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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Project #10

I will be teaching elementary aged students and along with educating them I plan on providing them with the basic skills they need to build their PLN. One application that I have found to be helpful when building a PLN is Flowr. This is an app designed to help your PLN grow through collaboration and sharing in real-time. It allows educators (and many other professions) the ability to share polls, links, ideas, questions and concerns through the use of a timeline; this way posts are organized by relevance. The application is also a great tool to organize your personal learning network contacts and all of their information so you will have it all in one location.

Another resource I discovered while using Symbaloo is Edmodo. I'm not sure if Dr. Strange covered Edmodo in his previous assignments, but is an online application created to better the communication between teacher and student. It has the appearance of a social networking site so it is appealing to students. There is also an application for their smart phones so that they can have access to information and assignments at all times. This is a great source I plan to use in my future classroom because it has been proven to get students more involved which is one of the most important things in the classroom today.

Blog Post #6

Wendy Drexler

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler poses an interesting question; “Why does the networked student even need a teacher?” The video’s main concern is students using technology to take control of their learning in order to make new connections for future their learning. The concept of students having a personal learning network (PLN) is also discussed in this clip. Personal learning networks are very important for the 21st century student; it is a list or group of contacts and sources one can use for assistance and collaboration as needed.
So, why does the networked student even need a teacher? Students still need teachers because educators provide their students with the skills needed when building their personal learning network. Teachers are there to offer guidance, communication skills, help students differentiate between facts they find online and propaganda, and teachers help students organize all of their information. After all, these are the skills the students of the 21st century will need.
This video, along with many others I have viewed this semester including A 7th Grader’s Personal Learning Environment (or PLN), has helped me realize just how important all of the information I am learning in EDM is. Success is achieved with knowledge and connections, and I believe our job is to provide our students with the ability to make an adequate PLN that they can use throughout their years of learning and beyond. Networking students at an early age is a very good idea in my opinion; you can never have too many connections and resources available during the learning process! One connection could make a huge impact in a student’s life.

Check out Wendy Drexler’s Blog

Sunday, February 17, 2013

My Sentence Video

Blog Post #5

If I Built a School

Krissy Venosdale is an avid blogger and a truly inspiring person. Her blog Venspired was created to reflect on her teaching. Her definition of venspired is: inspired by our students, powered through tools of technology, always motivated by creativity. Continually fueled by collaboration and constantly dreaming of better learning for us all, every single day.
Krissy Venosdale wrote a very interesting blog post called “If I Built a School”. She wrote about her dream school; a school created from her imagination with all sorts of amenities. I really liked her idea about having labs stocked with tools necessary for students to experiment all school year instead of once a year due to lack of money in the budget for the laboratory. If I were to build my own school I too would include a fully stocked lab along with a completely stocked art/music room. I believe hands on activities help provide a creative and open atmosphere
I would also make sure that the cafeteria is properly stocked with good wholesome food for the children. I have done a little research about diets having effect on our ability to learn, in fact I began my research because I was given an example today of a student that was having trouble in the classroom. His mother changed up his diet and now his teacher says “you would think he was a different child.” Getting the right amount of nutrients and protein during the school day really makes a difference so I would make sure, in my dream school, the cafeteria has nothing but natural, healthy food.

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir – ‘Lux Aurumque’

After learning that this performance (“Lux Aurumque”) was orchestrated through nothing but the internet I think it’s safe to say the internet is a very powerful tool. I already knew that the internet was a useful thing, but every day I learn that it is even more useful than I thought. You can virtually do anything with the internet, such as: collaborate with teachers around the world via blogging, do comparative searches along with any other search using Bing and Google (plus many other search engines). The internet is also a great tool for homework, as far as turning it in, doing it, and assigning it. If it is posted online there is no excuse to not know about it or not be able to physically turn it in. The internet is available most everywhere, so it can be used at all times; it is a very reliable resource for us.

