Thursday, December 2, 2010

Don't Get Stuck in 1.0

I began this blog in September and I have been sharing technology tips and tools that I think educators should consider using with their students. Many of the tools are Web 2.0 tools and in my work with teachers, I still find that there is confusion about this and other tech terms. Recently, I read a post by Nicky Hockly that is part of a series she is writing. Her post provides a clear, easy to understand history of the web and how teachers are using technology in classes.
Click and Read Teachers & Web 1.0 – A Beginner´s Guide to Webs 1,2,3, x Nov 16th, 2010 by Nicky Hockly
In my work with teachers, I find great variation in knowledge and skill level about what is possible using a computer with students. Some teachers are fearful of tools that require a "registration" and they like to stay comfortable with PowerPoint and video clips. That is part of the my reason for creating this blog. I know teachers like it to keep it simple so I try to emphasize that aspect of the tips and tools I am sharing. Nicky Hockly's post keeps it simple and I hope you will click and read through it as it may clarify some of the terms you hear about and may be using in your work.
I aim to help educators move out of their comfort zone and take a dip in the waters beyond Web 1.0 that Ms. Hockly writes about. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you are finding tools to enhance your curriculum and engage and motivate your students. Getting students to produce content for the Web is what I think is exciting and different from Web 1.0.   Share your thoughts here or leave a comment for Nicky Hockly on her blog. 
Develop a passion for Learning.  If you do, you will never cease to grow.

                               -Anthony J. D'Angelo -

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vocaroo - A Super Simple Way to Create Voice Recordings

Vocaroo is a free online voice recording tool that doesn't require any software installation.  It's one of those little tools with big possibilities.  I shared this with some teachers today and they quickly came up with ideas for using it so I decided to share it here. When you open the site, this is what you will see.  Vocaroo really keeps it simple.
All you do is click to record and start your recording.  You can use the computer's build in mic or plug in an external mic.  When you are done you can preview your recording and re-record if you aren't satisfied.  When are are ready to share your recording, you can email it, embed it in a website by copying the html code that you will see, or you can download the file.
  I looked for some examples of teachers using Vocaroo and found Mr. C's website.  His assignment was for his elementary students to use Vocaroo to record a reflection.
The teachers I shared Vocaroo with came up with some ideas on how they might use the recording tool.  They want to try recording homework assignments and posting them to their Google sites, have students record responses to assignments, have students explain math problems, and share class announcements.  There are many ways you can use this simple but effective tool.  Try recording and see what you think.  The simplicity of the tool makes it a good choice for giving students a "voice."  It could be the start of a class podcasting project. If you use Vocaroo, post your experience as a comment.  If you have ideas on how you could use this voice recording tool, please post them too.

This is how a Vocaroo recording looks when it is embedded.  Click the triangle to hear my recording. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

What's in a Glog? Using Glogster for Multimedia Posters

Glogster is a Web 2.0 tool that provides you an opportunity to create a multimedia poster (glog) online. Your poster can include video, audio, pictures, text and other creative elements. No more cutting magazine pictures to and letters create posters. You drag and drop elements into your poster. It this tool is new to you,  check out the examples and videos that are available. Glogster Edu provides educators with a free account. Note: A premium account is available but I suggest you keep it simple and begin with the free education account.  Once you create and save your project, there are several ways to publish it.  Make sure you follow your school's acceptable use policy for sharing.

Here is my very simple glog poster.  I have a link to my blog and two videos that will provide some ideas on how to use the tool.  The opportunities for creativity are endless.   Here are some ideas for using Glogster Edu with your students.  But, like all tools, it is essential that you have a basic understanding of how to create a glog.  Try it yourself.  It's easy to learn.  

If you want to read more about Glogster Edu, this link will connect you to the site overview.

If you are looking for a way to explore digital storytelling, Glogster Edu may be the answer for your students. If you are already using Glogster Edu, share your glogs and leave a comment about your experience. I believe this tool keeps it simple enough for elementary students to be successful using the tool but it is engaging enough for middle and high school students.  The ability to include multimedia elements, makes it cool enough for kids.