Using blogs as a way to communicate with your students and their parents is a valuable tool for the classroom. This is a way you can communicate with your students and their parents about things you’ve worked on in class, about upcoming events, and use it as a way to introduce new material. For example, if I was taking my orchestra class to the symphony in a week I could post the date and itinerary for the trip so the parents can know exactly what their kids are doing. Also, I could talk a little bit about concert etiquette and the history behind the pieces that were being programed for that performance. This is such a good way to have communication with all who are involved in your classroom.
I have had the chance to work with the websites, Animoto, GoAnimate, and Voki, recently. I really enjoyed these three websites and I think they could be valuable tools to use in the classroom. I have used Animoto once before back in 2010, I believe. After revisiting the site, I’ve noticed many great updates. The website is much more user friendly and has better templates and music to use for your short video. The only down side to this site is that in order to have all the features the website offers you will have to pay, but the trial does allow you to test out the site pretty well. The next website, GoAnimate, was great as well. I liked how it had particular accounts for teachers and students. Videos can be reviewed and edited by the teacher, allowing for safer use of the Internet. The same con is present in this website as the other, you can try it out free for 14 days and after that there will be a fee. One good thing about this is the website offers a cheaper package for teachers. The last website I reviewed is Voki, another site for creating video. This site allows you to create an avatar that can be used to present the information to students. I really like how customizable the site allows you to be. Also, I like that you can record your voice or use a computer-generated voice to create the video. The only downside I found to this website is that the computer-generated voice could be found slightly scary.
After reviewing several articles about Twitter and other social media in classroom, I have discovered some powerful insight into the benefits of using the sites. Since high school I have had teachers create twitter accounts where they would post homework, extra credit assignments, and even extra study questions in order to help their students out. After reading these blogs I’ve found that social media could be used even more than just for that. In the first article the author discusses how another teacher strategically used hashtags in order to talk with others from Egypt and allow his students to do the same. I also read some different blogs about the use of Instagram in the classroom. I haven’t seen Instagram used in the classroom before, so I found some amazing examples! I especially liked the examples given by educational blogger, Dallas. She uses Instagram to post pictures in order for her students to review material for homework or a test. I feel that using Twitter and/or Instagram in your classroom is a great way to expand learning in and outside the classroom. It is a great way to interact with others in the classroom and outside.
After reading Kristin Long’s blog, I discovered we have very similar views on the use Twitter and Instagram in the classroom. I agree with Kristin’s point that social media allows students and teachers to be in contact with other classrooms around the world.
Articles and blogs reviewed for this blog:
- How Twitter Can Be Used as a Powerful Educational Tool
- Everything you need to know about teaching with Instagram
- Nerdy,Nerdy, Nerdy
- David Truss: Pair of Dimes for Your Thoughts