Archive | April 2012

Social and Collaborative Media

For this unit I have created a voicethread on social and collaborative media.  Voice thread is a tool that allows users to add narration to images or video.  Other users can go through threads and leave text, audio, or video comments.  Also, other users can doodle on the slides when commenting.


Learning Log – GoodReads

I have recently crated a small bookshelf on GoodReads of additional resources I can use when preparing a unit on the American Revolution.  For this bookshelf, I chose to group books that I would use while preparing a lesson  However, this is not the only way to use GoodReads.  This website is also useful in finding out what students enjoy reading and in recommending suitable fiction and non-fiction for each unit.  Also, I would personally encourage students to post reviews on books they have read (historically based) and discuss how effective and accurate they found the books.  This can help teach students to be thoughtful and reflective thinkers and readers. 

Learning Log – iGoogle



iGoogle is a great tool for helping me keep organized.  I am very fond of the Google Docs gadget as it allows the user to see their own documents and documents they have recently opened.  The Twitter gadget is also useful as I no longer have to check the Twitter site to get updates.  I also kept the CNN and Youtube gadgets on my homepage so I can stay informed with extra effort.  iGoogle will help my professional development by making my time spent on-line more efficient.  Many of the tools I use on-line are now in one place which is relatively distraction-free. 



During Module 2 in class I had to create a digital work using Bubblr.  Bubblr is a tool that allows users to create comic strips using images from Flickr. I create a comic strip that is meant to be an introduction to an end of unit assessment.  The comic shows examples of social consequences of the American Civil War and concludes by asking students to consider the political and economic effects.  I consider this strip a warm-up to at least two days of research on the part of the students.  The comic strip is intended for middle school students and directly aligns with NCSS U. S. History Standard 2B, which is also aligned with Maryland social studies standards.

Wikipedia: A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions.

Learning Log -Flickr Slide Shows


Virtual tours as conducted through Flickr seem to me to be the best and most complete use of Flickr’s educational potential.  The photographs in my slide show directly connect to Standard 2A of the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, under the content heading of United States History.  As the photographs provide a digital tour of a museum focused on Gettysburg, the photos literal aid students in “identifying the turning points of the war and evaluate how political, military, and diplomatic leadership affected the outcome of the conflict.”  This slide show also focuses on a direct outcome of the war that students might find particularly fascinating – the fates of orphans of Union soldiers.  (The building that the photos were taken in is part of the original War Orphans home set up after the Civil War.)  I believe that this slide show, with a narrative voice over, would make an excellent digital tour of an interesting museum that is often overlooked in physical tours of Gettysburg.

Learning Log Flickr Galleries



As I put together a gallery for the Module 2 Flickr assignment, I decided to focus on the American Civil War as my main topic.  This gallery includes images of important people during the Civil War, an example of an ordinary soldier from both sides of the conflict, several scenes from during the war, and three photographs of the aftermath of the war.  I envision this gallery would be useful as an alternative to PowerPoint.  I also intend for these photographs to be utilized with a lecture or worksheet activity.  I do not believe that a gallery like this is effective solely by itself; however, during this Module I have found a use for Flickr that does stand almost entirely on its own.