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Google Earth

Ok, so the first web2.0 tool I’m going to have the students use is Voicethreads. The first web2.0 tool that I used for my students was Google Earth. Our second graders are learning about biographies and I know as first graders they celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday last March ,so they have some background knowledge about him. So, I put together a biography of Dr. Seuss on Google Earth. The students watched the show and took notes on a graphic organizer. (Note: Next year watch the show first, then go back and watch it a second time and take notes.) Now, we’re going over our notes together, discussing good introductory sentences and beginning to write a biography about Dr. Seuss as a partner activity. For right now we’re just typing in Word. The next step will be for each child to do an illustration in Kidspiration2 or Paint. Then finally, we’ll “publish” our story in Mixbook by copying and pasting our text and inserting our illustrations and photographs from the web. Hopefully, we’ll have this done in March and we can invite the first graders in to hear our stories. Only seeing the students once every 6 days for 40 minutes means it takes a long time to complete a project! Any suggestions on other tools I should use or any other suggestions are always welcome!

To view the Google Earth presentation click on View Larger Map and then click on View in Google Earth or it can be viewed from Google Maps as well.

View Larger Map


First Web2.0 Tool

I will admit that at the moment I am addicted to the internet and all the new resources I have found in the last four months. I spend every evening possible online reading blogs, Twitters, listening to EdTalk, checking out NINGS etc. A general piece of advice I’m hearing on Twitter and Blogs for newbies is that we should pick one web2.0 tool and get good at it instead of trying everything and getting overwhelmed. That sounds like good advice. After all this reading I’ve decided to start with VoiceThreads. I’ve selected this tool for several reasons. First of all, I’ve played around with it and it’s easy to use. Only having my class for a total of 40 minutes-easy is important.  Another reason for selecting this tool is that I can see applications in every subject area and every grade K-5.  When I combine these two reasons I think it will be a tool I can get some classroom teachers to adapt. Being free and not blocked by our server are two more good reasons for trying out Voicethreads.

 I’m beginning with the 5th grades in a few weeks. They are doing state reports in their classroom. I plan on setting up a page for each state studied. Then I’ll have all the students that learned about a particular state comment on what they’ve learned on that page. Next I’ll invite others to listen to what we have to say then if possible find their state and share some new information. If you have any suggestions please feel free to share. I hope by starting with fifth grade they’ll catch on to the whole process easily. Then when I do it with the younger students I can have a few of the older kids come and supervise the recording with the younger kids. Both age levels would benefit from the experience.  Please feel free to share which Web2.0 tool I should try out next.