Internet Tools for Teaching

Education & Technology….YES!

Twitter…Intense Social Networking

While I have had a Twitter account, I am not proficient at it, and I have not applied it to anything directly educationally. Well, I take that back. I actually have, but it led to nowhere.  I was trying to reach out to the Khan Academy developer because I am enthralled about the democratization of education. I browsed through the categories and there was nothing regarding how to teach reading. I have been on this kick ever since to present Khan Academy with short videos on how to really teach reading. I will have to get back to that, though. I used Twitter to try to connect, but the problem – I had no clue as to what I was doing. Apparently, I have not been alone, but this next quote dates me, and I clearly need to catch up. According to the NielsenWire, “Currently, more than 60 percent of U.S. Twitter users fail to return the following month, or in other words, Twitter’s audience retention rate, or the percentage of a given month’s users who come back the following month, is currently about 40 percent” (Martin, 2009). This is not the story in 2013. It now has 10,674,000 unique visitors per month which is a 122% increase over past years. Twitter is now ranked seventh as a most popular app on the Android market (“Nielsen tops of,” 2012).

So the Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything directory (http://bit.ly/WYMHiw) category to be studied is Twitter for Teachers. Holy moly, when I opened my account, I found that I have 11 followers. I knew ten out of the eleven, but clearly I am not making any big impact in this market. From tweetclouds to twubs to twitvid, I am a lost bird. A week is simply not enough time to learn the highly specialized jargon, apply it and make an impact. There are clear reasons why Twitter can have a place in education: it is a source for current and breaking news. So I tried my hand at it, but I must say that I cannot prove that I know this social networking technology as well as the other site and applications of Lexile® or Educreations.

I started with something familiar so I could feel some success with Twitter. I went to my LinkedIn account. I belong to many groups and can usually find useful articles, pictures or other postings that are meaningful enough for me to post. I started posting. Next, I updated my profile and linked my tweets to my Facebook account, activated Twitter messaging capabilities, updated my e-mail settings, chose a design, checked in on which applications are currently accessing my Twitter account and configured a widget. I added people from my Gmail list to follow. I browsed the categories and found nothing appealing to follow. I am just not attracted to knowing that kind of information.  I did reply to Sanja Gupta’s tweet about farmers supplying energy. I offered up the following site – http://bit.ly/XwODej which happens to be a venture that my dad is involved in. By following the Discover page, I learned where the breaking news stories are stored. There are keyboard shortcuts listed under the Settings tab. I even installed the Twitter app on my iPhone. I guess that makes me an official tweeter? I learned how to integrate Dropbox videos as a tweet (http://db.tt/isFXQcwl ). I didn’t feel brave enough to actually try the hashtags or twubs. That just pushed me over the edge. Twitter is the kind of site that isn’t just for the casual social networker. Done right, it’s a branding site for people, places, things and ideas – the perfect place for nouns. The site does have a place for teachers, but they really need to be proficient and comfortable with it before introducing and integrating it into the classroom. It seems like a better use would be for cooperative learning between teachers who are attending a seminar or workshop. Used efficiently, twitter seems to attract big audiences.

Twitter does have an e-mail sign in, but it is completely compatible on standard computers, mobile accessories and the iFamily products. The site is not filled with advertisements, music is available to follow, and it doesn’t have a price tag on it. Is it easy to use, integrate, and follow? For the most part, it is. It seems that one must be consistent with using it to receive feedback. Of the three sites I explored, I would suggest that Twitter holds the least educational value, but if it were compared to other types of sites, it might be in the number one spot.

Resources:

Martin, D. (2009, April 28). Twitter quitters post roadblock to long-term growth. Retrieved from http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/twitter-quitters-post-roadblock-to-long-term-growth/

Nielsen tops of 2012: Digital. (2012, December 20). Retrieved from http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/nielsen-tops-of-2012-digital/

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Educreations…for the iPad Only!

