Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Chapters 5 & 6 Teaching in the Digital Age

Dear Teachers,

Sorry I am a day late with my reading assignment I waited until the last minute to read and then we had a problem.  The hose leaked on our air-conditioner unit Sunday night and I had to mop up the basement floor.

Anyways, Chapter 5 & 6.......... I found to be a little bit more interesting.  Both chapters are about areas I have not yet explored in the technology field, Videoconferencing, Webcams and Presentation Tools.  Yes, I have so much to learn.    There are lots of ideas however I am just writing about the ideas I want to incorporate into my classroom next year.

Chapter Five
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The first thing I want to explore for my classroom is getting some ePals.  It is digital penpals.  The author provides a site that safely connects teachers and classroom up,  www.epals.com.    I think that would be a fun and meaningful way to develop letter writing skills with follow up in the computer lab. 
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Next, I need to learn about SKYPE.  I know what it is.  I have the ability to SKYPE on my laptop.  It is something I have never tried to do.  Sure you can SKYPE with another classroom.  However the idea that caught my attention was Skyping with Authors.  There is even a site out there that can help you, http://skypeanauthor.wetpaint.com
This is definitely something I want to explore.   This would be great to work on questioning skills.  This is an area first graders always need to work on.  Plus it would be a great addition to writer's workshop.

Chapter 6
The author, Brian, writes a lot about the publishing process and teaching the children the steps.  I know most teachers have their own way of doing this already.
One idea that stuck with me that I would like to do next year is to encourage the children to write mini articles about what we are learning in class.  Maybe I could set aside one day a week where the students about write something.  Then I could choose two or three, help those students finish it up to a publishing point.  Have the students illustrate a picture and then add that to our class website as an article.  I thought that was a neat idea.

Another cute idea in the book was utilizing ipads and creating I SPY books.  He writes about this on P. 147.  I think this might me a fun way to start working in groups.  We can create a fun class book together.

OK.I need to learn about podcasts and how I can use them in my classroom.   I hear about them all the time and run the other way.

Finally he writes about these programs on my Apple computer I have yet to learn, Quick Time and iMovie.  He writes about creating digital books.  My idea is after a child has published a book in my classroom they could read it and then we could post it on the class website for parents to view. 
What makes me nervous about these chapters is that ALL these wonderful ideas will need my time to pull them off.  Time is the one thing I don’t have.  I know there are great opportunities for the children to work together as a team, make decisions, generate ideas, collect materials, draw and write.   However, when it comes down to the wire it is me who has to do all the nitty-gritty and learn HOW to do it too. 

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