I cannot believe how far things in the world of social media have come in just a few relatively short years. I remember about 4 or 5 years ago when I first heard about Facebook. My sister in law lives in London and it was the most convenient way for us to stay in touch and share photos and information about our babies and lives. Facebook was nothing back then, what it is now. I think I had a handful of ‘friends’ and would check it out maybe a couple times a week, not like now where its a couple of times an hour.
One of the best things that has come with social media, in particular Facebook, is the sharing of information and knowledge between my uni ‘friends’. These are people that I have never met, most I will never meet, who at all hours help pull each other through our degrees. These friends are there to share assignments, notes, exam hints and tips, and generally a ‘fb uni family’ that we have come to depend on and lean on (especially right before exam and assignment time!!!)
I am unsure of how successfully I would be in completing my degree without this brilliant technology and tool of social media.
How luck we are to live in such a technologically savvy time.
As you are probably aware by now, I love the iPad. I think its a great piece of technology that can be used almost everywhere, for almost everything. I was very fortunate that I got to work with iPads again whilst on my most recent prac. I love finding and downloading new apps whenever I can and having the kids try to use them. I especially love it when I find a really good, educational app that caters for differentiation and is for my intended purpose. As I was reading through Lovie’s blog I stumbled across many great blogs that she had written. My last post commented on another one of her blogs, but I also saw that she blogged about iPads. In fact her blog was titled ‘iPad or laptop’, whereas although like Lovie I agree with her technological habits, I tend to think that iPads in the classroom serve a great purpose. Here is a link that Lovie also shared on her blog. Its a great article outlining the use of iPads in the classroom…. Enjoy
I have always been a fan of having some sort of background music and much to my pleasure so was my mentor teacher. Whenever the students would have to sit down and do some independent work ,which was usually at writing time my mentor would play some classical music through her computer. I noticed the children would be more engaged, talk less to one another and remain on task for longer periods of time. When reading Lovie’s blog I came across something similar that she had written about. Lovie talks about using background music with her class on prac. She also had a link to another site that lists the benefits of using music. Not only is it beneficial for their concentration, but it also aids in producing ICT rich lessons for our students.
Today I learnt a new word- Instagrok. I had never heard of Instagrok before, let alone did I have any idea of what it was and how you can use it in your classroom! When trying to think about new things to blog about and linking to other people’s blogs I stumbled across Jennifer’s blog .
This week Jennifer has blogged about Instagrok. She explains-
Instagrok is a search engine for children that presents its content in the form of a concept map. A new phrase has been coined in the classroom. Instead of googling we are now groking. Students then choose which area they wish to explore further and click on the bubble. This will produce a summary of suitable resources for children to investigate further.
After reading this blog I decided to check it out. I sat down with my kids and we researched ‘fairies’. The results were instant. I can’t believe how much stuff was displayed within seconds about fairies. We then moved onto researching ‘sunflowers, rainbows, lady bugs and grasshoppers’. My kids loved it. I had to stop to get them off to bed.
I wish I had heard of this earlier, although now that I know about Instagrok I plan on using it whenever I can. The bonus of this site is that at the top of the screen there are two pictures- a blackboard with ABC on it and a picture of Einstein. By clicking on the slider and moving it between the two, you are able to determine the level of information. So it is suitable for students of all ages. Great for differentiation. Great for research. Great for students. Try it.. It’s GREAT!!
While browsing on my colleague Tina’s blog I stumbled across a link for iLearn Technology. I decided to click on the link and check it out… and I am glad that I did. What an awesome maths program that teaches kids across all levels maths in a fun and interactive way.. where most of the time kids are learning things without even knowing it! (which is usually the best way to teach them!!!) I suggest if you have time to defiantly take a look at the link- especially my friends who are teacher or close to graduating, you will really appreciate the information that you can kind! Enjoy.
While on prac there are always lessons to be planned that require lots of resources that you may not have yet. So of course there are usually many, many hours spent trawling through Google sites. There is one site that has become my favourite, and I am definitely considering paying my membership so I can join. At the moment I have been getting lots of free downloads, but there are certainly many, many things that I want and for those I need to be a member or pay for them. The site I am referring to is Teachers Pay Teachers . It pretty much has everything that you can think of. Basically you type in what you want in the search bar and it comes up. There is anything and everything that you can think of. And if that site doesn’t have what you want (for free) then a close second (as my new favourite website) is Pintrest! I cannot believe that I have never really known how this site works… now that I do, I am ALWAYS on their looking for stuff… I recommend that you check it out.. actually both of them.. they are amazing!
I stumbled across Nicole’s blog and found this link about apps that students will be using. The article lists the apps in different categories- Productivity and Organisation, Reading and Writing, Reference, Safety, and STEM. It is a great article that really gets you in the same train of thought as many of your students. The apps are incredible, a real eye opener, just proving that the jump in technology from when I went to primary school (in the 80s and 90) is amazing. I remember when I was at school, we have half a dozen old mac computers in the school library. I think we just to be able to type on them and use floppy disks with information.. and that was about it! Nothing like what the kids these days have….
When reading through Teresa’s blog (- a colleague) I came across a post that she wrote about classroom blogging. I followed the link she had and was really impressed with what I saw and heard. I had never really thought about having a classroom blog once I was out teaching, but after looking at this video clip and really getting into blogging, I think that establishing a classroom blog would be something that I would definitely like to consider. There are lots of teachers that have blogs in their classrooms. Here are the best class blogs for 2012. I suggest you take a look… they are well worth it!
Tomorrow marks my last day of prac for semester 1, 2013. I am both excited and sad by this. I have so much work to do between now and the end of semester that I will be happy to be home to get it done, but I will also miss my mentor and my class. I have become quite attached to them and reality of uni work doesn’t seem as nice as hanging out with my beautiful class of 22 kids. Tomorrow I have planned many fun lessons hopefully that are ICT rich!
First up we have a whole school assembly and Reconciliation Mass which should be good. Then we have literacy. This week I have decided to test the kids with their spelling online with the IWB and have them do their sight words with this resource. The students will also have an opportunity to use the iPads to do reading eggs sight words.
After this, the students will be doing their literacy mini lesson on “Where are you going, Manyoni?” where they are inferring through pictures.
Then its maths, the students will be doing addition strategies on BrainPOP jr, IWB, interactive games and worksheets.
Should be a fun, interesting, ICT rich lesson.