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Presentation middleschoolconference

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Connecting with Your Students: Using Blogs and Webcasts in the Classroom …

Connecting with Your Students: Using Blogs and Webcasts in the Classroom
This session will cover the use of teacher created Blogs and Webcasts to connect with students both in the classroom and when students are at home. I will demonstrate how Blogs and Webcasts can increase student participation in class and create a more interactive classroom environment.
Presenter: Jesse Pittard


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  • 1. I. Selecting a Website Host A. Types of Website hosts: 1. School Based Blog 2. Weebly a) My choice because of flexibility and ease of use. 3. Wikis B. Which should you choose? 1. Totally depends on the individual and his or her classroom needs. 2. Select the system that will make your life easier. II. Making the most of your time A. Familiarize yourself with the operation of your website 1. Learn how to set a webpage, blog, etc. 2. This saves time and frustration in the long run. B. Make it a priority. 1. Make room in your day to update your blog or webpage. 2. Think of it like this, every minute you spend working on your website now saves time in two ways: a) Saves parent questions b) More updated and detailed the website, the less phone calls and emails you will receive from parents. C. By making the website a part of your daily lesson plan your students will use it more and it will reduce student confusion or questions about homework or assignments. III. Creating a Virtual Classroom
  • 2. A. Make it a resource and communication tool. B. Essential that your classroom be reflected through your website. 1. Websites should be more than an assignments listed page. 2. Students need to view the website the same way they view a textbook, as place to find relevant information for the subject. C. Instruct your students on how to operate your website. 1. Listen to what the students have to say about the design of your website. 2. Students will tell you when something does not make sense make adjustments. D. Instruct parents on the operation of the website. 1. This encourages parent involvement and understanding. 2. This will lead to greater student participation. E. Make the website a part of your daily routine. 1. Open your class with the Website on the projection board. 2. Link Class materials to the website. 3. The website will become like a “Text Book” to them. 4. The more familiar students are with something the more likely they are to use it. IV. Stimulating “Student Professional Interest” in The Blog A. Model the Blog as something other than a game. 1. Eliminate the term “Social Networking” and replace it with “Academic Exchange.” a) We use the term Academic Exchange to define the blog because what is happening is the exchange of important academic information between student and teacher. 2. Your students will have to start thinking of the internet as something other than a game room.
  • 3. a) This can be the hardest thing to do. When you first start serious blogging you will notice many students ask you questions like; “What is the definition of democracy?” They forget that they have the power of the net at their fingers. B. How do you create interest in your blog? 1. Show them your interest in the Blog. a) Your interest sparks their interest. b) Show students you are invested in this method of instruction. 2. Start off using it as a classroom assignment. a) Silent response protocol b) Question and Answer Sessions 3. Respond to blogs: a) Respond to as many blogs as possible. b) Be honest in your responses. c) Provide positive feedback. d) Respond in your classrooms. (1) Recognize students for their work in the classroom. 4. Encourage students to respond to other student’s blogs. a) This will help students in several ways: (1) Students will start to develop academic dialogue outside of the classroom. (2) Students will begin to take ownership of the Blog. (3) Blog conversations will eventually carry over to the classroom. b) Have a Blog highlight response. (1) Select a student's response and discuss it in class.d C. Make it more than a grade:
  • 4. 1. Demonstrate how it is a useful tool for study. 2. It can be a help line for those students who do not speak in class. 3. Encourage it to be used as a “Professional Network” for students. D. Make it fun. 1. Use the Blog to appeal to all types of learners; Visual, auditory, etc. 2. Create Your own Webcasts a) Use the blog to appeal to all types of learners: Visual, auditory, etc. b) Create your own webcast! c) It takes me about 15 minutes to create a webcast; depending on what I do and how I present it. 3. Use pictures or political cartoons. a) Students learn differently. b) Pictures or cartoons attract those learners who may learn visually. 4. Link Videos to your blog. V. Types and Tools of Blogging: A. Types of Blogs: 1. Review of Lesson. 2. Preview of Lesson 3. Question and Answer 4. Virtual Chalk Talk B. Blog Tools: 1. Pictures
