Thursday, May 6, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
I have made some progress with my PLN since my last post and I definitely have a clear understanding of their importance now. At the moment my PLN was enhanced through Comments 4 Teachers. This helped me immensely because I was able to read the comments on their posts from teachers throughout the world and visit their blogs. The cycle would continue until I was commenting and reading some other post on some different blog ten hits away from my original assignment that I was supposed to be blogging about. Another way that my PLN grew and will continue to grow will be through theEDM 310 Alumni Blog . I continued to experiment withTwitter but I'm just too long winded for it. Overall, I really enjoyed enhancing and creating my PLN through the use of blogging and reading the blogs of others and connecting with them.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
A Seventh Grader's Personal Learning Environment
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Visit Tau's Classroom Blog Here
Comments 4 Teachers...Dangerously Irrelevant
For this assignment I got to follow Dr. Scott McLeod's blog entitled "Dangerously Irrelevant". I read his post on Tenure and how some schools want to abolish this policy. From reading the post and the comments about this topic from educators around the nation I realized that tenure is a double edged sword. It is a double edged sword because many stated that it helps teachers of low quality keep their jobs. However, on the other hand it helps protect deserving, hardworking teachers from losing their jobs. I'm not sure where I stand on this issue. If you would like to read this post to determine your opinion about tenure click this link Dangerously Irrelevant
I loved this blog because Dr. McLeod always says what people want to say but never do in fear of offending someone. He presented at a conference at the American School in Bombay and continued to "keep it real". One teacher was a little upset about the fact that Dr. McLeod was not recognizing the fact that the teachers who were at the conference represented schools that were far more technologically advanced than other schools. McLeod really didn't like this comment and put the person in their place to say the least. He challenged them to do a better job at implementing technology with all of the resources that they have at their finger tips. In my opinion this teacher that made this comment represents a school that has many more resources that those other schools that he or she was claiming to be beating in the technology race. You can view his response to this comment and listen to his presentation at Dangerously Irrelevant.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
This week I got the chance to comment on Semi's video post. Semi attends Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. In his video he told about a noodle eating contest that he was in. He told about his experience eating noodles with a chopstick. I love eating with chopsticks, love Asian food, but still can't for the life of me eat noodles with chopsticks.... What a fun activity to have in your classroom someday.
View Semi's Post Here
Friday, April 2, 2010
The Intrepid Teacher is a blog created by Jabiz Radisana, a teacher at an international school in Doha, Qatar. He speaks of an experience where he reads The Last Child in the Woods. Upon reading this book he has a revelation that his daughter does not spend enough time outside. So, he takes his daughter outside to explore with cameras in hand. Together, as a team they discover the beauty in their surroundings which are composed of a desert landscape, trash mounds, and construction refuse. In spite of their dismal surroundings, they find their beauty and capture them on film.
On this impromptu field trip Jabiz states that, "We spoke of the wind, the setting sun, and how plants can grow with little water. We spoke about the power of art to make the ugly appear beautiful. We asked questions of each other. We guessed at answers. The two of us were a mobile outdoor classroom. Father and daughter in an empty field in the desert." However, the learning didn't stop here and opened up a whole new world (no pun intended) of opportunity.
This experience with his daughter leads him to create the blog entitled "Dear Kaia" which is a blog that allows Kaia to share her photographs and experiences with different classrooms and children around the world. At first, like any parent, Jabiz was apprehensive about putting Kaia out there on the web but it proved to be a success. Not only did he connect with Mr. Chamberlain's class he also connected with many others throughout the world thus creating a virtual classroom while giving Kaia an meaningful learning experience.
The creation of Kaia's blog along with the connections that Mr. Chamerlain's class is making are vivid signs that changes in the education system are happening. These changes are for the better. It is evident that the internet and technology are powerful tools that can bring cultures together, create awareness, and provide many with invaluable learning experiences.
Comments 4 Teachers
For this assignment I got to follow the Anne Marie Holmwood's post entitled "The Meaning of Life or 42". Anne teaches media arts and creative writing in British Columbia. Her posts were very interesting. One focused on her experience in grad school, she read a poem that captured her expereince and then posted it to You Tube and embedded it in her blog. The poem was great and she shed light on some of the aspects that make me nervous about being a teacher. The main aspect being having to tailor your curriculum to the standardized tests at the time. When I read the comments for this post she actually stated that in Canada parents have the right to not have their child participate in standardized testing. The parents are required to have some sort of academic/educaitonal activity provided for these students during test time. I thought that this was great. Standardized tests are probably not used as rigorously as they are here in good ol' America. I wish I could teach in Canada.
