Alice Mercer
Educational Institution: Oak Ridge Elementary; Sacramento (CA) City Unified School District (I was formerly Nicholas Elementary)
Teaching Environment: Computers and Technology grade 1-6
Web 2.0 Focus: Blogging and Podcasting
Description: I've used blogs to do everything from the mundane (homework assignments, what we would be studying during the week), to reference (links to sites related to our subjects), to the analytical (selection discussions), and creative (podcasts that they created). Through it all, I've tried to make sure that the technology is embedded in the rest of my curriculum, not outside of it. This makes is seamless and helps support learning throughout the day.
Teaching and Learning: Students feel like they have a voice, and someone is listening to them. They build connections with each other, and with the world.
Preferred Applications: Edublogs is my tool for blogging.
Mentor(s) and Hero(es): I have been using technology for a long time. I had static web pages, and lists of links. What changed for me in the last year was adding blogging. Blogging allowed me to have my students participate, communicate, and create on the Internet. The first person to help me with my professional development was Scott McLeod. In addition to having my students blog, I blog as a means of professional development and reflection. Scott introduced me to that, and was patient in listening and helping me in my journey into using Skype to connect with other like minded educators. The next group I connected with were the folks at WorldBridges/Ed Tech Talk. I got to hear from educators around the world and at all levels to find out new technologies and how to use them well. Folks I would look at as an elementary educator are: Doug Noon, Brian Crosby, Michaele Sommerville, Jose Rodriguez, Lisa Parisi, Mark Ahlness,
The following middle school bloggers have ideas that are applicable in upper elemetnary: Matt Horne, Kevin H
Favorite Web 2.0 Applications Right Now: I'm watching Ning, and social networks to see how that might work in the classroom. I'm also going to be using online document tools like Google docs and Zoho in the new school year.