Wordle

Wordle is a concept I had heard before prior to this unit, and had seen some already made Wordles but had never previously known how they were created or really looked into the benefits of them.

To make a wordle you only need a simple amount of skills such as knowing how to correctly spell the words, having basic typing skills and also you need to have knowledge of the reason for making the wordle. It would be silly to make a wordle for kids, or have kids create a wordle for reasons you are unsure of.

A wordle can be used in many ways for teaching. You could use it for word association, show off the weeks spelling words, what to remember for certain topics and for many other areas within the curriculum.

However, the wordle programers may not have considered a few things when designing the wordle such as

  • All the educational benefits, therefore with realising these could make improvements
  • If using the words at prep, it cuts out the frequently used words initially, which you may want to use in a wordle as an exciting way to display them. This can be a hassle to have to add back in.
  • Could be improved by more moderation of the uploaded wordles. Potentially have a education section.
  • Should have options to be able to change the shapes – could have topic words and shape them like the topic

The wordle is definitely a tool I will try and use in the future in the classrooms and I know through more and more use of it I will come to be aware of all the benefits it can bring to teachers, students and the classroom.

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Edmodo

Edmodo was designed as a Facebook like format for students, teachers and parents to communicate ideas with each other in a new and innovative fashion. Edmodo is a concept that I had heard about but had not had the pleasure to use prior to undertaking this unit. While playing around with this site I found that it had a similar skin and appearance to Facebook but marketed at education. There are many features available on this site such as

  • General posting by teachers and students
  • Assignment submission
  • Polls
  • Being able to respond to other students posts
  • Being able to post images and links

The sight is only accessible by those who have permission, and the teacher can chose whether they want to allow students to openly post or whether all of their posts need to be moderated. I found it to be very easy to use and a great way to have a student community and use a different medium for students learning. It was very easy to use and everyone using it during John Pearce’ lecture picked it up very quickly and learnt how to use all the features. It creates a sense of independence for students, despite being monitored by their teacher, and allows students to become aware of the need to be wary of what is written online, at a young age prior to them jumping onto Facebook or Twitter when they are older – it allows for discussion of this.

Stop Motion Animation

Over the past few weeks the main focus has been the planning, writing, making and editing of our Stop-Motion Animations! This has been a great experience and has really opened up my eyes to a new kind of way for students to process information. It is a new idea for me to use in the future with kids and I can definitely see the benefits of using this animation with students in the classroom. I am always looking for different ways to engage students and interest and excite them on a particular topic and this idea had not crossed my mind before, nor had I had any idea how this concept might work.

I am very confident with this idea now, and know that students would thoroughly enjoy making this kind of video animation. They can use it as a new way to present information they have or are learning in a particular topic area at the same time having a lot of fun with it, using team work, information technology skills and will be writing a script most likely so this will come into account as well.

Below shows the processes we went through in order to construct our stop motion, which we made using images in photoshop mostly.

What have I learnt?

Over the past few weeks we have been learning a lot about a vast number of different kinds of technologies and software available for use in the classroom. Technology is an area in which I have also been wary of during teaching placements thus far. I feel I am become a lot more confident in my uses of it for educational purposes. It really is the discoveries of the programs, and having the chance to use them during seminars for this unit that I have become much more ‘tech savvy’ in an educational sense.

Some of the programs/software/apps I am now very eager to use in the classroom include

  • Glogster
  • Educreations
  • Wordle
  • Prezi
  • Edumodo
  • Evernote
  • Google docs

These rate just some of the programs introduced, that I would highly recommend to other teachers in the future to use. I have found with each of them that once I start playing around they have become very easy to use, and that by experimentation I have the discovered the perks and quirks of them all!