Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blog Post #10

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch's Last Lecturewas a professor, mentor, researcher and alumnus at Carnegie Mellon. He was involved in a number of university departments and initiatives. In 2007, Randy Pausch gave a one-of-a-kind, motivational, powerful lecture that became an international media story and a best-selling book. His lecture was about his childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others, and lessons learned. In 2008, he died from cancer. He did not let his health stop him from being humorous, cheerful, energetic, and youthful.

After watching this inspiring lecture, I learned so many things about teaching and learning. I can't wait to read the book to learn more! Several things Randy Pausch said stood out to me:

"Brick walls are there for a reason, let us prove how badly we want things." There are many brick walls in life, even in the classroom. When a child hits a brick wall, we should not give up on them. Brick walls let us show our dedication.

"We learn from our students, not just the teacher." I absolutely agree with this. This is an inspiring quote for not only teachers, but for everyone.

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." In life we don't always get what we want, but there are always lessons learned.

If someone gives up on you, they have stopped caring. Never give up on your students.

"When people give you feedback, cherish it and use it."

"It's not about how to achieve your dreams, it's about how to lead your life." The dreams will come to you. Karma will take care of itself.

This lecture was one to never forget. I will carry the inspiration from this lecture with me in my future classroom. It taught me to never give up on my students, encourage them to achieve their dreams and learn with them. "Find the best in everybody." This is something to remember every day.

"You cannot change the cards you were dealt, you can only change the way you play your hand." - Randy Pausch

Project #12: SMARTboard

Project #9: Podcast

Sunday, June 23, 2013

C4T #2

Technology in Education words in the shape of a car.

Dianne Krause is an Instructional Technology Specialist and Coach in the Wissahickon School District. Her blog has resources and ideas for the successful integration of technology in the classroom.

The first comment I left for Mrs. Krause was discussing eight technology books every leader should read. I found this post very interesting! I have never read any education technology books before. After reading this post, I was eager to read one of them. The book "A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change really interest me. It is important to keep up, stay enthused, and grow through change. I encourage everyone to read at least one of these books, especially if you are a future educator.

The second post I commented on discussed the twelve most perfect ways to ensure you're legally using online photos. This is very important whether you are an educator or not. Most people do not know the proper way of using online photos or images. These tips were very helpful.

I enjoyed reading Mrs. Krause's blog!

Blog Post #8

An apple with words describing teaching.

What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers? -Dr. Strange

Blended Learning Cycle: Lauren Macon

In the video, Blended Learning Cycle Mr. Paul Anderson, a high school AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana explains how he is using the blending learning cycle in his classroom. Blending Learning is taking the parts of online, mobile, and classroom learning and blending them together in a classroom. The Learning Cycle is composed of engaging questions, exploring experiments, explaining the phenomenon, expanding on it, and then evaluating. This is what inspired the Blended Learning Cycle. Mr. Anderson begins his class with a good question about a phenomenon. I think this is a great way to start your class off! It gets the students attention and gets their interest. Asking questions is something I will use in my future classroom. After the question, he explains we should be prepared for investigation/inquiry, video, elaboration, review, and a summary quiz. He uses different types of technology during this process. I also explored his blog, Bozemanscience. His blog has hundreds of science videos that he created. He is always learning new things and sharing them. I learned that you should let your students be in control of their learning, questions are important, and that you can learn with your students too. Watching Mr. Anderson’s video was very beneficial. I will use these skills in my future classroom!

Back to the Future: Caitlin Lankford

In the video Back to the Future. Brian Crosby, a fourth, fifth, and sixth grade science and technology teacher, was describing how he “runs” things in his classroom. Crosby talked about how all of his students have a computer, access to a web camera, and their own blog. Basically what Crosby was focusing on in his presentation, was that he does a learning activity with his students, and then to assess them, he makes the students write about it in their blog! How neat? Crosby’s class is very focused on technology activities, yet very hands-on. For instance, Crosby and his class, made a hot air balloon go into high altitudes of the sky and attached a camera to the balloon so that they may be able to receive information from where the balloon is. The children discussed the learned information on their blog and wrote a book about their findings. The children received numerous amounts of positive comments on their research and findings! I love what Crosby did with his class; he made learning fun! I hope that one day, I will have the means to do something special with my class just as Crosby did with his.

Making Thinking Visible: Melissa Canterbury

In the video Making Thinking Visible. Mark Church, a sixth grade teacher at International School Amsterdam, asks his students to talk among their small groups about a video they watched in class the day before. He gives them time to discuss within their groups and asks them to come up with a headline to capture what the video was all about and what exactly did what they watch mean. Church gave his students a strip of paper to write their headline on after they decided on something as a group. I liked that he put the students into groups and asked them to work together to come up with a headline. By doing that, he is engaging the students and allowing them to learn from other students in their group. We can learn from Mark Church his way of engaging the students in the thinking process. Church gave the students an opportunity to share their own opinions and then showing them how to work in groups to come up with a final decision for the headline. I really like the idea of students working in small groups and I think that keeps them engaged in the lesson. From personal experience, I love working in groups and hearing what my classmates say because sometimes I can’t explain what I am thinking or put it in the right words and my group members help me get it out. I love learning from other educators and think it is only beneficial to us especially as young teachers with little or no experience in the classroom.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Project #9

To begin my personal learning network (PLN), I chose Symbaloo. As of now, it consists of my frequently used websites such as Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Gmail, etc. I also added several education sites such as TeacherTube. I cannot wait to add more resources and organize it. I am looking forward to using this throughout the semester!

Blog Post #7

Apps for the iPad

For this week’s blog post assignment our group wanted to find assistive apps for iPads. Since iPads are becoming more common in the classroom, we decided this would be the most beneficial to us. Specialized apps for special needs children allow the students to still be connected with the other students using the iPads, however they have their personalized programs that help expand their own learning experience.

ArtikPix: Lauren Macon

ArtikPix is a FREE iPad app designed for children to receive speech practice and self-monitor their productions during flashcard and matching activities. More decks are available for purchase individually or in groups. When using this in the classroom, the teacher can create their own flashcards using illustrations or photos and share them. This is a great and fun way for students to practice his/her sounds in spelling words or individualized sentences. Then, share them with other ArtikPix users via an email attachment. This allows the teacher to customize the student learning experience when used in the flashcard and matching activities. If you have the full version of ArtikPIx, you can combine decks and configure sound groups. It also collects scores, which is great for the teacher to monitor the progress of the student. To facilitate speech practice, there are audio and visual options. There are also options to enable varying levels of students.

iWriteWords: Melissa Canterbury

iWriteWords is an app for the iPad that teaches students fine motor skills, handwriting and literacy through entertaining games. It is a perfect app for individual seat work for the special needs children who struggles with the traditional worksheet. After looking around on Pinterest and special education boards, iWriteWords caught my attention. The students help Mr. Crab collect numbers in sequence by dragging with their fingers and drawing the letter at the same time. After the student traces each letter, the program says the letter aloud and then says the word that the letters make. This app is designed for younger elementary students as they learn their sight words and handwriting. iWriteWords can be purchased in the app store on iTunes for only $2.99, which I think is great! The cheaper the better, although it isn’t the price I prefer, which is FREE, it is still very affordable.

Dragon Dictation: Caitlin Lankford

Dragon Dictation is an iPad app not only designed for children, but is for adults too. This app is similar to Siri on the iPhone, and just like Siri, Dragon Dictation records what you say and not only gives you the option of sending your words through text messaging, but also via email, Twitter, and/or Facebook. Therefore, when used in the classroom, the teacher can email, or text the child’s progress to himself, the parent, speech pathologist, and/or principal. Also, when used in the classroom, struggling speakers can record what they say, hear it read back to them, and see their words on the screen. For those who have a difficult time speaking certain letters in words, such as saying “w” instead of “l,” this app is an easy and effective way of correcting the speech. To make this app even better, it is FREE!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blog Post #6

Questions Drive Thinking

"What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?" -Dr. Strange

EDM310 has taught me that "questions are more important than 'answers'." Asking questions gives feedback to the teacher and gets the students involved and engaged.

Have you ever thought of a question to ask, but didn't know how to ask it? Have you ever had a teacher ask you a question and you didn't know what she was asking? I have! The teacher would ask a question and no one in the room would raise their hand or respond. Was it because they didn't know what the teacher was asking or was it because they didn't know the answer? In Joanne Chesley's video, Asking better questions in the classroom Pt. 1, she discusses the difference between an open-ended question and a closed-ended question. A closed-ended question is asked for the student and can be answered in one word such as "yes" or "no." It can also be answered in a short phrase. An open-ended question leaves the form of the answer up to the person who is responding which requires more thinking. Often times teachers get what they ask for, literally. They will ask a closed-ended question, but are looking for an open-ended response.

