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V.R.Burton’s Blog

10 tools that are essential to my class

July 13th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Curriculum, Digital Storytelling, PLNs, Professional Developments, Project Learning, Resources, Tech Classrooms, Tech Tools

This post was copied from my professional blog

Last summer I took part in PBWork’s Summer Camp and learned lots of
resources, tools and tips to use in my class. That was also the summer
of my 1st Tweet. I say my first tweet because my PLN did not blossom
and bloom until I began tweeting and re-tweeting. My introduction came
from @PLNaugle.
She told me that once I started Tweeting that I would enjoy it. I
didn’t know what she was talking about at the time. Boy did she know
what she was talking about. One year later I have almost made 2500
Tweets, I have 957 followers and I am following 616 people. My family
and friends laugh but I take Tweeting seriously. It is a way to share
resources.

My_twitter_statts

What I didn’t realize was that during the PBWorks Summer Camp my need
for a PLN was developed. During camp, I learned about dozens of tech
tools and part of the work in the summer camp is to not just learn
about
tech tools, but to use what you have learned.
Commenting and Sharing were a major part of the camp as well. This
combination of learning, utilizing that knowledge, commenting and
sharing became a way for me to receive Professional Development that I
wanted to take part in.

Twitter helped me to achieve this on a daily basis. I feel as though
daily, I learn something and then I teach it to someone else. It is a
wonderful feeling to share things with people who are actually willing
to listen. Most of what I use in class on a daily basis I got from a
Tweet or ReTweet.

As I reflect about what worked in my classroom and what didn’t work, I
have found that there are some things that I could not teach without.
Here is a list of my top ten tools (list is no special order):

Top_101. Jing.
I could not do my job without it. I use Jing to create Lesson Vodcasts
or How To Videos. The kids always groan when they
hear my voice. I love it. They can’t get used to watching a video with
my voice coming through the speakers. Jing videos can be embedded or
retrieved with a click of a link. Jing Pro is $14.95 per year and
allows you more freedom.

2. PhotoPeach. We
have created so many digital stories (some good and some not so good)
using this site. For less than$40.00 a year you can make account
permanent and upload your own music and you can download it.

3. Twitterrrr.
I Tweet for
my students
although not many of them followed regularly. Next year
I intend to use
HootCourse
to help us keep track of assignments and due dates. I
have also registered for Cover It Live as a means to keep track
of our ongoing Twitter conversations. I also Tweet for my PLN.

4. Google.
I use Google for everything: email, Google docs, Google
sites,
Google reader and Google Google. Google has become my life
line.

5. Glogster
Allows us to create interactive posters and embed them onto blogs and
wikis. I have used Glogs as Interactive Posters with links to guide
people to certain sites. My class created Glogs about Louisiana.

6. Wallwisher
Wallwishers I use for sharing information, gathering
ideas
and thoughts and displaying examples. WallWishers have
taken the post it note to the next level.

7. Edublogs
I use Edublogs for my personal blog and for my student and
class blogs
. Edublogs
allows for easy commenting, embedding and wonderful blog tips delivered
on a regular basis.

8. Ning
Before price increase, Ning was my main Learning Platform. I used my
Ning to connect my students in their first blogging, commenting and
academic social networking experience. I am looking for replacements.

9. PBWorks. I
use PBWorks to house my materials, to show
off student work
or to embed Google Forms. Wikis allow you to post and keep
available assignments and videos that the student can access whenever
needed. Wikis allow students to collaborate and create pages with each
other.

10. Wordle. I love
wordles and use them for almost everything: lists, blog headers or
character tributes. It is another way to create a visual representation
of something.

I could easily continue this list but
these are some of the ones that I couldn’t live without.

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