Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tool # 6a Using Web Tools - Where Was I?

Prior to my 11 tools journey, I had previously used Skype and Google Docs, and Blogger was Tool # 1.

Skype was used last spring to let a Landrum Middle School earth science class quiz me, a licensed professional geologist and teacher of 12th grade Earth & Space Sci., about geology, without having to go over there, and during a single conference period.  It was facilitated by Quinton Freeman and Jan-Marie Brow in the Northbrook HS library using a camera, a Mac, and a large flat screen display.  The biggest problem seems to be establishing the Skype session, which took half of the time available, and maybe 20 attempts, a real waste of three people's time. Not to mention the whole class waiting at Landrum.  Once established it went very well, with lots of very good questions from the kids.  This would be muuch more attractive if it were easier to do.

I reminded myself that we had all used Google Docs in the roll out of digital SpEd documentation last spring. Practice will be required to make this routine.  If you only use something twice a year, you forget all the tips and tricks.  I imagine that as SBISD distributes more and more docs this way the process will become second nature.

Tools I will now peruse include:
Poll Everywhere - kids will kill to be allowed to use their cell phones in class.
Edmodo - popular and oft-mentioned, a secure version of Facebook is attractive.
Twitter - although I do not, as of yet, Tweet, I can see that it would be a quick way to let students know where to go for class that day - lab or classroom, or what to bring with them. Even if half of them get the tweet, the others would find out in short order via jungle drum.
Diigo - they had me at "best tool for researching."

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