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Heathrow , Florida
I'm Ashley! I am a teacher to 20 precious second graders, and I love my job more and more everyday. I am engaged to my highschool sweetheart and will be getting married in February 2017! We have two dogs - Tank, our Boxer and Colt, our Mali-Shepherd Mix.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Digital Story Telling

Digital Story Telling 

Digital storytelling is an excellent way for students to express their creativity and to share their work with others.  It is engaging and fun for students. Digital stories allow students to take a series of events and turn them into a media experience. It encourages them to communicate, collaborate, and research as well as to infuse media into the process. Many tools and apps exists to create these projects, and all of them enable students to gain a deeper understanding of history as they explore the most effective way to retell their stories.

In two weeks we are starting our Native American project in my classroom leading up to Thanksgiving. For this project, each group of students gets a different Native American Tribe that they must research facts about. Usually what students do is take all of the information they have gathered and researched and turn it into a poster presentation. I thought it would be a good way to introduce digital storytelling by having them create a story as if they were the Native American’s and they were telling a story about their lives in the tribe based on the facts they learned. The students would be putting themselves in the Native American’s shoes and telling it from their point of view. Students would be able to use expression in their digital stories and turn a poster of facts into a meaningful story of a piece of history.

Some more tools that I found for storytelling in the classroom...

Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. They curate artwork from illustrators and animators around the world and inspire writers of any age to turn those images into fresh stories. Note that while making, sharing, and reading stories on Storybird is free, printing them or downloading them have various fees that are clearly explained with each option.

ZooBurst is a digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D popup books. ZooBurst books “live” online and can be experienced on your desktop or laptop computer, or on your iPad via the free ZooBurst mobile app. Authors can arrange characters and props within a 3D world that can be customized using uploaded artwork or items found in a built-in database of over 10,000 free images and materials. The basic, free, account allows you to create 10 books of 10 pages each.

How Else Can Students Use Digital Storytelling In Our Classroom?

Students can create a virtual tour of an historical place in our social studies curriculum.
Students can simulate an interview of a historical character.
Students can create a storyline on specific topic (changes of matter, the constitution, fairytales).
Students can create a presentation based on images of local artifacts and architecture.

Below is a great website I found with A LOT of information on Digital Storytelling, examples, tutorials, videos and so on.


Friday, October 14, 2016

SMART Technology

SMART Technology in the Classroom

SMART boards are a sophisticated replacement of the traditional overhead projector. Over the years, this innovative technology has proved popular for students of all ages. The interactive board turns a typical classroom into a fun learning environment. It enriches classrooms in several ways by providing hands on collaboration and creating the perfect learning setting.

I am experiencing using SMART technologies for the first time this year in my classroom. Our school purchased a new SMART board for every classroom at the elementary school I work at. I am still getting used to using it because they have just recently been set up. I started thinking of how using my new SMART board has been beneficial.

My SMART board provides flexibility in my classroom. It allows many different forms of media – including photos, illustrations, maps, graphs, games, and video, to be displayed. These tools not only enrich the classroom experience but also help to expand the nature of content that can be used in learning.

The SMART board enhances my teaching and my student’s learning. SMART Boards provide new ways for me to teach, and my students to learn. These tools support a wide variety of learning styles. For instance, visual learners can watch me use the whiteboards to project visual elements, whereas audio learners can listen and have discussions. On the other hand, they come with touchscreen capabilities that allow my tactile learners to touch and interact with the board.

There is access to online information and tools on my board. SMART boards allow teachers and students to easily access a rich database of online resources. I can use the wide variety of online information sources such as knowledge databases, online video and news items to reinforce my students.

Although I am sure there are more benefits to using SMART technologies in the classroom, I feel that so far, those are the benefits I have noticed.

Overall, incorporating SMART Boards to the classroom environment is likely to change the way teachers impart knowledge to students and at the same time simplify the learning process for students. Students will find it easy to engage with lessons and gain a better understanding of the overall lesson. It is an ideal tool for any classroom setting. The education field needs technology like this for students, learners, and educators to continue to grow in their field.

Has anyone else had the opportunity to use a SMART Board in the classroom? What are your opinions on teachers and students having access to such a innovative piece of technology? What benefits do you think the SMART Boards have in the classroom?

S. (2016). SMART Learning Suite. Retrieved October 14, 2016, from      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ7Z1OU_-Ck