The other post I viewed was a speech written by Anne's twelve year old daughter Willa. Will gave a speech for a competition that dealt with the impact that technology would have on her community. She went over the pros and cons of each side and came up with a lovely conclusion. Through reading this post you can tell that the apple does not fall too far from the tree here.
Visit The Meaning of Life or 42 Here
Sunday, March 28, 2010
An Open Letter to Educators
Friday, March 12, 2010
ALEX, Alabama Learning Exchange
ALEX is an award winning website that was created by the Alabama State Department of Education. It serves as a great resource for educators in the state of Alabama. Through the use of the ALEX website, teachers can search the site's database of lesson plans that can be tailored to subject and grade level, they can also access information on professional development opportunities throughout the state, and can sign up for an ALEX account which allows them to share and manage websites and lesson plans. However, this is jut the beginning of what ALEX is capable of. Teachers can also download educational podcasts, create and submit their own lesson plans to ALEX and have them critiqued by fellow teachers. The ALEX search button is a feature that allows teachers to search the ALEX database for information on educational websites, lesson plans, information on state education standards etc. In a nutshell ALEX is a great way for teachers to find and share information.
Visit the ALEX website here
ALEX is very user friendly. One simply has to visit to the website alex.state.al.us/site.php to access colorful homepage and start clicking away. For example, if you would like to find a health eduation lesson plan for eighth graders. First click on the lesson plans button, then scroll down to the the third option that states find lesson plan by subject, proceed to click the following boxes below that meet your search criteria. If you are using the example, you would select health education, grade 8, and click search. Taaah daaah, you now have multiple lesson plans in the area of health education for your eighth grade class. In order to share information (ie. lesson plans and educational websites) on the ALEX website you have to create a user account by clicking the "personal workspace" button and simply following the instructions. Now you have the opportunity to manage share and have your ALEX lesson plans critiqued by fellow teachers. You also have your own personally managed data base of websites that you can create.
I plan to use ALEX if I am teaching in Alabama or in a different state. I plan on using it to supplement my lesson plans in the future classroom. I may also use ALEX to stay informed on professional development opportunities. If there are any podcasts that are offered by ALEX on the subject area of health education I will probably download those if I can use them. I wonder what other states have similar websites for their teachers?
A.C.C.E.S.S Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide
ACCESS is a program that allows students to take classes online at their local high school. The main goal of ACCESS is to cerate equity in the educational process by offering additional classes that students can take on line and receive high school credit for. While enrolled in ACCESS, students will receive high quality instruction and participate in interactive video conferencing courses.
In order to participate in ACCESS teachers must find out if their schools are participating in the program. They can do this by either visiting their school counselor or their school principle. For additional information they can also visit the ACCESS website at accessdl.state.al.us
I think that ACCESS is a great program and it has some really good intentions. I can see the benefits for students in rural and disadvantages school districts benefiting greatly from it. I wish that they had opportunities like this when I was in high school, my rural high school could have supported a program like this. I don't know if I would have participated in the program. However, there were a few beautiful minds that didn't thrive with the standard teaching practices that would have benefited from ACCESS immensely. The only concern that I have about ACCESS is that I worry about the disadvantaged schools that don't meet the technological requirements in order to support a program of this caliper. I wonder what they are doing about this issue. Like I say, the intentions are great and the program is amazing; but in reality, how accessible is ACCESS?
Comments 4 Teachers: What I learned from Thumann Resources
For this assignment I followed Lisa Thumann's blog at www.Thumannresources.com. Lisa Thumann is a technology consultant that goes into schools to teach teachers how to implement technology into their classrooms. The posts on her site that I read gave me great insights on not only how to effectively utilize technology in the classroom but also of the possible challenges I may face while doing so. Her blog also had a great post that dealt with the creative applications that you could use on an iphone.
The most interesting post that I read on Thumann's blog was entitled Social networking in high schools. As stated in the post's title it focused on the issues of social networking in high school. Thumann as mentioned above, goes into high schools and teaches teachers and students about technology. She assesses what works and what doesn't. When she was leading an discussion with a group of high school students she found out that they came to a general consensus that they contacted their teachers using First Class . However when it came to social networking in schools, students complained that there were too many places to check online that it made it confusing for them. For example one teacher would use Moodle, the next Google apps, Delicious, Diigo etc. This would in turn cause students to miss assignments and deadlines if they forgot to check one of the various sites.
Social networking in school is a great thing, but it kind of defeats the purpose of being so effective if it turns into a taxing process. How have your teachers or professors handled this issue? If you have any suggestions please leave a comment. I would love to be able to give Lisa some possible ideas.
