Friday, July 8, 2011

Blog Assignment 13

Jose Picardo's Educational Blog and Top 10 Tips for Using Technology in the Classroom

        Jose Picardo's blog gives some very interesting tutorials on how to incorporate technology in the classroom.  An interesting one I found was Creating a Blog Video Task with Quiz.  This tutorial explains how to create a video that goes along with a quiz.  In the video Top 10 Tips for Using Technology in the Classroom, Mr. Picardo explains ten technology tips that are great for the classroom.  The first one was "use more streaming video."  This tip was not surprising to me because this is already something I want to use in the classroom.  The second was "use music more often."  Although I have never mentioned it on my blog before, I have thought about playing "mood music" at the beginning of my history classes to get students ready for the upcoming lecture.  I thought about even letting them guess what we would be studying that day by listening to the music at the beginning of class.
Students on laptops in the classroom        Tip three was "use teleconferencing tools."  Dr. Strange has made this tip familiar to me so this one was not too surprising, but I could see myself possibly assigning homework for my students where they connect with someone else around the world.  The fourth tip was "create your own interactive exercises."  I was also familiar with this tip, but I am still at a loss as to how I could use it for middle or high school students where I have to get a certain amount of information to them in a limited amount of time.  Maybe I will be able to come up with a useful way to incorporate this into my classroom one day.
        "Use your interactive whiteboard more effectively" was tip number five.  This tip was probably the most unsurprising tip out of the whole video.  In EDM 310, we have watched and read so much about interactive whiteboards and how, if a teacher is lucky to have one, they should make it as useful as possible.  If I had one in my classroom, I suppose I would feel guilty not using it because it cost so much money that it would be a waste to just sit there.
        "Create your own podcasts" took me a little by surprise.  I am used to hearing how we teachers need to let our students make podcasts, but for the teachers to do so caught me a bit off guard.  I could see how this would certainly be useful for students who had missed class or for a more interesting way to give homework assignments.  "Start a blog or a wiki" was also a given considering this whole class is about a blog!  Tip number eight was "use social networks."  Also, not surprising since this class has us use Twitter and I already have a Facebook account.  Tip nine was something I already do, but the ones Mr. Picardo described were ones I had actually never heard of so I might have to go check those out.
        Tip ten advises teachers to make the most of their pupils' gadgets.  I would definitely like them to use their iPods or mp3 players if I were to create podcasts or videos, but personally,  I want to avoid cell phone use.  People would be texting all the time and I cannot see how this would be a useful tool.  Mr. Picardo put a good list together for this video and it is cool that he shows how teachers can do all of this on his blog. 


  1. Elizabeth
    Great job explaining the ten tips and how you would incorporate them in your class. You have a great idea with using music where you would set the tone in your history class. If there is a whiteboard in our classroom we should use it as they are very expensive as you stated. We should be greatful for EDM 310 and the knowledge gained which will aide us in our experiences with 21st Century Technology.

  2. One of the suggestions reported by some student in their #12 blogpost was to create a contest (more points for international) finding information from other people with SMS messages in say 5 minutes. So what was the major historical event in your country in 1861? Then collect responses and groups research and report. You could then aim at "required" information (I don't think any specific information is ever really required), engage the students in using cellphones positively. The report could be in the form of a podcast. "Good" contacts located through SMS messages could be converted to Skype sessions. Skype interviews are potentially useful with "historical" people. And don't forget the Library of Congress and the video, audio, image and text resources there - including all audio and video recordings of all presidents since Kennedy. As for music, link research with music. For example what was happening in the US/BG when the Beatles released this song (play) or a bit from Les Miserables or Don't Cry for Me Argentina or ....

    Lots of possibilities. Just think rather than resorting to your impulse to lecture. The more instruction involves doing rather than listening the more effective it will be.

  3. Elizabeth, I enjoyed visiting your blog. I love that you are artistic and have traveled. You will have so much to share with your students. I'd like to share an idea I had about using music recently. The school I teach at uses a "Bell work" assignment in each class. This is an assignment that is posted in the same place each day. It allows the teaching to begin immediately. Simple routine, may sound rigid, but it actually allows you to maximize teaching time in the classroom. I teach language arts. I would love to think that students could each have the computer to do bell work. My idea was to create a glogster for them to visit with links of music, video, art, articles, etc. For example, if we were studying a particular era of literature, I could pull in historical background info to create connections with the past. The glogster could be interactive, and I might have a week's worth of 10 minute bell work assignments that the students could choose from. I love to think about the possibilities. I'm sure I will visit "Box of Tricks" again.