Gearing up for a new year!

Back to school in 10 days! I’m so excited to get back into the classroom and try out a few great ideas that I’ve learned about over the summer. I wish I could do them all! I’ve signed up for the Global Read Aloud project, which is a first for me and my students. I’m looking forward to collaborating and sharing via Edmodo, Skype, and Twitter. I’ve also connected with numerous teachers through Skype in the Classroom, so that we’ll have many classrooms to collaborate on different projects, or to be pen pals with. I’m also going to attempt some gamification strategies in my classroom. So much to look forward to!!

DEN Summer School 2011 continued

On Wed., Aug. 3, Cynthia Brown started our DEN Summer School with a look at Digital Storytelling. From her presentation I learned that you can make a story from a song, editable videos from DE, using sound effects, and by pooling images.

Next was Rita Mortensen. I learned from her presentation about all the neat things that Moviemaker, Photopeach, and Photostory3 can do! She also shared her Life Science Documentary project. I hope to be able to use the resources she shared with us in this upcoming year!

Then Mike Bryant did a presentation on Science and DE. He walked us through virtual labs, Science Sleuths, the Interactive Glossary, Science simulations and so much more! I will definitely be able to spruce up my science lessons with all of this!

On Thursday, Matt Monjan showcased a lot of resources that can be used for Digital Storytelling. My favourite to learn about was audiopal.com. Text is read aloud and can be embedded into assignments!

Then, Kathy Schrock did a presentation on Twitter. This for me was an entirely brand new subject. I never really was interested in Twitter until Kathy’s presentation. She explained the vocabulary, the pros to having an account, how one can grow their PLN (personal learning network), and then shared websites with resources about Twitter. After this presentation, I signed up for Twitter!

To end these 4 days of Summer School, Brad Fountain shared with us a presentation on “Effective Evaluation with DE”. It was great! The one thing I took away from his presentation that I hope to do a lot of this year is using exit slips.

It was an amazing, info-packed, collaborative-filled, and so very helpful webinar series! Thanks to the DEN and all of the presenters!

DEN Summer School 2011

The DEN has done it again! I’m 3 weeks away from school starting, and I’m already thinking about all the new and wonderful tools that I have learned about and can use in school this year during the past 2 days attending the Summer School webinars…and there are still 2 more days!!! :)

On Monday, Lindsay Hopkins started things off with a presentation about Digital Storytelling. We learned about the amazing tools that are at a teacher’s disposal: MovieMaker, PhotoStory 3, LittleBirdTales, Storybird, Stykz, Voicethread, and so many more! I also learned from a teacher in the chat window that, “kids like to use the free program Pivot to create animations”. I’ll definitely be checking that out!

Our second presenter was Dean Mantz on LiveBinders. I’d heard about LiveBinders in other webinars, but never have I been given such an amazing walkthrough of the program! As Dean was talking I signed up for an account, created a binder, and was fooling around with adding pictures, websites, videos, and more. I LOVE it! I’m looking forward to creating and learning more about this tool.

Our last presenter on Monday was Patti Duncan and she talked about Science! What a plethora of resources she had! Scribd, LabOutLoud, Pete’s PowerPoint Station, BrainPOP, PhET, the list went on and on and on! I think that Yippy will have to be the one tool that I learned from Patti and will be using and teaching my students to use the most this year. What a great search engine!

The first presenter today was Porter Palmer. She too talked about Digital Storytelling, but again, there were additional resources that I’ve never heard of and weren’t touched upon yesterday! 50+ ways to tell a story, Voki, Posterous, StoryJumper, and then additional sites added by the teachers in chat: Professor Garfield (my addition), StoryRobe, and Tripline (to name a few).

Kyle Schutt presented second about Assessment tools – “Checking for Understanding in a Virtual World”. A lot of us in chat shared that we weren’t too keen on assessment, but Kyle provided us with many amazing tools that would assist us. Quizlet, Google Docs and Form creations, Widgit embedding into DE’s assignment builder, Wall Wisher, Edmodo, and more were discussed as to how they can be used to help teachers specifically with Formative assessments.
He shared a quote with us that gives a great analogy:
“Formative assessments are to summative assessments as physical exams are to autopsies.” – Doug Reeves

Our third presenter was Lance Rougeux – “Science, Literacy, and the Kitchen Sink”. I think the tool that I will have the most fun using this year is going to be Crappy Graphs. I have so many great ideas that I’d like to try and use this for. We also took a look at the new Student Center, Stem Connect, and all of the amazing resources available to teachers on DE without even logging in!

I’m really looking forward to the next 2 days to see what else I can learn from all of the amazing presenters!