Week 14: Shelly Fryer
This week our focus for reviews was on Shelly Fryer's page. Specifically we looked at her post titled "Technology 101 Skills for Teachers". She discussed her focus on technology and why and how we can incorporate it into our classroom. She made sure to emphasize that this article didn't contain all the answers, it was more of a way of posting what she thought was important and finding out what teachers thought would be important to include in an hour and a half long workshop over this subject. She goes on to give some good advice on how to get started and be successful in integrating technology into your classroom. Her first piece of advice may seem obvious, but it is a solid point. Shelly's first hint is to make sure you have an iPad (or chromebook, MacBook, whatever your students have) and experiment with it. Download the apps, mess with them, and design stuff with them. Find what works and what doesn't. Also, kids tend to catch onto these different types of technology and apps pretty efficiently, but sometimes us adults are a little slower. I realize I'm young, but there are still some little kids that can easily out-tech me in a heartbeat. It's important for us to know what we are doing with it so we can help them and explain what we expect. Shelly also brought up that even though students are good with tech, they don't tend to choose to use the creative iPad apps unless prompted and encouraged to do so by teachers.
The next point that I was very interested in on her page was her class website. I have heard a couple people talk about using class websites before and I thought they sounded intriguing (and effective assuming you used them right). I had to investigate. Shelly's class site is a Google Site. On her site you can do and see so many different aspects of her classroom. There are links to her class radio show, the class YouTube page, and videos of the class. There are also lessons and activities posted that they have done. My only problem with her website in particular is that it isn't very visually appealing. This may be because it is through Google, I'm not
sure. The last point that I really want to hit on was some of the internet safety apps she mentioned. Being safe on the internet is so important, no matter the age. She mentions one website, SafeShare.TV, that you can put a YouTube link into and it will play the video without all of the comments and other videos on the sidebar. This is a great tool. I have heard and been in many classes that we have accidentally ended up seeing inappropriate videos that popped up or read nasty comments that had been posted. These are all huge distractions and just common problems that we want to avoid as teachers. This is a great way to do so. A couple more good safety apps that she mentioned was Pic Collage Kids and Photos for Class. Obviously safe apps for kids to use to search for pictures is a must, but I also thought that it would be great for teachers. Besides videos, pictures are the other thing that tend to have some bad side effects when making random Google Images searches. Sometimes you end up with more than you bargained for. These apps would help us avoid that. Overall, Shelly had a great post with tons of great helpful tips and tricks. I look forward to learning more from her as I follow her blog. Make sure to check out her WEBSITE and follow her on TWITTER!