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Welcome to DigiLit Sunday. I hope you will write a post about how digital literacy is working (or not working) in your classroom and link up with Mr. Linky at the end of this post.
I had a frustrating week with technology. I do not like to be negative, but when technology doesn’t work, it is maddening. I have been setting up my classrooms (yes, I have 2) this week. Since I have decided to use the website Wonderopolis for a weekly language lesson, it is imperative that my connections to the Promethean work. Wonderopolis is interactive, so you have to be able to use your pens on the board.
My school system gave every certified teacher a laptop about 4 years ago. This has been very good for me as I switch from one school to another. I just take the laptop with me, and everything I need is there. I have had trouble off and on for the last few years with my laptop connecting to the Promethean. Lots has been done to it to try to resolve the problem. This week, however, the technician who came pronounced that it was a hardware problem, and the laptop was out of warranty, so I was out of options.
In order to be able to use one of the two desktops for the Promethean, I had to reconfigure my classroom. That meant moving furniture by myself. But by Friday, I had it all rearranged. Then another technician came by. She tried everything, determined to make the laptop connect. Yet again, there was no solution. Now I have to order a splitter thing to be able to see the desktop monitor as well as the Promethean board. Office Depot didn’t carry it. It is now ordered.
Now I am learning to save everything to Dropbox so that I can use it at both schools. Dropbox is a great tool. I have two accounts, one with my school email address and one with my personal account. I use Dropbox to share documents with my writing group and with my gifted team.
I hope next Sunday I will have some good news about technology. I am trying to take this all in stride and hope it is not an indication of the kind of school year I will have.
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Slice of Life Day 9. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.
Calling all teacher-nerd-bloggers to join in the DigiLit Sunday Round-up. I will be hosting every Sunday. This is a huge leap of faith on my part, so I am hoping I have some leapers join me this week. Mr. Linky is waiting at the bottom of this post. Link up your own Digital Literacy post. I am still looking for a logo. Any ideas are welcome. This is all new to me.
One of my biggest problems in using the Internet in my classroom is blocking by the district network. I am pleased that YouTube is now available. This is due to the new curriculum our state is using that requires use of YouTube videos. So this week we were able to view a video by Tamera Will Wissinger. She read a poem to us from her book “Gone Fishing.”
A student from another class doing the Slice of Life Challenge wrote about Kid President, so we watched a few of those. I’m sure there are more ways I can use YouTube in my classroom. I welcome your ideas.
Still I run into frustration, especially when we are trying out new apps. I wanted my students to try out Haiku Deck that Kevin Hodgson led me to. When we pulled it up, all the parts worked except the pictures were all blocked. The best part of this app is the beautiful images to choose from. We managed to find a few pictures that would work, but only by trial and error.
Another difficulty we’ve encountered this week was that most blog sites are blocked. Fortunately, the Two Writing Teachers was not, so I could link up our class’s blog to the Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge, but if the other classes use any site other than Kidblog, the site is blocked. We are able to link up with other slicers through Kidblog.
I am trying to teach my students about fair use of pictures from the Internet. Mary Lee Hahn talked about using the Google Search Tool under Usage Rights: Labeled for reuse. The problem with this is most pictures that are reusable are blocked. I have taught my students that for use in the classroom on projects and PowerPoints, we can use a picture that is not creative commons; however, if they are going to use it on our public blog, it must be an original picture or one for reuse.
I’m sure many of you are running into these kinds of roadblocks and welcome any advice for working around and with them.
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