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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Where We Go... Tool #11

Although Dropbox is similar to GoogleDocs which I am more familiar with it, I actually really like it and have plans to use it. With Dropbox you can store photos, which I believe GoogleDocs doesn't have the capability.  I also plan to use Twitter and Edmodo in class. Both of these tools are a cool way to get the students connected on line, through projects, with any questions or concerns, and gives them an opportunity to have immediate feedback. 

I am excited for the new technology that will be available for my students in the classroom and can't wait to actually start using it. I understand that personally I need to keep up to date on technology in order to keep up with the kids and to have everything prepared. I envision that I will have to adjust some rules and procedures when the technology is in use, to take care of it, and to be responsible. 

I enjoyed this little journey through the 11 tools. I've always heard about Blogs but never really paid attention to the hype about them. I actually am proud to say I have my own Blog, I think its pretty darn cool. I've learned a lot about what is available out there to use as teaching tools for the kids. I plan to use this technology to my advantage and to theirs. I'm excited to see where in the classroom we go from here. 

WOW!! Tool #10

In my World Geography classes we had a lesson on what it takes to be a good citizen. That which includes being a good citizen in the community, at school, globally, and in the digital world. I realize that we can have one lesson and they learn from it, but it is a continuous lesson in reality. A lot of things go in one ear and out the other, and ultimately these kids are human and will make mistakes like we all do. It worries me that they could use the internet in a way that could harm themselves or someone they care about. I will do my best to monitor and continue to be honest with them about the web and let them know when used effectively it is a an amazing tool.

Three things I would like them to understand about being a good digital citizen include etiquette, safety, and plagiarism. 

I want my students to realize that things they say or pictures they post on the internet are not private and once its out in cyber space its out there for all to do with it what they will.They need to understand with their family they may act one way, with their friends another, with their teachers another, and with the internet they should too. They should do what they can to present themselves in an appropriate manner and not create a bad reputation for themselves. I also want them to be safe on the internet and make sure they don't talk to people they don't know or allow people to take advantage of them. Also, in no way, shape, or form do I want them to be a part of cyber bullying. They need to be aware of the dangers of bullying on the internet. They need to protect themselves and play it safe. The last thing I want them to understand is that plagiarism is unacceptable. Of course it is a lot easier to catch that happening with websites like, but still they need to know that they must do their own work. I also want them to understand that everything they read on the internet may not be true. They need to learn that research doesn't entail grabbing the first source given, they need to really look through documents and analyze the validity of the content they are researching.

I would continue to reinforce, remind, or teach the importance of all of these issues with students through discussions. I have a Google clip about digital citizenship that I've shown to my World Geography classes, that I can also share with my ELA classes.

Having an open communication with parents about what their child is doing in school and on the internet is very important. A note can be sent home with students to have their parents sign and return. This form could include websites that the students often visit. This would allow for parents to know that they too at home can visit the websites for themselves so they can be aware of where exactly their child is going to on the internet. 

I like various resources that I know can be used in the classroom effectively such as BrainPop. Both Media Awareness Network and Common Sense Media have great lesson plans and educational opportunities for both student and parent. 

WOW!! I'm almost there!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

2 More Left to Go!!! Tool #9

I think it is important to tie the objective to technology when appropriate. 
The students at times are more engaged when technology is being used, and if they see it being tied to the objective then they know what lies ahead. 

It is important to hold students responsible for the use of the technology, because it is theirs. I always tell the kids that they are in our classroom five days a week over a long period of time, its like a second home to them and they should treat it with respect as they would their own home. They are little people that will one day turn into adults and they need to assume responsibility at this age to take care of things that technically aren't theirs, but are. 

I really like Learning Games for kids. I can use it for both my ELA and World Geography classes. Brainpop is not listed and I actually really like that website too, and the kids are familiar with it. 

One app that I liked was called Verses Poetry. It gives you a group of words and allows you to organize them however you want. This would be a great tool to help them practice writing poetry. We finished the poetry unit, but I actually plan on touching on it briefly again towards the end of the year. So, this app would help to refresh their memories. Stations could entail them writing a poem on their own or in a paring of two. Time management wouldn't be a big issue. A timer would help to let the students know when it is almost time to shut down and switch, and when it is actually time. 

