Cheryl Oakes is a blogger from Maine, who can be found skiing in the winter season or in her garden or kayak during the short summer season. Either way she is a life long learner and looks for the positive impact that technologies have on learners and adventurers in our school environments. Thanks to Wes Fryer for this opportunity to be a guest blogger. Wes and family, I hope you have a great family vacation!

Please read this post with the lenses that our students bring to the table. Does this post resemble your school? your grade? your child?

Hello, this is my first day in Kindergarten and I want share what happened in my day. My teacher used a flip video and filmed us as we said our name and our favorite color or number. Then we all got to watch the video, I even learned some names of my classmates. I was shy at first, but I asked my teacher if we would watch the videos again and she said each day she would record something we did such as learning about the calendar or numbers or learning our letters. I wonder what will happen next year?

In first and second grades our teachers set up our classroom computers so we can report on the weather at our school. He introduced us to another school where students have very different weather. Then, he showed us on Google Earth where we live and where our new school buddies live. It was half-way around the earth.

Welcome to third grade where we are using VoiceThread as our book talk. I liked drawing my picture of Chapter 3, my teacher posted it and now my friends are leaving me a message about what they think. I can leave messages to my friends too. When I tell my Grandpa he will leave me a message as well.

The part I like most about 4th grade is getting to practice my Internet Safety skills before we get to start our research projects. My favorite research kid site is Facts4ME . Two retired teachers started this site and when I get done with my project I am going to email them to tell them how easy their site is to use.

Finally, in 5th grade I get to work on my own blog at ThinkQuest. It is a closed site only teachers and other schools can view the pages. My teachers share more about Digitial Citizenship and how to be safe and I get to practice as I make my own blog pages and share with my friends. My favorite thing to do is ask survey questions and look at the answers my friends give back to me.

In 6th grade our projects involve using more skills and media. I really like the podcasts we made about our FolkTales, it was a little hard to talk slowly and loudly enough. I like that I could share these with my friends and family.

In 7th grade, our language arts teachers shared how to use an online writing program. That means that we type our essays or writing prompts into the program, and when we publish, the program helps guide our spelling, our vocabulary use and even grades us on our story. Before my teacher even sees it I get to fix things on my own.

In 8th grade my teachers have us answering questions in our forum in our Moodle site and we also work in a Ning. When we work online it is like we aren’t even doing school work. I like it best when I can share with my friends outside of school, we keep working on school work when we don’t have to.

In 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade my friends and I are in constant communication, even though we can’t bring cell phones to school, we do. I like to stay in touch with my friends during the day and I send quick text messages so I can find out what happens in their class. We take pictures of our classrooms and put them on Facebook. We take video with our cell phones and post them to YouTube. Oh, that is one great thing, our school doesn’t block YouTube, the bad news, they still block Facebook. If we use a proxy, sometimes we can get on our Facebook pages during the school day. I hear my teachers say all the time that I am a digital native, I don’t know if that is good or bad and I wonder what that makes my teachers. When we ask to do our projects with film or recordings, my teachers say we don’t have time, they have to cover the content, whatever that means? Sometimes I wish I could go back to my early grades, we had more time, we had more projects, we tried many different kinds of learning.

How does your school/grade/child look through these lenses?

Resources you might just want to use to transform your school!
Kindergarten- thanks to Maria Knee
Grade 1/2 – thanks to Kathy Cassidy
Grade 3, thanks to Alice Mercer
Grade 4 thanks to Bob Sprankle
Grade 5 my wonderful 5th graders and thanks WJHS 5th grade teachers Thinkquest.org
Grade 6 – a great example Frog Prince
Grade 7 wiki thanks to Beth Goodwin
Grade 8 NING, thanks to my 8th grade LA teachers, Bruce Peloquin and Julie Esch, and all 115 students
Grades 9,10,11,12
English wiki with a blog and student comments Anne Tommaso
Fine Arts teacher wiki Melissa Noack and her student gallery
Nokomis HS giving all graduating seniors their own domain name Kern Kelley
Fine Arts from Wiscasset Sarah Sutter
Comments for this post are real comments taken from student and staff conversations. What do you hear at your school?


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If you're trying to listen to a podcast episode and it's not working, check this status page. (Wes is migrating his podcasts to Amazon S3 for hosting.) Remember to follow Wesley Fryer on Twitter (@wfryer), Facebook and Google+. Also "like" Wesley's Facebook pages for "Speed of Creativity Learning" and his eBook, "Playing with Media." Don't miss Wesley's latest technology integration project, "Mapping Media to the Curriculum."

On this day..

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  • Ah. If only. I don’t think my daughter has ever used any of these tools at school, with the exception of her banned cell phone. And I still have too many students come to me in fifth grade not even knowing the basics of computer use. But things are improving and you have given us great examples. Thank you.

  • Cheryl and Wes: Great post on what we should be doing in schools with our students. My wish for every student is for them to have at least one of these opportunities every year. Teachers like those above are making a great start! Thanks to them for continuing our learning as well as their own and their students. I also appreciate your including the high school teachers from my district. They are pioneers in our school.

  • Lisa, as our students continue to press on with their outside of school techno activities soon they will just have to share in school as it will be their only language for presentation.

    Alice, I am so glad your teachers have blazed a trail and used some of these new tools for their content. Even happier that I could share.

    Cheryl

  • Ryan M

    Cheryl,
    Thanks for your ideas! It’s always great to see educators reflect on the RESULTS of technology in our schools. “Technology” isn’t what we’re doing today…it’s HOW we’re doing today!. Thanks for your thoughts!

  • These examples make me think about all the ways that these teachers are helping their students develop their literacy skills. Through the lens of what our students bring to the table…they’re engaging, cool and fun to use. And…oh, by the way, they’re learning some really great skills. Kudos to all the teachers that have been cited here. Does it resemble my school(district)? In a few instances, yes but not as much as I’d like to see. We’ll continue to move forward!

  • Pingback: Through My Students’ Eyes Review « Sharon Gowan's Blog()

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