Monday, June 4, 2012

Useful Classroom eLearning Tools

Apart from wikispaces here are the some other tools I find very useful within my year 5 class (and as a teacher)

Jing
This site allows you to create screenshot and screencasts.  I use this tool to create instructional guides for students and staff.  We have recently rolled out iPads to the staff with many staff members not having used an apple mobile device before.  Jing allowed me to create a step-by-step visual manuel for basic operations of an iPad.  In the classroom, we were set to teach instructional writing for the term.  With help from David Kinane (an elearning facilitator), we got the students to create useful instructional guides for tasks such as inserting a widget in wikispaces.  These guides have been used by both students and teachers!  Within Jing you can also create instructional video's as it can take a screencast that students talk over...explaining what they are doing.  These video's are then embeded in their wiki's - or the class wiki help section.

Fotobabble on the iPad
Talking picture.  Students can take a photo of a piece of work and discuss this (in under 60 seconds).  This can then be embeded in their wiki for all to see ~ and hear!

iMovie on the iPad
Yes we use these on the iPads.  This allows students to capture the content and use it in iMovie all on the one device.  We create a movie where we took one of the students stories and create a screen play (all in one week!).  The students then filmed and edited this on the iPad and showed this to the school as our assembly item.  On a day-to-day basis, students capture what they have been learning in their workshops and post this to youtube, then embeded onto their wiki's.  They use the voice-over tool to reflect on what they learned and what their next steps are.  This only takes a couple of minutes and allows them this reflection time.

Class Dojo
I have found this in the past week...if you have google chrome, you can get the app.
ClassDojo is an easy way to engage your classroom by recognising positive behaviours as they happen.
The students seemed really excited about this tool.  I have put it up on my interactive whiteboard and have it installed on the 2 iPads in the classroom (I also have it on my iPhone).  This allows us to keep track of what is going on in the classroom.  You can make your own behaviours.  I have included a forgetting homework button, where I can now keep track week to week who the regular forgetters are (previously I have kept this  on a chart, but I can now access this anywhere...end of year report writing...check).  I get students to put their own points up and at the end of the day, the lowest 3 need to clean up.  At the end of the week the top 8 students get half-an-hour of their 'own time' in class (Friday just before morning tea when we are helping the class next door with spelling).