After hearing our visitors in ECMP 355 tell us about many awesome tools and apps I explored a few of them. Most of them I had never heard before and am now excited to spend time learning how to use, and finding uses for them in my future classroom.
The site that instantly caught my attention was Padlet. This site is essentially a blank piece of paper on the web, as quoted on their homepage. You can add text, videos, links, pictures, etc to this blank page. It is available from anywhere with internet access and you can change the privacy settings so that only you can see it, or so that others can add to it and it can be a collaborative project.
I read on one of my classmates blogs that they would use Padlet for a space to have all of their brain breaks avaliable and ready to use when they are needed. Another classmate suggested that they should have this page open so that other teachers can add their brain breaks! I think this is an awesome idea.
The one idea I had to use Padlet for was as a brainstorming activity, or as an exit slip/assessment activity.
Students could all post up what they have learnt/ what they know about a topic along with their name, and then it is all saved in one place. As well, if students do not finish they can save what they have and theres not the risk of them losing the paper they were writing on, as it is saved online. Here is a screenshot of a general idea of how I would use Padlet.
P.S Throughout this class I had been wondering which apps to use for screenshots and had never gotten around to downloading an app or something to do that for me. Today, in my research I learnt how to do a screen shot on a mac, without an app. Now, I might just be way behind the times and everybody might already know how to do this.. but I was amazed that I could do it almost as simply as I can on my Iphone. All this time I thought it was much more complicated. So Mac users if you don’t know how to take a screen shot..
Press command and shift, then the number 3. It will take a screenshot and save to your desktop.
You want me to code?
In ECMP 355 we recently learnt about coding. Now when I think about coding I think about the work that the Software Developing Engineers I know do. When I heard I was expected to code I was terrified! I was thinking that I am not tech savvy, I am never going to be able to do this, and how in the world will this be useful in the classroom?!?
However, throughout the session and my further research, I have learnt that there are many practical ways to engage students with the use of coding.
For my tech task I explored the EspressoCoding site that Dean had told us about. I was nervous as I logged on but I really enjoyed how user-friendly, even kid-friendly that it was! It was simple to figure out and even fun to play around with! I found myself making up stories in my head as I used codes to make the characters move around.
Here is a screen shot of what I was working on:
I could see students using this program in the classroom to tell or re-tell stories! I was very pleasantly surprised with this program and would definitely use it in my classroom!
What did you think of Espresso?
After having a very interesting ECMP 355 session, learning about storytelling as teaching from Alan Levine I thought long and hard about the use of story telling in the classroom. I definitely think stories are a very effective way to teach. I know that I learn best and am most engaged in university classes when we are taught using personal stories.
For this tech task I chose to complete two assignments from the DS106 Assignment Bank. I found this site very cool! By reading other students’ blogs, as well as exploring the site I have seen many awesome options of assignments that would be fun and engaging to use in the classroom!
The first assignment that I chose to do was called My Favourite Lyric. The assignment asked the individual completing it, to find a photograph that represented one of their favourite lyrics. The lyric that I chose was from one of my favourite bands Switchfoot’s song This is Your Life. I found a photograph that I had taken just before a storm. Now, Switchfoot has many other songs that speak more to the storms than this particular song, but for some reason the lyrics and this photo seemed to go together.
This assignment can be done using all sorts of photo editing/photoshop apps. However, I just used the photo editing option on my iphone to add the text! There are many free apps/programs you could download for students to be able to do this assignment. I think this would be a very engaging/exciting activity for students to do. I think that you could adapt it all different ways. You could use it to create images that fit with a certain quote from their reading, or a line from a poem. You could even use it for science, finding images that fit with the topic the are researching and adding text to the photograph to explain. This is definitely something I could see myself using in the classroom.
The next assignment I chose to do was another visual assignment. It was called Focus on One Color. For this assignment, I looked through previous photographs of mine wondering which may look neat if only one color was focused on and the rest were left black and white. I think in the future if I was to do this assignment, I would take a specific picture with this activity in mind. However, the photograph I chose turned out quite neat! It was a photo I had taken during the holidays of a gingerbread house I had made. By focussing on the color red I think it made the photo look quite cool.
To create this photo I downloaded an app called One Color Focus. It was quick and simple to use. There are many other apps, as well as photo shop that you could use to create a photograph like this.
I think in elementary school, which I plan on teaching, there aren’t a whole lot of uses for this kind of assignment other than in art/design type classes. Let me know if you all have any suggestions of how I could use this with elementary students!