Tag Archives: Skype

A Coming-of-Digital-Age Story

13 Mar

A Coming-of-Digital Age Story
By Nancye Blair Black
Performed by Laney Blair

Used to be, learning at school was a bore.
Textbooks and textbooks and textbooks. Snore!
In class, teachers would talk, students would hear.
It was the same old story year after year.

Until one day, our principal suddenly appeared
With a class set of computers. The students all cheered!
Our teacher showed us what these new tools could do.
We played fraction games. We Skyped with the zoo!

And then it was our turn. She turned us all loose
To research and learn about a topic we choose.
I tried simulations. Collected data, too.
I emailed an expert. Read cutting-edge news.

Next, it was time to share what we’d learned,
To demonstrate knowledge and mastery earned.
In front of my classmates, I started to doubt,
But then all of a sudden, the words just poured out.

I showed them my slideshow with media galore.
My friends clapped and asked questions and begged me for more!
My teacher joined with them. Could this really be?
That along with my teacher, now a teacher was me?

It was hard to believe, but the message seemed clear;
My work mattered enough to see, read and hear.
And if sharing my ideas could matter to you,
All this work would actually be worth it to do!

So, I darted online to blog on my day.
Would the rest of the world really care what I say?
I posted my project as my global debut.
Other teachers and students were soon commenting, too!

And now, I can’t count all things I can share;
I’m an author, filmmaker and scientist extraordinaire.
My voice makes a difference. I now know it’s true….
And technology helped me to share it with you.

“It’s a Small World: Elementary Global Collaboration Tools” @ #GlobalEd12

13 Nov

Day 2 of the Global Education Conference has begun!  Yesterday was filled with inspirational speakers and practical tips.  I especially enjoyed Tony Wagner‘s ideas about fostering innovation in our students and Rita Oates’ practical tips for connecting with guest speakers who have International perspectives, yet live within our local communities. (If you missed them, I will be posting a link to the #GlobalEd12 session recordings later this week.)

As promised, tonight (or tomorrow morning depending on where in the world you live) at 11:00 PM Eastern Time, U.S, I will be presenting as well.  Here’s the scoop!

It’s a Small World: Elementary Global Collaboration
Nancye Blair, Education Innovation Specialist & ISTE Emerging Leader

Direct Link to the Session: https://sas.elluminate.com/d.jnlp?sid=2008350&password=GECPart101

Session Description: With mountains of resources available for Global Collaboration, elementary teachers often spend hours sifting through tools and practices to find the select few that will be successful for young learners. In this high-energy session, attendees learn about powerful web resources and best practices that are perfect for our youngest learners. With ideas for tools like Google Docs, Storybird, Voicethread, ePals, Skype, Flockdraw and more, participants will learn how to find other teachers and classes who are interested in collaborating, how to set-up 21st century learning activities that promote global awareness and real world problem solving, and easily implement these new tools in their classroom. In no time, elementary students can be blogging; digital storytelling; sharing videos, images, knowledge or skills; and even creating websites with other students across the classroom and around the world.

Today guarantees to be another wonderful day of connecting and learning.  Once again, the full GlobalEdCon schedule can be found  here.  And remember, you can follow #GlobalEd12 or me (@EngagingEdu) on Twitter for ongoing updates, tips and highlights as well!


7 Ways Technology Can Enhance Your World Read Aloud Day Celebration

2 Mar

With World Read Aloud Day just around the corner, it’s not too late to use your technological resources to enhance your celebration and bring reading to life for your students. Here are seven ways to do just that!

1. Guest Readers & Audiences – Using Skype, iChat, Facetime or other applications, classes can bring in virtual guest readers. Guest readers come in all shapes and sizes. LitWorld and Kate Messner both provided a list of published authors who are willing to Skype with students on WRAD, which you can find at
LitWorld.org/WorldReadAloudDayChats
KateMessner.com/skype-with-an-author-on-world-read-aloud-day-2012
Yet, guest readers can also be students’ parents or grandparents, volunteers from local businesses or organizations, or even students and teachers at other schools. If you would like to connect with other educators who are interested in Skyping for WRAD, visit this wiki created by John Schu and Shannon Miller – ChangeTheWorldStoryByStory.wikispaces.com/Skype+Schedules+and+Projects.
By the way, don’t miss out on the opportunity to allow your own students to serve as the Guest Readers for other classes or schools as well!

2. Podcasting – Get your students excited about reading by using voice-recording applications to record themselves reading aloud. Vocaroo.com or the Voice Memos app on various iDevices are simple ways to implement this… or use a more robust program like Audacity, Aviary or Garageband, which would even allow students to add mood music or sound effects to their productions. Play these finished masterpieces for the class or publish them online to share with others!

