Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Twitter

I was thinking more about how I could use Twitter in my own classroom as a part of a telecollaborative project. If I were to use Twitter in my classroom, I think I would have to do it with my students, being how young they are. However, I think some of the possible projects that I came up with could be some possible things that I could propose to the intermediate teachers at my school.

Twitter could be used in the classroom to:

1. Collect Data- a class twitter account could be created to collect scientific data or historical data. This data can be shared with other classrooms and other classrooms can add data. Examples include: tweeting about weather conditions or facts about a president or a historical event.

2.Conduct Polls- -Students can develop a poll using Twitter Poll and collect data from students in other classrooms locally and globablly. They can collect votes on controversial topics or simple topics about favorite tv show, foods, or vacation places. Students can then take the data to create graphs or tables.

3. Have Online Debates- Debates can be conducted using a class twitter network in real-time on current events in the world.

4. Create a Creative Story- Select the type of story. Create a story opener which is tweeted around the class network of participating schools for contribution to the story line. (This idea is just like the one I blogged about in my previous blog. George Mayo did one of these with his students.)

I opened up a Twitter account today and kind of played around with some of the features like writing a quick "tweet" or message and looking at some popular tweets posted by others around the world. Here is a link to my twitter page. However, you may need to have an account with Twitter. A screen shot of my Twitter page is below:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Just as I joined Facebook, many of my friends became a part of the Twitter phenomenon. It is also popular among many celebrities, politicians, and other famous people. Ordinary people, like myself, can follow their "tweets" or messages in real time. Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that keeps people connected through the exchange of messages or what is referred to as "tweets." You can pretty much say what is on your mind. The messages that are posted on your twitter can be viewed by anyone that visits your page.

Twitter is a way to build up an extensive network of contacts who can be updated on your thoughts and activities. Twitter can also be seen as a mini blog where small posts can be made throughout the day. You are limited to 140 characters and spaces per post or "tweet". So, a whole lot of writing cannot be done.

Here are some other features of twitter:

1. You can send and recieve updates via text messages, the twitter website, or by email.
2. Restricted delivery just to your circle of friends can be done.
3. You can search for people by name or user name, get friends from other networks, or
invite friends by email

I wonder how Twitter can be used in the classroom? How can I, or any teacher, use Twitter with our students. I have actually never thought of Twitter as a tool that can be used for educational purposes until I read this article. It was interesting to be provided with a real-life application of how Twitter can be used in the classroom. I especially liked how a teacher, George Mayo, from Montgomery, MD, used Twitter to write a story collaboratively with his students and other students from around the world. The students would add a couple of sentences to an on-going story through tweets. In the end, a story was created collaboratively among students from all over the world.

Mayo does mention one negative aspect to Twitter. He says that he had to create one teacher account and password and then give this information to all the students. In another teacher example, Twitter was used a "cross-curricular" tool where students can respond to questions and prompts posed and provide feedback to other students' projects.

Here are additional Twitter resources for teachers. You will find articles on Twitter in Education, along with presentations on how teachers can start and use Twitter. Additionally, here are more useful resources for teachers, including a handbook and training resources.

Monday, June 28, 2010

More Glogster EDU

I created a very simple poster on Glogster EDU. It is on the lifecycle of a butterfly. Go here to view it. However, you may need to register and have a username and password to view it. I have also put a screenshot of it below. I have not finished it. But, I can always go back and edit and save it.

Glogster can be used as a tool in the classroom that allows users to create interactive posters to express information. Glogs can also be used as a part of a webquest activity. Teachers can link students to websites that contain valuable information. Videos and photos can be embedded into glogs. Students will have fun exploring the glog. In a more broad scope, Glogs can also be used in the classroom, telecollaboratively, as a part of a blog or wiki. Podcasts can even be embeded into glogs. Students can create their own glogs and import pictures and videos to create posters that expresses an event in history, a science concept, or math concepts that can be shared with others. Four classrooms around the world can use a glog that is embedded into a wiki or blog to communicate and express their ideas about a novel.

Here is a link to sample glog created by Ms. Hughes' fourth grade class. Her students created glogs to express poetry. Each student glog included a picture of the student, the poems they created, and a recording of the student reading the poem. The lesson plan can be found here. The class glog can be found here.

This example is great because it allowed the students to be creative and express themselves. The glogs also gave them a finished product that they could then share with other classes and their families. Having the students read their poems on the glogs also gave them a chance to practice their oral communication skills.

In another example, I found another great glog that was created by a student depiciting the Civil Rights Movement. It includes music, video, and photos. It is a wonderful example of what students can create and share with others in a social studies classroom. Here is the link. Below is a screenshot view of it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Glogster EDU

I found this cool web 2.0 technology that could be embedded into a wiki or a blog. This tool can be used with upper elementary school to middle school students. However, for primary teachers, like myself, this could be a tool that can be done with the students. It is Glogster EDU. Glogster EDU allows users to upload photos, text, and audio to create an interactive online poster. It has a very easy interface that allows users to collaborate and share their poster creations with others. Glogster can also be integrated with all core subjects such as math, reading, social studies, and science. Registeration is safe and user-friendly.

