Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Digital Learning Day 2012 - a cool tool experience!

As an educator who is passionate about the potential for the effective use of technology in schools, I was excited to participate in the first-ever Digital Learning Day campaign held on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. My goal in preparing for that day was to encourage all of the grade K-8 teachers to try at least one new technology-related thing in their classroom. I am proud to say, that the day was a success!!!

Here are some examples of some of the cool tools I was involved in teaching in my own computer class on DLD.
Grade K-1- Created a their very own animated cartoon using the IPAD app Toontastic. They were able to select how many scenes they wanted, what the background looked like, the characters, the music and the animation. They were also able to record their own voices for the characters. Once we were done, we uploaded our cartoon to the Toontastic Toontube to share. It was alot of fun, very creative, and a great introduction on working collaboratively.

Grade 2- With the help of the Social Studies teacher, we used the SMART board response system which is a set of response clickers for use with the interactive whiteboard in the classroom. The teacher created a 10 question quiz for the students who just learned a social studies lesson on early Americans. They got a real kick out of the “remote controls” and kept talking into them as though they were cell phones. After getting used to them, we went through each question with time for each student to response with a multiple choice or T/F answer. Once the whole class completed the quiz, each student was able to see what they got wrong instantaneously. the teacher also went through each question to assess how the class understood the concept. What a great feedback tool!

Grade 3 - With the help of the general studies teacher, we introduce LiveBinders to her class with the hope that the students would be able to understand how to organize their resources in a logical and easily accessible way.The topic for the livebinder was online audio read alouds. In the computer lab, each student went on to the read aloud livebinder and “read” different audio stories. Then they compared with their neighbor in the lab and offered suggestions on good stories to listen to. It got very exciting in the class especially since some of the read alouds were read by some pretty famous people!

Grade 4 - It’s always fun to try something new in the computer lab so I decided to make rock stars out of the students with the IPAD Garageband app. It was a small class of about 8 students. After giving a brif tutorial of the program, the students just took and and got creative! Each student had an opportunity to chose a musical instrument and play some “tunes”. They also had an option of recording their own song. Only 2 students actually had any musical background but after combining all 8 chords into one song, the students heard music to their ears! They were very proud of their music so they shared it on Itunes! The ultimate in collaborative work!

Grade 5 - We had a little fun with Google Maps in this class! My first assignment was to go to Google Maps and search for their own house. The I asked them to go to street view and show me a picture of their actual front door, their neighbor and their street. They had a blast finding their own homes and showing their friends. Some students who lived in gated communities were disspointed because their street view map was just not working for them. Other students were even trying to help out. After some time, we realized that one of the features of living in a gated community is that no one has access to your house image on Google maps!

The students and teachers really took the premise of Digital Learning Day to the next level. There was so much excitement in the air that resonated to the parents and administration. DLD got students motivated to incorporate technology into their schoolwork and it gave our teachers the confidence to use technology in their classroom! It was a win-win for all!

Check out what else happened on Digital Learning Day at .

Also, check out the podcast on how I used these tools on DLD @ BMA

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