This week I came across the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) while looking for ebooks for our iPod Touches. We used it this week when we were working with some students on the different ways to read a book. You can, of course, read the words. But it is also important to remember that you can read the pictures. Using this site, each student told the story by only looking at the pictures (the text was in Farsi) and then we compared it to the English. It was a quick activity that helped the students with inferential thinking as well as developing strategies for reading books.
Other uses for ICDL could include having students actually write the story by only looking at the pictures. Students could also record their reading as well as their thinking using Audacity or any other recording application as they read one of the many online books. The site is also a good general resource for multicultural books for any level of classroom.
I am excited about Kid Blog for a lot of reasons. After just one week in school, I am most excited about the fact that I can moderate student comments and posts from an iPod touch while they are working. I am going to use some posts to simply have students record their learning from an activity or week at school by having them leave comments and then respond to each other. The fact that I can moderate their comments immediately - and before any other students see the comments - is what is so intriguing. It is also nice that students don't have to have email addresses and I can manage the private vs. public visibility of each blog. Also, as I was circulating from student to student, I was able to check in on the progress of every student by accessing their drafts. As they were typing their blogs, Kid Blog was automatically saving their drafts for moderation, this allowed me to keep up on the general progress of the class as well as the progress of the student across the room.
I also could have written about team teaching, iPod touches, Doodle Buddy or Brushes (iPod apps), the Daily 5 for literacy, or about my aching feet and back and my tired eyes. Maybe next time.