I am so overwhelmed with the amount of technology out there that I do not know where to start...blogs, wikis, video, making movies, etc. I want to know what you would vote as the most effective use of technology, whether it be an actual piece of equipment, online, or anything classroom 2.0 that you have used in the classroom. I have the type of personality in which I want to try EVERYTHING, but time is a huge factor, so the purpose of this discussion is to help me narrow my focus down to something more manageable. So I am asking you the experts, what you have found to be the best of the best. By the way I would like to try to limit this to the elementary level but I am open to any suggestions.

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Steve, I agree. That would be a great place to start for the one I was talking to you about for the Killeen, Texas area. I would love to do a presentation at any here in Texas, really.

By the way, I just joined a Ning in Spain that is similar to CR 2.0. I had contacted a teacher who had a wiki and urged him to join CR2.0 and he included it in his blog and urged his readers to join. I got lots and lots of hits from Spain right after that and so many may have joined us here!
Cool! Maybe they'll put us over the 7,000 mark today!
Hi Jennifer...
5th graders are only a little younger than 6th graders! On one class wiki (as opposed to one for each kid), you can post a blog, post your voice thread, and almost anything else you want to do. I imagine you would like to have your students write, peer-edit, and read each others' work, and maybe others thoughts as well. Maybe you would like to have them write something such as what we discussed in our staff meeting today:

What did you learn this week?
How do you feel about what you learned?
What motivated you t learn it?

Higher-level questions are the perfect starting point of a blog. You can post links to a classroom blog on a wiki. But on your classroom wikispace, you can just as easily have them post on a page. Then you create a page for each group of kids or each subject area. See some examples of ALL grade levels at Educationalwikis.

And for a GREAT science wiki done by a 6th grade class, go here. This teacher has divided her classes into groups and they have created "clinics" of specialist who tell you all about the major body systems. It really is cool. There are others too on the educationalwikis link above that are for elementary. Add me as a friend and contact me, and I'll be glad to guide you through whatever you need to learn about it. A blog would be great too, but I think you should take it one step at a time. Let's keep in touch!
I use google reader but would like to know more about google gears. How do you use this and what are its advantages. I love Photostory as well and use it with my students a lot, especially when I want them to get something finished quickly and online.
I'm also interested in google gears. I'm interested in knowing more about Photostory as well...
You can find Microsoft Photostory here and a "how to" here. It is a digital storytelling tool that basically allows you to add music and voice to photos to create a "story". Voicethread is the newer, more sophisticated tool for this purpose that is becoming very popular. You can go to the free educator version by registering and then checking K12 in the "Pro" option.

I last used Photostory in a student reflection project for Open House. I photographed and uploaded students' self portrait drawings. Students then wrote/recorded self-reflections to go with them that talked about what they are most proud of in terms of new knowledge or academic improvement, as well as what they still want to improve.

Google Gears is a new tool from Google that allows you to use some applications offline. I use it to go through my Google Reader feeds because my internet access at school and wireless at home can be temperamental.

Hope it helps!
Thanks, Adina.... and Jennifer, THAT is the great use of cr2.0.... that we help each other, give guidance and how-tos and mentor each other! Nobody just stays here thinking about it, I'm sure! That is why I love it and have recommended it t everyone and have invited several others to join. I just started in October and I'm still learning.
To add further to the conversation, sometimes we need to try out personally the different web2.0 tools, so that we get to understand their potential and possible use in the classroom. It is only once we are comfortable with the tools, that we can see just how it can be used for educational purposes. Once studetns come on board, they push the software to the boundaries and even further applications can be discovered.
I totally agree. It's in the using that your imagination is ignited. And students even more so!



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