After much discovering and debating, I finally choose a site to explore under the topic of iPad – Teaching and Learning on Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything. It is the app called Educreations, and it was listed in two different categories: Assessment and Understanding. It states that it integrates with both iPad and a regular computer account, but that is not the case. It is “a recordable interactive whiteboard that captures your voice and handwriting to produce video lessons that you can share online. Students and colleagues can replay your lessons in any web browser, or from within our app on their iPads” (Streeter, 2012).  It is fresh, organizing, and manageable for all ages. I prepared two examples for this assignment: one is a silent presentation about the advanced code stories about how the written English language works, and the other is a student working on his alphabet sequencing by writing the lower case alphabet. I offer the links here: http://bit.ly/YksTmC and http://bit.ly/VOv1YR . You are welcome to open them, but like me you will be disappointed that the links do not work in a non-iPad platform. I assumed that they worked because I sent the latter one to a family so that they could see the work their son did with me during a session. Upon further investigation, when I saved the lessons, I used a private setting which seems to prohibit me from sharing. The most recent ones that I have completed are on one of my student’s personal iPads. We complete reading lessons on them. Another one of my student used it this past week to create a presentation about the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (http://bit.ly/14MtWkI). I tried downloading a featured lesson as well on my computer web browser with no success, however, it is accessible on my iPad, and I did upload one to my Facebook page. When I clicked through it to watch it, it still did not play the lesson. I had another alternative in mind. I went to my mail on my iPad. I had sent the link to my e-mail. I opened it, and it completely integrated with my iPad by immediately interfacing with Educreations. I was relieved. Resolution – you definitely need an iPad for Educreations.

The best feature is that the whiteboard gives someone the ability to teach what they know instantly. The key to its functionality is the record button. Whether you speak or not, it captures your drawings, text, or internet images and allows for movement, resizing, and rotations. It offers plenty of colors to choose from when writing or drawing, and it is easy to change between colors seamlessly when you are emphasizing texts or pictures. Making a mistake is quickly rectified with the back button or you can simply clear the page and start over. It is also easy to go between pages. For my students with vision issues, it allows for text enlargements with a simple touch of the “T” icon. It evens has a left-hand mode for students- that offers versatility. It offers the opportunity for students to practice using their fingers to write or draw. So, it’s a perfect application for students with graphomotor concerns. When you create a lesson, it logs it via the most recent date and the time. You can title the lessons, as well. For me it offers a pre and post model of progress. Many of my younger students do not know either the upper or lower case alphabets when they arrive. We can track the progress with Educreations. Fortunately, many of my students have their own iPads, and most of the work is stored on their devices. There are some new features that have recently arrived in the updates. For example, you can now choose a background of white paper, lined or graph paper or a coordinated grid. You can also duplicate a page and then add or delete as needed. Unfortunately, you are not able to edit your video once you have pressed the done button. It does give you the option of saving it or starting the lesson over. While there is an option to import your photos, there is also the option of importing videos, pictures, and docs from your Dropbox account which I have. It is also possible to import images from the web. They have somehow streamlined the images that appear in a visually easy platform. I did recently participate in a survey that the co-founder, Wade Roberts, sent to me. One of the wishes posted was to be able to save the whiteboard pages separate from the recordings and to reuse the lesson templates for multiple recordings. Another wish includes having the capability to save a lesson in progress.

This app actually stacks up pretty well regarding my criteria for choosing apps. While it does ask for an e-mail address, it is to receive the blogs about the site and other pertinent information. This is a grass-roots app, and has certainly added functionality to process of writing, sequencing, recording, project planning, and integrating with other applications by a simple touch. It is also free which makes it cost effective.

Resource:

Streeter, C. (Designer). (2012). Educreations. [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.educreations.com/

 

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Frye’s Readability Info & The Lexile® Framework for Reading

I have divided up the three selections into three different blog posts to make it easier to read, manage and reference too.

By far, Kathy Schrock’s directory was most appealing to me, and I chose to spend my time researching the knowledge that she has diligently organized about internet tools.  She posted her first website in 1995. I traced back in time what I was doing at that point – I was nursing and not using a virtual app to do it. It gave me a chuckle. My selections are overtly educational.

