Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tool #11

First I need to point out that the "21st Century Skills Self Assessment -11 Tools" was not in my assessment folder in Atomic Learning. There was one assessment called "T3 Teacher Tech Skills Assessment" that was unable to load. I found an assessment link under the "21st Century Skills" tab but it was not a link to the assessment - it was just discussing the assessment. It is a little frustrating when I follow the directions and can't get to the assignment.

1. Even though I've had a personal iPad since Christmas, I have not used it for teaching. I believe the Educreations app will be a great help in my virtual classes. The forms option in Google Docs will also be very helpful and I may use it for quizzes. I plan to review the Google Docs tutorials in Atomic Learning.
2. I teach virtual classes so my "classroom" won't change much but I'll be able to add or improve the assignments in the courses using some of the information from this course. I'm only going to have one iPad but I will use it to work with SBISD students at their home campuses.
3. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of good information available in blogs and I plan to search for blogs from virtual math teachers. I was also surprised at the availability (free) of apps and programs that will allow me to create documents in one location and access them from other locations and/or equipment. I've (re)learned how important it is to give very specific directions in online courses and to check the courses periodically to be sure that the links are not broken or that the directions have not changed (see 1st paragraph above).


Tool #10

I click on the "iSafe" link, clicked "forgot password" and entered my school email. I was told that my email was not recognized and I needed to register. I would like to see the information in this link but the instructions in 11 tools don't work.

In all virtual classes, students are required to complete an orientation module which includes the SBISD acceptable use policies, copyright and privacy policies, and information on the Child Internet Protection Act. It also includes information on iNACOL standards and netiquette. We ask that all students attend an synchronous discussion prior to beginning class in which we discuss some of these same topics.

In the orientation, there is a student as well as parent survey. Parents are allowed access to the orientation material upon request.

I really liked the idea in Vicki Davis' blog that we not just start with a website but show the students how we googled the topic and looked through numerous websites to determine which was reliable. Telling our students how we made that decision models appropriate research for them.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tool #9

Any lesson has to be tied to the objective. Technology does not change that - it is another tool to reach the objective. And if students are not held accountable for their work, we have no way of assessing their abilities and level of understanding. In my virtual Geometry class, there are several assignments which instruct students to practice on a website on their own, then take a screenshot of how far they got in the game or of the final product created and send it to the instructor,

When I searched the district database, there were only 4 iPad apps listed for high school math and one of them was a note taking app. It seems to be this way with most technology that we are encouraged to use. There are numerous ideas for elementary but the higher levels, especially math, are limited. It takes a lot of time, work and research to come up with good ways to use "stations" in high school math.

I will use the Educreations app on the iPad as a portable white board when I visit SBISD students on their home campuses and I will use the DropBox app to bring along documents.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tool #8

Since I teach in the virtual high school, I will not be provided with any of this technology. Each virtual high school teacher was provided with one iPad to use with our students in SBISD as we visit campuses. Also, each of our SBISD students are able to check out a netbook to use to complete their course. I'm not sure of the model number of the VHS netbooks - if they are the same as the one in the video.

I personally own an iPhone and iPad and am familiar with downloading apps and syncing the device to the computer. I have set up an iTunes account linked to my school email for my school iPad and have already downloaded a few educational apps like Educreations. The EdTech website has changed so the video on searching for Ipad Apps is no longer correct.

Since I do not have students in a physical classroom and have only one iPad to use with SBISD students, classroom management will not be a problem.

Tool #7

Since I teach in the Virtual High School, I don't have another teacher I can collaborate with on this project. I am the only math teacher. However, it is possible that I could have students from anywhere in Texas in the same "classroom". Last year I had students in one "classroom" from 5 different school districts across Texas.  Every course in the virtual high school has synchronous discussions - usually through Elluminate - and asynchronous discussions which are built into the course through the Angel LMS. This is one example of an asynchronous:

In discussions, please remember to always use good Netiquette, especially in your grammar, spelling, and “tone of voice.”
Please read all of this assignment before completing it.
PART 1) First Post: 
  • identify 2 items from your daily life where you really like the way they look (form) or function;
  • identify 2 items that you DO NOT like the way their form or function.
  • Aspects to consider: 
    • The 4 items must be from 4 different major categories (e.g. furniture, apparel (clothing, accessories), containers, buildings/rooms, vehicles, electronics).  You cannot just pick 4 clothing items.
    • Try to choose items that are unusual or uncommon.
    • When you choose items make sure your like/dislike relates to their geometry (e.g. “This chair is comfortable to sit in because of the angle of its back” instead of “This chair is comfortable because its material is soft” or “Its color is ugly”).
    • Examine the geometry of each item (not other characteristics like color, reputation, cost, image, marketing, customer service, etc.). Use as descriptive terms as possible to explain what you like about their form or function.
PART 2) Responses:
  • Read what other students have posted
  • respond to at least five of them.
  • EXPLAIN why you agree or disagree with their conclusions.
  • ASK at least one good follow-up question.
  • Remember, you are examining the geometry of the item, NOT its color, reputation, cost, image, marketing, customer service, etc.

In most of the synchronous discussions, readings from the course are discussed among the students, questions about the material are answered by other students if possible - if not, by the teacher and we talk about what's coming next. I try to only moderate these discussions - only providing information if necessary.

