Tag Archive | web 2.0 tools

Blogging – a whole new perspective

I have just left a post on my techno6 blog about our upcoming 3 day trip to Melbourne. It made me realise how blogging has changed the way I view things and the world around us and how I hope it is beginning to change the way my students view the world as well. Instead of having spent many wasted hours of time and wasted paper creating a “Camp Book” to take with us, I have posted simple instructions on what I want to encourage the students to “do” whilst we are in Melbourne. As if simply enjoying our visit to Victoria’s beautiful capital city isn’t enough! I wrote:

“Our visit will have a bit of a different focus now that we have entered the world of blogging. I imagine that most of you will be bringing a camera and that most of you will be looking for opportunities about which you will be able to “blog” on our return. We need to have a sensory focus on our trip. What do we see, hear, smell, taste and feel? We need to notice things and people and we need to enjoy every second of our trip! Our homework this week, will be to obseve, record your thoughts and to take photos. I know we will have a ball.”

I know that on our return, we will get some beautifully observant writing from our trip away and that the students will have broadened their outlook on life through simply approaching our trip with our senses sharpened. I know that they will be looking for some great photos, so that we can complete our “Photo a Week” project. I also know that they will be looking at things in terms of “good blogging opportunities” as well, so that when we return, they can use some of the web 2.0 tools to recreate or retell their trip. I also know that there is a rainforest somewhere breathing a huge sigh of relief, when it processes the fact that there will be NO useless camp booklet created, to be left wrinkled and soggy in the bottom of a suitcase in Melbourne.

Toondoo

Well what a week we have had in the world of blogging. I happily discovered an amazing blogger in Tasmania, called Sue Wyatt. My year 6’s and I explored Ms Wyatt’s class blog and discovered a wonderful game site called Tutpup and a cartoon creating Web 2.0 tool, called Toondoo. We have had loads of fun with both.

We also had the good fortune to have been “twittered” by Anne Mirtschin’s social network, and consequently, the “Say G’day to us” voicethread on our class blog, encountered lots of hits from fellow bloggers. The excitement it brought to both teacher (moi) and students, was immense. The power of this blogging knows no bounds it seems.

Improved Student Outcomes

What a difference a few months of working with the web 2.0 tools can make to students and teachers alike. Prior to being introduced to these amazing tools of trade by our two dynamos Anne and Jess, project presentations were somewhat tedious to say the least.

At the start of the term, when I proposed the idea of a “project” and brainstormed methods of presenting them, the preferred option for students were posters or books! I was horrified.
That’s when I made the decision to hop onto the blogging wave which was swamping our school. The students all had their own blogs, and they had in place some of the tools that became pivotal to our progress. Once my home internet was reconnected and I could access the technology from home again, it was all go, go, go.

The students helped design our presentation rubric, where we explicitly pin pointed the things that made a presentation a “good one”. Then we brainstormed a number of ways in which we could use these tools of technology, to help us enhance our projects. The results have been amazing.
The students have used:
• Powerpoint – and then slideshare to embed their presentations in their own blogs
• Smartboards and wireless mouse (does anybody else have their tongue out the side of their mouths, or feel like they have had a stroke while using this? )
• Photostory
• Podcasts
• Video interviews and role play
• Voicethread interviews
• Quizzes using “mystudiyo”
• Voting – using “polldaddy “ and “zoho”
• And of course, the faithful old wordfind and crossword puzzles

Below is a quiz created by one of our students, who did a brilliant presentation on Albert Einstein. Tzigane created this quiz using mystudiyo, and it was a huge success. It was the finale of her presentation. She chose the same number of children as she had questions and as each child got the answer correct, she issued them with a lollypop.