My favorite tools are those that will allow my ESOL students to develop their English language skills while at the same time being creative with sound, words, and pictures. Some of my favorite tools are VOKI, Puppet Pals, and MAKE BELIEFS COMIX. I am eager to begin introducing my students to the new iPads by having them ask and answer questions about themselves on Wallwisher.The process of working through the 11 Tools has made me see even more clearly the possibilities for engaging students throughout the learning process - from conception to evaluation. The more engaged they are and the more ownership they take in their learning, the better their chances of success in school and in the future. Changes in my classroom to accommodate the 21st Century learner will be to move forward to incorporate the principles I have learned from this process: a fostering of global awareness, collaboration, good digital citizenship, and critical thinking skills for the betterment of the individual and society. The unexpected outcome from this program is that I have gained a heightened awareness of the rich resources available for education through technology. Further, it has become even more crystal clear that despite all the progress of the modern age, a good education must be built on a firm foundation of discernment, integrity, and discipline. Another pleasant surprise was that I passed the final assessment on the 21st Century Tools with an 87.5%
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Being a good digital citizen is based on respect. One, students need to be reminded to avoid plagiarism and to give credit where it's due by citing their sources and by respecting copyright law. Two, they need to know that what they put on-line has an impact on their own reputation and on others. Three, I would want them to know that they can't believe every thing they read on-line. One key way of discerning the validity of information found on-line is by checking the links and sponsorship of a website. I would use the Common Sense program accessed through Atomic Learning. Since I teach ESOL students, I will choose lessons from the lower grades, so that the message is easier for them to process. Common Sense Media offers this FREE Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum to help educators empower their students and their school communities to be safe, responsible, and savvy as they navigate this fast-paced digital world. I would teach the idea of digital citizenship by making an analogy to good citizenship in the class and in society in general. Then I would have the students brainstorm examples in groups before we watched a video on good digital citizenship. Parents would be informed with a letter highlighting the key points of good digital citizenship and would also be encouraged to discuss it with their children.
Tying the objective to technology is key because it provides the student with focus and a means of directing their use of this learning resource. Holding students accountable for what they do at a learning station sends the message that there is a purpose to the activity. Their accountability will increase learning and motivation. One cool station for the iPad would be to use it for Futaba, a free tool found under the 21st century learning tools. Futaba was originally designed to provide a simple and fun way for ESL students to practice learning words in a classroom environment. Futaba is a great way to help students learn a second language. The idea is simple. Each player takes a seat around the iPad and taps in to start. The game begins as images zoom into the playing area. The first player to match the word to the image scores a point. Win 3 rounds and you'll be awarded a giant (but very friendly) seedling...? Futaba (Japanese for 'seedling") Another way for the students to use the iPad as a learning center would be withPlayTime Theater. With it, they cancreate, record and playback puppet-shows on their own or collaboratively straight from the iPad with this puppet-show theater play set. It comes with everything they need to put on and record their own shows; a stage with moving parts. A customizable cast with costumes. There are lots of action props, a large sound effects library and even original cinematic music. Other apps I found for the iPad include Fotobabble, which would allow students to choose a photo and then to tell a great story about the photo. Students could use Puppet Pals to create mini-plays. They select a background, a character, and then record the voice of the character saying whatever they wish it to say. For example, I selected a witch and put her in front of a cave. Then I recorded my own voice speaking like an evil witch. Fotobabble will give the ESOL students an opportunity to work on enunciation and intonation. Being able to play it right back will give them immediate feedback. Another way to use the iPad as a station would be to use it as an e-book reader. It helps the ESOL students to hear the reading passages.
I learned how to set up an account on Apple. I took a course this morning on the 10 most popular Apps for student product creation using the iPad. I learned basic navigation skills and the way to capture an onscreen image. Managing the devices will require careful planning and a clear set of rules and procedures for the classroom. Therefore, I plan to have a set of written rules that will be reviewed carefully before letting the students have access to the devices. Also, I plan to assign one or two responsible students to assist in their care and management. Additionally, I plan to turn on the Find my iPad in the iCloud account as a back-up to due diligence with the devices.
I would like to collaborate with a fellow ESOL teacher of Newcomer students using Edmoto. The objective of this lesson would be for the students to learn about the age-old practice of storytelling while using 21st century tools to create and share their own digital stories. Students will explore digital storytelling as a way to tell a story, promote cross-cultural understanding and build meaningful connections with others. We would do this in the spring after the students have had a chance to develop basic English and technology skills.
Wall Wisher could be used to help the Newcomers start to use English to converse and get to know each other in a less threatening manner using these questions on Wall Wisher.
http://www.voxopop.com/ I signed up for a teacher account using Driscoll2012 as my account. Voxopop will allow for conversation practice and refinement of speaking skills for my ESOL students because they speak instead of write their posts. These tools will help participation because students will have the opportunity to give both written and spoken responses.
I enjoyed creating a MAKE BELIEFS COMIX! It was very easy to navigate. You select a character, a speech or thought box for typing your dialogue, and the background color. You can scale your work and you can shift the direction that the character is looking. It would be a great way for my ESOL students to interact with a reading by creating a related comic strip. It can be printed out, but I chose to email the one I created today to myself. I also looked at Storybird, which facilitates the creation of short art-inspired stories. Pictures are important in ESOL and they can serve as a starting point of communication. What I also noticed is that the Storybird can be an on-going creation and students can collaborate on a story. Students can also read Storybirds created by others. I created a Wordle using the fable, The Fox and the Grapes. What is nice about the Wordle is that it makes certain words stand out so that students learning English can focus on them in a different format and can preview difficult vocabulary as a pre-reading activity.