Another app I came across was Animation Creator Lite to create comics. I think this app would be cool to use during Greek Mythology at the end of the year in ELA. Also, this would be a great app to use at any time for World Geography. Students could work in groups to create comics about other cultures and present them to the class to help them learn too. For Mythology students could use them in the same way to teach others about a Greek Mythological character they learned about.

1     Using the notepad app on the IPAD or IPOD could help students record their thoughts in a different way instead of writing them down. They could also alternate on taking turns on silent reading days to read a book on the ipad.

What's Up... Tool #8

I am familiar with the Apple and Dell products and didn't learn anything really new from the tutorial videos, except for probably proper names of ports and stuff. The Netbooks are convenient for the classroom but the login time is a hassle, especially when everyone is using the network at the same time. Tends to make them run really slow. Plus each of them not having their own cord is a hassle because they tend to die pretty quick. 

I will be excited to have all this technology in the room available for my students. I know they will appreciate it too. I will make sure to have rules and procedures in place for them when the technology is being used. I will also put stipulations on websites they can't go to. I will make sure they are all aware of consequences if they do not follow procedures. I have some great kids, so I know they will know what's up.

Keeping Up...Tool #7

It is a little more difficult to get through these tools when you are doing them alone, and most everyone on your campus has completed them. I'm doing the best I can with what I have. The idea of collaborating with other classes and students locally and around the world is genius. With the technology we have it is amazing to think what is actually at our fingertips.

If I were to collaborate with a class I think it would be great to use this tool during research in either ELA or World Geo.

Content Objective: Upon conducting research, students will produce a final multimedia presentation using available technology.

In ELA we are actually about to begin our research unit, so this may be a great time to implement this technology/lesson. If some students in different periods choose the same topic they could collaborate on information they have found. 

I plan to use as many of the tools as I can, depending on my comfort level. Although, I'm sure the students wouldn't have a problem figuring out how to use them. I plan on using GoogleDocs, Skype, and Animoto.

Students can actually team up with another student in a different class to do research. They can each find research on a certain subject and can keep in contact through any tool via the web. They can also present their information together through any tool that will allow them to create a power point or the such.

Friday, November 23, 2012

In an Instant...Tool #6

It's still amazes me how much technology is a part of our everyday lives every minute of the day. For many years I was opposed to having my own personal Facebook and Twitter account. Although, about a year or so ago I gave into both, and now my life seems a little more fulfilled. So. I. Think. Could I do without either, probably so. The real question is if I want to, and the answer is no. I feel so up to date with things being apart of "In the Know, in seconds". This generation of kids is all about that and I think as educators we really need to stay up with modern times or we could end up being more lost than we already are. 

I chose to create a professional account for Twitter with the name of 
LMS Olivarez Class at Twitter
I included some Tweets on that page that I could ask students to respond to. I think it would be fun and quite educational for the students to follow institutions like CNN News, ABC 13, National Geographic, The New Yorker on Twitter. This would also allow them to be informed of what is happening at the moment they are searching. Twitter can be used as a forum to connect to others around the world and even with other students in all of my classes. 

I can also use EDMODO to help connect students in class. Instead of a 140 character Tweet they would have the ability to write more. I could set up stations where answering a question on Edmodo would be an activity that needs to be done. An example would be like this message I posted in Edmodo...

Edmodo 1st & 5th ELA

Oh The Places I'll go...One Day Tool#5

Oh The Places I'll go...One Day

I created the video in Animoto. I think it is a great video for my World Geo classes. I think it will help motivate them to finish their education and see the world...One Day.

Wide Awake Success

I had to set up Glogster accounts for all of my students in World Geography and used this as an example to show them what a Glog looks like. It is a bit inspirational I think. In W GEO we tend to do a lot of projects here and there about different countries. I think this is a great tool for them to use when needing to create a poster for a particular subject, country, or culture. Plus the advantage of having their work on line, they can show their parents or friends anytime from anywhere with internet access. I really like Glogster.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Moving Right Along...Tool #4

I've worked with Google Docs for a couple of years now. I used it daily while I was the secretary in the Special Education program at Northbrook High School. I really think it is a useful tool...very similar to Dropbox, but I'm thinking maybe a little different. I think within my departments (I teach ELA & W GEO) this tool help in planning, roadmapping, even creating tests and quizzes for the classes.

