I'm attempting to participate in the Slice of Life Challenge, and since this post is on a Tuesday and happens to be Tech related, I'm also linking up with my friend Cheryl for Tech Tip Tuesday. I encourage everyone to visit both linkups to read more.
In Part 1 of My Digital Journey I learned what a blog was; got onto Facebook; and created, then abandoned, a Twitter account.
I was beginning to explore learning resources online. I learned about Starfall. I got a bit obsessed with Cool Math. Have you played Bloxorz? Brick Breaking? Gems Swap? Phit? I swear they are all thinking games. They grow dendrites! (It was bad...) I discovered Hooda Math, Internet4Classrooms, ReadWriteThink, and Fun4thebrain.
Now I had a problem. I had tons of resources, but it was impossible to put them to good use! It was a royal pain to try to get all these sites bookmarked onto the computers in my classroom. Once they were bookmarked, I had no way to teach the kids how to use them all. The kids couldn't read the bookmarks, and they couldn't read all the options once they got to an approved site, so they couldn't navigate at all. It was so frustrating!
Then 3 big things happened:
1. I began to use online bookmarking.
2. My principal got an InFocus and ELMO for every classroom.
3. I learned how to make a class website on Weebly.
I began using Diigo to bookmark the pages I was discovering. At the time this was amazing. I was able to switch between school and home computers so much more easily. I still have my account, but it's pretty much just sitting there. Does anyone have any tips? Should I just abandon it, or is it worth learning to use effectively?
Finally, I was able to bring up a game or website on my computer and do a demonstration for my class. I was able to show videos! LIFE CHANGING!
Using my class Weebly page I was able to put all the links I wanted my students to have access to on the same webpage. Now I could just bookmark my class website on all the computers and teach my students how to navigate from there. I could even share it with parents and kids could access it at home! So exciting! (Feel free to visit and use my class website. Like everything else, it ought to be updated, but I'm still using it.)
The key to making my class webpage a success was my use of screen shots. Since most of the kids can't read in the beginning of the year, I needed pictures to help them navigate. Honestly, whenever I don't take a screen shot for a while I forget how to do it. Never fear. Google is always there! If you're thinking, that would be a handy dandy skill to have, I found this easy tutorial for Windows, and How-to-Take-a-Screenshot.org can help you take a screen shot on anything.
Finally I was finding effective ways to use the web professionally! Come back soon for
One of my friends helped me get started with my Weebly page, then I figured out most of it through trial and error. If you're interested, here are some nice tutorials I've come across recently:
(By the way, Symbaloo appears to be very similar to what I was creating with screenshots.)
If you found this post to be interesting or fun, I'd love for you to connect with me!