Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blog Post #6

The Networked Student

The Networked Student was an interesting video written by Wendy Drexler about how students can use the internet to help them learn. It talked about how instead of books, students build up a network of scholarly sources and websites to help them learn. They can use Google Scholar to help look up scholarly sources for research and a bookmarking site to help save information and websites found so they can return to them for reference. Students have access to blogs from all over the world to read and share their own opinions, respectfully of course. They also have access to some of the top professors and tops schools all over the country by podcast. 

With all this valuable information at their fingertips, why do students even need teachers anymore? They need teachers to teach them how to use the technology set before them and how to use it efficiently to their advantage to further and expand their education.  They also need teachers to teach them how to be respectful with their opinions and blogging etiquette.

I like the idea of the networked student. I think it would be very beneficial for students to be taught this approach to studying and research because I think it teaches them how to use technology (obviously) and it teaches them how to find reliable, scholarly resources without being hesitant. I didn't even know Google Scholar existed until watching to video. It could have saved me many headaches trying to find good, scholarly sources! I loved the bookmarking site where the students could keep track of all their resources online and in one place so they didn't have to go hunt them down over and over again. I also love the fact that high school students have access to podcast from some of the top professors and schools in the country as resources. I think if I had an older elementary class, I would definitely use student networking so they will know how to navigate the internet and know how to find sources that are reliable, and they can connect with other teachers/students from around the world.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learing Environment

Wow! Her PLE was amazing! I really enjoyed her presentation and loved how she brought the view through it. The 7th grader talked about how she loved this way of learning because she has more freedom to do her school work how she wants to and at her pace. She made it clear that she "doesn't have to do it". The freedom available to them helps them learn to be responsible and independent. Her PLE is a lot better than mine in comparison. I need to step it up!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Project #10

Finding The Right Tools

  I work currently work at a preschool/kindergarten, and I have three children with ADHD in my afternoon class. After reading over this assignment, I started thinking about those three kids and how ADHD can hinder their academic process and growth. I watched friends in high school struggle with it as well. They're smart as a whip, but they can't concentrate and put off work resulting in not-so-good grades. It got me thinking about my future students and how, quite possibly, I will encounter many students with this situation. While doing some research, I found a website called Memory On Demand  which is a website dedicated to academic and cognitive performance of students with ADHD. They created an app called Focus GPS (available at the app store) for iPads and iPhones that helps students get organized, helps them with concentration, time management and memory.

  Two features of the app that are very helpful to the users are the What's Up and What's Done features. What's Up makes a schedule for the user to go by in order of priority. It also allows access to "peer mentors", such as, parents, teachers, tutors, friends, therapists, sports coaches or even older students that have experience with ADHD keep tabs on the student's progress. This way, the student has a support system to help them stay on track and succeed in classes. It also keeps the student focused on the present task instead of being all over the place. The What's Done feature keeps track of the completed assignments and informs mentors of the student's progress. These two features help students with ADHD get a grip on forgetfulness and procrastination.

I think Focus GPS is a fantastic app that will help students with ADHD excel. If I were to come across a student with a documented case of ADHD, it could be arranged that the student is set up on this program and his parents and I would have access to his assignments as he progresses. I would love to use an app like this with students. I think it's an amazing idea!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Blog Post #5

If You Built A School

Krissy Venosdale is an educator, and in her own words, she is "a learner, forever". She blogs about teaching, technology in the classroom and the gift of education.

Krissy talks about having the opportunity to create her own school, and if she was presented with a "Willy Wonka" moment, how she would create her own school. She said her school would be huge with a grand neon sign saying, "Welcome: Now Entering Innovation Zone". There would be colorful walls, comfortable seating. The library would resemble a giant tree house and science classes would do projects more than once a year. Grade levels wouldn't be determined by age, but by how the children perform academically. Her ideas we're amazing!

I was actually kind of challenged when I read this blog post. If I could create my own school, it would be extravagant. It would be colorful, but not so overdone that it's overstimulating. I think I would like having different departments and with each department, have it decorated appropriately. For example, the science pod could have the walls decorated with all sorts of plants and animals, the solar system and a huge mural of our planet. The history pod would have different event in history painted on it, like the Declaration of Independence, the Pilgrims and the Mayflower and other different events. There would be an outstanding technology department and computer labs with instructors to help the students with projects and teach them how to blog so they could reach out and communicate with other teachers and students around the world. There would be a huge arts program, mainly because I love music, theatre and art. I loved Krissy idea of having a "tree house" library, so I would have to make that happen some way, some how in the school I would create. I mean, what kid would not want to go sit in a tree house and read a book? It might actually encourage them to read if they get to sit in a big tree house inside the library.