Visit Lisa's Blog
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Randy Pausch's Last Amazing Lecture
The virtual reality expert, Randy Pausch's last lecture was amazing. His lecture made one reflect upon how to make childhood dreams a reality and enable others to do the same. Unfortunately, it was Dr. Pausch's last lecture because he was diagnosed with cancer. He was given 6 more months of good health before his condition would eventually take his life. When one hears this news it is depressing; but being depressed is the complete antithesis of everything Pausch talks about in his lecture. As a matter of fact he doesn't want people to pity him, he'd rather have them enjoying their lives and making a difference.
Pausch speaks about his life experiences which all revolve around accomplishing his childhood dreams. Pausch's experiences consist of creating a new virtual reality course at Carnegie Mellon (CMU) which paved the way for a master's program, working as an imagineer for Disney, and winning big stuffed animals at carnivals to name a few. I however loved the fact that he created his own course at CMU. It's already amazing that one can become a professor of a subject that they are passionate about, but to be able to create your own course that you would proceed to teach would be out of this world! Pausch created college level course entitled creating virtual environments. The course was collaborative and included five different departments at CMU which allowed a hodgepodge of creative minds to come together and create virtual environments. To top it all off, every part of Pausch's pedagogy puts the student at the center of the curriculum and it focuses on the importance of interaction with others which is how learning should take place.
In a nut shell this lecture was amazing I could talk about his course work and academic achievements for the rest of this post as Pausch was an extremely intelligent and successful man. However, I'd rather focus on some practical tips that he gave in his presentation. These tips/tidbits/words of wisdom I named "Pauschisms" can pertain to anyone, especially those who coach, teach, or work with children. Here are some of the Pauschisms that I found most useful...
1.) Brick walls are a good thing. When you are trying to achieve a dream and you hit a brick wall it happens for a reason. Brick walls remind you of how badly you want something. They also keep those who don't want it as badly as you away.
2.)When you screw up and no one says anything it means they don't care anymore and have given up on you. Don't get to this spot, it's a bad place to be. Your critics love you and want you to succeed and better yourself. Suck it up and keep trying.
3.)It's good to accomplish your dream but it's better to enable someone else to accomplish their dream.
4.)There is both a good way and a bad way to say the same thing...Always use the good way.
5.)When given enough time people will impress you.
This one's for teacher's and anyone who wants to work with kids:
6.) If you don't set the bar high for your students, you are doing a disservice to them.
To say the least, this lecture was great. I really don't care that I had to sit for an hour (I hate to sit still and I missed my run...oh well!) and listen to it. It was an hour very well spent.
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Comments 4 Kids Week #9
This week I got the opportunity to comment on Kahlanie's blog who lives in New Zeland. Kahlanie had a great video to watch on her blog and it was entitled "The Christmas Bullies". The video was great and it looked like the kids put a lot of work into it. This is one of the many examples of how technologically literate today's kids are. Also it demonstrates yet another example of how to use technology in the classroom.
"The Christmas Bullies"
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Wendy Drexler: The Networked Student
Wendy Drexler's video on the networked student was great. It gave me a clear understanding of what it truly means to become a networked student. I really like the idea of connecting students with many ties via the use of technology. What I liked even more was how Drexler emphasized the importance of the connections that were being made by students. Hopefully I will be able to apply what Ive learned in EDM 310 and become a networked student. I can't wait to reach the level of connectivity that the student in the video possesses. I'm almost there but not quite yet.
To be quite honest I'm not prepared to teach the networked student yet. However, the key word here is yet. By the end of the semester I will hopefully be prepared to teach the networked student. However, now I don't feel confident enough in my abilities to complete this task...yet.
Through taking EDM 310 Ive gathered that current and future generations of students will highly benefit from being networked learners. Due to this fact, I will readily implement the theory of connectiveism in my classroom. I'm ready to accept the ideas of connected learners being in my classroom and I'm ready to further my skill in order to teach these students. However, I'm can't state enough that I'm still a little intimidated at this point in the game and don't yet feel prepared to fully serve networked learners. However, with a little more practice and experience I will be ready.
View the Networked Student Video here
Richard Miller: This is How we Dream Parts 1&2
Richard Miller's "This is How We Dream" was a great presentation. The presentation focused on composing with text with using various forms of media. Instead of using a simple text document which he states would be quickly disregarded and would take much longer for people to take note of; he recommends something completely different. According to Miller, students will compose with not only text but with audio, still images, photographs, and movies in order to produce compositions that is in Miller's words are both "beautiful and compelling". This form of composition gives the reader a front row seat into the writers thoughts and what messages or message he or she is trying to convey.