3. Talking Avatars – Using the voice recording function at Voki.com, students can use their voices to create an avatar that can read aloud to the class. Whether Abraham Lincoln is reading the Gettysburg Address or a cat is reading Carl Sandburg’s famous Fog poem, this activity will delight students of all ages.
Bonus: Students can read their own poems and compositions aloud as well! Check out this elementary Voki project by Samantha Lewis that promotes literacy and writing through Dr. Seuss inspired rhyming poems.

4. VoicethreadVoicethread is a dynamic digital media tool that will allow your students to write or record comments. For World Read Aloud Day, create a Voicethread with slides for various figures of speech or genres and allow your students to read aloud to audio or video record examples that they discover in literary works. (Learn more about this tool’s potential at Voicethread.com.)

5. Digital Storytelling – To celebrate both reading and writing, consider allowing the students to create Digital Storybooks using the Web 2.0 application, Little Bird Tales. This application allows students to compose a written piece, draw original illustrations and record themselves reading the book aloud. Best of all, they are easy to share with the class, e-mail to parents or paste on your class website.

6. Puppet Shows or Reader’s Theater – Lights! Camera! Action! Bring reading to life with a little drama! Use your document camera to create live or recorded Read Alouds of Reader’s Theater or other works with engaging images of student-created popsicle stick avatars, finger puppets or other manipulatives. For example, read Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar with a large popsicle stick avatar of the caterpillar and real versions of the red apple, two green pears, a cupcake, a single leaf and more.

7. Video Book Reviews – Students can use a webcam, Flipcam or Doc Cam to record a review of a favorite book, including sharing illustrations and reading their favorites passages aloud.
Bonus: Upload these video book reviews online and connect their URLs to QR codes (qrcode.kaywa.com) that can be printed and affixed to the cover of the book for other students to watch throughout the school year!

Using Technology, you can easily use your World Read Aloud Day event to ignite a passion for reading in your students and allow it to spread far beyond your classroom walls.

World Read Aloud Day takes place on Wednesday, March 7th. For more ideas, activities resources, visit LitWorld.org/WorldReadAloudDayActivities. You can even download their original picture book, New Day, New Friends, to share with your class!

World Read Aloud Day 2012

27 Feb

The countdown has begun… Only nine more days until the 2012 World Read Aloud Day!

Sponsored by LitWorld, World Read Aloud Day is “about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.” (via LitWorld.org)

So, how can you participate?

First, register your class at LitWorld.org to participate as part of this amazing global event to promote literacy.

Second, plan Read Aloud activities for your class or school, whether students are reading their own writing aloud, inviting a guest reader, or using technology to connect your readers. (Check back for WRAD 2012: Part 2 this week for a great list of class WRAD activities!)

Third, consider contacting an author to Skype with your students.
– LitWorld has partnered with dozens of authors who are excited to read and share with your classes on March 7th. That list can be found at http://litworld.org/worldreadalouddaychats.
– Author, Kate Messner, shares a list of authors who may be willing to Skype with your students at http://www.katemessner.com/skype-with-an-author-on-world-read-aloud-day-2012.

World Read Aloud Day 2012 will be a powerful opportunity to get your students excited about reading… and celebrate their place in the global learning community. So, what are you and your students going to do to participate??

Keep checking back this week for further resources for World Read Aloud Day (3/7)
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Subscribe to this Engaging Education with your e-mail on the right side of this page!

Celebrating World Read Aloud Day

10 Mar

What an amazing day!! Joining LitWorld.org in the support of Global Literacy, we engaged a wide variety of read aloud activities throughout the day. Here’s an idea of some of the things our students did in our technology classes!

– Skype calls to read aloud with 1st grade class at South McKeel Elementary Academy in Lakeland, Fl, a 2nd grade class at Martin J Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, Fl, and two classes in Wisconsin. Thank you to their teachers, Samantha Lewis, Sylvia Tolisano, Pernille Ripp, and Susan Goneau, for being a part of this!
– A Skype call with a secret service agent who shared about his position in Washington DC and engaged us with a responsive reading about President John Adams, a poem about President Clinton’s cat, and more from the book, The White House: Looking In, Looking Out!
– An Elluminate session with Mrs. S. Lister, Canadian Ed Tech Consultant who is currently in the country, Jordan. Mrs. Lister read us The Sandwich Swap, written by Jordan’s Queen Rania!
– Premiered student-created Animated PowerPoint Storybooks based on original stories and student read aloud voice recordings!
– Created, recorded, and shared original poetry with pop-up illustrations!

Our first World Read Aloud Day experience was a great success (even with the fire alarm going off during our Elluminate session to Jordan!). The kids are more excited than ever about reading, writing… and technology. They are beginning to realize that the world is their audience and their teacher… and that their voices are worth hearing.

To hear some of our students read aloud, check out our 2D and 3D versions of our Pop-Up Poetry Digital Storybooks!!