Monday, June 16, 2008

Handout Wordle

I've been seeing the Wordle website being thrown back and forth on Twitter and in blogs recently. Now that it is the end of school, I've decided to check it out with a handout I gave to teachers at a training session this past Friday.I think I stressed what I intended: web connections and moving through Bloom's levels in projects.

Intro to the Read/Write Web
The class was based on the information I provided to some New Jersey teachers who are working toward their teacher certification. The gentleman who runs the alternate route course was very specific in saying that I should assume a certain comfort level with technology from those folks.

The teachers in my school have a different levels of comfort. They all have computers in the class, but our preschool classrooms do not yet have Internet access. The preschool classes also use older, donated machines.

Much as I did back in February, I did manage to have everyone take a survey. Before starting, I showed them the Middle Ages Tech Support video to remind them that all technology was new and scary at some point. Everyone used a wiki to brainstorm ideas for using technology. They took a look at the Wikis in Plain English video as a big picture of why people use wikis.

Again, similar to February, I took the teachers on a tour of the K12 Online Conference. I spoke again about Liz Kolb's Cell Phones as Classroom Tools presentation, Silvia Tolisano's Travel Through Space and Time, and Brian Crosby's Obstacles to Opportunities presentation. I really choked up talking about Brian's presentation. My sister didn't survive leukemia, and would have really loved to have attended class virtually. His story makes my heart full.

I followed this with Darren Draper's Pay Attention video. It appears that no one had seen it before. I asked them to talk with each other about it during the video, if it struck them to do so. I had them do a Think-Pair-Share afterwards. I need to become more adept at getting people talking afterward. No one seemed to want to volunteer comments afterwards.

Moving Up Through Bloom's Taxonomy
This is where I stepped away from February's class pattern. I would have liked to moved on to showing them other new tools, but instead spoke with them about how I use technology in the classroom to move the students up Bloom's Taxonomy.

I spotlighted several projects and tried to demonstrate how I attempted to engage students in reflection, analysis, and creation. I showed them the Monster Project, the Math Discussion Mental Math and Weight Voicethreads, and the Sixth Grade Population Density movie.

When They Left...
They took home a double-sided two-page handout, a account with all the links plus more, and the knowledge that we have agreed to take time after 1/2-day meetings for technology training. I know they felt like they were hit with a tidal wave of information. For those who choose, they are armed with enough information to begin their own exploration of teacher connections online.


  1. Ann--this is so good! Can I copy parts of it to use with my teachers? I have so much to learn and reading your blog is giving me so much information. I teach at a Catholic School in Wichita, KS. I have K-5 for 30 minutes once a week. You have inspired me with all you do! My principal has wanted me to do some tech workshops for the teachers. I think this would be wonderful!!
    Susie Klausmeyer

  2. Susan:
    I'm so glad that you find my writing useful. Of course, you can use anything you want. I'm still struggling to get technology embedded in our classrooms. We are doing much better, over the years, getting the 5th-8th graders researching and using Word with their teachers in the classroom. With the addition of 20 tablet PCs next year, I'm hoping to kick it up a notch. If you ever write and reflect on what you end up doing, let me know. I'm always on the lookout for new ideas.

  3. I've never used SurveyMonkey so this morning I made a survey to use with my 7th grade keyboarding/computer applications class. My son has found it boring, but I'm excited to use it get a feel for what they know and don't know.
    I'm also going to have my own children create a voicethread about our summer vacation and send it to family. This will give me an idea on how to use it. Thanks, Susie

  4. Ann,
    Thanks for finding wordle. I plan on using it as a handout to describe what the new class I am teaching next year is all about. It is pretty much a hybrid of technology, resarch, creative thinking and writing across the curriculum. I am looking for other 6th grade classes to collaborate on wiki... Would you know of any in your district?

  5. I won't be seeing public school teachers until February. I'm slowly introducing these tools to the teachers in my building this year. When you're back from California, let's talk. Maybe I can do something with my sixth graders. I see them twice per week. They were part of a wiki project last year as fifth graders. I think they wanted more participation than they got last year. This might work well.