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, October 8, 2010

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Digital Literacy News 10-08-10

Mount Vernon Digital Literacy News

October 8, 2010
Digital Literacy Workshop

Monday, October 11: Social Bookmarking  Most of us are in the practice of bookmarking sites we use often or want to return to later on our desktop.  Social Bookmarking takes this several steps further.  Using sites like Diigo and Delicious, you can save your bookmarks and retrieve them from any internet connection. But the real power in this tool is being able to share what you find with others and see what other people with the same interest are bookmarking.  

Upcoming Digital Literacy Workshop: Monday,
October 18: District Subscriptions:  Come and explore Atomic Learning, Discovery Education Streaming, ProQuest, Culture Grams, World Conflicts Today and Teaching Books. Learn how to log in and get a brief over view of each of these tools.  

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

Fall Colors
A cool interactive visual to teach about fall colors.  

EdHeads is a very engaging site with some neat simulations.  Most are science related.  My students loved the knee replacement simulation.

3rd Grade Web Sites
A Google Doc with a few sites I collected for 3rd grade teachers.  These would be useful for most elementary students.  

Where Does the Money Go
Infographic showing how the average consumer spends their money.

Looks like a great site for ELL students.  Students read current events stories at their level.  They can click on words to get pronunciation, or hear the whole story read. There are quizzes to go along with the stories.
Making the Most of Mini Labs

Last year the Mount Vernon School District started down the road of including mini labs in many of our classrooms.  The technology that we are using is pretty bleeding edge and with that, we have all had a pretty huge learning curve.  The District Technicians have done extensive research and continue to tweak the system to make it a powerful tool for learning in our district.  Teachers also have had a big learning curve. Having 5 new computers in your classroom sounds exciting.  But learning how to use the machines, and even more importantly, how to manage students learning on the clients is new learning for most.  It has been really exciting this year to receive request from teachers who are anxious to use their Thin Clients purposefully in their classrooms.  Teachers are thinking about how best to manage student time on the machines and how they can use this technology to differentiate learning for students.  Thin clients can be used for practice, production and communication.  As we continue to refine the system, unique and creative ways for effectively managing these tools will arise.  I would love to hear your tips for how you are using student stations in your classroom.  (Or how you are utilizing labs if your classroom does not have student stations.)

Here are a few of my tips.
  • Make an appointment with your ETA or one of the technicians to be in your classroom when students are logging in for the first time.  
  • Create cards or posters to place near the computers with general information and procedures about using the computers.  Include log in and log out steps, how to save work, perhaps an address of a jump off page with links and other information for your class.
  • Develop a protocol for saving documents so that they are easy to find and identify.  Perhaps last name, first initial and title of assignment.  Ex. thornburghm.biography
  • Create a list of links on a web page, published Google Doc, etc so that students have a jumping off place.  (This will be easier as we move to school specific desktops.,

Video of the Week

This is not a video, but I just thought that I would share Lori Gracey’s presentation of 60 web tools presented at the TCEA conference.  Some of these sites mentioned, I have shared before, some, I will share, and some I have yet to explore.  Maybe you will find a gem or two here.  Remember when you find a site that you would like to use with students, make sure that you check first to see if it will work for our district student log ins.  

Tech Triumphs

This week I asked our District Tech Committee to share success stories from their buildings.  There was much to celebrate.  Many are teachers feeling more comfortable and excited about using technology in their classrooms.  Lots of interest in getting in and using both new and not so new tools that many teachers had not explored before.  One cool way I heard of  a teacher really extending her technology was Melissa Campbell who I had mentioned in an earlier blog received two iPodTouches through Donors Choose.  She has loaded these with apps helpful to her students.  The cool and creative extension is that she is able to project and use some of the applications by placing the Touch under her document camera and projecting for the class to see.  

New teacher, Lea Legare at Mount Baker had her yearbook and newspaper staff create press passes using Big Huge Labs.  The students are really taking a lot of pride in wearing their badges that give them privileges as investigative reporters.

Digital Citizenship

Did you know that the Terms of Service for having a Facebook account states that you must be 14 or over?  In the ever changing world of social media and the many powerful and positive ways that social media can be used, it is a difficult process to come up with firm and fast rules for using these tools as a teacher and how our personal digital presence can mix with our professional digital presence.  This is something that our District Tech Committee will be exploring further during the year.  But a good place to start, is to know the Terms of Service and make sure that you are not encouraging kids to not follow these terms of service.  My own personal policy, is that I do not friend any of my students until they graduate from high school.  However,I know high school teachers who are using Facebook with students to share assignments, connect with authors and much more.  So this may be an appropriate tool for some teachers to use with students. My suggestion to you would be to not friend any students who are under 14.  They have lied about their age if they have a Facebook account and are under 14. There are other appropriate ways to connect with these students online.  Some suggestions would be moodle, and

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Jessica said...

I checked out a lot of the websites. Wow! Some are so great!

Patty said...

Your page is great. I am always learning new ideas. Hope to see you in Renton at the end of the month