Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shall we Wii?

Okay, now that I have your attention...
What does a teacher do when she is sick and not at school? After heading to the doctor and getting a prescription, she heads to the drug store. While waiting for the prescription to be filled there is ample opportunity to see what's new.

Pictured is my latest find. I bought a wireless game. Yes, it is similar to a Wii...but the price does not have as many spaces on the place value chart (very teacher-like comment, huh?).

My plan for this system you ask? Um, well, at the time I did not really think past the cool factor. I base out of the "resource room" at our school which is like a study hall for students with various academic, physical, or emotional disabilities. Kids were VERY excited to see what it could do. As soon as the first game loaded I knew I would need a plan for use. At this point I am thinking of having sticker charts for positive reinforcement. I give daily grades on a 1-4 point basis for work effort. Maybe this would help?

No matter how they earn time I know it will be fun. I have already tested the system out on 2 students. They didn't want to leave school!
Here is a quick clip of one of the students bowling:

Let me know if you have any ideas for use. I am always open for new suggestions!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Social Networking Possibilities

Recently I have had conversations at school and within my Professional Learning Network (PLN) regarding the use of social networking services such as Skype and iChat. I have tried to carefully listen to both sides of the discussion...

Pro: Imagine the possibilities for students to connect to peers across the country and world to learn from each other. Personally, I would like to have students practice fluency, interviewing skills, and just plain structured socialization practice. I am sure there are many more in which people could name...

Con: How is this technology secure? How can it be filtered to protect our students? Is the bandwidth adequate for such an endeavor? Will students abuse the technology when they are at home by chatting without parent permission or knowledge that they have set up their own accounts? Many things to consider and quite valid...

So, what am I to do? That is where this post comes in to play. I would like to hear what you think about using video chat with students. Chime in!