Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Reflection #4


Reflection #4

I enjoyed viewing the new sites. I was unfamiliar with all three sites. I loved http://animoto.com.

There were a lot of different backgrounds and songs to choose from. I also enjoyed http://www.edmodo.com because of the facebook feel of the site and how interactive the site is (students being able to post assignments and take quizzes and post comments, etc.).

After watching “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube” I must admit my favorite part was the numa numa video. It takes me back to college and all my friends and I always watching it to get a laugh out of it.



I also agree that it is definitely 18-24 year olds that use it to post videos. I think that is the age range that probably feels most comfortable with technology, but I definitely think the age has probably gotten somewhat older because more and more people are expected to use technology since 2008. I remember being in college and www.youtube.com becoming the new upcoming thing and I remember my sophomore year getting www.facebook.com and it was the biggest craze. My generation has been at the forefront of technology. When I began college you had to hook up to the internet via dsl, but by the time I graduated wifi was becoming more common and everyone I know was starting to get smartphones (i-phone had just come out) and blackboard had just begun. I do think that youtube has a lot of fun and educational things, but there is also a lot that is not appropriate. People abuse it by putting up inappropriate videos or putting up things that are exploiting others. There needs to be education on how and when to use it and when it is inappropriate.

A couple of fun sites I discovered that I am considering using for my web 2.0 assignment that I have been playing around with is:


and


Both are great for teachers. Live Binder is a way to organize all the materials online that you want into categories like a binder. Classroom Organizer is a personal classroom library organizer where students can checkout and return your books.

Revew if Video Websites



I can use this tool with my students to create videos of books with props or additional pictures for the story. I could also have the students sing some of the songs that we have learned and they can be shared with parents. Parents can also view the students or myself reading the books and share them with their child. I can share with the parents and community what is going on in the classroom. We have been doing some green initiatives (made bottle cap signs, planting flowers) and we can share this with the parents and community also. The other ECSE teachers can use the videos of the stories and songs in their own classrooms and we can learn what different books and songs are sung that we may not be doing in our own classroom.

Animoto was very easy to use. I created a short video of my son’s pictures. It was very straight forward to choose a background and then you went down to the next box to preview and choose a song to go with what you want to create. I chose three pictures and it did take awhile for the whole video with just three pictures to be produced. So if the thing you created was longer, it would take awhile to create. If mistakes were done, it was easy to correct because you could just go back to the gray box and it gave the option to remove or change.

It was reasonably priced. It was free for 30 seconds and after that you could purchase it annually for $30 for the plus, which was very reasonable. If I were to use this in my classroom I would definitely purchase the plus option. The design options were very modern and somewhat retro. The designs were also colorful and fun and I also liked the song selections. They had categories of songs and also listed the most popular songs used. You also were able to add pictures and video, which is nice. You are not confined to just one type of media. The security seemed good. It asked for my password and it was able to be linked to facebook for easier access.


I personally did not care for yodio. I did not like the idea of having to call in to record a story and I also did not like the idea of sharing my phone number in fear of getting junk messages or someone getting a hold of my phone number.

If I were to use this I could record my students singing or repeating words or doing a language sample. I could then share the language sample with their parents or with the speech pathologist so she can hear how they are annunciating words and the grammar the student was using. We could also share some of what we are doing in the classroom with the community again by sharing with them pictures with commentary of what we have been doing in the classroom (green initiative, field trip to the farm, etc.). The flexibility of use was that you could upload your own pictures, but they did not offer different background options, which I did not care for. The ability to correct was also not easy because you would have to call in to the phone number to record your commentary.

I did not think that yodio was that user friendly. As I stated above, I did not like the idea of having to call in to record a story, which I can do with my phone and get the pictures and words all together at one time. The media that was only able to be used at this time was mp3, which was another downfall. Many of the education videos I saw were French finals or foreign language samples. The cost was free for 1 minute or a monthly fee of $6.99 for 50% royalties or $34.99 for 70% royalties, which in my opinion, was a big increase from the $6.99.


This tool was definitely geared towards students in upper elementary to high school.  If I taught older grades I would definitely use this tool. I like how it was very similar to facebook. This could be used with students to create more open communication for questions and comments. Students were also able to post assignments and take quizzes, which was a nice feature. You could definitely have open communication with parents where they can see their child’s grades, assignments that may not have been completed or as a way to ask questions. This site could be used with the community to inform them of upcoming school or classroom events that they may enjoy. Other teachers can also see what is going on in your classroom (assignments, quizzes, and topics).

The ease of use was great. I tried to create a quiz and looked up how to annotate an assignment. The quiz was very easy to create and allowed options for time, type of questions being asked and was easy to correct anything in the quiz you wanted because you could preview the quiz and it told you if something was not able to work. As a teacher, you were able to correct papers similar as in word, which was very user friendly. You could cross things out, add remarks and comments.  I also tried uploading links and documents and that was very simple. It also gave you the option to replace the file if there was a mistake.  It also would enable you to use Google Docs to import documents, which many people use.

