Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tool #11

1.  What are your favorite tools...?  I am excited to use the different iPad apps that I have been playing with all summer long.  Each time I revisit an app, I think of another idea to incorporate it into a work station to enhance student learning.  I  know my class will utilize the tools that allow them to make books, like bookr and TikaTok, bringing technology to writer's workshop. I also look forward to professional exchanges and growth while networking with other teachers on edmodo.
2.  How have you transformed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom?  I have always valued the use of technology in the classroom, but unfortunately, I haven't always had working technology in my classroom.  It's frustrating when you tried to "seemlessly" incorporate technology, and then it takes valuable time to get the technology to work!  However, with the new technology that kindergarten is receiving this year, I have high hopes for the learning that will take place.  The tools that have been introduced through 11 tools that are appropriate for kindergartners will certainly provide wonderful learning experiences for my students, and provide opportunities for me to better communicate to my parents the needs of my classroom and the wonderful learning that is taking place there. 
I do plan to spend more time setting expectations for using the devices so they are used as learning tools not toys, and modeling how to appropriately use the tools.
3.  Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?  The biggest surprise for me was how easy I found most of this to be once I let go of my apprehension!  There is so much technology available to support and enhance my students' learning and they are eager to dive in, so motivation and focus will not likely be an issue!  I look forward to more discovery and learning on my part as well!

Tool #10

1.  Discuss at least three things you would want to make sure your students understand about being good digital citizens.  The very first thing I will discuss with my students is the importance of being safe in the digital world, which means keeping their personal information private.  Kindergartners need to know not to give out their full names, addresses, or any family information.  I will explain that there are lots of great sites to visit on the internet, but they need to follow some rules to be safe and visit only sites that have been determined as safe.  We will also discuss copyright rules and the fact that everything on the internet cannot always be considered truth.  Also, internet ettiquette will be discussed so that what is said while chatting or posting is appropriate.
2.  Share at least one of the resources mentioned above or on the Ed Tech website that you plan to use instructionally.  I will use the unit entitled Going Places Safely (K-1), from commonsense media.  This unit offers a complete lesson plan and video on follow rules to remain safe online.  Also, Brainpop Jr. has a video that teaches the same lesson.  It's important for the children to hear the message often, and discuss what it means in the classroom as well as at home.  These resources offer such opportunities.
3.  Explain briefly how you would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship to your students.  I will use the resources mentioned above and have discussions that are age appropriate about the information found on the internet, including copyright issues. We will also briefly discuss the rules put forth by SBISD in the student handbook and encourage the parents to do the same.
4. Explain briefly how you plan to share the ideas of digital citizenship with your parents.  Kindergarten Orientation will be a perfect opportunity to discuss digital citizenship with the parents of my students.  Often, because our students are so young, parents feel like such topics don't apply to kindergartners. Having this discussion at this time will hopefully heighten parental awareness.  Because not all parents will be present at orientation, I will also make the websites available to the parents via newsletter or blog.