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Current.im: a private daily journal 140 characters at a time

What it is: Current.im is a site I learned about from @MZimmer557 on his excellent blog, The Weekly Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness.  Current.im let’s students keep a private online journal 140 characters each day.  The journal couldn’t be easier to use, students login with a username and password that they create, and type their 140 characters for the day.  Current.im keeps a daily record of these bits of writing along with a time stamp.  The Current.im is truly private, this isn’t a social sharing site where students (or teachers) are writing for an audience.  It is a wonderfully simple tool created for one thing: recording daily thoughts. How to integrate Current.im into the classroom: Current.im is an easy way to record writing daily.  The limit is 140 characters making it easy to keep up with and add to everyday without being overwhelmed by the blank sheet of paper.  Current.im can be used as a journal where students reflect on daily learning, a year-long creative writing project that students add to 140 characters at a time each day or a personal journal.  Because students are only responsible for 140 characters a day, this is a fast activity that could be completed as a center on classroom computers.  If your students don’t have access to computers where they can keep their own Current.im accounts, keep a class journal/story/reflection by compiling thoughts together using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer. One of my favorite year-long projects in the computer lab was having students take a picture of themselves using PhotoBooth every computer class.  At the end of the year, students took all of their pictures and created a stop-motion type video combining all of the pictures into a movie.  The result was a short movie where they could see themselves grow up that school year.  Current.im would be a fantastic addition to this project.  Students could start each class period with a picture of themselves and a quick 140 character update to go with the picture.  At the end of the year not only will they be able to see their growth, they will be able to read reflections and thoughts they had throughout the year.  This is great for one school year but can you imagine doing this EVERY year of school from k-12 as part of a digital portfolio?  How neat would that be?!  This is truly a 2 min. time commitment each day.  Easy. As a teacher, Current.im can be used to reflect on teaching practice, to record daily classroom (or student) observations or to record daily success (we all need to record those!).  I always joked that I should write a book about funny student antics.  Of course I never wrote all of these funny stories down so alas, I have no book.  Had I known about Current.im, I could have recorded these stories everyday and had the book written for me by the end of the year! Tips: Current.im doesn’t include any terms of service so I assume it is okay for all students to use.  Registration for an account does require an email address.  The email address doesn’t need to be confirmed so if you have students without email addresses, they can use an @tempinbox or @mailinator account (just add tempinbox or mailiator to the end of any word to instantly create an account). Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Current.im in your classroom!

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Virtual Forest Challenge

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 28-04-2009

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What it is:   Scholastic and Nature’s Source have teamed up to create the Virtual Forest Challenge game to help students understand how their actions have real implications in local and global ecosystems.  The game leads students through a variety of virtual environments and along the way asks them to make decisions about how they would act in the ecosystem they are in.  If students answer correctly (make the correct decision) they continue in the game.  If they answer incorrectly, they are offered the correct answer accompanied by an explanation.

How to integrate Virtual Forest Challenge into the classroom:   Virtual Forest Challenge would be a good site to use in conjunction with Earth Day.  However, since the principals of Earth Day are valid year round, it can be used any time throughout the year.  This would be a great challenge to take on as a class with an interactive whiteboard or projector.  As students make decisions in the virtual world, discuss why one option is better for the ecosystem than another.  Virtual Forest Challenge would also be a good challenge for students to take on solo in the computer lab setting.  

 

Tips:  Visit the Teacher Resource section for some great accompanying lesson plans and resources.  Here you will find a Community Planting guide, a Community Planting poster, a lesson plan about the delicate balance between people and the ecosystems we are a part of, and a lesson about Our Community Past Present and Future.

Comments (2)

Wow this site is awesome. I am twenty one years old and I learned alot from it. It was a great practical way to teach about recycling and saving energy. I never would have thought that some of those choices would save me money on my electric bill. I will definitely use this site when I get a classroom because not only does motivate student to make wise choices, it is a great tool for discussion on why those choices make an impact. It really shows kids that they can make a difference. I also loved the teacher resources. Great Job!

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