Saturday, February 9, 2013

Some products from Digital Learning Day

Using technology with the diverse group of students that I have, levels the playing field. Each one of them is successful. Technology affords them the opportunities to create digitally using a variety of tools. Not only that, they have become pretty savvy as they make decisions about their audience and their purpose when they are composing. Tonight, I will share 2 different blog posts that were created for Digital Learning Day. I wish I would have recorded the conversations I overheard on Monday.

In one conversation, I walked in on a rather heated discussion about whether the homophones "to," "two," and "too," were too easy for second graders. They boy who wanted to put them in there wasn't backing down. He said that he still had trouble remembering them, so he thought they should stay. I had to agree with him. I told the group that I still had fourth graders who couldn't remember to use the right word in their writing.

 Another group didn't know if "die" and "dye" should be included. They worried that it might scare the second graders. The boys in the group came up with a funny little skit that the group decided would be just right.
The first blog is by Nate and Adam. They decided to create a Wordle to introduce their blog and they used Pixie to create the illustrations (including importing a map of Chile). They exported their images as jpgs and inserted them into the blog. You can read their blog here  and I invite you to make comments.
The second blog was created by John, Joel, Michael and Owen. These boys wanted to create a Slideshow. After deciding on the homophones to share, they drew pictures, photographed them with my phone, and then cropped them once we got them into iPhoto. After that, I quickly showed them how to use Animoto and they were off composing. I love their last line, "If you saw the video you should know what a homophone is. If you don’t try to watch the video again." It's as simple as that. Again, I invite you to view their blog here and leave a comment.

 Digital Learning Day was fun, but I have to say that in the grand scheme of things, we could easily assert that most days are digital learning days in our classroom. Students think nothing of conducting an Internet search, checking the online dictionary, reading and commenting on Wonderopolis or other favorite site, or sitting down to compose or comment on a blog at any time of the day. Next week, my students will be allowed to bring in their own devices to use for educational purposes. As educators, we need to ask ourselves  how we are using technology in purposeful and authentic ways and how we are supporting our students in making decisions as readers and writers in our classrooms as they learn to navigate the digital world.

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