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Tuesday, July 13, 2010


My favorite tool is probably the one I have had the hardest time uploading to my blog, PhotoStory. I like doing different types of presentations and this one is so easy; I want to use the kids’ voices to tell the story and the pictures they took themselves.
With all the new technology we will have this year in the classroom, we will have to really upgrade our teaching, and that starts with our own learning. I have been reading a lot and really trying to learn as much as I can, but that is going to continue to try to keep up with the 21st century.
I honestly have to say that I have been very surprised of how much I have learned so far; I really did not expect that; I thought it would be a quick online course; well, quick it was not, but it sure was worth all the hours that I spent working on it. Hats off to the designers of the course; it was very well designed and full of good information to help us learn and create innovating ways to teach.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tool #11 Digital Citizenship

There are certain activities students will be allowed to do and others they will not, and it is important that they distinguish them from the beginning, and they should be reminded of it on a regular basis.

Students must respect privacy and limit their own as well; they should not give up important information online which can be used against them.

Finally, etiquette is very important when in person and online; I want my students to learn to treat others the way they want to be treated, to think of others with respect and courtesy.

Digital citizenship refers to the correct use of digital technology not just legally but also morally. It is important that kids understand the reason behind it is their own safety. Just like with any other safety issue, these practices should be taught by example, especially with the little ones.
"Example isn't another way to teach, it is the only way to teach" Albert Einstein.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tool #10 Exploring Mobile Technology And Apps

I do not have an iTouch, an iPad, or an iPhone, but I have used them in the past. There actually was a wow moment the first time I got my hands on the iPad, and I do not think it is because of the apps but because of the touch screen which is so absolutely stunning; however, according to what I have read, you can do with a netbook almost every thing you can with and iPad and then some, except for the touch screen.

I found some free apps with games the students are going to enjoy playing while learning. They are going to use the devises mostly during workstation time and bilingual pairs time, and I know they are going to love it.

I like Google earth (Google Mobile info) and use it a lot; I think the kids will like it too.

DotToDot number whiz lite – Apps in My Pocket Ltd teaches counting, and it is so colorful the kids are going to love it and stay engaged.

FREE Spanish Essentials by AccelaStudy® – Renkara Media Group, Inc. will be great for ESL; it helps understand and pronounce words in English and Spanish.

abc PocketPhonics Lite: letter sounds & writing + first words – Apps in My Pocket Ltd will be great for early readers as you can practice sounds and first words; it helps students to correctly write letters.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tool #9 Sharing Information Through Jing & Skype

I have been using Skype for many years now to communicate with my family and friends abroad. It is wonderful! As long as both users have it downloaded in their computers, it is free; but if someone does not have it or if you want to contact a cell phone, you can still do it for very little money. It seems that the benefit of Jink is that you have an icon on your desktop at all times which can be very convenient.
Students can work together while they are far away from each other. They can talk and see each other from home; they can collaborate while doing homework and projects, and they can send files and web sites to each other so they can discuss them together. I can see how a child that is sick could still connect to school and not miss a special class.

Tool #8 Video Resourses

I have been using streaming videos for a long time; there are so many options, you can find a video about just anything you want; I have used YouTube and Hulu before. I like showing my students videos related to the theme we are studying. This time I chose TeacherTube and was very pleased with it. I found a nice video about fire safety that is very adequate for Pre-k students:

I also found a video in Spanish about the butterfly cycle with I know I will use; I always have caterpillars in my classroom and my kids love learning about them.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tool #7 Digital Storytelling

This was so much fun. I used PhotoStory and it was so simple; I loved how easy it is too insert music, text and voice. I know it is going to be easy even for our little ones to do it and use pictures they will be taking themselves with our new tech gadgets...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tool #6 Wikis

So it turned out that I have used Wikis in the past but did not know its name, semantics!!
Teachers can share ideas and web sites not just for lesson plans but different events in the school; field day is coming and teachers can come up with new activities for the day and organized themselves and who is going to be responsible for what activity. Students could take turns going on line (pre-k students may need some assistance) and adding information to a common page like their favorite part of the day, and parents can read (maybe not edit) from home.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tool #5 Tagging and Social Bookmarking

I registered on Delicious because it seems to be more popular right now, and I think I will be able to collaborate more with that site, but I am planning on also registering on Diigo because not only you can save and share your bookmarks, but also you can highlight certain parts and use sticky notes.

I used the tags news & Costa Rica and found a very interesting site I was not familiar with so I can keep up with my country.

I also found a nice site with many ideas for Pre-k teachers using the tags prek & art, and I added crafts, activities, & ideas.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tool #4 Cool Google Tools

I created a presentation using pictures which I like doing with the students all the time; I love that I saved it and I can go back and update it any time and from anywhere (no thumb drive). Being able to share your documents, spreadsheets or presentations on line enable us to communicate and collaborate with each other even more, and having it all under one site will certainly help me with my organizational skills...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tool #3 Image Generators & Mashups

Papagayo, Costa Rica
I loved creating images; I opened all the sites and had a hard time choosing just two; there are so many things you can do with them; after taking pictures on their own, students will be able to choose some to frame and label, or make a mosaic and show off their collection of pictures; what about making a mosaic starting with just a few words and names they recognize, and then adding sight words as the year progresses.
Image generator created on Big Huge Labs and Image Chef