Using the web tool Penzu, here is an example of how I begin to use web tools in preparation for my classroom...

I. My Process of Discovery

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Begin with the End in Mind

What are my learning goals?

I have decided on my content and I want students to work in collaborative groups to problem solve while also focusing on literacy.

Technology Standards for Students* that link to my learning goals are...

  • #2 Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  • #3 Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

  • #4 Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

Considering what I know of the TPACK model:
  • A technology that supports collaboration and literacy is Penzu.
* You should also consider your content specific goals.

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Take Advantage of Web Collaboration

What have others found before me?

  • The Penzu sight has a HELP and Tutorial section, this is a good place to start.
  • The Teacher's Garden Blog has shared ways to use Penzu in the classroom (found using Edutopia)
  • YouTube has countless Penzu video tutorials to help when I am stuck.
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Be Kind to Yourself

Focus on ONE tool at a time, and only two-three to reuse in different ways over a semester. A single tool can have endless applications!

  • I am going to give myself a project so I can better aquatint myself with Penzu - I am going to use it to plan my own lessons and prepare for upcoming PD reflections.

  • It is OK if I am not an expert, and I will let me students know we are learning these tools together.

  • Keep in mind learning new tools can be overwhelming for our students too, so I am going to introduce Penzu to them regularly in class for Check-ins and Daily Progress reflections before using it for large projects.

  • Brainstorm Future Plans - I plan on making this a staple tool in my class for all reflection and text collaboration.

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If I were to replace the name "Penzu" with "X" I can plug any tool into this Discovery Process.
1) Decide what I want students to learn,
2) How I want them to learn it, and
3) Select appropriate technology that supports both 1 and 2.

Then to use the tool...
4)Search blogs and online education resources for suggested tools and ideas.
5) See if the tool/resource has a HELP or TUTORIAL (most do).
6) YouTube is full of video Tutorials.

7) Make a Future Plan for how you will use this tool overtime, because students will need to learn along with you.

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