Thursday, July 3, 2008

Reflection on Anne Davis' Presentation: Putting the Pedagogy into the Tools

As I read Anne Davis' blog post about Blogs and Pedagogy I found myself gaining a sense of affirmation to the ways I've used blogs in my courses that I teach at the college level as well as the way teachers in my middle school have implemented blogs. It also made me think of new ways to stretch the use of blogs in our classrooms.

I really loved the idea of creating a "writing time" where all students and staff would be writing. Many schools implement a silent sustained reading period into their schedules. I've never heard of implementing a similar time for writing before. This could be a great way to get our students (and teachers) to write more and more. I have never considered myself a tremendous writer, but I do find that as I write more, my writing does improve and my voice becomes stronger.

As I explored the tools that Anne Davis suggested in the sidebar I did find some great resources to add to my account and it made me think of a project I do with one of my foreign language teachers. Her students create postcard-like placemarks using Google Maps My Maps feature. I find My Maps much easier to deal with than making placemarks in Google Earth since it offers a rich text editor as opposed to using HTML tags to create links and insert pictures. Once the student has created their placemarks they can simply click on "View in Google Earth" to download a .kml file of their map. The .kml file will open in Google Earth and allow them to see their placemarks. It is magical to see the excitement as students see their information come to life in Google Earth.

To learn more about this project visit the teacher's web page or download a sample. If you click on the image above you can view one of the placemarks created by one of her 7th grade students.

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