Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blog Post #8

Learning Tools for the 21st Century
Authored by: Secoria Burks, Jo Davis, Lindsay Stewart

This week, we explored tools that we could use in our future classrooms; we have listed a few here, and will describe in detail our favorites. Grockit gets your students connected in study sessions on a social site.  Schoology is another site where teachers can connect with other educators as well as their students to stay connected.  Funbrain is a site with educational games, and Knewton is an adaptive learning site that personalizes the students’ learning experience based on their individual needs.  Quizlet is a great tool where you can make your own flashcards, or teachers can make flashcards and share them with the class.  Glogster is a site that helps you gather all data about a topic on an interactive, multimedia poster that can be shared publicly. Evernote is a useful tool that helps you organize all of your resources in one place. Diigo is another tool that assists in organizing all of your tools and resources; you can collaborate with others, highlight important information and keep everything in one place.  There are three more tools that we found very useful; we have described them below.

Edmodo- "Where Learning Happens"
Authored by: Lindsay Stewart

Edmodo is an awesome resource that can be used in any classroom.  Its interface reminds me of Google in the way that is structured.  Teachers can create a virtual classroom for their students by creating an account and providing group codes to each participant.  After the students sign up, they are brought to their personal page that is not only functional but very appealing to the eye.  The site feels like a combination of Google and Facebook (and what student does not like Facebook?).  Students can comment on others’ posts and vote on questions posed by the teacher.  The teacher can share documents and keep track of the progress their class is making.  Overall, Edmodo would be a useful tool in any classroom, but it would certainly be a great addition to my high school literature class.  I cannot wait to use it with my own students soon.  The video below shows an example of how you can use Edmodo in your Language Arts classroom.  

Digital History-”Using New Technologies to Enhance Teaching and Research”
Authored by: Jo Davis

When I first stumbled upon Digital History while looking for online history sources, I almost dismissed immediately as boring and generic. But something about the big empty timeline of the webpage intrigued me. As I investigated the site more I realized it is a fantastic, unique, and easy to use tool. As previously stated, the site at first seems to be nothing more than a large empty timeline of America from pre-1492 spanning into the 21st Century. But upon further investigation i realized that the empty tiles of the timeline were not merely empty tiles but cells functioning as links! On the top of the timeline there are dates and in the background are images that correspond with these dates (which is very visually appealing), and on the left side of the time line are four rows reading: media, documents, textbook, teaching. You use the timeline to find the desired period and then click the cell under the date that corresponds with the medium that you are seeking. Digital History provides an amazing amount of resources on every period available. Having the resources separated into media, documents, textbook, and teaching makes this an immensely useful tool. I will undoubtedly be using Digital History as an aide in the near future.

Timetoast- "Create Timelines and Share Them to the Web"
Authored By Secoria V Burks
Timetoast is a tool that allows teachers and students both the opportunity to build interactive timelines.  Since I plan on teaching history it is comforting to know that I have a tool to help organize and present large spans of time. When first engaging Timetoast, you have to set up an account, there are plans you can pay for, or you can use the free one. To get a better feel of the site, I signed up for a free trial account; I began making my own timeline. This site is great for PBL or anything that requires research. In order to make an accurate and interesting timeline you would have to find precise dates and try to get as many details as possible. Another feature to this site is the ability to view timelines that have already been made by category. You can add groups to your dashboards and interact with them or even collaborate on timelines. While I was not able to use all the features of this site (due to my subscription status) I can say that this site is a wonderful tool for teachers and students of History, Literature, Art, and Science.
students on a globe with different teaching tools above their heads