The exploration process led me on many adventures, all of which I chose to participate in. I experienced three main challenges:  managing all the material available, getting side-tracked and refocusing on the assignment regarding three sites that are interesting to me personally, linking the technology together and embracing the plethora of tech lingo.  So, after I clicked and investigated most of the topics on the sidebar out of pure curiosity, I created a ranking plan for the three topic areas that I wanted to study for this assignment. They included: Frye’s Readability Info, iPads – Teaching and Learning, and Twitter for Teachers.

Frye’s Readability Info page is filled with articles, directions, research and concise databases of readability material. Since we had to register for a site, I chose http://bit.ly/Y30jXP, The Lexile® Framework for Reading because of the company behind the it, MetaMetrics has created a consistent, common scale that teachers, librarians, and parents can use to universally monitor reading progress throughout a school year, and it has created a level playing field for reading progression. The Lexile® Analyzer measures reading ability and text difficulty While I am familiar with using Lexiles scores because of the reading division of my company, I have never actually used the Lexile Analyzer mainly due to time constraints. If I wasn’t already familiar with typical technology and conversion processes, I would have been stopped in my tracks by the directions for scanning text for grade level readability. Take a look: http://bit.ly/WaLtzj. However, I felt confident enough to proceed to analyze part of one of my own blog texts, Reading…Redesigned and Rewired. The results are as follows: Lexile® Measure = 1320L, Mean Sentence Length = 23.00, Mean Log Word Frequency = 3.44, and Word Count = 345. The Lexile® range of measurements is from 200L to 1700L. When helping a student determine appropriate reading material that fits his readability, his/her range is 100L points below the calculated to 50L above it. In other words, a student with a Lexile® score of 1220L to 1370L would be a candidate to read this particular blog post. The measure is also weighing in on semantics or text complexity like vocabulary and word frequency. This can make comprehension more or less challenging for a student. The scores, however, do not tell us about age-appropriateness like a movie rating does. Whether the content of a book is age-appropriate is still left up to the parent or the teacher.

By understanding and using the Lexile® Analyzer, I can make my job much more precise for my students and their parents. On the reading side of my company, it should be one of the first tools I implement in a student’s remediation process because parents can participate in its monitoring. While, there is a 1000 word limitation per text at the “free” level, most of the students I see have never read that much text. Some other advantages of using this website consistently are it allows me to build a profile for each of my clients based on range of Lexiles® and interests, and then create custom book lists for them. I can even put in my client’s zip code and find a book for them at their local community library. My hypothesis was to convert the unique book lists URLs to QR codes to text to my parents so that when they are at libraries, bookstores or shopping in on-line book stores, they would have their lists readily available. So I organized this for a 4th grade client up in New Jersey. First, I put in the Lexiles® range for her, copied the URL in a QR Code generator, saved it to my hard drive, and texted it to me first to test it. Unfortunately, the QR code did not generate the webpage of her books that I had organized on the website. It generated a URL, but it wasn’t my list. I went back to the drawing board and searched for a more unique URL which I found. I redid the process and the QR codes and Lexiles® website just do not interface smoothly. It would be too complex and frustrating for the mom to use. Instead I created a URL shortner and texted it to me first. That also failed. The advanced technology simply does not smoothly interface quite yet.  I have an e-mail to their strategic developers regarding this type of integration. When I receive the response, I will post to this specific blog.

As far as how this The Lexile® Framework for Reading site stacks up against my criteria for selecting a website, it simply doesn’t. There is an e-mail sign-up for a customer. There are no apps for iPad or iPhone, and it isn’t easy to use for the general public. While there are no direct costs to use the site, when you make the list of books for students, it is linked to sites like Barnes and Noble and Amazon. However, there was no way to download to a Kindle or other e-reader. I also checked the accessibility for our district parents to access lexiles. Here is the link that was very successful: http://sclibs.net/Kids/arlists.aspx . It linked right into the “Find a Book” page which I was trying to create to e-mail to my family. MetaMetrics is a research-based company out of Durham, North Carolina. Ultimately, I was envisioning a way to link the book titles up to an All-Title Set ebook type database where kids could just download the books. A middle school in Sarasota County recently received a grant from the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and Bank of America Client Foundation to initiate this type of project. You can visit it at http://bit.ly/VOh3Gh.

