I feel that this is going to be the year of Training. I think I will need to sit down and really work to help teachers understand the need (coming from students) and the functions that our web technology can be useful for. I am going to try and create a rubric of functions on the side and then web services at the top and what each product can do. What really needs to happen is that I create an advanced “ideal” online classroom to showcase how to integrate all the stuff we offer. Below is the beginning of a rough draft I jotted down today.
I want to create a website for parents to view homework and class news.
- You have two options: iBlog or Community. Both have many features and are easily updated. iBlog creates a complete blog/website that you can update with information and homework by adding “posts” to the blog. For this purpose it is very useful. Community has two advantages worth pointing out. One, it works well with iLearn if you ever want to explore online classrooms. Two, you can do more customizing with Community by adding photos, videos, documents and much more. Using the editor, you can drag and drop these items wherever you want on the page and they magically appear. It is also worth mentioning that Community has a built in blogging feature that is simpler to use than iBlog.
I want to post photos for our school.
- With the new SchoolShots photo sharing website, you can add photos and even have parents to order prints directly from the website! A neat feature of this website is you can contact me and I can install software for you that will allow you to upload photos directly from your digital camera all at once making adding photos very easy to do. Once you upload your photos, you can then link to your photo album in your classroom or school website making it easy for parents and students to find.
I want to post videos of classroom/school activities.
- D-Tube is the video sharing website for the district. You will need to register and then upload your video file. I approve the videos before they appear, so you can encourage your students to use this as well.
It would be nice to be able to easily publish school events to a web-based calendar.
- Try logging into the SchoolMatters News portal with your district id. You can then go to the calendar page and add events for your school. Be sure to select your school name from the “category” drop-down.
I want to extend my classroom online and allow students to have access to learning materials at home.
- iLearn is the complete online learning system. From assessment to discussions and chats, iLearn helps you create a learning environment that can be accessed at anytime. You can upload all your powerpoints and documents and organize your learning resources. It is also very interactive with discussion boards, surveys, chats, social bookmarking, and much more. The biggest benefit is that iLearn helps you organize all your teaching material and then once complete, you just have to modify or add to it as needed. You can cover the subject matter teaching directly from your iLearn course. Imagine using iLearn with your students displayed on a Promethean Board. What you teach from is what they will be able to access at home.
I would like for my students to be able to create research projects, study groups, and organize all their information and display it in a digital format.
Using the Community Add-on to iLearn will allow them to create personal webpages, blogs, form social groups, and much more. You do not need to do anything to allow this either. Just show them the tool and let them begin working with it. Community is accessed via iLearn, so you must first login to iLearn and then on the main page click the Community icon.