Archives for the month of: April, 2014

Regular technology-free classes have proven to not be as effective as they were before. In fact, it seems that the more technology advances, the least likely it becomes that any teacher would permanently look away from it to teach their class. Of course, spending variously long lapses of time away from any technological teaching tool can sometimes be beneficial to both the teacher and their students. However, a complete separation of the classroom from current technology is neither very plausible nor especially advised.

However, a question which is not often asked is whether a classroom can rely mostly on technology. Is it possible for a teacher to carry out their teaching activities by using nearly exclusively computer-based or console-based programs and games? When I look at the present level of technological development, I tend to think that no, it would not be possible. However, various things may be done with this readily available technology we currently possess. Voki is one of such tools which the teacher can use. To be able to use it for the classroom, the teacher should make sure that they have access to the Classroom version of the website. The price for this access is of an approximate value of barely over $2 a month.

One of the uses for this tool is organizational in essence. More precisely, it helps the teacher organize their class into something which can be more effectively managed. To be able to use Voki Classroom to organize the class, the teacher needs simply enter the name of each student he or she teaches into a list. This list can then be re-organized into groups so that each class has a specific group. Furthermore, by entering the names and separating them into groups, the teachers allow themselves to have access to various other tools. For instance, if a teacher would like to have their students create an oral presentation on any subject, they can have the students use Voki to complete it. To do so, the student or the group of students only needs to use the avatar which they had already created, or a brand new one. Various other tasks of the like may be assigned and carried out easily, as this website offers the teacher the possibility to monitor the progress of their students.

In addition to this, other means of using Voki exist. However, the teacher who wishes to use it should be wary of two things: the looks of the site and the time some menial tasks may take on there. While the main site is rich in information, the way it is presented on the home page can be intimidating. It is packed with information, and can reduce if not destroy the interest of some of its potential users because of it. However, once this first threshold has been passed, another one awaits. This one comes from the students. When creating their avatar, one thing which might be a problem is the saving mechanic of the website. Indeed, once they have started working on their avatar to the website or another one for a project, they cannot save and continue it another day. If it is not handled properly, this feature can become a problem, if not necessarily a hard one to solve.

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Last week, my Computer Applications teacher presented to the class a list of websites. A very specific one caught my attention, and I feel like I should talk to you about it. This beautiful website is called Storybird.

You might be wondering why I am talking to you about this website specifically. What would have brought me to present you this website today? This is what I will tell you right now.

Basically, Storybird is a website designed to create stories. Art is already available to the write on this website, and any of it may be chosen to add to the story. The fact that this art is already available can be useful, since if you use this website, your students will not need to focus on drawing the pictures.Instead, they will only need to make sure they make a nice story. It allows them to focus on the content of what they are writing.

This makes Storybird a beautiful tool to use for writing assignments. By enabling the student to focus on the task at hand, which is writing, it allows them to create stories more depth, or at the very least with more content. On top of this, the presence of the art is something which will most likely help the student come up with an idea.

However, they are not the only reasons why Storybird may be a good tool for writing assignements. For example, Storybird can be useful for students who are having a hard time reading; when the text gets too complicated for the reader, they can rely on the picture to know what is going on.

On top of this, you do not even need to create an account to use Storybird. However, it still is recommended your students do so if they want to keep, publish or share the stories they created.