Tomorrow begins day one of my SSTVS course “Using New Technologies in Education.” Essentially, it’s a course on how to get use your Smart Phone and Computer for more than just Facebook. I’m really excited about the class but am concerned about developing my focus. I plan on presenting it in a work-shop-like format, low key, and let the kids lead the way. There are four, one and a half hour classes and I have eager kiddos – Middle School Age through High School. I’ve sent out a mass email telling them all to bring their smart phones, tablets, and laptops and made arrangements to have a classroom set of computers! I’m very excited.
Tomorrow, I think that we’re going to focus on setting up accounts and installing software (on both computers and smartphones/tablets).
First and foremost will be google. Setting up a google and gmail account will allow us to play with things like Google Docs, Google Goggles, Google Books, Google Scholar, and even Google Earth (if bandwidth permits).
I also want to introduce them to DropBox, which I use to sync files between computers (as a floating teacher, this one is a life saver).
We’ll also play with Evernote which is a great, free tool for organizing, well… everything.
I may have even gotten my Computer Tech person to install Diigo on the computers (fingers crossed).
I’ve also got a MindMeister map set up – it’s a fun tool for collaboration and free form planning (both individually and as a group).
Largely, the kids’ knowledge and familiarity with these tools is going to dictate the course. My initial thought is to give them some joint projects to develop – otherwise, I can let them work it out how they can best put them to use. I’m excited to see where this goes!