Leah Dewhurst’s Weblog

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Online PD March 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — leahdewhurst @ 7:56 pm

I attended  the Classroom 2.0 Live: Engaging Students with Interactive Technology with special guest: Adora Svitak. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this experience as it was interactive, I had a chance to network with teachers globally and learned many new and interesting Web 2.0 tools that are available.

Elluminate was used to broadcast the session. At the beginning a poll of questions was taken in which all participants answered.  This was a unique way as we had a chance to see what other people were at in the use of web 2.0 tools.  I found the conversation in the chat room very useful as it answered questions along the way and it provided the web links to the tools they were explaining.  I did find it hard to keep track in the chat room as well as listen to the presentation all at the same time.  I guess I meed to work on my multi-tasking skills.  Couls or should this be a skill we need to teach our students? 

 Adora Svitak is an adorable, humorous and passionate teacher who is only 12 years old. I was absolutely astounded when they showed the youtube opening about Adora.  After listening to her speak you would have never known she was only 12 years old.  She has been a teacher for the last 6 years and loves to teach writer’s workshop.  She presents many video conferences to students all over the world.  If you have not met her, makes sure you check out her website and video.    During the presentation she shared advice for many different topics in regards to interactive technology.  She would love for teachers to continue teaching “best practices” in the classroom as students of the 21st century like the control over their learning experiences. 

I enjoyed the set up of the presentation.  She went through a list of challenges schools are trying to meet and technology tools that will help with those challenges. Adora also provided examples how to integrate them in the classroom as well.

  1. Visual Thinkers:

–          Imagine a room that texts have sound and video

*Tools to use: Glogster and Prezi

–          Big blocks of text can be intimidating and not very understandable for many students

  1. Responsive students not wanting to ask questions:
  • Tools to use: Fruit machine ( random name picker)
    • Classtools.net
  • SMARTboard: students love to learn in an interactive world; using the SMARTboard students get involved with learning
  1. Beyond the Walls of the Classroom:
  • Tools to use: video conference (CILC.org
    • To provide visual learning and connections with experts around the world.

I have had wonderful experiences with video conferences. The first one I did was from the Royal Tyrell Museum.  A Palaeontologist showed us parts of the museum and explained about the different dinosaurs. The students got to ask any questions they would like.

 My second experience was an author study. My students met up with Laurie Keller the author of “Do Unto Otters as Otters Would Do to You.” Another great experience where students go to ask questions and discuss how to get ideas for writing.

  1. Thinking in Letters
    1. Students may not be motivated to read with intent or write well
  • Tools to use: Blog
    • To showcase what they have learned, and learning to build an online presence
  1. Groups are having difficulty working together
  • Tools to use: Wikis
  • Lee Lefever provides many examples on how to understand wikis.


  1. Projects Getting Lost
  1. Connecting with Students
    1. How to get all to interact with one another

                                                              i.      Tools to use: Twitter & Edmoto (send out short announcements, and links)

  1. Testing Students
    1. Tools to use: Quizzes: Quia, Proprofs, Quizlets

There were many other tools that were described but I felt these to be noteworthy. I thought this went very well with our class EC&I 832 as we are learning to use different tools in the classroom as we dig through our sandbox.  I wish I had watched this presentation during block 5 as this would have been very useful. 

I found this presentation extremely helpful and some tools could be implemented right away. The next day I was having a Spelling test, so I quickly put all the students’ names in the random name picker (fruit machine) and that was how the partners were chosen.  

I would definitely show this presentation for teachers who want to step foot and are beginning to use the tools in the classroom.  This gives them many different tools to try and shows them how each tools works.  Of course having a 12 year old teacher sharing this information with teachers is inspiring all on its own. I am still in awe over the presentation. I never realized the potential of online learning until I heard this presentation.  I got more out of this presentation than I did spending a whole day at a PD conference.  I also like the fact that if I missed something I could always go back and listen when it was finished as it was recorded.  Classroom 2.0 Live seems to be putting on presentations on a weekly basis and I am looking forward to participate in more of the presentations.  In the end I like Adora commented that we need to “keep learning and teaching yourself and be open to having your students teaching you.  Which makes you realize that community is the best Web 2.0 tool of all.”


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