Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Digital World: Kids Today
The 21st century has created a new digital culture through the use of web tools and technology. Kids today are using new digital literacies to communicate and connect.
Today’s students can be labeled as digital learners, so why should we pay attention?
A Vision of K-12 Students Today
How did you learn? How do students today learn? A snapshot how best to inspire and engage digital learners today.
Discover Information Literacy
Great introduction to information literacy and how teachers can help students ‘discover’ information literacy:
Ian Jukes: Understanding Digital Kids
Ian is a well-known Canadian educator, author, consultant and keynote speaker. One of his educational missions is to make sure that educators are properly preparing students for the future.
Explanations in Plain English by CommonCraft produces an easy-to-understand video series on emerging online tools such as:
• Web Search Strategies
• Social Media
• Social Bookmarking
• Social Networking
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Last week Mr. Byrne announced that the following technology would be purchased for our School:
• Promethean Boards
• Flip Ultra HD Digital Camcorder
• Nintendo Wii
• New Digital Camera
We look forward to even more learning and growing academically with technology infused 21st century instructional lessons!
Friday, November 20, 2009
What is Google Earth? “Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others” (Google, 2009). Google Earth 5 is a free download that offers users:
• Ocean floor exploration
• 3D buildings
• Moon and Mars exploration
• Educational exhibits
• Historical imagery
• Street level imagery
• Recorded tours
The latest version of Google Earth hosts an array of educational tools including partnerships with National Geographic, the BBC and Cousteau’s Ocean World. Teachers and students can explore the earth, ocean floor and solar system through extensive multimedia features.
The Google Earth User Guide gives detailed ‘how to’ instructions on using this exciting tool whether in the classroom visiting a location of instructional study or at home mapping out a vacation.
Google Lit Trips is a website that fuses Google Earth and literature together into amazing virtual roads trips using locations found within literature. Readers from grades K-12 can discover the world while traveling with books.
Google Earth in the classroom:
• Provides cross-curricular learning opportunities
• Engages learners visually and globally
• Builds mapping and navigational skills
• Connects students to their world using real-world perspectives
Google Earth in 4L
Google Earth has become an important tool in the 4L classroom. I have used this tool in many of our classroom travels around Alberta. The grade 4 social studies curriculum provides opportunities for students to visit a variety of cities and town in our great province. This user-friendly program allows me to digitally mark each location visited by 4L so that we can compare how far we have travelled in relation to Camilla School. Google Earth allows teachers to record tours, so we recorded our trip to Drumheller and investigated the landscape up close and at a distance. Google Earth will continue to be an integral part of our learning landscape.
Google Earth, (2009). Google Earth. Retrieved from http://earth.google.com/
Thursday, November 5, 2009
On November 4th Technology Learning Coaches in Sturgeon School Division attended an Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium session titled Literacy and Learning in the 21st Century presented by David Warlick. This was the first time many of us had the pleasure of listening to David speak in person and what a great learning day we had!
How do we define literacy today? Is literacy still simply defined by the 3R’s? David emphasized that literacy today is just not about reading and writing, but instead knowing how to find information, ask questions and find answers. What will the web look like in five years? What kinds of technology will emerge? For the first time ever, educators must prepare students for a future we know nothing about. We are preparing students for a future we cannot predict, or what David calls The Perfect Storm. Being literate today means questioning information, exposing information and becoming an informational ‘digital detective’.
David Warlick is an educator, author, public speaker, and blogger with over 30 years of experiences working with students and teachers.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The Educause Learning Initiative has published a great article titled 7 Things You Should Know About…Digital Storytelling.
The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling serves as a resource for students and teachers interested in integrating multimedia into technology-based projects.
Center for Digital Storytelling is an international organization committed to helping people tell meaningful digital stories.
The Elements of Digital Storytelling website explores five elements essential in each story: action, media, context, relationship and communication.
DigiTales provides resources for schools, families and organizations ready to use digital tools in the storytelling process.
Camilla School has great multimedia applications available for digital storytelling projects:
• Photo Story 3
• Windows Movie Maker
Tech 7 students were introduced to Photo Story 3 for Windows in October and asked to create a visual story of the four seasons. Photo Story 3 software was new to students as well as the concept of digital storytelling, so they were eager to explore the digital possibilities of this project. All of the images used in the four seasons presentations were collected from the Microsoft Office Online free gallery. Specific technical and communicative elements outlined in the development of this story included the use of:
• Title frames
• Customized motion
• Cropping, visual effects
• Transitions and timing
• Conclusion collage
Wikipedia (2009) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_storytelling
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The recording application used for this podcast was Audacity. This 'easy-to-use' application is great for recording and editing audio files. Using a microphone and a laptop, small groups of students took turns recording their voice, listening to the quality of the recording and rerecording their audio file if necessary. After the recording process was completed, the audio file was uploaded into PodBeam. This free web tool converts the Audacity file into a podcast sharing format available for upload to the school blog.
• Podcasting is a digital medium accessible for all computer users
• Podcasts are available through subscriptions making following favourites an easy task
• Podcasts are just not limited to listening on computers, there are numerous mobile gadgets that serve as portable listening devices (ie. iPods)
What influence and implications do podcasts have on education for students…for teachers?