Resources

How to use a lexile® measure. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.lexile.com/about-lexile/what-to-do-with-a-lexile-measure/

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Little URLs, QR Codes and Bookmarklets

Initially, when I read the assignment, I felt a bit perplexed, and a bit nervous that I was becoming a tech geek since technology has its own specialized language.. Once I began the research into these word and letter combinations, I began to put patterns together about them. The first word combination –  URL Shorteners – made my mind instantaneously connect to Crisco Shortening which is excellent for frying. While I have never actually used shortening, it’s all my brain had to associate with to try and make sense of it. The word “shorteners” is not even recognized by my computer dictionary. It wants to replace it with “shortness.” So to maintain my corner of new technology jargon, I added it to my dictionary so that it will not be confused in the future.

I am fascinated by two new pieces of information: 1) That URL is the abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locater, and 2) that URLs  can actually be cut in half. I am even more impressed that it takes only a single click and less than a second to create “the shortcut” using a site such as Bit.ly. To me it is synonymous with the shortcut lingo for texting. By making the URL “friendly enough to share it with someone easily over the phone” it puts the Information Process Theory by George Miller from 1956 into modern practice regarding an average brain’s short term memory process of up to seven numbers (Clarke, 2010). The new URL for this blog from Bit.ly is http://bit.ly/ck1SSF. The last series is only a combination of five letters and one number which does make it phone usable if one doesn’t include the prefix of “http://” or “bit.ly.” Another advantage is how the letters and numbers are written. It is visually organizing to remember how the address shortcut looks which is always useful when the brain is storing information.

As far as educational use, it makes sharing sites must less cumbersome. For example, in my work with students via Skype or GoToMeeting, there are often times I have to make reference to a YouTube video or picture because the student doesn’t understand the context behind the content. When the link is extraordinarily long, the kids make comments: “Wow, why is that so long?” or they ask me, “Can you make that shorter? It’s taken up the whole page.” Now, I can make them shorter. It is also certainly beneficial for listing sites for bibliographies. Possibly the best application for a classroom setting for the URL shorteners is the process of bundling. Bit.ly, for example, has a bundle feature that allows you to “use bundles to organize and share all those links you find on one page” (“Let’s get ready,” 2012).

Quick Response codes or QR are actually trade marks for barcoding that were originally intended and used by the auto industry to track cars. The retail industry has grabbed on to it, and research indicates that it has made virtual shopping and branding seamless. But they have also had their shortcomings according to a Alex Kutsishin, a Forbes guest blogger. He wrote a blog entitled, “Why QR Codes Don’t Work.” His argument is as follows:

“The greatest hurdle for the QR code business is the lack of standardization. When    you purchase an iPhone for example, the unit comes with a Google Maps feature, built-in utilities, a standard Web browser, a stock tracker, a weather app, etc. What is not included on any platform (Android, iPhone or Windows) is a built-in QR code scanner” (Kutsishin, 2012).

So, I checked out the ease of downloading the app for QR codes with my iPhone. It was as easy as downloading any other app. Then, I put in my company’s URL in the Creator part of the application. It created a QR code, asked me to share it, and I did so to Facebook. Then I clicked the wrench tool, previewed it. It went right to my webpage URL.  I scanned it to the Facebook page. I checked the page and tried scanning the QR to test it, and it went no where.  I tried a different QR Code generator, and it allowed me to post and use the QR code. I can certainly envision the potential and power it can have for a mobile campaign if done correctly and with all the parts integrating.Jane McPherson, chief marketing officer of SpyderLynk, states the following about QR codes.

“Mobile commerce will bring with it the convergence of promotions, coupons, CRM, ecommerce, and social, having an impact far beyond mobile payments and setting the standard for integrated marketing engagements. Mobile bar codes will be imperative as a tool for activating these integrated marketing engagements allowing consumers to collect points, digital currency and coupons when retailers are ready to redeem them all at check out” (Kats, 2012) .

