Monday, July 9, 2012

7/9/12 #flipclass chat: Tech Tools!

Tonight was my first time moderating the #flipclass chat and boy was it fun :). Well, with an iPad, a Mac, and a PC, I still had a little trouble keeping up with all the tweets coming in.  

I think Twitter was having some issues, so I'm not sure if I got all of the tweets sent my way... so sorry if I didn't reply to yours!  I'm just now finding tweets to me from the chat time that never actually showed up on my computer :(

Thanks everyone for joining in! It was fun to be on the other side of things :)

Tonight's question was:
What tech tool(s) have you learned recently that you’re going to use next year?”  

(incomplete) list of tools shared:
  • ink2go
  • threering
  • todaysmeet
  • youtube annotations
  • loggerpro
  • pollseverywhere
  • livescribe pen
  • wifli response system
  • flubaroo
  • edmodo
  • mentormob
  • thinkbinder
  • Math XL
  • quadblogging
  • snagit
  • littlebits
  • goanimate
  • doceri
  • Techsmith products - Camtasia
  • iPad screenrecording - Educreations, ShowMe, ScreenChomp, Explain Everything
  • Google Docs/Forms/Apps in general
  • EduClipper (pinterest for teachers!)
Thanks to Eric Pitt (@super_bad) for putting together this MentorMob Playlist of the Tech Tools shared!

Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!

Some questions that were posed:

A few important thoughts (I mean tweets) about tech...
Good point. I was just cleaning out my GDocs folder and found a ton of documents titled "Dear Mrs. Kirch" or "Math Essay". Ugh! Just like anything, I think it's important to decide on a structure of how you want things and then model it, teach it, go over it, etc until it's drilled in their brains!

***Remember this Crystal, remember this!!*** Okay, that's just my little reminder that I need to do this more next year!  I do such a horrible job of training because I feel like it is wasting precious class time.  But now, I guess I don't need to use class time because I could offload some of the tech training to video.  Regardless, I need to take the time to teach them what I expect.  This applies to technology but also just class in general.  I normally take the time to train/model class procedures- why not the same thing with tech tools?
When students are engaged, they don't realize how much learning might just be going on.  I see that every time I have my students create videos (with the iPad, mostly).  They are so excited about using the "cool tool" that they don't realize the "math thinking" that is going into the product they are creating.  If we can use technology to encourage student engagement in our content (through iPad, blogging, other Tech Tools), then I think the tech is being used well and is worth the time training them how to use it.
I can't emphasize this enough. I hear about so many tech tools: "I like this, I use this, etc"... but if you don't show me WHAT you do with it, tell me WHY you use it, (and maybe even a little HOW as well), I probably won't check it out.  There are so many tools out there that I am overwhelmed... Share what you are using, why you are using it, and how you are using it in your classrooms so we can all benefit :)

I'm starting to think through my first day of school activities, which I think will be completely different than anything I've done in the last 5 years.  In the past, I've wanted to jump right in to expectations, I do a little introducing of myself through a "quiz" they take, and practice some procedures.  I'm sure they love it, especially after doing it in all of their classes ;).  I'm thinking of doing something with the White Blank Page (@guster4lovers), stuff where they start learning how to collaborate, learn about their technology use, and talk about the flipped classroom a bit. 

Continuing from above, I want to incorporate these new ideas with some of the way I've always have done things... my motto is: "High Expectations, High Level of Support".   I want kids to know they are going to have to work harder than they probably ever have, but it will be completely worth it.  :)

One bad decision I made last year was constantly changing things up.  Now, variety is good, but I think consistency is important.  I want students to be comfortable with the technology I am having them use.  Do I want them to explore, try new things, find things on their own? Yes... but I am going to try to keep it pretty straightforward from my end:  Edmodo, Blogger (Sophia Embedded) for class and self, ThinkBinder, MentorMob. I want to emphasize the use of GoogleDocs and/or Dropbox for file storage.  and  . I should have tweeted these out but got so bogged down I didn't.  These are two sessions I went to at ISTE with a ton of cool web tools.  One thing that was emphasized at both sessions is the fact that we could leave that session feeling overwhelmed with all the tools that are available, or we could chose one or two tools to start using, to learn, and to use well!

What is the purpose of all these tech tools we are using? If there isn't a purpose, then why are we using it?  We can't just use tech to use tech because it's "cool" or "fun". I think I use a lot of my tools for organization (mine and the students), communication, going paperless, creation of content, and teaching digital responsibility/literacy.

Thanks for a great chat!  Catch you all next week!

1 comment:

  1. I think that the key to new technology is pick a few things that work for you and your students and move forward. Ever moving forward is the key. I could easily get overwhelmed by all the tools shared last night or I can pick a couple, learn them well, and implement them in my classroom. I think I will do the latter. Great chat last night and excellent summary. Looking forward to checking out the mentorMob list of tools.


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