Friday, January 15, 2010

Van Meter Students Amaze Me!

As the district teacher librarian and technology coordinator, I get to see a lot of the amazing work our students are creating at Van Meter! During the last week I have been blown away by our students, so I thought I would share a little of the work with you at VOICE!

In the art room the students are creating digital portfolios of their artwork using Wiki's and other tools. Mrs. Comer sent me Eryn Schlote's senior art portfolio. Eryn has included pictures of her art work, information about herself, and a place to contact her. These portfolios will be such valuable resources for Van Meter students!

I am always amazed at the work that comes from Mr. Hyer's junior high reading classroom. This year he has developed two outstanding Ning's: 7th Grade Reading Strategies and 8th Grade Reading Strategies. He wanted to provide students with a place to collaborate about reading and has he ever! Van Meter students have created several book projects throughout the year, iMovies about books, held in-depth discussions using the Ning as a platform, asked for book recommendations from other members, and much more. Last week, Mr. Hype added the "Chat" feature to his Ning and is using it as a backchannel during class. When I stopped in the other day to see how this was working I was excited to see the kids talking live about class between one another using the Ning. If you would like to join the Nings, click on the links above and request to join. Mr. Hyer and the junior high students at Van Meter would be honored to have you as members too!

I added several student videos to the Van Meter Librarian YouTube channel. The 8th graders just made movie trailers for books they read. You must check out The Giver and Evermore! While you are at our channel watch Josh Porter's video entitled "What Technology Means To Me" that he created for a Facebook video contest. I am impressed every time I watch these videos! I will continue to add student and classroom work so subscribe to our channel so you can follow our Van Meter students and the great movies they are creating. You can also follow the Van Meter Bulldogs YouTube channel to connect to news and excitement from our district!

After researching and gathering digital resources about Van Meter and the state of Iowa, my 7th grade Technology Literacy students created Glog's using GlogsterEdu. GlogsterEdu lets you created interactive, scrapbook like pages in which you can embed video, sound, images, movies, and more. We joined the Greetings From The World wiki this week after I met the creators on Twitter and they invited us to join this amazing collaborative project that has brought together several schools around the World! Van Meter's page on this wiki is going to fill up fast with Glog's from our school since several elementary and secondary classrooms are going to create Glog's. You can find Van Meter's wiki page here!

The learning and thinking is different this year at Van Meter! There is an energy within our school that is contagious and taking our students to places they haven't been before. And this is just the beginning. Van Meter students have been given the quest to find their passions and this is just what they are doing through inquiry, collaboration, creativity, and sharing with others in their classrooms, within the walls of our school, throughout the state, and all over the World!

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