In my opinion composing with media and technology is great, if you have read my blogs it is evident that I am opinionated. From time to time I struggle with being able to get my points across as clearly and sometimes I'm not as much of a word smith as I'd like to be. This new form of composition offers a great alternative get over these stumps and clearly demonstrate your points which will have a greater impact on the audience.
I love multimedia and multimedia presentations. I was able to take audiovisual communications in high school which gave me my first taste of how effective a presentation is when the senses of sound and sight are intertwined. With the resources that Ive learned in my EDM 310 class I think I may be able to do a short, modest digital composition. I would like to use them in my future classroom. I know for a fact that students will be able to use this art and create some very powerful compositions. After what Ive witnessed students doing with technology, digital composition will be a piece of cake for them to master when given adequate tools and guidance.
View Richard Miller's Presentation Here
Michael Wesch, A New Future of Whatever
Comments on how Michael Wesch's anthropological analysis of UTube is related to my life...I would say that it relates to my life because I like everyone else wants to be an individual and have a sense of autonomy but still feel connected to a community. I feel a sense of connectedness through my family, school, my neighborhood, my friends, volunteering etc. I use the internet to feel connected to family and friends through the use of email and will soon be using social networking sites.
I did find it interesting that there are people that use UTube as an emotional outlet. The woman that was shown in the presentation who just needed to talk about not being able to bring her son home really made me realize that UTube is more than a site to view random productions. I didn't realize that UTube could serve as an emotional outlet. I suppose if some people can't talk to those around them, they have to turn somewhere. I personally wouldn't use UTube for this purpose but I'm happy that people who have no where to turn, have somewhere to turn even if it is UTube.
Check Out Wesch's Presentation Here
The Progress of Poppy's P.L.N. Part 1
My PLN is currently under construction. It's not complete yet. So far, Ive added classmates, Dr. Strange, and a few sites that Twitter recommends following. As I get a little bit more comfortable using Twitter I know that it'll grow quickly. I'm aware of the fact that Twitter is going to be a great tool for me as a teacher but I just need to figure out how to use the darn thing to my advantage. This is the main obstacle I am currently facing while setting up my PLN... Hopefully, I will make more progress this week. Please stay tuned for next week's update on "the progress of Poppy's PLN".
Comments 4 Kids Week 7
This week I got the chance to comment on Diana M.'s blog who is a thirteen year old living in Arizona. Her post that was entitled "About Me" which was obviously about her. It was neat that a thirteen year old is still interested in the simple things like rollerskating, malls and soccer. It'll be neat to see her other posts.
Visit Diana's Blog Here
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Dr. Christie's website is a great source of information for any present or future educator who wants to implement technology into the classroom. Not only did she offer numerous ideas of how to use various forms of technolgy in the classroom through students centered tactics, but she also she differentiated the ideas between grade levels. With each form of technology mentioned, Dr. Christie also listed the "possibilities, pitfalls, and perils" of each type which I found to be very helpful.
Of the many ideas mentioned on Dr. Chritie's site, I would use to the idea of geocaching. I liked this method because students can learn a numerous amount of information in one activity. The subject matter that can be addressed with geocaching is geography, math, or science! What a great tool! It also gets the students up and moving and encourages them to become active in the learning process.
I-Tunes U is a program is a free service offered by Apple that allows universities to publish their lectures to the I-tunes website. Anyone can access these FREE lectures that are offered by some of the world's greatest thinkers (professors from Harvard, Berkley, Yale etc.). Great. Why am I paying for college when I can subscribe to a podcast from Berkley or Yale upon the subject matter that I'm already majoring in at a less renowned institution? Sadly enough it doesn't work this way but, I still think it's great that I can access a lecture from a professor from a different university and use it to supplement a course that I'm currently enrolled in. I also think it's great that I can have access to these high caliper lectures from Ivy league institutions. However the main catch for me is that I can listen to a lecture anywhere (in my car, on a plane, folding laundry, running, working out etc.) this will boost my level of efficiency and keep me in my favorite mode which is always on the go!
As a teacher I would use I-tunes U in a high school or a middle school classroom. It could be used to expose students to a college level lecture or as a supplement to various lesson plans. For example if I was teaching a unit on poetry in an English class, maybe I would find some readings of classic poetry and have my students listen to it via I-Tunes U. The students would then have to identify certain literary techniques used in the poem such as rhyme scheme, rhythm, or automatopia. This will give the students new exposure to various aspects of poetry. Students would be able to listen to the poem and follow along with their text at the same time which will add a new dimension to the lesson. To take it a step further the students could write their own poetry and produce their own literary podcast that is composed of their own poetry.
