Wednesday, March 18, 2009

21st Century Book Talks

Earlier this month our school celebrated Read Across America Day. We invited guest readers to come into the Language Arts classes to read aloud to the students and interact with them about books. I was invited to read to 5 classes. For the 7th and 8th grade classes I read to, I ended with some book talks. However, I decided that I would try something new.

I created a presentation on one of my favorite sites, Sliderocket. I was able to add a mixture of book covers and book trailers. The students loved the book trailers . . . picture students staring in rapt attention with mouths slightly open as a book is being promoted:)
Harper Teen has a wonderful YouTube channel that features book trailers and interviews with authors. So, I converted a few of the video to insert into the presentation. The result is a great advertisement for books that I can use from year to year with different classes.

Book Rainbow photo used under Creative Commons License from

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Final Product

" "
Our science video podcast project was a true success! The students imported their previously recorded audio and ther creative commons photos into Windows MovieMaker to create their finished product. For the photo credits slide we created powerpoint slides and then saved them as JPEGs which we imported at the end of the photos. As the science teacher viewed each finished product, she has been uploading them to her newly created WRMS Science Rocks ning.

This is the first year that I've been pushing technology with my teachers, since I only discovered the wonderful world of web2.0 in May of last year. Because of this, any technology that we incorporate is new to the students. So, they need to be taught how to use the technology. I'm hoping that as teachers begin to incorporate more technology into their teaching and projects, students will become more independent in using the various technologies.

The students learned so many things working on this project. They learned about alternative energies, about creative commons licensing, how to use audacity, how to use windows moviemaker, and about nings. One student commented, "This is the coolest project I've ever done." What more can you ask for . . . students enjoying their learning experiences?!