A few Web 2.0 Tools for the Classroom

 

A few new Web 2.0 tools which I have come across  which could be of great use in the classroom.

  1. Highlighter App

This simple app can be downloaded from the Chrome Store or the Apple store depending on which device you are using. There is many variations to this app but each have the simple understanding that when you are online or using a device you like to highlight key points or ideas which catch your attention as you are reading. Price depends on what you are looking for; however in general it seems to be free to download and use.

 

2. Second Life

I came across Second Life by chance. However, so far I have been very impressed by it’s concept and ideas. It allows people to create a free 3D virtual world.

When teaching history, it’s important to try and use visuals in the classroom. For example, when teaching the Romans, minecraft has a huge selection of visuals which can be used when teaching about the Roman villa or domus.

However, allowing students to create their own Roman Villa or Domus – or even Roman town would bring topics alive for students. Additionally, this will allow students to bring history alive and into the twenty-first century through this Web 2.0 tool.

3. Answer Garden

Answer Garden is a web 2.0 tool which I have yet to use – yet I have heard very positive things about it from those I know who have used it in a classroom setting.

Answer Garden allows for a teacher or student to a put a question in and press the submit button. The most frequent answers are shown. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lent

Pancake Tuesday is a day greeted with much delight last week as people enjoy their pancakes with their many different toppings and creations. Some people even go to extremes and they have pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner! It is a day of indulgences.However, Pancake Tuesday is also known as Shrove Tuesday and marks the beginning of Lent.

Lent is a topic which can be covered with a range of years and can be pitched very easily to each class.

A few resources which I have picked up this year for lent are as follow!


Short Youtube clip on Lent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAuB-3V46zk


Short Youtube clip on Ash Wednesday or Lent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3L3c23MfC0


 

Lentsanity Free App designed for young adults.


Pray as You Go Catholic App Free App where you can make a digital retreat for Lent.


 

Credit @MsKeleghan and @rechatie


@rechatie

Will have daily updates and resources throughout lent.


 

Sign up to the diocesan advisor newsletter! Great resources are emailed out.


 

Beautiful images to use throughout Lent

 

LentRetreat2016


 

 

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Classroom starters

Earlier in the academic year I tweeted about the Daily Post were the release daily ideas to help you keep blogging. These ideas have been interesting to read and look out over the past weeks.

Furthermore, it is a blogging community which do offer feedback and ideas which can help inspire both classes and blogs.

Some good examples that have caught my eye recently and could be used as brain teasers at the start of a lesson can be found below:

  • When life gives you lemons… make something else. Tell us about a time you used an object or resolved a tricky situation in an unorthodox way.
  • What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?
  • Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?
  • Our days our organized around numerous small actions we repeat over and over. What’s your favorite daily ritual?
  • Remember the seven cardinal sins? You’re given the serious task of adding a new one to the list — another trait or behavior you find particularly unacceptable, for whatever reason. What’s sin #8 for you? Why?
  • What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?

Web 2.0 Technology – Google classroom

Image result for 1916 rising

Recently I had a class do projects in preparation for 1916 celebrations. There was no set way for the students to do the project expect to stick to a theme.

viemo Image result for vine

 

Some students choose to use Vimeo and Vine to create short video to present their projects. These were excellent and well made however trying to download and have these videos on file and share them to the school website proved a nightmare.

The videos are too large to be sent over email, they could not be uploaded to edmodo (it is possible but time consuming thus it was abandoned after 12 minutes), difficult to download onto a USB due to configuration. We finally ended up using Google drive and sharing the videos integrating them into a Prezi PowerPoint and sharing it as a URL.

reflection

On reflection questioning the amount of time that was spent on trying to share these videos – how could we have had a central place to share videos and information with students easily while still keeping child protection laws in place and protecting yourself as a teacher.

Answer – Google Classroom

Google classroom is ideal if you are trying to integrate a whole school onto one servicer. Google classroom pulls together a lot of things which you do across several platforms – for example emailing, uploading resources, keeping in contact with students and parents, setting reminders, PowerPoint’s, word documents, media etc. etc. The possibilities are endless with Google classroom.

Students can have their accounts which they can log onto. It is quite helpful as it saves everything automatically.

 

 

It is also a mobile app thus each student can log on at their leisure or even check in while on their journeys to and from school. It is delivered through the Chrome browser, which means it can be accessed on most devices. Furthermore, it gives teachers a chance to see who has logged on and who has not and give direct feedback to the students.

