I had never heard of some of the tools in Kim’s toolbox. In time, I may incorporate a few of those into mine. Thanks for the ideas.
Off and on all week, I have been thinking about my advanced toolbox. There are some items that I would like to put in my toolbox which I do not completely understand, though I think they would be useful and fun.
MOOs and MUDs are two of those items that I would like to incorporate into my teaching, but need to further investigate. We have talked about these this week. Learning the programming language and the process of becoming an owner are two of the biggest hurdles in learning that I need to overcome in order to make this an effective teaching tool. In the meantime, I ran across a couple that were already established which I could use with my present classes provided that my school does not have objections.
Active Worlds is one of those tools about which I am looking forward to learning the full particulars. The problem is that it may be cost prohibitive.
Wikis are another tool that we have discussed this week. I do have an adequate grasp of this tool and look forward to using it.
Streaming media is a tool that I currently use in my classroom. Specifically, I use unitedstreaming.com., sponsored by Discovery Education. This tool consists of multimedia delivered to a server which can include audio and video feeds. I use it to show situation comedies geared to teenagers, assorted film clippets, and audiovisual instruction about various topics such as verb conjugation and usage – all in Spanish. Cultural activities, film, and music is also available. Materials are accessible for every subject.
Podcasts are another tool that I can use for teaching Spanish. Many Spanish songs are available from iTunes. Students can listen to these and translate what they hear.
Voice Thread is a tool that uses online software to add voice to a picture or series of pictures. I plan to involve my students in conversational exercises with the use of Voice Thread.
WebQuests are another tool that I use primarily for teaching culture, but some, such as one that I use to teach about traveling to Spanish-speaking countries involves analyzing costs for travel and lodging, how best to manage their time for sightseeing, and the logistics of ground travel which draws upon other disciplines such as math and social studies. Sometimes I give students a particular topic and have them create a web quest. This is most often done in group work of three or four students.
ePals is an online classroom community that is basically a new take on pen pals. It’s all free and students can write through blogs or email partners and participate in collaborative activities. Teachers have the same options.
Projector and computer for presentation of unitedstreaming, web quest finds, and other online productions are two other tools that I use.
Lately, I have been considering the idea of creating a MySpace. Tippi’s blog about her advanced toolbox has persuaded me. I’m off to find my teenage daughter now so she can help me with that project.