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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tool #8: Taking a Look at the Tools

After watching the videos/tutorials, list two to three things you learned about the device(s) that will be in your classroom this fall. How do you plan to manage the device(s) in your classroom? Do you have ideas/suggestions that others may find useful?

My students and colleagues know that I have never shied away from new technology, and I have never worried about being fully prepared or ready for every exigency. My philosophy is: 1. If I don't know something, one of my students will, and 2. It will all turn our OK. So far, that has been the case. For the past few years, I have had a set of 5 old IBM laptops in my classroom. We use them all the time for all sorts of things. For a long time, I have been using Flip cameras, iMovie, iTunes, GarageBand, and other tools to create student projects. 
The first time I used Flip cameras, I realized that I had no idea how to do an important step in the process. I just turned to one of the girls who was a little ahead of the others and asked her to figure it out. In a matter of minutes she was able to explain it to everyone. Problem solved! 
Another time, the students were creating slide shows with narration. They then had to "share" them - upload them to the site. Some of the kids were having trouble, so I asked one of them to create a step-by-step flow chart. It was very clear and easy to follow. Two years later, I'm still using it. 
Although I haven't been using the iPad very long, we have already made use of it in my classroom. My AP students are also permitted to use their iPhones to access the interactive German/English dictionary 
During the "11 Tools" project, I discovered Google Docs. We have already begun to use Google Docs presentation tool for student projects. This has become the most valuable item in my "11 Tools" tool bag. Students no longer have the excuse that they don't have the necessary software or that the formats are different or that their printer is broken. I can also look at the projects while they are underway and offer comments. Brilliant!!!

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