TVS Tech Kids Day 1 & Prep for Day 2

So Day one of the Tech Course had its ups and downs. We had some problems connecting to the internet but were ultimately able to get them all online. I then focused on introducing them to MindMeister, where we created our “Class Rules” and then shared ideas on how to use technology in education. Some of the kids took to the material faster than others – those with their own laptops were the fastest adopters (probably because they were comfortable with the platform). Most of the time the kids used to set up their accounts (most hadn’t done so the night before).

Tomorrow, I think I’m going to introduce them to Diigo and Evernote. I think that Diigo will be easier for an immediate introduction. They have a short instructional video on their website.

I’ve also created a Mind Map that I want them to play with:

I’m hoping that they will add to it as they explore the material.

I found a great Prezi, “Save, Share, & Teach with Diigo” by @locotech. It’s a great introduction to educators about what Diigo can do, but leaves out the new “Read it Later” feature that allows you to download and read your links off line.

For Diigo tomorrow, I am going to give them a step-by-step process along with a small project. After I introduce them to the software and we watch the Diigo video, I’ll give them the following instruction set:

  1. Log on to your Diigo Account
  2. Click on “My Groups” to confirm you’re a member of the Group “TVS Tech Kids” (if not, ask Mrs. Lockett to send you an invite).
  3. Click on the “Tools” link at the top of the page and then click on the “Diigolet” link – follow the instructions for installation.
  4. If you have a portable iOS or Android device, download and install the Diigo app (free).
  5. Launch your Diigolet and sign in to activate it.

We are, as a class, going to do a brief research project on the life of Davy Crockett – I was inspired today upon seeing his quote: “You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.”

  1. On the topic of Davy Crockett, using web resources, research the history of this man.
  2. Make sure that the diigolet is active – bookmark at least three pages (make sure to include a description, appropriate tags, and share to our TVS Tech Kids Group).
  3. On your (minimum three) bookmarked pages make sure that you use the highlighting tool and attach at least one sticky-note (you can add more if you like).
  4. If you you have a mobile device, play with the ‘read it later’ feature (read about how to use this feature on Diigo’s web page).

I will then have them, using this particular content, practice highlighting, annotating, tagging, and then sharing the information that they find. This activity will be limited to fifteen minutes (as it is only an exercise and not a hand-in project). I then want them to have five minutes of reflection (using Mind Meister).

Our next topic will be Evernote. Evernote and Diigo are similar, so they lend well to combining. However, Evernote is a bit more expansive. If you’re interested in what Evernote is all about, here’s a great short YouTube video:

A great step-by-step guide is also provided by Evernote here.

I’ve also created a Mind Map here to help guide discussion and thought:

Similar to my plan for Diigo, this will be a project-based learning element. The initial steps will be:

  1. Go to Evernote.com
  2. Click on the link “downloads” and install the appropriate program for your platform. If you have not yet, install Evernote on your iOS and/or Android Device.
  3. Launch Evernote on your computer (if you are unable to download the program onto your computer, then simply sign-in from the web page).
  4. Create a “New Notebook” and entitle it “Davy Crockett”
  5. As before, do a little research on Davy Crockett – make at least one web bookmark, one voice note, one video note (if your computer has video capability). Be sure to add the appropriate tags to your information and include a note to yourself!
  6. Try to get a little more advanced (if you have time) – do a selective screen shot instead of a full screen shot, explore the new ‘stacks’ feature, etc.
  7. If you have another device (e.g. iPhone) Open the evernote app and check out the synced data – make an on-the-go note (voice note, video, picture, etc).
  8. If you have time, go to the Evernote “trunk” and see what other features are available.

Again here, I will limit the actual activity time to 15 minutes with a 5 minute reflection (or at least, this is the plan – we’ll see what actually happens in class).

So, this is the plan and my thoughts on tomorrow. Thoughts? Ideas? Pleas share. I’m happy to take them and make them my own – and by ‘make them my own’ I mean put my name on them and claim that they’re my ideas.

