Welcome to my Tech Tool Box

As an educator I have discovered the wonderful potential Web 2.0 Tools have to empower student learning. This blog is a place to discuss and share strategies and discoveries that assist educators in their goal of educating each learner to their fullest potential while creating a curriculum which is rich, diverse, and engaging for students. Join me in my quest to get and keep students excited about a lifetime of learning.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Exploring and Creating Wikis

Exploring the vast amount of wikis and wiki resources on the web gives one an endless supply of ideas and classroom applications. Wikis offer the best  Web 2.0 tool for collaboration. Collaboration of research, ideas, resources, and ideas or interests by many individuals, groups, or classes is easily achieved by creating  a wiki. Home room teachers can create a classroom news Wiki to encourage students to collaborate on what they are learning or working on in class. The first Wiki I created was based on a famous artist, the idea being to put up some information myself and have the students get involved in adding additional information to create and in depth look at the artist life, art and body of work. The next Wiki I created is a "Learn to Draw" wiki. I always have students finishing art projects at various times and I want them to continue learning independently while I help the rest of the class finish. I have a center in my room for them to use learn to draw books independently. So I though what a great idea for a Wiki. They can use the resources and also post new ideas, resources, and videos to use as a self-guided practice if they finish a lesson prior to their peers. The Wiki I created incorporates the NETS standard of having students use technology effectively and productively as well as encouraging students to communicate and collaborate using a great Web 2.0 tool.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Exploration of Blogs

I loved creating my blog using Blogger it was very easy and fun to create. I enjoyed the options to be artistic with the design of the blog it’s colors, theme, and gadgets allowed me to express my personality through my blog which I feel is important.  I have several ideas for how I will use blogs with my students. For the display and discussion of student artworks. Art extension activities and to meet NAEA (National Art Education Association) standards of Art Criticism, Art History, and Aesthetics. In art education one of our standards is Art Criticism; which is teaching students how to look at art and respond to the artwork regarding what they see, how it makes them feel and what artistic elements and principals of design were used to create the artwork. I will use blogging to create an art criticism activity that will show examples of works of art, artists, and videos of their work to engage the students in a meaningful reflection of their response to that particular artwork of body of work of a particular artist. This type of blogging experience would incorporate the NETS Students standards 2.Communication and Collaboration, a, b, and c  and 6.Technology Operations and Concepts, a, c, and d.   I also would like to create a blog that has activities, which allow for the differentiation of learning styles through interactive blogging activities. I feel the greatest challenge teachers and districts face is availability of resources for technology and also having enough bandwidth to support students blogging and watching videos of art like I desire. I have this problem currently where YouTube just spools and the students can’t watch the video about the artist I have chosen.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tips For Teaching Students Blogging Etiquette

Students need instruction on how to safely and respectfully create a thoughtful blog response. I find one way of getting students to create a thoughtful response is to give them an example or a requirement such as 2-5 complete sentences are required for a response which addresses the topic or question.

These are resources I find helpful for Blogging Etiquette, in addition I created a poster which hangs above my computer area in my classroom.

Blog Rules for the Classroom

How Blogging Can Enrich Learning

Blogging can enrich learning by putting the learners in a more constructivist type of learning environment. Students can discover knowledge and opinions about the information they are seeking to acquire. Blogging creates a two way street for the taking and imparting of knowledge. I fell students value the opinions of others especially their peers and like reading what others have said regarding a common subject.

The following is a list of links with ideas of how to incorporate blogging into your curriculum.

Blogging 101

Blogs in Education

Web 2.0 in the Classroom

Educational Value of Blogs in Classrooms

Discovery Education

Blogging in the Classroom