Sunday, November 4, 2012

Integrating Technology and Literacy

                                                      Tar River Reading Council Workshop
          The Tar Valley Reading Council Workshop for October was about ways that computer technology and literacy can be integrated in the classroom. The workshop contained many ideas in using ipad applications for students and teachers. The workshop was located at South Greenville Elementary in Greenville, North Carolina. The speaker was Lauren Boucher.
          One application that was discussed was Nearpod which is a computer application in which teachers and students can create presentations with pdf files and mp4 video files. You can insert a draw it in which the teacher can have the students draw out a diagram to practice handwriting, if the students have a paragraph in which the teacher wants the students to pick adjectives  this can be done. If there is one student that shows excellent work, the teacher can share the work with the entire class as an example for the other students to follow. The student’s identity will not be known and up to 10 presentations can be stored.
          Educreations is a white board application which allows teachers to build lessons. The teacher can record his or herself by annotating documents. For a word family lesson the teacher would talk to the students about a picture word that comes up on the screen.  Students can be called up to the screen to tell what the first letter for each picture word that is showing. The teacher can have another lesson on the ipad where students can write the words. Pictures can be brought in from a camera roll that is straight from the teacher’s drop box account. Pictures can be accessed from the web by clicking on the picture and it pops up on the screen. Students can use this to do their own video tutorials and it can be sent to their teacher’s website for students to view when they are absent from school.
          Storylines for schools is an application in which several students could play a game by telling a story. One person makes a title or a phrase, the next person illustrates what the title or phrase is about then, the next person has to guess what the title or phrase is by the illustration.  This game would be great to run home a study of idioms during a literature block. In this way the children are not only learning, but they are having fun while learning.
          Scribble Press is an application that will allow students and teachers to create their own books. Templates are available in which the student can just fill in the blank or they can create their own story from scratch. They can insert pictures. It can be added to ibook on the ipad. It can be inserted as a pdf and printed or the book can be emailed which will generate a link. Students can write their own caption to their books. Teachers could write their own stories at their student’s level for the reading groups to go along with the topic of study.         
          Another application that can be facilitated on the ipad for students is called Sparkle Fish. Students pick a story and the application reads the story to them. There are about five stories that are free. The rest have to be paid in advance in order to access them. This application could be used to teach the different parts of speech. Students can pick a story to record, and then record the missing words. The application then tells the story out loud with the words added that the student recorded. The student could be asked to write their own fairy tale with this application.
          Last, interactive E Books are a great tool for students to work on their reading. There are some books that are free, and the rest of the books can be accessed for a fee. One E Book is called Magic Town which is an application that students can earn free books by visiting the site often. The students can also earn new characters by entering the site often. Once the lion is met in magic town, the lion will bring free books in Magic Town. The E Books are interactive to grab the children’s interest and help them acquire a love for reading. 
          Links that can be made to the reading course is that teachers can find these technological tools useful during center time to teach the students their sight words. Students can learn to write sentences in a fun way by making a game out of learning, and become more proficient readers through interactive play.

If you would like to attend these workshops,you may find information in the link below for the locations and times:
         What Makes a Great Teacher Website?

          As I was thinking what would make a great teacher website, I thought about what I would want on the site as a student, a mother, and a teacher. The teacher should state his or her philosophy of teaching and give a little personal and professional information about his or herself. It would be good for the parents to be able to relate to the teacher on a personal level, so they can feel comfortable discussing their child with the teacher. The parents and teacher will need to be a team that is looking out for the best interest of the child. I know I would want a calendar and a schedule of school events, a homework page with assignments that are kept up-to-date, a menu in case I need to make my child's lunch, a class page to display the students projects and events with pictures, and a page for students to go to for games and fun sites for learning. The Common Core Standards and the Essential Standards should be a part of the site, because this is what the children are expected to accomplished during the year. Parents should be able to look at the standards and know what goals their child is expected to meet by the end of the year. The website should not be cluttered,so the students,parents, and others visiting the website can easily navigate through the site.