In the article, Asking Questions to Improve Learning, strategies for improving questions and responding effectively are presented. One important thing to remember, you are modeling a process that students can use themselves. When asking a "yes-or-no" question, make sure to follow with an additional question asking students to explain why they answered the way they did. Make sure the questions are direct, clear, and specific. For each class session, include notes of when to stop and ask questions. This will make the class more interactive and help you measure and improve student learning. No one wants to sit in a class where the teacher never gets the students involved and interactive by not asking questions. When responding to students, always show interest in students' answers, right or wrong. Let them finish their answer before responding.

All of these strategies will help me make improvements when asking questions as a teacher. As teachers, we need to ask questions that involve the students getting involved and thinking. I cannot wait to use all of these strategies in my classroom! They were all very helpful and useful.

Project #8

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Passion Is

My Sentence Is

Blog Post #5

Children Holding Hands

Judy Scharf Podcast Collection

Judy Scharf describes the word podcast as a cross between "broadcast" and "iPod." Scharf describes it as a "radio-style" talk show and it may include music. Podcasts may be listened to on any computer or MP3 player and can be shared all over the world via internet. Scharf also lists two videos for a better understanding. One is a video on how to create a podcast. The other is an instructional video from TeacherTube. This video gives step by step instructions on how to create a podcast. Scharf also gives her own tips to creating a successful podcast.

Lanwitches- Podcasting with First Grade

In this blog, a first grade class was excited about being introduced to podcasting. The teacher read a book to the class, one chapter at a time. As a class, they came up with questions and answers as if they were interviewing the two main characters in the book. Each student had the opportunity to ask the questions and answer them. The students were eager to hear themselves on audio after recording and editing the podcast.

Langwitches- Flat Stanley Podcast

A first grade class read the book "Flat Stanley" by Jim Brown. After reading "Flat Stanley", the students wanted to be flattened and mailed around the world. Each student picked a location around the world they wanted to visit. They borrowed a library book about the location and used the internet to research their destination. With their parents, they read the book and wrote a short script that included the location (city, state, country, continent), how they got there (transportation), what they did, and how they got back home. The class brainstormed with their teacher a storyline so that each student had a part in the podcast. With enthusiasm and excitement, the class recorded their podcast.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Project #3 Presentation

C4T #1

Comments for Teacher

For my first C4T assignment, I was assigned to comment on a blog created by Mrs. Denise Krebs. Denise Krebs is a certified K-8 teacher who reflects on 21st century education in her blog. She has taught for seventeen years in Arizona, California, and Iowa. She is currently a junior high teacher for 7th and 8th graders.

The first post I commented on, Mrs. Denise Krebs wrote about what it meant for students to learn, create, or master a skill during genius hour. Instead of the students producing what she wants them to, she is learning to let them take action. I commented that "It’s hard for us as teachers to let go and let students learn" as she said in her post. But, it is a way of letting the students think for themselves and create new ideas. Genius hour seems to really get their minds to create, imagine, and inspire.

For the second post, Mrs. Denise Krebs explained that just because you fail at something does not mean you are a failure. She then explained that failure was just a first attempt at learning. I commented that it is important for students to realize that just because they fail at something, does not mean they are a failure. We learn from our mistakes and our fails. She does not use the words fail or failure in an educational context. Instead, she uses words such as resiliency, persistence, perseverance, and grit.

I enjoyed reading these posts from Mrs. Denise Krebs. She is passionate about what she writes in her blog.

Blog Post #4


PhotoPeach- Lauren Macon

PhotoPeach is a video tool where you can create a slideshow in three easy steps. It is used in hundreds of schools worldwide, but you do not have to be an educator to use it. Your slideshow can be shared on websites and via email. PhotoPeach is free, but you can upgrade to become a premium user for only three dollars a month, which allows you to download unlimited shows in burnable CD format, upload your own music, create unlimited photo albums, and customize the transition effects. The website states that “the combination of images, music, and text helps students learn about presentation, expression, writing, communication skills, art appreciation, and media literacy.” There are three advantages for PhotoPeach for educators. One, it is easy to create and can be easily started and stopped within class time. Second, teachers can control and manage student privacy. The slideshows can be kept private or can be shared with the parents and others in the community.Third, it is a great tool for collaborative group work. The students can answer quizzes and polls that the teacher created or the students can create their own. This is an easy tool for teachers and students to give a presentation to the class. PhotoPeach can also be used in the library, technology class, as an assessment tool, as a slideshow, international exchange between schools and much more. You can also follow other people’s accounts or view different slideshows in various categories. On WolframAplpha, Animoto, another video tool, receives 1.2 million daily views, whereas PhotoPeach receives only 92,000. PhotoPeach is a great tool to use in the classroom, or for anyone creating a slideshow. After creating my own account to experience PhotoPeach, I am looking forward to using this tool more and using it in my future classroom.

