How I used Tech this School Year

(from a student)

The school year finally came to an end yesterday (Kids left on Thursday) and I am left in a bit of a reflective mode, even though the end of the year rush has not yet settled in for me. (Plus, I have two summer camps to get ready for — Claymation and Webcomics). But, I am thinking about my increased use of technology in the classroom these days and so, here, I present a brainstormed list of some of the projects we did that integrated technology into my curriculum:

  • Before school even begans: Blogging at The Electronic Pencil
  • First two days of school: Dream Scenes digital stories
  • Writing Prompts that became Podcasts
  • Using Wordle to demonstrate power of words of collective student writing
  • Using Google Forms to collectively brainstorm social action projects and then vote on ideas
  • Using Webcomic platform (Make Beliefs Comics) to pose questions for presidential candidates
  • Stop-Motion Animation movies at Longfellow Ten site with literary themes (authentic publishing and collaboration with other schools)
  • Origins of English Language: collaborative, across-years wiki/podcasting with Wikispaces — The Crazy Dictionary
  • The Heroic Journey— using Google Maps and Picasa to tell a story of a heroic journey (after reading The Lightning Thief novel and The Odyssey graphic novel)
  • Podcasting letters to the new president (in collaboration with social studies teacher)
  • Podcasting Expository Writing (how to do something)
  • Narrative Paragraph Writing — as digital storytelling
  • Blogging with high school students as part of our transition process (moving from our elementary school to a regional high school next year)
  • Digital Picture Books: cellular mitosis as frame for fictional story (in collaboration with science teacher)
  • Podcasting Poems for Multiple Voices
  • Creating Webcomic poems with ToonDoo networking space
  • Claymation Movie Projects — on the theme of tolerance
  • Hyperlinked Digital Poetry Books

Wow. That seems daunting even to me. But it all did seem to come pretty natural and the students were very engaged in all of this work. Technology was a huge hit with my students and I saw many benefits to their learning process.

Peace (in reflections),

  1. Kevin, how many of these tools were new to you this year? It is really interesting to see how much you have achieved and the ways in which you worked with the technology that students love to use.

    • Good question —
      The webcomic site was new this year as was the Dream Scenes project. Plus, the blogging collaboration with Longfellow 10 and the high school students. The Heroic Journey — also new.
      I guess some of the projects were new, but not the platforms. That shows how we need to really scaffold ourselves from new platforms and become comfortable before moving them into the classroom.
      At least, that’s how I envision it.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I discovered Web 2.0 this year: yola, animoto, mixbook, etc. Pushing to go paperless next year. Going larger into graphic novels/comics next year.

    My best to you.

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