I posted about Pic Collage last year, but had not said much about it since. I didn’t mention it much because it has a feature that allows it to search the internet for images. For the most part, it filtered things fine. However, if the search language got specific, then it would provide some inappropriate images for our young ones.
This year, our filtering system is blocking the image search. This is not such a bad thing because you as the teacher can provide them with a collection of images so that they can safely gather materials for their projects.
Pic Collage allows the user to gather a collection of pictures and add text all to one board. This application could be used in all subject areas and at a rate that was previously inconceivable.
It is available on iPod Touch and the iPad.
Here are some examples created by first graders on their iPods:
There has been an overwhelming response to teachers implementing Kidblog.org in their classroom. (I even have some Kindergarten teachers dabbling.) It is a great resource. I blogged about Kidblog a long time ago. However, the site has changed quite a bit. I will make an updated tutorial in the near future.
For now, I thought I would throw out a few materials for those of you that are interested in initiating a blog. The video embedded in this post is one I made for a classroom of second graders that needed to make the Kidblog application connect to their accounts. Feel free to use the video for your own classroom to get your students connected if I am not able to help you personally. Mrs. Gaines reported that her students did not have trouble connecting to the site after showing the video.
If you are thinking about implementing a blog, I would highly recommend looking at the following website: Getting More Out of Student Blogging. It is somewhat lengthy, but it includes a free webinar to watch. The blog post summarizes the webinar so you don’t even have to watch it if you would rather just read through the materials yourself. It will provide you with a strong foundation on blogging. It will get you thinking about how to establish it, build excitement in your classroom, and make blogging a successful activity in your routine.
“Blogging is an authentic avenue for developing student literacy skills. When you invest the time in teaching, modelling, revising and promoting high quality writing of comments, students can make great gains in their overall literacy development.” – Sue Waters
The image posted here is of Mrs. Yoder’s blog. Students are merely using it as a digital portfolio. This process was extremely impressive as first graders used their iPods to send a thank you note to a guest reader in their class. (Based upon the image, I bet you can guess what book was read by Mrs. Leman.) The students first made their illustration inDoodle Buddy, saved the image to their camera roll, imporated it into Photocard, saved their project into their camera roll, and finally either uploaded it to Kidblog or emailed it. These first graders used three different applications to create this project. A set of tasks that would even have the majority of adults’ heads spinning.
The one drawback that Mrs. Yoder mentioned was that it would have been helpful just to have an extra set of hands present to field any problems that arose. Unfortunately, I was not able to be present for the project. (Hence the need for the video.)
If you are an East Noble School Corporation teacher, and you just need an extra set of hands, let me know!
Bill Atkinson Photocard is an application that I had posted about previously in the Presentation Tools section of the blog. It is a great tool for anyone, teachers and students alike, to create postcards. Students could make postcards for almost any topic. I love finding applications that are extremely flexible and cross-curricular. If you have not heard of the application before, please check out the link I posted above. The video I am posting here is just a tutorial I made for a first grade teacher. I was not able to make it to her class due to conflict in our schedules so I did what is second best; I cloned myself by making a video. This video should give students enough information about how to use the application that they will be able to successfully create a postcard, upload it to Kidblog, or send it by email through an iPod touch. (It is the same procedure for the iPad.)
Today I was excited to help 1st graders connect their iPods to the wireless internet. Mrs. Baker at South Side was gracious enough to allow me to come in and assist her. Yesterday, I thought I was such a genius because I had created a video that I thought would help the teachers get their kids connected. Once again…I came to the realization that teaching fourth graders is a much different world than first grade. My video only kept their attention for about 20 seconds, most kids were just playing apps (I know I heard Talking Tom yawn), and I realized just how dull my video really was. (I’m feeling very humbled at the moment.)
As the kids are on their iPods doing their own thing anyway and I’m actually trying to tell them how to connect to the wireless, (first grade remember) only a select few can follow me. I am assuming they have experience with these devices at home. I eventually just gave in and let the kids have some free time with the things. Mrs. Baker and I just went around to each one to make sure they were connected. Everyone was content, no one was bored, and everyone was connected. Lesson learned: just let the kids use them, have at least a couple people in there to go through the procedure, and pray the network doesn’t crash while you are doing it.
Thanks, Mrs. Baker, for letting me learn this lesson. I seriously appreciate it. 🙂 Lots of respect goes out to all lower elementary teachers. You are a blessing!