Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Oh, Technology!!!

Wow! My brain is on overload right now! I just attended my first live webinar session using Blackboard Collaborate. Those of you who are "techy," you may already know about these. For me, I am a newbie and I am so overwhelmed with all of the wonderful tools available out there for teachers!! It was amazing to be in a virtual classroom and hear so many great ideas from teachers all around the country!

I have been following Laura Candler on Pinterest and on her online website for a few months. She is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! She is so generous with sharing resources and information. If you have not checked out her stuff, be sure to look around her website HERE. She offers free webinars frequently.

This webinar was conducted on using web tools in the classroom. Now, if you know me, you know that I am an old soul. It's true.  When it comes to using technology, my experience, and frankly, my inspiration to try things, is minimal. I have seen several different apps, programs, websites, etc. introduced in faculty meetings and various trainings the past few years. The things looked great during the presentations, but I always struggled with finding practical ways to use these apps and things in the classroom. After this webinar, however, my mind is whirling with all the ways I can use this technology!

The first thing that I am most excited to share is Class Dojo. Now, I'm sure most of you are already Dojo pros at this and use it in your classrooms daily. Kudos to you!!  I tried using Class Dojo last year as a behavior incentive, and it just overwhelmed me. Honestly, it was so hard to remember to use the thing!  I always struggle with keeping up with behavior incentives of any kind- whether it be stickers, tally marks, behavior charts, etc. They are just so much work!! I know that if I do not put in the time to be consistent with those things, they become completely ineffective. But, wait!!! Stop!!! Who knew that Class Dojo has other uses besides just tracking individual students' behavior?!! I didn't!!!

The teacher who was presenting about Class Dojo shared the same concerns that I had about keeping up with her students' behavior individually. So instead, she created ONE avatar- yes ONE!- and named it (conveniently) 'Everyone.' Brilliant!! Instead of keeping up with tallies on the board or marbles in a jar (yes, I have tried them all) you can track the specific behaviors that you want the *entire* class to perform (sitting and working quietly, transitioning quickly, etc) using the Dojo system. All of the same concepts apply- the sounds, the data tracking, etc. I love that you can set individual skills to track and give points for those rather than trying to keep up with individual students.

This teacher, Suzy Brooks, tracks behaviors her class uses during Daily 5. As the picture shows, she can track patience, coaching, encouraging, EEKK, etc. The data is collected in a nice visual graph that the kids can analyze at the end of each day or each week. You can see the skills that they are using the most and the ones that need the most work. I just love it!!! Right now, my class is struggling with transitions. I can't wait to get this set up and try it out tomorrow. I think it might be just what the class needs to get motivated- and the best part is that I think I will actually be able to keep up with it!!

Check out Suzy's blog HERE

Other teachers presented on using Skype, Animoto, LiveBinders, and Kidblog. To hear the recording of the webinar and snag all the contact info for the presenters, including the websites and resources they shared, click HERE. I learned so much valuable information that I want to share- but it's not going to happen tonight!!

My brain is on overload! I'm headed now to set up my new ONE avatar to try a second go 'round with Class Dojo! If you have any other ideas for how to use Class Dojo, or any of the other websites I mentioned, please share with me and leave a comment!!

Happy Wednesday!!

1 comment:

  1. Great to learn new things !! I am sure you will be using your new knowledge soon !!


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