I Pods in the Classroom
Upon researching what Duke University did with a 500k technology grant I was envious and wanted to be a freshman again...Actually maybe not a freshman again but I wish that I had an opportunity like this one. At the start of 2004 every freshman at Duke university was granted an I pod from the university that came downloaded with freshman orientation information, university info, and the school songs. According to the the article I read on Wired by Katie Dean, at http://tinyurl.com/yjj86xx, The i pods are intended for students to "download course info.recorded lectures, foreign language classes, audio books and music from a website that is similar to the iTunes website." The iPods will be used throughout courses offered at Duke University as a supplement to lectures and as a way for students to be able to study various subjects more effectively. What a lucky bunch of freshman!
Katie Dean's article on "Wired" click here
When I investigated how ipods could be used in the classroom I got a little selfish and wanted to know how they would benefit my current learning experience here at South before I would ponder how to use them in the classroom. I found a website from a previous class assignment that listed the top 100 ways to use your iPod to learn and study better. As I perused this page at http://is.gd/2cdc6, I stumbled upon ipresspress.com which is a site of visual study guides that I could download to my i pod to help me study anywhere! I will be taking anatomy 1&2 along with kinesiology and it'll be interesting to see how Sparkcharts will help me in my learning process. The site also had some free downloads such as the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, The Gettysburg Address etc. For high school students, I also found that Kaplan has an SAT study guide that can be downloaded to the iPod.
100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Study Better click here
Study Guides for your iPod click here
My favorite resource that includes a movie about how teachers can effectively use iPods and podcasts is located at http://is.gd/2cd2l. This movie gives you a wealth of information on how to effectively use podcasts and iPods in the classroom. An article that I found on my own at http://tinyurl.com/y8nf4dl, was entitled "Using iPods in the Classroom promotes Interactive Learning and More Effective Studying". Teachers mentioned in this article are using iPods to engage students in their foreingn language studies outside of class, schools are also making information available for students to download onto their iPods that are tailored to their coursework. As stated in the article, now students can use their idle time (bus rides or walking to school etc.) studying and are engaged more with their studies outside of class while looking cool at the same time. At a time in your life when you don't want to look like a dork and image is everything, maybe this might be a really effective way to get through to our teens while providing them with a great study aide.
Podcasting in the Classroom Video click here
AP Article on iPod Use in Classroom Settings click here
Comments 4 Kids Week 6
This week I got to read a fifth graders blog who lives in Shanghai and goes to school at a Shanghai American school. Her blog was titled "Ritu's Royal Blog". I read her post that was about her reflections on a play that she and her fellow students preformed. She proved to be a pretty bright student, her writing skills were great; it almost seemed as though she was composing a mini play review for a newspaper's arts section. I hope I can produce students of this caliber some day!
Ritu's Royal Blog
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Upon reading Tom Regan's NPR blog, I was blown away by the fact that corporations and religious groups made changes to Wikipedia. Then a light came on and I removed my rose colored glasses which seem to get me every time... Once they were off, I wasn't surprised in the least that our government, corporations, and religious groups were altering information on this highly visited site. What a smart brainwashing technique... Then I pondered the topic even further, our government and the above institutions have been rewriting history and changing information that is available to the general public for a very long time. I'm pleased about the fact that Wiki Scanner is available but I'm not pleased about the fact that the general populous is easily misinformed by the information it's being fed in mass quantities. This blog was a sad reminder that whoever has the most power and the most money can do whatever they want which means that they can rewrite history, change information, and hide injustice. This is yet another reason why it's important to teach our students how to think critically and to never be afraid to ask questions or to question authority in a respectful manner. I think its time for me to put back on my rose colored glasses, and head back into a state of naive, blissful ignorance before I develop an ulcer.
NPR Article and Podcast re: Wikipedia Edits and Wiki Scanner
The NPR article and podcast were very well done. They did a great job at explaining exactly how Virgil Griffith's Wiki Scanner works. What a great and necessary tool to keep the integrity of Wikipedia. It wasn't really a surprise that people in powerful positions or people with agendas edited the info on Wikipedia for personal or political gain, it was only a matter of time when this started to happen. I wonder when the first controversial edits occurred? It sickened me that Dow Chemical erased a vast majority of information on environmental disasters that were a result of their corporation, there were many other examples that sickened me as well that I investigated further that I don't have time to mention. I think that this would be a great discussion topic to have in a classroom with middle school students or high school students which would encourage them to think critically about the information that is being presented to them. It may even be interesting to have them find information on Wikipedia and find out who did the editing via use of Wiki scanner... I wonder if any instructors have done this yet in their classrooms or if any of these tech smart kids that we are hearing so much about are doing it already.
