Friday, July 10, 2009

Tools to use at the beginning of a school year

It is important for a teacher to know their students in order to best cater to their strengths and needs and to provide a positive learning environment. This can be done by using digital tools such as:

1. Talking Avatars

Students can introduce themselves using a talking avatar. You might set out specific questions you would like answered in this task.

2. Visual Communication

Using avatar design sites, students create an avatar which resembles them and contains visual images which represents something about them. Eg. Holding a guitar – likes music.

· Students could write about their avatar and explain the meaning of the visual images
· Set up a guessing game and see if the class can guess who is who.
· Print out the avatars and distribute them and ask students to find the person who belongs to the avatar and interview them - ice breaking exercise.
· Display the avatar images around the room

Sites to use are:

Using the wordle site, produce a word cloud made up of words which represents them. Go to this link for more information.

Produce a ‘About Me’ world in the Shidonni site. Go to this link to see more.

5. Personal Profile

Students can produce a personal profile using an eportfolio which is password protected.

Create a personal profile using a presentation or virtual book.


6. Time Line

Students can create a virtual time line of their life documenting events with text and images.


7. Online Survey

Identify prior knowledge and interest by creating an online survey for your students.


8. Determine students’ strengths and learning styles

It is important to know your students' strengths and weaknesses. It is also important that students know their own strengths and weaknesses. The following a tests which evaluate these.