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Image of person jumpingI’ve been invited to work with second and third year students into their four year Bachelor of Education, Early Childhood and Primary degree. They are currently doing a unit called Using Computers in the Classroom where they will be investigating the use of technology such as blogs, Electronic Whiteboards, Google Document, Google Earth, iPods/MP3, Photo Sharing, SecondLife, Social Bookmarking, Turning Point (clickers), Video Conferencing, Wikis, My Sace/Face Book, YouTube, Podcasts etc.

My role will be to mentor them on blogging and it’s use in education. As part of this I will be sharing posts like:

  1. Share your Blogging Experience and Tips For Educators New To Blogging
  2. Student and Teacher Blogging that Succeeds

However I was thinking this is a great opportunities for us educators to inspire our future teachers.

So can you please share with us:

  • What are the different technologies you use in your classroom?
  • How do you use these technologies with your students and how it has helped them? e.g. Do you have any great stories to inspire them?
  • Can you share some examples of how you use these different technologies with students for them to check out?
  • What are your 3 most important advice to our future teachers?

UPDATE: Oops made a mistake with the link to Share your Blogging Experience and Tips For Educators New To Blogging – this has now been fixed!  Thanks to Brtitt Watwood for letting me know there was a problem.

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  1. Pingback: 3 Great resources for online teaching | Junior Youth

  2. Hey there! I am so glad to read and share on this topic. I do several things with my blogs and am always searching for the next idea for using technology in my classroom.

    First of all, about the blogs. My primary reasons for blogging are to:

    1. Create a user friendly hub of resources and information for my students.
    2. Recap the day in class and include any documents, media or links related to the lesson.
    3. Communication, of course.
    4. Create a gallery of student products online rather than carry all that paper around everywhere. (See http://alenord.typepad.com/ninos)

    I search for new Web 2.0 apps for the purpose of improving the quality of student products I ask from my kids. I teach high school Spanish and for years, the projects I would have my students do (and I would venture to guess other teachers as well) were heavier on art than on the information I asked of them. So, I search for things like http://www.glogster.com that take the emphasis off of the art and place it back on Spanish!

  3. I would like to invite you and your students to take a look at the SMALL CHANGES; BIG RETURNS lens in Squidoo. I am collaborating with my teaching partner to give a series of workshops on how to incorporate web-based tools and resources as a way to engage more learners and make lessons more dynamic. As part of this effort we have compiled a list of mostly free, user-friendly tools we like.

    My best advice is to plan a great lesson first and then find a tool that will help you accomplish the objectives. I think too often we get so excited by the tools that we try to make the curriculum fit the technology. Should the question be: “what can I do with a wiki?” or should it be: “I want students to keep a learning log in math, write a response journal about a novel, or consider how people in our community can reduce their carbon footprint in science class; what is the best tool for that job?”

    At the end of the activity, it’s not good enough for the kids just to say they learned HOW TO DO a wiki. Rather, I want them to be able to tell others what they LEARNED about the topic in science, math, English, or social studies FROM DOING the wiki, or slide show, or website, or mindmap or whatever other tool I chose to incoporate.

    It’s the teacher’s job to craft learning experiences that ensure students don’t just become more adept at using devices — but that they learn how to use these tools to learn.

  4. @Ashley76 Not sure why my gmail account was bouncing with your email address but at least my home account didn’t. I prefer to use the term podcast and say video podcast if it is video.

    @kymnie We still haven’t had the conversation about Facebook yet 🙂 . There are some institutions that are using them for connecting with their students. What are your thoughts on that?

    Unfortunately there wasn’t enought time to cover blogging adequately and ideally it probably needs to be done over several sessions. I strongly recomment you refer to information on The Getting Started With Edublogs page as there is lots of helpful information there.

    Just remember with all this technology the more you use it for your own learning the more you will understand how you can use it with students in a classroom. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance on anything to do with any Web 2.0 tool.

    @Louise Thanks for sharing your tips especially your links to your wikis as I know some of the student teachers are looking at wikis and their use in the classroom.

  5. My blogging and reading has been the best professional development of any of my 20 years of teaching. I suggest reading a variety of blogs including those that challenge what you think. Start by commenting and then blogging yourself. Learning really happens during the reflection and internalizing of the material.

    Make your student blogging be a reflection of the material or application, but really the goal is to not have it replace a homework assignment, but to learn to connect and write creatively. I am still working on this one. This is a continual journey.

