Using Technology to Enhance Learning

District Professional Development Day

Homewood City Schools

November 22-23, 2010

Session Agenda

Welcome and
Learn more about the presenter:
Jennifer Barnett
Web Tool Overview
Categories of Web Tools
Technology tools are actually no different in purpose to the many
tools already being used in classrooms to enhance learning. Consider the following:

Tools to enhance learning to read:
Webquests, interactive content sites
Tools to enhance learning to write:
Blogs, wikis, digital storytelling
Tools to enhance learning to speak:
Podcasting, Voice recording tools, screencasts, webcasts
Tools to enhance learning to think:
The Critical Thinking Community, Intel tools, wallwisher

Reading related sites:
readwritethink; Directory of Online Reading Resources, Grammar Girl, No Fear Shakespeare,
Spark Notes, American Literature,Noodle Tools, Grammar/Language Games, Shmoop
Better Book Reports, Shelfari, Good Reads, Reading Strategies

Just like time spent reading books, students need time exploring online.
Elementary: readwritethink, Webquests
Secondary: No Fear Shakespeare, Spark Notes, Noodle Tools, Grammar Girl, readwritethink

Elem: Tikatok
Sec: Our Story

Our Story Resource Page
Provide your students more purpose for writing. Connecting students to technology for writing might
generate the enthusiastic attitude you desire of your students.

Digital Storytelling Sites:
Shutterfly Our Story Tikatok Time Toast Storybird Stage'D, Myths & Legends
Landing Page,Kerpoof ZooBurst, DomoAnimate, PicLits Mixbook zFlip, Scrapblog This I Believe, zFlip

Elementary - Shutterfly, Storybird, Zooburst, Kerpoof
Secondary - zFlip, Mixbook, Scrapblog, Shutterfly, Myths & Legends, PicLits


Voki Examples

Blabberize Resource Page
Provide your students more purpose for speaking. Of course, they should always write a script first, so
this process obviously supports much more than speaking.

Sites for using student voice to enhance learning:
Blabberize, Voki, Audacity, gCast Brainshark VoiceThread UStream, LiveStream
ipadio Glogster This I Believe

Most of these are completely appropriate for all grade levels, all subject areas. Certainly, producing a
webcast and recording podcasts will require more support for K-6 grades. Although, you might be surprised! I learn every day
my son (3rd grader) can handle very sophisticated tasks!


Homewood Think

Advice for You
We say it all the time. Students need to improve critical thinking skills. Try a few of the following tools to push your
students to explore new ideas, points of view and possibilities and use reason to investigate questions, evaluate ideas,
advocate positions, and resolve conflicts

Sites which inspire more critical thinking to enhance learning:
The Critical Thinking Community (excellent site for better understanding critical thinking)
readwritethink Intel Thinking Tools Wallwisher Yack Pack, Mindmeister, Webspiration Survey Monkey,
PollDaddy, Google Docs

Elementary: readwritethink, wallwisher, Yack Pack, Webspiration
Secondary: Intel Thinking Tools, wallwisher, Mindmeister, webspiration
Free Time on the
Web Playground
(or my web closet)
MyWardrobePartyPicksstar.jpgAre you still looking for that perfect web tool to enhance learning in your classroom?
Take a few minutes to search through My Web Wardrobe. You'll find web tools organized the
way many ladies think - in terms of clothes and accessories.
The Closet - storage of your web creations and treasures
The Basic Items - web tools and resources that are the foundation of your "web wardrobe"
The Attention-Getting Accessories - tools designed to attract attention, motivate, & generate fun
The Formal - those tools best used once or twice a year, but make a huge impact
The Mirror - reflecting on what has been learned is crucial - Could you imagine getting all dressed up to go out and NOT taking a
moment to look into the mirror? We should always provide our students the opportunity to reflect on their learning and allow it to become
personal for them. Mirrors have a way of making things personal, don't they?
Web Directories
Where do I go to find even more web tools?
Web 2.0 Directories and Clearinghouses of web tools update daily. Bookmark these sites.
eduTecher, Go2web20, Ziipa, Listio, Educational Software, Learning Web, NetWebApp
Closing Remarks
It's important for me to be totally honest with teachers learning to use technology to enhance their classroom instruction. Allow me to
share a few closing thoughts with you.
  • Learning to integration technology in your classroom instruction takes time. The learning curve is steep in the beginning. Soon you'll see that many web tools work in a similar fashion. Until then, understand that mastery of these tech skills is muchlike the mastery of any other skill. The more time you spend practicing and the more determination you have to continue learning, the more likely you will be to achieve mastery. Unfortunately, there's no way around it.
  • Talk and share what you are doing to learn new web tools and what you're doing in your classroom. Sharing with others is the BEST way to continue to grow and learn.
  • Most of your favorite web sites and web tools have great tutorials available. Also, be sure to search for free webinars as well. Many sites understand how important it is to support teachers in learning these tools and using them in the classroom. Loads of resources are available to help you learn.
  • Consider developing your professional learning network. For more information about this, see a couple of resources pages I have on PLNs: Function of PLNs; How to Create a PLN

Don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions.
Contact Me:
Jennifer Barnett on Twitter