Teaching in the 21st Century

I think that in the video Teaching 21st Century Students Roberts is trying to teach us that as educators we must provide our students with more than facts, dates, formulas, theories, stories and information. Students today have access to all of that in any place at anytime with the internet, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. We must teach them the skill of how to use the information they receive from all of the resources outside of the classroom. I feel like the technological changes are good for our classrooms, and in order to be successful with the generations ahead we must accept this. There are so many different ways to approach the use of technology in the classroom and I think that the trial and error phase of perfecting my own strategies will definitely affect me as an educator, but only in the best way possible :)

Flipping the Classroom

Oh goodness YES I would totally consider flipping my classroom. It seems to be a very efficient way to help students move at their own pace. Lecturing is not engaging for the students, and many of them are on different learning levels so when they leave the classroom to apply their learning some may have more difficulties than others. I definitely would use this technique in my classroom because it has been shown to be highly effective in the videos listed below.

a. Katie Gimbar - Why I Flipped My Classroom
b. Dr. Lodge McCammon's - FIZZ
c. Ms. Munafo - Flipping the Classroom

Saturday, February 9, 2013

C4T #1

Week 1
I was assigned to read Teaching as a Dynamic Activity blog post by Jerrid Kruse on January 16, 2013. In the first post I read Mr. Kruse explained his latest technology project for his students. This assignment was similar to one in the past, but it this time gave students the opportunity to explore deeper into the assignment instead of giving them the opportunity to “throw some ideas together, rinse, and repeat.” This theory made the light turn on in my head; I have come to realize many teachers I had were not approaching education in the most effective way.
Here, Mr. Kruse is giving the students enough instruction to lead them to success, but he is also leaving more room for them to succeed on their own. In case I didn’t state my thought clearly, I was pointing out the fact that he is not spoon feeding the assignment to his students. I commented on this post letting Mr. Kruse know that I agreed with him about his new approach to his assignment. I also told him about my thoughts on the importance of future teachers growing with technology.

understanding and acceptance
Week 2
There was not a new blog post on Mr. Kruse’s page for me to comment on so I decided to explore his blog. I chose to comment on his post about students’ views on learning posted on January 6,2013. I found this post to be interesting because it’s almost as if he tapped into my mind. In this blog post Mr. Kruse spoke about how students’ view of learning affects their learning. He mentioned that there were two kinds of views; static and dynamic. Static view being the one that believes memorizing information will help do well on tests, and dynamic being the thought that actually knowing the knowledge through integrated understanding will show better results.
I believe the static view is a huge problem in society today. Only recently have I been given a study guide that does not have every question word for word on it that has been on my test. Teachers and professors everywhere need to stop doing this! Students memorize the information and do brain dumps as soon as the tests are over. In order for our future students to retain information we need to emphasize understanding not memorization. Memorization is not the key!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blog Post #4


As I have said in my earlier posts technology is a very important part of the classroom. After listening to many of the podcasts provided I believe there are many benefits of podcasting in the classroom. Not only is it a good way to communicate outside of the classroom, but it exercises many skills in classroom as well. Located on the Langwitches page are podcasts of Ms. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano ‘s first grade class; they are practicing many skills including listening, speaking, comprehension, oral fluency and technology. I now believe podcasts are a good way to help children develop social skills. This is great because it gets everyone involved and working together on assigned tasks; something certain children will need to be comfortable with throughout life depending on whether or not they work in groups or are on a team.
I’d have to say there were many things I will suggest to my group when working on our podcast. I read that reading from a script did not sound as good as being able to just flow with your podcast, so first I would suggest we don’t have a script. We most certainly can write down key points to mention, but we should practice saying them so the podcast sounds more natural. Annunciation is also a big thing when it comes to recording, mumbling will not cut it! I also read that changing tones to go along with what you’re saying is a good idea too. It’s almost as if you are performing on stage; because you are performing, just behind a microphone and a computer screen.