    * What are the different technologies you use in your classroom?

    I use a variety, always try something new, and show it to students who then can choose a medium that suits the assignment and tells their story the best. The wiki is the one tool that I use consistently and places more of the learning on the students.

    * How do you use these technologies with your students and how it has helped them? e.g. Do you have any great stories to inspire them?

    It is wonderful to see students become experts in different technologies and be part of an atmosphere where they learn from each other. Sharing and learning become standards. Students love the wiki.

    * Can you share some examples of how you use these different technologies with students for them to check out?

    My wiki from last year is https://mrsmaineswiki.wikispaces.com/

    Edutopia also did an article about the wiki in my class that discusses some examples and provides student quotes:

    * What are your 3 most important advice to our future teachers?
    Start small and don’t be afraid to try anything new. My students understand that we need to try to learn (and sometimes through failure) and one cannot know everything themselves but can learn from others. Everyone has more skills than they realize, they need the encouragement of others to bring it out. A teacher who never stops learning (from students, blogs…) and empowers their students to be creative leaders and problem solvers is a role model that students need.

  6. I am one of the students that Sue is helping out. Today in class we are discussing what we learnt last week in class. Blogging is a confusing thing to start learning but after Sue’s help I feel more confident in using them. I want to be able to use this kind of technology with my students and so what Sue is doing is so valuable to upcoming techers.

    I feel as a tech savvy 20 yr old that I already know a fair amount about different types of technolgy. I am glad that Sue came and taught us about blogs as I now have another resource available to me.

    Thanks again,
    Kym Slavin

  7. Sue…..thanks for the link. My email is [email protected] I created my own edublog account yesterday and havent really had a good play with it yet. The kids are working like mad men. We will upload them to our own Podcast (or vodcast…not overly sure of web 2.0 talk yet) lounge.

  8. Thanks everyone for taking your time to share your advice and tips . I hope that all the student teachers make the time to read these comments, the posts and check out the information you have shared. The best aspect is I know that others will gain from all the information and links you have shared.

    @Lina, Geoff and Denise Thanks for letting me introduce you all to blogging. It’s unfortunate that time constraints meant that we couldn’t cover it in more detail however I strongly recommend that you work through the different links people have provided.

    @Ashley Proud I tried to email you a link to check out on clay animation but unfortunately the email address kept bouncing on me. I thought you might to check out the series of post Kevin wrote on clay animation he did with his students.

    @Westy Glad you are getting good use out of the Asus eePC. Your MyStudiyo quiz was excellent and I loved how you used the short videos effectively.

  9. I have short-term English as a second language students of all levels in one class. Most of them have very little ICT experience. They are very motivated by the technologies I introduce them to.
    * What are the different technologies you use in your classroom?
    I use igoogle so they can get podcasts & information in their own languages. I also use a lot of CDROMs eg dictionaries & have MP3 players for them to take the lesson with them. The lesson vocabulary or conversation can be recorded at the end of the lesson & they can take it on their MP3 players.
    * How do you use these technologies with your students and how it has helped them? e.g. Do you have any great stories to inspire them?
    It’s great to watch a student who, a few weeks ago, didn’t know that moving the mouse would move it onscreen navigate through their igoogle page to send an email with their writing assignment.
    * Can you share some examples of how you use these different technologies with students for them to check out?
    I’ve just started to use bubbl.us for categorising. The moment they found out they could change colours, the motivation level skyrocketd. 🙂
    * What are your 3 most important advice to our future teachers?
    There’s really only one piece of advice: Don’t try to be an expert and never learn from your students. A teacher who’s stopped learning is not teaching effectively.

    PS Thanks for the support of The Edublogger.

  10. Hi Sue,My no1 web2.0 tool is blogging so I have written a post, linking to examples found in my students blogs to show the power of blogging for them. I hope that some of these stories are inspiring to those who look at this post as they certainly have been to me. The inspiration is only just beginning.
    Other technologies used will be posted about, with appropriate links at some time soon. My post is found here at http://murcha.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/the-power-of-blogging/

  11. Pingback: The power of blogging « On an e-journey with generation Y

  12. As usual I’m a bit late in reading my fav blogs and it all seems to have been said, but here’s my 2c worth:

    As a teacher re-entering teaching after a 10+ year gap, things have changed. To keep it brief, my advice to new teachers:

    1. network network network (outside of school!)
    2. blog – for the experience, PD and then you can teach it …
    3. don’t give up – you may have wonderful ideas and feel frustrated you can’t implement them (closed networks, lack of support etc) but do what you can with what you have got. Once other teachers see you blogging/wiki-ing/RSS-ing and using resources, they will express interest in what you are doing and that will help to make changes (in the school mindset).