The teacher registers by creating a username and password. Additionally, the teacher can then set up student accounts by creating username and passwords. This is a great feature that allows teachers to carefully monitor their students activities on Glogster. The one pitfall to Glogster is that you have to be careful of copyright issues. It is very easy to upload images off the internet.

I registered for just the basic subscription because it is free. However, the premium subscription requires a fee and you get more features with it. To take a look at the Glogster EDU site, click on this link. Here is a great tutorial that provides step by step directions on how to use Glogster. Additionally, here Glogster's Educator Resource Library that has great resources such as: sample lesson plans, rubrics, and activities.

On my next post, I will provide an example of a poster I made on Glogster and also how Glogster can be used collaboratively.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wikis Continued....

Last time, I gave an example of a how a wiki was used in 5 kindergarten classrooms across the United States. A wiki was used to collect and analyze information about bird feeders. Additionally, a wiki was used as a way to communicate about the data collected on bird feeders in each of the seasons.

Here is a link to the Bird Feeder Wiki.

Below is what the main page of the wiki looks like. On the main page, there are side links to seasonal graphs, pictures of bird feeders, and link to questions that students from each kindergarten class came up with to ask students from other kindergarten classes.

I was trying to find more information about how wikis are used in primary classrooms, specifically first grade, since I am a first grade teacher. I found a cool wiki that was created by a first grade class that is very much relevent to me. It is called "The Tooth Tally Project." It is an international learning project that compares tooth data from different classrooms throughout the year. There is even an incentive for winning. Your class gets a tooth certificate. However, the only problem is that it looks like this collaborative projected has ended for the year. But it's a great idea for a project that seems simple. A wiki site is used to keep a track of the tallies, to communicate with different classrooms, to upload photos, and to submit work samples. Here is a link to this site.

This is what the site looks like:

In both, the bird feeding and tooth projects, it seems as though wikis were used to collect and analyze data among different classrooms. I think this is a great way to compare your class data with that of another class. However, I think my only problem would be time. Specifically, having the time to update and make posts.

Some other concrete examples of how wikis can be used in the classroom are:

1. Science Fair Projects- A wiki could be set up for upper elementary, middle, and high school students. A wiki could be set up so students can brainstorm and post ideas about projects. Small groups can then be formed to work on individual projects or be used to contribute ideas to other projects. Additionally, a wiki can be used to record and organtize data and plan presentations.

2. A literature circle could be set up between elementary schools using a wiki. All the elementary schools would read the same piece of literature. Then, all schools would be required to answer questions about the book and pose questions. Using a wiki would be a great way to integrate technology into literature circles. A wiki would be a tools utilized to share thoughts on books and to respond to questions.

Here is a simple tutorial on using and creating wikis. Additionally, check out Wiki-Teacher. Wiki-Teacher is a forum for teachers. Here you will find sample lesson plans and units and demonstration videos. However, you do you have register and create an account, but registration is free.

Monday, June 14, 2010


It's been a while since I have updated my blog. Things have been crazy with the year winding down. My sincerest apologies. I finally get a chance to sit down and make my second post.

Yesterday, the technology specialist at my school was telling me how she went to a workshop recently where she was introduced to wikis. She wants me to help her provide a professional development to teachers in the fall on creating wikis. The technology specialist at my school wants each grade level to create a wiki. She feels as though, it could be a way to communicate better with parents and keep them posted on what we are learning and other important news. However, I am sure there are other beneficial uses of wikis in terms of telecollaboration( collaborative work using the Internet for project communication) within classrooms.

A wiki is a web based application that allows a group of users to set up pages and edit pages. Some basic things to consider before starting a wiki are:

1.)Decide what features you want your wiki to have.
2.)Research the various available software packages and take a look at a few sites that operate on these systems. (ex: Mediawiki and Tiki Wiki)
3.) Choose how you want to host your wiki.

An example of an educational use of a wiki is different classrooms across different states, cities, countries can collect data and then post and share their result related to ie. weather, customs, and seasons. Data can be collected from different classroom and analyzed by students. You can also use a data collection tool such as a Survey or Google Form (I'll have to find more info about this). When researching online about wikis, I found an example of how 5 kindergarten classrooms collected data daily on bird feeders outside of their classroom. The students recorded the number of birds at the bird feeder, the color of the birds that they saw. At the end of each week, each teacher posted their results to share. What an easy use of a wiki!

A wiki kind of reminds me of a blog. Both a wiki and blog can be used to post written information, videos, and photos. Additionally, you can add comments to both. However, a wiki is more flexible in that it allows others to change what one person has written.

I created a sample wiki using wikispaces. It was very easy to set up. All I had to do was to create a username and password, along with submit my email address. I haven't done much to it, except add a welcome message to parents and teachers at my school. I could start this wiki and then have different teachers, parents, and administrators add any other information that they would like to share. Additionally, I am going to try to make a class wiki for my students and I. Here's a link to it. However, you may need to have an account with wikispaces.

Stay tuned for part 2 on Wikis! I will post more information about educational uses, as well as links to examples of wikis that have been used in classrooms!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Hello and welcome to my blog! I will be posting ideas about how various web 2.0 tools can be utilized in the classroom. Thanks for visiting, and I look forward to making my next post. Feel free to leave comments.