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 15, 2010

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Digital Literacy News October 15, 2010

Mount Vernon Digital Literacy News

October 15, 2010
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.  

Upcoming Digital Literacy Workshop: Monday, Oct. 25
More With Discovery Streaming: There is a lot of added interest in using DE Streaming this year with our new equipment in place.  Come and find out about the resources available, such as student accounts, online quiz and assignment builder and editable clips.

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

DocsTeach:  Lots of Primary Source documents with ideas of how to use them with students.

Top 10 Social Studies Sites : Larry Ferlazzo’s updated list of the best sites for Social Studies on the web.

In Celebration of Teachers : a photo journal of teachers throughout the years.

Spelling City:  Activities to use with spelling.  Create list, play games etc.  

Photo Timelines on Life : Great resource for timelines on different subjects using the amazing photos from Life. Here is a time line of the trapped  Chilean Miners.

Incredibox:  I still need to play with this, but it looks like a cool music creation site.
Creating Online Learning Spaces For Students

Teachers, more and more are seeing the power in having students participate in online learning communities and publishing  their ideas to a bigger audience.  Blogs are one great avenue for kids to share their thoughts and participate in online discussions.  Unfortunately, child safety laws make it difficult for our students to access and participate in many blogging atmospheres.  I love using Google’s Blogger for my blogging because of its ease of use and integration into other Google products.  But Google’s Terms of Service and willingness to host anyone’s blog about almost anything, makes it difficult for students to use and access.  As with any technology application, or format, I find it valuable to teach the format and not necessarily the specific tool.  Blogging is an excellent format to teach students.  Blogging can be used to create class discussions, build on ideas and interests, showcase work, and share news.  In addition to just teaching students  how to set up such a space, students need to learn how to ask good questions, share powerful comments, etc.  Students need to learn about thinking before you publish, and the fact that anything that they do online is permanent.  What they say, do and share is part of their permanent digital foot print.  A middle school teacher in my Professional Learning Network from California has developed a really nice, low tech way to teach her students about blogging.  Karen McMillan introduces her kids to blogging by having them create “Paper Blogs”.  Students first design their blog to fit their personality and the purpose of their blog.  They then write a blog post on paper.  Then the posts are posted on a wall.  Students then practice reading each other’s blog posts and making comments using sticky notes.  Along with the great writing activity, she also teaches the “Rules of Blogging”  to her students.  Here are the rules she shares.  Blogging is one way of linking writing, reading, and connecting information and learning together. It seems the perfect venue to introduce students to the online world
world of networked learning. They need to get acquainted to reading and writing hyperlinked text .

Educators have the opportunity to expose students to safe practices AND to academic uses of online spaces.

Read in our Teacher Tech Triumphs about how one of our teachers is using as a way for her students to respond to what they are reading at home.

I’m really liking, but I am afraid that with “kid” being included in the name, it might not be appealing to older students.  As I mentioned last week, there are some other “student friendly” blogging options out there.  Using Google Sites as Karen McMillan does or are two options that you might want to explore.  

Video of the Week

I Do, You Do, We Do

I ran across Chris Bergmann’s Middle School Science Wiki.  He has several videos of Science demonstrations on the wiki and more on his YouTube page.  I decided to share this, because it is entertaining.  The kids really look like they are enjoying their Science class.  Although he is involving students in the activities and all students look  to be interested and excited in the activity, it is definitely his show.  An example of the ” I Do” part of the lesson. Would love to see how he follows this up in class with “We Do” and “You Do” parts of a lesson.  You may be thinking, if only our students could access YouTube at school.  Here is a nice compilation of 47 Alternatives to Using YouTube in the Classroom.

Tech Triumphs

Nikki Klinger, PE and Reading Teacher at Little Mountain shared that after last week’s mention of in this blog, she decided to give it a try with her reading students.  She set up a Reading Class blog and gave all of her students a space.  Nikki invited her students to use this space to share about what they are reading at home.  Read and Respond is an activity very familiar to elementary students as this is required homework each night.  But, by adding the blogging component to the mix, she had added new life to this activity.  She has students thanking her for making reading fun and asking if they can continue to do this after they leave her class.  Nikki sent home a letter to parents explaining the process and inviting them to join in.  The student’s blogs are password protected, only people with access can see and respond to the blogs.

Digital Citizenship

StaySafeOnline : October is Online Safety month.  Take a look at the list of resources here to help you share Online Safety with your students.  

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