I would also like to have a languages section in the school where children can be introduced to different languages and cultures from around the world. They can pick a language or two that they want to learn and from there, begin to learn the ins and outs of the language/culture and maybe even get connected with another child from a country that speaks that language. I think it would be an amazing learning opportunity!

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

Oh. My. Goodness.

I remember singing Lux Aurumque my freshman semester, here at the University and I fell in love with this song. Eric Whitacre is one of my favorite composers! This video was absolutely breath taking, and what made it even more amazing is that none of the 185 singers have ever met, nor sung together. Some one took different videos of them from Youtube singing and created this virtual choir. It's amazing what technology allows us to create!

Teaching In The 21st Century

The video talked about how teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge. Students can get information from anywhere at anytime by using smartphones, Google, iPods, and the television, and how important it is that these students know how to correctly use technology in the classroom. Roberts also believes that students should be active learners instead of passive learners. Students should know how to collect data from reliable sources instead of the first link they see on a search engine and know how to process and relate to the data they are presented with when they find it. Students should also learn that technology is useful for more than just entertainment and that there is so much that technology can offer them when used properly.

As a future educator, I really hope to use different types of technology in my classroom to enhance the students' learning experience. My job as a teacher is not to entertain them for seven hours a day, but to help then actively learn and keep them engaged in the activities we do in class. I plan to not only teach them how to use the technology correctly, but how to apply it in everyday life. Now, a class of third graders won't need to know right then if they need to "rent or buy", but using the technology in the classroom and learning how to find reliable sources and how to process the information presented will help them determine the that answer later down the road in their lives.

The "Flipped" Classroom

Flipping the classroom sounds like an excellent idea in theory, and I'm sure it works well in different classrooms. I love the idea of the students being able to access the content online and being able to watch and re-watch the information until they grasp the concept. I like how to helps the "middle" and "slower" groups of students be able to understand what is going on in the lesson. My main concerns are, how will the teach know if the students are watching the videos, and how is this a benefit to the fast-pace learners? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for learning at your own pace. I just don't understand how a teacher would test the students on the same information if they are all learning differently. Would the fast-pace students being taking a test on harder material while the others are lagging behind?

I think if I better understood the system of flipping the classroom, I would definitely use it in my classroom. I really love that students would have access to the material at all times, especially if they miss a day for whatever reason. I just need to learn more about it before considering applying it to my future classroom.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Project #7 C4K #1

C4K Summary #1:

The first kid's blog I was assigned to read was Ellie J's blog. She blogged about different cultures and how they can effect people's lives in many different ways. She talked about how culture effects work ethic, how we make friends, how we relate to other people and even our accents. She used an example that really hit home with me about tap water. She basically asked how it would effect our work ethic if we had to get up and walk at least a mile with a container to get water for the day verses just walking into the kitchen and turning on the tap water. I also enjoyed that she brought up the thick southern accents that are heard in Alabama verses the accents in New Jersey. She said if she could chose a culture to live in, she would want to live in ancient Greece because she loved their eagerness to learn and explore the world around them along with their enthusiasm for athletics.

I really enjoyed her post and how through and detailed it was. In my comment, I told her if I could go back into time and live in a different culture, I would want to live in the Renaissance Period because I love the fashion, music and emphasis on the arts during that era. I would love to keep up with her blog and see how she progresses.

C4K Summary #2

The second blog I was assigned was by a child named Jirandy, who was asking viewers to create a number problem using the numbers 97 and 56. I have never seen a blog post like that, nor have I ever thought of asking viewers to actively be involved on my blog. It was a brilliant idea to get other students and teachers alike to be interactive with each other.

Here was my comment/problem:
There are 97 students in the 5th grade Christmas play. 56 of them are wearing red. How many students are wearing  color other than red?

C4K Summary #3

The third blog I commented on was a sixth grader, named Juanita, in New Zealand. She told a very short story about how she, her cousin and his friend all went to the park to play rugby on their holiday. It had a really cute picture of them playing rugby in the park on a pretty afternoon.

In my comment, I complimented her on her story and picture. I corrected her on a slight spelling/sentence structure issue and explained how instead of typing the number "3", we would write it out as "three" because it is a small number. I wish she would have elaborated more in her story. What kind of holiday was it? Who won the rugby game? Was it cold or warm that afternoon? I think it would have made the story a lot more exciting.

C4K Summary #4

For the fourth blog, I was assigned the Ellie J. again, and she wrote a post about Satchel Paige as a part of a Black History Month project. She chose to write about Satchel Paige, an African American baseball player who was born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1906. He had always dreamed of playing in the major leagues one day, but never thought his dream out come true because of segregation. He worked his way through all of the black leagues and was eventually picked up by the Cleveland Indians as an extra pitcher and went on to play for the Browns and Athletics.

