Monday, 31 October 2016

Utilizing Tech tools Within My Classroom

Throughout the semester we have heard of a variety of tools that have been used to what are currently being used in the classroom.  I am currently in my 6th and 7th classes in my Masters program at the University of Regina.  Within these classes I have taken 3 that have been web based - distance learning opportunities like this one with Alec.  I have taken 2 other ones that have been MOODLE/UR Courses based and then the other 2 have been face to face.

The tools that are used constantly in all of my classes are slide shows, whether it be PowerPoint, Google Slides or other ones such as: Prezi, Powtoon, KeyNote, or many others.  Each class has some sort of information sharing tool that resembles this concept.


PowerPoint Icon via Microsoft Office

My favorite for my own usage is a PowerPoint.  I am most comfortable with it, and if it is a presentation that I am doing for a professional or in depth project I like all the extras that are available.  I find with PPT, there are more options for transitions, slide timing, animations and much more.

For my students I encourage Google Slides.  Mostly for the collaborative nature of the Google program.  Every student is able to log in and add/edit/collaborate with their own device on their own time.  It also allows me as the teacher to keep an eye on who is accomplishing what and when.  It is very easy to hold the students accountable with their work when you check in on their edits/changes and you only ever see one or two students doing all the work.

Other tools that I use in my classroom are YouTube and Khan Academy.  I love using these sites because of the opportunities that it gives me to share ideas/images/science experiments (that we don't have to proper tools for) and so many other great learning opportunistic.  I also include these sites as a method to develop a blended learning environment for our students who are heavily involved in sport/culture/dance and art programs outside of school.  With the students missing a large portion of teaching, it gives them the opportunity to watch and learn on their own time and stay caught up with the rest of the class.

Kahoot and Google Forms

Wiki Commons: Kahoot Logo
I have used Kahoot for the last year and a half and the kids love it!  It makes for an interactive and fun class where the students are able to each share in the excitement.  The only issue with this is ensuring we always have a one-to-one device day.  Most of the time I have not run into this problem but it has held us back a couple of times.

Wiki Commons: Google Forms
What I have started this semester with my class is utilizing Google Forms to get a quick summative evaluation so I can see if there is any area that is weak across a class that I may need to reteach before a unit test, end of unit project or other big idea assessments.  I am finding this is a great tool to ensure that all my students needs are being met, and that I can isolate those that are missing or have gaps in their information quickly.

Google Docs

Wiki Commons: Google Docs

Like Amy and Erin Google Docs has provided me with a lot of valuable lessons, not only this semester in class, but also in my own classroom.  See my blog post from a couple weeks ago in how I broke down how I am using it in reference to the SAMR model of using tech in your classroom.

What I would like to do

I would like to see my class begin a unit study with another class in a different city.  I would love to share or ideas, have the discussions and share knowledge with a different community.  Somewhere up north, or on one of the coasts would be great to start with.  My thought would be to do a literature circle book study and have a variety of books so the students can be placed in a number of different groups and then have to share their learning, understanding of the books and topics with others from the different class.  I think this would be a fantastic interactive tool and a great opportunity to learn with another class.  If you know any one that teaches middle years in one of these areas of Canada, and has a similar interest please let me know!