Notes from my attendance at the 2007 VSTE Conference in Virginia Beach, VA
iSketch shown to me by my son, Matt. It's a better version of Pictionary online. Play with strangers or meet your friends. Lots of fun.
Newspaper Headline Generator http://www.fodey.com/generators/newspaper/snippet.asp
Macromizing the Effectiveness of Power Point Presentations was presented by technology administrators from Norfolk Public Schools. They showed us how they used macros, visual basic within PowerPoint, to create interactive slideshows, such as quizzes.
I'm not sure if this is worth the time it takes to learn to write macros, but I will create one such activity so that I can better evaluate it's effectiveness.
The macros they use personalize the responses to the child, count the number right, create a score, and react positively or negatively to the child's answer.
Primary Access: Creating Digital Documentaries in the Social Studies Classroom was presented by a team from Old Dominion Univ., Granby High School, and the University of VA. Students use free online software, primary sources from the Library of Congress, and their own "script" to create movies that they can then share with fellow students, family and friends online.
This is something we must try at Indian Lakes. I immediately thought of fifth grade writing, about the struggles of the Jamestown settlers, that I have already heard, being turned into movies.
The Keynote Speaker was Marc Prensky, author of "Digital Game-Based Learning." I had heard of him through Bruce previously as the fellow who talks about today's children being among the Digital Natives while we "old folks" are Digital Immigrants. He didn't coin the phrase, but I think he's making it popular. This blog is my attempt to lessen my own "accent."
I can't really blog from the cybercafe but I've been to two sessions so far today, both good, each very different. I look forward to coming back later and sharing.
I have a dozen sites to check out that I just got a brief introduction to. I think I'll have a lot to share.
Quick and Easy Computer Activities for Kids
I fully expect to purchase one of this woman's books with my own money and probably the other three with my school budget as soon as possible.
Specific Ideas I hope to hold onto:
2. Calculating Mass/Weight on planets
3. Magic Square
4. ABC Biography
5. Choose Your Own Ending - Short Story on PPT with choices to make. One level deep, could go a little further but not much. Teaches kids to use action buttons.
6. Tall Tale - Kids write their Tall Tales in Word or Appleworks and then change the page to three columns, print, cut out the columns and connect them in a long TALL tale.
7. Acrostic - Forces student to think. They can't just copy and past from a webpage. Use PPT, word art for the verticle word. Create one text box for the rest of the first sentence and then right click: set auto shape defaults, to set the font for the rest of the presentation. Make new text boxes and write the rest of the sentences.
8. Zip Up Display - great for science displays. Type in the third quarter of a page, print, fold, and staple to the top of a baggie.
9. Postcard Home - Include a graphic, at least three facts, and a stamp. Use PPT and print slide as a handout (2 slides per page). If the student duplicates the slide you get one to display and one to take home.
10. Bookmarks- Use rulers in PPT. Use Ctrl Move All Grab the picture to move.
Give Them 21st Century Tools was another session by the keynote speaker. It turned into a lively discussion about how you manage and teach, and be responsible for, kids while letting them use their tools and toys. About all I can take from this is the acknowledgement that kids want to learn in a gaming environment, and that can be used to my advantage.
I got Mr. Prensky to send me his presentation from Sunday so I could investigate further some of the Web2 ideas, social networking, etc. There were so many ideas I had not heard of like P2P. Wikepedia keeps coming up as a source of reliable information. This is a shift for me!
2-D to 3-D: Instill Creativity
Make Your Social Studies & Science Come Alive with SOL Technology Multimedia
He also showed us QuizShow, free software that works with ExamView - software that comes with a lot of text books. We may well have it and not know it because teachers don't know what it is.
He recommends getting one Quia license per school for the CRS to use to collect and create games appropriate for his/her school.
Take a Field Trip without Leaving the Classroom: Museums, Zoos, and Distance Learning
Presented by a gal from The Mariner's Museum
Types of Online Field Trips:
Advantages of online trips:
The Mariner's Museum has an "Age of Exploration" program made for the Va third grade SOL on explorers, a second grade program for Jamestown and the Powhatans called "Riding in a Log Canoe" and one called "Clash of Americans" about the Monitor and the Merrimack battle. They also have "Pirates" and "144 Days of Sea," also about Jamestown.
Highly Rated Video Conferencing Organizations:
The maximum number of kids served is usually 35-40 in one video conference, but the Mariners Museum has done assemblies of more. Most schools get funding from the school or the PTA. Document cameras are used at the site to show close ups of artifacts shared. Sometimes items are sent to the school for the students to handle. The quality of video and audio is determined by the school's hardware and network situation. There is some delay.
Is This Really Power Point?
This was a second session by Tammy Worcester. I immediately purchased two of her books at the conclusion of her session and will try to get school funding to buy the others for the computer lab or teachers' reference area of the library. She gave 10 more ideas that I could walk away and use, but because they are in her book I won't rewrite them here. She's amazing! If you get a chance to see her, you should.
Who Wants to Wiki? Moving Students to Web 2.0 through Online COllaboration
I attended this session because I have agreed to teach an APPLE class in October to fifth grade teachers in using Class SharePoint sites. Even though this didn't apply directly I knew the flavor was going to be the same - get the kids excited about online collaboration in a controlled, safe environment. WOW! I was blown away. This teacher has a gifted sixth grade class that does all their writing, peer editting, and discussing via a closed Wiki. I learned a lot.
"Wikiwiki" is Hawaiian for "Quick."
Math and Science with Vernier's GO! Links
The fellow who presented at this session is a teacher at a juvenile detention center in another county. His copresenter, who was to share the science side of the presentation, was not able to come. I was hoping to get some practical ideas to use the probes we have, but that wasn't how it was structured. In the juvenile detention center there are fewer students in a class, they are older than my students, and this teacher has less structure to his plans than I have to have with my classes.
I did find out from other CRSs in Virginia Beach who were there that we should have six more sets of probes and the book in our school by now. I will hunt ours down ASAP.
I Can Do It, Too! Using Photo Story with K-2
This was the last session of the conference and I wanted it to be a feel good session, even if it was about something I'd seen before. This one sounded like it would have examples of kids' work and that was what I wanted my parting thought to be about. I was not disappointed.
Projects generally took two class periods, one for photos and text, one for transitions and music. Teacher did the saving and pulled students one at a time for recording at another time. The teaching method was to pull the kids close on the floor around a screen to show them what to do and then to let them go to their computers and try it. Some could take off from there, others needed more assistance, and some needed someone to show them and encourage them through every step. They all completed their photo stories.
Things I learned about on the side:
Screenhunter is a free application to use when you want to capture your screen or a part of it and save it in a variety of graphic formats.
Noodletrip is a Virtual Field Trip search engine.
New Web 2.0 Ideas since VSTE