Like, her first post I read, Ellie was very through and detailed in her writing. I complimented her on her thoroughness and attention to detail. I was also really excited to read her post because it was about two of my favorite topics: Black History Month and baseball. The only thing I could really correct was when she repeated a word in a sentence. Other than that, she did an excellent job.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Project #4 C4T Assignment #1

Post One and Comment Summary:

 Joe Dale delivered a webinar to teachers around the world about the usefulness and effectiveness of iPads in the classroom. He said that the iPad is ideal for classroom use because it has many creative uses, has a built in camera for pictures, videos and pod casts, books can be easily downloaded and it is mobile. He mentioned a few disadvantaged, such as, Adobe flash, word processor and javascript. It was mentioned in a poll taken before the webinar began that not everyone could afford a 1:1 iPad. He stated that there was nothing wrong with using one iPad for multiple children, but they are more effective when a child can talk one home and use it for educational reasons. He also suggested many apps to explore to help from classroom management to being creative. My favorite app (which I downloaded after the webinar) was My Story. It is an app that lets you make your own books by letting you draw or add pictures of yourself. You can type out the text or you can record your voice. I love it!

I completely agreed with Joe Dale on the usefulness and effectiveness of iPads in the classroom. I work at an after-school program in the afternoons and I use mine with my k-4 class and hope to use it in my future classroom.

Post Two and Comment Summary:

Another post by Joe Dale was about how language teachers are using technology in and outside the classroom in enhance their lessons with their students. He discussed the MFL Twitteria and how it has helps language teachers connect from around the world and get ideas, resources and support from each other. It helps encourage teachers how to tweet and use it for more than just social media. They can use it for resources, to get ideas from each other and how to differentiate professional social media from personal media. 

I just thanked Joe Dale on his for writing all that he does in his blog and how it is helping me in my studies now, and how it will help me in my future classroom. By reading and keeping up with his post, I am learning how to not only use technology to my advantage but to my students' advantage as well.

Project #5 Presentation

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Special Blog Assignment #1

Did You Know Many Of Us Misinterpreted "Did You Know"?

Apparently, many of us misinterpreted the information in Dr. Strange's video, "Did You Know". I know I probably did because when watching, I focused more so on the percentages of honor students in India and English-speaking and English-speaking learner in China, instead of paying attention to the fact that they have more honor students and English-speaking citizens simply because their population trumps our by a lot considering approximately 1 billion people living in India and 1.3 billion people in China verses our 3.1 million. I asked WolframAlpha how many foreign language teachers there are in the USA and according to it, there are only about 27,020 (2009). Then, I asked how many math teachers there were in the USA and according to it, there are 48,100.

I think WoldframAlpha would be a useful resource in the classroom because if a student where to ask a question the teacher is unsure of, she could pull it up on the smart board and the teacher as well as the class could search together and discuss the results. The site could be useful to students when working on homework and projects when they need to look up information or need an answer to a question or problem.

Gary Hayes and Social Media

Social networking and media is almost vital to most young adults in our generation, and many older people are getting involved with it too. So, since many young and older people are on social media websites, why not use it to your advantage as a teacher? Teachers could make a Facebook classroom page to where he or she can post assignments or classroom news on. Students could post question or suggestions on projects and homework. They could also post important items like a syllabus to keep up with assignments or test dates.

Social media can be beneficial to teachers as well. Teachers could set up a separate Facebook page for parents who use social media to keep up with important dates and let them know if they need some volunteers for activities in the classroom. Teachers can use sites like Twitter and Pintrest to follow other teachers, get ideas for the classroom and find free resources.

I love social media. I would be lost without it!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Blog Post #4

Podcasting With 1st Grade

"Believe it or not, but having an audience matters...even to six year olds." - Langwitches Blog

I think creating podcast with any age group is a wonderful idea. After reading the blog and actually getting to listen to the first grade class's podcast, I think podcasting would be a fabulous idea to incorporate into lesson plans involving story telling. The first grade class did an interview still podcast where students posed as the main characters, Jack and Annie, from the book Vacation Under the Volcano from the Magic Tree House series and explained the culture in ancient Roman times and, of course, the catastrophic event of Pompeii. They talked about gladiators, the Greek and Roman gods, the clothing of the time and volcanoes and earthquakes. It incorporated history, mythology, science and even fashion. It was very informative and quite adorable!