There are clearly many educational applications for students on a variety of levels that can enhance student engagement which is a big deal. My first thought was for students involved in marketing and advertising. Getting to know this type of mobile marketing is critical to their portfolio development. After reading several articles from Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything blog (http://bit.ly/Xldwxg), educational applications for QR codes became even more obvious. For example, college libraries are using QRs for book renewals or to help freshmen get around campus. What really democratizes education, is that there is a website to even out the playing field for students who do not have smartphones. Go to http://snapmyinfo.com/ and follow the directions that will land you a QR code.  On a personal note, for my internet education business which serves students with learning diabilities, I am going to start to use QRs to cut down on website page clutter and reduce frustration to find a specific website. They will also make time usage more efficient for my students. For my strategic educational consulting business, QRs also have a significant place. I can create them for college level recommendations and share directly with the student. They can weigh in pretty quickly whether or not they want to pursue a particular school. On a more creative note, my colleague and I are hired for special needs private school analyses, and QRs can be part of the marketing campaign solution to increase enrollment for a coming year. Using mobile commerce marketing stirs the competition pot between charter, public and private schools that can help attract new customers.

I have not worked with bookmarklets like The Printliminator or Quietube before. That was just plain fun. Clearly, these two have the most obvious educational advantages. Printliminator also offers another vantage point. When I applied it to my company’s website, I discovered the advantage of editing from a different perspective. When the eye candy is eliminating, my concentration was sharper. Quietube offers the same value – less visual distractions. This is simply remarkable. I will absolutely apply this type of technology on my new site or YouTube searches with my students. I also like the versatility of creating URL shortners with Quietube to email the “edited” video to students or colleagues. What I find so fascinating about these two particular bookmarklets, is there ease and user friendliness. To me these two bookmarklets are so logical and sensible.

 

Resources:

Clarke, D. (2010, November 6). Learning and memory. Retrieved from                                           http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/learning/memory.html

Let’s get ready to bundle!. (2012, August 16). Retrieved from           http://blog.bitly.com/post/29561459795/lets-get-ready-to-bundle

Kats, R. (2012, August 3). How to create an effective qr code campaign. Retrieved from  http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/software-technology/13452.html

Kutsishin, A. (2012, August 03). Why qr codes don’t work. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2012/08/03/why-qr-codes-dont-work/

(2012). QR code. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code

 

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Facebook, VoiceThread, and Pinterest

The words Facebook, Voicethread, and Pinterest were not even collectively part of our vocabulary even five years ago. Matter-of-fact, if I mention any of these words to my parents, they ask me to repeat myself and explain them which is almost impossible to do when a generation cannot visually map an internet page. But these are not just words, these are social networking trends that involve thinking, creating, sharing and doing, and they are part of the movable landscape of the spectrum of interactive media (Dede, 2009).

Facebook hit our family when our daughter was preteening as we called it. It was not a pretty time. Not only did we have the commitment of parenting, but Facebook, at the time seemed to come with no boundaries, and my husband and I found ourselves writing the playbook. Internet was not as powerful as it is now, and after some quick searches, I actually found the Facebook rule book. It gave me a chuckle. My husband and I could have put our overlay directly on top of this article, and we would find that we were right on the mark despite the protests or disappointments of our daughter. Here is the link to that Facebook playbook: http://mashable.com/2012/10/29/facebook-for-teachers/. It should actually be aligned next to the newborn guidelines parents take home from the hospitals. While our babies don’t come with explicit instructions, Facebook does. This social media brings one-to-one interactions to the playing field.

Three of my favorite guides are as follows:

1)      http://mashable.com/2012/10/29/facebook-for-teachers/ – It provides a teacher with solid and relevant conversation topics within a group setting like a classroom such as atmosphere, social media, school initiatives and communication.

2)      http://www.scribd.com/doc/16957158/Teachers-Guide-to-Using-Facebook-Read-Fullscreen It explicitly shows how to set up profile pages, applications, and personal learning networks.

