Today’sMeet (http://www.todaysmeet.com) — Today’sMeet may be the easiest web tool you ever encounter, and it can be used in a variety of situations. Create a chat room with your own Today’sMeet URL (www.todaysmeet.com/yoursite). Distribute the URL to your participants. As they arrive in the room, they enter their display names and they add comments to the room. Comments can be 140 characters or less and can include clickable links. Comments appear instantly. TodaysMeet can be used for in-class backchannels, website link distribution, professional development and more. Check out- “20 useful ways to use Today’s Meet in schools” post.
PRACTICE: #9 – class activity
Today’s focus: description
Starter sentence: The incessant barking stopped abruptly.
How to use Mentimeter…. Mentimeter is Free
Mentimeter is so easy to use that we think it’s best explained by letting you test it yourself.
* Engaged students get better results and learn more
* Use Mentimeter as a tool to make your teaching more interactive, both you and your students will benefit from it.
* Answer Garden (http://www.answergarden.ch/) —
Answer Garden is a digital “Scribble Space.” It can be used as a brainstorming or feedback tool in the classroom. It can be embedded directly into a website or blog. You create an Answer Garden by entering a topic or question. The next step is to share the garden live or embed within a site. As students begin posting answers, a word cloud begins to form. Students are limited to 20 characters. Results can be exported into tools such as Wordle.
Practice: Answer the following question and watch the Word Cloud evolve. What is your favorite digital communication tool?
Kidblog (http://www.kidblog.org) — Kidblog is a robust student blogging site. Create a class and individual blogs for every student. Then students have their own web space to journal, respond to writing prompts or just express themselves. Commenting on each others’ blogs is half the value of student blogging! Teachers have lots of control of blog privacy (public or private blogs) and comment privacy (public/private comments and previewing incoming comments before they’re seen by students).
Weebly (http://www.weebly.com) — Weebly is a website creation tool. It creates a site for you for free (using its own URLs — yoursite.weebly.com) and gives you a powerful drag-and-drop user interface. Pages can be quickly created and updated with a variety of content, including embedded content from other sites, images, videos, maps, contact forms and more. If you like what you’ve created and want to buy a .com domain for it, Weebly helps you. It’s simple enough to create a class website and elegant enough to make a serious professional-looking site.
*******Blogging develops the 21st century skills of Global collaboration, authentic learning, and digital literacy.
WHY SHOULD WE BLOG? HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS TO TRY IN CLASS:
Find a medium: There are plenty of potential homes for your students’ blogs. Richard Byrne lists several in this post. They range from the basic (Kidblog, Edublogs, Blogger, Weebly) to the complex (self-hosted WordPress).
1. Book Blog– Use a novel as the basis for on-line discussion and collaboration with classmates, classes, other schools,….etc endless possibilities.
2. Open topic posts are good: Richard Byrne of Free Tech for Teachers recently suggested that students reflect on what they’ve learned that week in a simple blog post. It could be open to all classes or just from your content area.
4. Blogging Challenge- Create your own blogging challenge with other schools. Teach2blog
Leave a footprint with your words…..
* Blogging Must Be Authentic: True blogging should encourage you to explore your own ideas and question the world through your own lens.
* Blogging Requires an Authentic Audience: Sharing and expressing ideas globally creates an environment of 21st century digital learning.
* Blogging Requires Time: Blogging is a global connection which envelops the passion for writing and communicating on daily basis.
THINK, SHARE, AND INSPIRE OTHERS WITH YOUR WORDS WELCOME TO THE CHALLENGE
Twitter- (https://twitter.com/twitter) Twitter is a free microblogging service founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone. Tweets are 140-character blurbs of information. Users can include links to other content in their tweets, pictures, and broadcasts can be public or private. For basics on how to use the social network, check out The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter.
Inside the Classroom: Can Students Really Learn from a “Tweet?”
What could that look like? Some suggestions:
- Student, Class, Teacher, or School Hosted Twitter Chats
— Students or collaborative groups choose 3-5 questions, which will be
the topic of the chat. The questions should be based on a current
theme or issue of literary study. Students will be the facilitators
throughout the event.
- Family Twitter Chat Night — As an extension of
the classroom Tweet-up, a topic is sent home in advance with a set time
for the chat. Families are encouraged to chat as a family unit. A
follow-up chat is held the next day in class, as a written reflection of
- Fictional Twitter Characters — Students create
fictional twitter accounts of literary characters or historical figures
as they work through a current problem or issue. This is a great
activity when teaching characterization, as the characters must react to
current events based on their character traits in the story, novel, or
- Fictional Twitter Character Debate — Students
produce a Tweet dialogue between two opposing characters about a key
issue in the story, current event, or future event.
- Tweet-story — Begin by tweeting out a story
starter. Students continue the story in sequence through tweets. This
activity can be constructed as a group or an individual activity.
- Twitter Version of ‘Pass It On’ —
Individual students or groups are each assigned one element of the plot
sequence. They are allowed only the 140 characters to write their
character description, setting, climax, etc. Students will tweet out
their descriptions in order based on the plot diagram.
- Create a Poll — Students will create their own
poll to gauge opinion or gather information on current issues related to
the theme or issue in a story or article.
- Curating Presentations — Students participate in
and curate conversations through tweets during a presentation by other
students or a guest speaker. Students are prompted in advance as to key
points based on the issue.
- Global Tweeting — Test your genius! In an effort
to build students’ curiosity, ask students to tweet their “big
thinking” questions -… what if… how might…. I wonder…… For example:
What if there were 14 months in a year? This activity will also help
students begin to build their own PLN.
- Twitter Community Connection — Establish a
partnership with local government or a charitable organization in your
community. Use Twitter to reach a broader audience, as students discuss
the latest cultural or educational event in the area.
- Debating Social Issues — Poll the class as to
what current issue they would like to follow; this could also be based
for the theme or conflict in a story. Students subscribe to relevant
hash tags and accounts from both perspectives of an issue. Students
engage in debate by supporting their arguments with evidence.
- Writing Book Reviews — Twitter provides a great format for students when writing micro-reviews of books, poems, or current articles.
- Engage in Word Games — There are numerous
activities in which to engage students in vocabulary through Twitter. A
simple ‘Do Now’ activity is to post a daily or weekly challenge asking
students to unscramble anagrams, contribute synonyms or antonyms, or
design and upload a word cloud, which examines multi-aspects of a word.
- Summarizing and Writing Concisely — After
assigning a current article, ask students to summarize the article
within the 140 character limit. This writing event teaches summarizing
and writing concisely.
- Twitter as an Exit Slip — At the conclusion of
class, ask students to write a 140-summary of their understanding of the
day’s objective or pose any questions to be considered in the next