  13. It is a shame that Ashley Proud cannot share her experiences because

    “it is on a secure Education Queensland network and you need a Learning Place ID to check it out”

    The power of technology to enable collaborative developments in pedagogy (you are dead right Dennis its all about the technology) is all too obvious on this site.

    Unfortunately the same technology can be used to control and manage our professional activities for completely spurious reasons.

    What exactly is the Queensland Education network secure from and what do the rest of us lose out on as a consequence.

    Would love to see some of the work you are doing Ashley

  14. I think Dennis did a great job sharing ideas and I only have a couple of things to add.

    The first thing I would tell people is not to leave your sense of humor behind. I read a lot of blogs from other teachers that are ok but they are not a just not a lot of fun to read. If you have a sense of humor let it shine in your blog.

    I would also recommend you try to write a blog entry every day. I think it helps you grow and it helps you in deciding which way you want you blog to go. They take on a life of their own.

    And finally give up the notion that the blog is yours. It’s yours and your class’s. Let them write some it it. Get them involved.


  15. Thank you Sue for the Edublogs session at Curtin yesterday.I appreciate the advice that has been generated through this blog – again, thank you.

    As a qualified teacher and IT Coordinator I have seen and heard many reactions to incorporating technology as a tool in the classroom. I agree with Dennis richards response to mrscunningham. The more students we reach, the more stay switched on to learning.

    As teachers of the adults of the future it is important we are relevant.

    • denisesinnovations
  16. Wow, my first response on this blog. This is a fantastic site people. I am really enjoying the read and looking to incorporate things into my everyday classroom. I would love to show you my classes Virtual Classroom, but it is on a secure Education Queensland network and you need a Learning Place ID to check it out

  17. Hi Sue!
    I would also like to welcome your students and future teachers.
    Considering that I’ve come aboard on this adventurous journey mainly last May, during Comment Challenge 08 and that my young students went away on Summer holidays in June, I haven’t had much time to get practice in order to give tips and advices to newcomers.
    Eventhough I would like to contribute and, as most comments above are splendid lessons on the subject, I’ll just share a bit of what I’m experiencing along these last months:
    1. I feel like I have moved to another world; school doesn’t seem to be so much about controlling and delivering contents, but mainly about collaboration where each one may build knowledge at his/her own pace, in the context of a supportive team. The teacher’s role is more one of facilitating students access to new and creative ways of dealing with learning contents, in order to assume them, transform them and express them in a personal, unique way.
    2. New teachers must take their time to learn how to handle this more demanding approach to learning and teaching, where the new technologies and web2.0 tools play an irreplaceable part.I haven’t stop sharing everything I learned with my young students, even during extra class hours: lunch breaks and free evenings were replaced by passionate conversations and laborious experiments off and online.
    3. Fear nothing: new teachers that come online eager to learn will feel like “new born stars” clustered in the “nebula” of the network; they will be nurtured and supported up to the point where they will be able to shine for themselves.
    In this context, I profit to thank Sue Waters and Michele Martin whose support and instructions so generously provided remain precious to my web2.0 journey.

  18. At the end of the school year, on my class blog, I made a post to see how the students were feeling about the use of technology in our classroom and what worked for them. That post is here: http://kulikowski.edublogs.org/2008/06/28/using-technology-in-our-classroom/

    I was both surprised and flattered by my students’ responses!

    I have also shared some student projects and professional thoughts on my ‘professional blog’ at http://techieteach.edublogs.org

    Finally, my top advice for new teachers:
    Don’t give up.
    Always be reflective and make changes as necessary.
    Keep up with your personal life. (It is easy to get so wrapped up in work you forget to take care of your relationships).

  19. Thank you Sue for a fabulous session today and for allowing us to access your personal network through this particular post. The majority of my students and I are novice bloggers and certainly appreciate the advice and resources everyone has shared with us.

    I look forward to this new adventure with my students and strongly agree with Dennis – “it takes a lot of practice and exploration with these tools to really understand the potential for personal and student learning”.

