About Me

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I am currently 3rd grade teacher at West Burlington Elementary School in West Burlington, Iowa. I'm in my ninth year of teaching at the same school I attended from K-12. I pursuing my Master's degree in Instructional Technology through the University of Northern Iowa and I am so excited about this adventure.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Voicethread Heard!

My experience with Voicethread the other evening was great. Voicethread is tool to post videos or photos and allow others to make comments by text, audio, or video. I was able to set up an identity and view the video posted by my professor. At first, we had problems viewing and listening to other people's comments but a quick search in the help forums and I was able to figure out that it was just a matter of changing the settings. Leaving a comment was straight forward and simple.

I can see several uses for this in my classroom. The Every Child Reads - PWIM or Picture Word Inductive Model would lend very nicely to voicethread. I could post a picture, usually related to a topic in class and students could leave their comment about the picture. They could comment about their feelings, words they see, content related ideas they think of. They could leave a text comment, creating sentences or paragraphs relating to the picture. Another use would be video clips or virtual field trips videos. The students could once again, leave their comments through audio or video and also leave text comments with sentence or paragraph creation. The teacher or students could also post their own picture and start a narrative about it and then other students could continue with the next sentence of the story and so on or the student could tell their own full story using the picture. The only problem holding me back from using this completelyat this point is that our computers are not equipped with microphones or webcams. This is something I will definifetly be bringing up to tech at school.

What are some uses for voicethread in your classrooms???

Photo: http://sillitutorial.com/voicethread_tutorial/

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

You can't be my teacher!!

Youtube video by: Darren Cannell

Are We Ready? Ready Or Not!

I googled "Web 2.0 elementary classroom" today and was pleased to find many sites that contained numerous resources for using Web 2.o tools in an elementary setting. After school, I walked across the hall to one of my fellow 3rd grade teacher's classroom and asked her if she was ready. She asked, "Ready for what?" I replied, "To blog, wiki, use voicethread, etc, etc, next year?" She said she was going to throw up, but then quickly responded... "I'll do it if you show me how." Now, this is someone who has been teaching for quite sometime and who commonly calls me, her computer geek. She is a very smart, master educator who flinches at the mere thought of technology. I simply told her we're all going to have to. It's what the world is coming to. It where our differentiation is going to have to come. Some of the kids already know these things and those who don't are going to need to. Therefore, we need to know as well! In a short chat with Professor Zeitz this evening, he directed me to http://thinkleadserve.wikispaces.com/ where I found the youtube video above and I can't wait to share it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sensing a bit of Frustration...

I was good with Facebook. But now that I've added Twitter, Blogging, Wiki, etc, I feel like I should be updating and providing my thoughts in 20 different places.

If I update my Facebook status, do I need to Tweet, blog and wiki the same info... and if so when will I have time to actually do something worth posting about???

Monday, May 17, 2010

Emerging Instructional Tech Video Chat 5/17/10

I was pretty impressed by our video chat on Adobe Connect this evening. I recently purchased a new laptop and this was basically the first time I had used a webcam personally. In the past I've used ICN, of course through college classes. More recently, I have participated in numerous COP (Community of Practice) sessions through the Just Ask science project I am working with through UMSL. This experience was comparable with those. There were a few times when the audio was delayed or choppy but for the most part it went really well for a first time.

The reading in Disrupting Class, or maybe it was Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools, talked about how things were when we were in school, and even though its only been 16 years (oh my, really! That can't be right) since I graduated high school, the advances in technology are amazing. I try telling my 14 year old daughter about this and it sounds like a "I walked 10 miles to school barefoot in the snow" type stories.
My daughter also recieved a new laptop and neither of us had ever used Skype before, just signed up last night. But she got home from softball practice and took her computer up to her room and I video called her and told her she needed to clean her room before getting on the computer. We just laughed and laughed about it. The way communication has changed!!!! Last night she was able to video chat with her brother in Atlanta, GA. I am sooooo looking forward to the video calls I'm going to make to my little nieces in Kentucky. I am so excited about learning all I can about these new technologies and sharing them with as many people around me as possible!