Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cool Tools

The cool tools wiki is a good one, and I'll focus on three programs that I researched that hold some potential for me as both an English teacher and as the web design and yearbook teacher.

  • Kitzu, though it seems mostly arranged for the California standards, has some 'kits' of lessons that fall into many categories. In the category of visual arts I found lessons on color that I may be able to use with my yearbook staff as we discuss the use of color in the book.

  • snap.com, This site allows annotation on blog posts or on web sites that could be used by my web design class to add more multimedia to the site creation experience without needing to learn Javascript, a valuable thing to bypass whenever possible.

  • Google notebook, a tool which I think Google stole the ideas and interactivity when they purchased Etherpad. This seems to be etherpad without the chat window that can be anonymous. I am a fan of knowing who is typing what, so I think this has some merit in replacing online sign-ups for my students.

There are hundreds of other options, including yodio and other web 2.0 tools, but I don't know how I'll manage to fit them all into my curriculum. I think it is more a matter of finding a tool once the plan has been created as opposed to focing a plan to include a tool. That is my least favorite kind of planning, after all.

Ebook Final Project

Myebook - Freshman Poetry, 2010 - click here to open my ebook

This is the final project that I chose for the course. It requires that you have some instructional time with the students as well as a project that would allow itself to create a 'book' of work for the students.

I had students email me their Word files and audio, though in hindsight there are a few changes I would make to the procedure to save myself some time:

  • have each student create a 'jpg' of their poem so I don't have to convert them.

  • have students save all the files in a shared folder on the network so I don't have to 'save-as' all the links they email.

  • enable all students to record by requiring it and providing recorders (which the PTO graciously purchased us this year)

This was a good project, but I am still converting files and making snapshots of the poems. With the adaptations mentioned above, I think this is a sustainable project for future poetry units that we do.

Wordle 2

After using wordle a couple times, I really like its ease-of-use and its convenience. I decided for my second attempt to post the poem that got me really into the imagist movement, The Red Wheel Barrow by William Carlos Williams.

Wordle: Red Wheelbarrow

Wordle 1

This is a wordle I did of the unit 15 vocabulary words for Level D of Sadlier-Oxford's Vocabulary Workshop Book.

Wordle: Vocabulary Unit 15, Sadlier Oxford

I hope you like it!