I Love My Feed Reader! – Thing 13

I was excited to investigate this topic because I had tried using an RSS feed on my class website but had been unsuccessful because I didn’t really understand how it worked.  After reading through Thing 13 and its links I set up a Feedly account and began looking for sites to follow.  I started perusing the Edublog Award winners blogs and found some that I loved and definitely wanted to follow.  I also searched by categories in Feedly and found a few more.  I did all this about two weeks ago and meant to write my blog about my experience right away.  The problem was each time I started I kept getting sidetracked by articles on the sites I am following. An hour or two later I would realize I still hadn’t put together my blog, but I had new things I wanted to try in my classroom instead!

Microsoft_clip_art-3As a professional development tool I love the feed reader.  I could not seem to create a tool that would work for my students, though.  In 5th grade social studies we have been studying Native American tribes as well as the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas.   I was hoping to create a feed reader that would funnel current articles on these topics such as new discoveries or blogs on current digs but I could not find what I was looking for.  I also tried the same type of thing for my 6th grade students.  Hopefully I will eventually find what I am looking for.

Professional Learning Network – Thing 3

When I started this topic I came with an open mind but I must say the article Twitter is Studpid. (until you realize…) described me to a T.  Who cares what you had for dinner!  It opened my eyes to establishing a purely professional network (hence my title) that I may get much more out of and enjoy.

I began with lurking (which sounded kind of creepy) on Twitter, but did not feel I was connecting with as many resources as I hoped.  I already had a twitter account but I only used it for notifying parents when I updated my website.  So I started using it in a totally different way. I started following a few accounts.  I found that it takes and incredibly long time to truly find accounts that interested me.  Having hashtags explained help me find a few good nuggets.  I still have not posted anything myself except for a retweet.

I am not ready to use Twitter with my class but am looking forward to continuing to build a professional network.

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Thing 1 – Blogging

Hi,

I am Cheryl Toomey, a fifth and sixth grade social studies teacher in Fort Plain, NY.  It’s a small, upstate, rural school.  I love using technology with my students.  They get excited about any topic if I include technology into the mix.  About half of my students do not have internet or computers at home.  I have a SMARTboard in my classroom and two student computers.  I have access to a building computer cart with student laptops which is shared throughout the school.  The students will be thrown into a tech savvy world and they need to be prepared to use many different forms of it.  With my students having limited access at home to experiment, it is up to the school to introduce them to as many things as possible so they are comfortable navigating through whatever is required of them in the future.I am excited to learn some new tech ideas to add to my teaching.

cropped-cropped-internet_it_class.pngBlogging is totally new for me.  I want to start using it with my students after I get a good handle on it.  I already have a weebly for Education website that the students use and would like to add a blog page.  The post How to Start Blogging with Students I thought was especially helpful in breaking down how to introduce the process of blogging.  I especially liked the idea of doing it on a large sheet of paper with post-it notes first.