Saturday, January 23, 2016

Web 2.0 Tools

The Web 2.0 video by Kathy Schrock, Teaching, Learning, and Creating with Online Tools, provided many digital tools that I was not familiar with, but also affirmed a couple of practices I currently have in place. I was intrigued by the idea of creating a video project using Google Slides and I think it is something my 3rd grade students have the ability to use.

I have used Padlet in my classroom while we brainstorm words with similar spelling patterns, or to record cause and effect relationships from the text they have read. It’s a great tool because everyone’s answer is in one place and the students take help each other correct a misconception they might have.
It’s obvious that whichever tool you decide to use, it’s important that your lessons align to Blooms and the SAMR model. Knowing which HOT skills one wants to target, teachers can then identify the type of technology task that would be best. On the other hand, I think when a teacher has a tech activity that they might already use, they should consider asking themselves where it aligns with SAMR and Bloom's. Although, we want every idea to be the best idea, sometimes it may not produce the best outcome. It may need to be refined, which is ok, as long as we recognize this in the planning stages. The graphic created by Kathy shows how Blooms and SAMR can be used together.

After understanding how to use these models to support your tech lessons, teachers may still wonder where to start. I have seen situations where technology is available, but yet it never gets touched. I have also known of situations where laptops and iPads are used every chance they get! I think the fear that some teachers have is that they believe they need to start with a big bold project or nothing at all.
Do Web 2.0 Right” is an excellent resource for teachers who need the reassurance that they can start small and go from there. The research shows that you will see better results when Web 2.0 tools are used on a daily basis. Through student blogs or classroom blogs, you can get your students writing every day. I started my class on Kidblog when we joined the Global Read Aloud 2015. We connected with a class in New Jersey and although at the time we weren’t able to communicate daily, my students wrote posts on their predictions or favorite characters. They enjoyed having our NJ friends reply to their posts with questions and feedback.

Although Kidblog isn’t free any more, I believe Weebly Education has the same type of options, including privacy controls, for classrooms.

If you have even the slightest desire to try incorporating technology into your lessons, go for it! There are ways to start small and stay within your comfort zone. However small you start, you’re further along than you were yesterday.

Bloom's Taxonomy Digital Skills

Bloom's Taxonomy Digital Skills is what I use to support my technology lessons. I do have to admit that it is a challenging task to design a lesson that could potentially have varied outcomes based on the higher order thinking skills. My first introduction to this task was in a very informative course at Wilkes, Differentiation Supported by Technology. While researching Bloom’s Digital Skills, you begin to internalize how much you can do. In a way, it forces you to dig that much deeper into your lessons and the purpose behind them. Time doesn’t allow for that type of planning on everyday types of assignments, but definitely for larger units. Although, even for a teacher who is just getting started with implementing technology, I feel like Bloom's Taxonomy Digital Skills is a good place to look for ideas. It outlines the key terms and possible activities. For myself, I had to visualize it a little differently. Based on the model, I put the skills into a table which is easier for me to reference when planning.

Take it to the next level!

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