I remember when I started teaching and my third grade team told me that our kids practice keyboarding in computer, I was amazed. I guess I hadn't thought about kids learning to type that young because I was not taught keyboarding until high school. Then it dawned on me that of course they need to be able to type early on in this day and age. The different activities we complete and educational websites we visit in class are so much more effective than when I was in school. I know our advanced technology is helping to make these kids tech savvy early on in life, which is definitely needed in this ever-changing world we live in.
However, I want to get them even more involved in technology and all the options open to them without it being too overwhelming. Being towards the end of the school year, I don't know if I could take on the endeavor of having them create their own blogs, but I am toying with the idea of them submitting a project into the Parkway Digital Film Festival. I didn't really give it a second thought when I first heard about it, because my days are already loaded with almost too much curriculum to fit in one day. But when my tech specialist approached me about it, she explained it doesn't need to be as complicated as I am making it seem. I know this project wouldn't build their PLN, but it would immerse them in a type of newer technology that wasn't available when I was a student. So I am debating whether trying this baby step for my kids is something that would benefit their learning. Any suggestions of what they could do?

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Tags: SocialMedia101

Comment by Christy Prudence on March 21, 2010 at 3:35pm
I must be getting back into school mode because when you said typing, I thought of the MAP going digital and having kids taking it online in the near future. I teach 4th grade, and the majority of my kids are still pretty slow at typing. I can't imagine my kids typing fast enough for them to take the test! We don't have a typing program to help with this problem, but here are some sites my team has found and use right now...
http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/keyboarding_games.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/levels/level1.shtml
http://funschool.kaboose.com/fun-blaster/back-to-school/games/game_...

In thinking about your question of submitting a project to the film festival, I am having my kids make public service announcements using their persuasive papers they just wrote and PhotoStory. I have also made a class Bill of Rights video where pairs of students read about one of the ammendments and explain it in "kid" language. I compiled the pictures, but they did the audio. I find social studies and writing the easiest to incorporate digital media into what I am already doing in the classroom. I hope this helps!
Comment by RIchard John McLaughlin on March 21, 2010 at 3:38pm
I am currently learning exponentially about all of the technology that has surpassed me. When I was in school we learned how to type on typewriters. (JUST TO DATE MYSELF) I am very grateful now that I know how to type at about 40 to 45 wpm. Thank God for the backspace key.
I have developed a way that I think you might really engage your students in the project. I use puppets. It is amazing how much puppets break the shy barriers down. I write a rough draft script. I choose songs that are the transitions to the show and the kids use the puppets to teach other kids about what they have learned. I am a tree hugger so all of my shows are about the environment and endangered species. But, it doesn't matter what you do, the puppets can really be a great ice breaker.

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