Wired "See Who's Editing Wikipedia-Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign"
This article that was based on Virgil Griffith's new invention, "Wiki Scanner" that is able to track those who edit information on Wikipedia via their IP addresses. The article was interested me and angered me at the same time. It was interesting to learn about someone having the tenacity to put such a great tool into action. The article angered me because I was naive to the fact that people in power would change the info on Wikipedia to for their personal gain (even though I should have assumed this was already happening). I suppose that I along with many others wrongly assumed that Wikipedia was a site of academic integrity and a good source of honest information.
I have to admit that I was an avid Wikipedia user before now. I was, as mentioned above, naive and assumed that the information was coming from reliable, unbiased sources. However, now after reading this article and the NPR blog mentioned above, I probably wont be using Wikipedia in the near future. The creation of Wiki Scanner is progress but shouldn't be a replacement for questioning and critical thinking.
What Ive Learned This Year by: Mr. McClung
Mr. McClung's blog was very insightful. It stated a list of do's and don'ts that are based on what he learned as a first year teacher. Some of the do's Mr. McClung mentioned were to communicate, be flexible, read the audience and to be reasonable. Some of the don'ts were to never be afraid of technology, to never stop learning, and to never lose touch with your students. In my opinion the tips that were offered were great. The ideas he mentioned were in my opinion what any effective, caring teacher should do. Teachers should be flexible, should be lifelong learners, they should never lose touch with their students and most importantly they should listen to them. Overall, this blog was a good reminder of the small things a teacher should do in order to be effective in the classroom and to have a positive impact on his or her students.
Comments 4 Kids Week 5
This week I got to comment on Aidan's post in New Zeland. He drew a picture of fruit with kidpix and posted it on his class's blog. He also wrote very descriptive sentences about his drawing. You could tell that he worked really hard on it. His classroom look awesome! There were Macs, and the kids didn't have to wear shoes if they didn't want to. What more could anyone ask for? There were a lot of very great things going on in Room 7. To check them out click on the link below.
Little Voices Little Scholars
Friday, February 5, 2010
This blog was extremely helpful. Langwitches.org not only provided great examples of student produced podcasts but it's comments from other educators also provided excellent ideas on how to sell the idea of podcasting and technology in the classroom to parents and administrators. As I perused through the comments section from other educators I found one idea that I thought was extremely useful and obvious (I don't know why this didn't occur to me...). The idea was to actually show parents and administrators how these forms of technology are being used in the classroom instead of just speaking to them about it and as the langwitches' blog states, "watching their eyes glaze over". One could also host a technology night in your classroom where parents and children came in and the kids would teach the parents about how to use the technology (ie. logging on to comment on their classroom blog or downloading a classroom podcast) with the help of the teacher. I'm assuming that some schools have already held similar functions, but I wonder what other creative methods there are to get parents and administrators on board with the use of technology in the classroom?
Integrating ICT into the MFL Classroom...
This video was great to watch and anyone who is considering using podcasting as an educational tool in their classroom should watch this video. It gives some really great ideas on how to use podcasting in the classroom. The testimonials from kids were also helpful. My favorite idea was the social studies teacher who recorded a reading to supplement a lesson he was teaching on slavery. He collaborated with other teachers and created a podcast for the class to listen to. The podcast added so much emotion to the lesson which in turn had positive impact on the students. I also liked the fact that the students still had to visualize and imagine what was going on in the reading instead of just watching a video. The testimonials by the students were great, one student spoke of how her parents were happy that she was listening to classroom lectures on her ipod instead of just Beyonce and the fact that some families are now listening to classroom podcasts in the car on family road trips is great as well. Podcasting is a great way to get parents involved in the learning process. The implications of a parent being able to listen to a child's classroom lecture or have access to their child's study materials via podcasting are endless! I'm always thinking of ways to increase parent involvement in the classroom but have never realized that technology will be a way to do this until now...good stuff...good stuff... These new forms of technology have made me excited about becoming a teacher again.
This week was my first opportunity to make a comment on an elementary student's blog. Wow, what a great insight on what is happening in today's classrooms. This week I got to read Alyssa's blog in Canada that was entitled "A Fun Foggy Week". She didn't really talk about the fog but she sure did talk about her class's up and coming events. It seems as though Alyssa's teacher Ms. Deyenberg has so many creative ideas to keep her students active and engaged in the learning process.
