Friday, January 27, 2012

Tool #7: Reaching Outside your Classroom

  1. After visiting the resources above, design a collaborative project with another classroom.
This tool was informative to read about how students can use synchronous and asynchronous learning to have peer-to-peer interaction using a high-tech approach.

2. Post the following about the project:
    1. Content objective
    1. When you plan to implement
    2. What tool(s) you plan to use
    3. A brief description of the project (plan - two or three sentences)
    4. If you need to find another classroom - We can begin networking with other classrooms right here!
My content objective will be to have my Money Matters students understand investment strategies by researching and collaborating with students in different periods given various resources such as the Internet and the Wall Street Journals. 

I will implement this plan towards the end of this semester after each class has studied the investment strategies in their textbook and completed the Junior Achievement lesson on investment.

Students will work collaboratively on a Google Docs and Poll Everywhere.

Students will be grouped in one of the following investments:
  • Stocks,
  • Real Estate,
  • Collectibles,
  • Mutual Funds,
  • Savings Accounts,
  • U.S. Savings Bonds,
  • Certificate of Deposits,
  • Money Market Deposit Accounts,
  • Money Market Mutual Funds,
  • or Corporate & Government Bonds
Each group will be given four scenarios to solve based on a fixed amount of money to grow. They will collaborate with other students from different classes on the strategies for the best investment. They will poll each other on pros and cons of each investment option using Poll Everywhere. Students will share their conclusions after they have collected data and written their findings together on their scenario sheets.

Other Spring Branch ISD Money Matters classes could join with this asynchronous learning lesson and let their students collaborate across the district on the same topic!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tool #6: Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion...

  1. Choose at least two of the tools from the above list. Create an account for each (if required)
I explored the Today's Meet tool which did not need an account and Google Docs which all students and teachers have an account through SBISD.

2. Use each of the tools you choose to create a sample of how you would use it in your classroom. Embed the sample (preferred) or link to the URL.


What questions do you have about criminal law?


 has my file for Money Matters document.

3. Share your thoughts on how you see the tools being integrated into your classroom. How do you see them encouraging participation?
I teach Business Law and offer lots of opportunities for students to interact with guest speakers such as lawyers and judges. I am excited about incorporating Today's Meet tool in my law class to get instant feedback as to what students have to say about the various topics. The backchannel seems to be a great way to promote participation by allowing students to have an online conversation about the speaker's topic rather than interrupting the speaker throughout his/her presentation. Their are a myriad of uses for Google Docs on allowing students to collaborate on the same documents. I would also like to incorporate Wallwisher bulletin announcement tool into my classroom to relay special information for my 120 Academy of Finance students.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tool #5 - Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

  1. Use at least two of the tools above to create products. Think about your content. Create a “set” for one of your lessons! Or, consider providing the site as a choice for your students to create products. Make a model for a student created product.
I explored the various tools that were offered. I created a Wordle in Word Cloud Generator for my Money Matters class. We use word banks each week for the vocab and this is a fun way to get the students involved in learning the new words.

The other tool that I worked with for awhile was the Glogster EDU. I created and published an Academy of Finance poster for the seniors MHS NYC trip in Feb of this year. This is a nice tool to communicate important events or upcoming projects in an interactive way with students. This is a step-up in technology from communicating using bulky, old-fashioned poster boards!

2. Then, embed both products in your blog or link to the products from your blog.
I followed the video clips and tried to link them to my blog. After I created the Wordle with my vocab, Google Chrome gave an error "Java plug in is out-of-date". Maybe there is a conflict because I have a special Java version installed for my Computer Science Java class. I created my first Glogster poster and saved it successfully. Then, I created a second poster and published it as the video showed, but it never brought me to the point of showing it on my dashboard. It is a very stormy day today and many buildings are without power, so I am thankful that at least I know how to save the Web 2.0 tools to my blog and can work on the logistics of what went wrong later.

