Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Friday, September 24, 2010

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Digital Literacy News September 24

Mount Vernon Digital Literacy News

September 24, 2010
Digital Literacy Workshop

Monday, September 27: Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine with great potential in K-12 classrooms.  I had the opportunity to participate in a webinar on using Wolfram Alpha in the K-12 classroom last week. I have lots of exciting resources and ideas to share.  This is not just a math and science tool. This can be used in any content area.  Great, not only to get the answer, but also to help students think about how to ask good questions, develop higher level thinking and more.  

Upcoming Digital Literacy Workshop: Monday,
October 4: Google Docs

Many of you know that I am a big fan of Google Docs.  This suite of tools is so handy and is a great help for management, and collaboration. The best part is that your content is available from any internet ready computer. No more, the dog ate my flashdrive... :)
See a schedule for the year.

Open Lab: 2:30 - 5:00

Resource Instruction: 3:15 - 4:00               
Monday Afternoons, District Office Tech Lab.

Clock  Hours are available.

Links to Explore

Toon Book Reader
Nice site for emergent readers. Onlne books that can be read out loud.

10-10-10 Top 10 YA Books
Colette Cassinelli in Portland has set up a wiki for people to share their top 10 picks of Young Adult novels. You and your students can create your own page to share with others. You have until 10-10-10 to nominate your books.

Back Story: Think of the Miners
An interesting activity dealing with the trapped Chilean Miners from Newsweek. What if everything you needed to survive had to fit through a 4 inch diameter tunnel?

60 Second Recap
Watch 60 second overviews of classic novels.  Wouldn’t think of this as a cheat sheet, (or video) but a great model of an activity for students to use to create there own recap videos or presentations.
Doing More with a Doc Camera

Thanks to our Tech Levy, we are almost to the point where we have a document camera in every classroom in our district.  As I talk with teachers, this is the new piece of technology that teachers seem to be the most excited about.  I think that there are many reasons why this great tool is the tool most likely to be the first adopted by teachers.  First, I think that it is a familiar step to take from Overhead Projector to Document Camera.  In the beginning, teachers can  use their document camera in the same way as they have used their overhead projector.  Teachers are excited about a familiar tool that actually makes what they were already doing even more efficient without a huge learning curve.  Also, because document cameras can serve the same purpose as overhead projectors, teachers are familiar with this teaching style.  

There are many reasons why teachers love doc cameras.  

1. No need to create overheads!
2. There are paper and copy savings since you can share a document with all without making individual copies.
3. Student participation.  My favorite reason to love your doc camera is that it is a great platform for students to share their work and understanding .  
4. The doc cam does not have to be front and center in your classroom.  This can give you more space!

Hopefully, as teachers begin to use this tool, they will see that the doc camera is not just an expensive overhead projector. There are many uses beyond that. Here are a few examples.  Would love to hear how you are using your document camera.

1. Share a book with students.
2. Focus in on an object to inspect closely.  You can get a microscope adaptor. But even without the adaptor, you can get in really close.  Try focusing on the border of a Five Dollar Bill.
3. Perform an experiment.  
4. Use the Continuous Capture feature to set up time lapse photo set of a changing object.  Capture an egg hatching over the weekend, etc.
5. Focus in on a small amount of text at a time using this shade feature.
6. Prep for lessons ahead of time and have pages stored in the camera.
7. Record a student or teacher solving a math problem for later review.  
So much more!!! Share your ideas.

Here is a handout with other suggestions for using Document Cameras in your classroom.

Video of the Week

This week, I was introduced to a very simple concept called Paper Slide Videos.  I can’t wait to create my own!  If you have access to any camera/phone with a video recording function.  You could actually do this on your doc cam with the AverMedia software.  Take a look at this video about creating Paper Slide Videos.  How could you use this in a lesson?  How could students use this to share their learning? What a fun, simple idea.

Paper Slide Videos :

Intro to Paper-Slide Videos from Paul Cancellieri on Vimeo.

Tech Triumphs

We had 26 people attend our first Digital Literacy Workshop of the year.  The room was packed.  Not only were teachers there for my training, but they used the open lab time to get questions answered and work on setting up their grade books.  It is especially exciting to see teachers who I know are a bit wary of tech giving it a go.  What a great model for us as teachers to share with our students.  We are all learners and we are willing to try even when we aren’t sure we are going to be successful. I hope that teachers will continue to join us for Digital Literacy Workshops and other trainings as we all learn and share together.  (Wolfram Alpha is a lot more fun than EGP :) )

Digital Citizenship

The people at Google have put together a site for parents, (and teachers) about keeping kids safe online.  Google employees give their tips on what they do to keep their own kids safe online. Google Family Safety Center
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Anonymous said...

Unless you have a lot of kids with photo privileges denied, I think using the paper video isn't worth it. The video itself was way too long, also. Sorry-- I'm usually 100% enthralled and supportive of your weekly vids.

Martha said...

Agreed, the example is too long. I guess I like the simple idea as just one more way to share and create. Many times, time on the computer is at a premium, this solves some of that issue. Wouldn't use it every time, but like to have it in my tool box of ideas.