Ms.Deyenberg's Class Blog
Sunday, January 31, 2010
I love watching Ms. Cassidy's class explore through the use of technology. I thought that it was great to see kids using various forms of technology in the classroom. I also liked how Ms. Cassidy sets the tone early in regards to commenting on blogs. Meaning that if a kid sees something unfamiliar he or she has to stop and think critically about and question it instead of disregarding it. One can also see that Miss Cassidy is teaching her kids how to use computers appropriately and ethically by establishing a solid set of ground rules. An example of this was when her student referred to always being helpful and not saying anything mean when posting a comment so that you wont hurt anyone's feelings. She is obviously giving her students a good set of tools to be able to think critically about what is on the internet and and to use it appropriately.
Through watching this video it made me realize that it's OK to plant "technology seed" early and in small doses. I don't think technology is a good replacement of the human/social interaction that kids will always benefit from, but they do need to be technologically literate in order to be successful and to be able to think critically about the information presented with on a regular basis.
Little Kids, BIG Potential
Seeing what the kids are learning in Ms. Cassidy's class was amazing. However, being able to see how they are learning was even better. I liked this movie because it shows how technology can be used to enhance a lesson and make it exciting. Ms. Cassidy's classroom was literally buzzing with excitement and the kids were having fun and learning at the same time. It was neat to see the unique ways that she was able to use technology to make learning exciting for her students.
This video was also a wake up call for me. These first graders are more technologically literate than I am. If want to be an effective teacher I'm going to have to get on the ball and stay on it! Do they have a series of tutorials available on the net that I can view when I'm having difficulties my EDM 310 class? If put forth enough effort I will hopefully catch up to them though by the end of the semester. To tell you the truth, as embarrassing as it may seem, I had no idea what a wiki was until I watched this video! Now I'm really excited about using this form of technology to my advantage and have realized what a great tool it will be to use in my future classroom! This is proof that you can learn from children and how important it is to never stop learning!!! I also think its neat that these kids have an audience that is supportive of their learning. I think this is an important aspect of the learning process that will increase their self esteem and give them confidence in their new skills.
I-Phone Used by 1 Year Old
I suppose what I saw on this video didn't really surprise me. If any child is exposed to a form of technology they will learn how to use it no matter how young they are. The implications for future teachers regarding this issue are that they must be prepared to teach in a way that includes some forms of technology in order to effectively reach their students. Due to the high amount of exposure to technology and the media from such a young age, it's going to be important to implement technology in the class room in some way, shape, or form.
I haven't ever listened to a podcast before now. Ive heard about them but haven't ever downloaded any to my i-pod. I'm upset that I didn't do this sooner. When exploring the different forms of podcasts on the i tunes website I was amazed at how many free podcasts are available to students and educators. For example, I'm taking anatomy next semester and I found multiple free lectures that I will be able to download to my i-pod thus making me better prepared for the class, FOR FREE!!! YES!!! The magical word that every college student loves...FREE!!! I proceeded to browse elsewhere and found other podcasts that I will be able to use for future classes and even found some that relate to my hobbies as well. I know I sound a little mellow dramatic about this but I'm actually pretty excited. I want to teach high school and this will be a GREAT tool to use in the classroom. You could most definitely create your own podcast using audacity and post it or you could find an interesting interview or lecture from a different teacher or expert and have your students listen to it and respond to it. This is going to be great, this is one form of technology that I will use in my classroom.
For this assignment I listened to David Warlick's conversation with Chris Lehman (podcast #92), Mac Break Weekly (#168), Kidcast (#1), Smart Board Lessons Podcast (Timmy's tips 1 & 2), and This Week in Photography (#5). Some held my attention and some almost put me to sleep. I loved the fact that I could fast forward and rewind segments that I wanted to listen to more closely or skip. I also found it very interesting that one could record a podcast virtually anywhere ie. at a coffee shop in Canada or at a conference in the Northeast. This fact alone adds a more personal feel to the podcast. I ended up listening to forty five minutes of This Week in Photography and it was great to listen to experts speak on something that I'm interested in, I got a lot of useful info. on low light photography. I can't wait to try out some of the techniques that were discussed. I also visited their blog site which I will be perusing more of in the near future and may be posting some of my photos on it. Overall, I was very impressed with the podcasts that I listened to accept Mac Break Weekly, I was lost and didn't really understand the subject matter of their podcast but, the commentators were very entertaining to say the least.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
The ideas that Michael Wesch depicted in his video, "A vision of Students today" were not too far off from my college experience today in 2009 or unfortunately when I entered college in '97. There were both similarities and differences between my college experiences both past and present that can be compared to what I witnessed in Wesch's video. Like my early college experience, there was no use of technology in the classroom, the presentation tools consisted of an overhead projector if you were lucky or a chalkboard. Similar to my present college experience, students bring computers to lectures but they aren't taking notes, rarely does an instructor know my name and I like the students in the video, spend a lot of time online. One of the differences with my present college experience, is that the majority of my instructors use e-companion which is a technological tool and power point presentations. However, like in the movie, the majority have not used technology as a tool to bring students closer together in order to create a learning community, to make presentations more fascinating, or to enhance class assignments etc.
