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, December 3, 2010

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Digital Literacy News 12-03-10

Mount Vernon Digital Literacy News

December 3, 2010
Digital Literacy Workshop

Monday, December 6,
Survey and Polling Tools: We will explore different tools for getting feedback from students, parents and your peers.

Upcoming Digital Literacy Workshop:
Monday, December 13,
Online Safety Resources and Information

We will take a look at a variety of resources you can use in your class to help students learn safe behaviors online.  We will also share some thoughts to ponder on how best to keep our kids safe, but also allow for all the good uses of the internet in their learning.

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

Seven Tools for Building Online Games for your Classroom:  Not as difficult as you might think.  Create review games etc. that kids can access independently.

Best Resources for Foldables:  More resources for creating hands on graphic organizers.

ScienceFix:  Lots of videos of Science Investigations.

FluAttack:  Great video on how the flu attacks.

10 Online Geography Games: To help kids learn about the world around them.

Sketchfu:  Create animated drawings.

VoiceThread Subtraction:  A neat way to use this tool in a math class.

Year in Review

One thing that I love about this time of the year is all of the year in review media that comes out.  It is always interesting to see and remember the top stories of the year and see how they all fit together and how and if the stories affected me personally.  We are still early in this season, but I know that the season passes quickly so I thought that I would share a few ideas and resources this week.  Knowing that you will encounter more as the month goes on.  These list and stories make a great way to reflect on the year and think about the future.  

Yahoo Year in Review Video: Nice idea for collecting the top stories into a video.  (Could be done with Animoto)
Yahoo Year in Review Resources: There will be other sites like this for the various news sources as the end of the year gets closer, but Yahoo has some great resources already available.
Reuters Photos:  This site has many different collections of photos with different themes.  Best photos of the year, month, day, technology, etc.
The Week in Rap:  Flocabulary has a new video recapping each week in current events.  Watch for the year in review coming soon.
InfoPlease: Information timeline categorized by subject.
Ideas for the Classroom:
Scholastic Lesson Plan: Good ideas about putting a year in review project together.
Timelines: Create either individual time lines of the years events using online Timeline creators such as TimeToast or Capzles.
Infographics: Have students create their own infographics of either the local, or world news, or their own personal learning and events throughout the year.  You can get ideas for infographics here.
Word Clouds:  Have a class discussion about the year in review.  Then have kids all list the stories they remember the most, or that they think are the most important.  Take all of those brainstormed words and put them into a word cloud using Wordle or Tagul.
Digital Story: Use Google Presentations, Power Point, Movie Maker, Animoto or PhotoStory to create a class best of 2010 video.
Ideas for next year:
Photo of the Day: I have seen many variations on this idea.  I, personally, have participated in a challenge the last two years to take and post a photo for each day of the year.  I could write a whole blog post (or maybe book) on how this has changed my life and the way I look at the world.  But for now, I will just plant the idea.  How cool would it be to create a daily or weekly timeline with photos and writing about the learning happening in class?  Or what about following the life of a garden or tree by taking monthly photos of that progress?  I know of teachers who take monthly photos of their students with writing samples at the end of the year, they have a time line of their learning and growing throughout the year.  

Video of the Week

SnagLearning offers a great library of Educational films.  Each week, they highlight a video.  This week’s video takes a look at an eager language learner as he tries learn in his math test and take a standardized math test in English.  

Watch more free documentaries

Tech Triumphs

Perhaps you have heard about teachers and students using “clickers”.  “Clickers” are classroom response systems.  They look and act a bit like remote controls.  We are building a group of teachers who are using this technology in their class.  These teachers have purchased the “clickers” through grants.  There is a learning process involved as teachers build this type of interactivity into the learning culture of their classrooms.  

Thanks to Greg Doud, Digital Literacy Coach at LaVanture, for sharing this week’s Tech Triumph.  Greg shares:

I just got done watching Anna Thornton use her clickers to review a homework assignment.  Very cool!  I saw very high levels of student engagement.  But what struck me was how valuable it made that homework, at that moment anyway, to the students.  And, students who didn't have the homework were still totally engaged in the review (and felt just the right kind of pain for not having theirs done).  And about timely and meaningful feedback.  And for Anna, the graph shows instantly which problems had the most misconceptions with her students, and she could deal with them right then and there!
I have pooh-pood the clickers as an expensive toy.  They are expensive, but really are a great tool for some of what we are trying to do here in the MVSD.

Hats off to Anna Thornton - she is becoming a tech pioneer in our district.

Digital Citizenship

December 13 we will be looking at Online Safety at Digital Literacy Workshop.  I hope that you can come and join the conversation.  

Here is an online Digital Safetey Quiz that kids can take and you can discuss in class.  
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Katherine Chipman said...

I wanted to extend an invitation to you and to the followers of your blog...I am currently a student and BYU. I am taking a Digital Civilizations class this semester. We are presenting our final projects this Thursday, December 9, from 7-9pm in Provo, UT on the BYU campus. My group looked at Medical Support Websites and determined what we consider
to be the "ideal" site. I wanted to invite you because our class has largely focused on digital education and a number of the other projects presented will focus on that. Some of the projects include: Digital Education, Education in India, etc. For more information you can look at our group's blog and a
preview of the event on our class blog. If you are interested, please let me know, because we'd love to have you attend (maybe through Skype) or at least view our event (we are going to try to broadcast it). Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Katherine Chipman said...

To follow-up with my previous comment, we will broadcast on Thursday night. You can watch it at, and it should be broadcast live. Also, we will be referring to our audience participating online and we will invite you to join a chat that is going on. I hope you can make it! If you have any questions, please feel free to post a comment on my blog Thank you!