3)      http://edudemic.com/2011/01/every-teachers-must-have-guide-to-facebook/ Of the three, you will get a chuckle of this site. It has topics that addresses “A 10-Year-Old Explains How To Properly Use Facebook,” “How Teachers SHOULD & SHOULDN’T Use Facebook,” and “The Types of People To Avoid On Facebook.”

Does Facebook have a place in the classroom? If the guidelines are actually used by educators and taught to students, then it creates transparent communication between a class, parent and teacher community.

Creative sites such as VoiceThreads – Conversations in the Cloud is “a media aggregator that allows people to post me­dia artifacts for community feedback” (“7 things you,” ), and offers a creative platform unlike Facebook where users add voice feedback via microphone, webcam, keyboard, or telephone. Educationally, it supports the process of creating oral histories and other types of presentations. It is useful for students who have dysgraphia because they can use voice explanations for photos or slide shows instead of engaging in the often difficult process of the written language. In essence, it supports digital storytelling and offers the author a creative platform to express knowledge. The advantages of VoiceThread are its ability to allow authentic critique feedback and reflection between peer groups. The downside of the technology, for now at least, is that it only allows one user at a time to be logged in on the account which does not offer participation at a group level. Bill Ferriter, a 6th grade language arts teacher in North Carolina, wrote a blog called Scoring Voicethread Participation which offers clear guidelines about assessing VoiceThreads. He uses a metacognitive approach: “To craft careful answers, [students] must truly consider the comments of others—an essential skill for promoting collaborative versus competitive dialogue—and compare those comments against their own beliefs and preconceived notions” (Ferriter, 2008). Here is an example of one of my VoiceThreads: https://voicethread.com/share/2963218/ which will give you the option to offer feedback. In my research, I did find a rubric for educators to use for grading a VoiceThread – http://voicethread.psu.edu/VoiceThreadRubric.pdf . I did not find this type of tool for educators using Facebook. There is also an extensive wiki presentation on the use of VoiceThread in the classroom – http://digitallyspeaking.pbworks.com/w/page/17791585/Voicethread#AssessingVoicethreadParticipation . It is interesting how VoiceThread is taken much more seriously from an education perspective than Facebook. Just the writing styles of the postings convey a different tone.

Once again, I know Pinterest through my daughter. I don’t quite understand its point, but it seems to be a bulletin board for posting pictures only. Like Facebook, it also has a clear set of guidelines called Pin Etiquette and a set of directions called Pinning 101. However, I am not sure who reads them though because it is not necessarily set up for education. When I signed up for my account, I certainly did not make any attempt to investigate it. I just simply participated. It creates a categorization process which has educational value. I chose the fitness topic and chose five board that inspire me. On the confirmation e-mail that I received once I “signed up”, it gave me three specific guidelines:

A few tips to get the most out of Pinterest:

*Follow a few more pinboards. Pinterest is as much about discovering new things as it is about sharing!

*Pin with care. You are now part of the Pinterest community! Use big images, write thoughtful descriptions, and pin things you really love. Also, no nudity 🙂

*Install the bookmarklet. It lets you add a pin from any website with just one click.

Some of these words are brand new to me. Like pinboards, pinterest, and bookmarklet. Once I navigated the site more, I began wondering how a teacher would use it. Initially, I was not sure that I would make the recommendation for a teacher to use it. There is a listing under the heading of business, but there are no references for education. However, there is a collaboration activity mentioned. It is an invitation to others to “pin with you,” and there is the opportunity to ask questions on your Facebook page and pin the responses to your Pinterest. This website could be appropriate in a high school setting with guidelines, of course. It could be a visual journal of a current event such as the past election, of the current strife in Syria or how the different news media have established specific reputations. Storytelling with pictures can be a powerful activity and create a meaningful learning event. I can even see it having some relevance in one-to-one language intervention because of the categorization style.

Overall, these three websites can have relevance in the classroom. The key is to make sure that educators understand the guidelines and implement them. There is a plethora of information on the internet specifically for teachers to become more proficient. While Pinterest was the only one without any direct educator guidance, they all have made a strong presence on the internet. They are here to stay, until the newer, better and faster experience revolutionizes this one.

