Live Writer is a great program to introduce students to Web 2.0 technology without having to be ‘online’. It is good practice to store important information on your computer and Live Writer helps you to do that. One application might be for travellers who want to store photographs and images on their laptop. Another is to have students working on pieces that they do not want to publish in a public domain.
Michele Berner, English teacher and e-learning coach and Katherin Grelis, Teacher Librarian at Rowville Secondary College have developed a winning way with Web 2.0.
As joint winners of this year’s SLAV/Connect Web 2.0 competition, Michele and Katherin have devised an exciting and engaging unit of work using a number of Web 2.0 tools. Michele explains:
I teach a Year 7 class for English and Information Technology. I wanted a project that would incorporate both English language skills and competencies and would integrate ICT. With the help of Katherin Grelis, a teacher-librarian, we developed a unit that would answer the following questions:
Who am I?
Class blog: http://7eenglish.globalstudent.org.au Student blogs are linked from here.
What is the essence of me? Where did I come from? What makes me who I am? Where will I be in the future?
What happened in history?
What significant events occurred on the day and year I was born?
Class wiki: http://starringme.wikispaces.com/
During the year, 7E English was introduced to blogs and wikis as an integral part of their coursework. There is a class blog: http://7eenglish.globalstudent.org.au and each student has their own blog linked to the class blog. Students spent some time at the beginning of the year setting up their blogs and learning to post, tag, comment etc. Students have completed a number of writing tasks on their blogs. I found this to be an effective way of developing student prewriting, drafting, writing, editing and evaluation throughout the year.
The Web 2.0 competition was a good opportunity to develop student skills in a variety of Web 2.0 tools, to gather photographs and other evidence and produce information that linked to their study of the autobiography genre. This would therefore make the online history a more complete representation of the student. The class blog has a number of tasks designed to build up a personal picture of the student: in effect, to answer the question of who am I? Students set up pages on their blog and all their writing was posted there. The table below outlines the tasks students completed. Each task also used ICT by requiring students to take images, edit them, use a web 2.0 tool, upload and embed, and demonstrate appropriate file management.
An instruction booklet was provided to students which outlined all the tasks and the websites they were required to access. A copy of this booklet, the unit planner and other relevant files can be downloaded from the class blog.
These are the tasks the students completed for the project. They created pages on their blogs where each task was posted.
|Who am I?||3 poems: About me, I am….. My bedroom Billboard. Bring in a headshot photo of you and create a billboard using http://bighugelabs.com/billboard.php. Wordle - Describe your personality – one word for each letter of the alphabet. Make it into a wordle.|
|My Interests||Explain in detail your favourite things in life and why you consider them to be your favourite. Photos of interests Collage – bring 10-15 personal items (eg photos, medals, trophies and scan them on the photocopier to create a collage of you. Save it as .jpeg image and post on the page|
|This is me||Open ended sentences. Using the site, Glogster, create a glog – multimedia poster which incorporates different elements of your personality and character. It can include music, photos, text, video. When you look at the finished Glog, what should emerge is “You”.|
|My Memories||Provide three memories for each of the following sections. Memories of long ago. Memories that make you laugh. Memories that make you cry. Memories that are warm. Memories that are precious.
After filling in the blanks for Task 1, pick one from each category and write a 4-5 sentences describing each one.
Create a Memory wall using the program Wallwisher: http://www.wallwisher.com/
|My Family||6 photographs – family /pets. For each photograph, write 5-10 lines explaining the importance of your family member or pet to you. Photocube 3d: http://www.photocube3d.com/|
|My Future||Letter to YOURSELF and tell yourself things that will happen in the future to yourself. Here are the topics you are to write about…:• Something to look forward to…• Something to watch out about…• Something/someone to avoid…• Something to work hard at…• Someone to be especially nice to…• Someone to really listen to…• Somewhere to be sure not to go…|
|What happened on the day I was born||What happened on the day I was born? What events occurred in the year of my birth? What happened on the day I was born? On the wiki site: http://starringme.wikispaces.com/, each of you have a page where you will type your findings. Your page is: the date of your birthday (No two students have the same birthday in the class so you will be responsible for locating the appropriate information for this date in history).
|Task: Quiz Using any of the events from the wiki, you are going to generate a quiz which includes 10 questions based on the information collected in the Wiki. Look at each of the dates on the Wiki, find something that interests you and create a question from the information. Also provide the answer to your question.
Step 1: Planning: Create a three column table in WORD.
Step 2: Create the quiz. See class blog for further instructions
Step 3: Put your name as the author of the quiz
Step 4: Obtain the embed code for your quiz.
Step 5: Embed the quiz on your WIKI page
Link to the quiz generator
Students should develop skills in the following:
- Interpret, analyse and evaluate information on a student’s life (past, present and future) with the assistance of technology
- Read and follow multistep directions to complete a complex task
- improve technical skills by using web 2.0 tools to publish elements of their life
- evaluate their own work.
- create appropriate graphic organizers to provide a structure for information
- apply the writing process to write effectively in various forms and types of writing
- Locate and use multiple resources to acquire relevant information
- evaluate reliability of information
- record relevant information using a variety of note-taking and organizational strategies
Implementing the project
The project was completed in English and IT classes for a period of 4 weeks. Year 7 students are not the best at following instructions on handouts so it was often hectic and students were completing different activities in the booklet as they worked at their own pace. As students completed some of the ICT tasks, they assisted other students which worked well.
