Breaking Down the Walls, Little by Little

Nicki Ruthai presented Kidblog.org on our second day of professional learning here at SIS. She has been using Kidblog in her classroom for several years and has found it to be a powerful tool for her students. Here is what she as to say about it.

“I use Kidblog to show case learning in my classroom and as an ePortfolio. What is special about Kidblog is how I am able to connect with other classrooms around the world. It so happens a lot of the schools that I have connected my class with are actually executing some of same exact units and concepts.

“This didn’t happen over night, I used Twitter as well as the hashtag #comments4kids to have students from other schools comment on my learners’ work. My students are actively engaged in their blogs and are always excited to read and view the number of comments they have on their posts. It’s a process, whatever platform you are using, Macbook Pro, PC, or mobile device it is important to set precedents when blogging. I also taught my students how to comment on other students work, whether in my class or another school around the world. I really feel it can be used at all grade levels, it really has made each of my students work personal and authentic. ”

If you have any questions about KidBlog.org, feel free to connect with Nicki Ruthai or just visit her Kidblog or class twitter account to view the powers at hand.

 

Just Hanging Out in Class

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 8.35.05 AM

A great way to grow a mustache!

Last week, HS teachers tested using Google Hangouts during their divisional meeting.  This feature of Google+ has some great applications in the classroom.  After my recent “virtual attendance” at the FlatClassroom conference in Yokohama, it occurred to me that this tool will be necessary to help tear down the classroom walls.

*Up to 10 members can “hangout” at the same time.
*You need a Google account to access this feature
*You can start independent hangouts on you laptop, iPad and iPhone with the same Google+ account

 

Some possible applications of Google Hangouts:

  1. Collaboration both locally and globally
  2. Meetings where participants are not in the same locale
  3. Student study sessions
  4. Editing Google Docs with true collaboration
  5. Screen sharing
  6. Live streaming of video from your laptop camera
  7. Creating a YouTube video of collaboration

Here’s a tutorial on using Google Hangouts: (thanks to jbormanncentral at YouTube)

Here’s a tutorial on starting a live YouTube stream using Google Hangouts:

 

Here’s a tutorial on starting a Google Hangout with your iPad or iPhone: