Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Who's in YOUR 5?

This article outlines the top 10 tech tools for young learners. As I browsed the list I found a few that I use (blog, wiki) and many that I had heard of but never actually used (kerpoof, Create-A-Graph).

If I had to pick my top 5 tools they would be:

1. SmartBoard - versatile and engaging, couldn't live without it. Notebook 10 is full of great gallery tools that can be used in a variety of ways. I have it installed on my desktops so students can access their interactive files on the systems of the body.
2. VoiceThread - on the top of my list for tools I want to use more. There's a lot of potential with VoiceThread. It is like Powerpoint for the 2.0 world.
3. Wikispaces - This is my go-to tech tool. I use it to post sites for my students to conduct research, as a home page for parents to look at my newsletter and a place to collaborate.
4. Blogger - Great place to post student work. A better collaboration tool in my room than the wiki.
5. WiZiQ - Love this tool! Great for real-time collaboration and gives so many choices for communication (text, voice, video, annotation) that it is very versatile.
Also 5. Document Camera - it made the overhead and the expensive transparencies obsolete - nuff said.

I love finding out what other technology teachers are using and how they are using them to reach students and access the curriculum in brand new ways. Now that we are more than halfway through the year, I want to know what you are using. So Global Learners... What are your top 5 tools?


Mrs. Heaton's Blog said...

I have just started introducing technology in the classroom so I am getting more ideas then I could possibly give at this point. Right now I am using Powerpoint with voice over with my students (although I clearly need to check out voicethread if it is the powerpoint for the 2.0 world). I also use blogger, which the students and I love. We are trying out Wordle this week and the kids are running with it. I got a flip camera over Christmas and have used it to film the kids demonstrating math concepts. They aren't putting together the video however but they are in them. I've tried out google.docs with a project and would like to try another project later. Aside from that I haven't really done anything else. I would like to use ToonDoo but am waiting for them to get the educational side up and running (cartoon making sight). I also would like to have some kind of green screen capability so kids could make and edit their own movies.

Eve Heaton
Mossy Oaks Elementary School
Beaufort, SC

Mrs. Heaton's Blog said...

Mmmmm....just read the article and I forgot I used the create-a-graph with my kids during science fair time. I've used Animoto to create a fourth grade promotional video (on our class blog at www.mrsheatonsclass1.blogspot.com) and I have to give a shout out to "my teacher pages" website. I got my own stand alone website because our district one is so terrible and for $39 it is a great deal. I now can customize and upload whatever I want and not be tied down to the district limitations. I set up a student email form and students submit their weekly writing through it. I have a science fair center with tons of links for parents. I created links to videos students and parents can watch at home. I also purchased my own domain name through godaddy.com to make it easier to promote the location of my site with my name (www.mrsheatonsclass.com).

I guess I use more technology then I thought :)


Joseph Miller said...

Good post Jeff. I am not a classroom teacher of young learners, but I do have technologies that I depend on:

1. Google Applications. I use Google Calendar like it is air. Even though the district has moved to Outlook and the calendar app is great, I still find myself referring to Google Calendar. Google Docs is also vital for me. We use it a lot at ESS for collaborating on projects. Also give a nod to Google Chrome
2. Bloglines. Even though I see the advantages of Google Reader I have not been able to break away from bloglines. It is essential to me for keeping up on what is going on out there.
3. Skype. Although I do not get full use of Skype, I could not imagine not having it at my disposal for a quick chat.
4. Google Alerts. Alerts probably belongs with the Google Apps, but I wanted to separate it out to acknowledge its special significance. Using Alerts is like having a little army of assistants that constantly troll the web finding information that is vital to your interests. It saves me time and gives me piece of mind that I am not missing something important.
5. Twitter. I have been quiet on Twitter lately (found Facebook), but I still find it one of the more useful tools to stay connected to what is happening and who is making it happen.

Liz Springer said...

Hi Jeff,

I am disappointed to say that I do not use the SmartBoard enough in the area of reading and writing. We need to have that conversation about ways to increase usage of the SmartBoard in the world of communications and literature.

Kelly Berry said...

My top five "tech" tools in no particular order, would be:

1. Classroom Blog
2. Wikis - used for first grade student research.
3. SmartBoard - thanks Jeff for inspiring me to use it more often!
4. Kidspiration - today I had students asking to stay in for lunch so they could work on their stories! They wrote a first draft fictional story and we're making them into videos...(might look more into Kerpoof Studio
5. Document Camera and IPOD.

jddavis said...

1. United Streaming - Great educational tools that go beyond the cool educational video resources
2. SmartBoard - Great engagement
3. PowerPoint - Presentations
4. Podcasting - Audacity
5. Glogster - up-and-coming!!!!!!