Wednesday, October 31, 2007
So, the first challenge came along when students started finding out I had a user name. I had to set up a blog post for 2nd-4th graders to add their user name. Some were alittle surprised when I denied their friend requests because I didn't know who they were--their user names had to be posted to the blog before I would accept their friend request. This was the perfect conversation starter about adding unknown "friends." Now, Webkinz is pretty secure in chat rooms--the only words that can be said are pre-determined phrases given as choices. However, I can invite any of my friends to my "house" or to compete in some friendly contests in Webkinz World. Love it--it's really fun to see the kids' houses and the same intensity they share with owners of property in Second Life.
Even though I can't use it as a whole group activity (which would require all students to have an account and pay the $15 for the access code), I think it would be beneficial to have book parties, Quizzy contests, and/or story problems with money while shopping for "real" items at the W Shop. Maybe I sense a grant in the works...hmm...
Sunday, October 14, 2007
According to Dennis, K-12 educators can sign up for a special pro account for free. "First you need to register for a free account and login. Next you find and click where it says "Go Pro". At the bottom of the page will be a link that says "K-12 Educators Click Here". That will take you to the educator application form." I signed up this morning and finally got around to adding a slide or two.
The projects Dennis began are embedded below. My random brainstorms (from right now) as to how this could be incorporated into the classroom are as follows:
*I would love to have the 4th graders upload photos from the state they are researching and add commentary.
*Have the second grade show monuments around the world.
*Scan kindergarten drawings and have them narrate a story to go along with it
*A virtual tour of our school that can be sent to new families
*5th grade took a team-building field trip to Lutherlyn-students could upload photos from the trip and tell why the experience was so meaningful...
Oooo....Can't wait to get started! : )
Monday, October 8, 2007
According to Wikipedia, Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and "treasure," usually toys or trinkets of little value. Geocaches are currently placed in 222 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica.
Wouldn't it be cool to set up a scavenger for students who have to figure out math problems to find the coordinates? Students would then need to know how to read latitude and longitude to find the cache. Each cache could contain a comprehension question, a discussion question, a letter of a spelling word, part of a test, a vocabulary word, or a small part of a whole project.
Not only is this sport addictive to adults, it is catching on with students, too. Twin third graders were so excited to bring a Travel Bug to school because they needed to have their pictures taken with it at a library. It's so rewarding to hunt, bushwack, hike, swat bugs, etc. and then find the cache.
A photo of Justin and Dad at a cache in North Park:
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Coming Soon to a website near you (What could be closer than your fingertips?): A free and flexible conference--and you don't have to worry about parking. K12 Online Conference The Keynote begins tomorrow (October 8th) but the rest of the conference doesn't begin until the 15th. (I'll send out a reminder when it gets closer!) Check it out!
Here's the schedule. Most sessions are 8am EST, but will be archived... (I think!)
The K-12 Online Conference invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference run by volunteers and open to everyone. The 2007 conference theme is “Playing with Boundaries”. This year’s conference begins with a pre-conference keynote the week of October 8, 2007. The following two weeks, October 15-19 and October 22-26, forty presentations will be posted online to the conference blog (this website) for participants to download and view. Live Events in the form of three “Fireside Chats” and a culminating “When Night Falls” event will be announced. Everyone is encouraged to participate in both live events during the conference as well as asynchronous conversations.
From Will Richardson:
"The entire conference will be delivered as downloadable digital media via the Internet with over 40 sessions presented in four strands: Classroom 2.0, New Tools, Professional Learning Networks, and Obstacles to Opportunities. The conference launches with a keynote address on October 8th from respected blogger and author David Warlick and concludes with a global 24 hour live event, As Night Falls."
Thursday, October 4, 2007
1. The Flip Video camera-entire camera (takes stills and video) plugs into USB ports for easy uploading.
2. iknowthat.com--student resource and can use quizzes for student assessment
3. Audacity-to record and download recordings as mp3 files--Can record study guides, reading fluency, homework, etc.caden.editme.com for Audacity handouts
4. Power Point: Can use the Photo Album feature to show photos and decrease file size!!
Insert-Pix-Photo Album Choose file, click pix, insert SO COOL!
5. Create an assignment in United Streaming Assignment Builder and add the link to web page for easy student access. Copy quiz URL and link to your class web page.
6. vixy.net-Converts files--even Flash video
7.www.enature.org --Animal sounds/info/maps/photos database
8. toufee.com- Makes Flash movies flash_movies.toufee.com
9. Soundsnap-- to download sounds
10. Image Chef-- A tattoo generator, mug shot creator, etc.)
11. Mr. Picasso Head --Gotta see it!
12. Dumpr--Changes pictures into work of life
14. Incompetch.com Free music