Monday, 7 May 2012

The Start of Something Good

This is the start of my blogging journey.  I hope this blog will be a way for students, colleagues, parents, and the general public to get access to great information related to technology AND inclusion.  My journey into assisting students and teachers with infusing technology in the classroom has begun and I am tingling with excitement~!

I attended the Student Services Administrators Association of Manitoba (SSAAM) conference on Friday, May 4, 2012.  The keynote speakers in the morning brought forth some great insight into the movement towards inclusion within school divisions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but the afternoon sessions for which I registered were fabulous! I attended a presentation by a kindergarten/resource teacher/technology mentor who's infused technology into her classroom in so many ways it was a bit mind-boggling! Devon Caldwell, who works in Fort La Bosse School Division, presented some varied and fun ways to infuse software, social media, and communication via the computer in an educational setting.  With a SMART board, lap top, and projector, she shared some great resources to use in the classroom to collaborate with colleagues, communicate with other communities and parents, and keep herself organized while meeting the needs of a busy group of students.  This is a master teacher at work!
Here is a list, with a brief description of each, of some of the apps and online resources that Devon presented in an hour's time.  All are free and available for download from the websites listed below:
  • A great resource for completing calendar activities
  • A software app that can be downloaded to smartphones and computers.  It helps keeps documents organized, allows you to take notes, create to-do lists, view PDFs, take photos of objects anywhere with text and then search for that handwritten or printed text within those saved images.  Devon uses this app to collect, store, and organize assessment data for her students.
  • This website allows you to set up an account in which you can input the phone numbers of your contacts, record a message that can be sent out to all your friends, colleagues, etc.  Free and simple to use.
Microsoft AutoCollage
  • A free downloadable software which takes your photos or photos you've comnpiled online and allows you to create a collage.
  • An online resource that allows you to browse artwork and type up the story to match. You can choose an artist or a theme and allow your creativity to take you away!
  • A great resource for pre-created SMART board activities related to math.
  • A resource for creating original, animated video presentations using your own photos and selections from their online music library.  Available for free download to your computer or mobile device.
These technological apps appear very user-friendly and are a cinch to download and start using.  Great ways to stay organized and keep kids engaged!

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