Thursday, July 8, 2010

Journal #6

First off, let me say that I did not want to have to use PowerPoint for this hands-on activity – I am very familiar with it, and while I do believe it has it purposes, I wanted to use the Google lit activity or one of the voice threads.
The voice threads seemed very interesting, as I was imagining recording a lesson and allowing students to listen to it at home – either because they missed class, or just because they needed to hear information again. I find often students need reinforcement of lessons MULTIPLE times – actually, a statistic that a colleague of mine (I’m not totally sure how accurate this is) said that the average 8th grader needs to hear something at least twelve times in order for it to stick; therefore the ability for students to go back at all would be effective. However, I couldn’t actually use this because I could not get my out of date computer to record sound! Very frustrating.
This Google lit is a tool I had never heard of at all; I looked at the “make way for ducklings” example, and absolutely loved it. I was thinking of using it when I taught “Night” in my Holocaust Unit in order to track all the places in Europe that Ellie travels. As of right now, I have a map on paper that I use; this seems like it would be much more effective. However, once again, my out of date computer struggled with letting me try this. So – I guess this means I need to buy a new computer – the question is – a PC or MAC?


  1. I say MAC but if you read my profile I'm a little biased!
    It's great that you at least acknowledged that there are other ways to present information other than PPT but it's also OK to go back to tried and true when we need to!
    Good luck with finishing up the course and then enjoy the summer!
    ~Sarah G.

  2. Michelle,

    I also vote MAC!

    I was just writing my own week 6 journal and I was thinking about the ways I could use Jing (the website I used for my presentation) in my classroom. I love your idea about using it to visually track the places relevant to Night. When I teach Huck Finn and A Tale of Two Cities I rely heavily on students referring back to maps. I think it would be so much cooler to use presentation software to depict movements on a map or some other kind of visual.


  3. I do encourage folks to go beyond PPT or, like Matt, to try new features of PPT. But old computers are limiting, and you'll probably do yourself a favor in the long run to get something newer to support your teaching. Most people who work across visual and audio modes prefer Macs. I've been using a PC but will be switching after the summer, when I have time to get comfortable with a new computer.