  • 5. 2. Teacher Created Webcasts 3. Traditional Typed Blogs 4. Linked or uploaded videos 5. Padlets 6. Thinglinks VI. Pictures and Your Blog A. Pictures can be used to help supplement or replace traditional typed blog. 1. Include pictures to help explain terms in your typed blog. 2. Insert captions in pictures to explain significance of picture. B. Pictures, particularly Political Cartoons, can help foster greater understanding. C. PDF documents can be saved and uploaded onto many Blogs. 1. These can be graphs, pictures, or quotes. D. Students respond well to pictures. VII. What's in a Webcast? A. Whatever you want! 1. That is the beauty of a webcast. 2. It is a way to have fun and to educate. B. Does not have to be fancy: 1. A webcast can be as simple as setting in front of your computer's camera and speaking. 2. Can use backdrops, such as PowerPoints, Prezi's, maps, or a dry erase board.
  • 6. VIII. The Pre-Lesson Webcast A. This gives a preview of what will be covered in a day's lesson. B. Benefits of a Pre-lesson Webcast: 1. Your students are prepared. 2. Important concepts and terms are already introduced so it saves time in class. C. You are introducing a new subject or topic, so make sure: 1. You let them know that this is new material and the may not be familiar with it. 2. You define important terms. 3. Explain new concepts or ideas. D. Since this is material we have not yet covered, to ensure that you keep student's interest during the webcast do the following: 1. Keep it short. a) Under 10 minutes 2. Highlight the mainpoints. 3. Focus on what they need to know for the next day's lesson. 4. Give them an opening question to answer at the beginning of the video. E. Try to make an effort to respond to blog questions during this time. 1. Students will be confused about some of the material presented, try to help them if possible. IX. Post Lesson Webcast A. These are longer that go into much more detail than the Pre-lesson video. 1. Build and Expand on concepts taught in class.
  • 7. B. How to use: 1. Can use a lecture format: Basically rehash what you have already taught in class. 2. Challenge: Can expand on the concepts, adding new material that is based on the previous lecture. 3. Question and answer section. a) You pose a series of questions that will have to be answered on the blog. b) Make it interactive, correct and guide students where applicable. X. Typed Blogs A. Traditional way of blogging. 1. Usually is the fastest method. B. Different ways to present materials in a typed blog: 1. Question-Answer format 2. Typed lecture 3. DBQ Format 4. Silent Response C. This form more than others offers the possibility of student teacher interaction. XI. Linked or Upload Videos by 3rd Parties A. These types of videos are produced by 3rd parties. B. Usually are used to provide information on particular subject. C. Though are informative and can generate student questions, usually results in the least student/teacher interaction. D. Sources for linked or uploaded videos:
  • 8. 1. Khan Academy 2. History Channel 3. You Tube 4. Teacher Tube E. How to use: 1. 25 to 1 exercise 2. Create a question activity 3. Tell me what you learned response 4. Instruct on a particular subject F. I would not recommend posting a video without a corresponding set activity. 1. Students will watch the video and think they are done. 2. The point of a blog is to foster learning and communication. 3. Even though the video may be helping with the learning, it is not helping with the communication. 4. Assign a short activity that will make them process the information they have learned. XII. Padlets: What do they have to do with Blogs? A. I have just started using Padlets with blogging. B. Technically, Padlets are a completely separate web based program. C. Padlets can be inserted into a blog. D. Padlets are valuable blogging tools because: 1. Padlets can hold a lot of information, from pictures to videos to PowerPoints. 2. They are an excellent way to challenge students. 3. Padlets, like Blogs, allow for student feedback.
  • 9. 4. Assignments can be linked between the Blog and the Padlet. XIII. Conclusion A. The success of a blog based instruction is seen in student and parents. 1. 98% of my parents surveyed found it to be a key element in their children's education. 2. 100% of my students say that it has a positive impact on their student learning. 3. 94% of my students said that it has a major impact on test preparation. B. It is easy to do: C. Helps make parents a part of educational process D. Thank you