Making a podcast with the kids is an amazing idea because it helps with comprehending the material, public speaking, presenting information, storytelling, performing and technology. It helps shy and quiet students come out of their comfort zones and the outgoing students to perform and feel like the center of attention. I also like how the entire class was involved with speaking parts and editing. And I'm sure it made them very very special when other classes and teachers from around the world listened to your podcast and commented on it. 
Here's the link to the blog and podcast. If you're looking for something to put a smile on your face, I recommend listening to their story. It's pretty nifty!


Studies have shown that in order to completely comprehend a new word (especially in different languages), we have to hear it in its context and place in sentence structure at 70 times. Podcasting a class learning a new language can be very helpful. By taking the class and recording them saying the words, what they mean and how they are used, the teacher can come back with a podcast of the students and let them listen to what they are learning, and let others from around the world listen and even help critique the class. 

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom

Joe Dale did a podcast on how using podcasts are very beneficial in classroom settings. Podcasting is an interactive way of teaching your students because it requires them to get up and be engaged in the activity whether they are learning scripts or learning how to edit and save files to the computer/Smartboard. It helps students venture into the world of technology and helps them find their inner creativity and cultivate their imaginations. It's also beneficial in that the parents can come in and not only see, but listen to what their kids are doing and learning in class.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Blog Post #3

Blog Critique 

The student I was assigned to comment on did not post their blog on time, so I chose to comment on Ashley Showels' blog. Her post was amazing! It was so organized and well thought out and I truly enjoyed reading it. It is obvious to me that she took the time and put a lot of effort into making her post. I did not notice any grammatical or punctuation mistakes.  I told her by commenting on her second blog assignment.
 Great job, Ashley!

Peer Editing

When peer editing a blog, there are three things that should be remembered to be an efficient editor. First, compliment the writer on their blog. Find something that you like or agree with and let them know. Second, make suggestions to help improve their blog, like possible word choices and details that may make it better. Always be specific when making suggestions. Lastly, if needed, make corrections on grammar, sentence structure and punctuation. Always remember to stay positive when peer editing. Like the golden rule, critique how you would want to be critiqued. Being hateful, mean or forceful is never the approach one should take when making corrections or suggestions. It is very discouraging and can be embarrassing if one is tearing apart another's work.

The video about the top ten peer review mistakes was adorable!I learned that there is no need to be overly picky, pushy or rude. The point of editing your peer's work is to help improve their writing skills so they can perform better. It's also best to be positive and encouraging when making suggestions and corrections. Being specific is key when making corrections because generalizing will not help peer's be more successful. When peer editing, it's best you use an "inside voice" instead of loudly

Assistive Technologies

The Mountbatten is an amazing tool! It allows blind students to have immediate feed back both audibly and tactically  As they braille on the machine, it tells them what is being typed out as well are writing it in braille. The machine saves data and can send information to computers where it can be translated into written language and then passed off to students for peer editing. I think the Mountbatten would be a great tool to have in my future classroom, especially if I were to have a blind student in my class. It would help them feel more involved with the activities going on in the class and make them feel included instead of giving them a different assignment.

As a future educator, I'm sure that at some point in my career I will cross paths with a student that is visually or hearing impaired. As pointed out in Teaching Math to the Blind, blind students are very limited to scientific careers because of not being able to have a stable foundation in math. With that being said, I'm sure not every blind child is incapable of math. I would say it is just more difficult for them because they are not able to see how problems are set up, and braille does not set up math problems properly. The grid shown in the video was absolutely fascinating to me. The blocks had visual and braille numbers on them, so a teacher could watch and help, if needed, and as the student would place the block on the grid, the computer would read the number aloud and tell the student which column it was in, so the student could set the problem up in column formation and proceed with steps to complete the problem. How brilliant is that?! The professor in the video said that the grid could help a student through at least basic Algebra, but even still, it's making innovations that blind students have not had before now and opening doors for them and ideas for new technologies to take them further. I would love to get my hands on a device like that for my future classroom.

iPad usage for the blind was an interesting video. I didn't know Apple had set up in iPads to help the blind. The iPad spoke aloud and as the person dragged their finger across the screen, it would read out what they were touching. My favorite part on the presentation was when the man opened up the books on his iPad and it began reading them aloud to him. I loved the idea of having these technologies available for future students who are impaired. My only concern would be if the devices reading everything aloud would be disruptive to the other students in the classroom.

                                                                         Google Images

Vicki Davis

"I believe every child can learn, but where children have trouble is when they only have paper and only have pencils and only certian children will succeed." - Vicki Davis

I think Vicki Davis is brilliant in her methods of teaching. I love how she gives her students the opportunity to help teach the material and exposes her students to the world of technology and the educational world. She is opening their minds to a whole new world of opportunity.