Continuing use of the unit
During Semester 1, Yr 7 English study Autobiography. In 2010, English teachers will be able to use the Who am I / Starring Me unit to study this genre whilst the ICT and Web 2.0 skills that accompany each task can be taught during the class’ Information Technology classes.
The project will also form part of our ICT showcase; demonstrating to teachers how to integrate ICT into a unit of work and how to use blogs as a daily part of the class activities.
What a fabulous unit of work Michele and Katherin have developed. There is plenty for all of us to take from the tools they have incorporated and the way in which ICT has been embedded into the unit of work. The beauty of blogs and wikis is that they can be tweaked and updated year to year without having to reinvent the wheel entirely. As new tools become available, they too can be incorporated into the unit.
Congratulations to Michele and Katherin for their SLAV/Connect Web 2.0 competition success. It is obvious that it is well deserved.
Read Write Think is a site from the UK that offers a collection of online Student Materials to support literacy learning in the P-12 classroom.
While this site includes lesson plans and web resources, I have found the most useful aspect of the site to be the Student Materials. There are over 50 interactive resources that would be great to use on the IWB in any literacy classroom.
There are many “thinking tool” type resources that could be used as an after reading task such as a plot diagram, book cover creator, character trading cards, story map and timeline. Here is a Venn diagram a group of my Grade Two students made this week after we read a book in Guided Reading.
There are also some great “learning centre” type games for younger students such as Word Wizard, ABC Match, Word Family Sort and What’s in the Bag? My Grade Two students particularly enjoy Construct-a-word.
There are some limitations to this site such as the fact that some work can’t be saved although it can be printed and there is always the option to screen capture your work. Overall, Read Write Think has some great resources for all year levels.
Here is some information from the Tagul website:
Tagul is different
…Wordle clouds cannot be used as in the way tag clouds are usually used, like being embedded on a web page and serving as navigation units. That leaves the niche that Tagul is intended to fulfil. Tagul clouds are not toys and designed to be used on blogs, web pages or any kind of sites as a replacement of ordinary tag clouds. Each tag in Tagul cloud is linked with an URL and is “clickable” that enables visitors to use it for navigation.
Tagul looks to be another useful resource for the toolbox.
Most teachers are probably familiar with the Bloom’s Taxonomy model which details the six levels of thinking from lower to higher level thinking (remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, creating).
Mike Fisher, an American instructional coach and consultant has come up with an interesting revision of the Bloom’s Taxonomy model based on 21st century skills. The model incorporates online tools that can be used to encourage each of the levels of thinking. Mike has created a wiki called Visual Blooms to share ideas on where various online tools could fit into the Bloom’s hierachy (obviously many online tools could fit into different categories depending on how they are used). This is still a work in progress but definitely worth checking out.
Many teacher’s already use the Bloom’s model when planning in order to foster all levels of thinking. I think Mike’s Visual Blooms model could be an excellent resource to assist teachers to plan units that help to develop students’ thinking skills while making the most of a wide range of online tools.
Are you doing some wonderful work connecting students using web 2.0 applications in your classroom … or keen to start? You might be interested in entering the Connect and SLAV web 2.0 competition 2009. What do you need to do? Work in a team to create a unit of work incorporating the use of web 2.0 technologies and submit it, along with an application form to Connect by Monday October 5th.
There will be two prize packages awarded to winning schools with a value of approximately AU$800 each. Wii machines have generously been donated by the International Digital Entertainment Festival (iDEF) and games donated by Madman interactive. Each package includes:
- Nintendo Wii Console
- Wii Sports
- Nintendo 7 in 1 sports kit
- One copy of each of the following gaming titles: Disney Think Fast, Ultimate Band, Bratz Kidz Party and Build A Bear Workshop
Please share this information with other teachers you think may be interested in entering! Visit the link or click the images to find out more.
Stumbled across this great blog post about Creative Commons in a Australian Education context via an Ed Tech Crew podcast. Some excellent information about where to find Creative Commons Licensed materials and how to use them. This is very handy especially when your students need to use images on their blogs.
Whether you attended the National History Teacher’s Conference on Thursday 16th July or not you might be interested in checking out this presentation on Connect – many aspects apply to all subject areas. I uploaded it to Slide Rocket in two sections as it was quite big!
With thanks to Dr Ross Todd for some of his slides.
The video links don’t look like they have been kept - they are all from Teacher Tube, you can use the direct links below.
“Tux Paint is free, Open Source software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. It is developed by volunteers around the world.”
Tux Paint is an attractive drawing package for students and it runs on a variety of platforms. It is easy to use with other programs such as Photostory and Voicethread as the files save automatically with the PNG format. The automatic save feature means that even Preps can create and save drawings with very little support.
The folder where you save files can be changed using the graphical interface supplied with the download. An excellent bonus for network operators
Tux Paint has all the features you would expect of a drawing program and some unique ones too.
This is a delightful piece of software!
For more screenshots of TuxPaint click here.
And to see some very impressive examples browse the Gallery
It has been very popular with students from Prep to Grade 6 and many families have downloaded it to use it home as well.
The pictures in this VoiceThread were created in Tux Paint by students at Berwick Lodge Primary School.
3/4A at North Fitzroy Primary viewed a video on bullying and this generated a great discussion. Then they looked at the UK gov site http://yp.direct.gov.uk/cyberbullying/ on cyberbullying and had another discussion centering around what technological mediums cyberbullying might take place. The students went away in small groups to plan a scene where cyberbullying would take place, show its negative effects and consider how it might be solved. They printed out a heap of comic life templates and they went away and created their draft scene. Then they started creating their final drafts in comic life. Note how students have mastered photo booth and used this to great effect.