To be quite honest, I don't know what I would add to this video. The video was well put together and got the point across that it wanted to make. I believe that technology is needed in the classroom to enhance subjects being taught and to better reach students etc. I personally can learn in the boring environment that was depicted in the film because that is what I have been exposed to throughout my past educational experiences. I am accustomed to chalkboards, boring power points, and overhead projectors. However, things are changing and I am adapting to these changes in order to be able to reach my future students in an effective manner. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for other educators to catch on to this trend.
Kelly Hines: It's Not About the Technology
I agree with Hines and think that there need to be changes in the mindsets of teachers throughout the educational system; and that technology in the classroom is only as effective as the teacher whom teaches it. Technology is a powerful and effective tool for teaching students whein it is not being used for, as Hines states, just word processing and video games. I also liked what she had to say about teachers being lifelong learners in order to be teachers that will have impact. With the implications of where technology is heading in the classroom, teachers will not be able to become stagnant in their subject area or technology if they want to be successful.
Being a health education major, I have conflicting ideas on how much technology should be used presented to students. On one hand, I like technology and think it enhances the learning experience for today's student that has been raised around different forms of media and technology since they were infants and toddlers (ie. Baby Einstein videos, Sesame street, and interactive Leap Frog learning toys to name just a few). Today's student has been strongly stimulated by the media from very young ages. Due to this fact we need to accommodate to the growing population and adjust our teaching practices through the use of technology. However on the other hand, when do we as teachers draw the line and expect our students become intellectually stimulated without the use of a glowing rectangle?
Fisch: Is it OK to be a technologically illiterate teacher?
I agree with Fisch and think that it is not OK to be a technologically illiterate teacher. However, he did not define the requirements of what it takes to be technologically literate and by observing how quickly technology is changing I may be technologically illiterate by the end of my EDM 310 class and my skills will be out of date...Let's hope that doesn't happen! Some people consider themselves technologically literate if they can send an email or set up a pay pal account. I'm assuming that Fisch means "literate" in terms of setting up blog spots and social networking etc. I agree with Fisch in regards to the fact that teachers need to become technologically literate. If teachers are technologically literate they can facilitate wider learning opportunities for their students while preparing them for a future that will revolve around technology.
As Fisch states in his post "If a teacher today is not technologically literate - and is unwilling to make the effort to learn more - it's equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn't know how to read and write." Sorry, this sweeping statement is a little extreme for me to take. If a teacher has been successful, produced test scores, helped children get into great universities with the academic base he or she has built for them without the use of copious amounts of technology then I think they are doing well. This was also a very broad statement that does not take into consideration the workload that teachers already have; especially the teachers that work with at-risk youth and in communities where there are more issues that kids face than an average middle class person will face in his or her lifetime. Change needs to happen, YES it does; and technology needs to be introduced in the classroom more now than it ever has in the past. However, it is not the question of teachers not being willing to change; it is a question of whether or not they have the opportunity, resources and support to do so.
Gary's Social Media Count
Wow!!! I had somewhat of an idea that internet usage rates were astronomical but I had no idea how astronomical they were! However, when reality kicks in after the mysticism of the ever increasing numbers vanishes and logic sets in. The numbers are huge yes, but how did Gary arrive at these figures (I suppose I overlooked that part)? This was my only question. However, when the only question is set aside, if these numbers are legitimate, this has some serious implications for present and future educators.
Through looking at the figures on Gary's website any future educator should take a step back and think critically about what this means for his or her future students. When I did this it made me think of ways that I could implement technology in my classroom. Obviously, if students are spending increasing amounts of time using technology outside of class it would be more than effective to bring the technology into the classroom that they are using. I also thought about how important it will be to implement this technology but also teach students to take a critical look at the media and try and teach them about how to deal with the constant images/messages they are being faced with. What implications does this constant exposure to media have for our future students I wonder and how are we going to deal with this in the class room?