3. Describe for your readers how you think each tool can be incorporated into your classroom - how you could see the tool being used by you instructionally and your students to demonstrate their understanding of a concept or topic in your classroom.
There are lots of valuable Web 2.0 tools available to teachers and students. Besides the Word Cloud Generator & the Glogster EDU, the Make Belief Comix and Animoto video are exciting tools that make sometimes dry classroom material come-alive so to speak. For example, I love learning Algebra formulas and solving problems, however, after teaching Algebra last year, I know first-hand that lots of students do not understand all topics in such a format as presented in the textbook. These tools allow a different way of explaining a complex topic in a technologically-fun way!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tool #4 Moving Up to the Clouds

1. Create at least one document in Google Docs and share it with a few others on your campus or within your department. It could a team member, a department colleague, or another teacher with whom you plan a collaboration. Ask that person to comment or chat and real-time edit the document with you.

I created a document in Google Docs and shared it with two of the colleagues in my department. I set it up for them to comment and asked them to give me their input.

2. Create one form in Google Docs and send it via email to at least two other people and ask them to respond.

I created a form using Google Docs and sent it to 2 of my colleagues and asked them to respond.

3. Briefly discuss how you can use the tools in Google Apps with your team or department. How can you incorporate Google Apps as a tool in your classroom? Which tools are you excited about using with students?

I will use the shared documents tool in Google Apps with my department. This new tools will cut down on email attachments and avoid the multiple-version syndrome of wasted space. I can incorporate the Google Apps as a tool in my classroom by letting my classes see my calendar tool through the website, so they will know the upcoming assignments and projects. I am excited about using the shared presentation and editing tools with my students, so their projects will be perfected online and able to see by all their classmates.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tool #3: Finding Online Video and Image Resources

For your Tool #3 Assignment:
Visit several of the video hosting/streaming sites mentioned above. Share with your readers which sites you found most useful for your content and why.

After visiting the various video resource sites, I found YouTube to be most useful because I was able to search on specific aspects of programming code and it gave lots of appropriate videos for students to learn a complex language in a fun, interactive way.
Using any of the video resources mentioned above, find and select two videos that may be useful resources in your classroom. Embed them in your blog. If they do not have embed capabilities, hot link them to your blog.

After viewing the informative videos, I embedded two educational videos into my blog.  These two will be useful for my Computer Science students because they explain how to create the environment for which Java code is compiled and also give a realistic view into what a programmers' life entails.
Articulate what you learned about copyright and fair use. What was new to you?

I teach a Law class and stress to the students about giving credit to the original author.  I learned that you can always check with a copyright specialist or the librarian if uncertain whether a copy is legal or not.  My students that are participating in the Business Professionals of America competition will be abiding by the copyright and fair use rulings as they prepare and present their research by citing the original sources in their Works Cited page.
Create a Dropbox account and add some files to it  How could you use this tool in your classroom?
I created Dropbox account and have stored lesson plans to it.  This tools will be useful because students will be able to share valuable information and images for various assignments.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tool #2: Building Community in the Online Environment

I visited more than 5 blogs of my fellow educators here at MHS. Loved Mr. Haynes' pictures on his blog.  
Was amazed that some teachers have already finished through Tool #11. I visited Statford HS and Spring Woods HS to check out the blogs of the Academy of Finance teachers. Some schools haven't started blogging the Tools - Guthrie and Northbrook HS to name a couple. It will be neat when they have a blogspot and we can share thoughts.

I posted a comment to Tool #2 on Terri McLaughlin's blog about her observation on the wealth of information that you can obtain by visiting other blogs. It was a great experience to be able to build and participate in an online community as well as the PLN.

What points stood out to you from the commenting advice? 
One point about reading and listening to this tool's commenting advice was to encourage others to comment on your post. You need to let them know that you would like feedback and they will respond.

Were you able to apply any of the advice in your comments? 
Yes, I was able to "leave my footprint" by commenting on an educator's blog as the advice suggested.

How did you feel about sharing your thoughts publicly? 
I'm a face-to-face person, but I can see the benefits of sharing common subject areas publicly.

Was it different than when you're sharing your successes/challenges with your teammate?
It was different because you do not get immediate feedback as we do when we share with our teammates.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tool #1 Creating a Blog

Finally got in after the Tues after school hiccup.  Terri is here now helping.  I'll finish this tool after hours.  Because of the issues after school Tues and before school today, Wed., Jan. 11th, I'm posting during the school day this one time only.  I enjoyed picking a Voki and I'm glad to have such great support from our I-Coach.  Now that I'm established with my blog, I'm ready for Tool #2.