Another aim of Google classroom is to create paperless teaching. The cost of printing is astounding in schools and many students lose or forget their work. Noting that students lose their copies and notes can prove difficult in subjects was they are expected to maintain and build on their notes for three years such as History. If students lose their copies – they can lose up to two years of notes at once which are near difficult to replace. Additionally, Google classroom can be organised into folders making it easy for teacher to keep track of each class. This does free up class time as you are no longer spending time handing out sheets and explaining assignments in detail while writing it up on the board. Instead with Google classroom you can do all of this by the click of a button.

One other feature that does make Google classroom ideal in a school setting is you can adapt notes to suit each student needs. For example, you can change the colour and font for students who have dyslexia or learn better through colours. You can also add in colour photos which bring the subjects alive or interactive videos.

Google classroom also encourages eLearning in the classroom which does further their skills and ability to adapt to our fast paced world.

However, there are always drawbacks which have to be addressed. Though Google classroom is changing the way in which we think about teaching – it still comes down to the simple fact that not every student can afford the upkeep of these devices. Even more so if a student device breaks, they no longer have access to their classwork or extra material. This leaves them at a disadvantage to other in their class.

One other huge disadvantage is the lack of an automated activity feed. If students do not refresh they will miss out on deadlines and notes that the teacher posts. This can be frustrating for students as they may be logged in yet not receive the assigned work.

The other thing is Google classroom is creating a virtual environment and classroom for students and the teacher. However, this can create problems as it does make an impersonal classroom as students may not feel they are connecting with the material or teacher. Sometimes teachers learn about students from the side notes and little doddles that they do in the margins of their copies. Also, it is difficult to distinguish who did the homework if it is online. Why I say this is when you correcting homework that is done into a copy, you can check the handwriting and spelling for copying. If the homework is submitted online you don’t know if a student has copied and pasted the answers from each other or if a parent has done it for them.

Overall, Google classroom is ideal for streamlining classrooms in order to share resources. However, there is cheaper and easier to use alternatives currently. Maybe in a few years Google classroom will become a mainstream idea.

A short reflection on the Holocaust

Recently in the History Society I asked students what they would like to study. A huge amount of students asked to study World Wars and in particular the Holocaust. The reason for this was the promotion and coverage of the Holocaust Memorial Day on the news and over social media.

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The amount of coverage of the Memorial Day is noble as it does raise the hope that mistakes made can ensure people are aware of the injustices that occurred in history, and not to be repeated again.

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However, despite this report it does well to view recent FBI reports that it is the Jewish community that still the most persecuted religious community in America (reported attacks). To realise and hear that the Jewish community is still being persecuted despite the atrocities committed against the Jewish community highlights how we may not be learning from our past mistakes.

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When teaching about World Wars or the Holocaust it is important to remember that there is still injustices occurring the world despites our best attempts

Alternatives to Youtube

Using IT in the classroom is always a welcomed challenge for teachers and a distraction for students.

Films, TV documentaries, short media clips are all great resources when used correctly in the classroom. However, YouTube is not always available in secondary or primary schools due to the PDST security. Despite this many schools have set the level to incorporate YouTube.

e-safety

Youtube however is a social media outlet which does wish to make profit from it’s availability and services, thus youtube has started integrating ads into youtube clips as people are skipping the advertisement. This does pose a problem in a school and learning environment.

One way to overcome this is to use quiettube. Quiettube takes out unnecessary extras and just allows the youtube clip to be shown.  It is ideal if teaching younger students or if you wish students not to be distracted. Quiettube additionally takes out the autoplay next video which can lead to distributions when teaching.

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Another great IT resource to use instead of YouTube is Vimeo. Though I have discussed Vimeo in a previous post – it is always good to reflect and revise on resources.

Vimeo has been proving itself in regards to the high quality and easy to use features. One student recently, created an amazing 1916 project using Vimeo. Additionally, they were able to make the video from their phone and they had their family helping them which they said was ideal as their family then became involved in the students learning. Furthermore, using Vimeo allowed the student to experience HD quality features and enhancements which aren’t always available when uploading YouTube clips.

The wealth of resources on Vimeo is also worth noting. Most topics have something there which you can view and use. What I have found from using Vimeo in the class is it can be tedious to load at times due to the HD Quality.

Wingclips is another media clip which I would highly recommended using the classroom. It has a huge amount of short clips to choose from which are ideal in the classroom. Wingclips is designed to be easy and friendly to use. It even caught my eye that in the Catholic School Week resource pack they recommended using short clips from wingclips to tie into lessons. It was ideal to use in the classroom and also suggested other clips. Furthermore, wingclips seems to use HD quality clips which are ideal in a classroom full of students. It eliminates the usual

I can’t hear the clip or it’s very blurry.

