Sunday, July 1, 2012

3.3 Reflection: Using Web 2.0 Tools

This reflection is based on how I would use a WEB 2.0 tool in the classroom with students and the process that it would be used in and how it relates to the HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) of Bloom's Taxonomy. This reflection has actually been difficult for me as I use many WEB 2.0 tools in the classroom daily with students. These tools are second nature in the process of learning within the four walls of my classroom. 

As I reflected on the past year and activities that students undertook using mobile devices and WEB 2.0 tools I think of a web quest that was QR Scan based. Students were given a handout with QR barcodes for activities that hand them analyzing documents (primary sources), maps, watching video clips and gathering information from websites. The ability for students to work collaboratively in groups for this project was extremely helpful for the handful of students who did not have a mobile device. Students would also use their own laptops, iPads and the classroom iPads (we have 2 in the class) to process their results.

Depending on the device students would create podcasts, iMovies, Prezis, Google Presentations or Thinking Maps using Bubbl.US all students were able to engage in the activity with their individual learning modality. Students would compose blog responses, perform skits that would be recorded (iMovie) or evaluate maps as part of understanding a historic event. These are just some of the tasks they would complete in their processing and understanding of curriculum.

A WEB 2.0 tool that stands out for immediate use as students enter the classroom is Google Voice. Google Voice allows students to text messages to the teacher without having the teacher's personal cell number. Teachers set up a phone number through Google Voice, teachers can even select their number based on a word or series of letters. As students enter the classroom a trivia question or warm up activity is waiting for them on the board. Students text their response during the beginning class activities as they enter and prepare for the class. Though not every student has a cell phone they can borrow and add their name to their response for holding each student accountable. Students are able to text messages/questions throughout the class as necessary. This keeps them on task but able to send the teacher their question to be answered. As the teacher facilitates the class activity they are able to monitor questions and join groups as needed or address the whole group as necessary. Google Voice is great for the shy students, the student afraid to ask a question or the student that asks a lot of questions and needs to be focused.

Google Voice doesn't lend itself to showcasing a student's work but students using Spreaker an online podcasting platform that has apps for Droid and iPhone will allow students to create an end product. Spreaker allows students to create a radio talk show to showcase their learning. I see this in my US History class as a way for students to do biographies of the important figures from history; like Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, Sam Houston, Eli Whitney and a host of other key figures. Students would use their Mobile Devices to research, write and then produce their podcast using the Spreaker app or going to the Spreaker website. 

Some students may wish to take this to a different avenue and instead of creating a podcast (radio show) and film a Dr. Phil style show. This opens up new areas as students create characters, backgrounds, and role play explaining the importance of the individual for the biography. Students video tape their Dr. Phil show and edit on the iPad uploading their published copy to a site like Vimeo. The activity described will take a series of class periods before the final copy is published. This is only just a piece of what can happen in classes and has happened in my class in the past.

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