Foster a student-centered learning culture by creating a global digital learning environment through peer interaction and collaboration.
Today'sMeet (http://www.todaysmeet.com) -- Today'sMeet may be the easiest web tool you ever encounter, and it can be used in a variety of situations. Create a chat room with your own Today'sMeet URL (www.todaysmeet.com/yoursite). Distribute the URL to your participants. As they arrive in the room, they enter their display names and they add comments to the room. Comments can be 140 characters or less and can include clickable links. Comments appear instantly. TodaysMeet can be used for in-class backchannels, website link distribution, professional development and more. Check out- "20 useful ways to use Today's Meet in schools" post.
PRACTICE: #9 - class activity
Today's Chat- Rotating Story
Today's focus: description
Starter sentence: The incessant barking stopped abruptly.
* Answer Garden (http://www.answergarden.ch/) --
Answer Garden is a digital “Scribble Space.” It can be used as a brainstorming or feedback tool in the classroom. It can be embedded directly into a website or blog. You create an Answer Garden by entering a topic or question. The next step is to share the garden live or embed within a site. As students begin posting answers, a word cloud begins to form. Students are limited to 20 characters. Results can be exported into tools such as Wordle.
Practice: Answer the following question and watch the Word Cloud evolve. What is your favorite digital communication tool?
* Blogger (www.Blogger.com) -- Google's Blogger is an easy blog platform, as you can literally be registered and blogging in minutes. Blogger is so easy to use, that any teacher new to the digital classroom can be registered for Blogger and blogging in minutes. Blogger is a Hosted Blog: A hosted blog is one whose software is maintained by a company for its users. The advantage of using a hosted service is that you don’t have to worry about installing software, software updates, server maintenance, or bandwidth capacity. Blogger is Google’s free blogging service. It takes just a minute to start a blog through Blogger. Blogger offers a wide selection of colorful themes and templates to choose from. Customizing the layout of your blog is as easy as dragging and dropping elements into place. You can add additional authors to your blogs. If you have a Gmail account you already have a Blogger account. Just sign into your Gmail account and in the top menu select Blogger from the “more” drop-down menu.
My students use Blogger as the platform for their ePortfolios/blogs. Students blog on a weekly basis and update their ePortfolio in all classes. My student websites are linked through ThingLink on our class website. Student ePortfolios
Twitter- (https://twitter.com/twitter) Twitter is a free microblogging service founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone. Tweets are 140-character blurbs of information. Users can include links to other content in their tweets, pictures, and broadcasts can be public or private. For basics on how to use the social network, check out The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter.
Inside the Classroom: Can Students Really Learn from a “Tweet?”What could that look like? Some suggestions:
- Student, Class, Teacher, or School Hosted Twitter Chats -- Students or collaborative groups choose 3-5 questions, which will be the topic of the chat. The questions should be based on a current theme or issue of literary study. Students will be the facilitators throughout the event.
- Family Twitter Chat Night -- As an extension of the classroom Tweet-up, a topic is sent home in advance with a set time for the chat. Families are encouraged to chat as a family unit. A follow-up chat is held the next day in class, as a written reflection of the event.
- Fictional Twitter Characters -- Students create fictional twitter accounts of literary characters or historical figures as they work through a current problem or issue. This is a great activity when teaching characterization, as the characters must react to current events based on their character traits in the story, novel, or historical event.
- Fictional Twitter Character Debate -- Students produce a Tweet dialogue between two opposing characters about a key issue in the story, current event, or future event.
- Tweet-story -- Begin by tweeting out a story starter. Students continue the story in sequence through tweets. This activity can be constructed as a group or an individual activity.
- Twitter Version of ‘Pass It On’ -- Individual students or groups are each assigned one element of the plot sequence. They are allowed only the 140 characters to write their character description, setting, climax, etc. Students will tweet out their descriptions in order based on the plot diagram.
- Create a Poll -- Students will create their own poll to gauge opinion or gather information on current issues related to the theme or issue in a story or article.
- Curating Presentations -- Students participate in and curate conversations through tweets during a presentation by other students or a guest speaker. Students are prompted in advance as to key points based on the issue.
- Global Tweeting -- Test your genius! In an effort to build students’ curiosity, ask students to tweet their “big thinking” questions -… what if… how might…. I wonder…… For example: What if there were 14 months in a year? This activity will also help students begin to build their own PLN.
- Twitter Community Connection -- Establish a partnership with local government or a charitable organization in your community. Use Twitter to reach a broader audience, as students discuss the latest cultural or educational event in the area.
- Debating Social Issues -- Poll the class as to what current issue they would like to follow; this could also be based for the theme or conflict in a story. Students subscribe to relevant hash tags and accounts from both perspectives of an issue. Students engage in debate by supporting their arguments with evidence.
- Writing Book Reviews -- Twitter provides a great format for students when writing micro-reviews of books, poems, or current articles.
- Engage in Word Games -- There are numerous activities in which to engage students in vocabulary through Twitter. A simple ‘Do Now’ activity is to post a daily or weekly challenge asking students to unscramble anagrams, contribute synonyms or antonyms, or design and upload a word cloud, which examines multi-aspects of a word.
- Summarizing and Writing Concisely -- After assigning a current article, ask students to summarize the article within the 140 character limit. This writing event teaches summarizing and writing concisely.
- Twitter as an Exit Slip -- At the conclusion of class, ask students to write a 140-summary of their understanding of the day’s objective or pose any questions to be considered in the next class.