Resources:

Ferriter, B. (2008, July 27). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://teacherleaders.typepad.com/the_tempered_radical/2008/07/scoring-voiceth.html

Fogg Phillips, L., Baird, D., & Fogg, B. J. (n.d.). Facebook for educators. Retrieved from www.facebook.com/safety/…/Facebook for Educators….

Rego, B. (2009). A teacher’s guide to using facebook. Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/16957158/Teachers-Guide-to-Using-Facebook-Read-Fullscreen

(n.d.). 7 things you should know about.. voicethread. Retrieved from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7050.pdf

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Using New Technologies

I wear several different hats. I am an educational consultant, the director of The Thinking Center (a reading and cognitive training clinic), a reading therapist and a home school mom. Most of my contacts are with other home school families, my private clients, and colleagues in the medical and psychological fields, so I have direct limited access to other educators using new technologies. So, I had to get creative about how to complete this assignment.

I do have access to www.flvs.net. It is the public on-line high school in the state of Florida. Both my kids have used this to access high school, and we see quite a few kids through my company who use it as well. I have been using it for the last five years. They actually have a link on each of the subject pages called “Web 2.0.” Here are their comments about it which helps satisfy the three answers to the discussion questions posed:


            Caution: The content of the links on this website is beyond the control of FLVS. Some content may be objectionable.

            The FLVS Web 2.0 Tools Archive is a collection of links and sites that have been reviewed for educational value,

currency, and accuracy. However, FLVS has no control over the content of these websites and does not accept

responsibility or liability for the material found in them. Additionally, the viewpoints found on these websites are not

the viewpoints of FLVS, nor does FLVS endorse products for sale on these websites. Web 2.0 refers to interactive tools

available on the internet to create, communicate, collaborate, and build cross-cultural relationships. They provide

ways to network and use data, often for free, with easy access. The collection  contains video editors, paint programs,

note taking tools, blogs, wikis, and photo editors, as well as many other kinds of tools. You may wish to use these

resources to collaborate with peers and showcase your project work.

There is a drop down box that introduces the following categories that FLVS has deemed as reputable Web 2.0 tools: Digital Imaging, Blogging, Office Tools, Collaborative Learning, Audio and Video, Social Networking, Knowledge Sharing, and On-line Presentations. Each title offers their recommendations with links to them. Interestingly, many of the teachers that I have worked with regarding assignments on FLVS are really not that familiar with the tools. My son and I are always a bit surprised that the on-line high school teachers just don’t be up to speed with these tools.

In summary, FLVS technology department seemed to collaboratively choose which tools they would share within their portal. It states on the Web 2.0 introduction page, “Note for students 12 and under: If a site requires registration or sign-up, you will need a parent or guardian to assist you. Finally, the advice I would give to the teachers that my son works with or other online teachers, is to familiarize yourself with the tools that the organization you work for is recommending to its students.

Examples of Web 2.0 Tools Approved by FLVS:

Digital Imaging – http://www.wix.com/, http://www.kerpoof.com/

Blogging – http://www.blogger.com, http://edublogs.org/

Office Tools- http://www.mindomo.com/, http://www.zamzar.com/

Collaborative Learning- http://www.scribblar.com/, http://vyew.com/s/

Audio and Video – http://www.schooltube.com/, http://teachertube.com/

Knowledge Sharing – http://simplybox.com/,http://pbworks.com/

Online Presentation – http://prezi.com/,http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html

 

 

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Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

While I understand the purpose of copyright, I remain a bit perplexed by the undertaking of it all. This is one detail I would rather delegate to an expert in the area. The Attribution Share-Alike seems to be the most reciprocal for educators to creatively share at the commercial and non- commercial levels.

The issue comes up for the http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/ site where I have actually uploaded curriculum regarding auditory processing. It is worth reading their copyright policy at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Copyright-Policy.

I look at this type of copyright license as common sense – credit others as you would want them to credit you.

 

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