I am extremely nervous about next week, but it is a jump that I've been wanting to take for quite a while. I am presenting at an upcoming Social Studies Conference and I want to share them how I use Web tools in my classroom. I present in front of our faculty all the time, but this is different!! I plan to show them how we used Skype to make connections outside our classroom. In order to make these connections, I will briefly introduce how I use Twitter, Classroom 2.0, and The Educator's PLN. We had contacts in several countries including Thailand, Spain, England, and Australia as seen in this video.
I plan to show them Blogger and how simple it is (not to mention free) to share your classroom with parents and other educators.
Another tool that my kids loved was podcasting. We used GarageBand to create our podcasts, but Audacity works just as well with PC. The project was very simple. The students had to research a famous person from the Civil War. (We put a bunch of names from our standards in a hat and the kids drew one out.) They came up with ten facts about that person and shared them in a podcast. The other students went to our site and listened to each podcast and tried to figure out "who" each student was. This helped with their grammar and reading skills as well. They were very careful to read fluently and correctly when they knew everyone in their class would be listening in. The link below is an example of one such podcast.
We also used podcasting to record our reader's theater. Hear an example here.
I've also created a small collection of links on a portaportal so that they can access all this from one location. I only have an hour to present, so I'm hoping I can get through this in that short amount of time.
Wish me luck!!! :)