on the computer or the internet, they need to start out by being active parents in their child's life. Parents need to ask the hard questions, and discuss with their children what they are doing when on the computer - the typical answer of "just doing my homework" is not good enough, and likely not a whole truth. One of the most important things parents can do is not allow their children to have a computer in their room. Put the computer in a central location where you can see and everyone can use it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Jerry Seinfeld teaching Senior History...funny parody

Here is a funny video that was shown at my PLC/CIF Day...

It is a funny video of Jerry Seinfeld teaching a Senior History class....such a good parody!
Check it out!