Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why Use Infographics?

Recently a colleague said to me that infographics are nothing but advertisements. And this is precisely why they are so valuable to use in education. Students often look at statistics as facts. Couple statistics with graphs and images, and very rarely will students question the authenticity and reliability of said infographic. Students must take a critical literacy stance by asking themselves these questions:

What is the source of the information?
What bias might be present?
Whose voice is present? Whose voice is missing?
What techniques does the author use to persuade?
Are the citations reliable?

As teachers, we have to help our students navigate the world-wide web and Infographics provide stimulating inroads into those invaluable lessons.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Voki in Foreign Language Instruction

I just created a Voki. I was able to create an avatar, access text to speech software, and choose the language.

The possibilities here are endless. A foreign language teacher can record her voice and have students log on, listen, and practice at home. She can also get students to create their own Vokis and use them to assess where students are doing well and where their students are struggling.

I plan to play with it a little more and love the idea that an educational version is on its way.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tagxedo--Way better than Wordle!

This is my new favourite site!  Arrange words into shapes.  This one is the Daily tagxedo from May 1st in honour of the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A great video to use with Media Literacy

Students can take a look at the purpose, audience, and message of the video and the various elements that contribute to the overall effect.  An additional layer can be added by looking at The making of the Polar Bear  Commercial which has a purpose, audience and message all of its own!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Grade 12's Please complete this survey.

Short Story Survey

Magnetic Poetry

A friend of mine recently shared this site with me. 
Caution:  very addictive : )
Magnetic Poetry

"Breathe In Experience, Breathe Out Poetry" -Muriel Rukeyser

The students in Ms. Di Raimo's grade 7 class experienced the five senses in their class today.  They were easily excited by the cinnamon sugar they were invited to taste, and somewhat distracted by the soft pillow at the touch centre, but overall the students breathed in these experiences and breathed out rich, poetic language!

Students were able to discuss, explore, and create in their groups.  Each student had something of value to add at every centre.  I was so impressed by their ideas and their collaboration.

When asked in an exit card what they learned today their responses were thoughtful and reflective:
"I learned about other people's experiences and perspectives"
"Everything you know can be poetry"
"Sometimes less words means alot and help me believe that poetry is more than it seems" [sic]

As a follow up, they will be using this activity to create poems of their own--I can't wait to read what they create!

Thanks Ms. Di Raimo, Ms. Verardi and Grade 7's!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Twitter in Education

I am just learning about how effective Twitter might be in the classroom. A friend of mine at St. Theresa of Lisieux CHS got his students to find a real-life example of a science concept they were studying, take a photo, and "tweet" it! Isn't that awesome? The students won't ever forget it!

From a PD perspective, I have been following a fellow named Steven W. Anderston@web20classroom and have found his links to be very useful. His blog has tons of really great info. for educators.

Link to Steven W. Anderson's blog

Technology in the Classroom

I went to a MISA symposium at the Durham School Board on Friday and listened to Dr. Tim Tyson passionately talk about how important it is to use technology to arrive at the vision we want for our schools. We talk about 21st century learning--but we're 11 years into the 21st century! Most of our students are so tech oriented, that when they enter our classrooms, it's no wonder that they are disengaged. He talked about how students can create and revise instantaneously on the web and how we need to really tap into that.
Dr. Tyson's Website
Check it out!

Though there was nothing earth-shattering in terms of what he said, the grade 6, 7, and 8 exemplars he showed us were truly amazing. When students have a real and meaningful project to complete (in this case a film about a social issue), they will research, edit, and re-edit until it's perfect. Most often, we hear, "When will I ever use this?" or "Who cares?" At his school, students were putting in hours and hours of their own time to create the perfect video. Other examples can be found at

I also really like his tagline:
Educators Using Technology to Enpower Meaningful, Global, Student Contribution

Isn't that what learning should be all about??