Kate's Blog

My first ever blog!!

Kid’s these days…

July30

Children never cease to amaze me! Today I was hanging out with my little sister Claire (9 years old going on 19), and decided to show her “Glogster”, an online poster making website.

(check out Amy’s explanation and poster she made here –> http://alsel.edublogs.org/2011/07/25/glogster/ )

My little sister wanted me to help her make a poster advertising girl guides to put up at her school. After seeing Glogster used in a tute last week and after reading Amy’s post, I thought it would be great to introduce Claire to it. And she blew me away! After opening the website for her and giving her a very brief rundown of what each button does, she was away. Within 10 minutes she had already figured out how to add pictures from the webcam and the internet, resize items and re-colour the pre-set borders and boxes.

I think the key to her adapting so quickly to a new program was that she wasn’t afraid to click on things and experiment with what each feature could do. I am a bit of a hesitant person when it comes to new technology and programs, always carefully reading the FAQ pages before I click ANYTHING! However, Claire re-assured me “It’s OK Kate, if you make a mistake, that’s what control Z (undo) is for!”.

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Xtranormal

July29

Hi everyone!

Does anyone else lack in the artistic skills department? I know I do (poor preps on rounds last year were so confused at my drawing of a bus!) Well, don’t quit your degree yet, there’s still help for us artistically challenged people! It’s called Xtranormal http://www.xtranormal.com and it is a really great site for making short movie clips using text to speech and pre-made characters to make animated stories.

To explain how to use xtranormal, i used the website “Tildee” to make a tutorial, here is the link to what i made

http://www.tildee.com/YGKEJ

At the bottom of my tutorial there is also a link to a clip i made using Xtranormal.

It was a lot of fun to make the clip, and a great way for students to visually present there work. For example, in a tutorial for a humanities unit this week, our tutor showed us a great clip that a student made talking about Captain Cook.

I hope this has been useful to you 🙂

Kate

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My Header

July20

Hi everyone,

I have just beautified my blog a bit by adding a header. I was going to do this when i first created my blog yesterday, i found a lovely picture on google of rainbow hand prints but as i was uploading it i was hesitant. This was somebody elses image and I wasn’t sure i had the right to use it on my blog. So I left it for a while.

Then, midway through a tute on curriculum I had a brainwave: I decided to make a worlde. For those of you who don’t know what Wordles are, its an website: http://www.wordle.net which you can type in anything (one tutor assures me she uploaded her entire thesis!) and the program mashes up the words, making the most common words large and less common words smaller. You can then chose colours, layouts and fonts to suite your tastes/purpose.

So I put in some words such as blogs, students, education, SmartBoards etc, repeating a few to make the end result more interesting. I then saved the image and uploaded it as my Edublog header. However, the required cropping meant that most of my words disappeared. To tackle this, i copied my wordle into the paint program on my computer and re-sized it so that it was squished down and better fitted to the header shape.

I then re-uploaded the new squished wordle and it worked much better.

The Wordle webesite is really great and can be used in lots of different ways. Here http://www.slideshare.net/katygal/19-interesting-ways-to-use-wordle-elementary is a small presentation on how wordles can be used in the classroom 🙂

Hope this was useful!

Kate

by posted under July 2011 | 7 Comments »    

Week one: Edmodo

July19

For last week’s task, we all explored Edmodo and were asked to explore a feature that we wanted to find out more about. For this, i decided to have a look at the parent accounts.

This feature isn’t particularly relevant us at the moment as pre-service teachers, however once we are teaching in schools it could be very useful to keep parents in the loop in regards to assignments (as well as send alerts to parents regarding late assignments) and feedback on their children. Teacher’s can also use Edmodo calender features to keep parents up to date with up-coming class and school events using the calender tool.
It seems that if it were feasible to implement Edmodo into your classroom, it would be great to also have parent support and involvement. However, i would be cautious in how it was implemented. I think that it would be necessary to set out expectations and some “ground rules” to minimise misunderstandings. For example, I would stress that there must be realistic expectations in regards to responding to messages, as realistically I would not be able to reply to parent questions late in the evening. I would also hope that Edmodo would not completely replace parent contact and interaction in the classroom.

Overall I think that Edmodo parent accounts would be a great tool in reminding parents of upcoming events and assignments; however I don’t think I would be confident in using it for all parental correspondence.
🙂

by posted under July 2011 | 1 Comment »    

Welcome to my Blog!

July19

Hi everyone,

I’ve done this a little bit backwards as I was a bit too enthusiastic in making my first post and forgot to introduce myself!

My name is Kate and I am a 3rd year Primary ed student at Deakin Burwood. I’m also a newlywed and adjusting to being a domestic goddess (or not…). I am loving taking EST340 at the moment and have learnt so much already. Edmodo seems to be a very useful teaching tool and I hope i can see it being used in schools in my last few practicums. From what I’ve understood of it so far, it seems like an online student diary. I like that parents can be involved and alerted via email of assignments and schooling events (and hopefully means parents will actually see the “diary” every now and then!).

Anyway, i will leave it at that for now, hope you are all having a good week so far 🙂

-Kate

by posted under July 2011 | 3 Comments »    
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