Category: technology

Homework Challenge Through Technology (Part 2)

dog_ate_homework_x_ray_903255Here are more tools to jazz up the homework we give!!

Dvolver is a tool to create online animations. You choose the characters, write the dialogues, add some music and publish it.You can get a link or embed (place) it on your blog/website. Children can create their own dialogues, write dialogues between two different characters. They can watch a Dvolver animation and they can write their own dialogues or they can vocalize the characters as they watch the animation. Children can watch the animation and write an ending or a beginning for it or answer some open ending questions.

TalkingPets is a site where you can make the pets talk using text-to-speech application. You can choose different voices and even accessorize your pet. If you want, you can upload your own pet’s picture and make it talk. Children can make the pets talk about their likes and dislikes, what they like to do or they can listen a pet and answer his/her questions.

ScrapBlog is a similar site to MixBook. You can create your own storybooks with your pictures, videos, text, shapes, stickers. You can change the background and customize your book. You can also create cards, invitation and slide shows. Children can create their own family, holiday, best friends albums using their pictures and using text or videos to give information about them. They can make a book of a traditional story or create their own stories customizing it. Children can also visualize a story that they have read or they can create posters or projects using this tool.

BubbleJoy lets you create and design video greeting cards by simply using your web cam. You choose a background and film yourself talking via web cam. When you finish, you can share it with others. Children can create their own video greetings for different occasions such as birthdays, Valentine’s day, Easter, Christmas or Mother’s day.  Children can create their own stories that are related to the theme they have chosen. Children can keep a diary and talk about their one day.

PhotoPeach is a tool to create slide shows and online quizzes on your slides. You upload your photos, add your text, choose your music and create your slide show. You can get a link or the code to place it on your blog/website. Children can create their own quizzes or answer the questions of a PhotoPeach quiz. Children can create their own slide shows that tell a story of theirs.

Bubblr lets you create comic strips using photos from Flickr. You search for photos and add bubbles to tell your story. Children can create their own comic strips that tell a story. They can create their presentation about their holidays, birthdays, friends, families. If children have their own Flickr accounts, that would be much better. They can add bubbles to their own pictures and make their pictures talk. Children can add bubbles to the pictures of the words they have learnt.

Bookr is a tool to create an online book using pictures from Flickr photos. You can add as many pages as you want. You can get a link to place it on your blog or website. Children can create their own stories using their own pictures from their Flickr accounts. Children can be asked to write scripts for the pictures that the teacher has created on Bookr. Children can read the Bookr story and write an ending or a beginning to it or even find a title for the book. Children can retell a story ,write biographies for famous people or give recipes to each other.

Jing is a tool to take a picture or narrate what you see on your computer. You can easily get a link or the embed code for the video to place it on your computer. Children can narrate their presentations on different topics such as biographies, a journey using Google Earth. Children can record their voices while they are surfing on internet, searching for things, they can narrate how they solve a problem or how they finish a digital game. They can read aloud to improve pronunciation skills. Teachers can narrate tutorials, do pronunciation activities, give feedback to their students’ work.

Fotobabble is a tool to create talking photos. You upload your picture and record your voice using your microphone and publish it. Children can create postcard for different occasions, record their voices to leave messages or they can sing songs. Children can create a short story or read a poem.

Toondoo lets you create your own comic strips. You can change the background, draw your own character or choose one from the gallery, place objects on the background and move them around the scene.  You can get a link or upload them to your computer as a picture and use it on Word or PowerPoint. Children can create their own comic strips on different topics, they can create a comic strip using a famous person. Children can write in the bubbles on a ready comic strip. Children can retell a story on a comic that has recently happened to them. Children can leave comments to each other’s comic.

These tools can help you to spice up your content by integrating technology into the homework that you prepare for kids. This is a good challenge for us and for our students as well.

Read more on TechLearning.

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Our students have radically changed due to our advancing technology. They are no longer the students that our education system was designed for. Today’s learners are online, interactive, collaborative and networked. They all have Facebook and Myspace accounts. They are accustomed to hypertexts, music on their ipods, phones in their hands, laptops in their bags and sending and receiving e-mails everyday. They are no longer only consumers of knowledge. They are also the producers of it. They have new ideas; they need to tell their e-stories. They write blogs and complete online information everyday. They speak a new language that we’re not used to, using words such as blogging, wikis, podcasting, bookmarking, feeding items etc. Classrooms are no longer the only place for them to experience learning. They have already explored new ways how to improve themselves.
What should we do about it? We can start revising how and what we teach. This doesn’t mean changing everything or giving up what works. Our curriculum should include reading, writing, thinking skills and other traditional content. We can also include technology in our curriculum because technology is the future. It promotes student-centered learning. It’s evolving, motivating and authentic. All of which leads to their autonomy. How can we make the most of these new tools? How can we use technology to create a new and an e-based environment in our schools for our online students? What do you think?