I constantly am feeling overwhelmed but having a great group of kids definitely helps! I am trying to integrate technology everywhere I can, make sure I am "going deeper" and becoming more rigorous, and trying to incorporate some systems thinking in there too!
I think there have been some very successful projects. We have been communicating with a classroom in Canada via epals and skype. We have sent out emails and have met a few times on skype (when technology has allowed us to). I think this will be a great collaboration for the students to have. Hopefully, we can tie in parts of our curriculum together and the students can do projects together. How cool will that be to do a project with a student in another country?! I am pretty excited about it and I know they are as well.
Glogster has also proven to be an effective way to present a project. The students have completed glogsters on a famous scientist (one that ties into the common core of course) and they have also completed a glogster on a famous explorer to the Americas. Once the students finished their presentations, we were able to compare explorers and document where explorers from different countries went.
We have also used the laptops to take notes. I have posted sheets on edmodo for the students to download and fill in during a presentation (well actually, they have to save the document to their desktop, go to open office, re-save the document in the odf open office format, then delete the original-they have gotten very good at this process because they have to do it every time I post a document!). These forms help them to have an idea of what material they need to pay attention to. It also significantly reduces the chances of them losing it or the dog eating it since it is saved to their computer!
Edmodo has also been awesome! The kids have been able to turn in assignments and I am able to grade them quickly as well. I can also post links for them to use as well. I was worried about them not having a student shared folder at the beginning of the year, but edmodo has helped alleviate those fears.
Tomorrow, I am going to allow my students to create pictures of different types of figurative language like similes, metaphors, idioms, personification, etc. We will then create an animoto video for each type of figurative language. Once the videos are completed, I will post them to edmodo so students can make comments on the videos. Hopefully everything will work out. I will blog about it tomorrow or before the end of the week :)
Finally, I found a way for my students to use twitter! It's not exactly on the computers, but the students enjoy it at least! Plus they can keep a record of everything they write about what they learned throughout the year. If anyone has another way for them to keep a record of their thoughts, please let me know!