For Blog Post #12, we were asked to create an assignment that we thought Dr. Strange could have assigned to us in our area of study. I have to admit, I was quite excited about this assignment, however, extremely indecisive. I was excited because, well, the teacher within me likes to create assignments. But, I was indecisive because I know that I've learned about so many wonderful tools in this class, yet, I really don't know all that much about other tech tools. So, I started doing some research. I didn't go to Google or Bing, but I did go to a website that I visit on a daily basis. Pinterest!
Now, I know that everyone and their grandmother has a Pinterest these days. I use mine for finding recipes, gathering images that make me laugh, inspirational quotes, and many other things. One of the things that I've been doing lately has been "pinning" ideas for my future classroom. I have a "board" called For Future Reference where I place things that I find on Pinterest that I believe I could use in my classroom. So, for this assignment, it was only natural to go straight to the source where I knew I could find something useful to use for this assignment. Boy, did I ever?! There are a million and one links to information regarding educational technology. I couldn't decide on just one! So, with that being said, I decided to complete this blog post by exploring the wonders of Pinterest.
The assignment is:
1. Go to Pinterest and create an account. If you already have a Pinterest account, then you are ahead!
2. Create a board and title it, "Educational Technology"
3. Search for pins containing educational tools, ways to keep your classroom organized using technology, tech activities for students, SMARTboard lessons, anything you think would be useful in your classroom and involves technology. Also, keep in mind your area of study.
4. Pin AT LEAST 5 pins. I'm sure you could find many more, but pin at least five.
5. Once you have pinned 5 or more pins, choose the 5 that you have chosen or your top 5 favorites and write, in a blog post, a brief description of each pin and how it would be useful in the classroom.
I completed the assignment. You can find my Educational Technology board here. The top 5 pins from my board that I chose were:
1. Skyping With Authors
This pin is to a post on the blog of Jen Maschari where she lists several ways you can Skype with authors. In this link, Ms. Maschari tells about how her students are Skyping with authors of some of the books that they read in class. I think Skyping with authors would be a great idea to use in the classroom. Not only does it implement technology but it also brings books to life. Skype sessions with authors allow students to see what it is like to write books, find out what the author's purpose is, and to interact with the text that they are reading. I also think this would make reading more fun when children find out that authors are real people and it may inspire children to want to write their own stories.
2. 50 Education Leaders Worth Following
This pin is a link to an article on Edudemic that lists 50 inspirational and thought provoking educational leaders on Twitter. As I was scrolling, I was pleased to find out that I am already following several of the leaders on the list! At first, I didn't really understand why Dr. Strange was such a firm believer in Twitter, but throughout the semester I have come to realize that Twitter is an excellent tool to share and receive information from. This particular article lists 50 of the most influential leaders in education that are on Twitter. I think it would benefit any teacher to be on Twitter and this is a great list to get started with.
3. Top 5 Tech Tools for the Elementary Classroom
Amy over at The Polka Dot Apple has listed her top 5 tech tools to use in the elementary classroom. I enjoyed reading her lists because she mentioned tech tools that I had never heard of before. Kerpoof and Zooburst are two tools that sound extremely fun to use and would be a great way to get students interested in technology. Both are similar in the sense that you use each to create fabulous drawings or stories, yet, Amy says that Zooburst is more user friendly. Along with Symbaloo, a website that I've come to love, she also mentions Live Binder. Live Binder, like Symbaloo, keeps resources organized and allows you to see other user's binders. Lastly, the tool that I think I would enjoy the most would be Class Pager. This allows parents to text a number to receive classroom updates via text message. All of Amy's suggestions would be great to use in the classroom!
4. Jeopardy Generator
The Jeopardy Generator is a game that can be altered to fit the topics that you are learning in your classroom. This could be displayed on a SMARTboard, allowing students to form teams and take turns answering questions and gaining points. As the creator of your own game, you could adjust how many points you want to give for certain questions as well. Easier questions could be worth less points while more challenging questions are worth more points. This is a great way for children to learn information while interacting with technology.
5. Newspaper Generator
The Newspaper Generator allows students to create their own stories to become generated to look like an actual newspaper article. This would be a fun way to get students interested in writing and to encourage young writers as well. When the newspaper article is generated, you are given an embed code. Students could post their article in their student blog. This would be ideal to use when learning about different types of writing or journalism.