It’s easy to innovate when you have great innovators!

This school year has brought about a lot of change for my school, especially when it comes to the use of technology. In the last 6 months, we rebuilt a brand new school website, all the teachers at my school have created their own class websites, we created our Twitter,Facebook and Linkedin group, we purchased a class set of laptops and we have started to experiment with tablets and iPads. Furthermore, we created an online course for our grade 9 Information Communication in Technology Business class.

As the school’s ICT Coordinator, I am really proud and honored  to work with such a dedicated and hardworking team of teachers!

There is however one individual in particular who has embraced all of this new technology in her classroom with creativity and natural ability. Mme Nora, our Kindergarten teacher, has created an amazing classroom blog with daily updates of what her students are learning. She has also created her own twitter account to share her knowledge and collaborate with Kindergarten teachers around the world in addition to integrating tablets and laptops into her daily lessons.

Therefore, it is my pleasure to nominate Mme Nora’s acadekinders blog for the Best class blog award for 2011 : http://acadekinders.weebly.com/index.html

Please join me, http://edublogawards.com/nominations-open-the-2011-edublog-awards-are-on/
Happy nominating!

Where I want to be in one less click!

Wow!

So maybe I might be a little behind the times, but I just discovered Google Apps!

I have heard of their Apps before and after a quick glance, I became aware that I was already using some of them. However, last night was the real discovery : life is much easier with Google Apps!

Basically, I chose all the Apps that correspond to my daily online usage and determined how using the app brings me to where I want to be in less time!

Screen Shot of Google Apps!

In addition to my daily usage apps, I found some really neat apps to use with my students:

Diigo Web
Type Scout
Evernote Web
Picasa
Prezi
Sketchpad
Typing Test – Key Hero
QR Code Creator
Weebly
Google Docs
For Language schools there is Google Translate
For teachers, the Webpage Screenshot app is awesome!
And many more…

Another great thing is that we already use Google Chrome as our Internet browser at school ( I would highly recommend you install Google Chrome on your school computers, especially if you also work with Google Docs). By adding educative apps to the Chrome home page, it makes it that much easier to share app links with our students. In addition, each app has its own image. Therefore, it is much  easier to guide our younger students to where we want them to go.

Happy Apping!

The magic of Twitter

This post is dedicated to all teachers who are not yet on Twitter or who are currently building their PLN (Personal Learning Network),

While studying my B.Ed, I remember my teachers always saying ‘Do not re-invent the wheel’. When I started teaching, to avoid re-inventing the wheel, I would search online for what I was looking for. Unfortunately, I found that sometimes it could take a long time to find exactly what I was looking for (or I didn’t find anything and ended up having to create something from scratch). This can become frustrating, if it happens often, since our time is so precious.

Over the years, as I have gained more experience teaching and I have learned that the Internet does have a lot of great resources but so do other teachers. So my conclusion is this, to avoid re-inventing the wheel we don’t just rely on Internet searches, but we create and establish our PLN that should include (at least this is what I believe) connections made on Twitter. I strongly believe this because I have found this tool one of the quickest ways in finding an answer or resource.

Here is an image to help display how Twitter works for Educators:

http://blog.lifeisbalance.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/pay-it-forward.jpg

For example, you are looking for a Free Online Tool similar to Microsoft Publisher.

You can either ask your question (using Hashtags to target a certain group),  or direct your question to a few people in your PLN. You can even do both at the same time to increase your audience, however remember you only have 140 characters, so use them wisely.  After you have Twitted, you wait 🙂 Hopefully you will have a response fairly quickly. If you don’t get a response, follow up with those you contacted and you can even re-post your Tweet by re-wording it.  The magic of Twitter comes into play when people start to Re-Tweet your question and you get a fairly prompt response!

I have to admit, this may not happen overnight, but the more your become familiar with Twitter and the more your build you PL, the more the magic will happen.

For more tips on learning how to use Twitter as an educator, check out : http://twitterforteachers.wetpaint.com/

For a list of chats to get involved in on Twitter visit:
http://www.cybraryman.com/chats.html

Let the magic begin!

PS. To learn more about creating your PLN visit:
http://onceateacher.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/pln-your-personal-learning-network-made-easy/