Edmodo- Melissa Canterbury

Edmodo is a social media tool similar to Facebook and Twitter for educators, students and parents to communicate with each other. After creating an account and exploring the website more, I quickly became really interested in it. At first when creating your profile, it prompts you to select "communities" or categories you are interested in. For example, Mathematics, Computer Technology, Creative Arts, Science, Social Studies, etc. Other teachers who have selected these categories as their "communities" can then post lessons or resources for other teachers to access. Edmodo is also very organized. There is a library tab where the teacher can add links and files so that students or parents can locate them anywhere. When posting, the teacher has the object to title the post, whether it be "assignment", "poll", "quiz", or an "alert". I know from using Facebook and Twitter myself that the amount of users on those two social media is rapidly increasing. After researching on WolframAplpha the "daily visitors of Twitter and Facebook", WolframAlpha reported:

Daily visitors on 640 million visit/day

Daily visitors on 84 million visit/day.

These numbers show just how many people use social media today. I can only predict those numbers increasing in the next couple of years. In my classroom I wish to be as connected as my students and parents as possible. With Edmodo, it allows me to be connected with my students and parents through a social media, which they are used to using in their personal lives. However, Edmodo lets me keep the personal lives separate since it is strictly for educators and their students and parents. When using this tool in my elementary classroom, I can use Edmodo to keep in touch with my students as a whole when they are outside of my classroom. I will make sure to teach the importance of social media safety. This page will also allow students to communicate with each other. The teacher can also put her friends into groups, so with parents, I will put them in their own group. This way teachers can communicate with each other about what is going on in the classroom and keep it separate from the students. Edmodo was a very interesting site and I already have teachers sharing links and lessons with me. I am looking forward to exploring this site more throughout the semester and sharing with EDM how it works and how effective I think it will be in the classroom.

Prezi- Caitlin Lankford

Prezi is an online whiteboard that converts presentations from lectures into conversations: allowing people to see, distinguish, and remember thoughts. Randy Howder, the design strategist for Prezi said on the website that, “Prezi allows us to communicate design ideas with our clients in a highly engaging and dynamic way, liberating interesting conversations from the boredom of one-way presentations.” Prezi is designed to improve organization skills and make learning more engaging! This network system, is also available for easy access to share occurring and abundant ideas! Prezi is not just used for educators, but also used by businesses, conferences, and non-profit organizations. Prices for Prezi are also a steal! For public use, Prezi is free. However, if one would like to upgrade Prezi to the “Enjoy,” the price rises to $4.92 monthly, adding up to be $59.00 annually. There is one more upgrade, called “Pro” pricing at $13.25 a month, and $159.00 annually! Although, teachers and students do receive a discount with “Enjoy” being free and “Pro” pricing at $4.92 monthly and annually, $59.00. For a comparisons found on Wolframalpha about presentation website idea prices, SlideShare starts out free, then proceeds to Silver ($19.00 a month), Gold ($49.00 a month), and Platinum (call for details). Unfortunately, Picsviewr did not have a specific amount for using the presentation tool. Prezi is such an interesting tool for not only teachers, but for anyone who is required to deliver a presentation. This tool is quite easy to use and extremely beneficial! I am excited to become familiar with Prezi and use it in EDM310, and as well as in my future classroom!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blog Post #3

Peer Editing

Peer Editing

Peer Editing is working with someone your own age by improving, revising, and editing his or her writing according to "What is Peer Editing?" and "Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial." These are great sources for students to know how they are supposed to peer edit without being a "Picky Patty" or a "Mean Margaret." I would always get nervous when the teacher said to pass your paper to another student for peer editing. I never knew if I would get a "Speedy Sandy" who didn't really read the paper or a "Jean the Generalizer." As I got older, I liked peer editing and wanted classmates to read my writing before I turned it into the teacher.