My students also have projects that are completed in groups where the members of the group may be in different cities or different schools within the same city. They post these projects for other students to view and comment on.

I did look at all the high school math projects in class2class and found that the one that might have been of interest (project birthday) had a broken link and is probably no longer going. I found with most of the links provided the projects were based in elementary curriculum. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tool #6

I already use GoogleDocs in my virtual classes. This is one example:

Here is a link to a blank Google Docs Data sheet.  Save file with all of the team member names in the title.
Students should update daily.
Summary Project:
Include graphs showing daily movement of stock prices. Make sure the graphs are easy to read with all labels included.If your stocks are moving up and down, investigate why this is happening. Provide links to articles that will explain the movement of your stock prices. Some days it may be because of the overall market. Some days it will be because of specific issues with your company.Write a short paragraph about each article. Do not copy and paste. Rephrase important information from the article.Make sure the presentation is easy to follow.
I watched the tutorial on Todays Meet. I think I could use this in my virtual class. We usually schedule synchronous discussions where we all meet online in Elluminate. Students and teachers have the ability to talk (using mic and headphone) as well as a chat box in Elluminate but this is so quick and simple if we needed a check for understanding or tutoring session.
I also watched the tutorial on Poll Everywhere and signed up for an account. I created a sample "getting to know you" poll but I'm not sure this would work in my virtual classes. We have discussions boards where students enter this information and they don't have to be online at the same time. Lots of interesting information, though.

Tool #5

I created something in Prezi but I found it very hard to work with. The video I wanted to embed was not in YouTube so it wouldn't accept it. I could paste the link to the video but it shows up as a web address and not a "picture" of the video. I also could only upload one image. It would have been easier for me to create my own presentation (power point) and embed the video. Even the embed code did not work properly (below) so I can't say I was very impressed with this website.

<div class="prezi-player"><style type="text/css" media="screen">.prezi-player { width: 550px; } .prezi-player-links { text-align: center; }</style><object id="prezi_ciegz3yp_jq1" name="prezi_ciegz3yp_jq1" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" width="550" height="400"><param name="movie" value=""/><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"/><param name="allowFullScreenInteractive" value="true"/><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"/><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff"/><param name="flashvars" value="prezi_id=ciegz3yp_jq1&amp;lock_to_path=0&amp;color=ffffff&amp;autoplay=no&amp;autohide_ctrls=0"/><embed id="preziEmbed_ciegz3yp_jq1" name="preziEmbed_ciegz3yp_jq1" src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowFullScreenInteractive="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="550" height="400" bgcolor="#ffffff" flashvars="prezi_id=ciegz3yp_jq1&amp;lock_to_path=0&amp;color=ffffff&amp;autoplay=no&amp;autohide_ctrls=0"></embed></object><div class="prezi-player-links"><p><a title="XBox Factoring for Quadratics" href="">XBox Factoring for Quadratics</a> on <a href="">Prezi</a></p></div></div>

But it was interesting to try and in the process I found a great website with Algebra videos and an app for the iPad. I teach virtual classes and my students and I already use Google Docs collaboratively in the courses. I plan to add Stupeflix and Animoto to my suggested formats for submitting Geometry projects in my virtual class.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tool #4

I have used Google Docs before but never knew about the "forms" option. I'm sure there are other features with which I am not familiar. I plan to spend more time this school year trying out features I haven't yet used. I made a practice quiz (as a form) but when I saved, then re-opened the quiz, it was in a spreadsheet type format until I clicked on "form" above the document. I'm not sure if that's normal or if I did something wrong. I can use this to add notes and quizzes to my online classes. There are already several instances of Google Doc collaborative documents in some of the courses.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tool #3

YouTube has many videos that are helpful in math classes. I also have used videos from Khan Academy in some of my courses as well as Mathematics Animated. I could not log onto Discovery Education to search their videos because I don't have the user name and password.

After I teach my students how to sing the quadratic formula, I can use this video to help them practice and sing along with me.

This is a video from Khan Academy - quite a nice lesson a maximum and minimum values

I think the videos on copyright laws and fair use policies were hard to follow and a bit confusing to me. I don't think they really told me what I could and could not use of a copyrighted work. If I decide to use a clip or quote from a copyrighted work, I will have to do more research on that topic.

I have created a drop box account on both my home and school computer as well as my iPhone and iPad. This is a tremendous tool I was not aware of. Now I can create and access files from any of these locations and while I am out visiting schools. I have added just a few files for practice but I can see that this has great potential for me. I plan on creating a personal account as well!

Tool #2

I spent way too much time browsing through blogs. I can see how one could spend an entire day just reading through all the materials out there. I found several really good high school math teacher blogs,, are just a few. My comment was just saying how much I liked the resource listed so I didn't use much of the advice on commenting. In the future, I can see how that advice would be helpful if I was contributing to a discussion, especially if it was a controversial topic. I set up a Google Reader account and have already added five blogs to follow.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tool #1

This was a fairly easy process and creating the Voki was fun. I teach in the Virtual High School and we use something similar to blogs in every course. It's a good tool for me to know and can easily be added to my classes. Thanks for taking your time to show us all how to get started. I'm looking forward to learning about all of the tools but am a little apprehensive since I've heard it took other teachers many, many more hours than expected.