I found myself signed up for a five week course over five different technology tools that I could use in my classroom. How did I find out about this free on-line course? Twitter- yes, Twitter(#ntbootcamp, @teachingwithsoul-Lisa Dabbs, course is sponsored by Edutopia). After 3 weeks of building my PLN, I have found numerous free courses, and sites that have opened my world to an abundant array of tools that will change how I teach math forever.
Back to the basics of this blog. Week one was to learn about wordle and to think about how you might use this tool in your classroom. I of course had heard of wordle, but I thought it was more of an English/History type tool. But I was wrong. My students could use wordle to show results from a survey, tell about themselves at the beginning of the year, use as a tool for vocabulary terms to display around the room, and use as a way to describe the key points in a word problem and what was the most important part of the problem. What was even better, was that the course listed great sources that gave examples, and I am an example kind of person! Here are the links that helped me out: NT Bootcamp week 1, Wordle, TED Teacher's Network - this one is actually listed in the blog, but it was the most helpful for me.
Little did I know, I was going to learn about 3 web tools that first week. Wordle, which I thought was the easiest was first, but then I had to master the wikispace. I had no clue what a wikispace was. I created my own space(which is still pretty blank), before I realized I needed to make a page within their wiki. But once I figured that out, I was on my way. I was able to add pictures and links and just about anything I wanted. I know there are lots of places to share information with your students like Edmodo, and your personal blogs, but it was nice to know that wiki's was another tool that I could use to create my own web page and share with my students and colleagues.
The last tool I learned about was JING. The instructions were to place the wordle into my wiki page. I know that many of you know exactly how to do that, but not I. So Lisa Dobbs gave step by step instructions and Jing was the tool she said to use. At first I was thinking, oh no, not another hurdle. But I think I am really going to use Jing a lot(Powered by math I found on the web and used Jing to clip just what I wanted). After you download the tool, it allows you to take a picture, or piece of any picture on your laptop and copy it. You can send it to friends, use it in your presentation, or save it for future use. There is a great tutorial that gives step by step instructions right on the web page. Really, really cool. I liked it so much I added two wordles to my wiki page.
Week one was exciting and new to me and I can't wait to really dive into Voicthread in week two. How have you used wordle, wikispaces and Jing in your classroom? Let me know. Great things will be happening in A204 next year and I can't wait.