Helpful Podcast Links:

The Beneļ¬ts of Podcasting in the Classroom by Joe Dale
The Practical Principals with Melinda Miller and Scott Elias
Judy Scharf Podcast Collection

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Special Blog Post

When I used the WolframAlpha search engine to compare the populations of India, China, and the United States I found that the United States population was significantly smaller than that of China and India. China and India have populations over 1 billion people where as the United States only has a population estimated at 309 million people. So, I admit that I am probably one of the students Dr. Strange was talking about when he said many students misinterpreted the data from the video Did You Know?, but I honestly had no idea the size difference between these countries was so different. I looked at my world map and decided to use WolframAlpha to compare the sizes of Ireland, Canada, and Australia. The results were not as mind blowing as they were for China and India compared to the U.S. but the results were still interesting. Ireland’s population averaged at about 4.59 million people, Australia’s average is 21.5 million, and Canada had the highest population which is 33.9 people.

Gary Hayes – Social Media Count Change
I was fascinated to see Gary Hayes Media Count Change for social media and mobile media. After navigating through the different social medias, I decided to start a stop watch to see just how much goes on during 1 minute; the numbers were astonishing. Below I have included a picture of just how much social media we Americans use in 60 seconds:
media counter
It was interesting to see how fast we move through new technology in a minute. Instagram has only been open to the public for a few months and already has more upload action than YouTube. I think it was Niccolo Machiavelli, an early enlightenment thinker that believed resisting progress will only leave you in the dust. So, in my opinion it’s a great thing for my career as an educator because technology is constantly growing with our children therefore we should embrace it. Technology is good thing for our children because it enables them to use their brains at a much faster pace which allows them to get more done.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blog Post #3

Peer Review

take a lookThe first video I watched was about peer editing. Prior to watching this video there were many things I realized I was not paying attention to throughout all of my years of peer editing, such as not paying attention to the details, word choice and organization. Also in both the video and slide show provided I learned that there are 3 very important steps to peer editing: compliments, suggestions, and corrections. Obviously, no one should approach peer editing with a rude attitude, but giving compliments is positive reinforcement that encourages the author rather than putting them down about the mistakes they made.
After going through all of the links given to us, I felt I was able to critique my fellow classmate’s blog post in a more sufficient way. I paid close attention to the organization and punctuation of her post; along with the grammar. Usually when I write reviews for my peers I get nervous because I feel like I may not be critiquing the right things, but this time I felt confident in my editing. I really enjoyed this “humorous” video Dr. Strange suggested :) - Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes

Assistive Technologies

Wow! Before now, I have not given any thought as to how I would accommodate one of my students if they had a disability such as being blind or deaf. I felt like the students with disabilities like this would need someone who is qualified to teach them, but I now I feel like we as educators should be trained to be qualified to work with ALL students. The use of technology has been proven to be effective when it comes to helping students with disabilities.
I plan on having every resource possible available to my students. I understand that we are not given a big amount of money to dedicate to such resources, but I am a very passionate person when it comes to helping kids; if there’s a will, there’s a way! Braille is the only area that may challenge us but we all love a good challenge, don’t we future teachers? The answer is: yes we do!

Vicki Davis

One statement Vicki Davis made in the beginning of her video Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts was that students have trouble when there is only a pen and piece of paper. This statement stuck to me because I know we can all remember a time when we were faced with a blank piece of paper and a pen for an assignment, it can be intimidating! In Ms. Davis’ classroom the students all use computers and they all take turns teaching the class. She mentioned that she is teaching her students’ new software, learning how to learn, collaborating and blogging effectively and pretty much teaching them how to be comfortable using a new technology.
I also fully agreed with the point she made about students looking things up, we don’t have to define everything and we shouldn’t. Students have the ability to look up answers for themselves, let them! Her students that were in the video were noticeably confident about working with technology which was incredible to see.