• An exciting Web 2.0 format for engaging learners
• Provide differentiated instruction by adapting content in response to student learning profiles
• Supports verbal-linguistic learners
• Allows students and teachers the ability to have access to professionals and educational experts worldwide
• Facilitates professional development and distance learning for educators
• Asynchronous learning that allows listeners to review, replay and revisit information
Thursday, September 3, 2009
On Tuesday, September 1st, Sturgeon School Division hosted Powered Up 2009 “21st Century Teaching for 21st Century Learners” professional development day at Guthrie School. All the teachers in the division came together for a day of learning, sharing, and collaborating through a wide variety of technology topics. Some of the sessions included technology infused instruction through:
• Web 2.0 Tools
• Digital Storytelling
• Promethean Boards
• Online Reference Centre
We are powered up and ready to move towards more digital learning!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
• New wireless mobile lab
• Introduction of document cameras and Promethean boards
• Videoconferencing projects throughout the year
• January 29th PD focused on technology in-servicing for all staff
• Creation of the Camilla School blog
• May 15th PD day included Promethean board demonstrations
Camilla’s technology learning for teachers and students is a work in progress. Teachers will continue to be dedicated to providing cutting-edge learning opportunities through current technologies and 21st century tools.
Have a wonderful summer vacation!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
(Image from http://www.eric-carle.com/home.html)
2009 marks the 40th anniversary of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Eric Carle is an acclaimed author and illustrator of over seventy innovatively designed children’s picture books. Grade two students at Camilla recently studied this beloved author’s works by reading a few of his books including:
• The Very Hungry Caterpillar
• A House for Hermit Crab
• I See A Song
• The Very Lonely Firefly
The main focus of the author study was The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Students followed the main character’s incredible life-changing journey through the book as well as studying Eric’s various illustrative techniques on each colourful page. Eric produces different textures on coloured tissue by using a variety of brush and fingerpainting techniques as students discovered by watching the author give demonstrations through an educational video. Students were now ready to digitally create their own version of the very hungry caterpillar character.
Using Microsoft Word, students were guided through the creative process by focusing on drawing skills such as:
• Inserting appropriate shapes
• Copying and pasting shapes
• Colouring and shading
• Adding detail to the character (feet, hair, facial features, anntena)
Friday, May 15, 2009
Today is professional development day at Camilla. The School Instructional Leadership Team (SILT) organized the day to include morning sessions dedicated to learning about our new Promethean boards. All teachers gathered together for an introductory session led by Leanne McMillan from Central Office. Break out sessions followed, grouping divisional teachers together providing them with the opportunity to explore the instructional possibilities of the technology.
Promethean boards combine the power of the Internet, computer, projector and software all together into an engaging, interactive environment for teaching, learning and collaborating. The full colour boards bring e-learning to a whole new level. Promethean boards can assist instruction through:
-Interfacing with school software
-Navigating on the Internet
-Displaying teacher and student presentations
-Virtual field trips
-Allowing students to participate directly in lessons
-Accommodating various learning styles
We are looking forward to new and exciting teaching opportunities through the use of Promethean boards.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
This project was an extension of The Marvelous Toy song introduced to grade three students in music class. In the first verse of the song, the lyrics describe the toy as “A wonder to behold it was with many colors bright”. Students were asked to create a digital image of their interpretation of the marvelous toy. Using Microsoft Word, students used skills such as:
· Inserting drawing toolbar
· Accessing autoshapes menu
· Drawing using lines, rectangles, ovals
· Colouring and shading using fill colour, fill effects, line styles
· Inserting text
· Copying and pasting shapes/images
Check out this SlideShare Presentation:
Sunday, March 22, 2009
“A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to leave comments in several ways - using voice (with a mic or phone), text, audio file, or video via a webcam." (VoiceThread, 2009)
VoiceThread.com gives a wonderful introductory overview as found in their multimedia presentation below:
“Design and produce a device that uses a magnet.”
Grade 2 Science, Topic C: Magnetism
Alberta Education, Programs of Study
Assessment for learning (AFL) is a practice that enhances how we learn. Together, the students and teacher are actively engaged in the planning and assessment of learning. They set criteria to frame the learning, monitor the progress, and think of ways to improve and achieve the goals. For our Grade 2 Science project, we combined the power of AFL with technology. After our study of Magnetism, we came up with criteria for our project using the curriculum outcomes. The children each created a game to show their understanding of what magnets can do. Along with a digital image of the game, each student contributed his/her thoughts using VoiceThread for a class multimedia presentation. This unique technology captures each individual performance; making it possible for the student to self-asses. It also allows us to share our creations with others, and invite collaborative feedback. The capacity of VoiceThread helps students understand that learning is an on-going process. We will use the feedback to help us edit and improve. We are thrilled with this opportunity to practise digital media literacy!
The process of recording 2K students using the online VoiceThread tool was not complicated. A couple weeks before the recording process was going to take place, pictures were taken of each student holding their project as they were manipulating the magnet appropriately. Once all of the digital pictures were taken, they were uploaded into the VoiceThread program. Students were then ready to record their voices in small groups. Each recording session consisted of a laptop, a microphone as well as 2-3 students with prepared scripts. This was an exciting project for students as it was the first time many of them had recorded their voice. It was also just as thrilling for students to stand back and watch the live recording process in motion.
We hope that you enjoy Camilla School’s first VoiceThread!
What is a blog?
Blog is short for ‘weblog’. Wikipedia defines a blog as:
“A blog is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order” (2009).
Blogs are usually composed of several entries, however each entry will have its own title along with the date and time it has been published. Blogs show the latest posting first and allow you to scroll down to read archived postings. Basically, a blog is an online journal.