One feature of wingclips which does put it above other websites is it has been split into themes and categories. Furthermore, it has also designed an educational section on its website. This section is packed with resources and inspirational shirt clips which can be incorporated into any lesson theme or even at the start or end of a lesson.

Additionally, wingclips has the length of the clip beside the clip and key words. Knowing the length of a clip before you even click on it is ideal if you are trying to plan a class as time is of the essence when teaching. One of the most common complaints you hear from students who are reflecting on teaching practice at this time of the year is they do not have enough time. Similar to how the crunch of the coursework is on top of many students and teachers and how they say that they feel that there isn’t enough time in the day for what needs to be done.

Also, another reason why wingclips is highly recommended for the classroom as a resource is there is no advertising or advertisements shown on the page beside the wingclips logo and a link to buy the whole documentary or clip.

Religious Education Resource is Bible.com. Though it is very much so aimed towards the Christian part of the course, it does have a huge amount of resources which can be pitched at any level. Recently, more and more clips have been uploaded to this website. Additionally, it has since adapted to the way society has gone and can be downloaded as an app. By being able to download bible.com onto your phones as an app you are able to research and look at the resources on the go. Having the option to log on via your phone and browse resources.

Glogster

Glogster  is a new Web 2.0 technology that allows students and teachers to make multimedia posters.

Glogster is an excellent Web 2.0 Technology ties into the NCCA Key Skills as well.

  1. Glogster encourages students to think critically and creatively as they have to create a multimedia poster but use relevant information.
  2. They have to process information to make the multimedia poster.
  3. When making a multimedia poster they have to communicate with their teacher and fellow classmates when making a multimedia poster.
  4. If the teacher uses Glogster in class, students will have to think what they want to do, how they want to create the poster and how much information they want to put on the poster and can they achieve their plan in the limited amount of time they will have.

An example of some Glogster Posters!

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Additionally, it’s great for students as there is already made templates and examples for students full of media which can help them get ideas.

It’s also free and easy for students to use as well as being safe.

For more information on Glogster try looking at Glogster Twitter Page: http://ncca.ie/en/Curriculum_and_Assessment/Post-Primary_Education/Senior_Cycle/Key_Skills/Key_Skills_Framework.html

Global World

Well worth checking this short video!

Great introduction to several topics such as AIDS, internet, global changes, population, 1st world problems, social changes, world demographics etc. etc – endless list of topics.

 

Holocaust Memorial Day

With less than two weeks to go for Holocaust Memorial Day I think it’s fitting to raise awareness about this increasingly important day.

holocaust

This image sends chills down the spine of anyone who knows the horrific background to this picture. For those of you who may not recognise or know this is the entrance into Auschwitz,. Auschwitz is known as one of the most horrific camps to have ever emerge  in human history.

The holocaust is one of the most disturbing ideas to be recorded. This event literally shakes the core of each person who learns of the horrific incidents, plans, thoughts, people who were involved and ultimately lives who were cruelly cut short or left with more horrific devastating pain than we can comprehend.

The Holocaust is a horrific event that should never be repeated. Everything should be done to avoid this occurring again. How we can do this is by remembering the Holocaust as ‘it’s as urgent as ever’ according to the Lincoln group this week.

There are many resources on the Holocaust which can incorporated into many different subjects and lessons. There are a huge amount of resources and websites dedicated to raising awareness about the Holocaust.

Holocaust Education Trust Ireland does a huge amount of work to raise awareness about the Holocaust and the devastating aftermath it has had on those affected and the world. They seek to inform and enlighten in order to prevent another atrocity ever occuring again.

They have a huge amount of resources and information for teachers and students. One of the most important resources they have is survivors testimonies. With personal testimonies becoming fewer and fewer with each passing year, it’s important to listen to these testimonies. A few personal testimonies which are well worth looking are from survivors such as Tomi Reichental, Eile Wiesel, Jan Kaminski, Suzi Diamond, Ingse Radford. Each of these survivors have a haunting testimony of how children witnessed things no human ever should.

Resources for introducing the Holocaust to a class.

 

For many media resources such as this please check out hetireland youtube channel. There are numerous video clips which can be used in class.

Another resource which can engage students is this interactive map which can engage and introduce the topic.

For further information and resources please check out these twitter accounts! There has been amazing work and research done in order to make people aware of the Holocaust and how we can prevent it from ever occurring again.

@HolocaustMuseum

@HolocaustMI

@AuschwitzMuseum

@TheHistoryPress

@annefrankhouse

@HolocaustUK

@HMD_UK