  20. ooops forgot to spell check….that short term memory again

  21. Hi Sue,
    * What are the different technologies you use in your classroom?
    * How do you use these technologies with your students and how it has helped them? e.g. Do you have any great stories to inspire them?
    * Can you share some examples of how you use these different technologies with students for them to check out?
    * What are your 3 most important advice to our future teachers?

    ……..I have been teaching for a long time in the UK then New Zealand, so long in fact that my short term memory is shot and I had to copy and paste the reason I am doing this to keep me on track.

    I was probably getting quite bored with the whole thing until about a year ago when I listened to Ewan Macintosh at the Ulearn conference in Auckland. I had realised that a whole new pedagogy was required in school…..out with the book and in with blog/wiki/youtube/nintendo Wii and anything else that might possibly engage students in learning.

    Ok different technologies….the whole web 2.0 thing
    (1)Interactive board (mimio). Not because of the gee whiz bells and whistles stuff but because it fits a 21c pedagogy that thrives on the resource rich environment of the web. It is a portal, More correctly it is a digital whiteboard with a digital pen, The interactive nature is limited to the teacher.
    (2)Powerpoint…..for basic presentation
    (3)youtube as a host for student work that can be posted on my/students’ blogs
    (4)Vodpod as a useful tool for showcasing student video work
    (5) widows movie maker for editing student videos and downsizing files prior to uploading to youtube.
    (6) Jing, high quality screen capture tool (disadvantage large file size and difficulty changing file type to allow youtube upload) good for making 5 minute tutorials.
    (7) Snaggit and its free version whose name has just temporarily left my short term memory. Another screen capture tool. Lower quality files but in avi format so more easily uploaded into other applications.
    (8) I run a science department so naturally we plug as many sensors into as many orifices as is digitally appropriate for our dataloggers/laptops.
    (9)Sprout a useful tool for producing learning bytes and doing mashups (ok I’m an old fart but like to pretend I’m up with the the latest jargon
    (10) Phun a physics engine that mimics two dimensional motion….but with a cartoony arty feel. Hooks boys into learning. The whole gaming aspect (picked that up at Ulearn and was shown how it works in practice when I visited Derek Robertson of Learning and teaching Scotland in dundee) needs to be developed with underachieving students….have promised to take my nintendo Wii in for seventh form students tomorrow to experience the Physics of Mario’s olympics.
    (11) My Studiyo……a fun quiz generator…..let students make up their own questions
    …..many of these tools I read about on Sue’s posts on this blog. In fact the Asus Eee I am writing this rubbish on I won on a competition promoted by Sue.

    The asus Eee is a bit special in pedagogical terms. When you replace the cheap paper equivalent of the book (a pad of A4) with the cheap digital counterpart, a simple browser, the Asus is a good candidate.

    Apolgies for blabbing on but if you are a new teacher you are entering the profession during interesting times and their are lots of opportunities for enthusiastic innovators.

    I’ll leave the other bullet points for now

  22. Thanks Sue. So much to choose from isn’t there!
    i agree with all these comments, especially Ashley from QLD.

    My favourite classroom tool is the data projector, because any question that comes up in the English as a second language, or adult literacy class can lead to new searches online.

    => Vocabulary trouble? Find an image.
    => Difficulty engaging learners? Fire up google earth.
    => Want to demonstrate software? Get people to work it together on the big screen.
    => Need a discussion topic? Bring up the latest news video.
    => Want to take notes? Mind map the conversation as you go, for a visual overview.

    Can be good to have a laptop and projector with long cables for keyboard and mouse (or wireless). That way it’s easy to hand over control, and turn the big screen into a group activity.

    Wonder if i can link to a project called Access ACE from 2007: http://prace.acfe.vic.edu.au/Digital+story

    kind regards, michael

  23. Well first off all I would like to say thanks for the advice thus far. My name is Geoff and I am one of the students Sue is helping out. It’s overwhelming so far. Fair dinkum, I’m confused with everything so far. Never been much of a computer person but I am accepting the fact that ICT is part of today’s world. So please keep the advice coming, and from every student at Curtin Uni in the computer class thanks so much.

    Geoff Clarke BM

    • Geoffrey Clarke
  24. Some things that I use in my classroom are blogs, wikis and application on the mac. I have used blogs as reflections and an avenue for students to express themselves outside of the classroom. I think that it has helped with self-reflection and experience of blogging. Wikis have helped them to summarize and synthesize information.
    3 advice:
    1) Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
    2) Don’t be afraid to try new things
    3) Strive to be a role model for your students.

