Today was a pretty super awesome day. One of those days where everyone does what they should: students work, stay engaged and remain positive. My conference period was filled with preparing and finishing all of my lessons for next week, and that never happens. A school electrician came by to begin the process of getting my projector mounted on the ceiling, and I nearly hugged him! And our PBIS meeting was really productive, I felt.
But the best part of the day was I had an unexpected observation from an administrator and it was an incredible positive review. I always get super nervous when I have an administrator show up, but with 8th period today I just went about my normal routine of checking in with groups and the conversations she was having with my kiddo's was what every teacher dreams of.
So I am kinda floating on cloud nine right now.
And then I came home today to find that Mr. B updated his TV room's flat screen television to a 66 inch flat screen television with internet. As much as I tried to give Mr. B hell for purchasing it on a whim I already HEART the new television. The picture is AMAZING!
All this talk of things running smoothly and technology got me thinking that there are so many pieces of technology that I use daily in the classroom that I don't think I could live without.
Here is my top five pieces of technology, besides the computer, because well duh I am a technology teachers, computers are pretty much in my job description.
If you have never heard of it, it is a free website where you can create webpages. I have created a class website and post the weekly worksheets, projects and links on the website so students always have access.
What is also really neat about this site is it is so easy to use even a 7th grader can create a website. And they do. My final project in Web Design is to create a company website using wix.com, they have to first create a company, create logo's, business objectives, products and then they put it all together with the interactive website. They generally dig it!
This is a free website that allows you to create a class blog. Each student gets a personal blog, with their own name, avatar, background and can create posts. The beauty of kid blog is that as the teacher you have to approve every single post and comment before it goes live, yes this sounds daunting, but this also keeps the site incredibly school friendly.
I was completely overwhelmed at the number of responses I received in just two weeks this semester from only about 58 or so students. Its amazing how much they are willing to write in this format.
I have my blog activities available at my TPT store, that I am horrible at maintaining might I add, so they must be something special.
3. Google Drive/Docs/Mail
I am very lucky that my district provides students with email accounts through gmail so they have access to all the amazing tools that google provides. Also this makes turning in work a breeze, every Friday they send me an email with the work attached. A skill I think everyone should master.
My sixth graders did a google presentation project in partners and thought it was the coolest thing that they could all edit the project at the same time and see what the other person was editing. It had that WOW factor!
4. Fun Websites!
We use a bunch of different websites for the funnier side of class, my favorite is www.webcamtoy.com using the built in webcam they can take a picture of themselves, what they are building, etc. Students adore this site, I have actually seen it occupy their attention for a solid hour before.
We like using www.picmonkey.com to edit pictures and create fun effects.
And I get tons of fun easy build day projects from http://pbskids.org/zoom/ one which I will be trying out after a MOY next week. Hopefully I will remember to share.
For Robotics my favorite websites is www.nxtprograms.com, it has so many build instructions and my kids find it so user friendly.
5. Career Websites
I have two go to career websites that are super kid friendly and make learning about careers a breeze. Since a big chunk of my TEKS are career related they are incredibly helpful. First is Texas based so it makes looking at local labor markets easy: www.texascaresonline.com and second is the Bureau of Labor and Statistics they have over 800 categories of careers that are broken down in awesome categories with easy to understand writing and some pictures.
I could probably go on and on if I wanted to, I like to babble a bit, but I think 5 was appropriate. Hopefully I will start trying to balance out my posts more with some Techy Classroom Tips mixed in with my random musings.
I am also linking up with Fern's Thursday Tech Tips for Teachers, which inspired this list to actually be typed and not just written in my head.
Thank Goodness Tomorrow is Friday!
- The Babbling Box!