Friday, December 9, 2011

Creating a podcast for the classroom

Teachers and students can create a classroom blog about the activities that are going on in their classroom.  This can help students who are absent catch up on activities or homework.  A classroom blog can be a class project that can be extended the whole school year.  A class blog can also encourage the interaction and involvement of community members, parents and even other classes. 

Instead of banning smart phones, teachers can begin to integrate them in their classroom lessons.  Students can use their smartphones to create a podcast.  Familiarizing students with this new technology will help them in their future endeavors, and will make them less hesitant to try new resources on the internet. 

This podcast can also be integrated with other tools on the internet, such as blogs and wikis. This addition to the classroom online community can help to bring a more comprehensive picture of students' thoughts and opinions.  Students might also become interested in listening to podcasts of their choice. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Epals looks like a great medium for students to be able to interact with others from different countries and cultures.  What is especially nice for teachers is the fact that they have lessons already planned for teachers.  The only downside there is, is that they do not provide free research material for the students.  They suggest purchasing National Geographic Books/Magazines for the supplemental material.  However, research material can be easily substituted in other various forms.  Students can also have their own email account, where they can email other students in the epals community.

An idea that I have for classroom application would be to have students email questions (perhaps even weekly) to their epals, and then have students present their epal's responses.  This would help the students be able to experience more cultures.  Teachers would provide some questions to ask their epal, while students being able to add more if they choose so.  The only foreseen problem would be, if there was no/limited response from the other epal students.  The teacher could also introduce students to a certain aspect of the epal's culture so that students could have more background knowledge to the epal responses.  This would be a great way to 'push' students into new cultural realms, so that they can have a more diverse outlook on the world.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Digital Storytelling

Here is a comic that I made on stripgenerator. I really thought that students would get a blast out of making this! The choices of the characters is really unique, and there is a lot of objects that the students can choose from. There is not a lot of room to work with, but is it great for a really short story.

For the next story creator I used Stupeflix, I did not enjoy creating a story as much, as I did with the other website. Here is my video that I created of fall on Stupeflix. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Relief Sculptures

Relief Sculptures by TushyD
Relief Sculptures, a photo by TushyD on Flickr.

Here is one of the structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills – being Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock-cut Jain and Hindu templess and viharas and matha were built between the 5th century and 10th century.

As an ESL teacher it is important to incorporate authentic cultural artifacts from the students L1 country. This is why I choose this picture. I think that digital storytelling is a great way to introduce topics to students, in a way that they can easily understand because of the media content (voice and pictures). Students can then also take the same format to create their own story, using the same bookr framework. Creating new their own stories allows them to in corporate different modified literary aspects into their own digital story writing.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bookr story

I created this bookr story of farms to introduce students to the topic of farming.  Some of the ESL students have experience on farms, so I wanted to incorporate their funds of knowledge into this new topic.  This is a great tool to 'hook' students into a new topic using pictures. This digital story can be a model, so that students will be able to create their own digital storybook using bookr.  The story that I created is the basis of a discussion for students so that they have the vocabulary to engage in a discussion about farms. My objectives are: having students become familiar with farm animal vocabulary and understanding that the products that they use come from the farm.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Twitter in the classroom

Twitter should not be intimidating to educators or administers.  We need to demonstrate to our students the same curiosity and enthusiasm we expect from them when teaching a new material.  The life- longer learner is not something that can be taught in a lesson, it has to be modeled and embraced.  In the Langwitches blog, they discuss how educators wanted to embrace this new technology but where hesitant to make that initial step.  In the world that we live in today, we cannot write off new technology as a fad- we need to at least dip our feet in the pond.  By testing the waters we can discover as community, the true value of new technology- remember you are not alone!

Moving on, one really great idea that I found about using twitter was interacting with characters of a novel, on twitter.  In Hanniewelch's blog, blog-o-licious she goes in depth about her experience of using twitter in her methods class to design a lesson.  While the students were reading a novel- Harry Potter and the Socerer's stone, they would be able to tweet to characters from the novel.  She added that the lesson could be even better if they used twitter as a reading log- by having their tweets linked to a discussion.  Even if the students were not that excited to read the book, they could become more excited about the material if they were able to interact with the characters, so that the characters become more relevant in their lives.  Take the plunge- look or tweet Lord Voldemort7 at @Lord_Voldemort7 !

Look to see if other characters are on twitter- maybe first just show your students their page.  After a while, go for it! Lurk, tweet, hashtag, twitpic do it all! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Using Ning as a Filter for the Best New Ideas

Ning is something that you might not be familiar with, that ok, I wasn't either until just recently.  Ning can be compared to a social network, but it is directed for a certain group of people (ie teachers).  One Ning site that I visited recently I found very useful because of its relevance of topics being discussed.  This site is called Teacher 2.0, where teachers from all realms are free to blog about varied topics relating to teaching.  As Professor Alan Levine stated in his video of New Media Consortium, we cannot keep up with technology (although we have to try our best).  We need different tools to help us find the most important and useful technology that we can incorporate in the classroom. Teacher 2.0 is another way to keep up with the new tools that are being offered.