Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Why do I get so ambitious sometimes?  I got this great idea a few days ago to have my students write a group essay using Google Docs.  Trying to get my students to learn how to write an essay is going to be a monumental task, so I thought practicing as a group first would be a good idea.  They’re having a lot of fun with the topic (they’re writing descriptive essays about weird houses I found on the Internet).  But Google Docs may not work so well.  I took my students to the lab yesterday and they all set up Google accounts and they uploaded their work into Google Docs.  For some groups, everything went really well, and for the others…disaster.

Has anyone used Google docs in the classroom?  Ever tried a group essay?  Any suggestions?  I’m always amazed at the simple technology my students can’t understand when they spend most of their free time online.– Ashley


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Twitter is great because it leads me to sites like this one.  It’s a compilation of stories, pictures, videos, teaching ideas all about digital writing.  Teachers are finding some amazing ways to bring technology into their writing classes, and the result is more dynamic communication.  I think there’s so much inspiration here for our program.– Ashley

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Great, great article shared from our friends at ELP Tech Committee Blog:


This excellent post comes from one of our own K-Staters, and he raises some excellent issues about changes in education, technology, and where our students fit in in all of this.  He writes, “Unfortunately, many teachers only see the disruptive possibilities of these technologies when they find students Facebooking, texting, IMing, or shopping during class. Though many blame the technology, these activities are just new ways for students to tune out, part of the much bigger problem I have called “the crisis of significance,” the fact that many students are now struggling to find meaning and significance in their education.”

Wesch goes on to describe his exciting World Simulation project for his Cultural Anthropology class.  It’s an ambitious project, to say the least, but I love that he’s finding ways to get his students genuinely engaged in learning.  Isn’t that our job – to make our students excited about knowledge and the possibilities that education opens up?– Ashley

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I’ve been taking an online course offered through TESOL about PLNs and PLEs, and it’s been fantastic so far.  Yes, I know, you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say PLN/PLE (and if you do, feel free to skip this post).  Allow me to explain 🙂

PLN: Personal learning network

PLE: Personal learning environment

Honestly, these two terms seem to overlap to me.  I realize they’re not identical, but they do refer to very similar concepts.  Essentially, this is your collection of online resources/contacts/websites that help you stay connected to your field.  This blog, if you ever actually read it, is part of your PLN.  I use Twitter, a wonderful resource that is really the mainstay of my PLN.  It allows me to connect with colleagues from all over the world, and it’s incredibly motivating to know how many great ideas and intelligent people are out there!

I’m really enjoying my course so far, and I plan to share some of what I’ve learned.  I really believe every teacher ought to have a PLN, no matter how small.  Don’t be afraid of technology; technology is your friend :)– Ashley

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It’s time for some good news. No frustrated posts today.  Camtasia is working!  My students are making Works Cited pages!

Also, I’ve been using Bloom’s taxonomy in my reading and speaking classes, and it’s been very successful.  I’ve actually got my students reading, really thinking about what they’re reading, and having genuinely interesting discussions in class.

Also, I survived Tuesday, so the worst of the week is over!  Yay Wednesday!– Ashley

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Okay, I finally made a Camtasia recording, and I don’t think it’s completely awful, so check it out!  Also, I’m testing this out to see how my link to Screencast.com works (that’s Camtasia’s youtube-like site for hosting your videos).  Happy Friday!– Ashley

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Oooh... a green ball

Our little blog has been sadly neglected for the past few weeks.  The beginning of the semester is just too crazy.  But I’m excited because I’m trying out some new technology in my writing class, and I thought I’d mention it here.  I’ll be using Camtasia, a screen recorder that I’m hoping will help my grammar lessons.  I’ve got this grand idea that I’ll create grammar tutorials online and post them for my students to review.  I even dream that I could get my students using Camtasia to create their own grammar presentations, but baby steps.  Let’s see if I can even figure this thing out first.  Anyway, check out Camtasia’s website if you get a chance.  Educators are using it in lots of interesting ways.  It’s exciting to try to liven up boring grammar class.

Also, got any ideas for what else I could do with Camtasia?  Let me know!– Ashley

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