I recently read a blog post about using comics in the classroom. This made me start thinking about the love many students have for graphic novels and how they are an effective tool in engaging students in reading. I believe it is important to capitalize on student interests to engage them in the learning process and make the learning process fun and exciting. So why not incorporate their interests in graphic novels to display their own writing? A way teachers could incorporate graphic novel type stories into their writing curriculum is to use comics to display student writing. There are many free comic generators available in which students could use (without having to sign in to an account) to share and illustrate their writing. It would be a great way to create an authentic project to share with classmates or even display in the school's Media Center. I have included a great presentation below created by S. Hendy on using comics in the classroom. If you are interested in web sites students could use to create their own comics, I have many sites bookmarked here.
Today I presented at the Fire Up! conference put on by the Inter-Institutional Teacher Education Council of West Michigan (ITEC-WM). This was my first time presenting at a conference and I had an awesome time. I have attended many conferences (including this one when I did my student teaching) but it was interesting to be on on other side of the table and doing the presenting instead of the listening. I presented on "Creative Uses of PowerPoint in the Classroom." I believe that many people have strayed away from using PowerPoint because it is overused by many and is often times used only for presenting information in a linear fashion. My presentation gave information on non-traditional ways to use PowerPoint. I hopefully was able to give the my attendees some new ideas on ways to use PowerPoint in their classroom.
Similar to many other techies and school districts, our district has recently implemented Google Docs. I have been working with teachers, staff, and administrators how to effectively use Google Docs to increase collaboration and productivity. We have made Google Docs available to all staff members and so far and the response has been overwhelming. It never ceases to amaze me how many different implementations there are for one resource (as everyone uses it a little differently based on their job responsibilities). Through conversations and trainings with staff, I have discovered these applications:
For more information about Google Docs and many suggestions (including instructions) for integration, please take a look at our district's monthly technology newsletter found here.
One of things that I have been meaning to do for a while is create a blog to share some of my thoughts and ideas about technology integration. I work with K-12 teachers to integrate technology into their curriculum so that it is seamless and not "something else they have to teach." Students today are digital citizens and rely on different technologies to communicate, collaborate, and be productive. Why not use the tools and resources they know and love to help teach them essential content?
Times are changing in the education world where technology is becoming embedded in teacher's curriculum. The buzz words online and in schools are focusing on "21st Century Learning," but this time is now, not some place off in the future. It is our job as educators to prepare our students to be successful global citizens. As all educators are tackling this enormous responsibility at the same time, networking and collaborating are key components to creating a love of learning. I hope that I am able to share some ideas that may help you enhance your curriculum and become part of the digital revolution.
Some things to think about:
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