There are three steps in completing peer editing. The first one is to give compliments. When revising, be sure to say what the writer did really well. Most importantly, STAY POSITIVE! The second step is suggestions. Make suggestions such as how your classmate can improve their writing, word choice, enough details, organization, sentence structure, etc. When making suggestions, be specific. The third step is making corrections such as punctuation, grammar, and spelling. Remember to stay positive during these three steps. When editing, we should approach the classmate as we would a student. This assignment has given me suggestions and ideas of critiquing my peers and when I become a teacher.

When I critique my group members, I will do so honestly. So far, my group members have typed well written posts with minor revisions needed. If I do find an error in my group members posts, I will email them the revisions they need to correct. I would hope they would do the same for me. I choose this way of commenting because I would not want to humiliate my group members on their blog publicly. My group members have very good organizational skills when writing their blogs. I will use these three steps when critiquing my group members and I will remember the first rule, stay positive.

Blog Post #2 Revised

words describing 21st century education

Mr. Dancealot

In the video,Mr. Dancealot teaches his class with a powerpoint. He demonstrates the dances behind a large desk so that the students cannot see the movements of his feet. Also, he did not let the students participate. This style of teaching was nearly impossible for the students to learn anything. This is what Burp-Back Education looks like in the classroom. The students did not learn anything. When teaching a dance class, the students must be in a ballroom learning and practicing the dance. Mr. Dancealot expected the students to know the dance without practicing. This goes for other subjects in the classroom as well. How is one supposed to learn anything if they are not involved? Many teachers have taught and are teaching this way, giving a disadvantage to students.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts: Lauren Macon

In the video, "Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts," Vicki Davis teaches in a classroom full of technology. She not only teaches, but her students teach too. She states that an educator does not need to know everything about a subject to teach it. They are learning together as a team and the students are teaching as well. Davis’ students collaboratively write and create videos with other students. The students are becoming more comfortable with technology, as well as becoming connected with students all over the world.

Teaching in the 21st Century: Melissa Canterbury

What Kevin Roberts is asking in "Teaching in the 21st Century" is what is the role of the educator? As educators are we here to simply give students information? No, they clearly have search engines like Google and Bing for that. We as educators are here to provide resources and the tools needed for students to succeed. Technology is taking control of classrooms whether teachers are ready for it or not. Educators need to be able to teach students how to use iPads and computers, and not only tell them Google can answer their questions; but teach them how to interpret the information they find on search engines such as Google. Teaching in the 21st century means teaching in classrooms where textbooks don't exist anymore. (Try telling that to teachers 20 years ago.)It means saving those trees and typing on laptops instead. The fast paced, technological world that we live in is taking over our classrooms and educators will need to be prepared.

The Networked Student: Caitlin Lankford

"The Networked Student" by Wendy Drexler made me realize many things. As said before, in the technology world we are living in, things are changing drastically. We always rely on our technology devices to get us out of situations or take us away from being bored. Being a teacher of a networked student would have many pros and cons. For a pro example, classrooms would Go Green. Assessments would be online, as well as assignments. There is such a thing as too much technology, though. Some students learn in different ways. For me, I am a hands on kind of learner. If studies go strictly to technology, things will get difficult for some students. Students will always need teachers. Teachers will never go away, because who is going to teach the students how to do something online or on the computer. For instance, Baldwin County High School was the first school to give all of the students a computer. Beforehand, the passing rate was extremely low. Now, two years later, more and more students are graduating because there is a different way of learning. Technology can tend to be a good resource, whether the teacher will be strictly in front of you, or by a communicating software (i.e. Skype).

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Blog Post #2

Mr. Dancealot

In the video, Mr. Dancealot teaches his class with a powerpoint. He demonstrates the dances behind a large desk so that the students cannot see the movements of his feet. Also, he did not let the students participate. This style of teaching was nearly impossible for the students to learn anything. This is what Burp-Back Education looks like in the classroom. The students did not learn anything. When teaching a dance class, the students must be in a ballroom learning and practicing the dance. Mr. Dancealot expected the students to know the dance without practicing. This goes for other subjects in the classroom as well. How is one supposed to learn anything if they are not involved? Many teachers have taught and are teaching this way, giving a disadvantage to students.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

In the video, "Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts," Vicki Davis teaches in a classroom full of technology. She not only teaches, but her students teach too. She states that a teacher does not need to know everything about a subject to teach it. They are learning together, and the students are teaching her new things as well. Her students collaboratively write and create videos with other students. The students are becoming comfortable with technology and are becoming connected with students all over the world.