Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tool #6 Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion in and out of the Classroom!

1. Succession in Biomes

Voicethread is a useful tool for presenting resources that I have acquired, in my case, over time to support topics that are taught in biology and demonstrate the reality of the topic.  In this situation I am using photographs that I have taken on vacations around the country to demonstrate succession in various types of biomes.  Pond succession, Mount St. Helens succession after the volcanic eruption are only two of the ones that I have displayed.

2. Photosynthesis Poll

Poll Everywhere is a tool to enable using the technology that students bring to class with them everyday.  I already have clickers  to check for understanding, but they present some problems such as battery replacement and other maintenance. In addition, some classes are larger then the number of voting devices that teachers have.  Poll Everywhere is an easy, inexpensive way to accomplish knowing where student understanding is in a lesson.  The website has built-in PowerPoint presentations to teach students how to use the site although I doubt that any student will need this.  The point is that this is a user friendly tool.

3.  Both of these will be useful in my classroom setting.  Voice Thread is interesting as a way to make the topic of succession real to students.  In addition they are well traveled and/or well read.  Often they  have material they can bring to share with classmates.  I teach G/T students who are so eager to add to whatever we are covering.  Actually, many of them would  enjoy assembling a thread to share in class in much the same way that I have done.
I look forward to using Poll Everywhere because students always have their cell phones with them and I think they will find this type of feedback will help them stay focused and actively participating in class.

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