Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tool # 11

My favorite tool is BrainPop. I know I have alot more discovering to do but I love BrainPop. I spent a lot of time looking at the lessons on bullying. there were actually fewer videos than I expected. But the best part are the "other" things you can do after the video. They had an easy or hard quiz. They had a word wall, pop a joke, finish a cartoon activity, belly up activity, game, lesson ideas for teachers & families, draw about it, write about it, read about it & talk about it. All of these activities were cute & held your attention. They could all be done on the active board with me leading the lesson or if the students are in the computer lab they could all be doing the same or different activities on the same topic. They could "choose" how to express what they just learned from the video & discussion. I have already stated that I love using the videos from YouTube. I love Wordle...I think students would enjoy making wordles to express feelings/learning about the topic taught. I loved the wall. I feel certain that I will use Brainpop in my lessons because they are fun for kids. I think they will easily stay focused.
since I don't have a classroom I can't make the kind of plans that question #2 asks....but I have changed my paradigm regarding technology for me & it's use in classroom guidance. I am much more comfortable now . I will probably try to create some lessons & be ready to use them....esp for next year.
No super unexpected outcomes other than It was not as bad as I thought it would be. I hate to say that but I was pretty fearful. I still feel a bit uncertain because I have that old fear that if I click the wrong button everything will disappear!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tool # 10

I would approach the use of technology in a classroom guidance lesson the same way I would approach any lesson. There are some guidelines we must use to be safe, effective, honest & appropriate. Before I begin any lesson using technology I would check with the teacher to see if they had already been through training regarding digital citizenship. I have to say after reading through Tool #10 I had no idea that so many resources were available to SBISD to teach the proper use of technology & the importance of safety, citizenship & appropriateness. I checked the Power to Learn Resources first. It has very specific information in using the different forms of technology. I found I-Safe a bit friendlier to use. I was really wowed when I clicked on Atomic Learning. I have heard the name tossed around frequently but thought it was only about academic lessons. It has so many resources at your finger tips....... training, professional development, technology integration, 21st Century Skills, technology skills & training, demonstrations, workshops, software tutorials & even assessments.
If I were a classroom teacher I would definitely begin on one of these websites to teach proper technology use. Student safety would be my top priority, appropriateness, productivity & efficiency.
After I-Safety training I would use the analogies I use in guidance lessons. Asking the same question.... why is it important to be respectful to others? Why is it important to be respectful in the use of technology? What are some things that can happen if one is not respectful & safe when using technology? so on & so on.....
I think the use of technology for elementary counselors could best be served if we shared different lessons, websites, etc in our counselor meetings or on a "counselor" blog. At our last meeting we went to some websites that had videos regarding bullying & life skills. Since teachers have active boards it makes it easier for us to bring our computers or have the teacher go to a specified website for us to do a lesson.






Tool # 9

I enjoyed reading Tool # 9. I totally loved the video by Sir Ken Robinson. I also enjoyed the "way" in which he presented his information. I think he has very convincing arguments for changing the way we do things in education. We absolutely must keep up with technology & the world around us.
Students clearly understand & learn how to use technology much faster than adults. It is imperative that we stay ahead of them or at least can stand by them. It is a learning curve for everyone. The majority of the time the student is more fired up than the teacher. I am enjoying learning about all the things technology has to offer for students & for teachers. Teachers have an enormous amount of resources that were not offered when I first started & it is at their finger tips. I see no other way but to incorporate technology as much as one can in student's learning. Since the "world" is at our fingertips then matching the activity to the objective is easy. The teacher has a plethora of apps, tools, etc. she can use to teach her objectives. In order to insure learning takes place one must hold the students accountable for the objective. The information on Tool #9 gave multiple ways to structure technology based learning for accountability.
I went to every app available in Tool #9. Every app I saw was related to academics. I did not see any that related to "counseling" or classroom guidance lessons. I will not ever have learning stations but it is possible that I could find some apps that I could do a lesson with students sitting in groups with IPads or netbooks. Working in small groups we could create a story, moral lesson, life skill video, etc. The students could present after they finished.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tool # 8

I enjoyed reading about the Netbooks & IPads/ITouches. I really had no idea they could do so much. I can see where teachers would love to have them available in their classroom. Students typically pick up technology rather quickly but I liked the suggestion that rules of instruction & care of the equipment be posted at all times. One of the videos suggested creating a power point for each piece of equipment that students could refer to as often as needed.

I was most interested in the "picture" part of Tool #8. I think counselors could use the Netbooks or IPads/ITouches for taking pictures/videos & then creating a story or presentation for their peers using any life skill of their choosing. The students could also make a video presentation of life skills for a younger grade. I would like to see older students make videos on bullying, "appreciation videos" for different sub-groups on campus i.e. the teachers, the office staff, the nurse, the counselor, the specialists, PTA moms, etc. They could make a video of catching students doing random acts of kindness & then show them on the school TV network. Possibly the student could link a life skill(s) to a social studies event & tie the two together. Since students love taking pictures/video & love being in them they could go wild with their imagination. They would need time & guidance from the teacher/counselor. Some wonderful stories could be made & shared. They could build a blog & the students could post the video stories on the blog for others to see.
The organization points listed in the last video under suggestions seemed really practical to me. I don't think I could improve upon the suggestions unless I actually was the one in charge & a "need" arose. I think putting students in charge is a great way to teach & help them be responsible.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tool #7

After looking at some of the sites on 11 tools I was kind of intrigued by ePals. I formed an account with them. I think it would be interesting to communicate with other counselors in the U.S. Possibly we could post activities or initiatives that we do at our schools such as No Place for Hate, Character without Question, Character Counts, etc.
My primary objective would be to acquire new activities, techniques, strategies for classroom guidance activities or school wide initiatives. It would also be interesting to share with my students things I learn from counselors in other parts of our country.
This project could begin now or summer when there is more time to devote to it or possibly next year. I could choose a class that would like to be a part of it....possibly the students would come up with other ideas. Fifth grade student ambassadors would probably love to get involved with this project since we use them for character ed programs all year long.
The tools I would probably use are You Tube, Edmundo along with ePals.
I could guide the ambassadors at my campus to find videos, websites, stories, etc that support the life skills & post to the ePals account or a blog. With more time & experimentation I think the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tool # 6

Today we tried out Todaysmeet! It was really interesting for all of us. We also learned about back channeling. It is a very simple tool for all kids & gives every student a chance to comment or ask questions during a presentation....especially shy students who might otherwise remain quiet. We also thought that students could work in small groups .......come up with an answer or question & post it. Then everyone could see each groups responses, comments, ideas, etc. I like it. I have seen it used in one meeting I attended.
Google in Education is new & has lessons a teacher can use. I plan to check it out for guidance lessons, etc.
The thing I think is so cool & I know kids really get a kick out of it is skype...the reality that you can link to other classrooms around the world is so empowering for kids. The educational ramifications are huge! I know it could be incredibly handy during career week. All classes could pick people in different occupations & interview them or have them walk their computer around the business & students could see things first hand. Kids have the opportunity to ask questions first hand.
I haven't checked it out yet but I want to check out Wallwisher. I think it would be helpful for counselors to post things to the wall....information, resources, names of good children's books, etc...Linsey is sending us a wallwisher link through email. Can't wait to try it out!