What do tech-savvy teachers do when school is cancelled?
A. Sleep in
B. Catch up on emails
C. Use their children as guinea pigs
D. Try out new web tools
I am taking a wild guess that many of you chose E. ( unless you don’t have children) With the exception of losing power for a few days, I had no Internet. ( With the exception of my Blackberry Storm which allowed me to use the browser to search for places with generators in stock)
Once the power returned, there was plenty of shoveling, enjoying time with the kids, and exploring some of the newest tools for educators out on the web.
One of the tools that I will definitely make use of is Dabbleboard. I think that this can be used in an educational setting with many teachers finding ways to use this in their respective content area. I am going to be working with a teacher next week who was looking for just this for her 10th grade classroom. The chat feature will be something that the children can respond to questions by the teacher. It also has a cool feature where documents can be uploaded and particpants can annotate.
I had read an article about IPod integration in schools awhile back and have been experimenting with an I Pod touch for a while now. I finally put that to the top of my list with extra time on my hands due to the snow. My first thought was to integrate this into the K-2 realm, so I brought in my guinea pigs: my daughter Presley who is 6 and my 4 year old daughter Elliot. After searching for the numerous educational free apps and downloading many of them, I wanted to get feedback from my 2 girls. Who would have ever thought that my 2-year old son would be the one who would use this the most. He quickly grabbed this from my daughters and has learned how to turn it on, unlock it, and find his favorite 3 or 4 games. Seeing him page through pages of apps is so funny with his little fingers. Not that he learning how to add or subtract, but this really hit home as to how children are learning and teaching themselves. This made me really sit back and think about how I should teach my students, but really think about what is in the coming future as a parent. Looks like expenive gadgets for birthdays and Christmas!
(Photos taken by my 6-year old)
Even though the schools were officially closed for a week in our area, the teacher in me came out as I to engaged my children with a few Discovery Streaming videos. With my children being under the age of 6, I found many choices ranging from Magic School Bus, to Grossology. ( Everyone loves Ms. Frizzle and about the science of farting and burping)
In addition to all of the fun technology things I could engage my children in, I still made time to put on the snow gear and get outside with my kiddos like everyone should do once in a while. Even though it is 2010 and we are spoiling our children with toys of the future, we still have to remember how to have fun outside. ( Snow angels, snowmen, sledding and snowball fights)