Monday, April 4, 2011

Making Decisions

I have been re-reading Alan November's Empowering Students With Technology and exploring Carol Dweck's Mindsets.  As I read I am rethinking some of my current classroom practices.  I've always debated about the use of technology.  Not whether or not it should be used, but how (its always the how).

November discusses the use of technology as part of the process.  This is one I have struggled with.  Third graders are not known for drafting their thoughts, and so I was having them drafting what they would write before putting it on line.  One of the reasons why I do this is to get them involved in the writing process as well as allowing me to meet with every child as they write.  But...then it occurred to me.  They could still be doing the same thing online; drafting and then revising and editing.  Making it that much easier to publish.  So I've decided to take that leap and go with it.  So far pretty successful.

But I do still have concerns.  I worry about when my students aren't doing writing as part of the writing process.  Like when they do a video or audio recording.  Or when they create a timeline, fakebook, fuzzwich, etc.  Would it make more sense for them to draft first because these particular tools don't allow them to move things around as easily? 

Also, what about the whole note-taking process?  One of my most favorite things to do is to teach taking notes.  I love teaching the children how to use color, foldables, cutting and pasting as a way to organize their notes before crafting them into a piece of nonfiction media.  I would love any tips on how to do this part well.  Particularly with third graders...online. Google docs doesn't work so well for us.  But then...what about lino-it?  They could color code their  notes easily by changing the color of the post - it note.  Or popplet

I know that there are probably a variety of tools available (and I probably already have them symbalooed).  I'm sure that someone out there has used some tool that allows children to take notes, possibly collaborate on this notes, and manipulate them in a way best for their brain.  Being not as familiar with note - taking aspect online, any suggestions for this would be greatly appreciated!