Photo courtesy of I Can Read
As I get ready to write my second set of report cards, I realize 2/3’s of the year has passed and I have some very technology savvy 4th graders. And by savvy I mean critical, knowledgeable, and demanding tech users. So what has stood the test of time in our classroom and what has died a silent death:
- Kidblog – hands down the most useful tool we have integrated this year. Through this blogging platform we have reached out to more than 20 countries around the world, have had an intimate view of the revolution in Egypt and created an ongoing writing portfolio. I cannot believe something like this is free.
- Animoto – a tool favored by my students to present video or still pictures as a way to give an inside view of our days and of our doings.
- Flip Camera’s – Our fantastic PTO donated 8 new cameras to our school through the Digital Wish buy 1 get 1 fee program and we have one permanently on loan in our room. Students have created grammar videos, learning snapshots and just documented really cool things.
- Glogster – some of my students have the glogster bug, begging to create projects using this medium, and one even created his own glog Christmas contest. They have gotten more creative, and better at citing through this site.
- Google Suite – well duh, most might say, but my students have become very savvy Google users, taking initiative to search for life cycle of the crayfish when our crayfish exhibited some peculiar behaviors, as well as creating Google maps of students they speak to, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Skype – oh yes, we skype and as the year progresses we do it more and more often. From a quick check in with my husband (just to see what he is doing, they say) to classrooms around the world, we are bringing the world into our room. Interested in skyping with us – let me know!
- Wordle – ahh, yes we love our word cloud generator. This tool has been used from everything to research, overused words, to poems about parents. This free tool is pretty amazing.
- Twitter – while my students are not on Twitter, this social phenomenon colors much of our every day learning. From finding out about World Math Day to the Global Read Aloud Project, what I gain from Twitter is invaluable.
- Edmodo – this very cool social interaction site took off like wild fire and then died out with my students. At first, they loved speaking to each other through the site from home and then they simply got bored. Now, I think our last update was 2 weeks ago.
- VoiceThread – I know of many educators that successfully implement this in their curriculum, but in my classroom, it wasn’t wort it. Perhaps it was because we didn’t have a paid for account and so it was rather limited usage or perhaps I didn’t give it enough of a chance, whatever the case, it has been months since we used it.
- Voki – yes I know there is a Voki for education as well, and while my students loved creating avatars of their friends, saving and uploading them was cumbersome and time consuming.
- ToonDoo – again, I do not have an educator account for this, which means I cannot provide the safe environment that I need for my students, however, students did do a test run and while some loved it, most found it ineffective and that they could do the same work by hand much easier.