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February 3, 2011

•How effective were your actions in helping you meet your goals? 

 I am continuing moving forward on communicating with everyone more effectively by using my webpage on the school site.  I am updating the calendar on my page.  I am also using the calendar on my outlook (school e-mail) I am keeping track of meetings (and we know how meetings teachers have) and sending invites to the people who need to attend the meetings.

I have not done anything with implementing technology into assignments yet this week.  (unless you want to count unitedstreaming)  I’ve mainly focused on the PBL assignment for class.   

 •What have you learned so far that you can apply in your instructional practice?

A wiki page is a great way to communicate and collaborate using technology.  I need to find content that would benefit from the use of wikis. 

•What do you still have to learn?

I have much to learn.  There are so many tools available to assist and compliment learning available…  The term life long learner could have been “coined” about technology. 

 What new questions have arisen? •How will you adjust your plan to fit your current needs?  I am still waiting on getting a blog site unblocked so I can use blogging in the classroom.  It takes at least two weeks and it has now been three weeks.  I do not think they are going to open it.  The bad part is, they will not respond to you directly…  You just hae to keep trying the site and see if it opens….  “How tacky and unprofessional is that?”

What I will have to do is  look into the ANGEL software the county has….  I was told there is blogging capability there, but I have not seen any application for it. In fact, I have found no communicating ability with students or parents using ANGEL.  The search continues…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2011 11:01 pm

    You said, “A wiki page is a great way to communicate and collaborate using technology. I need to find content that would benefit from the use of wikis. ” Depending on your subject, you could set up a wiki for each class you have. In each class wiki, set up individual pages with topics you are covering in a unit. For instance, if you were teaching 7th grade science, and the unit was Body Systems, you could create 11 pages, each representing a system. You could break you students into 11 groups and have them research the systems. Provide them with a rubric of criteria they must include on their page, like a picture, function of the system, why this system is important/what would happen if you didn’t have it?, etc. Students in each group would only have access to edit their wiki page, but could view the other pages. What’s nice about this, is you automatically promote competition with amount of content, look of the layout, etc. This will encourage groups to talk to one another to learn how the other group members were able to find particular information or create/add things in the wiki.


  2. February 5, 2011 11:17 pm

    I regards to your tech department unblocking a site, have you talked to your principal and gotten her buy-in on your instructional idea? Remember, it’s ALL ABOUT THE STUDENTS and the BENEFITS FOR THEM. I found that when our technology department would drag their feet or try and tell me “no,” that if I relayed the educational value and got my principal’s backing, that then I was able to say the technology department was keeping me from providing students with the instruction and education they deserve. They may say you don’t need to use blogs and wikis, but remember, they are not the teachers; they are not the one’s who know best what our students need. We are! Their job is to find ways to accommodate us while keeping the district network safe. You’ve already asked the site to be unblocked. Start discussing your ideas with your principal to make sure he/she is on board. Let him/her know that the process is said to take two weeks, but technology is telling you three. Wait the three weeks, keep inquiring and looking to see if the site is unblocked. Document everything! If it’s not done in the new time frame they gave you, send them a request for explanation as to why, then speak with your principal, if need be. This is all contingent on you having your principal’s backing. If you know anyone on your campus who works with the technology department, talk to them as well and see if you can get ears and a voice in that way as well. Good luck!

  3. Laurie Tanner permalink
    February 6, 2011 11:46 am

    You know, a great site, Voice Thread, was blocked by our district last year. I went to talk to my principal, telling her what a great site it is, and that I felt it shouldn’t be banned. she asked me to send her the URL so she could check it out. Well you know how busy we all are, I didn’t hear from her about that and was so involved Since this year some of my students were intimidated by creating a podcast using software like GarageBand, I went back to see if anything had changed with Voice Thread – and I could access it – from school! Some of my students have already created their projects using it.

    The point of my story is that maybe you should talk directly to an administrator who knows you, and who supports technology. Sometimes they can be more powerful than you think in helping to change school board policy.

  4. Teresa (Katie) Grote permalink
    February 7, 2011 9:49 pm

    I too use my school website to relay information to parents and students about what is going on in class. They seem to like that I update it with homework assignments, notes, upcoming quizzes/tests, ect. Have you noticed a difference at all with assignments being turned in or quiz grades going up at all? I love when my students come in on Monday morning and say “I hear we have a quiz on Friday?” and it is because their parents checked my webpage! It definitely gets them more prepared for class.

    Good luck with the blog websites being unblocked! It is definitely a difficult task because they want to make sure they are going to be used for educational reasons, so it is still something I am working at getting to use on a regular basis as well!

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