I thought this VIDEO would be appropriate for my TOOLS PROGRESS!! MOVING RIGHT ALONG Foot Loose and Fancy Free!!!!

In all Seriousness Tool #3

VIDEO # 1 Be a Good Digital Citizen
I actually used this video in my World Geography class when we discussed how to be a good citizen. It was important for them to know that they don't just need to be a good citizen in their community or at school, but also on the web. All of them are students of the digital age and they need to know how to   not only protect themselves, but know that what they do on the web is out there for all to see. 

VIDEO#2 School Rock Adjectives
I used this video last week to help remind my kids that they need to add more detail to their expository descriptive writing. It is a bit old school, but they seemed to enjoy it and were very attentive. 

I've always known about copyright laws and the sort, but didn't quite understand the seriousness of it until now. I actually am planning to do a lesson on plagiarism this week, because my students will doing a research project. This will actually be the perfect time to go over copyright laws as well. I think the video with the dude signing would be good to show my 6th graders...even the cartoon compilation might me appropriate...BTWI loved it!

The Dropbox tool can be very helpful in the classroom. Although, I think I may stick with Google Docs. The two are very similar. I will have to navigate through Dropbox more to see which one I would prefer. It would be a great help in the classroom, especially when it comes to using as well. 

Generation Tool#2

In this day and age, I think it is important to be apart of an online community. This generation of kids is all about technology and getting the news here and now. It is all we can do to keep up with them and make ourselves more online community savvy in every aspect that we can. I did comment on a colleagues Blog and it felt just fine. I've had experience with putting myself out there publicly by what I think through Twitter and Facebook. So, this wasn't such a big deal to comment on someones Blog. I subscribed to different RSS Feeds through Google Reader including the three below. I love quotes and I think I can use them as motivational tools with myself as well as with my students. Sometimes it is our words that stick in our students mind and a good quote now and then wouldn't hurt. I subscribed to the Psychology Blog, because my major in college was psychology and the human mind just fascinates me. The education Blog...well that's just a given. Talking about My Generation...on to Tool #3!

Quotes Famous Quotes - Famous Sayings


Education: News & Videos about Education -

Be about it...

So, here I am another week later or so and I still haven't completed this 11 tools stuff. I have to, no excuses get it done before I return to work on Monday. Why not do it now while I'm watching The Crow...seems like a perfect time. Turkey day was Great, even though I forgot to turn the oven on and the turkey was wasting its time in a cold oven for an hour and a half or so. Still blessed that I have an oven to put it in and an actual bird to munch on. Spent the day with my parents and my cats, listened to a little DMB...always puts me in a Happy Mood. I truly enjoy this 5 day was well needed. I still have lots of work to do. I need to grade papers, work on lesson plans, and well finish this 11 tools stuff. Tired of talking about it; I need to be about it. Man, I had forgotten how much I love The Crow and its soundtrack...Awesome. Off to be about it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


One week later...I still can't seem to finish this 11 tools thing and its driving me crazy. I think I have issues with focusing. I need to finish for sure before we return from Thanksgiving break (can't wait for that little breaky break), because my kids will be doing research and I need the technology in the classroom to accommodate their needs. I should be completing another section, but here I am thinking out loud instead. I am LOVING my new job as a teacher, more than I originally thought I would. I have so much to learn and am grateful for the mentors I have in my life helping guide me along my journey through my first year. I do have fears that maybe I'm not good enough, maybe I'm not teaching them anything, or maybe I'm not making learning fun. I'm sure I'm not the first one to ever think this way...whatever the outcome I know deep down that those fears are meaningless...I try to remain positive, happy, and receptive to help uphold my sanity. DYNAMO just scored!!!!! Focus Mari, Focus.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Better late than never...

It's 10:30 at night, and I should be in bed by now. It's taken me longer than I intended to begin this 11 Tools training...but I know that I can't wait any longer. It seems like the days are flying by and most of the time it feels like there are not enough hours in the day to prepare what I need to. I think the Blogger "look" has changed since the directions were given to I'm having a little bit of trouble navigating around. I should know how to do this stuff...but I don't. Wishing myself luck that I get through the next 10 steps...I know I can do it!