I must say that I am loving this week’s topic in EDTECH 501! Over this past summer I became addicted to elementary teacher blogs. When I first entered this fabulous blog world, I was intimidated; how will I be able to channel everything that I am seeing? There are so many fabulous ideas out there; I don’t want to miss something. Fortunately, I know a very knowledgeable person in the field of technology and he pointed me in the right direction. I opened my Reader that day and my life has been forever changed.
The benefits of Reader for a professional in education are many. I am able to gain new ideas each day by simply opening my iPad Reader application. Sure, I do not read every item each day. After all, I am following more than 100 different blogs as well as trying to operate a few of my own. Fortunately, Reader allows you to peruse at your pace and pick and choose what you would like to read. Each evening, I look forward to my fifteen minute session with Google Reader.
These new ideas have improved my classroom activities, the curriculum, and student learning. Between downloading original activities shared by educators and gaining ideas from pictures and posts, I have added countless items to my classroom. Centers have become more enjoyable, lessons are more interesting, and the appearance of my classroom is more inviting. This is a major benefit for zero dollars and only fifteen minutes or so each day.
Now that I have a professional obsession with blogs (and my Reader), how can this be used in the classroom? As a kindergarten teacher, I cannot always integrate the fabulous technology tools that are available. However, I am beginning to see how a Reader could function with my students.
We have a set of iPads that are rotated through my classroom. Most sites with an RSS feed are blocked in my district. However, using a Reader on our iPads could be a possibility. I began searching for sites with an RSS feed.
My students are five years old (or as I like to think of it, 60 months). They would not be able to navigate Reader on their own. Fortunately, we meet with our 6th grade buddies once per week. Sharing the news and hot topic items that are applicable to elementary students could be an enlightening and educational experience for all students involved. This just might be something I try out very soon!
I am sure that teachers of older students are subscribing to RSS feeds for/with their students. I previously thought that my experience with Google Reader would be a wonderful one that my students could not be a part of. I am beginning to think I was wrong!