  25. What are your 3 most important advice to our future teachers?

    1. Backup
    2. Backup
    3. Backup

    Let me explain.

    1. Backup
    Always have a backup plan! This goes for any lesson, not just ones that make use of ICT. The network will be down; there’ll be a swimming carnival you didn’t know about; a site will be blocked that wasn’t blocked last lesson; audio speakers won’t work; students will forget passwords… Always have a backup.

    2. Backup
    Get backup from others. First to share the learning journey, collaborate and gain ideas: colleagues, online communities, your students, all are part of your backup. Second, involve students in planning and invite parents to be part of the conversation. This is especially important when you are publishing student work to an open audience. Get backup from parents so you don’t get their backs up!

    3. Backup
    Educational institutions are said to be 10 years behind “the real world” in terms of ICT uptake, access, and use. Back up a bit. There’s just soooo much you *could* do – wikis, blogs, podcasts, nings, communities, IWBs, video, etc. etc. Sometimes there’s so many options that you try to do too much. Back up a bit! Think about the outcomes – what is going to work best? What are students and colleagues (and parents!) already familiar with? If the school already has a Learning Management System in place, with a blogging platform, is it really worth introducing yet another one (even if it is better?). Will the existing one still allow your students to achieve your shared outcomes? Back up, take a breath, and don’t fall into the temptation of trying everything at once. And don’t expect to be able to.

  26. Very true mrscunningham. It is all about the pedagogy! You can have good, even great, teaching without technology.

    (How you define technology is important to the discussion too – I’m speaking of the read/write web – referred to as web 2.0.)

    However, when a good/great teacher learns how to tap the blossoming power and potential of current and emerging web 2.0 tools for himself or herself, and applies that knowledge to the classroom the result is significant learning. In that classroom environment students experience tremendous growth in 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, creation, critical thinking, problem solving etc.

  27. Hi people,
    I love technology and since discovering edublogs have increased my tech knowledge three fold…but as an old teacher advising a young teacher I have only this to say re. technology……the most powerful programme any school can run is good teaching…..all the rest is a bonus….=)

    • mrscunningham
  28. I am a 2nd year teacher, love technology, and I love teaching. I have already found many opportunities to talk with future teachers, and would love to help you as much as possible!

    * What are the different technologies you use in your classroom?
    I use a variety of technology. I have a projector hooked up to my macbook and a combo dvd/vcr player. I also have a smartboard and some desktop computers.

    * How do you use these technologies with your students and how it has helped them?
    This may surprise but there are sites such as PowerMediaPlus that have ton of great educational videos. My Geography students love the videos I have found (for free!) of GlobeTrekker. It makes the content we will be going over much more personal and easy to connect with. To me, this is the point of using technology in the class.

    * What are your 3 most important advice to our future teachers?
    I am a 2nd year teacher, and young. So I think this advice would have helped me a lot when I was preparing to teach.

    1. (Tech related) Most students know less about websearching, using computer programs, and most technology related stuff than you think. Most only use their computer for going on Facebook and MySpace. So explain how to do things and why they need to do them.

    2. Be yourself as a teacher. You do not need to act overly tough, or anything like that. Don’t insult the students’ intelligence. But be confident that you know what you are doing. I suggest not mentioning you are just starting to teach. I acted like I had been teaching for years, and the students did not challenge it.

    3. Remember this at all times. Your worst day of teaching is better than most peoples best day at work. Teaching is one of the few occupations that people will gladly wake up sick and still WANT to come in for. I know I have.

  29. I am one of two Technology Applications instructors on a 525-student middle school (Grades 6-8) campus in central Texas (about midway between Dallas and San Antonio). Our classrooms have at least one computer for student and one computer for teacher use. Our Technology Applications classrooms are based around networked labs of 26 – 30 computers with color and black and white laser printers, a pair of all-in-one scanner/copier/inkjet printers. Our campus also has two additional computer labs with 25 and 30 in an open lab and a library lab respectively. We have licensed suites of office productivity software (Microsoft Office), graphics/animation/web publishing (Dreamweaver MX Suite), and image / video editing (Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements), keyboarding (Microtype). We also have digital still and motion video cameras in both labs as well as on the campus. We also have video distribution software providing a student produced morning news program (Bonham Student News), as well as video conferencing hardware and software for distance learning and in-district collaboration.

    We use our software and hardware resources to help students master our Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Applications Grades 6-8 (www.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/ch126.html#s12612) as well as to support their efforts to complete required technology support areas in the core curriculum. Our professional development and training efforts concentrate on helping our regular content teachers to integrate technology into their content area teaching. We also provide acceleration support to help students master areas in need of additional instruction. The success of our programs are evidenced in our website (www.tisd.org/bonham/index.htm) where our students have authored some pages and created all montages, galleries, and several image areas; our nationally recognized yearbook (www.tisd.org/bonham/yearbook.htm) which will be developed and available on-line this year for the first time; and the recognition for our longitudinal improvements in core academic achievement areas by Just for the Kids and the National Center for Educational Achievement (www.just4kids.org) as referenced in the Texas Monthly magazine articles from 2006 (www.texasmonthly.com/2006-12-01/) and 2007 (www.texasmonthly.com/2007-12-01/feature6.php).

    In addition to these areas, we have moved into the Web 2.0 arena with our professional development opportunies. Examples of one of our Intel Teach Program Essentials Course where core content teachers learn the basics of blogs and wikis and how to use them in their classrooms. Their blogging efforts (intelsum082.edublogs.org) and wikispace (tisd-intel-classes-rwb.wikispaces.com) provide examples of their efforts in these “new” areas of endeavor. Student efforts in technology learning using robotics as a vehicle for instruction is shown with blogspace (tisdbotsum08.edublogs.org) and wikispace (tisd-bots.wikispaces.com)areas, both still in progress.

    1. Always remember to care for your kids. They are our future.
    2. Provide honest and frequent feedback for their efforts, and always encourage them to at least try even new or difficult tasks. An area untried is a learning opportunity missed.
    3. Help your students to have fun learning. Learning with a positive, upbeat approach will make everyone’s experience more enjoyable and productive.

    Be the best learning role model you can be. Remember, paraphrasing the words of our courageous colleague, Christa McAuliffe, we touch the future, we teach.

    Much success and enjoyment in all that you do.

  30. Hello all!

    First time writer, I stumbled across this blog from an email about how to use Vokis in websites (which my kids actually love) and have now set up my own iGoogle site due to Sue’s article (and I was super pumped this morning when I checked it and it was saved)

    I teach a year five class in Queensland. My kids are very ICT savvy and I try to incorporate it in a daily basis. I was very impressed by this topic as it was one that I could contribute to. I am very new to the whole blogging thing.

    So to answer your three questions

    What are the different technologies you use in your classroom?

    Laptops, Data projectors, Interactive whiteboards would be about it

    How do you use these technologies with your students and how it has helped them? e.g. Do you have any great stories to inspire them?

    In Qld we have a facility where we can set up virtual classrooms using a blackboard environment. My kids are one of the first to use it at our school – we are pioneers

    What are your 3 most important advice to our future teachers?
    – experiment
    – dont use excuses
    – be happy when kids show you things you dont know

    We are doing Clay Animaiton (using playdough) next week. Kids are pumped, as am I

  31. * Different technologies:
    I am about to embark on teaching 7th grade language arts after many years of teaching the exploratory technology class. I plan on using Edublogs, Google Docs, Voicethread, Animoto, SlideShare, just to name a few. However, my kids have not necessarily had a lot of tech experience, so I will begin with Word and PowerPoint and use those skills to learn the Web 2.0 apps I mentioned above.
    *How do I use these technologies?
    Last year I was out of the classroom but in the spring nabbed a classroom of reading intervention kids and we learned how to blog together. I shouldn’t say together. As Dennis mentioned above, I learned and experimented with blogging myself, first with the class I teach for educators (tilgunas.edublogs.org), then just playing around with all the parts of Edublogs so that I could help students troubleshoot, and give them clear instructions. You’ll also see my reflection of how I approached using blogs with my students at the blog above. After students learned how to post and comment, they had the choice of embedding a video from MSNBC, creating an Animoto, or creating a quiz uing MyStudiyo.com.

