Month: September 2015

Global Read Aloud & Epic!

Hi all,

If you haven’t heard of Global Read Aloud I highly recommend looking into it.  It is a way to get kids enthusiastic about reading and they can connect with peers around the world.  There is a lot of flexibility with this project.  Stuff like this makes me miss being a grade level teacher! http://theglobalreadaloud.com/

Wanted to share Epic! with you today, too.  I know Carmen mentioned it in the technology notes she sent out already but just wanted to elaborate on it.  The kindergarten students have already been reading some books on Epic! from my account.  Audio is available for the stories or the kids can read without audio.  There are several different categories you can filter the books by as well.  I learned about this tool this summer when I was finishing my master’s.    https://www.getepic.com/app/

#TTTuesdays

My Voxer Story

Voxer has been a very useful tool for me both personally and professionally.  I first started using Voxer to communicate while I was studying in Ireland last summer.  I was able to communicate with family and friends back in Michigan.  Voxer was a free app and it worked when I connected to wifi.  I did not purchase a phone and data plan while I was abroad so this was perfect.  The nice thing about it was that I didn’t need to set up a time to Skype or do a Google Hangout.  I could leave messages and listen to messages on my own time.  A vox had so much more meaning than a text because I could actually hear the person’s voice and the messages were much longer.

My mentor teacher, Mary Wever, still continues to mentor me to this day through Voxer.  When I was in Ireland, it was great to be able to contact her for advice with coursework and job interviews.  Even though I am in Hawaii now, I still am able to talk to her on a regular basis.

I’ve been able to join several educational chats like Edumatch, #satchat, #MichEd, Instructional Coaches, Drive Book Study, Beyond the Bake Sale Book Study, #AfterISTE, and Collaborative Inquiry.  Actively listening to these discussions and contributing to the conversation have let me connect with passionate educators all over the globe.  I enjoy being able to hear their voices and say much more than I could in 140 characters or less on Twitter.  Voxer even has attachment capabilities to send photos, text, and now videos.  My PLN has expanded and I love being able to bounce ideas off of other educators who share the same passions.  At my district level, I started a Kumu2Kumu chat with my Kamehameha Schools counterparts on Kapalama and Maui campuses. To extend the #EdChatHI Twitter chat, Karen Corbell and I have decided to co-moderate an #EdChatHI Voxer group.

It is nice for personal use as well.  I love to get messages from family and friends around the world when I wake up in the morning.  Voxer has also helped me cope with moving from Michigan to Hawaii.  I think I would be much more homesick if I was not active on Voxer.

I connected with Heather Gauck on Voxer through the #MichEd chat and she noticed that I was working in Hawaii.  Come to find out, her sister, Karen Corbell, works here too.  So, Karen and I were able to connect.  I met Heather face to face when I was back in the mitten presenting at MACUL.  Then I met Karen face to face when I got back to Hawaii and even got her to present at my school’s tech slam, HITC.  Now, we talk often and started the #EdChatHI Voxer group!  I think that this group with help Hawaiian educators stay connected across islands.

I have ideas of ways that I could use Voxer with my students.  I would like to use it to connect with other students around the world that we may not be able to set up a Google Hangout or Skype with due to time differences.  I wonder too if it would be beneficial for those students who are auditory learners.  I also think it could be beneficial to implement the use of Voxer on a district, campus, or school level.

Last night, I had the opportunity to participate in my first Google Hangout On Air. Linda Lindsey, from Maui, let Karen and I join her on her Google Rocks! Hawaii show. Feel free to watch.  I apologize now for the coqui frogs background noise!

A quick reflection on my first live GHO recording: I think I could use Hangouts as a way to teach waiting your turn to talk, listening skills, and in discussion lessons.