In this module we are exploring different web 2.0 tools that can be used for creating and communicating.
The first was Bubbl.us, a mind mapping tool. I like this tool as it provides simple tools to create mind maps that can be saved and edited as well as finally saved as .jpeg or .png files. Mind mapping is a great way to brainstorm ideas and reflect on a lot of information. I created a quick Bubbl.us to get my mind around all the areas covered so far in this course.
The next tool we looked at was Glogster. I have used Glogster before when completing a 30 goals challenge to reflect on my teaching. I found it a useful tool but haven’t used it with my class yet. I hope to look into getting a subscription so that I can link my class to my account and have them complete Glogster projects.
The final tool for this module was Prezi. I am not a huge fan of Prezi as I find it can make me feel a little dizzy. I know lots of people who have commented that they feel slightly ill when viewing Prezi’s so I have for the most part avoided using it. Another reason I have avoided it is because my students are aged under 13 and are not allowed to use it. I like that it is a different tool for presenting rather than always falling back to PowerPoint.
In Module 4 we explored digital story telling using podcasts and vodcasts. I love Animoto so it was good to see it explored in the class. As a staff group we explored how to use Animoto and it was great to see the enthusiasm with how easy it was to use. Staff created videos that they posted on their personal reflection blogs as well as their class blogs. I like that in a few simple steps you can create a high quality video with images and videos using Animoto.
Here is an Animoto video that I created for my class as we celebrated 100 days of school with the Preps:
Module 3 explored Google Drive. I have used Google Drive before and love the possibilities it offers for online collaboration. The staff at my school completing the course had not used Google Drive before so it was a great chance for them to create some documents and forms. It was good to see staff enjoying using Google Drive and seeing a purpose for their new learning. One staff member even created a form that was then used to gather information from staff at that afternoon’s staff meeting. I would love to be able to get all the staff in my level on board with Google Drive so that we can start to use it for our planning. This would save a lot of emailing and saving over the top of files.
In Module 2 we set up blogs so that we can reflect on the learning we have done during the course. I already had this blog so I decided to use it for my reflections. The staff that I am supporting in completing the course all set up new blogs. I am looking forward to reading their reflections as it will help me assist them as best I can.
I have been a huge fan of blogging for a few years now. My class has a blog and my students this year are working towards setting up their own blogs for reflection. I can’t imaging teaching without a blog now. The value my class gets from blogging is amazing. We are able to take time and reflect on our learning in a way that wasn’t done before we started blogging. We now take photos of our work and classroom everyday. It has become part of what we do. We are always ready to make a new post. I really like the feedback that we receive from our class blog. We have communication with parents as well as the wider global community. We have participated in things like quadblogging that enabled us to connect with schools around the world. When we participate in special days such as World Read Aloud Day we are able to connect with a global audience. I am shocked at the number of visitors we constantly have on our blog. Another great teaching opportunity that blogs present are discussions about real life cyber safety. Each time we post something we agree to follow our guidelines. We can have many in depth discussions around staying safe online as part of blogging in our classroom.
You can visit our class blog by clicking on the picture below: