One of my third grade colleagues creates the most interesting, exciting learning environments for her students with great colors and clever motivating ideas. I'm jealous! Bulletin boards have never been my strength. In fact, I've just had to resign myself to pre-made posters and colorful kites. But, I must thank my friend, Anna, for her input on this one. We were brainstorming Web 2.0 bulletin board ideas and this web emerged. Yes, I know it is not very colorful. But, I like how the words just POP out.
By posting the words on this board, I force myself to apply these technologies in my classroom in the coming year. My students have been blogging for the last two years and Google is an everyday tool. However, in the coming year I hope to expand the student blogs and have the class explore some kid-friendly alternatives to the Google search engine. As I consider podcasts, wikis, and Scratch, I realize that I have a lot of creative thinking to do, not to mention coming up with an effective way to teach all these tools without side tracking the curriculum too much.
At just about the moment when my head was about to explode from all this thinking, an old friend surfaced on the KidCast Podcast. (No, I'm not really a personal friend of Bernie Dodge, Father of the WebQuest. But, the first time I tried to use QuestGarden, I sent him an email and he responded personally. I found that very cool. He was in the Peace Corp, too. Also very cool.)
HEY!!! Why am I hurting my head struggling with how to spoon feed my students when they could be feeding themselves? That's it! I'm going to make a WebQuest to introduce these tools and let the children teach themselves and each other. Once they're all comfortable with the tools, they can decide how we should use them creatively and educationally in the classroom. They ALWAYS come up with better ideas than me. I'll post the link when it's finished. THANKS BERNIE!