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14 thoughts on “TVS Tech Kids Day 1 & Prep for Day 2

  1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

    I wanted to have something more specific that would require a little more research. And none of them is younger than 12 (most older) and “hell” would make it into a PG movie.

    I really like the Mind Mapping, but I’m not sure how much the kids enjoyed them today. I’ll see how it goes tomorrow. Perhaps being more directed will be helpful.

    Reply
  2. Michael Hulshof-Schmidt

    As you know, I am a famous Luddite. That being said, I really was able to understand and appreciate Diigo and loved your mind maps. While I don’t have any of the tools that Diigo refers to, I was able to understand how it organizes these items. I will call you later on my Dixie Cup phone with string.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      I’m so glad that I was able to explain it clearly so that even those with little experience with “the electricity” will understand. I also hope that you, as an experienced teacher and administrator, like my plan for implementing the material.
      You know Michael, Diigo is entirely free. You can follow the steps and download it onto your computer and use it all you want for free! The same with Evernote!
      I’m trying to convince my school to purchase a MindMeister account and am hoping that seeing it in action will help them make the decision.
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Michael!

      Reply
  3. mathymcmatherson

    Jenny Jen mcJen-Jen,

    I like your lesson plan a lot. I think the prompts you have for the Mind Map are excellent from an educator perspective (I especially like the ‘How is this unique?’ for Evernote) – you could even have them start to fill it out as you present the material, then have them revisit the same map once they’ve played around with the tools hands-on. I think the steps for Diigo and Evernote are spot on too – I like that you’re encouraging the kids to use the computer, smartphone, and any other techy device they may have. The only comment I can think of is that the 15 minute activity time might be a little conservative (but then again, I always assume everything will go wrong with technology since that’s my background).

    Let me know how it goes! Your class sounds awesome!

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      Thanks so much mathy-mcmatherson. I agree that the 15 minutes might be too conservative. However, I have such an issue keeping to time-tables that I’m hoping this will help. Plus, they’re not turning this in as a graded assignment or anything, I just want them to get familiar with the tools. If they’re having a lot of fun or need more time, I’ll give it to them. I hope today goes well…

      Reply
  4. Pingback: TVS Tech Kids Days 2 & Prep for Day 3 « Indiana Jen

  5. Tim Freud

    I loved the tools. I’m pretty much looking forward to all of your lesson plans so I can find more interesting things like this.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      Thanks Tim! I much appreciate all of your support. And throw in any suggestions that you may have!

      Reply
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  9. Colin Bridgewater

    I wish I had been following your posts each day instead of catching up all at once. I’ve never really explored Evernote before but am checking it out now. At first I thought it might be able to replace iProcrastinate (http://www.iprocrastinateapp.com/mac/), which is what we have on our 1-1 laptop image, but Evernote doesn’t seem to have a built-in “due date” feature like iProcrastinate. I also worry about applications that require users to register, which I know is key here so that files can be synced between devices. Many of our 7th graders start the year under the age of 13, so it would be difficult to have them check that TOS box saying that they’re at least 13. I do like the idea of being able to use Evernote especially for research projects, so I may offer this to students and teachers as a tool they can download if they’re interested in trying it out.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      I was just looking at their sponsored account, http://www.evernote.com/about/sponsor/ which I know some K-12 use along with 1:1 platforms, but it’s unclear whether or not that requires registering – as the evernote user is still the ‘owner’ of the account (even if they leave the administering institution), it would appear so. Diigo has an education platform (http://www.diigo.com/education) that will let teachers create accounts for students without email addresses – but I’m not sure how that works with mobile syncing (I just got mine, so haven’t played with it yet). Teaching High Schoolers, I often forget about the concerns of teaching under 13s. Evernote isn’t an open platform, which may alleviate some concerns (but not all). It’s really good for organizing data and information – especially if you have a lot of projects on your plate… you’re right, though, an integrated ‘To Do’ would be quite useful.
      I’m gonna check out iProcrastinate. I use Things right now (http://culturedcode.com/things/), got it on a discount (it’s way over priced).

      Reply

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