EDU 709 Innovative Uses of Technology “ A Walk Through Project II” Judy Hale April 15, 2011
<ul><li>Research had to be done. </li></ul>The beginning… Websites had to be explored. Free accounts had to be joined. Decisions had to be made! I wanted a project that was versatile and incorporated different websites.
The big decision… First thought: Google Earth and Google Docs Second thought: Google Earth and Google Groups Third thought: Google Earth and Google Sites Final thought: Google Earth and Blogger
Rationale… I wanted one research project that could be used to teach several software programs, both computer-specific (KeyNote and Pages for the Macintosh) and Internet accessible (WikiSpaces, Google Earth, and Blogger). I have a project that I use to teach KeyNote and Pages, so I decided to add to that using WikiSpaces, Google Earth, and Blogger.
The process… First, I set up my WikiSpaces site with four lessons. The first two were lessons that I had previously done with Pages and KeyNote. I created an avatar using voki.com to give my Wiki a different touch. I also included YouTube tutorials to give the students a visual aid. http://2011mrshalesjhswiki.wikispaces.com/1+Home
Lesson One… Lesson One (actually lesson 3 on the wiki) will teach students how to create a virtual tour using Google Earth. Students will use their research from the first exercise on the Wiki. The students will watch a YouTube tutorial explaining how to use Google Earth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4Ru0xyb-uM&feature=related They will be asked to create a tour that includes the locations and pictures of five to seven tourist attractions, the state capital, and at least three universities or colleges from their earlier research. They will be asked to record their tour with or without voice. Finally, they will be asked to save their completed tour (the kml format) because they will be doing an oral presentation of their tour at the end of the unit.
Project Advantages… • The students will develop technology skills. • The students will learn about geography and possibly history. • The students will use focused writing skills. • The students will develop organizational skills. • Google Earth is a free source and is somewhat easy to learn.
Project Disadvantages… • It would be hard to work on the project outside of school hours. • It is not as easy to share projects from Google Earth as it is with some other programs. • Google Earth has been known to “crash.”
Lesson Two… Lesson Two (actually lesson 4 on the wiki) will teach students how to create a 30-second animoto video and to post it to the class blog. Students will use their research from the first exercise on the Wiki. The students will be directed to animoto.com to set up a free account. The students will choose three to five of the pictures that they used for their Google Earth state tour. They will select a theme and add their text and pictures. The students will be invited to the class blog: http://mrshalesjhsblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/state-animoto-videos-and-discussions.html
Lesson Two continued… Beneath their video are several buttons. They should click “Share.” A new box will appear. They should click “Blogger.” In their comment on the Blog, they should type their name, put the animoto title below their name, and tell why people should visit their state. They should then post their comments. The next step is to tell animoto to produce the video. Next, the students will select the music to accompany their presentations. They will be encouraged to use the music provided by animoto.
Project Advantages… • It incorporates using two free websites: Blogger and animoto. • It teaches the students another way to make presentations and to publish their work.
Project Disadvantages… • I am not sure if how it will work when students try to post their animoto into the class blog. I practiced posting mine, but I am not sure how it will work with a non-owner of the blog. • The owner can link sites rather easily, but the person making comments can not. • If students don’t have computer/Internet access outside of school, they would only be able to work on the project while they were at school.
Effective Instructional Strategies… Both lessons are hands-on, using previous research to present ideas in different ways. Although the students work independently, they have the opportunity to share ideas and tips with their classmates through class discussions, Wiki discussions, or on the class blog. The students develop organizational and focused writing skills. The students use their creativity and have some choice for what they include in their projects.
Transferability… WikiSpaces (or any other collaborative site), Blogger, Google Earth, and Animoto can all be easily used by other teachers in other content areas. All programs are free and fairly easy to learn. The biggest drawback is that it does take time to learn the programs and to put the lessons together. However, once the lessons are ready, it wouldn’t take much to update or tweak them when the teacher wants to make modifications.