It has been a few weeks since we started our last new program on the computers at school. It is about time we start using another program.
We have had some success with the our Wikipage. It has become the big hit with the students and with us, the teachers. Assignments have become easier to grade, easier to give, and to explain if a student does not understand, and they are at home. We have used Open Office for word processing, and Scholastic's Readabout program for reading help. We use the Utah Writes website to help with students writing. It is not a perfect writing tool, but it helps students get an idea where their grade might be on the site's rubric.
We have started trying out Free Mind for mind mapping and brain storming. We have started looking at what we can use it for and we are getting ideas for Social Studies, Science, and writing. There are more, but that is the starting point. We just bought a license for Voicethread. This is a commenting site for students to type, voice, draw, and video their comments. I think we will leave out the video right now, but we will put up a pictures or comment for the students to express their opinion and knowledge about, and get more options on completing assignments. This one is a site I have been looking at for a year and I am excited about it. Another site is Prezi.com. When I first looked at it, I couldn't see a way for my students to use it without paying for it, and I am willing to pay for something that e will use, but it is a glorified Powerpoint. A little more exciting in some ways, but glorified. I was at a training that my team and I were presenting our wiki information and a teacher told me that they had an education place on Prezi. I get back to school and set it up. We will be playing on it in the next little while to see what the students think of it.
So there are a few new programs for my students to try out before the end of the year. I am excited to see what they thin and what they will be good for. This is a grate bunch of students to try things out on. They love what we are doing, and they catch on pretty quick.