    * Examples:
    Check out my 8th graders from last year at: lmsilgunas.edublogs.org/2007-08-student-blogs/ We only blogged from April to June, but you can see how we got started.
    In addition, I need to give credit to those who got me going and have numerous ideas and examples: Vicki Davis at coolcateacher.blogspot.com, Larry Ferlazzo at larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/ , Mark Wagner at edtechlife.com/ and David Jakes at http://www.jakesonline.org/

    * 3 most important advice to our future teachers?
    1) Get to know the program as well as you can, but don’t worry about being an expert. I really enjoy figuring things out with them; we celebrate together when we figure something out.
    2) Set boundaries and standards. For example, boundaries: my students were expected to always be polite when they left comments. We practiced this both orally and online. Be vigilant, they will try to get away with things! Standards: I expected them to check spelling, reread their comment, and if their comment needed editing after posting, we edited it! After all, they are presenting to the world!
    3) Use technologies that connect students. I am excited to use Google Docs, wikis and Voicethread across my 3 Language Arts classes. I also would like them to create podcasts to share with our elementary students. How motivating, and they work much harder for each other than just for me.
    By the way, the most exciting thing for my students was the ClusterMap (www.clustrmaps.com/). When little dots started appearing from all over the world, they were totally impressed.
    4) Sorry, I’m adding a fourth. Go to a conference! I attended the California CUE for the first time in many years and learned so much. In addition, check out NECC’s website for handouts and videos of their sessions. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel! center.uoregon.edu/ISTE/NECC2008/program/presenter_handouts.php)

  32. * What are the different technologies you use in your classroom?

    Tinker all the time. All need to be meshed strongly with trust a good relationship with students. I use Moodle extensively, as a backbone, and attach all sorts of things to it/within it – blogs, wikis, search engines & other web2.0 bits and pieces.

    * How do you use these technologies with your students and how it has helped them? e.g. Do you have any great stories to inspire them?

    A bagful, eg. kid completing an online forum for the first time and coming up to me saying ‘Sir, now that I see what others in class post I realise I am not that dumb actually….” Warning, tech is great when used judiciuosly and for the purpose of enabling rather than forcing and assuming every kid is a ‘digital native’. The art of teaching springs to mind…

    * Can you share some examples of how you use these different technologies with students for them to check out?

    Have a look at http://human.edublogs.org/2008/08/06/how-can-moodle-change-a-school/
    loads of stuff there neatly packaged 🙂

    * What are your 3 most important advice to our future teachers?

    For risk of being a tad soppy (but these hold!):
    – Never assume anything about the kid in front of you
    – Never stop learning yourself – be a role model and ‘walk the talk’
    – And the oldie but goodie “Education is not filling a vessel, it is lighting a flame.”

    Learning, not schooling I say !

    Tomaz Lasic
    twitter ‘lasic’

  33. Dennis your response is impressive and very worthwhile, I will be referring back to it myself. I have been blogging for several years now, initially it was almost as a repository – one blog per class where I could post useful resources for assignments; I think my biggest lessons are always the ones I learn from the students – they decided to blog their assignments and there was a competition – once the assignment was completed satisfactorily I would link it to my own blog/website. So I have to say that my biggest piece of advice is to be relaxed and engaged enough with your learners to hear what they are saying and to respond to their needs – then learning becomes powerful for all of you.

  34. I am an administrator in USA who began learning one year ago about blogging and the other tools Sue mentions in this post.

    I know you are taking a course in these tools, but I’d recommend:

    1) remember it takes a lot of practice and exploration with these tools to really understand the potential for personal and student learning

    2) develop a network of people more familiar with these tools so you can learn from them

    3) the culture of a classroom where these tools are embraced by the students is very student centric because the teacher has realized that is the way to create powerful learning experiences for students

    Tools I use with other teachers and to direct my own learning.

    Blog: MINE – innovation3.edublogs.org (Follow my posts over the year I has been blogging to see what and how I have been learning. OTHERS – Visit ten recommended blogs and check out the blog roll. Follow whom you like and follow whom they like.
    Check out – http://tinyurl.com/ta2my

    Google Document: I am preparing a presentation for K12OnlineConference.org 2008 with another educator I met in Second Life and through Twitter. We are using a Google doc to share ideas.

    Social Bookmarking: Diigo is the tool I use now to share links with other educators, but I started in delicious. See KidsGCCI Group http://tinyurl.com/4rz3cx

    Wikis: MINE – claimingwhatweimagine.wikispaces.com and KidsGCCI.pbwiki.com

    Ning: MINE: KidsGCCI.ning.com

    Podcasts: Check out Bob Sprankle who works in an elementary school in Maine, USA. His students do lots of podcasts. http://tinyurl.com/5w89e2

    Some other tools that come to mind: Skype, Twitter, Elluminate, Buzzword, Voicethread, Slideshare…

    Hope you find this useful. Dennis