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Jump Start 2016

Vimeo

I subscribe to several different YouTube channels, and collect videos to use in the classroom.  Though I am familiar with Vimeo, I haven’t spent much time exploring their site.  I decided that I would have an Earth Science theme for Module 4, so I found this great video of a volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Volcano eruption in Iceland from Enrique Pacheco on Vimeo.

I love using video and I appreciate this strategy for easily embedding a video into a blog post.  I also appreciate that the embed code cites the source of the video in the post.

Thinglink

Thinglink is a new process for me.  Essentially, its a way to create a digital poster that allows a user to link websites, information and other content directly to the picture.

When I explored the Thinglinks already created this one caught my eye.  This is called “Pacific Ring of Fire” and was created by Mrs. Sweet.

I am very interested in exploring this site and playing with creating my own ThingLink.  I think this is a very creative way to share content and engage students in a topic.  This provides some structure to their exploration and also allows them choices.

 

 

Module 3

I have been playing with a blog for a couple of years.  As the Science Coordinator for my school district, I have been hoping to build a blog that will be informative and supportive for teachers at all grade levels.  With this in mind, it has been a struggle to post frequently and to plan for thoughtful blog posts.  Before signing up for this Jump Start course, it was my plan to focus on the blog, rethink the purpose and the layout and create a plan for the next school year.

I appreciate this assignment, as it has pushed me to look at the tools in Word Press more closely.  I’ve reorganized some posts, brought in a new theme and I’ve started planning content that will be more meaningful for my audience.  While there is more here than is required for the Jump Start assignment, I didn’t want to start over.  It’s helpful to continue to practice using this structure and to see how other people have organized their thinking.

Module 2 Reflection

I have used Drop Box as well as Google Drive.  In my school district, we use Google Drive extensively and so I chose that tool for this class as well.

Click here to view my work for this course in a Google Drive folder.

Module 1 Reflection

Module 1 

  1. What are your biggest concerns or challenges with technology? Choose two or three and describe how these things hold you back.

 

  • Access – in planning to use technology with students it’s difficult to know when I’ll have access, what kind and for how long.  There are so many variables that go into how tech is shared in each building that it’s challenging to plan ahead.
  • Teacher Background – because I don’t work in a classroom, but with all the science teachers in our district I have to consider the background of teachers when I add tech to our curriculum.  

 

  1. In “Why Bother With Technology?” many reasons are given for why technology is worth the trouble. Which two reasons are most relevant to you? Using a specific example for each, explain how using more technology could make a difference for you.
  • It allows for better collaboration – Science is a collaborative endeavor and I want to help students learn how to argue, collaborate and communicate their ideas and understanding.  I love the way Google Docs, Slides and other tools allow students to work together, in real time, to share their understanding. This also works for science teachers! In fact, I have organized folders in Drive to support our work on curriculum.  
  • It helps students become more independent learners – In science, and I am sure in other content areas, teachers have a tendency to tell students what they have learned rather than allow them to do the sense making themselves. There are many tech tools that support students self-pacing, critical thinking and sense-making.

 

  1. After reading the descriptions of teachers who have woven technology into their work and lives, choose two specific tools that interest you and describe how they might be used in your work.
  • I already teach several professional development classes online, but I am interested in adding video to support teacher learning and help answer some of the questions that typically arise.
  • I am interested in using Google tools more effectively to increase collaboration between teachers and help them understand how to increase collaboration in their own classrooms.
  • I have been trying to maintain a blog for a couple of years but I am having a hard time finding the right content.  I think it may come in useful as a resource, newsletter, FAQ – kind of location to support science teaching and our transition into the new standards.  I would like to learn more about different platforms and effective techniques.

 

  1. After reading “How to Implement Technology,” choose two tips you believe are most important for successful use of technology. Explain why.
  • Be patient – As with any new strategy or idea, integrating technology takes time and practice.  I think it also gives us a great opportunity to model patience and perseverance for our kids and gives them a chance to see us as learners and problem solvers. Regardless, it likely won’t be perfect the first time, so be patient.
  • Let’s just try it out – As with my comments above, I think it’s an important mindset (especially for a science teacher) to be willing to explore and experiment with something new, learning along the way.  

 

  1. Choose one thing you learned from the Q&A section and explain how you might apply it to your work.
  • I have heard about Canva before and forgotten…it’s a tool I am interested in learning more about because I enjoy having the right image for whatever project is at hand.

 

  1. Preview the 30 tool categories covered in the Teacher’s Guide to Tech. Choose two that are especially interesting to you and explain how you might use these in your work.
  • Of things that are new to me, I am very interested in screencasting and video production.  I would like to explore how they can increase my effectiveness in online professional development and in sharing newly-revised curriculum documents.

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