Calling All Nintendo DS Users!

November 9, 2007

  One student in our class owns a shirt that says, “No homework until my videogames are done!”. At first I thought it was a pretty funny shirt, but then it made me think, “What if videogames were homework?”Recently, I observed a youngster using the “Pict-o-chat” function on a Nintendo DS. In essence, the child can simply join a chat session with any DS users in the room and have a conversation! After taking a look at the Pict-o-chat screen, I noticed that (kids… cover your ears) the students were not only communicating, but writing!

I can’t tell you how often students don’t want to write, but to see them openly communicating via the DS was awesome! Granted, at the time, spelling was not an issue and the students were not working to problem solve, but I think there may be an educational value to the Pict-o-chat feature of the Nintendo DS. While I don’t have any current plans to use the DS, I am planning on investigating it as a possible tool to use in the classroom for group work and problem solving. Any thoughts?



Vacation Podcast

July 20, 2007

Tomorrow I will embark on a 6 hour car ride (click here to see the route on Google Maps) to Wisconsin… cheese anyone? While there, I plan on recording a podcast. A podcast is an audio recording that can be downloaded to a portable operating device (like an MP3 player). If you were in my class last year you may remember that we did a science podcast based on different ecosystems and organisms.

I wanted to complete this podcast because I thought it would be cool to diary my experiences on the road, as well as pass the time in the car. I am thinking about interviews along the way and commmentaries from the road. This idea may be too grand, but we’ll see.

You may be asking yourself, “Why does Mr. Fowler think I care about podcasting?” Good question! I think you should care about podcasting because you will be involved in it next year. For the 2007-08 school year I would like to give students several opportunities to record and plan their own podcasts. I think the podcasts fit well into the curriculum because it gives students an opportunity to write a script that can pertain to any subject area as well as publish it for a large audience. Plus… it’s really cool to hear your voice on the computer.

Stay tuned for the video podcast!