As intelligent people in the business world, be it hedge funds, like Salman Khan, or computer programmers, begin to give back more and more free online tools are becoming available to teachers. Since these folks are intelligent, they actually work with teachers to design the interface that students and teachers or parents use.
We're thinking about creating a sub site (domain), perhaps classrooms.eledblog.com, which will be set up to facilitate classroom blogging. It will use a similar group feature like we have implemented here on eledblog, but be set up specifically for classroom blogs. We're interested in getting feedback from teachers out there to see what features you would like. We know there is already Edublogs, but as teachers, we feel we might be able to design an effective, free alternative. Plus with your input, we may be able to improve the idea. Thanks for your help and input on this idea.
It has been almost 6 months since my last blog entry. I really had no idea how busy the end of year would be as a first year teacher. I took on a "video club" where we produced an end of year video for our school. While this was a blast, it really added just one more thing to my already over filled plate. I also had to support staff as they prepared for a new computer rollout by helping them make sure all of their files were saved in a networked folder etc. Though, perhaps the most overwhelming thing for me was not related to teaching.
I am about to embark on my 1st full year of 1:1 computing in a third grade classroom!!! I teach 3rd grade at Beard Elementary School (K-6) in Fort Smith, AR. I have read articles, books, websites, blogs, research reports, etc. about 1:1 in the classroom, but an overwhelming majority has been 4-12 grade classrooms. K-3 classrooms are very different creatures from these other grades as children are learning skills to learn other content materials. My blog will be a record of my journey of integrating technology into the classroom, as a tool -not as novelty.
I am technology coordinator at Osceola Middle School and we are finishing our 3rd year in a 1 to 1 laptop project. Our school has an enrollment of 1200 students and each one of them carries a laptop to classes. Because of insurance costs and the inability to filter the internet when students are home, laptops are stored in carts overnight located in the 7th period classrooms. We are very proud of the success of this monumental endeavor. There have been some challenges that, through teamwork, have been overcome. I would like to get your input, thoughts, experiences, and questions on 1 to 1 computing in the classroom. Include both negative and positive, please.
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I've tried various software titles at a couple of different schools trying to find a good solution to help young people learn keyboarding (how to type). Perhaps my favorite software though the years has been the Type to Learn (TTL) series by Sunburst. I'm at a new school now and we don't have TTL, but rather a different software application by a different company. I'll hold off on mentioning the product and just say that I am less than thrilled. I was getting ready to propose a software acquisition to the Principal when I met up with a fellow technology teacher at a nearby elementary school. We had met during technology meetings at the district office and he works at the same school as my wife.
This week my class is broken up into three groups and our focus is creating a wiki. The process has been very interesting for me since this is my first attempt at creating a wiki and doing group work in the internet. I have been wondering what I could do with first graders and a Wiki? I have decided to do an internet search for other wikis that are out there.
I find that even though one of my true passions in life is the love of film, I am apprehensive, and in fact have yet to show a video in the classroom. There seems to be some backlash against video and film in education that I really don't understand but somehow feel as a residual of some era or event I wasn't a part of.