The cost was free and it was considered by Time Magazine as one of the “Best Social Networks for Kids under 13” and I can see why after playing around with it. The security of the site seemed good. The parents would receive a parent code that allowed them access to their individual child. There was also a six digit group code for students to use to access the classroom site. There was definitely good security measures especially since young students can use this site. 

Edmodo and Animoto I would definitely use in my classroom because of the ease of use and the use it has for the students and parents.  Yodio I would definitely not use because of security reasons, ease of use and more limited use in the classroom.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Reflection #3


Reflection #3

I had a lot of fun using Prezi. It was very easy to use and was fun to try different things with it. I like how smoothly it flows from one frame to another. I also like all the different things you can add (pictures, youtube videos, etc.). The one downfall was Prezi doesn't currently have direct sound file support (e.g. for .mp3 and .wav files) so the power point I transferred was unable to have the sounds played.

I did not know how to maneuver the power point but found this site to be very helpful.


 On the internet safety sites I liked the tips about internet safety and definitely will share some of the sites with my classroom parents and on my classroom website. I also thought the cyber bullying sites were extremely useful to know what to ask your child about their internet usage and having accounts that you can view.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Reflection #2


Reflection # 2
This week I loved being able to view other students blogs. I began my classroom blog to collaborate with other early childhood educators. Unfortunately, during the school year I have not been very good about posting on a regular basis. However, I still do check others blogs on a frequent basis to get new ideas to try in my classroom or to grab a freebie here and there. I have been trying to post freebies on my blog. When doing so I have used to different sites. Initially I started with www.scribd.com, but a few months back there was some technical issues with posting multiple documents at one time onto a single post. When that occurred I changed to https://docs.google.com.

I have found both to be very easy to use and very easy to embed documents to and from. A nice perk to the google docs is you can save others documents on there as well as your own. Scribd was better for the purpose of being able to preview the document before necessarily saving or opening the document in a new window. Both have their advantages.

In regards to the article,33 Ways to Use Blogs in Your  Classroom and in the Educational Setting”  I liked the suggestions of using a blog to display class work and including links to supplemental videos and resources for the parents to use at home with their students. I also do want to try to have the students narrate their favorite stories and to display that on the class webpage or a class blog. I also like the idea of including pictures of memorable moments or showing what a typical day in the classroom looks like. For my students this could be done through pictures.  I also like the idea of using the blog to display ways we have worked or helped in the community. We recycled bottle caps and made signs that are on display throughout the school grounds. It is a green incentive and has helped the environment.  I would like to try to include some of these things next year on my class page as I think the students and parents would appreciate them.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Reflection #1


Reflection #1

The first week of EDU 5240 I was a little overwhelmed by the syllabus and the materials that had to be done. I read it over and freaked out, but after just taking the first week’s materials and completing them I realized it was not nearly as bad as I had anticipated. Later in the week I even began to get curious about web 2.0 tools. I am not familiar with web 2.0, but after doing some searching online I came to find out some of the things concerned web 2.0 I currently use or would definitely benefit my classroom if used. I found a couple of very helpful websites that contain lots of different web 2.0 options depending on what you want to create.
Effective Web 2.0 Tools for the Classroom

Discovery Education Web 2.0 Tools


After doing this research I definitely think I would like to look more into creating simple videos with my students. Another very helpful link for early childhood educators is Pre-Kpages discussion of Web 2.0 tools in her classroom.
http://www.pre-kpages.com/web_20/

I also thought the discussion board introductions were informative and it was amazing to me how diverse our class was. We are teaching in a variety of settings and for a variety of grades, which will bring a lot of fresh and different perspectives on using technology in the classroom.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Grad Class

My current grad class I am taking towards my Early Childhood Masters requires me to create a blog and to add some reflections. So for the few upcoming weeks I will be posting some reflections on the class each week. So far the class seems like it should be informative as I am also going to have to be using some web 2.0 tools, which I am not familiar with. So I hope to learn a lot and I will post some of the fun things I learn as I complete them! Until then, good luck with the end of the school year! I am looking forward to getting all of my IEPs and assessments done in the next couple of weeks and then some quality time with my little guy, Ethan!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Field Day

Today was a fun and exhausting day! We had field day, which was a blast! The weather was perfect...sunny and 65 and the kids enjoyed every second of it! My little ones weren't able to do all of the field day events, but we did about 6 or 7 of the 14. Here are some of the highlights!









All of the classes made one of these fun bottlecap signs. They are now on display throughout our school. We collected bottlecaps and then glued the bottlecaps onto a wood sign and parents put screws in them so the caps would not fall off.